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  1. #1
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    Need a new radiator

    So I've been having a coolant leak (very small) for a couple of months. Tried finding the cause and thought I had found it and taken care of the issue. Well, I was wrong. The other day I had come back from a drive and noticed the front of the car was smoking. Quickly popped the hood and noticed coolant spraying from the side of the radiator. Coolant had basically just dumped all over the garage floor and some sprayed into the engine bay. Thankfully an easy cleanup. After looking it over, it looks as though I'm going to need a new radiator. For those of you who have had your radiator blowout, what brand radiator did you go with?

    Does the hood need to come off to change the radiator out on the GEN 2's? Any other advice that would be helpful is greatly appreciated.
    Last edited by Austin; 01-04-2022 at 11:09 AM.
    '01 Sapphire Blue RT/10 with Cognac interior. A few mods and counting.

  2. #2
    Enthusiast My98RT10's Avatar
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    I am not there yet but from what I have read here the best way is to find a radiator shop and get it recored.

  3. #3
    Enthusiast GTS Dean's Avatar
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    Radiator repair shops have been around for over a hundred years. They save tanks and solder in new cores.

    You certainly can get the radiator out without removing the hood, but I wouldn't recommend it.
    96 GTS. Viper Days Modified Class. Fresh motor 10-2020!

  4. #4
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    I believe dave6666 has the most experience w/ replacing/testing rads. I think he like the Howe. All others become junk in mere months, if I remember correctly. Dave may chime in.

    Do a search for “Howe”.

  5. #5
    Enthusiast Fatboy 18's Avatar
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    You could try Howe Racing, the item part number is 342C01, radiator viper Gen 1 /2.price back in 2018 when I ordered mine was $606.90
    16413156592287884849661323715795.jpg
    HOWE Racing 989 435-7080

    I Don't see the Rad advertised on their website anymore so best call the number above.

    NO ISSUES SO FAR
    Last edited by Fatboy 18; 01-04-2022 at 11:09 AM.

  6. #6
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    Thanks for the advice so far, everyone. I'll check up on HOWE and call around for places that can recore while I wait to see if Dave chimes in.
    '01 Sapphire Blue RT/10 with Cognac interior. A few mods and counting.

  7. #7
    Trust me and just get yours re-cored. I went with an X2 that didn't fit right so then went with a HOWE. My HOWE sprung a leak after a couple years and less than a couple thousand miles. HOWE is by far the better of the aftermarket aluminum radiators out there but still susceptible to the same problems all the aluminum ones have.

    I've swapped radiators half a dozen times now (less than Dave still though) and not once removed the hood. If you are a bigger person (overweight or tall) maybe easier to do it with the hood off but I can swap them out easily myself without doing so.
    Last edited by 98RedGTS; 01-04-2022 at 12:22 PM.

  8. #8
    Enthusiast Fatboy 18's Avatar
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    Attachment 50327

    You do need a couple of extra bits for the Howe Rad, a 90 degree overflow elbow and a Hex drain plug. Note also 1/4" hex screws to mount fan shield. I also used 1/2 nuts to secure top of rad to radiator core support.
    20180505_143414.jpg
    Last edited by Fatboy 18; 01-04-2022 at 11:41 AM.

  9. #9
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    98RedGTS makes A LOT of sense. The stock rad doesn’t need any extra parts to work. I, too, had mine recored and didn’t remove the hood.
    Be sure to do ALL of the steps necessary to get the air out. You may have read enough threads already, but there many opinions/ways to do it.
    Not that you don’t know already, but be sure the other tanks are in proper working order, ie: no holes.

    For newbies: Vipers run hot so it is a very good idea to ALWAYS check your coolant level BEFORE your next outing regardless of what it was LAST time. Oil the same way.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by 98RedGTS View Post
    Trust me and just get yours re-cored. I went with an X2 that didn't fit right so then went with a HOWE. My HOWE sprung a leak after a couple years and less than a couple thousand miles. HOWE is by far the better of the aftermarket aluminum radiators out there but still susceptible to the same problems all the aluminum ones have.

    I've swapped radiators half a dozen times now (less than Dave still though) and not once removed the hood. If you are a bigger person (overweight or tall) maybe easier to do it with the hood off but I can swap them out easily myself without doing so.

    Ok, I think this is what I will do. Just need to locate someone in my area that can do the recore. Im not a giant (5'7 and in shape), so I assume this will be easier for me pulling it out without the hood off.



    Quote Originally Posted by Viper98 View Post
    98RedGTS makes A LOT of sense. The stock rad doesn’t need any extra parts to work. I, too, had mine recored and didn’t remove the hood.
    Be sure to do ALL of the steps necessary to get the air out. You may have read enough threads already, but there many opinions/ways to do it.
    Not that you don’t know already, but be sure the other tanks are in proper working order, ie: no holes.

    For newbies: Vipers run hot so it is a very good idea to ALWAYS check your coolant level BEFORE your next outing regardless of what it was LAST time. Oil the same way.

    Definitely going to try his advice. The coolant level is something I always check but, for sure good advice for noobs.





    Thank you to everyone who chimed in so far. If I have more questions, I'll keep them here.
    '01 Sapphire Blue RT/10 with Cognac interior. A few mods and counting.

  11. #11
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    Am I completely blind, or do these rad's not have an actual filler on them? Is it just the reservoir for filling the radiator?
    '01 Sapphire Blue RT/10 with Cognac interior. A few mods and counting.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Austin View Post
    Am I completely blind, or do these rad's not have an actual filler on them? Is it just the reservoir for filling the radiator?
    Technically I believe you're suppose to “top off” the radiator on the GEN I/II’s by filling up the overflow bottle thats in the fascia. Yes, make sure the tank thats attached to the passenger side wheel well is full but after that you should be topping off at the overflow bottle.
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by 01sapphirebob View Post
    Technically I believe you're suppose to “top off” the radiator on the GEN I/II’s by filling up the overflow bottle thats in the fascia. Yes, make sure the tank thats attached to the passenger side wheel well is full but after that you should be topping off at the overflow bottle.

    Ah, gotcha. I'll check that. Thanks.
    '01 Sapphire Blue RT/10 with Cognac interior. A few mods and counting.

  14. #14
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    Hey Austin, friendly help here: this ain’t a ‘67 small block Camaro setup. The Viper system is a little more complicated. Just installing the rad and filling the bottles isn’t all there is. If you don’t get it right you’ll get pissed again…guarantee it. Please, be sure to do your due diligence on this subject. It is very important.
    I can’t articulate as well as others otherwise I would help more. There are little clamps that need to be in place to prevent problems and other oddities.

    Someone has a link they can attach or just do the search thing, but, plz, my friend, look it up or call someone.

  15. #15
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    If you can get your radiator re-cored, that's probably the best bet. I couldn't find a shop near me that would do it - quote from a post I made back in Feb 2020:

    "I went to 2 supposed "Go To" radiator shops locally (Memphis) and neither wanted to mess with it. Went ahead and ordered a Roe, which they have made at another shop close to me (Galloway Tn). This shop builds aluminum radiators for a lot of race cars and other assorted hot rods - and now vipers I guess. I don't know how long they have been making them for Roe. I made the order on 1-30 and picked it up at this shop this past Monday, Roe had already sent a hardware pack that contained one of their anode radiator caps, a 90 degree hose fitting, and some bolts."

    So far I have about 3000 miles on this radiator with no problems so far. The fit is close on the upper hose - I used some small pieces of double sided tape to protect it at the close spots.
    1998 Viper GTS, silver, cat delete, smooth tubes, SCT, M&M headers, HS rockers, poly engine mounts w/Snake Oyl shields

  16. #16
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    I have the production radiators repaired or recored. The aftermarket aluminum radiators are good for track use, but they often corrode and leak easily.
    I always add a ground from the radiator to the frame to cut down on electrolysis as well.

    Aftermarket radiators often have thicker cores which make the car run hotter at low speeds, but cooler at higher speeds.
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  17. #17
    Just figured I'd chime in, as I've been through this too.

    I simply recored my stock radiator (and had the guy add in an extra core!) when my rad failed. Was only like $300, and have had 0 issues in about a year and 12k miles, and several track days. The engine stays nice and cool, and I haven't even noticed a problem running Thunderhill on a 100F+ day.

    And +1 on not needing to remove the hood! Just wiggle it out of there, it isn't too hard.

  18. #18
    Enthusiast SA Heat's Avatar
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    I had the radiator recored and added a row on my Gen 2 when it finally leaked.....afterwards, never got over 210 even when driven hard in south Texas summer heat. It's the way to go.
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  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Cragin View Post
    I have the production radiators repaired or recored. The aftermarket aluminum radiators are good for track use, but they often corrode and leak easily.
    I always add a ground from the radiator to the frame to cut down on electrolysis as well.
    Good tip on grounding it. I'll have to do that this weekend.

  20. #20
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    after you replace and refill, make sure you turn your heater to Hot and allow coolant to cycle/flow/burp its way through the heater core. I actually leave mine turned to hot 100% of the time which keeps fresh coolant flowing through the heater core. A/C bypasses heater core and blows nice and cold even with the dial turned to hot. Just one of the weird quirks with the Viper cooling system.

  21. #21
    Matthew Altomare
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    Just my personal experience... I replaced my OEM without taking the hood off. It was a tight fit pushing against the oil cooler lines upon R&R, but not to the point of damaging the lines.

    I purchased an X2 unit...mainly because I wanted to do the R&R in the same day. The install seemed to go fine, but the driver's side, upper pipe tube on the X2 was pointed ~1/4" askew to the left than the OEM. When replacing the radiator, I also changed the pipes out to the Mishimoto aftermarket pipes. They stretched a bit and fit over seemingly fine.
    However, after about a year or so, the hood support kept rubbing against that same areaa and eventually rubbed a hole through the hose. I had to buy a new set of hoses (as a 2 piece set as Mishimoto doesn't allow you to just buy one). I ended up fabricating a pipe cover that would take the brunt of the hood support rubbing against it constantly. It has worked since, but if it should tear a hole again, than I'll just recore my OEM. And I wouldn't plan on removing the hood to do so.

    Just my experience.
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  22. #22
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    I had Tomball Dodge/ Viper Exchange send mine off to get a recore. Went from 2core to 3 on my Gen1. So far so good.

  23. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by USAFPILOT View Post
    I had Tomball Dodge/ Viper Exchange send mine off to get a recore. Went from 2core to 3 on my Gen1. So far so good.
    Any chance you know the shop they used? I'll be in that area in a couple months with my daughter for a tournament and may have them recore my spare radiator while I'm there.
    Last edited by 98RedGTS; 01-06-2022 at 10:51 AM.

  24. #24
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    Thanks for the continued replies and help, everyone. Taking it to be recored.
    '01 Sapphire Blue RT/10 with Cognac interior. A few mods and counting.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by 98RedGTS View Post
    Any chance you know the shop they used? I'll be in that area in a couple months with my daughter for a tournament and may have them re-core my spare radiator while I'm there.

    The shop Im using is called Houston Radiator over off of Long Drive in Houston. Here is their number if you're interested. 713-644-3367
    '01 Sapphire Blue RT/10 with Cognac interior. A few mods and counting.


 
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