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Radiator question

minifridge1138

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Feb 2, 2007
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908
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USA
Corvette
1982 Black Fastback
Hello everyone,

My corvette runs too hot in the summer. I lived with it last year, but this year i'm going to buy a DeWitts direct-fit radiator. I'm pretty sure that will solve the problem. Here is my question: should i paint the radiator black?

I was told that painting the radiator black would help dissipate heat, and protect the radiator from road dirt.

Anyone know if this is true?
 

duke94

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Jan 30, 2007
Messages
277
Location
Ann Arbor, MI
Corvette
71' convert and 78' both Red
More important is to make sure you have all the Rad support and hood seals in place. Can't believe black paint would make that much difference.
 
Joined
Apr 2, 2004
Messages
4,611
Location
Newark, Delaware
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1965 Coupe L76 / 1978 L82
Eastwood makes a specific radiator paint or else you can request that DeWitts paint it for you and they will and i don't believe their charge on that is very much.
 
Joined
Aug 30, 2002
Messages
1,533
Location
Colorado Springs, CO USA
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84 Z51 auto R.I.P. 89 black roadster SOLD
Hello everyone,

I was told that painting the radiator black would help dissipate heat, and protect the radiator from road dirt.

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The Dewitts radiator is a very nice unit just like it is...I wouldn't touch it.

If you want to improve cooling get a high-flow water pump (Edlebrock, FlowKooler...) and a Robert Shaw thermostat to go with your high-quality high-dollar radiator.

Bill
 

Vette79

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Jan 23, 2007
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Location
Millersville, MD
Corvette
1979 L-48 Black Coupe
Definately get the high-flow water pump as well and eliminate two big items involved with cooling that are somewhat easy to square away. I would think you can get the radiator in black but wouldn't think that the color would make a difference in cooling. I replaced my radiator during the winter and noticed a nice difference in cooling.
 

68Roadster

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Dec 16, 2002
Messages
1,040
Location
Dallas, TX
Corvette
'68 White Vert '05 Silverado SS
I just installed a DeWitts in mine a couple of months ago....very nice unit and she is running cool.
Did have them paint the unit, the only thing I can say with regards to this is that having some type of paint on there provides a bit of extra protection against external corrosion....sure the alum. look is cool too.
 

GDaina

Member
Joined
Jan 21, 2003
Messages
5
Location
Rocky River, Ohio
Corvette
68 427/435 roadster
pull your radiator and check the bottom for loose/corroded cooling fins.
 

Evolution1980

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Feb 25, 2002
Messages
4,302
Location
Cleveland, Ohio
Corvette
ZZ4, 700R4, Steeroids rack & pinion, VB&P Brakes
should i paint the radiator black?
I was told that painting the radiator black would help dissipate heat, and protect the radiator from road dirt.
Are you talking about simply painting the outside black or shooting the entire thing black, including the cooling fins?

I'm no physics wiz, but I have studied cooling systems with relation to computer CPU's. Heat dissipation relies on the method used to extract the heat from the source and the materials used to dissipate the heat, as well as the amount of surface area of said material.

If you paint the surface area of the cooling fins, I'd think that you are adding another another layer between it and the air needed to cool them.
However, if you have a lot of surface area, as you'd find on an automotive radiator and you are circulating enough air, I believe you could paint a anti-corrosive layer on to it and still maintain effective cooling. Would cooling effectiveness be diminished somewhat? Technically "yes". But probably not enough that it's going to cause a major change in cooling abilities overall.

As for the color...I don't see how painting it a certain color is going to change anything. Certain pigments may have better heat transference properties, but again, the net effect would probably not be noticeable overall.

Then again...I could be 100% wrong about everything! It happens! :D :bash
 
Joined
Aug 30, 2002
Messages
1,533
Location
Colorado Springs, CO USA
Corvette
84 Z51 auto R.I.P. 89 black roadster SOLD
I agree with Andre...any coating at all can not improve the thermal transfer abilities of the aluminum. It "might" not hurt, but it certainly can't help.

Bill
 

minifridge1138

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 2, 2007
Messages
908
Location
USA
Corvette
1982 Black Fastback
Yeah, i was not sure about the black paint idea. I know that black absorbs more heat when placed in sunlight, but i couldn't think of any reason that it would help dissipate heat. It seemed that it would just add a layer between the air temp, and the cooling fins.

I like the idea of extra protection from corrosion. I guess i will just contact dewitts and see what they recommend. I could have done that in the first place, but I like to see what other corvette drivers have to say.

Good luck everyone,

Remember to drive carefully. The life you save might be mine.
 

Evolution1980

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Messages
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Cleveland, Ohio
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ZZ4, 700R4, Steeroids rack & pinion, VB&P Brakes
Remember to drive carefully. The life you save might be mine.
Remember not to drive the speed limit in the left-most lane and we shouldn't have any problems. :L
 

68Roadster

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Joined
Dec 16, 2002
Messages
1,040
Location
Dallas, TX
Corvette
'68 White Vert '05 Silverado SS
I had DeWitts paint mine before shipping.....not like it's a thick layer on the cooling fins....basically just to cover the aluminum....I think the paint is mostly for the stock look and corrosion control.....aluminum does pretty good but it will corrode over time....
 

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