The thermostat on our project was working fine. We flushed the radiator with a name brand cleaner, installed new coolant with an additive guaranteed to lower temps by up to 20 degrees. No good. We tried a 160-degree thermostat. Still NG. It was simply more than our old girl could handle in the tropical summers it was subjected to. It was at this point that replacing the factory radiator was considered mandatory.
Our trouble became your gain: Super Chevy is able to bring you the exclusive install and test of Flex-a-lite's newest offering, a radiator/electric fan combination designed exclusively for 1968-'82 Corvettes. Flex-a-lite really needs no introduction at this point—it's been in business for 50 years and enthusiasts have been using its fans, radiators, etc., for generations. In recent years, it has been releasing a number of different radiator/electric fan combos for different applications, including '67-69 Camaros and '81-'92 F-bodies. There's even a setup for the current 2010-up Camaro and on the way are Chevelle systems.
There are many benefits to these systems. Yes, they function far better than stock, they're aesthetically pleasing and by ditching the power-robbing clutch fan, you are freeing up 8-10 hp. On top of all this, they come pre-assembled. All you have to do it remove the old cooling system, bolt the Flex-a-lite combo in the factory location, wire it up and you're done. It was remarkably simple and straightforward. We accomplished it one evening after work in our shop, despite stopping for photos, note-taking and a dinner break. We had the benefit of a two-post lift, but it's nothing that can't be handled by anyone in his garage or driveway.
The range of Corvettes are covered by two part numbers, one for the '68-'72 (PN 52180, which we used) and the other for '73-'82 (PN 42181). The former has a side outlet for the lower radiator hose, the latter a front outlet. Our Flex-a-fit radiator is manufactured in the U.S. with a two-row, 1-inch tube all-aluminum core that's hand welded to the side tanks with patented "T" channels to dissipate heat more efficiently. The Flex-a-lite electric fan (PN 180) moves 3,300 cfm of airflow. The radiator can be purchased without the fan if you'd like the former, but not the latter.
For automatic-transmission cars, an optional direct-fit transmission cooler kit mounts a Flex-a-lite Translife cooler to the front of the new radiator. Radiator mounting brackets are included for direct bolt-in fit to the stock location, and the "T" channels provide a more secure attachment for these mounting brackets.