Project Shark Attack C3 Corvette Radiator Install - Radiator Fallout

Project Shark Attack gets a new Dewitts radiator

Chris Petris Apr 2, 2007 0 Comment(s)

Maybe you're restoring your Corvette or just can't stand another hot summer with the A/C turned off because your Corvette runs too hot. It's probably time to replace your original copper/brass radiator with a high-efficiency aluminum unit. You know what we mean. You can run the A/C as long as you're moving at highway speeds, but even at speed, the temperature is elevated. When you sit in traffic and idle for a while, the temperature continues to creep up and your anxiety builds. You've tried all the easy stuff, including a lower temperature thermostat, maybe added an electric fan (if you have an engine-driven fan), or possibly tried some miracle cooling liquids. Nothing you have done so far has helped. No problem. A new aluminum radiator can save your Corvette from major future damage.

Corp_0607_01_z Dewitts_reproductions_radiator_install Completed 3/20

A sharp engine compartment is useless without a dependable cooling system.

Aluminum radiators are, in most cases, at least 30 percent more efficient than copper/brass radiators. The primary reason is aluminum radiator tube configuration allows more tube surface to air than copper/brass radiators. There are a few manufacturers in the aluminum radiator game now. We decided on a Dewitts radiator for Project Shark Attack because their radiators are Direct Fit, a complete drop-in with no modifications. One thing we didn't need was more fabrication during the assembly of PSA.

Dewitts specializes in Corvette radiators, and they also understand how particular Corvette owners can be about the fit and finish of their Corvette. The Dewitts radiator is unique because the tanks are stamped and, for all practical purposes, resemble the factory copper/brass tanks. The radiator inlet and outlet positions are also in the same location as the factory unit it replaces.

Corp_0607_02_z Dewitts_reproductions_radiator_install Old_radiator 4/20

1 We were lucky, PSA's radiator had been replaced with a four-core copper/brass radiator in the past. The original fan shroud was broken up and most of it was missing. Most likely that's why PSA's original engine went into meltdown. We left the copper/brass radiator in until we had the new engine ready to install. No use contaminating the new Dewitts radiator. The new plan was to install electric fans with the new radiator.

The coat of black paint on a Dewitts radiator requires a double take-you think you're looking at an original copper/brass unit. Dewitts has a black ice coating they can apply to the radiator if originality concerns you. The black ice coating is formulated to give you the original look without the heat transfer concerns of traditional paints. The welded tanks to the radiator core might give it away, but that's OK. The welded tanks mean no epoxy to act as a heat sink.

Our radiator core support was junk (like most are). We originally thought we could save ours, but once we cut into it, the rot was much worse than we thought. New radiator core supports have been difficult to find in the past. Luckily, Dewitts had one available. We didn't want to compromise the radiator install with a weak radiator core support or have the nose of the PSA drooping.

Although we decided to use electric fans on this project, they are not mandatory. The aluminum radiator will make a significant difference and work fine with an engine-driven cooling fan. The problem with engine-driven cooling fans is they work best when you need them the least. Electric fans, when controlled properly, will keep the engine temperature stable no matter what the ambient temperature is.




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