Chrysler’s Duramax is, without a doubt, one of the finest truck/SUV engines out there. When properly equipped, it can put out up to 500HP and 1000+ lb.-ft. of torque – a very impressive result. However, as you can imagine, all that raw power comes at a price. Unless you’ve got an outstanding cooling system to keep the temperatures low, the motor will overheat before long. That won’t be a problem with the Best Duramax Radiator, though.
After two months of extensive research and hands-on testing with a good buddy of mine, I picked the following three units as my top picks. Crafted from premium materials and engineered to last, they’ll be a perfect fit for your mighty engine. So, go ahead and check out the comparison table, the detailed reviews, and, of course, my Buyer’s Guide!
1. Auto Dynasty – Best Radiator for LLY Duramax
What’s the most important thing for any aftermarket radiator? Coolant capacity, of course, and you’ll get plenty of that with Auto Dynasty. Thanks to a forward-thinking three-row design, it is, indeed, vastly superior to the stock cooling system of any Duramax engine (especially the LLY edition). With it, you’ll get a 40% boost in efficiency, which will make all the difference in the world.
Crafted from high-quality, high-heat transferring aluminum, it’s also quite durable and reliable. My only complaint has to do with the installation process. While it’s pretty straightforward once you get the hang of it, you might struggle a bit at first. The whole thing took me 3 to 4 hours, and I consider myself to be an experienced driver. The good news is – the package includes detailed instructions that will be of great help.
Despite the somewhat challenging installation, the Auto Dynasty radiator is a safe bet. It’s incredibly efficient, features three rows of tubes, and is manufactured from premium T6-6061 aluminum. If you do a lot of off-roading and would appreciate a capable cooling system, this one might be a perfect fit.
2. Mishimoto – Best Duramax Radiator for Chevy Silverado 2010
Owners of the legendary Silverado will probably find Mishimoto’s offer to be too good to say no to. It’s one of the most polished, fine-tuned, and race-track-ready radiators on the market right now. The brazed aluminum core, top-notch magnetic drain plug, and TIG-welded design are some of its biggest pros. On top of that, it’s also very easy to install with basic tools. All you’ll need is a screwdriver, a pair of pliers, and protective gloves + goggles.
And thanks to the “drop-in fitment” design, you won’t have any issues with the installation. Another standout “feature” is the lifetime Mishimoto warranty. And what about the cons – are there any? The most significant downside is the expensive price-tag. But I have to also say that while this isn’t a particularly cheap radiator, it’s not really overpriced. So, if you’ve got a thick enough wallet, it might be a reasonable investment.
Easy to install, covered by a generous warranty, and efficient under pressure, the Mishimoto radiator is a bargain, but only if you’re not limited by the budget. The brazed aluminum core, TIG welding, and drain plug, along with the extended capacity will make it worth your while.
3. BuyAutoParts – Best Duramax Radiator for 2007 GMC
In contrast to the previous radiator, this one’s quite affordable. And, it will be a direct fit for a wide range of Duramax-driven trucks, especially the 2nd-gen GMC Sierra. BuyAutoParts put it through dozens of tough tests to perfect the “formula” and ensure its effectiveness in real-world situations. However, while it is very efficient, some buyers complain about the faulty tanks: they start to leak after six-twelve months.
This was only reported by a small number of drivers, though. And on the bright side, the company is very quick with the deliveries – you won’t have to wait for days for the radiator to arrive. It’s protected by an unlimited-mileage warranty, by the way. All-in-all, folks on a modest budget might want to put this radiator on their lists. It’s not perfect, but still decent enough.
Affordable, efficient, and quick to arrive at your doorstep, the BuyAutoParts radiator is a very attractive deal. Sadly, it does have quality control issues and the tanks tend to leak sometimes. But that’s the only significant con.
The Duramax engine requires a top-quality radiator to keep it cool and prevent overheating. That’s why it’s very important to know what to look for in an aftermarket radiator. If you go in blindly and just pick the first unit you seem to like, chances are, it won’t be able to keep up with the motor. Here’s a list of the most critical aspects to consider before making a purchase.
Tubes and Fans
To put it in simple terms, a radiator is a bunch of tubes connected to each other. So, the more rows of tubes you have, and the larger they are, the more efficient the radiator will be. That’s right: bigger tunes can carry more coolant at the same time, which gives them an edge over the stock system with a narrow surface area. When the heated liquids are flowing back from the motor, they need some time to cool down.
And the wider the tubes, the faster they’ll be able to dissipate the heat. Don’t go for the thickest tubes available, though, as they will have a negative effect on overall performance. And what about the fans, you might ask? You’ve got a choice between mechanical and electrical fans. I always go with electrical ones, as they’re more reliable, easier to install and don’t consume any HP (in contrast to mechanical fans).
Engineering + Materials
Back in the day, most radiators were crafted from plastic and steel. These days, plastic is still very popular, but it’s not the best the market has to offer. It’s cheap, of course, and will be a reasonable investment if you’re on a really limited budget. However, if you want your radiator to deliver its a-game, look for a unit that’s manufactured from aluminum. This material is 100% resistant to rust, corrosion, and other natural hazards.
On top of that, it’s incredibly flexible, adjustable, and lightweight – all very important for any coolant system. An all-aluminum construction core is what you should go for because this design has proven to be durable and reliable. There are different types of aluminum, by the way. Make sure it’s the high-heat transferring kind. Last, but not least, remember that brazed aluminum cores provide minimal distortion, which is also a big pro.
Do you know how much auto shops/mechanics charge for installing a new radiator? The average price is 200 US dollars, give or take, which is a lot. To put things in perspective for you: a decent-quality radiator can be yours for $200-300, or less, which means the cost of labor is pretty steep. So, if you could handle the installation on your own, that’d be great, right?
I’ve got good news for new: most best-selling radiators follow the direct, bolt-on installation design. Not all of them, of course, but if you see “OEM fitment” in the specs, that means you’re in luck. No drilling or cutting will be involved, and you’ll be done with the process in two to four hours, depending on how experienced you are with aftermarket vehicle parts.
Do you know what a magnetic drain plug is? It’s a highly effective remedy against tiny metal fragments that get mixed up with the coolant. A proper plug filters them out, making sure the coolant is nice and clean. Another useful extra is a radiator cap. True, most units have them, but they’re not all very good. It needs to be a high-pressure cap that boosts the boiling point of the antifreeze, making it more effective and productive.
And don’t forget to check for any warranties. Some brands don’t provide any type of guarantees, while others back their products with generous deals (like a lifetime warranty, for example). The bad news is – it can be a bit hard to figure out exactly what the company will cover. Therefore, don’t hesitate to get in contact with customer support and ask them to describe it all to you in more detail.
Best Duramax Radiator
|Product||Product Information||View on Amazon|
1) Auto Dynasty ADRASIERRA013
2) Mishimoto MMRAD-DMAX-06
3) BuyAutoParts 19-00769AN
Radiators are relatively affordable, easy to install, and durable: they’ll last for 5-10 years and make sure your engine doesn’t “fry” itself. Today, we checked out some of the best offers from world-leading brands. With Mishimoto, you’ll get one of the best aftermarket radiators on the market. It’s highly reliable, manufactured from top-notch materials, and backed by a generous warranty.
The BuyAutoParts radiator, in turn, is rather cheap and fast to arrive at your doorstep. Finally, Auto Dynasty is all about performance. So, there you have it: three marvelous radiators, each with its pros and cons. Go over the reviews carefully and check the comparison table once again if you’re not sure which one to pick. The Buyer’s Guide will help you make a decision; or, you can ask for some tips in the comments section!