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General Liquid/Water Cooling Discussion For discussion about Full Cooling System kits, or general cooling topics. Keep specific cooling items like pumps, radiators, etc... in their specific forums.

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Unread 07-24-2003, 02:28 AM   #1
Gooserider
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Rattling Radiator

I just purchased a new rad / heater core from NAPA auto (Belkamp # 660-3112, or Fedco 2-342) They had the best price of any of the sources I checked, and I've found NAPA generally has much better than average quality parts.

The core is one that is considered obsolete in the auto world, (a pity as it is one of the best for large W/C applications) so I had to special order it, and my girlfriend picked it up on her way home from work.

When I got it, I found that it looked reasonably good, but it fails the 'Rattle Test' - there is something in it the tanks that rattles around when you shake the unit, possibly several somethings

I suspect that they might be solder balls, or other bits of debris from the manufacturing process. I haven't pressure tested the core yet, but don't have any obvious reasons to suspect a leak. This core has really weird long twisted I/O pipes coming off of it, so I can't see into it at all.

I have tried shaking the bits out, but so far at least, have not gotten anywhere with it.

1. Is this normal?
2. Do I need to worry about getting the rattling bits out?
3. If so, any suggestions as to HOW?

If I need to, I won't hesitate to take this core back, but this means I can't trim the I/O pipes to normal W/C lengths until I figure out if I need to.

BTW, once I trim the pipes, any suggestions as to ways I can put a barb type ridge on the cut end so as to help ensure the tubing can't come off it? I would just as soon not try to solder a regular barb on, but instead would like to create a ridge in the pipe like the stock ends have.

Thanks,

Gooserider
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Unread 07-24-2003, 04:19 AM   #2
sevisehda
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On my first Heatercore(82 escort) I cut off the stock barbs because of the angel. Since I still needed the 3/4 connection I cut off the ridged section then reattached it to the remaining tube. Its simple and most likely something you already thought of but I'll throw it out there anyway.
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Unread 07-24-2003, 10:27 AM   #3
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You can solder barbs on it, or at least a threaded adapter.

The only problem is that if you can't find a 3/4" threaded adapter that has a 1/2" fitting at the other end, you have to go with:

[1/2" pipe from core] -> [1/2 to 3/4 enlarger/reducer] -> [a short piece of 3/4" copper tubing] -> [3/4 threaded adapter]

And it makes for a long chain.

I did the same for my HDD block, from 3/8 to 1/2".
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Unread 07-24-2003, 11:13 AM   #4
winewood
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OR you can just not cut it at all, and use the long pipes with epanded rib to help waterproof the connection.

I have 2 pipes coming from my heatercore. I noticed that when placed in my case the 2 pipes rise above my 3 1/2 bay without obstruction. I cut a rectangle hole for the tubes to rise up and through my empty 5 1/4 bay. The tubes going up free much of the airflow around the radiator area for air, and keep the case from looking cluttered.

To connect tubing to hcore, go to NAPA or some auto parts store and get a tube adapter that fits in the larger than needed tubes, and will fit into the 3/8 ID tubing. Cover the adapter and tube connection with hose and tighten with 2 clamps. If you use an Antec case like mine, the 3 1/2 bay will cover the hoses and adapters leaving a nice looking clean case. Mine is not the cleanest now, but give me time .
I have 2 fans tiewrapped on either side of the core in push pull config. (yes I know I dont have a shroud) Suggestions welcome.



back on topic, I think the rattling is loose soldier and will not effect performance. Cover one end with your finger, submerge in water in sink, blow in other end. If you dont have bubbles you should be ok.
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Unread 07-25-2003, 01:33 AM   #5
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Default Well, I think I'll try flushing...

Winewood was the only one who addressed my rattle question so far, he seems to think it isn't a big deal.

I sort of agree, if I could be sure the rattling bits would stay in the core. But I'm afraid that if they managed to get into the blocks they might stop something up, or possibly damage the pump if they made it that far.

A high volume flush might get them out if I combine it with a good shaking at the same time.

As to cutting the tubes, it's pretty essential on this core...

The 2-342 is about as close to the ideal WC rad as you get according to Cathar and some of the other technical experts. In one of the discussions, he described the ideal rad as having one pass, a 2 layer, 1.3" thick core, with lots of frontal area and ~16 fins/inch of brazed on folded fins.

The 2-342 is 9.5" X 6.125" X 2" thick. I think it's 2 layer, but it might be 3 (hard to tell without cutting it open...) The fins are folded and brazed, I didn't measure the fin/inch count, but it looks like around 16/inch plus or minus a bit, I know you can see through it if the angle is right. Most important, it is a SINGLE PASS core.

How important is a single pass? According to the spreadsheet developed by the folks in the simulator area, VERY important. The 2-274 dual pass core is 0.3" longer, but otherwise identical. The dual pass 2-274 has FOUR TIMES the flow resistance of the single pass 2-342!

This makes some sense actually. All cores of a given width will have about the same number of tubes, regardless of whether the core is single or double pass. In a single pass rad, the coolant flows in parallel through ALL the tubes; but in a dual pass, the coolant flows through just half the tubes in each direction. You could almost think of it as a single pass with half the thickness and twice the length. Remember that two of the most important factors in flow resistance are cross sectional area and length... A dual pass is worse both ways.

The problem with the 2-342 is that the I/O pipes are really strange and long, they come out of the tanks and one goes sort of up and out, while the second comes out, runs across the face of the core, then angles off to parallel the first. If you look at the picture in the heatercore database it's bad enough, reality is even worse. I would guess that the box for the core is 3-4 times as large as the core itself because of the pipes! It might be possible to get the rad into a case, but one wouldn't have room for anything else unless you cut the tubes.

BTW, I went through the entire photo collection on Leaky-car.com, and made a list of all the single pass rads (assuming a dual pass has the I/O pipes on the same end, and a single has them on opposite ends) . There are only about 22 of them, which makes them fairly rare. Most of these have I/O's that come out the sides or top and bottoms of the tanks rather than the face, which makes mounting a bit more of a challenge and need more room for plumbing hookups. The 2-342 is about the largest with I/O's on the tank faces.

So I guess I'll have to cut the pipes and solder some kind of fittings onto the ends....

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Unread 07-25-2003, 04:02 AM   #6
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If you have a submersible pump in a reservoir you could (at least temporarily) put the output from the radiator straight to the reservoir. This way if anything does pop out of it it will be stuck in the reservoir.

Or you could put a small wire mesh filter somwhere behind your radiator, but this might seriously impede your flowrate.

After you're certain that nothing else is going to come out you could arrange the elements any way you wanted.
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Unread 07-25-2003, 11:20 AM   #7
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I believe personally the flow should be pump, block, rad, res anyway.

This would mean that if that soldier ever passes through it would do -0- damage and end up in the res.
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Unread 07-25-2003, 12:55 PM   #8
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You ought to determine where the trapped pieces are: is it near a tube?

I had the same problem, after I soldered fittings on the tubes of my 2-304. Yes, I cut off those silly extensions. All I had to do, was shake the core, but it took a solid minute of shaking to get it out.

I could have simply pulled the bits out, because I trimmed the tubes to about 1/2" in length, and I could easily see/reach inside.

BTW, the trick of filling the core with water, when soldering something to it, works great.
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Unread 07-25-2003, 11:25 PM   #9
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Default Haven't shaken it today, but...

I'm thinking in terms of using a garden hose faucet for the flush.... Simple and easy. I haven't gotten anything set up yet for flow testing, or building the case up, so whatever I do for flushing will be improvised.

As I mentioned earlier about the wierd I/O plumbing tubes on this rad, I can't see into it until / unless I trim the pipes. If I trim them, I can't take the unit back, which makes for a bit of a dilemma.

Once I get my blocks done (I'm still working on machining them) my plumbing pattern will be pump-rad-blocks-res-pump, both because it makes the most sense in terms of the case layout, and because it seems to me like it makes the most sense in terms of delivering the coolest possible water to the blocks.

Thanks for the suggestion on filling the rad w/ water before soldering, BB2K. It makes sense and helps ease the concerns I had about melting the tank / core joint by accident.

Gooserider
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Unread 07-26-2003, 12:11 AM   #10
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Quote:
Thanks for the suggestion on filling the rad w/ water before soldering, BB2K. It makes sense and helps ease the concerns I had about melting the tank / core joint by accident.
Just a word of caution: When soldering water filled objects, water has a tendency to flash-boil, and a strong stream of (very) hot water could come rushing out, SO make sure those spouts are pointing away from you.
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Unread 07-26-2003, 02:29 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by iggiebee
Just a word of caution: When soldering water filled objects, water has a tendency to flash-boil, and a strong stream of (very) hot water could come rushing out, SO make sure those spouts are pointing away from you.
I've had some sputter, but only because the water level was a bit too high. Otherwise, I did monitor the core temp, just in case. It seems to radiate the heat well. I was able to hold my big propane torch on that joint for more than a solid minute, without any problems.
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Unread 07-27-2003, 02:08 AM   #12
Gooserider
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Default Good news...

I haven't flushed or pressure tested my rad yet, but I did shake the bejesus out of it this afternoon and as far as I can tell, it looks like I have now gotten the rattly bits out of it. I didn't find them on the floor, but I heard them hit, and I can't get any more noises out of the rad no matter how I shake it or (gently) beat on it.

So the next step will be to pressure test it, followed by the 'tubectomy' and deciding what to do about putting barbs on it. (If I do, there will be at least an inch or two of tube coming out of the rad if I cut just before the first bend. It looks like about .625" OD, and about .500" ID, so I can probably get away with just shoving the tube over the pipes and clamping it.)

I also got my first drive waterblock semi-finished up this evening, it isn't perfect, but it will do I feel sure. I need to develop better techniques for bending copper tubing in fairly tight radii w/o flattening it, kinking it, or having it change it's OD @ right angles to the bend excessively. This first iteration took a fair bit of hammer interaction to flatten my cooling loop (32 oz. ball-pein's are handy...) and the end result looks a bit ghetto, though I think it will work.

(BTW, am I correct in my recollection that plumbers solder will *NOT* stick to aluminum? I want to make some jig fixturing and want to be sure the fixture doesn't become part of the block!)

Gooserider
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