454 swap in 85 El Camino

SS Elco

Not-quite-so-new-guy
Aug 3, 2017
28
3
While I'm Waiting for my Brodix Top End Kit to arrive I'm gathering some other needed parts. What radiator has others used for a similar swap? Prefer to stay american made and in the $500 - 600 price range. Hoping for an OEM fit. Will the original fan shroud work? If not any recommendations? Another question and I'm sure it's been beat to death; headers, I've seen post from several years back that mostly said Hooker. There were two part #s talked about but not much else. I haven't really found any offerings unless you're going LS. At this point I'm leaning toward mid lengths because of clearance. Already have a UMI Power Tour suspension w/ lowering springs and Quick Performance 9" out back. I'm thinking mid lengths and the G Force crossmember already in will give me good clearance. Any recommendations are appreciated. Thanks.
 

pagrunt

Geezer
Sep 14, 2014
8,216
113
Elderton, Pa
As for the radiator, a good 4 core copper/brass OE type or most aftermarket aluminum ones should meet your cooling needs. As for the shroud, the stock one will work (as used in a swap article from a Hot Rod issue from '88) fine with an OE type radiator but the radiator rubber pads may need trimmed to most of the aluminum radiators. Cold Case radiators will need the side ribs of the shroud trimmed as they will sit against the core & prevent it from being bolted in. I have a Cold Case & found this out putting it together.
 

SS Elco

Not-quite-so-new-guy
Thread starter
Aug 3, 2017
28
3
As for the radiator, a good 4 core copper/brass OE type or most aftermarket aluminum ones should meet your cooling needs. As for the shroud, the stock one will work (as used in a swap article from a Hot Rod issue from '88) fine with an OE type radiator but the radiator rubber pads may need trimmed to most of the aluminum radiators. Cold Case radiators will need the side ribs of the shroud trimmed as they will sit against the core & prevent it from being bolted in. I have a Cold Case & found this out putting it together.
Thanks. I assumed an aftermarket alum rad would do a better job of cooling than a copper/brass one. I think I have an NOS 4 core rad for a 72 Elco this motor was originally going in. I'll have to check the size. Would you go with a Cold Case again? Is yours a 4 core? Most of what I found were 2 core, either 1" or 1 1/4" tubes. Didn't know if that would handle the job.
 

pagrunt

Geezer
Sep 14, 2014
8,216
113
Elderton, Pa
Thanks. I assumed an aftermarket alum rad would do a better job of cooling than a copper/brass one. I think I have an NOS 4 core rad for a 72 Elco this motor was originally going in. I'll have to check the size. Would you go with a Cold Case again? Is yours a 4 core? Most of what I found were 2 core, either 1" or 1 1/4" tubes. Didn't know if that would handle the job.
Got to remember the '68-'72 A-body rads are wider than the '78-'88 rads so you won't be able to take advantage of it. I'm not sure since I world of rather of used a copper/brass one but the price when I got it I couldn't beat. It also has a 2 row core as aluminum aftermarket ones have bigger core tubes than copper/brass units but a good 4 core would be good/equal to unless this is going to be a track car then aluminum might be a better bet at times.
 

565bbchevy

Geezer
Aug 8, 2011
9,265
113
Michigan
I have a Griffen 31" x 19" aluminum radiator in my Monte, these have 2 rows of 1.25" tubes and cools my street driven 565 BBC and has even kept it cool in Dream Cruise traffic. I also am running the Intrepid dual fan set up.
It worked so well I did the same set up for my Regal except that one has the built in trans cooler.

IMG_1411.JPG
IMG_20220102_174108342.jpg
 

SS Elco

Not-quite-so-new-guy
Thread starter
Aug 3, 2017
28
3
Thanks. I assumed an aftermarket alum rad would do a better job of cooling than a copper/brass one. I think I have an NOS 4 core rad for a 72 Elco this motor was originally going in. I'll have to check the size. Would you go with a Cold Case again? Is yours a 4 core? Most of what I found were 2 core, either 1" or 1 1/4" tubes. Didn't know if that would handle the job.
Got to remember the '68-'72 A-body rads are wider than the '78-'88 rads so you won't be able to take advantage of it. I'm not sure since I world of rather of used a copper/brass one but the price when I got it I couldn't beat. It also has a 2 row core as aluminum aftermarket ones have bigger core tubes than copper/brass units but a good 4 core would be good/equal to unless this is going to be a track car then aluminum might be a better bet at times.
Yes, the 4 core I have is 2" wider. I was able to find a 3 core brass/copper at Summit for about $75 less than a Cold Case. Also found G body's have the same size rad as a 70's Camaro. Copper is twice as good as alum for rads but alum is much cheaper which is why OEM went that direction. US Radiator has a good article online about the comparison.
 

SS Elco

Not-quite-so-new-guy
Thread starter
Aug 3, 2017
28
3
I have a Griffen 31" x 19" aluminum radiator in my Monte, these have 2 rows of 1.25" tubes and cools my street driven 565 BBC and has even kept it cool in Dream Cruise traffic. I also am running the Intrepid dual fan set up.
It worked so well I did the same set up for my Regal except that one has the built in trans cooler.

View attachment 211979 View attachment 211980
Thanks for the input. I opted for the OEM style cuz I'm trying to keep it subtle and stock looking. This way I can use the factory fan shroud. Although it's going to be difficult to make Brodix heads and intake look stock. You have a very nice, neat setup. Kudos on the attention to details.
 
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SS Elco

Not-quite-so-new-guy
Thread starter
Aug 3, 2017
28
3
Thanks for the input. I opted for the OEM style cuz I'm trying to keep it subtle and stock looking. This way I can use the factory fan shroud. Although it's going to be difficult to make Brodix heads and intake look stock. You have a very nice, neat setup. Kudos on the attention to details.
What headers are you using? Any fitment issues?
 

mc1984ss

Master Mechanic
May 18, 2020
282
43
I run the Hooker 2241 headers and they fit amazing!!!!!! Minor trimming of a motor mount and they fit like a glove. I did purchase mine many years ago so hopefully they still fit the same. It's hard to believe my spark plug access is better with these headers than a abc was with manifolds or headers!
 
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bracketchev1221

Royal Smart Person
Jan 18, 2018
1,239
113
You bought the Racerite head kit correct? That one has a stock port location so you should be ok. The other Brodix heads are .600" raised exhaust port and cause their own issues with headers.
 

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