Refurbish? Replace? Renovate?
Our Evo1 refurbishment is progressing well, I'm now looking at the radiator, and I don't like what I see!!
The radiator on our Evo1 was slightly damaged by a light impact on
a street in Munich, rush hour battling BMW brakes are too good! This pushed our front bumper back edge into our radiator, it didn't cause a leak, but did kink the rad and the plastic end tanks too, the rad suffered anti freeze staining from some previous incident also. This all needed attention.
This is our radiator, not the Projoe item above.
New original Valeo radiators to fit the Delta are no longer made, other available options are a new alloy rad from ebay, Tanc Barratt offers an exchange recore service, and AECar only sells an alloy item. I do like to keep things original, so I sought local advice down on the dock road in Liverpool.
At D&T Radiators dad Dave and lad Steve were very helpful, they offered a new copper and brass 2 core radiator insert of the right size, made in Scotland, for about £200. This has to be paid for first, and because it's a unique size it can't be returned if it doesn't fix the problem.
Surprisingly the main problem was our radiator's kinked plastic end tanks, the lads were concerned the ends couldn't be made to seal on a new core, so they were reluctant to order a new core until they'd checked all the options. The core has multiple bend-over tabs which hold the end tanks on, these compress the tanks onto a rubber gasket against the core's end frame. The boys said they would have a go at fixing the original radiator core and the end tanks.
'Leave it with us', which I did.
I wasn't keen on an alloy rad because it's not original,
and it would also need a new cooling fan.
I asked the D&T lads about alloy radiators, Dave told me that alumium cores are a bit brittle, there's no flexibility in them, the core tubes are welded onto the end frame, and this is where stress fractures can occur. Welding on imported alloy rads is not always the best either. Braized copper retains some flexibility, and the liquid solder will run into any pin hole or crease that welding can miss.
While I was there a customer with a leaking alloy rad, fitted to an old Chevy pickup came in, Dave told me later the rad was too expensive to repair, needing a
strip down to access the failed welds.
Integrale alloy radiator, £135.00!
Dave took me upstairs and showed me a 60 year old Alvis radiator under repair, a fine piece of work, all braised copper and steel.
D&T repair huge industrial radiators, and tiny heater cores. They build radiators from scratch, with hand made metal top and bottom tanks, they are real craftsmen with great experience.
Dave stripped my rad down, taking the 2 end tanks off. He put our radiator core in his jig and straightened out the kink, then he heated up the plastic end tanks and clamped plates on them to remove their kinks. Steve meanwhile re-brazed the copper tubes to the straightened end plates, the straightened tanks were then applied to the core end plates with new rubber gaskets, the whole thing put in a press and the ends held on tight. The tabs could then be pressed over the tank edges to hold them on. The rad was pressure tested and painted black.
So Dave and Steve fixed the radiator at minimum expense.
Our bent radiator core
One of our two kinked plastic end tanks.
While the rad was away I removed the cooling fan, de-rusted and repainted its frame. I cleaned the thermostat coil and cleaned the alloy heat shield, when I got the radiator core home again I assembled it all ready for installation. It looks good! It looks original just as I had hoped, and at minimum expense too. Pleased? Yes!!
I am, of course, very pleased with our reconditioned radiator.
The service at D&T in Liverpool
was helpful and cheerful, also with using our original core, and 2 rubber gaskets being the only actual new parts required, it was cheap too.
Dave told me never to throw anything away, anything can be fixed by someone, somewhere!