New Aluminum Radiator vs Old Brass Radiator


Sep 6, 2020
My '88 Caprice is slowly starting to leak out of the radiator tank, it's not a huge one but it's in the plastic part.

It's a CU920 Spectra Premium unit, that's definitely seen use. My question is, should I find an old brass one, that's had light usage or get another aftermarket? Curious to hear your opinions.


Comic Book Super Hero
Supporting Member
Jan 4, 2009
Wellston, OK
Last new brass one I bought (18 years ago) had tanks that were as thin as paper.

IMO, the plastic/aluminum versions have proven their fitness in millions of cars over the last 40 years. Only had one with a pinhole leak (in the plastic tank), it was 18 years old at the time and original to the car.
  • Like
Reactions: g0thiac


Royal Smart Person
Feb 18, 2014
You left out the third option, an all-aluminum radiator (tanks and core), which I would vote for with two big core tubes.

Barring that, plastic/aluminum are so much cheaper than brass/copper you can afford to replace it several times in the same life span.


Comic Book Super Hero
Jan 7, 2006
Canton Mi
I have a Campion aluminum radiator that's about 20 years old (bought from Ram chargers). If you want brass go with a re-core. What ever you do put in should be just fine.
  • Like
Reactions: g0thiac


Supporting Member
Jan 2, 2006
You probably won't go wrong by getting another radiator like you had. Just make sure to use coolant compatible with aluminum.
  • Like
Reactions: g0thiac

Similar threads

G-Body Performance Upgrades

GBodyForum is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon, the Amazon logo, AmazonSupply, and the AmazonSupply logo are trademarks of, Inc. or its affiliates.

Please support GBodyForum Sponsors

Classic Truck ConsolesDixie Restoration DepotMike's MontesP-S-TSouthside Machine PerformanceUMI Performance

ContactAdmin@GBodyForum.comfor info on becoming a sponsor