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Ron Davis Racing Radiator - Install Pics

 
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Rasta Monsta  



Joined: 12 Jul 2006
Posts: 11378
Location: PacNW

PostPosted: Wed Sep 05, 2007 9:27 am    Post subject: Ron Davis Racing Radiator - Install Pics Reply with quote

As you may be aware, I recently ordered an aluminum radiator from Ron Davis Racing. The rad came from the company's "OEM Replacement" line of products, so I was hopeful installation would be a simple bolt-in affair.

With all my temperature control woes this summer, at the track and in the mountains, I was happy as a clam when the rad arrived weeks before its promised date. It was extremely well packaged, protected by this crazy injected foam stuff:



When I pulled it out of the box, I was immediately impressed by the build quality. Anyone who has attempted aluminum welding will attest to the excellence of the beads on this unit.



Right on! I next took the unit over to the wood pile (where I had been beating the old POS Brand radiator for its worse-than-OEM performance) and took a few comparison shots.



Wow, I thought the POS Brand rad was a POS before, look at it now. Yikes! Now, the keen-eyed among you might be noticing a potential problem in the above shots. Does the new rad look a little TOO beefy?



Crapunzel. It is a good 1/2 inch too thick. The extra thickness comes from two rows of 1 inch tubing in the core. . .plenty of cooling power, but I was already imagining "issues" in my crowded 931 engine bay. . .
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  • Red (1987 924S) - Pro44/Spec944


Last edited by Rasta Monsta on Wed Sep 05, 2007 11:40 am; edited 1 time in total
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Rasta Monsta  



Joined: 12 Jul 2006
Posts: 11378
Location: PacNW

PostPosted: Wed Sep 05, 2007 10:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

At this point I exchanged some emails with Bill Williamson of Ron Davis about my fitment concerns. He immediately apologized and offered to build me a fresh rad if I sent in the OEM unit as a model (that's right. . .a vendor acknowledged the possibility of an error).

The problem was, I had a track day in two weeks, and I could never get my rad in time, so I decided to forge ahead.

Here is my first test fit. . .boy, that thing looks pretty! Please note, the upper mounts are being used in this pic in the stock manner, mounting tabs aft of the mounting points on the body, and I later mounted the top of the rad inside the box section to pick up a little more clearance.



It was immediately obvious that I was looking at some clearance problems with the Porsche dual fan setup. I needed to get that 1/2 inch back somehow, and a handful of spacers did the trick.



I am aware that the relation of the blades to the shrouding is important. . .the blade tips should be completely surrounded by shroud that is as close as possible to them for maximum efficiency. These half inch spacers moved about 20-30% of the blades forward of the moulded shroud. Not terrible, but not ideal.



The second tight area was the air box and fuel dizzy. After the dizzy was raised slightly with two fender washers, a small amount of material was ground off the fan support to keep it from hitting.



The air box bracket on the side opposite the fuel distributor was also raised with washers. I then had to grind away a bit of the rad subframe to get the upper tabs inside the box, instead of toward the engine. You can see the Dremeled spot below.



Finally done! YEEEEE. . .oh, wait. Except for one thing. . .



Dammit! The hose barb for the overflow tank hit the headlight mechanism. Arrgh! A 90 degree fitting was quickly fabricated by my local radiator shop, and all was well again.



While I had everything apart, a little strategic powdercoating improved the appearance of some cruddy looking brackets and coolant pipes. . .but I forgot the dizzy mounting bracket. D'OH!



I should also note that the mounting holes for the radiator and the fan shround were slightly off, but my Dremel made quick work of the soft aluminum. Done!


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Last edited by Rasta Monsta on Thu Sep 06, 2007 2:37 am; edited 6 times in total
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Rasta Monsta  



Joined: 12 Jul 2006
Posts: 11378
Location: PacNW

PostPosted: Wed Sep 05, 2007 10:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This experience was certainly a mixed bag. What was supposed to be a bolt in replacement turned out to need a big chunk of extra time in modifications. Someone expecting a perfect swap would likely feel dissatisified.

So, what went wrong? Any custom rad maker has a couple of sources for specs and measurements, either copying an actual stock rad, or using customer drawings. Arguably, the best is to copy an OEM unit. That way, there will be no fitment issues. The rad Ron Davis built from me likely came from the latter technique, drawn up for use in a race car. With a custom fan shroud, and no CIS clutter in the engine bay, the install would have been completely painless.

I also want to stress that Bill Williamson, the person in the RDR sales staff who was helping me, was very apologetic and immediately expressed willingness to help me sort out the problem. I CHOSE the difficult path, because I wanted the car ready for track day, and that fat unit was too damn thethxy to send back. The way to get an precise fit would be to send Bill an OEM unit, they would build you an aluminum rad which would consist of a single row of 1 3/4" cooling tubes through the core. Bill says this approach would handle cooling for 95% of cars out there.

So, what would I do if I had it to do over again? I'll tell you, I love this rad. The performance is eye-popping. . .I haven't been on the track yet, but I am confident this unit is the cure all that ails Shaggy. On the street, my temp only touches the middle line during a long wait at a traffic light, and as soon as the car starts rolling, it drops immediately. Today, when I popped in a shop for about 30 minutes, I came back out and turned the key to see the needle at the third mark, but the moment I started driving, it dropped to the first mark in less than five seconds. This thing is a MONSTER!

One more note, though. . .if you decide to go for this unit, you might be well advised to ask that all mounting holes be left blank so you can drill them yourself. Both the rad mounts and the fan mounts were a tad off. Also, the threaded fitting for the overflow barb needs to be either moved to the edge of the tank, canted aftward about 45 degrees, or both.

I will let you all know how this beast cools Shaggy on the track.



rasta

P.S. I have invited Bill to register and answer any cooling Q's you might have, so we may see him soon.
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Last edited by Rasta Monsta on Thu Sep 06, 2007 4:07 am; edited 5 times in total
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Chrenan  



Joined: 15 Jan 2003
Posts: 3899
Location: Canada

PostPosted: Thu Sep 06, 2007 1:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rasta, thanks for this. As I've already got a slim aftermarket fan on my car, I'm very interested in this (thicker) rad, I think it would be a nice upgrade for me. Any chance you could post some contact info for the company on this thread? I know its crass, but could I ask the cost? PM me if you don't want to post it.
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Rasta Monsta  



Joined: 12 Jul 2006
Posts: 11378
Location: PacNW

PostPosted: Thu Sep 06, 2007 1:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ron Davis Racing. The cost was $600 and change, about the same as a custom job at my local shop. I looked at theirs though, and the welding by Davis is head & shoulders above.
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Chrenan  



Joined: 15 Jan 2003
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Location: Canada

PostPosted: Thu Sep 06, 2007 1:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That price is reasonable. I should probably get one while the Canadian dollar is strong.
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endwrench  



Joined: 07 Dec 2002
Posts: 1629
Location: Victor, Montana

PostPosted: Thu Sep 06, 2007 2:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have yet to put a single performance part on any car that did not need some sort of tweeking if not complete re-engineering to make fit and function proper.

Nice job Rasta!!

Todd
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'79 924NA. Rebuilt 9.5:1, MSDS header, Mega Squirt Injection, MJLJ-EDIS Ignition, 1.6L Whipple Charger and Intercooler, 10lbs Boost, 944 Trans, Custom HD Clutch.
"simsport" said....superchargers are better than turbos its official!....
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-nick  



Joined: 16 Nov 2002
Posts: 2699
Location: Cambridge, MA

PostPosted: Thu Sep 06, 2007 2:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Now you need to ramp up the power so that radiator has something to do Looks great though.

ps - Todd check your email!
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1980 931S
15psi boost, MS-II, EDIS, 951 IC, custom intake, Ford 5.0L throttle body, Forge BOV, WB o2, G31 w/LSD, 964 wheels, 968 rear sway, Bilsteins, 200# Welt. springs. A laptop, and a partridge in a pear tree.
1991 964 C4 Cabriolet
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Rasta Monsta  



Joined: 12 Jul 2006
Posts: 11378
Location: PacNW

PostPosted: Thu Sep 06, 2007 4:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ah yes, Nick. . .the final step for Shaggy will be installation of Keno's Sparco air/water I/C during the rainy season.

Next year at the track (on our brand new surface) should be quite entertaining!


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