General Motors has quite a few powerful engines under its belt, including the mighty Duramax. It’s a rather capable V8 with impressive power output (HP/torque) and strong performance. This is great news, of course, but it also means you’ll need to invest in a proper cooling system to protect it from overheating. I’m talking about the radiator, of course. Right now, there are hundreds of different options available for the average drier.
So, the question is – what does the Best Duramax Radiator look like? What are the most important factors that define how great (or not) the radiator is? I’ve got your back on this one! The following guide will tell you what to look for when shopping for a new unit for your engine. Join me, and let’s get right to it!
If the radiator isn’t a perfect fit for your Duramax engine, don’t even think about buying it. The market is full of premium-quality radiators that were specifically designed for this engine line. And, thanks to direct, bolt-on installation, it won’t be hard to handle the mounting process on your own. Plus, make sure that the package arrives with all the necessary hardware so that you won’t have to invest in any extra parts.
If you do everything right, you’ll be done with the installation in two to three hours.
#2: Engineering and Materials
Right now, the vast majority of third-party radiators are either manufactured from plastic or aluminum. When properly engineered, plastic can be quite effective, but it’s not the most reliable material on the planet. Aluminum, in turn, performs beautifully even in the most extreme situations. Plus, it is 100% immune to rust and corrosion, which is also very important.
Aluminum radiators consist of super-thin fins brazed to flattened tubes. This is the most effective design that easily handles hot engine liquids and sends cold antifreeze back to cool it down. Also, look for lightweight and durable construction with a TIG-welded design.
#3: The Radiator Fans
And don’t forget about the fans. We’ve got two types dominating the market right now: electrical and mechanical. I always recommend electrical fans, as they’re almost as good but require very little energy to work. Mechanical fans, in contrast, need up to 20HP to deliver their best performance. The shroud plays a key role as well. Look for one that covers a large area of the aluminum core for maximum efficiency.
#4: Coolant Capacity
We use the term “capacity” to describe how efficient the radiator is. Now, while most brands do their best to top the stock cooling system, some radiators aren’t that different from the factory setup. So, before committing with your hard-earned bucks, check the specs to make sure you will, indeed, see a boost in performance. In my experience, a 30% increase is more than enough reason to invest in a third-party radiator.
Multiple rows, larger-than-life surface areas, premium radiator caps – different brands use different techniques to win over potential clients. Tubing is another critical component. The tubes should be really wide to push high volumes of coolant around and be able to perform under pressure. Here’s how this works: the bigger the tubes, the sooner the liquid will cool down. If you do a lot of off-roading, you’ll definitely appreciate this.
#5: Pricing and Warranty
Brand-new radiators don’t cost that much. You can easily find an outstanding unit for as little as 80-100 dollars, or even cheaper. As long as it’s compatible with your vehicle and Duramax engine, boasts decent engineering and does a good job of cooling the motor, it will be a good investment for your money. Still, no matter how great it is, I recommend buying a radiator that is backed with the company’s guarantee.
Some cover manufacturing defects; others promise a full refund within two weeks or even a full month. And then there are limited, one-year, and five-year warranties. Pay extra attention to this and always consider the guarantee as one of the most important factors.