New Aluminum Radiator vs Old Brass Radiator

g0thiac

Master Mechanic
Sep 6, 2020
253
43
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.
 

Ribbedroof

Comic Book Super Hero
Supporting Member
Jan 4, 2009
4,039
113
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.
 
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ck80

Royal Smart Person
Feb 18, 2014
2,303
113
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.
 

lilbowtie

Comic Book Super Hero
Jan 7, 2006
3,462
113
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.
 
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69hurstolds

Geezer
Supporting Member
Jan 2, 2006
5,286
113
You probably won't go wrong by getting another radiator like you had. Just make sure to use coolant compatible with aluminum.
 
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