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I have a slow coolant leak, so I'm going to upgrade the radiator on my '71 Lemans (350/TH350). Does anyone have experience with Cold Case radiators? Butler Performance sells them, so that makes me think they must be good and be direct no-modification fits, but I can't find any reviews for their Pontiac models. They're $330, which is a little steep, but if they're good, it may be worth it for a drop in fit. Can anyone recommend other good radiators at a cheaper price point that will be a perfect drop in fit?

 

Thanks! 😋

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I am not aware of Cold Case, however, I have not heard bad things about them either. Since Butler is one of the leading Pontiac engine builders in the country, I doubt they'd recommend junk. They would not want to risk their reputation that way.

I have heard people speak highly of Be Cool radiators. They have a line of direct replacement radiators too.  https://becool.com/

Summit Racing has their own line of radiators.  https://summitracing.com/

Original Parts Group carries OER replacement radiators - bronze/copper core radiators - but those are not cheap but are what you want if you are going for points judged restoration.  OPGI.com

Griffin and Frostbite are a couple of other radiator companies I've heard of, yet not purchased from.

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Thanks for all the info! I checked out the other brands you mentioned, and I think with prices and the Butler recommendation, I'm going to go with a Cold Case. I'll report back once I get it in!

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Thanks for the feedback. Be sure to post some pictures of your ride as well. We love pictures period.

Give us before and after pictures.

One last bit of advice. Does your car have air conditioning?  If so, I'll bit it is a factory 4-core radiator. You will want to get a comparable radiator from Cold Case. You can tell by draining the radiator and counting the rows in the core through the radiator cap hold. For some reason, Pontiac 350s with AC got the 4-core radiators. My '72 Lemans Sport Coupe convertible was originally built with a 350 (it now was a 455) and it came with 4-core radiator. My '73 Lemans Sport Couple with the 350 2bbl with AC came with a 4-core radiator. I suspect Pontiac did this thinking AC would add additional heat to the engine that the 4-core could readily handle.

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My car does have AC. That's interesting that these cars came with a 4 row. The Cold Case radiators I've been looking at are all 2 core large tube designs, and Butlers claims they're more efficient coolers than the old style 3 or 4 row radiators. What do you think about that?

20180826_144917.jpg

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Thanks for sharing a picture of your ride. It reminds me of my older brother's first car, a '71 Lemans Quezal Gold, 350/350TH PS pB no air AM radio bench seat car. Sadly, he didn't take very good care of it either.

I am no engineer, so I don't have all the "science" behind it. However, I know that the old radiators are copper-based, the new ones are aluminum. Aluminium is supposed to dissipate heat quicker copper. Also, if the new radiators provide more contact surface area for the coolant to transfer the heat, then 4-core vs 2-core should not matter. I am inclined to trust Butler unless something seriously goes wrong.

Just out of curiosity, can you old radiator be taken to a local radiator shop and have it repaired or re-cored? Or is it just tired and worn out?

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Sorry for the delayed response, Frosty!

I too am inclined to trust Butler, so I think I'm going to go with what they recommend. My radiator has a slow leak, and I could get it re-cored, but I was quoted over $500 for a re-core at my local shop. I figure I may as well improve my cooling for that kind of money, since I don't care too much about complete originality. 

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Posted (edited)

Wow! $500 for a re-core? Holy Mackerel !!! I would not have imagined that much money for a re-core. I see your dilemma then. Yeah, buying new makes much more sense with that much dough on the line. I agree with you and go with the Butler recommendation - especially since originality is not something you are worrying about.

Edited by Frosty

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COLD CASE comes highly recommended by almost anyone who has used one of their products.  CC is a division of Max-performance aka AMES.

Ames has been in the business longer then most of out parts suppliers so I don't think you can go wrong.   

We have used several on past project and the fit and function was near perfect. Any defects/issues were handled swiftly. 

They are made very close to factory spec as far as filler and hose locations so if you prep and paint it most will never notice.

 

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Awesome! That's exactly what I was hoping to hear. Also their price isn't bad at all, almost half that of a Be Cool setup. I'll be ordering mine from Butler in a week or so, once life stops being in the way. Thanks for the advice!

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