Q. I'm doing a complete restoration and I need original parts. Are your radiators factory originals?
A. This is probably our most frequently asked question and the answer is "no." However, all is not lost! Our complete radiators are "period correct," which is to say that they look perfect to the naked eye, but they'll never win Pebble Beach.
In order to have all the original stampings and logos on your original radiator, but have the advantages of a brand new one, you will have to send us your old radiator. Whether it is a 100-year-old honeycomb, a 1970s muscle car, or anything in between, we can install a core that will look exactly like the original and keep all of your original stampings on the radiator, but give you the performance of a brand new part by recoring your radiator.
The process of recoring a radiator goes all the way back to the very beginning of the 20th century, when, faced with irreparable radiators, craftsmen installed new cores. The craftsmen here in our shop still repair radiators the same way. A new core works as well as – or better than – a new radiator, costs less money and maintains originality!!!
Q. I don’t see anything for sale on your website. Can I purchase from you online?
A. www.ClassicRadiator.com is our site for information on our work. Please go to www.ClassicRadiatorCatalog.com to purchase radiators. If you don’t see what you’re looking for, email us or call us at 516.293.2175. Even if we can’t get you a complete new radiator or heater, we can almost certainly cure your problem.
Q. I’m installing a new V8 engine and the original was a four cylinder. What can I do to keep the new engine cool?
A. A lot! First, you can have us upgrade your radiator. We can probably recore yours with a new high efficiency tubular copper and brass core with a higher fin-per-inch count or we may be able to get you a new radiator with the HE core or even an all-aluminum radiator.
Next, you’ll probably want to upgrade your fan, as well. If you have an original four-blade fan, you should upgrade to a better fan; seven-blade fans are available for many models. It takes no more energy to run a seven blade fan than it does to run the four-blade. Also, installing a fan shroud around it will make a huge difference. How huge? About 50% better!
Speaking of fans, you may also want to add an electric "pusher" fan to the front of the radiator. While this is unnecessary when travelling on the open highway, it will improve cooling greatly in stop-and-go driving and while idling. You can find our engine-mounted and electric fans (and accessories) at https://classicfordradiator.com/coolingfans.aspx.
One other suggestion: since you’re going through all this work, we recommend Evans Waterless Coolant. The key word here is “waterless.” The oxygen in water is the biggest detriment to the cooling system and the ally of rust. By using Evans Waterless Coolant, you will eliminate the water in the system and therefore prevent rust without losing any of the original coolant’s attributes, such as thermal protection. Read more here: https://classicfordradiator.com/evanscoolant.aspx.
Q. What is a better radiator for my car: aluminum or copper and brass?
A. You’ve just opened up a can of very juicy worms. There are many differing opinions on this subject and we will explore the myriad answers in our blog from August, 2020.
Q. Can my antique radiator be repaired?
A. We won’t know for sure if any radiator is repairable until after a boil, flush, flow test and pressure test. Please look through the FAQs below for more detail and be sure to check out https://www.classicradiator.com/rad-page-2
Q. If you rebuild my radiator, will it look original?
A. It can. Whenever possible, we will save the original brass tanks. This will keep the original numbers on the tank and preserve the look of the tank. This sometimes involves silver soldering the tank because they often get stress fractures after decades of existence.
We can also give you several options on recoring your classic radiator.
First: If your OEM core is a honeycomb or cellular design, we can replace it with a tube-and-fin design. This is not an option if you plan to enter your car into any shows. However, it’s both the best core for cooling your classic and also the least expensive.
Second: We can install a 100% original-style core. This core will be an exact duplicate of the original. We have access to over 40 original honeycomb-style cores as well as cellular cores! No matter what your radiator looked like originally, we can duplicate it in most cases.
Third: As a compromise between the first two options, we can often make a veneer of the original style core and internally, we would use a tubular core. This will look completely original, but be less expensive and provide better cooling. Unfortunately, this isn't available on all honeycomb products.
Q. Can you improve the cooling in my car and still keep it original?
A. Sort-of. We can make a hybrid core for you. It would be a veneer of your original on the outside with a high efficiency core in the center. It will look original, but cool better!
Q. I have a very unusual looking heater, Can you replace it?
A. We won’t repair gas or kerosene heaters because they’re inherently unsafe and we don’t want anyone to drive around with them. Other than that, we can repair or recore any heater that’s comes our way, no matter how odd. Check it out: https://www.classicradiator.com/classic-heaters
Q. I’m building a project car and the original radiator will no longer fit. Can you help me get a replacement high-performance radiator?
A. We carry several lines of high performance radiators, including several “universal fit” models that cover multiple applications. When you’re ready to order the radiator, you’ll need to take some precise measurements, including:
Neck sizes and locations
Filler neck location
Locations and types of mounts
Is there a fan shroud? If so, mounting locations will be needed.
Look through our catalog at www.ClassicRadiatorCatalog.com to see if we show something that fits. You can also call us at 516.293.2175 for assistance. We’ve been doing this for a very long time and can surely help! Be prepared to send us pictures via email or text.
Q. Do you work on foreign car radiators?
A. We work on all cars, vans, light trucks and SUVs. It doesn’t matter where they came from or when. We also work on semis, ATVs, motorcycles, skidsteers, loaders...
Q. Do you carry Ford/Cobra expansion tanks?
A. Yes. Six models — all made right here in the USA! Please see https://classicfordradiator.com/fordexpansiontanks.aspx for more details. We also carry early Corvette (aluminum) expansion tanks.
Q. Do you repair truck and bus radiators?
A. Absolutely! We repair radiators and heaters on semi-trucks, buses, industrial equipment, airplanes, tanks, firetrucks, ambulances, police cars, and most stationary equipment. We’ve even installed an overhead pulley system in our new shop to make the work faster and more efficient.
Q. I’m restoring a car that’s set for decades and the fuel turned solid, plus the gas tank is rusted. Is there anything you can do?
A. Almost certainly. We’ve had many gas tanks that we had to cut open to clean them out. Once we clean them, we weld them back together and then we coat the inside and the outside for rust protection. Please look at our fuel tank repair page: https://www.classicradiator.com/gas-tanka
In a few cases, we’ve had to build our customer a brand new gas tank. This can be done in extreme cases. See the pictures of the 1925 REO gas tank on our fuel tanks page!
Q. Can you rebuild heater control valves?
A. No. We do carry some heater control valves, but if yours needs to be rebuilt, we can give you these two recommendations. We’ve been referring our customers to both of them for over 20 years and we’ve never had a complaint:
1734 Arrowhead Drive
Waterford, NJ 08089
29597 Paso Robles Rd.
Valley Center, CA 92082
Q. My original radiator (or heater) lasted 70 years. Can I expect the same from yours?
A. That depends. There are several scenarios: First, if we repaired your original radiator (or heater), you will still have a unit that’s 70 years old and aging. The warranty on repairs is 90 days. However, if we replaced your radiator or recored it, the warranty is a year. While the warranty is not 70 years, any radiator (or heater) that we sell or recore will be at least as good as the original, and generally much better. If you want your cooling system to last for decades, you need to be responsible for making sure that the coolant always stays fresh. Water is a terrible thing for cooling systems; it contains oxygen and oxygen is not a friend of metals. We will have a blog coming in winter 2020 about the causes and effects of rust on a cooling system.
Don’t forget, you also need to maintain all of your systems:
And please, take your classic car out for a cruise at least a few times every year. This will prevent so many problems (especially rust and dry rot) and help to maintain the value of your classic vehicle.
Q. Can you repair the heat exchanger (or gas tank) on my boat?
A. Yes! We’re centrally located on Long Island, so it’s kinda mandatory.