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LeolaPA

Any experience with Ebay aluminum radiators $129-145.

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Three and a half years ago I replaced the radiator on our 95 Legacy with a Spectra one.  It recently failed.  The ridge on the end of the pipe where the upper hose attaches just separated and the upper hose slid off.  I'm hesitant to get another one, because the plastic is SO THIN and I don't want to do this job again because of plastic failure.

 

Has anybody bought any of these all aluminum radiators like this:

 

http://www.ebay.com/itm/291936775151?_trksid=p2060353.m1438.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT

 

If so, I'd be interested in your experience in fit, leakage, etc.  I'm tempted to get one for our car.

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No experience personally. But from experience that I do have, ANY part can fail. If you take that into consideration, it would probably be best to buy local in the event a failure occurs within the warranty period. Less hassle and less down time for the car. Also worth considering, some manufacturer warranties are affected if they are not "installed by a professional"

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Oh, I agree, however there is no option to purchase anything similar in my area. All the parts sellers sell radiators with plastic ends. 

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I've seen people mention them and no issues. But the same is true of the $60 radiators available at your local parts stores that you don't like.

 

So yeah- have at it, there's no considerable known difference between the all aluminum and cheap plastic side tank ones but all metal sure sounds better and probably is, there's just little data to back it up.

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I guess if I never had a  problem with the spectra one, I wouldn't be thinking about an alternative.  The plastic on the outlet is very thin.  I design plastic parts as part of my job, and I would never make a part so thin, especially when there's going to be a hose clamped on it.    

 

I WAS very careful not to overtighten the clamp.  So it lasted 3 years and I don't want to do it again.  Clamping on to a metal outlet seems better....

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I can't offer first hand experience either, but I'm with you, the thin plastic ends of the cheapo rads are BS, i've had those crack off on me as well.  It's bothered me for a long time that all rads have an AL tank and plastic ends, I bet you couldn't even find a brass one no matter how much you were willing to pay.

 

I agree that having the aluminum inlet/outlet is preferable, and LOVE that it has a drain plug, something my cheapo rad in my '00 Legacy doesn't have, grr. It even comes with a cap, something that current rads never come with it seems.

 

A couple of red flags, for me anyway, is that their mumbo jumbo implies that this is US made and they are trying really hard to make you think that, with all the red, white, and blue, and the "ships from NJ."  Only their mumbo jumbo is clearly written by someone who speaks, or types, English as a second language.  I'm not saying this means the product is bad, just I don't like being misled.

 

Might try sending them a message with a question about the product, like what aluminum alloy they use, see how quickly they respond and how well they answer your question.

 

Let us know if you get it and how you like it

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Spectra is not the best in my experience.

 

Order a Koyo or a CSF. Both are reputable.

 

With aluminum Chinese stuff the fitment is often horrible and there are other issues. Even Mishimoto, which is a brand name offering, often have problems. Again Koyo and CSF both make a nice all aluminium radiator for some applications.

 

If you want to never do it again find a local shop that can fabricate one from brass and copper. You will probably pay around $500 to $700. But it's the only way to get a solid 30+ years from a radiator.

 

I do recall that Subaru had offered a brass/copper unit on the 96 Legacy GT. Should fit your application with a change to the upper radiator support bracketry.

 

GD

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Lostinthe202 said:

 

"A couple of red flags, for me anyway, is that their mumbo jumbo implies that this is US made and they are trying really hard to make you think that, with all the red, white, and blue, and the "ships from NJ."  Only their mumbo jumbo is clearly written by someone who speaks, or types, English as a second language.  I'm not saying this means the product is bad, just I don't like being misled.

 

Might try sending them a message with a question about the product, like what aluminum alloy they use, see how quickly they respond and how well they answer your question.

 

Let us know if you get it and how you like it"

 

 

 

I have about half a dozen sellers of the same product saved on Ebay.  All of them are in California except the one from the link, which has a warehouse in New Jersey.  I noticed the same language.  The radiators are made in China, and likely the sellers are also Chinese importers. 

I wrote to them and asked a question, and got an answer back very quickly.  That is better than the last two sellers I dealt with on Ebay.  One didn't answer any questions at all, and the other one answered my email 2 days after I sent it.  So they are responsive.

I watched a video of a guy installing a similar radiator into a Miata on Youtube.  His worked out.  There are also some videos of people who weren't happy with their radiators. 

I am leaning toward doing this because I have replaced the radiator TWICE in this car, and it was plastic failure each time. 

Edited by LeolaPA

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Spectra is not the best in my experience.

 

Order a Koyo or a CSF. Both are reputable.

 

With aluminum Chinese stuff the fitment is often horrible and there are other issues. Even Mishimoto, which is a brand name offering, often have problems. Again Koyo and CSF both make a nice all aluminium radiator for some applications.

 

If you want to never do it again find a local shop that can fabricate one from brass and copper. You will probably pay around $500 to $700. But it's the only way to get a solid 30+ years from a radiator.

 

I do recall that Subaru had offered a brass/copper unit on the 96 Legacy GT. Should fit your application with a change to the upper radiator support bracketry.

 

GD

Thanks so much for the tip about this all metal GT radiator.  I see on Ebay CSF model 2500.  Some sellers show it interchanging with the part number that comes up for my non-GT model.  I see it as cheap as $146, and another one APDI 8012082 for $114.  So that's a really good tip!

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Update:  I couldn't find a 96 GT radiator and fans that was reasonably priced, so I decided to pull the trigger on the Ebay aluminum radiator. I know that it will take my fans and top mount brackets, so it should be simpler for me to install.  It should be here end of the week.  I may start a new topic for this.

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I've used them and was happy.

Great!

I imagine if you are in Colorado you used a California seller.  I picked the one from my link above because they ship from New Jersey, and their feedback was pretty good.  From the photos, it looks like all the sellers are selling the same item.

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not a fan of the plastic either, it is seemingly odd.  though I've seen plenty of plastic parts crack too, but never on newer rad's.

 

I'm not surprised an aftermarket part would fail twice, but i would equally be suspecting warn engine mounts or some other physical constraint is causing stress between the engine/radiator, fatiguing them over time. 

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OK, I got it and put it in today.  I might upload some photos showing what I ran into.  Basically the fan mount locations were off, so I had to slot the flanges on the fans to make those fit.  Also, the top bracket could not be mounted without slotting those holes.  I didn't have enough antifreeze, so I haven't driven the car yet. 

 

So, I would not recommend this to someone who doesn't have the tools and patience to do some modifications 

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