View Full Version : Ebay aftermarket radiator for a 66?

07-13-2016, 10:38 AM
Hi guys! Just wondering if anyone here has used an aftermarket aluminum radiator from ebay, and if they were pleased with the fit? Mine has the trans cooler abandoned due to an internal leak years ago. The PO installed a remote cooler, but I would like to make things right. Comments? Bob

07-13-2016, 11:45 AM
I abandoned my internal cooler myself, and have a fin-type one zip-tied to the front of my radiator. I'd like to hear what others think, pro and con, about an external cooler.

07-13-2016, 12:10 PM
Bob, your original radiator was copper/brass which transfers heat far better than aluminum.

I suggest you shop around for price on a re-core job, especially if time is on your side. Even if the price is the same between aluminum and copper, always go with copper. Copper is much easier to repair, too. Wouldn't it be nice to get your trans cooler back when they redo the radiator? It's all part of the same job. - Dave

07-15-2016, 10:29 AM
I'm with Dave. Aluminum radiators were only really built for race cars to lighten the load. I'm not sure on external transmission coolers. I looked into this myself once before. I've read that they are good if used in conjunction with the radiator cooler. There is a chance of overheating the transmission if used by themselves when driving in heavy traffic because you have no airflow. Also when cold it helps to have the hot water in the radiator to heat up transmission oil to operating temperature.

07-15-2016, 12:03 PM
have a fin-type one zip-tied to the front of my radiator. I'd like to hear what others think, pro and con, about an external cooler.

The remote air-to-fluid cooler is fine if sized & installed properly.

One consideration is that the fluid-to fluid coolers (which is a more efficient process) as mounted in the radiator by the O.E. has some thought/engineering as to their capacity and application in normal operating conditions. So now, with your unit of choice, in the environment & how you operate the vehicle, "how's it working for ya", as you are the new engineer! A transmission temperature gauge, if only temporally installed for testing, is the answer as to acceptability of your modification.

Keep in mind, that the transmission does need some temperature elevation over ambient temperature (especially in winter), if only for proper fluid motion & function within, and the O.E. cooler loop in the heated radiator coolant provides such.

Also, mounting the axillary cooler unit, via zip-ties, fastening thru the radiator core is a bad idea. First, the cooler should be spaced away from the radiator some distance (1"-2"?) for best air flow function. And second, silica, quartz, etc. (aka. sand, composition varies on geography of you location) which is very abrasive, will in time, embed in the plastic and then with motion/vibration saw thru the fluid tubes of the radiator causing a leak/failure, oops! Scott.

07-15-2016, 11:24 PM
The fastest way to ruin a transmission is by running it with low fluid level. Folks, your trans doesn't hold five or six quarts of oil (like the engine), it holds eleven. The oil level flows over the top of the drums and the clutch plates are totally submerged. The only reason why bands do not overheat and burn up is because trans fluid disburses heat as it lubricates bearings.

You will often times see a mechanic smell the dipstick, trying to detect a burned scent from the oil, caused by bands and clutches running in a dry environment. Keep that level up and your trans should outlast the engine.

The trans tank on the bottom of your OEM radiator is below your transmission fluid level so the height is rarely considered because it is always filled. Yes, external coolers work but be sure you check your trans fluid when the engine is RUNNING to give a more accurate dipstick level. Like power steering lines, one transmission line is under pressure while the other is a return line (at atmospheric pressure).

If you have a trans leak, don't mess around, get it fixed before a low level causes damage. - Dave

07-29-2016, 04:46 PM
Sorry for the late reply on this topic. I appreciate everone's responses! I did inquire a local radiator shop about repairing mine, but the owner said that we would end up putting way more into repairing it than the $180 ebay aluminum route. The remote coolers do work well, and you still get air flow thru it in traffic because the engine fan pulls it in.... But I still would rather have the trans oil liquid cooled! Anyway, I went ahead and bought an ebay (chinese I'm sure) aluminum replacement, so I will keep everyone posted on how I like it. Bob