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I changed out what I think was the original brass radiator on my 1969 Chevelle SS396 today. The car just wasn't maintaining temperature like it used to and since I think it is original it was time to upgrade it for more reliability and improved cooling. I bought a Griffin aluminum radiator from Summit Racing for $279.00. This radiator is made in the USA and is a 2 row 1-1/4" tube type. The radiator looks to be a quality make from its appearance. The first step of the job was draining the antifreeze out of the radiator. I did this by removing the lower radiator hose. Next I removed the upper hose and then I removed the fan shroud. Then I removed the top radiator mount and then I removed the radiator itself. The Griffin radiator is a "direct fit" which means that some modifications are required for fitment. They also make an exact fit but it is about three hundred dollars more. The only issue I ran into installing the new radiator was with the fan shroud. I had to drill two holes in the bottom of the fan shroud and secure the shroud to the lower radiator mount with some safety wire, The original radiator was smaller on the bottom where the shroud tucked up under the radiator to secure it. This radiator is bigger so it you tried to tuck the shroud underneath it the radiator would be up too high so the top mounting plate and the fan shroud would not install correctly. I really didn't like using the safety wire for a fix but it worked well and is hidden. the only other way I see doing it with this radiator is getting a new fan shroud or fabricating some brackets to the lower radiator mount. The install took about an hour and was easier than I thought. After I filled it with antifreeze and distilled water I fired up the big block and let it idle for about 15 minutes. It never went over 180 degrees. Once the driveway dries up I will take the car out on the road and see how this radiator performs.

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New Griffin aluminum radiator
Pulling the lower radiator hose to drain the coolant

Top radiator mount and shroud removed

Old radiator out

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Comparing the old with the new

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Holes drilled in the lower fan shroud

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Install complete

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