Install of radiator #3 and chopping up core support

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Install of radiator #3 and chopping up core support

Postby v8astregt » Wed Nov 29, 2006 2:57 am

I knew how you all wanted to start how to articles here, so I took the liberty of snapping dozens of pictures of my latest project on the Astre. This is my first technical write up, so ask any questions, or if there is something you want to see in greater detail, ask. As many of you know, I had a 4 core before, then I tried a larger aluminum radiator only to have it destroyed by my flex fan. After this, I decided that the stock setup was not gonna work. And I knew I didn't want to risk a $600 Griffin here in AZ with a 440 horse motor. So I thought I'd get rid of everything holding me back this time, which meant scrapping nearly everything off the old core support system.

I started by getting a new radiator. I decided to go with a Speedway Motors aluminum TruKool since it was very reasonable, and the same dimensionally as my last aluminum radiator (26"x19" and $180). I did not want another flex fan, so I decided I'd try a system I learned about from the V8 S10 guys who also have cooling problems... use an electric fan from a mid-90's 3.8 Taurus or Sable. The benefits are that they are easy to come by, they have a nice shroud built in, and they are dual speed with a low, and a high speed that really blows... err... sucks... I mean really moves a lot of air! Anyways, I found one at the local Ecology yard for $20, tested it, then cleaned it to like new. I put it on my new radiator only to find that it was EXACLTY the right width for the core. There is about 4" of radiator below the shroud, but that shouldn't affect anything.

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Mounting was very easy. I did some minor trimming on the fan around the upper hose inlet to locate it properly. To mount it, on the left tank I modified two "elevator bolt" and JB welded them to the tank. Nothing super trick, but cheap and it should hold forever. On top, I used one bolt through the shroud and the upper "U" channel of the radiator (may add one more bolt later). And in the lower right hand corner, I just used a fan zip-tie to hold it in. This is VERY sturdy, and is not going anywhere as it easily supports even the weight of the whole radiator.

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Last edited by v8astregt on Sun Dec 07, 2008 2:48 am, edited 2 times in total.
75 Pontiac Astre GT: 406SBC/TH350, roll bar, S10 goodies, down to 11.47 so far, more to come later.
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Postby v8astregt » Wed Nov 29, 2006 3:07 am

Next up was trimming up the core support.

I was gonna weld a crossbrace in first to hold the framerails together, but then I realized I didn't know where the lower hose was going to be routed, so I figured that the crossmember, TD engine mount system, and bumper would hold it square enough as long as I didn't jack the car up or move it. So the brace would come later. I started cutting the lower brace, and once I broke through, the car held together with not a bit of movement. It wasn't until I unbolted the inner one bolt per side that holds the bumper bracket to the lower core support that the framerails move the thickness of my cutting disc, but that will be easily corrected later.

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Here is what I ended up cutting out. I was going to leave the upper brace, but I realized it'd be easier to build a new upper panel than save this one and make it work well with the new setup.

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Last edited by v8astregt on Sun Dec 07, 2008 2:51 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby mldeolde » Wed Nov 29, 2006 3:10 am

looks very functional and clean installation. ingenuety- the key to h-body modifacation and success. great work!!!!!!!!!!!
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Postby v8astregt » Wed Nov 29, 2006 3:13 am

After I cut the hole to size, I set the radiator up into place to see where the radiator hose went so I could run the crossbrace to the frame rails. To compensate for the slight spread, I took a come-along and wrapped it around the front bumper mounts so that in addition to pulling them closer, it also slightly twisted the rails, as well as held the brace into place so I could weld it in. I wanted to use round tubing, but I had this and it doesn't look all that bad. It should be as good as the original core support brace, especially considering the extremely poor welds that I saw on it!

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Last edited by v8astregt on Sun Dec 07, 2008 2:53 am, edited 2 times in total.
75 Pontiac Astre GT: 406SBC/TH350, roll bar, S10 goodies, down to 11.47 so far, more to come later.
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Postby v8astregt » Wed Nov 29, 2006 3:17 am

And as my last post, I'll leave ya'll with a preview of next time!

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Hopefully Thursday, maybe Friday, I'll get around to figuring out how I'm gonna mount this sucker!
Last edited by v8astregt on Sun Dec 07, 2008 2:53 am, edited 1 time in total.
75 Pontiac Astre GT: 406SBC/TH350, roll bar, S10 goodies, down to 11.47 so far, more to come later.
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Postby v8astregt » Wed Nov 29, 2006 3:18 am

mldeolde wrote:looks very functional and clean installation. ingenuety- the key to h-body modifacation and success. great work!!!!!!!!!!!


Thanks! I figured the only way to solve my problems was to get rid of all the old ones altogether, and start with a clean slate. Plus, it looks a lot cooler! 8)
75 Pontiac Astre GT: 406SBC/TH350, roll bar, S10 goodies, down to 11.47 so far, more to come later.
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Postby gerbsinmd » Wed Dec 13, 2006 8:53 am

Josh,

I saw that you got the Astre out on the road. I'd be curious to seen what the final look was.

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Postby 70styleVega » Thu Dec 14, 2006 9:40 pm

v8astregt

I like your approach, and I want to do something similar. :wink:

I plan to mount a larger-than-V8-Monza radiator in FRONT of a modified core support. I have some dimensions and I plan to make a cardboard dummy just to see how wide a radiator (x 19 inches tall) will fit. I'm trying to cool a streetdriven 406. The bigger the radiator, the better.
I also want to add a tubular crossmember between the frame rails.
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Postby v8astregt » Thu Dec 14, 2006 10:09 pm

Well I took some pictures earlier today, and I'll post them up here sometime tonight.
75 Pontiac Astre GT: 406SBC/TH350, roll bar, S10 goodies, down to 11.47 so far, more to come later.
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Postby v8astregt » Fri Dec 15, 2006 3:39 am

Well I've got some more pictures loaded up finally. Skipped a few steps but it's pretty simple to follow.

Here it is after I welded in the two side supports. They are tied into the bumper brackets, and fully welded to the core support, which makes it MUCH stronger than the original core support. Here is a pic after I spread filler over the joint to smooth things out.

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Not pictured is a "V" shaped brace I made to go under the valance that ties both sides of the surround together.

Here is an upward shot of the upper bracket I made for the passengers side to hold the radiator in place. I just basically went off the factory saddle design, and made this one out of the barstock I had gotten for free for this project.

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Here is the lower mount I made using barstock, and two saddle mounts I bought through Speedway. The two holes on the end allow me to run a bolt up through to the corresponding welded-in nut in the bottom of the two side braces.

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I also took this time to cut open my frame to repair the broken off bolts in my sway bar mount.

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And here are some completed pics of the unit that I took today. It's VERY dirty here because the car is in a dirt lot right now. After I get it on the road and driven some, I will do some more cleaning of the wiring, and some detail painting, but you can still get an idea of what I did here past the dirt.

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Last edited by v8astregt on Sun Dec 07, 2008 2:57 am, edited 1 time in total.
75 Pontiac Astre GT: 406SBC/TH350, roll bar, S10 goodies, down to 11.47 so far, more to come later.
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Postby mldeolde » Fri Dec 15, 2006 11:58 am

lookin better every day. hope it continues to run as cool as it looks.
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Postby shytebucket » Fri Dec 15, 2006 9:19 pm

Josh, one thing I would have done differently is the lower mounts. Look at this radiator's mounts for example.

http://store.summitracing.com/partdetai ... toview=sku

You could fab a piece of angle and weld it to the tube with the holes then weld its mate to the radiator. The cushion would be a flat rubber washer located with a bolt. Right now it looks rough because the radius of the saddle doesn't match the radius of the tank.
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Postby v8astregt » Sat Dec 16, 2006 4:22 am

Eh, I'm not that concerned with it. It was just to the point to where I had to get this thing on the road. It was nothing but problems since September of 05, and I think I'm now seeing the light. If the system works out allright, I can always change it later. Besides, I think the valance should cover a lot of that up.
75 Pontiac Astre GT: 406SBC/TH350, roll bar, S10 goodies, down to 11.47 so far, more to come later.
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Postby HI WINDING MONZA » Sat Dec 23, 2006 10:17 pm

Josh ,how did you wire up the 2 speed fan? Did you use 1 or 2 switches , relays? Doug in Az 8)
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Postby mldeolde » Sat Dec 23, 2006 11:33 pm

JOSH . HOW CLOSE IS YOUR STEERING CENTER LINK TO THE OIL PAN? mine only has about 3/8 of an inch . has yours got any more clearence than that.
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