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Radiator flow test fact or fiction?

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  • Radiator flow test fact or fiction?

    Does this fall into the storing of a modern style battery case on bare concrete to use or not to use wood category?
    I have my opinions but would like to hear others
    3~ Tudor's & 1~ Coupe
    Henry Ford said,
    "It's all nuts and bolts"
    "Start by doing what's necessary; then do what's possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible."

    Mitch's Auto Service ctr

  • #2
    Well, I am not a radiator specialist, but after discussing this with folk who are, my determination is you can get the same flow rate with 1/3 the radiator clear as you can with the whole thing clear.

    So I think that testing a radiator by flow method will show you that you have at least a 1/3 clear-ish radiator, it is no indication of the amount of cooling capacity the radiator has.

    Take mine for instance. I have been working on getting the engine running temp at or about 160° since I got this car in Oct '16, but it wasn't until yesterday that I was able to get that for any length of time. Now I am using the stock pump, but an electric fan mounted to the radiator. Now having said that, even with the fan running, at 40mph-ish, I was not able to maintain that temp, but did see a raise in temp above 40mph. To me that says the system still has a problem, even though I am chasing it down, I don't think I am there just yet. Now, before anyone asks, I have the Nu-Rex centrifugal advance so it shouldn't be a timing issue since it should keep the timing near the same no matter the cooling system since it is RPM dependent.
    You wana look waaay far up da road and plan yer route because the brakes are far more of a suggestion than a command!


    • DaWizard
      DaWizard commented
      Editing a comment
      Just an update. This morning I went to my favorite b'fast place and drove for about half hour without turning the fan on. Temp came up to about 160° outlet, 140° inlet the entire way. Outside temp is about 80°, sunny. So, running the pump only, temp wasn't bad, but then, stayed under 40mph.

  • #3
    I say yes it is like storing a battery on concrete. It is BS, but we better ask Bills dog to know for sure.


    • #4
      A quote from Marco's Barnyard site::

      """Don't be fooled by flow testing! Flow testing your radiator as suggested in several publications will only confirm EXTREME problems. You can block more than 1/3 of the cooling tubes on an original radiator and pass the flow test. The reason for this is the lower water outlet of the radiator is the restrictor. It is designed to limit the speed the water travels through the tubes. More time in the tubes equals cooler water."""

      In addition to the above even flow testing a replacement radiator, modern car radiator or any radiator is futile.
      3~ Tudor's & 1~ Coupe
      Henry Ford said,
      "It's all nuts and bolts"
      "Start by doing what's necessary; then do what's possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible."

      Mitch's Auto Service ctr


      • #5
        Humble and sincere opinion for: Radiator flow test fact or fiction?

        A "Radiator Flow Test" is a Fictional test that is a Fact; and,

        A "Radiator Flow Test" is also Factual test that is a Fiction; and,

        If one's normal, rebuilt engine overheats in summertime .... it is a Fact ... rather than a Fiction ... that one either needs to clean one's radiator, or buy a new one.

        And that's a Fact, Jack .................. and definitely not a Fiction ..... or even a Prediction!


        • #6
          The flow test does not take into account any heat transfer from the water in the tubes to the fins and then to the air. If the fins are not attached to the tubes or there is to much paint on the radiator it could flow within specifications but will not cool the coolant


          • #7
            They stored batteries on WOOD, cuz the cement floor had disintegrated & disappeared from ACID leakage!
            Bill W.


            • #8
              According to les Andrews q and a mafca 2012. The stock radiator holds 1.5 gallons. If it won't take the full amount, then your plugged. At that point the 1.5 gallons should run out in 4 seconds. Although, the only thing I can visualize slowing the flow at that point would be a wrong or deformed lower outlet. Which I understand to be sized as a restriction to control the flow rate.


              • #9
                I once bought a 36 month battery that was too small for the stock battery box in my pickup. I built a box out of 1/2" plywood and set the battery in that within the stock metal platform. That made the battery secure, and it lasted for over six years. That might have been coincidental, or it may have just been a better battery than the usual group 1 I buy.


                • Mitch
                  Mitch commented
                  Editing a comment
                  A lot has to do with the specs of that smaller battery and the needs of a particular vehicle. Ie, CCA,CA, reserve etc. A smaller battery case that meets the needed criteria will be fine

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