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What is the best option for a radiator in 2022?


What radiator should I put in a 521 with a freshened up l20b?   

6 members have voted

  1. 1. Do I get a koyorad with only a one year warranty, or a champion with a lifetime warranty, or have the original one rebuilt?

    • Koyorad
    • Champion
    • Rebuild Original Rad at a shop

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If you put a new or rebuilt motor in a 521 or 510 and you needed a radiator what route would you go? 

Less radiator shops means its probably pretty expensive to have one re-cored right? 

koyorad has high praise but 1 year warranty sounds scary for something 300+ bucks. 

champion has so/so reviews, but lifetime warranty so could just get a new one whenever needed sounds great... 

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  • 3 weeks later...

When I did mine I went with a koyo and no problems whatsoever with it. I also had my original one resealed but if you’re going to freshen up your truck then get a new one IMHO. 



Edited by d.p
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Aluminum radiators can run the spectrum from really nice, to really shitty. I use aluminum radiators from Champion in my LS swaps. Lots of forums have given Champion a bad name, but I have spoken with the guys who actually make them and I like the product, especially for the price.


If you have a good stock radiator, and can get it re-cored with a three row core, I'd go that route. The only downside to having that done (two downsides really) are the cost, which now days can run into the $400 range, and the paint those shops use. Most times the paint looks like crap. I have gotten radiators done locally and told them not to paint them, so I can paint them myself.


Oh yeah, a welded core aluminum radiator can be powder coated. I have mine done in 10% gloss black.

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  • 1 month later...

I bought 2

1 was a OPL brand the other was a Champion

far as I can tell they look the same but the OPL brand leaked with a 180 state but was fine with a 160  I dont know why but it was bad

I have now a Champion and is fine.  both need the spacer cause of the core sopport flange they make isnt off set as the stock one. Even the Koya Rad has the same proplem. The Koyos are made in Maylsia I believe.

They was or is a shop in NY that makes Z car rads and its about 400$ USA made. I was think of sending my old one to have them make new 510/521s rads but never got around to it.

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Jegs, Summit and Speedway all sell generic core radiators without flanges. I've used them before and welded on my own flanges or inlet/outlet nipples. AFCO radiators are cheap and if you know somebody that can TIG weld, it might be worth a try. Worst case, you blow a hole in it and are out a couple hundred bucks...

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