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Old 03-26-2008, 03:26 PM   #1
tn2
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Help, I need a new radiator

Can anyone lead me to a good place to buy a new radiator for 1978 Argosy with 454 engine. I've looked in the Mill Supply's catalog. They do list a radiator but it doesn't look anything like mine. I'm more concerned about getting the right one than I am with price.
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Old 03-26-2008, 03:36 PM   #2
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Any good radiator shop will be able to match it with a new unit or recore yours if the end caps are not the problem.

RadiatorExpress.com - radiators, auto radiators, car radiators, aluminum radiators, automotive radiators, automobile radiators, engine overheating, truck radiators, gas tanks, racing radiators, heater cores, condensers

They sell Modine radiators and should be able to match what you need
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Old 03-26-2008, 03:56 PM   #3
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Good luck

Quote:
Originally Posted by tn2
... I'm more concerned about getting the right one than I am with price.
I felt exactly the same six months ago when I wanted to replace the radiator servicing my 454. The radiator being replaced was one installed by me many years ago, but had relatively low mileage. I was bothered because it was an OEM replacement (AC-Delco) and, in my opinion, should have lasted longer.

Replacement radiators being made nowadays are not built to last.

I purchased one from Advance Auto with a lifetime warranty.

I fully expect to replace it in a few years. But it will cost me [my] labor only.

Tom
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Old 03-26-2008, 04:51 PM   #4
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If possible, go with the bigger (or thicker) radiator choice. As your machine gets older, it will want more cooling power in the radiator. I had an old truck that over heated all the time, replaced rad with OEM, didn't help much. Put in the thicker model radiator, then the engine ran cold the rest of the years I had the truck.
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Old 03-26-2008, 05:30 PM   #5
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Thanks everyone for the replies. My problem with my old rad is just that it would leak every so slightly after the engine was completely warmed up. I figure the radiator is getting pretty old so I would just as soon put a new one in as to having this one fixed. All the places I have looked show radiators that are installed crossways.... my radiator is 36 by 21 and the 36 goes up and down,,,if you know what I mean. I've put in a question to RadiatorExpress maybe they will be able to help me.

Thanks again
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Old 03-26-2008, 05:37 PM   #6
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The position of the radiator won't made a difference just as long as you have the same or larger core and the pick up hose is connected to the bottom.

As long as you are getting a new radiator take this chance before you remove the old one to give the old girl a good flushing out with a radiator cleaner. That block has most likely got a bit of rust scale in it that should come out.

Also consider changing all hoses and if you have 80.000 miles the pump may be due and now would be an easy time to get at it.
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Old 03-26-2008, 08:26 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tn2
my radiator is 36 by 21 and the 36 goes up and down,,,if you know what I mean. I've put in a question to RadiatorExpress maybe they will be able to help me.

Thanks again
Something is not making sense here. I'm not doubting your radiator was mounted standing up rather than side ways, but I've seen a lot of P30 Chevy trucks/motorhomes before and everyone I have seen the radiator is mounted side ways. We have a 1974 Argosy 20' motorhome and although I got it without the radiator being mounted it definitely mounts side ways. Thats the way all the mounting hardware is laid out.

Makes me wonder who did what to your radiator and motorhome before you got it

Definitely let us know what you end up finding out!

Brad
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Old 03-26-2008, 09:22 PM   #8
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It's not a real good picture but this is how it looked before I took it out. To mountn one in there sidewise would take a degree in engineering. As hard as it came out.... I got a big fear about getting all the holes to line up when I reinstall. Can't imagine what it would take to mount something in there sideways. I really doibt if I could get two of any of the fittings, bolts....and hoses that need to be hooked up to line up.
I just noticed that I can't attach a picture with a quick reply....I'll send it in another post following this
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Old 03-26-2008, 09:26 PM   #9
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Radiator picture

Here's my radiator. Now you guys got me worried thinking what kid of bastard case I have here
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Old 03-26-2008, 10:20 PM   #10
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tn2,

Its possible I spoke to soon. I just searched through my photo archives (I save every picture I can find on the web!) and found the following picture, it sure looks like your current setup.

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Here is the front of our 20' 1974 Argosy. It came with a 454 motor. I don't have any other pictures handy but from what I remember of the radiator cap opening was on the long side of the radiator.

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This is the only picture I have handy of the radiator that came with our Argosy. It fits inside of a frame. The frame looked like the one on the P30 Winnegabo that I replaced the radiator on.

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Any of this look familar?

Brad
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Old 03-26-2008, 10:31 PM   #11
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Cool your worries, TN2, your radiator was installed correctly, or at least like most of the 28ft Argosy's. The water lines run vertically instead of the more common horizontal. Replacing it is probably a good idea if you can find one. If not, any radiator shop worth going to can repair the old one in as good as new condition. However, the difference in cost will be negligible. I'm sure someone here has replaced or repaired theirs.
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Old 03-26-2008, 10:41 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by QuietWater
Cool your worries, TN2, your radiator was installed correctly, or at least like most of the 28ft Argosy's. The water lines run vertically instead of the more common horizontal. Replacing it is probably a good idea if you can find one. If not, any radiator shop worth going to can repair the old one in as good as new condition. However, the difference in cost will be negligible. I'm sure someone here has replaced or repaired theirs.
Wow! I wonder why GM used different mounting methods? When I get home next week I'm going to have to look closer at my radiator and see if I can see how it was mounted.

tn2, any chance of getting more pictures of the front of your Argosy with and without the radiator? Reference pictures would sure help me out .

Thanks!

Brad
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Old 03-26-2008, 10:55 PM   #13
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If you haven't read the thread "Radiator Blues" that is listed down below the Quick Reply box, do so. It has a wealth of information on removal, repair, replacement, installation, and other cooling issues, like the oil and transmission coolers.
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Old 03-26-2008, 11:40 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by QuietWater
If you haven't read the thread "Radiator Blues" that is listed down below the Quick Reply box, do so. It has a wealth of information on removal, repair, replacement, installation, and other cooling issues, like the oil and transmission coolers.
Thanks for pointing out the link. I did find the following posted by PeterH-79MH :

"When I was looking, a radiator place (nationwide) told me they had it in stock: 1979 P30 Motorhome
I went to get it and everything was backwards. Same size but all the hose connections were reversed and filler cap was on top, unreachable in my situation. Made me think they made a special run for a few years.
"

I'm hoping more Argosy motorhome owners chime in here. I'd like to know if all Argosy's had their radiators mounted standing up or laying on its side.

Thanks!

Bad
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Old 03-27-2008, 08:42 AM   #15
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Radiator

From what I can see the setup on the 74 argosy looks like mine. I just know that it would be next to impossible to change design by installing a dif rad all together. For one thing the rad sets in a metal U channel affair. This U channel has several things attached to it....such as the dip stick...the oil fill spout....the transmission oil cooler.... the air conditioner evaporator....couple wire bundles. So to change desiges....I take it a new U channel would be needed...which means figuring out how to re attach all these things. I think maybe even more impoertant than an engineering degree....one might need a magic wand. (anyone know where I can get a nice used magic wand....cheap)
It does have me wondering if I will be able to find a new rad. I really hate to go the repair route but I guess it might be the only way.
I'll try to send some more pictures....I'm leaving April 1st for a week long train trip with AmTrak so I won't be able to log on for awhile....the rad won't get reinstalled until after I get back....

Speaking of train trip.... with the Mud Slides out in Oregon...and the flood conditions up the Mississippi river valley...which are two of the places we plan on going.... maybe the train trip will be cancled.

See ya all later....but big thank you for all your imput
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Old 03-27-2008, 10:30 AM   #16
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Train trip

Tn2

I don't have much experience with P30 radiators. However, I have had very good luck with radiator shop repairs. A good one should be able to help.

But my real reason for responding is your Amtrak trip. My wife and I did the Chicago, San Francisco, Seattle and back to Chicago loop last year in March and were going to do it again this year. Fortunately I checked and discovered that the Sacramento to Eugene(?) portion was going to be a night time transfer to a bus. We changed our plans and returned from SF to Chicago. (Last year there was flooding sout of St Paul - they switched tracks and came down the east side of the river.)

I am fairly confident that Amtrak will get you there - we were on time (within a few minutes) to both San francisco and returning to Kalamazoo this year. And last year we were successfully bussed over Donner Pass when Union Pacific's snow removal equipment derailed. We just did not want to sign up for a night time train to bus to train trip.

If you are traveling by coach probably not much difference. But I like to let the train put me to sleep in my bunk - and stay that way. Anyway, I called Amtrak's 800 number - they were very nice and changed the reservation. (Last I heard the mud slide was not going to be fixed until late April - but who knows.)

Good luck

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Old 03-29-2008, 08:17 AM   #17
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Radiator

Well I took my radiator to a repair shop about 30 miles away from my place. I guess radiator repair must be a dying trade...there are fewer and fewer of them. This old gentleman seem to know his business about radiators. He didn't give me much hope of finding a new radiator and he was also supprised about it being mounted up and down in my MH rather than crosswise. His plan is to pressure check it and determine if its worth repairing. Doesn't really hold out much hope for the repair because of its age. He did say that if he could repair it the cost would be about $75. I think he will probably go with a recore job....which he says will be no problem doing it....but the cost would be up around 300....and he would not charge anything for his time in first trying to repair it first. I'm actually hoping for a recore job. One might think that repair or recore would be strictly my decision but I trust this old gent that he isn't going to repair if it's not worth the effort. I'll post the results after I get back from vacation
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Old 03-29-2008, 06:32 PM   #18
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There's a reason its a dying trade

Quote:
Originally Posted by tn2
... I guess radiator repair must be a dying trade...there are fewer and fewer of them. This old gentleman seem to know his business about radiators. ...
The old guys in the business remember when radiators were built to be repaired.

I took my OEM radiator [from a post above] to an established radiator shop full of old guys a year before the radiator was replaced with another one.

On pickup, the seasoned veteran told me the radiator was repaired, but that I should replace it at the next sign of trouble. Radiator part thicknesses are NOT what they used to be.

Good luck,
Tom
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Old 03-29-2008, 07:43 PM   #19
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I have the same radiator in my 79. Can you describe how the radiator is removed, does it come out the bottom?
Thanks
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Old 03-30-2008, 08:50 AM   #20
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Radiator

My first reaction to if the radiator would come out the bottom was to say NO WAY....LOL.... but then I have to stop myself because I am not a pro at removing radiators. So I will repharse my reaction. There is a picture on the forum of someone removing the rad thru the bottom but it's not on a 78 model. So maybe it would be possible on some RVs. But for me I don't see a way in the world that that would be the best method of removal. All I did was remove the grill ....which is only a few bolts and the grill comes out in one piece. It took me about 3 hours to get my rad out thru the top. Except for the upper radiator hose....all the work was done from the outside of the MH. One tool I could not have done without....it's called a racheting box end wrench. The radiator sets inside a U shaped channel. This U channel has a top channel that goes over the top of the rad. The radiator and this channel all comes out as a unit. I've done radiators in cars and of course in the car you leave the U channel in place and the rad just slips out....but in a car you have clear air above the radiator....not so in the RV. So you disconnect the U channel .... tip it forward enough to remove the upper portion of the U channel....then there is room to remove the radiator and lower U channel as a unit. Goes without saying..... there are many opportunities to do further damage to the radiator....so be very careful how you pry and tug. It's really not all that bad of a job. One little problem I had. The drain cock on my rad was plugged so it would not drain the antifreeze. So I removed the complete pet cock..... BE READY with a rather large pail....there's lots of antifreeze in there....but also it will come shooting out of there with some force. I got a face full of antifreeze before I could roll to one side... . SO DO let your engine cool before draining the fluid.
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