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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
This may be a case of going overboard to save a few pennies, but I decided to fab up a heat exchanger for my water to air intercooler system. The project involved cutting up a perfectly good radiator from a Geo Metro and then using plastic steal to seal up all the holes I created.

I picked up the Metro radiator at a local pick n pull for a few dollars, but it was too tall to fit in front of the radiator on my MR2. So out comes the hacksaw:


I cut the radiator so I ended up with a cooling area of roughly 12x12. I really only had to cut thru the plastic end tanks -- then the copper fins between the channels pretty much pulled apart.



I cut up the portions of end tank I had removed and used the pieces as filler. Then, I used Magnum Steel plastic putty to plug all the holes, including the filler neck. You knead this stuff for a minute or so before applying it. It dries steel hard in about 5 minutes. Full cure is about an hour.


My Bosch pump and ST165 intercooler use 3/4" hose, so I picked up suitable hose barbs at Home Depot, drilled holes in the plastic end tanks high and low, and then puttied the barbs in place.

After the putty cured, I tested for leaks. Nice and dry. I will be curious to see how the plastic steel holds up. It's supposed to be good to 300 degrees and unaffected by water. I finished it off by painting the end tanks to cover up the putty. Here it is ready to install:



It fits just fine in front of the radiator where the AC condenser once sat. I will try it out tomorrow. Total investment so far, about $25 for the radiator and 2.5 tubes of the putty.
 

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That's kind of funny to me, I did the same thing with an F-150 radiator but have yet to use it. Mine is only about 6" tall but is about 2' long, I'll post a picture of it later.
 

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you can also find a motorcycle radiator

also the VW Sirocco (sp?) radiator is a popular H.E.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I would like to see the cutdown F150 radiator. What did you use to seal it back up?

I looked around for a motorcycle radiator, but we don't have any cycle graveyards locally and I didn't have any luck.
 

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James, here's a picture of mine it's not finished het but you get an idea. I used aluminum to cover the ends and JB weld to seal it up, I still need to tap the holes for the hose fittings. It's about 6" tall by 34" wide.
 

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i made my new heat exchanger like that too back in september last year from a aluminium vn comodore radiator. i used plastic that i cut to shape and araldite to glue them into the plasitc end tanks. black home garden 19mm barbs etc. worked a treat and i got nearly 50km extra a tank on the hi-way in fuel economy from it being a far more effienct heat exchanger than what the old a/c condensor was.
 

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i overtake on roundabouts
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this lasted about 3 months though before the glycol in the coolant attacked the araldite and the started to leak at the base of the end tanks. so i fabbed up some new end tanks from some sheet aluminium and used JB weld to join/seal it onto the core.
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
Just a small update. I've mounted the home-made heat exchanger on my car and it works great so far! After a series of high-boost runs, the highest intake air temp I saw was about 95 degrees. This compares with intake temps in the range of 160 with a standard small intercooler mounted in front of the tranny.

Cruising temps were around 65 degrees on a day with ambient air temps of about 55. Cruising temps with the standard intercooler were typically close to 100 degrees or higher, depending on ambient temps.

I give this project a modest :thumbup :thumbup

By the way, Feral, I originally got the idea from a mention in one of your posts awhile back about cutting down a radiator to make an w/a heat exchanger.... yourock:
 

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another one finds their way to the a2w side... good job :)
 
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