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6.5L Turbo Diesel 1992-00 6.5TD - Discussion forum for the 6.5L engine.

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  #1  
Old 05-09-2018, 12:41 PM
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Default Radiator: OEM or All Aluminum?

It's time to for some maintenance and upgrades on my 1995 Tahoe. After 330,000 miles, I'm sure the radiator could stand to be replaced to help improve cooling before a long road trip this summer.

Which will offer the best cooling performance? Stock OEM-style aluminum/plastic combo, or aftermarket all-aluminum? Or is the only benefit a more rugged construction?

I found this 3-row all aluminum radiator online:

https://www.radiatorexpress.com/prod...aia_id=1053425

I currently have the dual thermostat housing installed, but will also be finally installing the HO water pump.

Any other recommendations?

Casey
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1995 K1500 Tahoe 2 door, 6.5LTD, NP241, 4L80E, 3.42's, 285/75R16 BFG K02's, Kennedy OPS harness, gauges, and TD-Max chip, Dtech FSD on FSD Cooler, vacuum pump deleted, Turbo Master, 3.5" Kennedy exhaust, F code intake, '97 air box, dual t/stats, HO water pump, Champion radiator, Racor fuel filter, 335K miles and running strong!
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  #2  
Old 05-09-2018, 01:24 PM
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VISTEON makes a stock OEM type replacement that is very good.

MANY of the replacement units have an EPOXIED core (Tubes are set in the head plates with epoxy) and these are crap.

The Visteon has aluminum brazed tubes with the crimped on plastic tanks.

These are as good as OEM.

Getting an all aluminum unit is not a bad deal.
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Old 05-09-2018, 02:33 PM
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A all aluminum that has a thermal dispersant coating would be the best, I do have a thermal dispersant coating that doesn't require oven curing also.

The thermal dispersant provides 30% more cooling over bare aluminum or metal and that's been proven.

I have a few radiators on the way to me now for coating produced by Champion Cooling inc, https://www.championcooling.com/

We are in the process of coating & testing/proving the coatings, they offer a nice solid aluminum for a good price.
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Old 05-10-2018, 07:03 AM
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The OEM aluminum radiators with plastic end-tanks can be serviced. The end tanks can be removed, the core cleaned and then new end-tanks re-installed (the plastic gets brittle with time and heat). Scott Boelman, an early author here had this done on his 1994 6.5TD. There were several inches of sediment in the bottom of each tank.

Following a thorough flush, I recommend switching to Dex-Cool if your vehicle is pre-1996 (1996 and post got Dex). Dex is a lifetime coolant. The inside of a 16 year old cooling system still looked like new when I replaced the water pump in my 2001 Duramax.

Dr. Lee switched the green coolant to Dex in his 1984 and I switched my 6.5TD Power Project as well. Both had an all brass/copper/soldered radiator. The 6.5PP ran to +300K miles while we had it without a cooling system service - on the original water pump.
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Old 05-10-2018, 09:31 AM
JeepSJ JeepSJ is offline
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2 fat rows cools better than 3 or 4 narrow rows.

Copper/brass cools better than aluminum, but only if fins are brazed to tubes and not soldered with lead.

Aluminum with 2 fat rows and brazed fins will outcool an old school 4 core brass/copper, but a 2 fat row brazed copper will outcool the aluminum.

Confused yet?

Get an aluminum with 2 fat rows that is brazed and not epoxied and don't worry about plastic or aluminum tanks and you will be happy.
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Old 05-10-2018, 12:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by More Power View Post
The OEM aluminum radiators with plastic end-tanks can be serviced. The end tanks can be removed, the core cleaned and then new end-tanks re-installed (the plastic gets brittle with time and heat). Scott Boelman, an early author here had this done on his 1994 6.5TD. There were several inches of sediment in the bottom of each tank.
I would normally go this route, as that is what I have done with previous vehicles, but I am not aware of any radiator shops left in my area. They have all closed up shop.

I've actually run Fleet Charge in my rigs for quite some time now. It's an over-the-road diesel coolant used in fleet vehicles. It's pink, for what it's worth.

Casey
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Old 05-10-2018, 12:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JeepSJ View Post

Get an aluminum with 2 fat rows that is brazed and not epoxied and don't worry about plastic or aluminum tanks and you will be happy.

This one and the one sctrailrider linked to are both 3-row aluminum:

https://www.radiatorexpress.com/prod...aia_id=1053425

Thoughts on that particular product?

Casey
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1995 K1500 Tahoe 2 door, 6.5LTD, NP241, 4L80E, 3.42's, 285/75R16 BFG K02's, Kennedy OPS harness, gauges, and TD-Max chip, Dtech FSD on FSD Cooler, vacuum pump deleted, Turbo Master, 3.5" Kennedy exhaust, F code intake, '97 air box, dual t/stats, HO water pump, Champion radiator, Racor fuel filter, 335K miles and running strong!
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Old 05-10-2018, 02:13 PM
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The factory units were 2 fat rows, aluminum brazed tubes and plastic tanks.

As long as these OEM jobs are clean inside they cool fine.

IMHO they are a tad small in cooling capacity, as they start lagging once they get some high miles.

I used a Visteon in the Dahooooley the last rebuild and it cools fine.

Also noticed that the cooling ability has increased a bunch as we left the lower aluminum cover off after we put the engine back in... Not sure why that did not get bolted back on, but did notice it stays much cooler when its hot out.

Possibly the engine bay is staying cooler and allowing more air to vent in/out.

Also the kid dropped on a hood with the vented cowl bump and that could be allowing air to vent ?????
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Old 05-10-2018, 02:23 PM
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I had Griffin Radiators build me "non production" unit last year for the 93 dually. It holds 3/4 gallon more than the stock brass unit, I also coated it with a thermal dispersant coating. It was pricey but it will last forever or until something pokes through the grill and will keep the p400 cool towing..
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  #10  
Old 05-10-2018, 05:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robyn View Post

I used a Visteon in the Dahooooley the last rebuild and it cools fine.

Where do you find this animal? I found you had mentioned Visteon in another thread, but I cannot find a supplier or even that this brand exists online.

Casey
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1995 K1500 Tahoe 2 door, 6.5LTD, NP241, 4L80E, 3.42's, 285/75R16 BFG K02's, Kennedy OPS harness, gauges, and TD-Max chip, Dtech FSD on FSD Cooler, vacuum pump deleted, Turbo Master, 3.5" Kennedy exhaust, F code intake, '97 air box, dual t/stats, HO water pump, Champion radiator, Racor fuel filter, 335K miles and running strong!
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