In 1987, I was 22 and had started working in my uncle's radiator repair shop. It was roughly 18 by about 20 feet, the size of a small garage, ha! That's right, it was an old garage that he had started working in a number of years prior, building a good name and a strong reputation as the best radiator man around! Under his professional guidance, I was able to learn the trade rebuilding copper/brass radiators. My uncle passed away some 3.5 years after I had started working with him, and I've been working on radiators ever since. Soon began the era of plastic and aluminum radiators. It was almost like starting all over again, learning what repairs would hold and last, which ones wouldn't and—most importantly—under what circumstances would they fail.
For a number of years, everyone felt like these plastic and aluminum things were real junk, but as time went on, we realized that they were quite durable, easier to work on, and were providing for a cleaner, healthier environment. We also found that under good and sound cooling system conditions, they could outlast the old copper/brass radiators. There are still some old, die-hard copper/brass radiator men still around that were fixing radiators when I was still in diapers, that have this great missunderstanding that copper & brass radiators cool better than aluminum radiators and I mean them no disrespect, but aluminum is far more superior in a lot of ways. Mainley cooling, corosion resistance, higher cooling system pressures, durability and lasting a good long time. The only things copper / brass radiators have over aluminum radiators right now, is they are worth more money when you scrap them.
|Benefits of Aluminum Radiators
You see them in cars, some of them only 5/8" thick, cooling V6 engines with electric fans and hot A/C condensers hanging in front of them. The majority of auto, truck, farm, and industrial vehicles have some kind of aluminum cooling unit in them, whether oil to air, air to air, radiator or condenser. They cool well, hold up well, and stay clean and uncorroded inside if the systems are well maintained. I could see the writing on the wall; if I was going to continue in the radiator business I was going to have to adapt and make some changes to accommodate the way the cooling system industry was changing around me or I would be one of many across our great U S A closing their doors.