Tag Archives: upgrade

Massive upgrade copper radiator for ex work MGB - DRX 255C

FIA restrictions on upgraded alloy radiators replacing correct copper & brass radiators.

A conversation I had with several drivers at last years (2014) Goodwood revival was that the FIA have started to give time penalties against cars having upgraded alloy radiators instead of the period correct copper and brass radiators.

One such driver is Barry Sidery-Smith, owner of the ex-works MGB DRX 255C who has received a number of time penalties for running an alloy radiator even though a standard copper andbrass radiator simply will not keep his car cool.

To solve his cooling problem we built Barry a massive copper and brass radiator with the thickest core we have ever put in an MGB, a 5-row at 86mm thick. To put this into context, the original copper core is 56mm thick (an inefficient gill-on-tube type core) and we regularly upgrade MGB radiators by increasing the core thickness with a very efficient 64mm 4-row (pack construction) which is usually enough.

We can upgrade any copper & brass radiator making one that is just as efficient as an alloy upgrade (but just not as light) so give us a call if you have fallen foul of the FIA due to an incorrect radiator.

(See our page on Classic Radiator Upgrades here.)

New Aston Martin DB 2/4 Alloy radiator

We now have aluminium radiators in stock for Aston Martin DB 2/4. These are practically identical to the original copper and brass units but offer a substantial saving on weight and are much more efficient than the original radiators.

They can be supplied in either a bare brushed Aluminium finish, powder coated deep gloss black, or painted in silver to match the original part.

Aston Martin DB2/4 Alloy radiator upgrade

Aston Martin DB2/4 Alloy radiator upgrade

Upgrading Classic Car Radiators (particulaly Jaguar)

This is based on an article that was published in Jaguar World magazine 6 or 7 years ago, I wrote the article aimed towards Jaguars of the 60’s and 70’s but the information is relevant to all makes of car of that era.

Since the 60’s many models of Jaguar have had problems overheating, specifically certain E and S-types. The main problem was the efficiency of the radiator and fan system, which can usually be remedied by replacing the radiator core with an upgraded one with more tubes and a higher fin pitch (and usually a completely different system of manufacture.)

Aaron Radiator replaced and upgraded the radiators on these models (sometimes when they were still new!) and still offer this upgrade service today with even higher efficiency modern cores than previously available or the ultimate in cooling- complete replacements in Aluminium.

Up until the 70’s most Jaguar radiators used a ‘Cellular Film’ core (Pic A). This has the advantage of being very robust and durable (many cars still have the original film cores, even though they may be 30 years or older!) but it is not a particularly efficient design. This led radiator design to favour ‘Packed Construction’ (Pic B) or ‘Tube & Fin’ (Pic C) cores which were lighter, more efficient and cheaper to make.

Bad design in fans and cowlings (fan shields) meant that many vehicles still overheated. Sportier cars were pushing out higher power than ever before from engines packed into a much smaller space as vehicle aerodynamics came into play and bonnets got lower. Upgraded electric fans can help remedy this by forcing more air through the core and replacing the fixed fans can increase power lost through driving the fan.

A – ‘Cellular Film’ core

B – ‘Packed Construction’ core

C – ‘Tube & Fin’ core

Types of core upgrade available

Two types of upgraded core are available. An ‘X-type Packed Construction’ core (Pic D) has more tubes and a higher fin pitch to increase the surface area the cool air flows over. The X-type is the most efficient core available in copper and brass and is available in many different numbers of row (thickness.) An upgraded ‘Tube & Fin’ (Pic E) is also available which, though not quite as efficient as the X-type, is more durable and resistant to vibration.

If your car is having problems with overheating, the core might be corroded and a build up of deposits inside it can restrict water flow. Older types of anti-freeze were not as good at resisting corrosion and sometimes radiators have had an under spec core fitted in the past. The difference in cost between fitting a replacement core that has the same cooling capacity as the original and upgrading one is not considerable as the only extra cost is the higher price of the core.

A – ‘Cellular Film’ core

B – ‘Packed Construction’ core

C – ‘Tube & Fin’ core