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1997 AWD GMC Safari
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Looking at a radiator upgrade and it seems like all the all-aluminum radiators people have recommended in the past are $999 or no longer exist, so I figured a new thread is in order.

When looking for all-aluminum options for our vans, there are tons using the same picture and different branding that offer 3 rows and 1.57" thick for $235

I don't see any that are specific to Astro/Safari's that are 2" or 2.25" unfortunately.

I found this one that seems to be the same as the $235 ones, but for $168.


Is this the best deal going in all-aluminum radiators right now?
Does anyone happen to have a nice one laying around they would sell for cheaper?
 

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I have been looking at these, too. The welds are pretty shaky, and those mount tabs are craptacular. If I am forced to, I can build my own. But I'd really rather not.
 

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2000 Lifted 4x4 Astro 92 V8-350 Shorty
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I installed same universal 31x19 custom fit in both my Gen 1 & Gen 2
I used Northern's Race-Pro #209615 (see link below)
The engine temp NEVER runs any higher than the thermostat opening temperature.
These are SERIOUS performance radiators! (at a very reasonable price too)
(they also make them for Summit Racing.. and have a HUGE commercial line too)
Automotive lighting Mesh Automotive exterior Rectangle Wood


You custom fabricate your own mounting braces.. but it's pretty simple actually.
Hood Automotive tire Automotive lighting Motor vehicle Bumper

Motor vehicle Automotive design Hood Automotive exterior Vehicle


I somehow missed posting this in the installation link (below).. but I eventually added a flat stainless steel strap (partially seen in photo) to support the weight of the radiator (if you have issues with lower radiator/shroud support). It essentially hooks in a prefect opening at top, and is hooked the same at bottom to hold radiator up. Then you simply run an additional brace to lower body to keep it in place. I think in my case, the lower brace is hooked directly to the electric fan and body, and lower radiator sits sandwiched between them on top of the bracket. This picture may be unclear.. but steel the strap goes full length to bottom of radiator (with reverse hook). Doesn't look like much.. but it was a great solution.
Hood Automotive tire Motor vehicle Automotive lighting Automotive design


Hose sizes needed to be dealt with too... along with cooler lines (adapters and rubber lines)
It comes with a serious trans cooler, which I run in series with an external cooler.

This radiator runs cold. I run a 180 stat.. but it barely reaches that temp hot or cold out.
Temp never varies.. even in 100+ degree weather.
If you live in northern climate, then I would suggest going with the correct 195 stat for those cold days.

It's easier to buy something already made for the Astro.. but I went my own route.
Here's my story (for my 2000)...

 

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1997 AWD GMC Safari
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871 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Mmusicman - I came across your thread when looking around, but I definitely am hoping to find a simple swap-in rad - I'd much rather easy than customizing stuff right now.
 

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It looks like it's for 96+

95 and older have threaded fittings for the trans cooler. 96+ have snap in fittings, which is what it looks like it has.
 

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Common Sense + Critical Thinking
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2004 Astro V6
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Thanks for getting back..I did finally find out it would fit my 2004 for a backup..but it is on offer-up, and I don't care to deal with their "cellphone only" nonsense at the moment(I haven't bothered to set mine up yet..)... so it can be anybody else's spare brand new Astro radiator..normally about $100?! She has an electric fuel pump also(I think another $20?)..for the Astro?.. Oh well..:rolleyes:
 

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Common Sense + Critical Thinking
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and I don't care to deal with their "cellphone only" nonsense at the moment
Yep, and a lot of those end up being scams anyway, unfortunately. Or they want your email, as if you can't already communicate by text.
 

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2000 Lifted 4x4 Astro 92 V8-350 Shorty
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Mmusicman - I came across your thread when looking around, but I definitely am hoping to find a simple swap-in rad - I'd much rather easy than customizing stuff right now.
Completely understand... that's why in the end I suggested a simple drop-in upgrade is probably best for most. I enjoy doing moderate custom upgrades, and for me nothing more important than a good and reliable cooling system. I live in South Florida so it was important. No more running hot for me.
 

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1997 AWD GMC Safari
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I just added a post on this on my build thread the other day. "Delilah" my terrestrial space ship....
Do you have a link to the radiator you got? Maybe it's in your 3rd to last-ish post on there, but for me the post seems messed up somehow - the picture of the radiator is covering sixsix's comment below it and is cut off.

Sounds like a good option given what you posted in the most recent post on there! One note though - the all-aluminum optionin your most recent comparison post that is from "GPI Racing" with the meh mounting brackets is only 1.57" actually, not 2.5". It's the same as the one I linked in my first post in this thread.
 

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1997 AWD GMC Safari
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Do you have a link to the radiator you got? Maybe it's in your 3rd to last-ish post on there, but for me the post seems messed up somehow - the picture of the radiator is covering sixsix's comment below it and is cut off.

Sounds like a good option given what you posted in the most recent post on there! One note though - the all-aluminum optionin your most recent comparison post that is from "GPI Racing" with the meh mounting brackets is only 1.57" actually, not 2.5". It's the same as the one I linked in my first post in this thread.
Bumping this again hoping sailing faith will see it...
 

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I don’t have the link, the seller was not very responsive to my shipping status questions, and seemed to have both the “good tab” and the “flimsy tab” radiators listed….
 

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2005 Astro Cargo 4WD
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I bought an advertised 2 row aluminum radiator off eBay seller Radiatormaster-globalization. I messaged them before the buy to ask the actual core thickness and they responded with 1 1/4” so I bought it. Ended up being 2 1/4” when I received it. To much cooling for winter up here but I installed it anyway early June 2021. 11 months later I find it leaking from the tube tank joint. I sent photos to the seller inquiring about the one year warranty but I have not heard back from them.
 

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1997 AWD GMC Safari
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I ended up finding a user on here who had a 2.5" rad that was the "SUPER COOLING" brand or something like that on ebay - installing it this week!
 
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