Are there no radiators that fit a 80 Camaro?

Mark OE

NA
May 5, 2021
48
Victoria, BC
Just in the process of sending my new Cold Case radiator back as it did not fit my car; too tall, too wide and too thick, so that part of the fan shroud and cover plate would have had to be cut away, and even then it would be crammed tight into the radiator support.

Many brands advertise as being 'direct fit', but obviously they are not, and most only give
core but not overall case measurements.

I guess these must fit some Camaros, as people are buying them, but they don't fit all, and it's expensive to order one to only find it doesn't fit.

So, is there no heavy duty radiator I can still get to fit my car, or am I stuck repairing my old one for life? I was hoping to upgrade to aluminum, but even a brass one that fit would be OK. The one I have now was from a corner garage, so likely just a cheap generic.

The radiator I have has always run hot on the highway and heavy traffic in summer, and I have lived with watching the temp gauge approach 240F, trying to find a place to pull over to cool it off, but I was hoping to not to have to live with that any longer.

I live in a small town, no performance specialists or shops and everything has to come unseen from the US or Toronto by courier.

I never imagined that finding a radiator for my car would become an impossible thing...
 

Bandit723

Veteran Member
Oct 1, 2016
4,178
Waupaca WI
I bought a DeWitts as well with the 1 inch cores. Best radiator i have owned yet. Could not ask for a better fit. I had a BeCool prior to this one was supposed to be a direct fit but was a bit too tall and ended up bumping up against my hood. It eventually started to leak.
 

twestrup

Veteran Member
Lifetime Gold Member
Aug 22, 2018
311
St. George, Utah
Is your car an A/C car? If not, I believe you can open up the radiator core to allow for the wider size radiator. I believe that would make it 26 inches. I have a DeWitts in my 1970 Z-28, runs nice and cool.

One more thing, if your temp sending unit is located in the head next to the exhaust, it will read higher temps at that location as opposed to one mounted in the intake next to the outlet. I bought an infrared digital thermometer, it does confirm that.
 

CorkyE

Veteran Member
Lifetime Gold Member
Nov 4, 2004
11,737
Ringgold, GA
As said above, there is a difference in core support size between an a/c and non a/c car. Best to measure you core support first, someone may have changed it.
 

Mark OE

NA
May 5, 2021
48
Victoria, BC
Thanks for the replies; non A/C and auto trans, and I'm the original owner so I know the radiator support was never changed. My temp sending unit is on the intake away from the exhaust, and I had switched to a high performance water pump and thermostat that opens sooner.
I will look into the DeWitts, but feeling gun shy and really disappointed after this recent experience, especially as I had done so much research and checking with sites and manufactures as to fit, so will let things go to next year, as summer's over anyway. Just wish these sites and manufacturers would just be honest and say if a product requires modifications or not, and don't use the word 'direct fit' or 'fits like OE' if it's not, things would be so much easier...
 




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