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Thread: Need a New Radiator

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    Senior Member SpaceFrank's Avatar
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    Default Need a New Radiator

    Back when I had an intermittent connection to my coolant temp sensor, the radiator fan would occasionally fail to come on, allowing the engine to get hot in stop and go traffic. This culminated in blowing the top hose off the radiator one time when I was pulling away from a stoplight, which broke off the raised part of the nipple/barb where the hose goes on. The engine is fine, and since then I've fixed the wiring harness where it was pinched going to the temp sensor, but with the upper radiator nipple being just a straight pipe now, the hose has very little keeping it attached. The hose has popped off while driving a couple times since then, while the coolant was at normal operating temp.

    So I need to replace my radiator. GMPartsDirect has it for $421. RockAuto has some much cheaper options, but for this car I'm not terribly keen on that idea. Is there a better aftermarket option, preferably without plastic upper and lower parts? I'd prefer something that's relatively bolt-in, but I know that might be a tall order with our cars being such a small market.
    Trogdor, the Burninator - 2008 G8 GT. 376/480 LS3 crate, Vararam intake, Kooks headers, Unidentified full exhaust, and a particularly realistic "flame job."

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    G8only has a Cold Case all aluminum radiator:

    http://g8only.com/product-category/cooling/

    Rotohack 102 intake - 102 MAF - TPIS 102 TB - TVS1900 ported & plated w 8 rib 2.5" front + OD rear
    RCR ported heads - RCR Lunati 219/231 113+1 - LSA Crank - Molnar rods - Racetec pistons
    Kooks 1 7/8 LT - Solo 3" CB - 3.27 diff w WaveTrac MT DRs + M&H FRs on Weld RT-S
    CTS-V fuel w Vaporworx - FAST 85s - Alkycontrol meth M15 + M10 - RCR tune
    Old 10.09@138.8 1.51 60'
    New ?@? 716 rwhp 652 rwtq

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    Senior Member SpaceFrank's Avatar
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    That looks good. Has anyone on the forum used one? I'm wondering if I should expect any issues making it work with my Vararam, since it wouldn't be mounting in a completely stock manner.
    Trogdor, the Burninator - 2008 G8 GT. 376/480 LS3 crate, Vararam intake, Kooks headers, Unidentified full exhaust, and a particularly realistic "flame job."

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    Senior Member Markmsf3's Avatar
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    I'd call Joe at G8only. I'm sure he can answer all your questions.
    '09 WH G8 GT
    Premium/Sport
    Red/Onyx
    Rotofab CAI
    Cortex 93 tune
    20% tint


    I just wanted one.

  6. #5
    Senior Member SpaceFrank's Avatar
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    I talked to someone at G8only, although I forget his name. He said he knows at least one person with a Vararam has bought this radiator, but he's never heard any specific installation feedback. He expects it won't be a problem, as the Cold Case radiator is supposed to be a direct fit just like the stock one. Worst case, this'll be a great excuse to finally return my radiator mounting to stock and switch to a Rotofab.

    I went ahead and ordered one; if the quality is good, the price is definitely right. They're currently on backorder, and the manufacturer should be shipping them in 3-4 weeks. I'll post some pics of the install after it comes in.
    Trogdor, the Burninator - 2008 G8 GT. 376/480 LS3 crate, Vararam intake, Kooks headers, Unidentified full exhaust, and a particularly realistic "flame job."

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    Junior Member slp#4127's Avatar
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    damn, sorry i found this thread so late. i was on the fence a year or so ago as to whether i should get one of these until i found out there was some fitment and quality issues.the last i had heard was they resolved them and i hope they have . lower rad hose and cap thread were the two i was most concerned about. i didnt like the idea of cutting away metal on the car to get enough room for the lower hose to fit too much. subbed ,let us know if those issues are still there.thanks

  8. #7
    Senior Member SpaceFrank's Avatar
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    I just talked to Joe again today, and the radiator I ordered will supposedly be shipping out this afternoon. Took a little longer than advertised, but I'm honestly not too surprised with such a small-market item. Apparently Cold Case just finished up a batch of 40, so theoretically there'd be minimal wait if you ordered one now. It'll probably be a few weeks before I get around to installing it, but I'll be back here with some pictures and info after it's done.
    Trogdor, the Burninator - 2008 G8 GT. 376/480 LS3 crate, Vararam intake, Kooks headers, Unidentified full exhaust, and a particularly realistic "flame job."

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    I installed one about 2 months ago in my g8 and I couldn't be happier with the product. The only issues I had was with the radiator cap screwing on which is a known issue. I didn't have to cut into the subframe for the lower rad hose like others have done. It's a tight fit but there was still room in between the rad hose and subframe.

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    Member gatorayde's Avatar
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    Just to add to this, I had major fitment issues with my Cold Case radiator. Im waiting to hear back from them still but I had the same issues others have had, where the inlet neck hits the frame (not even close to fitting, I had to shim the radiator 1/2" up), and the cap threads are not machined correctly. But, it's the only all-aluminum radiator on the market so it's still a better option than the plastic OEM tank rads.

  12. #10
    Senior Member SpaceFrank's Avatar
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    Update: I finally got around to installing this Cold Case radiator today (been driving my Jeep over the summer). I'm disappointed to report that they have not fixed the fitment issue with the lower (outlet) elbow. Mine hits the subframe just like a lot of other people have reported. I don't like the prospect of having to notch the subframe, so I'll probably be shimming the radiator up higher to provide clearance. It needs to come up at least 1/2", which should work for my car with a Vararam intake, but I'm sure if I ever switch to a different intake and go back to using the stock upper radiator mounts that I'll need to come up with a different solution. Gatorayde, I saw your post where you heated up the elbow and bent it to fit. I may have to do that eventually. Mine also doesn't fit the fan housing securely at all, just like yours. I guess I'll either shim it up or figure out how to zip-tie the top mounts.

    With some people reporting that these radiators fit just fine and others having the same issues with the outlet fitting, I wonder if it's a quality-control issue. It's a really good-looking product, and whoever put this thing together clearly knows how to weld aluminum. Are they maybe not measuring to see if the elbow fitting has warped during assembly? Aluminum has a very high thermal expansion ratio, so it'll move all over the place when welding if you're not careful.
    Trogdor, the Burninator - 2008 G8 GT. 376/480 LS3 crate, Vararam intake, Kooks headers, Unidentified full exhaust, and a particularly realistic "flame job."

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