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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Looking for some assistance/recommendations. I looked on the forum, but the last thread I could find about replacement radiators was from 2008.

I have a 1981 W250, 318, 4 sp Power Ram. The original radiator leaks - cracks that expand when warmed up.

The truck is by no means a show truck, just trying to save it, extend Its life and utility - former USAF crash truck, 30K original miles and still wearing its Chrysler P74 National Fire Safety Yellow paint; purchased through GSA auction.

Looking for a radiator. Ordered one from Parts Geek, but it arrived damaged, and quite frankly, I am underwhelmed by its cheap Chinese quality (shocking). Sending it back.

Not looking to spend $1000 for an aluminum radiator, but don’t mind spending money for quality.

I will start with the hardest ask first:
Anyone have a NOS radiator?

Recommendations for vendors of old school quality radiators?

May end up hopefully finding a good quality junk yard radiator that’s been pressure tested.

Thank you!
Car Tire Wheel Automotive parking light Vehicle
 

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some light reading for you

 

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alway and l mean always repair the factory copper and brass Rad before buying a cheap aluminum Rad
I caution... the cores do get thin with age. Having holes patched or a couple bad tubes 'deleted' may only buy you small amount of time until a bigger, untimely failure.

One recommendation I got from a rad shop guy was to run a lower pressure cap to buy a little more time (less stress).
 
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I think the bigger issue is the newer style tanks and how they attach to the core using a rubber seal and crimping the two together. Plus the thinner tubing etc. Personally, I'd have my old rad re-cored. It's damned expensive, but if you consider the longevity of the Chinese replacements, the trouble of replacing it and perhaps the possibility of you getting stuck far from home, I think the benefits outweigh the cost. Just a suggestion - you do what you can afford to do.

Lowering the pressure with a different cap increases the possibility of boil-over, since higher pressure raises the boiling point of the coolant. If the rad is old, clogged and not cooling as well as a new one, then you may run into trouble doing that.
 
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I agree to try to save the original radiator. Also running a cooler thermostat might be an option depending on where you live. In Texas I have gone without them in summer. Those older engines do just fine NOT running 220 degrees like the new computer controlled shitboxes.
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·

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