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Thread: Reworking 4wd radiator

  1. #41
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    Re: Reworking 4wd radiator

    I'm thinking of pulling the trigger on this radiator/fan set up. It would be GREAT to get some feedback before spending a bunch of money.

    As I see it, the actual cost of this modification is around $300. The total cost is around $800 but I'm subtracting out the cost going the recore route: Maybe $500.

    I like the AFCO 80107N radiator because:
    It not a super cheap one. There are 2" thick ones on ebay for $125. I would be paying an extra $220 for a 3" thick radiator that appears in the picture to be higher quality.
    1 1/4" in and outlets. I would need to snake the lower hose across.

    I like the Flex a lite fans because:
    More cfm for less than the single fan AFCO set up. If one burns out, maybe the other might get you home. I was planing on using the flex a lite controller, maybe its better to be consistent with the electrical modification. Its a little cheaper than the AFCO fan (part #80107NFAN)

    The total cost of the set up will be around $800. Thats less than I've spent on my other vans stock radiator. I've had to recore twice (bad luck probably) and fix a tank leak and its still a 30+ year old radiator. I have also had to pull the radiator 3 times for these repairs. I will have to make custom brackets to support the new radiator but fortunately I can do that myself, that would increase the cost for someone who needed to farm that work out.

    A couple other things involved:
    The van has a 5/16" diameter return(?) line. I was planning to fabricate a 5/16" nipple on a piece of 1 1/4", and splice that into the return line.
    The flex a lite fan set up is designed to run for 25 seconds after shut down. If that is not enough to prevent heat soak, maybe it could be wired to battery +, instead of ignition +. In that case, the fans on/off would be governed by the programmed shut off temperature. Depending on the water temperature, maybe they would run longer and help with heat soak?

    This a lot of money and work! Any critique would be MUCH appreciated!
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  2. #42
    Van Enthusiast boogieman's Avatar
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    Re: Reworking 4wd radiator

    https://rover.ebay.com/rover/0/0/0?m...2F390967312535

    if youre gonna spend that much, maybe consider this one, i believe this is the one member vanco used on his turbo rig..you can search for the thread..i think it just needed some.necking down of the spigots and he mentions the factory shroud could probably be adapted...

  3. #43
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    Re: Reworking 4wd radiator

    Thanks for the response!

    The AFCO is a 3" thick radiator, that Griffin is 2". I'm hoping that a 3" would have improved cooling ability.

  4. #44
    Van Fan VanCo's Avatar
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    Re: Reworking 4wd radiator

    When I bought the Griffin radiator I saw that AFCO too. I chose the Griffin because it had a better chance of fitting. It fits nice and I'm glad I went with it. Particularly because the bottom hose nipple is on the correct side. As far as cooling goes, it's great. 100+ temps fully loaded on the freeway is no problem.

    The small hose you referred to may be an air purge hose? I plugged mine. With it plugged I just spent extra time getting the air out of the system. It's been fine for a year now.

    I have run a few electric fan setups on the factory radiator(single 14, single 10, dual 10, shrouds and no shrouds), but none have been as good as the factory fan and shroud. I'm currently fabricating an angled shroud to fit a flex a lite syclone 16" 2,500 cfm electric. If it doesn't work I'll run the factory fan and shroud. The turbo adds a lot more stress to the cooling system.
    Last edited by VanCo; 02-08-2018 at 10:44 PM.

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    Re: Reworking 4wd radiator

    Thanks for sharing your modification experience, Vanco. I'm going run my experiment. Its going to be a 3" thick radiator with two 8" shrouded fans, 1600cfm. We will see it the extra 1" makes much difference. I'll cap off the small return line like you did.

    The stock cooling system on my other van works great (after a complete rebuild). I just want a new radiator that won't leak and a fan to fight the heat soak issue. I'm hoping to get similar cooling ability, a more reliable radiator and fans to clear the engine compartment of excessive heat after shout down.

  6. #46
    Van Fan VanCo's Avatar
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    Re: Reworking 4wd radiator

    Quote Originally Posted by wavegobbler View Post
    Thanks for sharing your modification experience, Vanco. I'm going run my experiment. Its going to be a 3" thick radiator with two 8" shrouded fans, 1600cfm. We will see it the extra 1" makes much difference. I'll cap off the small return line like you did.

    The stock cooling system on my other van works great (after a complete rebuild). I just want a new radiator that won't leak and a fan to fight the heat soak issue. I'm hoping to get similar cooling ability, a more reliable radiator and fans to clear the engine compartment of excessive heat after shout down.
    Plus there is a noticable power difference running an electric fan.

  7. #47
    Van Addict Carbonized's Avatar
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    Re: Reworking 4wd radiator

    I'm currently fabricating an angled shroud to fit a flex a lite syclone 16" 2,500 cfm electric. If it doesn't work I'll run the factory fan and shroud. The turbo adds a lot more stress to the cooling system.
    I was mentioning (on another thread) doing just that with the stock shroud and ether a Flex-a-lite 118 or a Derale 17" 2 speed 16917 ( at 16-7/8 OD it fits right in) but with a draw of around 20 amps Tim suggested I upgrade the alternator.
    Vanco, with your turbo rig I suspect you already did, right? And what do you mean by "an angled shroud"? tilted like the 2wd radiator?
    Keep us informed your stuff is really inspiring!
    LG.
    "perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away." A. de St Exupery.

  8. #48
    Van Fan VanCo's Avatar
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    Re: Reworking 4wd radiator

    Quote Originally Posted by Carbonized View Post
    I was mentioning (on another thread) doing just that with the stock shroud and ether a Flex-a-lite 118 or a Derale 17" 2 speed 16917 ( at 16-7/8 OD it fits right in) but with a draw of around 20 amps Tim suggested I upgrade the alternator.
    Vanco, with your turbo rig I suspect you already did, right? And what do you mean by "an angled shroud"? tilted like the 2wd radiator?
    Keep us informed your stuff is really inspiring!
    I upgraded to a GM CS130D, it peaks around 105 amps. I chose this style because it is easily upgraded to the high output 145 amp GM AD244. Plus they are $18 a piece at my local pick and pull, and there are tons of them. I run a 4 guage cable from the alternator to a 150 amp fuse to the battery.

    For the fan, I spent some time trying to make the factory shroud work with a bigger electric fan, and there just wasn't enough room. I'm making a shroud that is close to the bottom of the radiator, and angles back toward the motor on top. This will allow the bigger electric fan, and pull all the air through the radiator. With the fan basically blowing down, I'm not sure if that will be bad for venting the engine compartment. I guess I'll see. I was thinking of running a 10 inch fan that just vents the engine compartment that comes on with the cooling fan.

  9. #49
    Van Addict Carbonized's Avatar
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    Re: Reworking 4wd radiator

    I was thinking of running a 10 inch fan that just vents the engine compartment that comes on with the cooling fan.
    For that I was thinking of using an inline extracting fan, they are used in the bilges of power boats to clear out any flammable gases before firing the engine, they are sealed, explosion proof, usually fairly high volume for the size and can be installed remotely anywhere under the van and flex ducted. Run that a few minute after shut down against heat soak or like you are thinking, in tandem with the fan if you have enough electrical power.

    it's not 1000's of cfm but if the target is the hot air bubble seating at the top of the engine it may do.
    LG.
    "perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away." A. de St Exupery.

  10. #50
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    Re: Reworking 4wd radiator

    Quote Originally Posted by wavegobbler View Post
    Thanks for sharing your modification experience, Vanco. I'm going run my experiment. Its going to be a 3" thick radiator with two 8" shrouded fans, 1600cfm. We will see it the extra 1" makes much difference. I'll cap off the small return line like you did.

    The stock cooling system on my other van works great (after a complete rebuild). I just want a new radiator that won't leak and a fan to fight the heat soak issue. I'm hoping to get similar cooling ability, a more reliable radiator and fans to clear the engine compartment of excessive heat after shout down.
    According to the descriptions, both radiators have two, one inch cores. The AFCO radiator has a core height of 18" and width of 12.5". The Griffin is 18" x 13". The core area is what cools the fluid. The two radiators are nearly the same. In fact, I measured my end tanks and they are three inches.

    Also, I really don't think that 1,600 cfm is enough to keep it cool in extremes. Just my opinion based on my experience, in response to your request for critique.

  11. #51
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    Re: Reworking 4wd radiator

    Thanks for the input, Vanco. Its interesting that the Griffin radiator is 3" wide, sounds like both Griffen and AFCO radiators have the same specs. Maybe Flex-a-lite designed a good schroud to maximize their 8" fans? I'm going to have to back out of the modification if I can't get results similar to the stock set up. The van getting the AFCO is a 4x4 manual, my current rig is a 4x4 automatic. The automatic's temperature limitations, on my rig, are all about the transmission. It heats up way before the engine. All my offroad trips involve stops to let the transmission chill, in spite of after-market modifications.

    Carbonized marine bilge blower idea seems like a good one. I've been thinking about removing the air conditioning components in the compartment under the passenger seat and trying to fit a blower and possibly a second battery there. Its opposite the fuel rail but at least theres some space.

  12. #52
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    Re: Reworking 4wd radiator

    That fan setup may work, I'm not certain (I would like to try it myself, if it wasn't for the price). The shroud design makes a huge difference.

    Since the van radiator doesn't get a lot of flow at highway speeds you may want to consider some of the air flow upgrades that have been discussed, in addition to the radiator and fan.

    I have removed all AC components. I moved my primary battery to the passenger seat compartment (so that I could make an airbox where the battery originally went). It fits nice, but I didn't allow for anything else going in there when I designed it. Plus with the modifications for the 30" tires there isn't as much space anyway.

    With the AC compressor removed there is a lot of room on that side if the engine bay. I was thinking of mounting a fan or bilge fan there and possibly using ducting.

  13. #53
    Van Enthusiast bikerjosh's Avatar
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    Re: Reworking 4wd radiator

    Quote Originally Posted by wavegobbler View Post
    Thanks for sharing your modification experience, Vanco. I'm going run my experiment. Its going to be a 3" thick radiator with two 8" shrouded fans, 1600cfm. We will see it the extra 1" makes much difference. I'll cap off the small return line like you did.

    The stock cooling system on my other van works great (after a complete rebuild). I just want a new radiator that won't leak and a fan to fight the heat soak issue. I'm hoping to get similar cooling ability, a more reliable radiator and fans to clear the engine compartment of excessive heat after shout down.
    Looking forward to seeing your results. Thanks for posting.
    1987 4wd 5spd Cargo van (uncut)-modding in 3,2,1

  14. #54
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    Re: Reworking 4wd radiator

    I finally got around to fabricating a fan shroud for my 2,500 CFM 16" Flex A Lite electric fan to fit my Griffin radiator.

    Here is the summarized parts list for the entire radiator and fan project:

    Radiator: Griffin 2-26185-H
    Upper radiator hose: Dayco/Hose (Upper) Item# 81061
    Lower radiator hose: Gates 25532
    Fan: Flex-A-Lite Syclone 398 2,500 CFM
    Gauge: CSR Digital Temperature Gauges/Controllers 1225 (love it)
    Aluminum: various
    Body seam sealer: Dynatron Seam Sealer

    Installed Griffin radiator (after two years):

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    Here is the completed shroud:

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    Installed:

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    CSR gauge and fan controller:

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    I will be the first to admit it isn't pretty, but it sure does flow some CFM's through the radiator.

    To make the radiator fit I reworked the existing lower mounts. Not a lot of fabrication here. For the top mount I welded a mounting tab to the radiator. The hose outlet is bigger for the lower hose. To make it work I got a hose that fit the larger radiator port and adapted the hose to the engine (smaller) port. To do this I used a 3 inch long piece of radiator hose that was the correct size for the engine port, and slid the larger hose over it and clamped it down. It has held up fine for over two years. Oh, and I just capped the return/bypass hose that goes from the radiator cap area to the radiator. I have had no issues in doing that.

    For the shroud I started with an aluminum frame. I framed out the rectangle for the radiator, and I framed out the circle for the fan. I then mounted the rectangle to the radiator using welded aluminum tabs. With it mounted I was able to get an idea of where the circle frame needed to be for clearance. Once I determined that, I used aluminum bar to connect the rectangle frame to the circle frame in the position it needed to be. With the frame complete I basically skinned it with .020 aluminum sheet. I used rivets to attach the sheet to the frame. There were some gaps and such that I filled with body seam sealer.

    This is a very brief overview. If you have questions just let me know.

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    Re: Reworking 4wd radiator

    wavegobbler, im very interested in your dual 8" fan setup. keep me posted on the process and how its working (and if the CFM's keep it cool enough). I have a newly re-cored stock 4wd radiator and im dying to get an electric fan setup that works. I've been talking with VanCo and his setup is awesome but he also has big cooling demands due to the turbo. im hoping the integrated shroud on the fan you linked will also save me some major artistic exertion (& time) expressed by VanCo

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    Van Enthusiast boogieman's Avatar
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    Re: Reworking 4wd radiator

    VanCo thats pretty awesome, you have a sweet rig! that radiator fits nicely in there and i like that it has the mounts for a shroud and/or fan set up. seems like an easy install...

    you ran this radiator pre and post turbo correct? didnt this radiator work fine with no shroud and factory fan normally aspirated?

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    Van Fan VanCo's Avatar
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    Re: Reworking 4wd radiator

    Quote Originally Posted by boogieman View Post
    you ran this radiator pre and post turbo correct? didnt this radiator work fine with no shroud and factory fan normally aspirated?

    Yeah, I ran this radiator and the stock fan without a shroud NA for a few months in the summer. It worked fine, but I had the factory shroud laying around and decided to adapt it.

    To make the factory shroud work with the factory fan and Griffin radiator you need too trim a bit of the shroud, drill some holes, and adapt some L brackets.

    I have never, turbo or NA, had any issues with cooling running the Griffin radiator with the stock fan and stock shroud.

    I made the switch to electric for a few reasons. I like the free horsepower, I like that the engine speed doesn't tank when shifting (better for boost and hills), it sounds much better, I can keep much more precise control of the temperature, and I like to do things differently.

  18. #58
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    Re: Reworking 4wd radiator

    That is Very cool, VanCo! Its good to know that a 16" fan can fit. It looks to me like that fan would be Much more effective than the two eights (beyond just the cfm rating). The two eights both have mini fan blades/ large motors. That thing is like a windmill in comparison. Epic modification! I will check in when the AFCO radiator and Flex-a-lite fan shroud set up has been product tested.

  19. #59
    Van Addict Carbonized's Avatar
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    Re: Reworking 4wd radiator

    awesome work. Thanks to these pics, I have the answer to one of my question: can a big electric fan be centered to the radiator therefore optimizing air flow over the whole core area and still fit under the center hump between the seats?
    I wonder how many CFM is the clutch fan pulling? Can't be anywhere close to 2500; Right?
    LG.
    "perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away." A. de St Exupery.

  20. #60
    Van Fan VanCo's Avatar
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    Re: Reworking 4wd radiator

    Quote Originally Posted by Carbonized View Post
    I wonder how many CFM is the clutch fan pulling? Can't be anywhere close to 2500; Right?
    It's my understanding that when fully engaged clutch fans similar to the vans can pull 5000 plus CFM. Not sure if you have had the van super hot at 2500 rpm with the seat up and felt how much air is moved, but it's a lot.

    Since the engine moves under load the stock shroud doesn't have a tight tolerance around the fan. This causes an inefficiency. Hence the overkill on the CFM. That's also why it is super important to have a good shroud with an electric fan. To make up for the lower CFM by being more efficient.

    So far this radiator, shroud, and fan combo is better than any combo I've tried. Once the fan turns on at 198 it turns off at 190 within 8 seconds (switch set to 195). It will then take about 5 minutes for the fan to come back on. That's idling in a 70 degree garage (40 outside not a good test temp). The summer will be the ultimate test.

    This is all based on my research and experience. If I'm wrong on anything, please correct me.

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