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Overkill radiators - how much is too much?

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  • Overkill radiators - how much is too much?

    Well since it's summertime, I've started looking at foolproof cooling solutions.

    I've been told to cut up the radiator support and get a custom radiator from Griffon.

    Someone else even suggested I get a NASCAR or circle track radiator.

    I looked at nascar ones - but with a 5" core, it's a tough fit. Those also swell with use, so that's why they swap them out so often. :/ They basically swell so much that they prevent air from flowing through them.

    I may do a 3.5" circle track one - I think they have some on Summitracing.com for a really reasonable price.

    The 3" radiators with a 2.25" core are dirt cheap though - I think I'll try one of those for now. At $179, how can you go wrong?

    All this research got me thinking though; what are the hardcore guys doing for cooling?
    1990 240sx - Aristo 2JZGTE, R154, GT37, Defsport Wilwood kit, KTS coilovers - daily driver
    1991 civic si - B18C5 / toda / ATS / hytech - autox
    2001 integra type R - Greddy td05-18g - garage queen

  • #2
    can't go wrong with a bigger radiator. I got a griffin with no requirements to cut. cater your radiator to the amount of power you're pushing with some room to play and you should be a ok. anything over 300hp I wouldn't run koyo or Mishimoto. if you need more cooling you could play with ducting or even run an oil cooler.

    I'm running a 3" griffin with two 11" push style fans, setrab oil cooler, some ducting, and average temps is bout 180 farenheit water temp. never hit over 200 running at Fontana speedway with ambient temps bout 80 I think.

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    • #3
      I have a single core griffin meant for s13 SR. Works great

      With clutch fan I've never seen over 190* on the inlet.

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      • #4
        I have an ebay radiator Cxracing I think its triple core.. On a hot day the engine doesn't even see past the thermostat opening point.

        Its direct fit by the way, but you might need to shorten your top line.

        Sr20det t25 at 15psi, 30 min runs.

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        • #5
          I'm running a KA w/ only bolt-ons and zero plastic in the front end for air ducting, and my temps never got above 210 when I was running 45 min sessions in 100deg heat. with my Hotshot header, the car never runs above 190-195 in same weather.

          your cooling requirements greatly depend on what you're running in the car. NA KA just doesn't need that much cooling. turbo KA or SR seems to need a lot more.
          Originally posted by SoSideways
          I don't care what color they are as long as they are LONG AND HARD.
          '04 G35 Sedan 6MT- The DD
          '96 240SX- The Track Toy

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          • #6
            Cooling requirements are directly proportional to HP you make, NA or FI. Lower compression ratio motors need a bit more coolant due to less exhaust expansion(higher cylinder/piston/exhaust temps).
            '18 Chevrolet Volt - Electric fun hatch for DD duty!


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            • #7
              Originally posted by mmdb View Post
              can't go wrong with a bigger radiator. I got a griffin with no requirements to cut. cater your radiator to the amount of power you're pushing with some room to play and you should be a ok. anything over 300hp I wouldn't run koyo or Mishimoto.
              care to explain why? i don't think i have heard of anyone having issues with the 53mm koyo units with over 400 rwhp

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              • #8
                I run a mishimoto and have never seen over 190. That's with a Nismo thermostat and Altima electric fans (only one running on switch, other set to turn on at 210)

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by blingcommander View Post
                  care to explain why? i don't think i have heard of anyone having issues with the 53mm koyo units with over 400 rwhp
                  Only cause I've seen temps above 230+ degrees F pushing ~330hp on a 20min sessions with ambient temps bout 85F at Streets of Willow in Rosamond. They're not bad radiators, but if you're going to shell out the money I'd recommend going bigger/better.

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                  • #10
                    If I had issues, the only thing I'd look at upgrading is the water pump and line size itself. I was going to run one of those Mezzy 20GPM setups at one point, but have never EVER had an overheating issue, and decided aginst it.

                    I'm still perplexed as to how some SR cars see such crazy water temps, and mine (nor the turbo sentras) ever have.
                    'Slicks on a car show me you care - broken axles show me you're trying'
                    [I]Nitrous Rental Cars - Turbo Festivas - Vehicular Lunacy[/I]
                    [SIZE="3"][B][url]www.sloppymechanics.com[/url][/B][/SIZE]

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                    • #11
                      Well I think motor selection has something to do with it also.

                      I have a 2jzgte swap and it likes to run hot.

                      I know the v8 guys also need better cooling like mmdb.

                      I found a cheap Cx racing radiator on eBay with a 2" core for cheap and am going to try that.

                      It's 700" cu compared to the two griffon ones I was looking at (684 and 756).

                      For reference, the stock ka radiator is 224.88" cu core.
                      The stock mk4 supra radiator has a 525.94" cu core.

                      I'm sure the quality of the fins and flow, etc play a role in cooling also.

                      I'll let you know how it does. It should be 33% better cooling than the stock supra radiator according to my maths.
                      Last edited by Black R; 08-11-2010, 09:19 AM.
                      1990 240sx - Aristo 2JZGTE, R154, GT37, Defsport Wilwood kit, KTS coilovers - daily driver
                      1991 civic si - B18C5 / toda / ATS / hytech - autox
                      2001 integra type R - Greddy td05-18g - garage queen

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                      • #12
                        Well, that changes everything about my comment if you've got a motor swap haha.

                        Well then for sure, I know a friend of mine did fight his big power Supra and cooling issues, but as you said, a huge quality radiator ended up solving his issue at 800 hp, and now that he's over 1000 he's went with an electric setup as well. Crazy guy drives it everywhere that he can, I don't like it at all..TOOOO fast for me hha.
                        'Slicks on a car show me you care - broken axles show me you're trying'
                        [I]Nitrous Rental Cars - Turbo Festivas - Vehicular Lunacy[/I]
                        [SIZE="3"][B][url]www.sloppymechanics.com[/url][/B][/SIZE]

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                        • #13
                          If you don't mind, could you find out what your friend ended up doing for cooling?

                          The size of the radiator core is what I'm most interested in.
                          1990 240sx - Aristo 2JZGTE, R154, GT37, Defsport Wilwood kit, KTS coilovers - daily driver
                          1991 civic si - B18C5 / toda / ATS / hytech - autox
                          2001 integra type R - Greddy td05-18g - garage queen

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                          • #14
                            Certainly, he's a police officer so I'll shoot him a call later this evening
                            'Slicks on a car show me you care - broken axles show me you're trying'
                            [I]Nitrous Rental Cars - Turbo Festivas - Vehicular Lunacy[/I]
                            [SIZE="3"][B][url]www.sloppymechanics.com[/url][/B][/SIZE]

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                            • #15
                              For interest, what LARGE radiator (universal style one can get from Summit or similar) is a semi close fit to the S14 chassis?

                              Ill be running a 500hp+ SR, idea was to run a Greddy split tank (similar to Koyo NFLOW, seperates it into 3 flow directions) and 19row oil cooler but I fear it may not be sufficient for 90f+ days.

                              Im not scared to cut or modify a bit, but dont really want to buy a radiator to totaly cut it apart and rebuild to fit.

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