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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys. I have an 89 Lebaron with a side-to-side flow radiator. I have a custom FMIC and tubing that goes up next to the cooling fan, so the fan housing was bent a bit for the IC tubing to have sufficient clearance.

Well I was working on it the other day and guess I accidentally bent the fan housing even more and went for a drive, found steam coming up from under my hood—the fan had made contact with the radiator and when it turned on, rubbed holes in the fins.

My radiator is TOAST!

So this rad was actually a replacement from Autozone, which I put in about 3 years ago. So it's next to new. But apparently none of the parts stores stock this radiator anymore! What the hell?

Does anyone have a creative solution? Or one for sale? I really was hoping to drive the Lebaron home for Thanksgiving....

I saw another thread discussing availability and solutions for T2 top-to-bottom radiators—how about radiators for us T1 guys?

thanks in advance!
 

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The trade number for the common FWD Chrysler radiator is 883. You can order it from most of the big-name parts stores (Advance is a Car Quest 433883; O'Reilly is a Murray 433883; NAPA is a RNR NR883A, and so on). They're about $150.00 list, but you can get online discounts, etc. to bring that down considerably. I have one in my K-car wagon that set me back less than 75 bucks.

That said, virtually all of the parts-store radiators are the exact same off-shore garbage from the bowels of China. Note the fact that Advance & O'Reilly share exactly the same part number. All are on borrowed time from the time you install them. I know the one in my wagon will fail; that's why I have a couple of NOS Valeo (OEM - made in Canada) in storage.

If you're going to go with the cheap ones, look around for a deal.

Gotta say that all-aluminum unit linked above looks very intriguing. Here's the same (or similar) for a few bucks less on eBay:

 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I ended up ordering the all-aluminum unit.

I cannot find the 883 radiator anywhere. I called all three in my area—Advance, Autozone, and Napa—and no one could source a radiator for my car. I even ordered one on the Autozone website, only to receive an email a few hours later saying my order was cancelled because the part was discontinued. Also, RockAuto lists the radiator as out of stock.

Hopefully this is temporary, and not the permanent end of mass-produced radiators for our cars!!!!!

My only options were to repair my radiator (re-core) at a cost of about $195 or order the aluminum unit for $200+. No brainer...
 

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Please let us know how the aluminum rad works out. You're correct in that it may become the only viable alternative in the not-too-distant future. And how long will that even be available?
 

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If you're on a budget and have a T2 setup the $50 All Aluminum Ebay 2 row Civic radiator works great. 3 row is a Lil more.uses stock hoses. I've been running it daily no issues besides I have to mount it better than zip ties.
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
So, just to update you all. I got the radiator, and it looks pretty great. Install went okay, it's a little thicker than the plastic tank one that was in there so i had to move the hose clamps on my IC tubing around a bit, but other than that it bolted right up exactly like a stock unit. You do have to reuse the rubber mounting bushings but the pegs are in the right place and everything lined up perfectly.

The only issue I had was with the filler neck. The nipple that the small overflow/reservoir hose connects to was protruding into the neck a bit and causing the radiator cap to get hung up a bit during removal. It was also slightly out of round. The metal is pretty soft, so I suspect the nipple got hit somewhere along the line and bumped into the neck a bit. I wa able to tap it back outwards using a drift and hammer and its good to go.

The other small issue I have is the sticker onthe the radiator cap that comes with it is super ugly. But that's easy to solve as well.

All in all, I'm pretty happy with it. I'm sure it will last a very long time. And can be easy welded on if it ever does crack or something. Definitely an improvement from the plastic tank model.

Looks nice too!

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You're right. That does indeed look awesome - and should be hands-down longer lasting than the plastic parts-store cheapos. And all things considered it arrived pretty quickly. Well done!
 
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