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  #1  
Old 12-19-2010, 09:02 PM
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Graham08 Graham08 is offline
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Cobra Radiator

I took a short detour from the supermodified project this week to build a radiator for a kit Cobra project that a friend of mine is doing. The kit called for using a radiator from a Mustang II, which he felt would be tough to find, so he asked me to do a custom unit to better fit the car. Here's sort of a step-by-step on how I did it.

First thing was to prep the core. In this case, I'm using pretty much the whole thing. The only real changes involve cutting off the crimp tabs that would ordinarily be used to join the core to a plastic tank, and to cut off the upper and lower channels. I cut the core at the first row of tubes on the top and bottom to get rid of the channel.

Here's the core after prepping it:



And here's a little better closeup of the end plates:



One thing I wanted to do was build tanks with radiused corners, so I made a short radius die for my brake out of a piece of tubing. This is 2" x 0.250" wall round, turned down to 1-7/8" OD so I would end up with a 1" outside radius, taking into account the material thickness.

Here are a couple pics of the die:





Here is the left tank. The car is going to have a Ford engine, so the left tank has the main inlet/outlet, because the water pump inlet is on the left side of the engine. I planned ahead and punched the holes before forming the tank, so I could use the punch instead of a hole saw.





I managed to screw up the layout and make the tank exactly 2" too tall. Fortunately, this wasn't a big deal, since this tank gets split to make the radiator a two-pass setup.



Here's the left tank going on, showing the blanking plate. This forces the water coming in to go across the core to the right tank, then back to the outlet.



Here's the core with the tanks:





And here's the radiator showing the top channel:



This has to be pretty much a drop-in, so it got mounting brackets added to bolt it in the car and mount the fan shroud and inlet duct. Here's an overall shot:



Here is some detail on the mounting brackets:



And here is a view of the upper channel that will mount the fan shroud and duct:



Definitely got some use out of my homemade dimple die!

All that's left is to build the fan shroud and an expansion tank.
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Old 12-19-2010, 10:46 PM
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MasterYota MasterYota is offline
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Nice!
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Old 12-20-2010, 12:00 AM
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Beautiful work man!
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Old 12-20-2010, 01:51 AM
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Twisted Minis Twisted Minis is offline
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Wow, that looks really nice. Can I ask where you got the core? I think it would be nice to build my own radiator to suit my needs.
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Old 12-20-2010, 08:16 AM
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Graham08 Graham08 is offline
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Thanks for the comments!

I get the cores from Howe Racing Enterprises in Michigan. They build late models, but also have a radiator shop.

I think the cores are actually from Delphi or Visteon. The Howe catalog shows something like 10-12 part numbers for cores. They don't do custom cores other than cutting down an existing part.
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Old 12-20-2010, 11:05 AM
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very nice work!!
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Old 12-20-2010, 02:25 PM
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Just awesome. Thanks for the pictures and step-by-step. It looks great.

My famliy has had australian shepards for a long time. Great dogs! He/she looks right at home next to the lathe.
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Old 12-21-2010, 12:47 PM
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What thickness and type of al was used? Looks great. Does this rad not require a filler cap and and overflow line? Also when welding the tanks to the core did the welding go good or was there issues with the core aluminum not wanting to flow with the tank material. Sometimes this happens and makes welding two different alloys hard

Dan

On Edit

I think I see the fitting for the over flow line on the top now

Last edited by PRConnection; 12-21-2010 at 12:54 PM.
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Old 12-21-2010, 01:10 PM
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Graham08 Graham08 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheBandit View Post
My famliy has had australian shepards for a long time. Great dogs! He/she looks right at home next to the lathe.
So has my family. They are definitely awesome dogs, except for the shedding. I've had Charlie for six years, and couldn't ask for a better dog.

Dan,

Everything I made is 0.063" thick 3003. It forms and welds well for this application.

Welding the tanks to the cores went okay. I need more practice to make them prettier. The hardest part about welding on one of these cores is getting it clean enough. There seems to be a lot of flux or brazing material left over from the brazing process.

Because this radiator gets mounted low in the car, the cap is on a separate header tank that mounts to the firewall. The 1/2" pipe bung on the bottom of the right tank is for a fill line from the header tank, and the 1/4" pipe bung on the top of the right tank is for a bleeder line.
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Old 12-21-2010, 07:27 PM
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Graham

Thanks for the response and again great work

Dan
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  #11  
Old 12-27-2010, 09:20 PM
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Finishing up...

The last thing I needed to do to the radiator was to pressure test it. I took a couple short pieces of tube the same size as the inlet and outlet and capped them, and used the pipe bungs on the other tank to hold a gauge and a schrader valve to charge it with air. Here's a picture of my pressure testing apparatus:



Holding 20 psi...we're good!



The next step was to build a fan shroud. I'm using a 16" Flex-A-Lite fan, set up as a puller. I've heard that as much as 30% efficiency can be gained by setting a fan up to pull because it's not blocking the core.

Here are a couple shots of the fan an shroud:





And of the assembled radiator:





The last thing that needed done for this project was a header tank to provide a high point in the system for the radiator cap. This was necessary because the top of the radiator is below the top of the cylinder heads, so it would be impossible to get all the air out of the system without this tank.

I rolled the tank body on my slip roll, and made the ends using a hammerform I made for another project. The tank is 4" in diameter, and 6" tall. The filler neck came from Howe. I also needed one for the supermodified project, so I built two:







I'm patiently waiting for a delivery from Aircraft Spruce to finish up the mounting bracket for the Cobra tank, and this project is finished!
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  #12  
Old 12-28-2010, 04:18 PM
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Captainfab Captainfab is offline
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Nice work Graham

I was currious what alloy of filler you are using. I recently read on weldingweb.com that the service temperature of 5356 is only 150* That just seems really low to me.
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  #13  
Old 12-28-2010, 05:00 PM
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Thanks!

4043 filler here. I have not heard that about 5356 filler, but will keep it in mind.
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