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Joined: Jul 2020
Posts: 53
G
Gib70 Offline OP
'Bolter
Stovebolters: I am still noodling on radiator options for a '52 3100 with an LS3. In the enclosed pictures I am showing the original radiator and its support frame on the chassis of the LS3 build. Since the body of the truck is completely disassembled, I cannot get a quick reading of how much space might be under a closed hood for a taller radiator, so I thought I would turn the problem over to the community here, in case someone has already determined the limits under the hood. Notice in one of the pictures, that the radiator cap is just barely taller than the highest horizontal part of the radiator mounting frame. How much taller can I go above that horizontal bar with a taller radiator and cap? For example, I hoping that the entire top tank of a new radiator could be positioned above that horizontal top bar of the frame, and still have the hood close gracefully. That might imply say 4 inches of top radiator tank above that horizontal bar. I welcome the common sense advice of my fellow Stovebolters around this question. Thanks.

Attached Images
IMG_3732.JPG (308.67 KB, 143 downloads)
IMG_3739.JPG (361.97 KB, 142 downloads)

1952 Chevy 3100
Joined: Jun 2011
Posts: 4,786
E
'Bolter
I have seen thicker stock radiators on larger (1.5 or 2 ton) trucks, might try if there is enough room.

Ed


'37 GMC T-18 w/ DD 4-53T, RTO-610, 6231 aux., '95 GMC running gear, full disc brakes, power steering, 22.5 wheels and tires.
'47 GMC 1 ton w/ 302, NP-540, 4wd, full width Blazer front axle.
'54 GMC 630 w/ 503 gasser, 5 speed, ex fire truck, shortened WB 4', install 8' bed.
'55 GMC 370 w/270, 420 4 speed, grain, dump bed truck from ND. Works OK.
Joined: Jul 2020
Posts: 53
G
Gib70 Offline OP
'Bolter
Thanks for the prompt reply, Ed. In a conversation with a radiator manufacturer, I was told that the core elements of a radiator for an LS3 would need to be 3 inches thick. This stock, original radiator has core elements that are 2 inches thick. One thought was that I might trim that top, horizontal brace of the radiator frame from its current 1.25 inch thickness to half that (5/8 inches). That would allow me to move the radiator an additional 5/8 inch more forward in the frame, minimizing the intrusion of the thicker radiator into the space between the back of the radiator frame and the front of the engine block. So I THINK I can accommodate a thicker radiator, but I am still in the dark on upper limits for a taller radiator.


1952 Chevy 3100
Joined: Apr 2005
Posts: 3,105
C
'Bolter
I would say at least 3" taller would clear. We move them up over 2" in S10 conversions to clear the steering box. When in doubt wad up a softball size ball of aluminum foil, tape in place, close hood, measure. The foil does not "spring back" so the measurement is accurate. Pic of S10 install:
Radiator raised,
[img]https://i.postimg.cc/kDbnYbDk/S10-051.jpg[/img] [postimg.cc]

Steering box clearance:
[img]https://i.postimg.cc/V0QB9CHj/S10-052.jpg[/img] [postimg.cc]

Big radiator in 54 2T with a Cummins diesel:
[img]https://i.postimg.cc/9zsZ7Zq0/IMG-4401.jpg[/img] [postimg.cc]


Evan
Joined: Apr 2005
Posts: 11,477
Grease Monkey, Moderator General Truck Talk & Greasy Spoon and HiPo Forum
Since your truck is apart coilover’s suggestion would be hard to do. Find someone local with an AD and use the aluminum foil trick on their truck. Good luck.


Martin
'62 Chevy C-10 Stepside Shortbed (Restomod in progress)
'47 Chevy 3100 5 Window (long term project)
‘65 Chevy Biscayne 4dr 230 I-6 one owner (I’m #2) “Emily”
‘39 Dodge Businessmans Coupe “Clarence”



"I fought the law and the law won" now I are a retired one!
Support those brave men/women who stand the "Thin Blue Line"! Hug a cop!
USAF 1965-1969 Weather Observation Tech (I got paid to look at the clouds)

Joined: Jul 2020
Posts: 53
G
Gib70 Offline OP
'Bolter
Thanks all... I am going to go up the road a way to a 54 3100 that is in a yard, and ask the owner if I can "do the aluminum foil thing"... I will post the results of the experiment on this thread. BTW, the aluminum foil thing is a lot more cleaver than what I was planning... I was envisioning using magnets to hold a ruler in place (a little more complicated than this explanation) and then expecting the ruler to slide down as I closed the hood.


1952 Chevy 3100
Joined: Jul 2020
Posts: 53
G
Gib70 Offline OP
'Bolter
OK... just tried Martin's aluminum foil trick and pictures and results as follows: The 54 AD radiator configuration was slightly different than my 52... the top of my radiator was roughly even with the top of my radiator frame. In the 54, the top of the radiator stuck up above the top of the radiator frame by maybe 1 inch. No matter how you cut it, the results of the aluminum foil test yielded at least 6 inched from the top rail of the radiator frame and at least 5 inches from the top of the radiator. To be conservative, when I talk to radiator manufacturers, I will assert that I have no more than 4.5 inches above my current top bar on my radiator frame into which to grow the radiator vertically. All this just made my subscription to Stovebolters worth it!!!! Many Thanks, all.

Attached Images
IMG_3750.JPG (197.2 KB, 106 downloads)
IMG_3751.JPG (182.67 KB, 106 downloads)
IMG_3752.JPG (218.77 KB, 106 downloads)

1952 Chevy 3100
Joined: Apr 2005
Posts: 11,477
Grease Monkey, Moderator General Truck Talk & Greasy Spoon and HiPo Forum
Credit to Evan (coilover) for the aluminum foil trick. I have seen it done many times for hood clearance issues.


Martin
'62 Chevy C-10 Stepside Shortbed (Restomod in progress)
'47 Chevy 3100 5 Window (long term project)
‘65 Chevy Biscayne 4dr 230 I-6 one owner (I’m #2) “Emily”
‘39 Dodge Businessmans Coupe “Clarence”



"I fought the law and the law won" now I are a retired one!
Support those brave men/women who stand the "Thin Blue Line"! Hug a cop!
USAF 1965-1969 Weather Observation Tech (I got paid to look at the clouds)

Joined: Oct 2005
Posts: 3,780
"Hey! I sound like Darth Vader!!
Just remember, for it to be effective, you'll need to get air flow up to that extra 5".

Joined: Jul 2020
Posts: 53
G
Gib70 Offline OP
'Bolter
Mark... good point. In my "vision", the extra 5 inches would contain the upper tank of a downflow-style radiator, so all of this would be above the core elements of the radiator. Nevertheless... the more airflow the better, even for the return tank of the radiator. I am planning to have the radiator manufacturer provide the shroud and the electric fans. Take a look at minutes 9:53 to 9:58 (yes, around 5 seconds) of this video:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9nOZFW07g40 I was looking on the web for other people who put an LS3 into one of our AD trucks and I found this. It appears that they used 2 fans, positioned over towards the drive side, and closed in by the shroud. Over towards the passenger side, it appears to me that there are 3 rectangular holes cut into the shroud, probably to increase air flow outside of what is controlled by the fans which again, are off-center. For sure, it is a tight fit to make sure all of this fits within the distance between the back of the radiator frame and the front face of the engine block. As for my build, I THINK the serpentine system arrives today from VintageAir. When I mock that up, I will get a better idea of how to fit radiator, shroud and electric fans into the space allotted. At that point, I will start talking to radiator builders to design a radiator, shroud and fan combo that fits AND would cool the LS3 AND make sure that the air condenser has the required airflow as well... the condenser would sit in front of the radiator (somehow). I gotta tell you how comforting it is to have all of you to discuss these ideas with... for a relatively non-social person, the value you guys bring tends to drag me out of my cocoon.


1952 Chevy 3100
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