How to Select the Correct Cooling Package

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It can often be difficult to determine the correct cooling package for your vehicle. The difficulty often compounds when modifications have been made to the engine, engine compartment, frame or even the radiator mounting system/supports. Combined with the modern advancement of radiator and cooling technologies, as well as the sheer amount of available configurations; classic and restoration car enthusiasts can often be at a lost when it comes to selecting the proper cooling system for their vehicles. By using this guide you can follow our internal processes for determining the correct cooling package and hopefully understand the factors involved in the decision making process when selecting a high performance radiator and cooling system.

Selecting the proper cooling package for your vehicle can be broken down to 4 factors:

  1. Application, Dimensions and Fit
  2. Engine Heat Output
  3. Air Flow
  4. Total Space Available

Application, Dimensions and Fit

The absolute first step in determining the correct radiator cooling package is your vehicle application. This can be as easy as the determining the year, make, model and transmission type for your vehicle. For most (but not all) direct fit and stock applications this information would be sufficient to determine your correct performance radiator, if not a total cooling package solution. The tricky part when determining application and fit comes when modifications or customization have been made to vehicle.

As we all know, car enthusiasts tend to have a pension for modifying their vehicle, in any number of creative ways. Anything from an engine swap, adjustments to the engine compartment, frame changes or even changes to the cooling system and mounting points can greatly affect the application and fit for your new radiator and cooling system.

In cases that modifications have been made to the vehicle, further investigation may be needed. By gathering dimensional and fit information we can better understand the specific application and start narrowing down our radiator choices. Dimensional and fit information can be traded with the Wizard Cooling design team and we will measure any provided information against our current blueprints to get a better understanding of the application. Once we have determined the application, dimension and fit for your radiator we can move on to determining the correct cooling capacity for your new aluminum radiator. Make sure to visit our Custom Build Process page to learn more about the modified and custom build process.

Engine Heat Output

Making sure that your Wizard aluminum radiator has the proper capacity to cool your vehicle is our top priority. To help us understand the cooling needs of your vehicle some basic engine output information is needed. The most important and relevant piece of information used by us to determine your heat output is your Horsepower. Knowledge of your vehicles horsepower combined with the Air Flow in your system, will tell us a lot about the cooling needs for your application. Other factors to consider would be your local climate and driving style. Are you cruising on the weekend during the summer? Or involved with drag racing all year round? All this info is extremely relevant when determining your cooling needs.

Air Flow

Air flow is one of the most overlooked, but essential factors in determining the correct cooling package. A radiator cannot cool without proper air flow...period. Anything in your vehicle that can cause air flow resistance with ultimately affect the total cooling package; such as the core size and fan thickness/CFM output.

Items such as; A/C condensers, oil coolers, charge air coolers, and even a upgraded high performance radiator core will all increase the airflow resistance in your vehicle. For example, a thicker, high performance core with larger tube diameters will need more air flow to push through the core for heat to dissipate efficiently as compared to a standard core. Add an A/C condenser in front of a upgraded core and air flow resistance will be very high and in turn would need powerful fans with significant CFM output to cool properly. It's very important to understand air flow in your system to insure that your cooling system is working at peek performance in relation to your heat output.

Total Space Available

Available space is probably the biggest issue we run into when designing cooling packages. "1000 HP doesn't do you much good when you only have 3 inches to fit a cooling package "(yuck, yuck). But seriously, balancing you heat output and air flow is going to be highly dependent on the actual physical space that is available to fit a radiator, fan and shroud.

Our direct fit aluminum radiator are generally 3" at the tanks and have a 2.25"-2.75" core. Our fan and shroud packages range from 2"- 4.75", for total package thicknesses ranging from 5"-7.75". To find more information on total package depth/thickness dimensions, make sure to check out our Fan/Shroud Options page to help you understand the different types of package combinations and there space requirements.

Hopefully this break down of the steps needed to determine to best possible cooling package will help you on your journey to find the correct cooling package for your vehicle. As always, if you have any questions about this guide, our products or our business, Contact Us today and our friendly staff will be happy to help.

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