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MG MGA - Aluminium Radiators

My OE brass and copper core barely copes - anyone had experience of the chinese aluminium radiators being sold on Ebay ?
Thanks for looking
Roger Walker

Apart from some problems with the side fixing studs not in the correct position, they apparently work very well, with buyers experiencing much cooler running. There has been several threads on this.
Gary Lock

I have a 1950cc engine fitted in my MGA with a Chinese alloy radiator fitted and it runs at 180.0 degrees. The only problem I had is as Gary has said the side fixing holes were in the wrong place so I had the side plates removed and just oversized blank ones welded on and then cut and drilled to suit the body fixing holes.


Good advice - VMT
Roger Walker

Threads like this are like asking what oil to use. It has been documented 101K times that a MGA in oem condition will run with out overheating. Anything else is a band aid,find the problem and repair it.
gary starr

Mine works really well. The holes were slightly out. Cost about $200. I have an electric fan fitted on the front as well but haven't needed to use it.

A Bowie

I replaced my non-original tube and fin core with the original style V cell core....all my overheating problems instantly gone. The removed tube/fin core was not clogged up. You are also supporting local expert tradesmen. If we all just bolt on imported parts then these trades will die.
Garry Kemm

Total agreement with Gary and Garry. No 'Like' button so have to add the post just to agree! Bob West does a turn around service for your radiator. I understand it takes a couple of weeks from sending it to him to getting it back. Excellent recores and as Garry says all overheating problems instantly gone. I've had a Bob recore for some 15 years now after my original sprang a leak and never had any overheats. Most of the time it's almost run too cool, but sorted that out with a hotter stat.

Steve Gyles

Steve has an MGA that runs too cool! Wow.
H L Davy

Steve Gyles too cool? Is it any surprise?

An ex-RAF supersonic fighter-jet pilot, who coolly survives an ejector seat exit and probably much more we dont know about!

No wonder his MGA is too cool! :)

If Steve was on Top Gear he would be well up there on the "Cool Wall"


(Sorry Steve, hope it comes across that I am a fan)
Colyn Firth

Stevie is not the only cool dude. I have had to fit a radiator blind to achieve normal running temperatures in anything below 10C ambient temperature, in spite of having fitted a 82C stat.
Dominic Clancy


Professionally not cool, just very fortunate to be here. Some of it down to experience, some down to lady luck but perhaps not the forum to recount the details. But like Dominic I firmly believe that the original spec radiator in UK conditions will give you all the cooling you need without any add-on extras.

Steve Gyles

Hi All,
My 1500 with a modified 1800cc cylinder head running 10.1 compression ratio and a standard original radiator just chemically cleaned runs all, day long at 170 degrees.

Regards David

So many British cars running too hot from distributor timing just a tad too retarded. Advance mechanisms vary between years/models, but the symptom all the same when not advancing enough. Springs get stiff with age and things can get dirty. Also, of course, the advance can be working just as designed, except that the timing simply not set right. Then there are all the other causes for overheating...
S Cole

My 140bhp 1950cc motor runs pretty cool with its original cored radiator, twin electric fans and no engine driven fan at between 175 and 185 degrees.

However, my 5 year old grandaughter recently firmly reminded me that I am personally maybe not as cool as I thought I was!

We were jogging along at an adventure playground and she suddenly looked at me and said "My other grandad has a big belly!" So feeling a little superior I replied "Is it beer belly?"
She said "No, he doesn't drink beer".

So, even though I knew that he does actually drink the odd pint or two and expecting some kind of complimentary reply I asked her, "Do you think I have a beer belly?"

The first two words of her reply made me feel really superior, but the last four words brought me down to earth with a really big bump!

She looked me up and down and said "No grandad, you are just fat!"😂

5 year olds just say it as it is don't they!

Colyn Firth

This thread was discussed between 14/11/2016 and 01/12/2016

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