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Discussion Starter #1
My radiator was an absolute disaster, I bet its in the neighborhood of 90% blocked solid with debris, plus a mouse nest that must have been from the previous owners garage shed, no mice, just nest.

Definitely time for a replacement, should I go with aluminum or brass/copper?
 

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Wow! That's a mess.

Isn't aluminum less forgiving (more prone to cracking under stress) thank brass/copper?

I would think a good radiator shop could save that radiator and get it like new inside and out
 

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Older but getting faster
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If it doesn't leak why not just soak in solvent solution to get rid of the gunk?
 

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Glutton For Punishment
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+1 for taking it to a shop and getting them to refinish it. That is one of the most disgusting radiators I have seen in a long time, so.... Congrats?
 

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Wingless Wonder
1988 Esprit Turbo
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That is one of the most disgusting radiators I have seen in a long time

I'll see your disgusting radiator picture, and raise you one:

:huh:



Did I win??????



I vote for a recore of the present radiator. Don't be tempted to get extra rows, the two-core unit works fine.

You can buy the square-section foam for the top & bottom from Home Depot.
 

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Get it re-cored. It's a better option than going with aluminum and shouldn't be more than about $400 or so. Plus you have exact fitment. When I was shopping around a couple of years ago during my rebuild every single radiator shop I talked to said "re-core". The Esprit radiator is a bit odd-sized and there are only a few places which can make the core.

Mine has been in the car for about three years and in hot Florida weather the car never runs hotter than about 82 or so degrees.
 

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If the original radiator was able to cool the motor even in it's present condition, a refreshed one the same size should be more than adequate. Have the radiator pressure washed and pressure tested. If it leaks have it recored. There is no great advantage to aluminum except cost. As mentioned, changing to anything other than original presents fittiment challenges. Look at it this way, the copper one lasted how long? This should be a wake-up call to anyone having cooling system issues. Because the intake grill for the "cooling package" is so low you suck up everything.
David Teitelbaum
 

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Glutton For Punishment
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If the original radiator was able to cool the motor even in it's present condition, a refreshed one the same size should be more than adequate. Have the radiator pressure washed and pressure tested. If it leaks have it recored. There is no great advantage to aluminum except cost. As mentioned, changing to anything other than original presents fittiment challenges. Look at it this way, the copper one lasted how long? This should be a wake-up call to anyone having cooling system issues. Because the intake grill for the "cooling package" is so low you suck up everything.
David Teitelbaum
Don't pressure wash it, as it will bend all the fins flat, and you will definitely be looking at a re-core. If it isn't leaking, vacuum, then simple green, soak for as long as you are patient, then wash out with a hose from the back side forward. Use compressed air from the back side as well, but not too close as that can also bend the fins. Repeat and it should clean nicely. Or just give it to a pro and say "Fix".
 

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[snip] every single radiator shop I talked to said "re-core". The Esprit radiator is a bit odd-sized and there are only a few places which can make the core.

Mine has been in the car for about three years and in hot Florida weather the car never runs hotter than about 82 or so degrees.
I switched back (from 40% larger aftermarket aluminum) to a boiled/rodded out factory original brass/copper radiator. My average temperature did go up noticeably.

Aftermarket aluminum vs. factory original brass/copper (85F weather):
High way cruising - 80F vs 82F
Commuter traffic - 90F vs 92F (fans kick in)
 

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Wingless Wonder
1988 Esprit Turbo
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just give it to a pro and say "Fix".
^^^ That's what I did in 2005. They boiled and pressure tested it. Sealed off one leaky tube and pronounced it Fit for Service.

In 2009 my radiator started leaking again :mad: so this time I specified a re-core.

Being that it's not a trivial thing to remove and replace, I recommend the re-core. :shrug:
 

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I'll see your disgusting radiator picture, and raise you one:

:huh:



Did I win??????



I vote for a recore of the present radiator. Don't be tempted to get extra rows, the two-core unit works fine.

You can buy the square-section foam for the top & bottom from Home Depot.
YOU WIN YOU WIN! Is that an animal stuck to it??? :crazyeyes
 

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Mine looked pretty similar when I first bought it (The car). I decided to go with an aluminum radiator which my shop found. Hadn't had any problems in about 7K miles as far as leakage and as long as the car is moving or the fans are on, it doesn't go much above 80-82C. I also replaced the thermostat while we were getting cooling items done.

It was always running hot before, most likely because of the stuffed fins, but I hadn't had a problem since.
 

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Mine wasn't as bad.
This was over 10 years ago


I recently pulled it out again, since it was leaking, and had it re-cored with 4 rows of copper/brass. Decided to try to add some extra cooling capacity, since the car does get hot in traffic and on the track (even with no debris in the rad).



I also repaired the ABS plastic fan shroud with strips of ABS and ABS cement. Worked great.


Made a new bleed plug since the original one cracked. Made one in brass, and then figured that might get hot, so I made one in Nylon.


Had the AC condenser leak tested and put some new green o-rings in.

I had replaced the old top and bottom foam 10 years ago, but this time I decided to do something different. I didn't like how the foam could hold water against the radiator, causing rust, so I made my own rubber bulb seal and bumper. The purpose of the foam was to seal off the top and bottom of the radiator duct, so that all the airflow went through the radiator. I rolled some rubber matting and riveted it together with a flat piece on one side. Wedged into place above and below the rad, it'll provide a good seal, while allowing the moisture to dry out faster in my nice dry climate.

Lower seal firmly in place.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I took my existing radiator to a radiator shop today, for $40 bucks for an evaluation, they told me they will be in touch by tomorrow with what they recommend. The guy I talked to sounded as though it just has a hole that can be repaired and it possibly will not need a new core.
 

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Wingless Wonder
1988 Esprit Turbo
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YOU WIN YOU WIN!

OH BOY!!!! :clap: :D


Is that an animal stuck to it??? :crazyeyes
At first, I thought I had found the toupee I lost. :nanner: But, NOOOO. :sad:


Seriously, it's just road debris. Fairly yukky, even for 16 years of use. :p


And HERE is my rad only four years later. It was well on the way to clogging up, again.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
That entire front undertray was already destroyed on my car from a previous owner (dont know what was up with him, the rear undertray was missing) so I cut the portion under the radiator for removal, im gonna fabricate a new front under tray from aluminum to fill the portion I cut off and make it easily removable for cleaning and maintenance. The mounting portion for the radiator is intact, just the underneath part near the radiator was broken/mangled up. Its now trash. Im guessing it was a lazy attempt and looking at the radiator in the car's past.
 

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I am not sure but I believe this would fit?
Lotus Esprit S4S Radiator | eBay



That entire front undertray was already destroyed on my car from a previous owner (dont know what was up with him, the rear undertray was missing) so I cut the portion under the radiator for removal, im gonna fabricate a new front under tray from aluminum to fill the portion I cut off and make it easily removable for cleaning and maintenance. The mounting portion for the radiator is intact, just the underneath part near the radiator was broken/mangled up. Its now trash. Im guessing it was a lazy attempt and looking at the radiator in the car's past.
 

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You would need to modify the fan shroud mounts (or the fan shroud) but I think it would fit dimensionally and the plumbing position appears to be the same.

I still say recore the original. Problem solved and you won't be taking it out again to fix another leak in the near future.
 

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Eesh...mental note, I will be checking mine now...though it looked good last time I had it on the lift...
 
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