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Old 12-09-12, 04:41 PM   #1
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VA Should I Buy a Used Radiator

I recently discovered that the radiator on my 1993 RX-7 has a small coolant leak.

It's very minor and I'm still driving the car on a daily basis but keeping a close eye on the floor each time I park the car.

My question is: Is it recommended to buy a used radiator?

Or be safe and peace of mind to buy a new one by spending a few extra dollars?
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Old 12-09-12, 04:58 PM   #2
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Personally, I would never buy a used radiator, not when you can get better-than-OEM from several places like Radiator World or Radiator Express for not a lot of money.
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Old 12-09-12, 05:08 PM   #3
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Had a radiator leak on my '84 Corvette last summer and I've tried radiator "leak-stop" product at my local auto parts store. I never thought it would work. Used 3 bottles ($3 each) and it worked perfect.

I think you should try this easy fix instead of running with a leak. I would be so scared running a FD with a rad leak...
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Old 12-09-12, 05:10 PM   #4
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My thoughts exactly. I just wanted a second opinion. A Radiator is not something I want to take a chance with. I'm considering a Koyo Aluminum 93 RX-7.
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Old 12-09-12, 05:32 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by MuRCieLaGo View Post
Had a radiator leak on my '84 Corvette last summer and I've tried radiator "leak-stop" product at my local auto parts store. I never thought it would work. Used 3 bottles ($3 each) and it worked perfect.

I think you should try this easy fix instead of running with a leak. I would be so scared running a FD with a rad leak...
Oh **** no.... Not Stop Leak...
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Old 12-09-12, 05:41 PM   #6
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Yea I would just get a full aluminum radiator and never have to worry about the plastic end tank leaking again.
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Old 12-09-12, 05:41 PM   #7
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A used ALUMINUM radiator that's lightly used should be fine. The only wear an aluminum one would suffer would be bent fins. With a little patience and effort you could straighten them and get a nice radiator for way cheaper than new.
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Old 12-09-12, 06:13 PM   #8
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Quote:
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Oh **** no.... Not Stop Leak...
Ya stop leak is a horrible idea. If you think about it, it is a liquid that follows around and fills in "cracks" where ever it is. I bought a 200sx that had problems with to much coolant pressure and overheating. I took the head off the motor and some of the coolant passages on the head gasket were clogged because of that stuff. I wouldnt ever use that.
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Old 12-09-12, 06:14 PM   #9
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I have two stock used radiators. You pay shipping and a little extra so I can get a frosty and one of them is yours.
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Old 12-09-12, 11:52 PM   #10
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Some shitty advice in this thread.

Do NOT use stop leak.

Do NOT buy a 20 year old used radiator.

Buy a Fluidyne, which will fit a stock car. New or lightly used. Do not buy a used Koyo.

Done.
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Old 12-10-12, 12:19 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GoodfellaFD3S View Post
Some shitty advice in this thread.

Do NOT use stop leak.

Do NOT buy a 20 year old used radiator.

Buy a Fluidyne, which will fit a stock car. New or lightly used. Do not buy a used Koyo.

Done.
Curious why not a used koyo?
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Old 12-10-12, 06:13 AM   #12
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Koyo usually has Fitment issues. The best drop in replacement aluminum radiators are fluidyne or Ron Davis/mazdaspeed.
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Old 12-10-12, 08:13 AM   #13
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Personally, I would never buy a used radiator, not when you can get better-than-OEM from several places like Radiator World or Radiator Express for not a lot of money.
I would Not buy a used radiator . i've had bad experiences with this subject . And I'll never buy a used radiator again . if the leak is a crack on the alluminum , it can be repaired . But again its not something I would do .


I'd just bite the bullet and Get a GOOD radiator .

Not a cheap knockoff . I tried that on my FD and the knockoff was all wrong . it looked similar , but important things were wrong like Mounting locations the holes werent even drilled and if you did drill you'd drill into the radiator .. so I returned it and just went with a koyo . and have beem good since then
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Old 12-10-12, 10:15 AM   #14
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We have installed Koyos in nearly every car that has come into our shop for the last 10+ years. Absolutely great radiator, I have the Koyo N-flow cooling my 20B, without any issues.
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Old 12-10-12, 10:39 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GoodfellaFD3S;11312257.
Do not buy a used Koyo.
Advice like this that is offered without a reason, cannot be considered good advice.

Please include objective reasons.
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Old 12-10-12, 11:02 AM   #16
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Advice like this that is offered without a reason, cannot be considered good advice.

Please include objective reasons.
Used radiators alot of times may have cracks that are unseen untilthe deed is done and you have the radiator on the car , fins can be bent which reduce the effectiveness . if the radiator is a stock radiator ( plastic ) then already its days are numbered as those plastics tend to go bad . tomany variables for something so vital to a rotary to risk using an old used radiator .
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Old 12-10-12, 11:07 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by jkstill View Post
Advice like this that is offered without a reason, cannot be considered good advice.

Please include objective reasons.
Supposibly koyos do not fit well with the SMIC's even aftermarket ones.

I paid extra money for a fluidyne because it was supposed to drop right in, well it did not. I hand to bend the rad outlet tube for it to clear my stock fans. I was pissed because I paid the extra money specifically for the reason it was to supposed to fit right in.



OP, used is fine, just make sure it is being purchased from a reputable seller and check for leaks before install. It is not rocket science.
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Old 12-10-12, 11:17 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jkstill View Post
Advice like this that is offered without a reason, cannot be considered good advice.

Please include objective reasons.
Because the koyo is much thick than stock and doesnt' fit well especially if you use a SMIC. The others are thicker than stock but not as thick as the Koyo and doen't cause that much of an issue. This is my thinking, given that the guy still has a stock rad, I would bet most every thing else is, so he would be better off with an all aluminum rad that has better fitment.

I have a koyo and have had it since 2003. It was used with a stock ic and cool charge III. The koyo doesn't fit the stock intake and ic ducting very well as it pushes every thing up a little. Its now a v-mount and still cools just fine.
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Old 12-10-12, 11:26 AM   #19
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Used radiators alot of times may have cracks that are unseen untilthe deed is done and you have the radiator on the car , fins can be bent which reduce the effectiveness . if the radiator is a stock radiator ( plastic ) then already its days are numbered as those plastics tend to go bad . tomany variables for something so vital to a rotary to risk using an old used radiator .
Possibly so, but that makes no sense in the context of the post.

It is stated that a slightly used Fluidyne is ok, and that a slightly used Koyo is not.
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Old 12-10-12, 11:38 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MX3 View Post
My question is: Is it recommended to buy a used radiator?
Just like any other component of the car, it's not the component but the seller. There are several sellers on this forum that I would purchase a used radiator from... However, there are many more I wouldn't.

If you don't have a seller you can trust, then buy a new one.
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Old 12-10-12, 12:10 PM   #21
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Sorry, should have been more specific. Sometimes posting from the phone leads to truncated replies . Apologies to all the Koyo fans out there..... it's a great radiator, but for the OP (who I believe has a fairly stock engine bay if memory serves) the thinner Fluidyne will be an easier install and more than serve his cooling needs.

New vs used, really comes down to budget. There are many parts that I would never buy used, this includes old original plastic stock radiators. I've seen used aluminum rads that looked like new and functioned perfectly, and I've seen some that looked like they barely survived WWII.

Some good points about buying from reputable sellers who represent their items honestly as well as pack them so they don't arrive mangled

P.S. John, I googled 'supposibly' and came up empty.....

Last edited by GoodfellaFD3S; 12-10-12 at 12:21 PM.
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Old 12-10-12, 12:11 PM   #22
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If you don't have a seller you can trust, then buy a new one.
... and a seller you can trust to package it properly.

Parts like radiators do not fare well if not packed properly.

With something as important and susceptible to damage as a radiator. personally I would just buy a new one.

Been burned too many times trying to 'save money', and actually ended up spending more.
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Old 12-10-12, 12:46 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by MuRCieLaGo View Post
Had a radiator leak on my '84 Corvette last summer and I've tried radiator "leak-stop" product at my local auto parts store. I never thought it would work. Used 3 bottles ($3 each) and it worked perfect.

I think you should try this easy fix instead of running with a leak. I would be so scared running a FD with a rad leak...
NEVER use Stop Leak, or any kind of leak fix in a bottle. These products might work short term but will ultimately hurt you in the long run. If you ever have to take that part or the system apart, you will have severely gummed up/clogged internals that can void any warranty possible on replacement parts. This goes for coolant, oil, power steering, transmission, head gaskets repair, etc. None of this stuff is a good idea unless you simply do not care about the car in the long run.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RENESISFD View Post
Supposibly koyos do not fit well with the SMIC's even aftermarket ones.

I paid extra money for a fluidyne because it was supposed to drop right in, well it did not. I hand to bend the rad outlet tube for it to clear my stock fans. I was pissed because I paid the extra money specifically for the reason it was to supposed to fit right in.



OP, used is fine, just make sure it is being purchased from a reputable seller and check for leaks before install. It is not rocket science.
I had the same experience with my Fluidyne radiator. After I modified my fans to fit, the radiator ended up having severe internal damage (used). I just purchased a Koyo N-flo afterwards and it has been working hard for almost 5 years now. The fitment was spot on and has not given me any problems.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Banzai-Racing View Post
We have installed Koyos in nearly every car that has come into our shop for the last 10+ years. Absolutely great radiator, I have the Koyo N-flow cooling my 20B, without any issues.
+1 Great radiator

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mrmatt3465 View Post
Koyo usually has Fitment issues. The best drop in replacement aluminum radiators are fluidyne or Ron Davis/mazdaspeed.
I've yet to see a Koyo fitment issue personally. They've all been bolt-in affairs. Have you personally had this issue? What usually causes a fitment issue?

Quote:
Originally Posted by GoodfellaFD3S View Post
Some shitty advice in this thread.

Do NOT use stop leak.

Do NOT buy a 20 year old used radiator.

Buy a Fluidyne, which will fit a stock car. New or lightly used. Do not buy a used Koyo.

Done.
I can agree with the first two points but would recommend a used Koyo just as much as I would a used Fluidyne. Just as Mahjik said below:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mahjik View Post
Just like any other component of the car, it's not the component but the seller. There are several sellers on this forum that I would purchase a used radiator from... However, there are many more I wouldn't.

If you don't have a seller you can trust, then buy a new one.
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Old 12-10-12, 01:58 PM   #24
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Thank You and I greatly appreciate ALL the valuable input.

I have 2 1993 RX-7s and I actually have a Koyo Aluminum radiator in my Montego Blue RX-7 which I purchased brand new in 2008 for $400.00.

To this day, I have not had any issues with the Koyo Aluminum Radiator at all.

I'm going to go ahead and purchase a brand new Koyo Radiator.
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Old 12-10-12, 02:02 PM   #25
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Sorry, should have been more specific. Sometimes posting from the phone leads to truncated replies .



P.S. John, I googled 'supposibly' and came up empty.....
I'll go with the phone excuse as well. Since you edited that part in later.
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Old 12-10-12, 02:02 PM
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