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1952 M38 radiator question

KoreanM38

New member
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Location
SW, Virginia
Hello all!

I have a 52 Frankenstein M38 with a Buick 225 V6 and what seems to be a very early version MDJ tub. Just found out the radiator has a pinhole leak in it. I'm not looking for a museum piece, but I want to maintain the car to be reliable enough for a daily driver. My question revolves around whether I should buy a new all aluminum radiator off flea-bay for $150s or try to have whatever radiator is currently installed repaired for about the same.

The catch is due to the Frankenstein nature of he car, I do not know if it even has the original radiator. However, I do know it fits well. Not sure about the aluminum ones online. The pros for the new-aluminum is they tend to be better at cooling and likely wont leak. Also, the closest radiator shop that could handle the repair of the current radiator is a 2 hour drive away in the next state.

Looking for some thoughts, thanks.
 

Mullaney

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Steel Soldiers Supporter
Supporting Vendor
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Location
Charlotte NC
Hello all!

I have a 52 Frankenstein M38 with a Buick 225 V6 and what seems to be a very early version MDJ tub. Just found out the radiator has a pinhole leak in it. I'm not looking for a museum piece, but I want to maintain the car to be reliable enough for a daily driver. My question revolves around whether I should buy a new all aluminum radiator off flea-bay for $150s or try to have whatever radiator is currently installed repaired for about the same.

The catch is due to the Frankenstein nature of he car, I do not know if it even has the original radiator. However, I do know it fits well. Not sure about the aluminum ones online. The pros for the new-aluminum is they tend to be better at cooling and likely wont leak. Also, the closest radiator shop that could handle the repair of the current radiator is a 2 hour drive away in the next state.

Looking for some thoughts, thanks.
.
There are less and less of them these days, but if you can find a real radiator shop - with an old guy in charge - who knows about soldering leaks you might be able to repair what you have. IMO, if the first thing they try to do is sell you a new radiator - just drive away. Here in our town, there are about three real radiator shops that can repair an old radiator.

The other angle is buying something at some place like Summit Racing. Buy the thickest thing you can fit and dimensions as close as what you have today. Obviously the inlet and outlet have to be on the correct side of the radiator tanks...
 

glcaines

Well-known member
Steel Soldiers Supporter
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Hiawassee, Georgia
Definitely re-core the old radiator. I've done that on several different vehicles with 100% success. As an aside, the same radiator shop has boiled out several fuel tanks for me, again with 100% success.
 
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