Need help selecting a replacement RADIATOR for 1995 Civic

Discussion in 'Civic' started by cyberten, Nov 2, 2005.

  1. cyberten

    cyberten Guest

    I have a 1995 Civic DX that needs a new radiator. I was hoping to do
    this myself to save some money. It is a 2-door model with automatic
    trans and A/C.

    1st question: OEM vs AFTERMARKET??
    How important is it to stick with an OEM radiator? My Civic has a
    Denso radiator that seems to be fairly costly to replace. Will an
    aftermarket radiator work as well?

    2nd question: PLASTIC vs. METAL and 1-ROW vs. 2-ROW??
    Assuming that aftermarket is an option...I've looked at various
    websites that sell radiators and it seems that the radiator can be made
    of plastic, plastic & copper, plastic & aluminum, all metal, or copper
    & brass. In addition, the radiators are available in 1-row or 2-row
    options (I'm assuming that 2-row is an upgrade). Can anyone provide
    information as to which is the best option?

    3rd question: Anything else that I should know?
    If you have any input or experience that you can share that would be
    helpful it would be appreciated. Is there a website that you purchased
    from that you would recommend? Any helpful hints?
    cyberten, Nov 2, 2005
  2. I bought one from this guy this spring and I am very pleased with it. I put
    it in my 92 accord.
    Trail Shredder, Nov 2, 2005
  3. cyberten

    jim beam Guest

    if you want ultimate quality, go oem. if you want reasonable quality,
    at a reasonable price, go aftermarket. but don't go too cheap.

    regarding materials, there's nothing intrinsically wrong with plastic.
    what that means is that you don't have any soldered joints, and that's
    good because soldered joints tend to creep & leak after a while. otoh
    plastic tends to crack after a few [~10] years, so it's your call.

    aluminum & copper are both options. theoretically, copper is better for
    heat transfer, but you won't notice the difference. likewise double
    row. provided you don't have any problems like the plastic shields
    under the front of the motor missing, your air flow will be adequate and
    ensure sufficient cooling. don't forget, factory rads are tested for
    cooling capacity in death valley, so if the factory rad cools ok, single
    row, you don't need to stress about double row.

    regarding cheap rads, they tend to be all metal and soldered. they're
    not great precision either. when i replaced my own rad, i scouted
    around a number of junk yards looking at the cheap aftermarket stuff and
    none of it impressed. i ended up buying a nissens rad from very high quality - easily the best
    aftermarket quality i've seen and a very close second to oem. good
    price too.

    jim beam, Nov 3, 2005
  4. cyberten

    Matt Ion Guest

    I recently replaced the rad in my '87 Accord with an OEM model from a
    wrecker. Only ran me $75.

    My first '87 Accord came to me with around 160,000km and the original
    rad; I wrote it off about 7 years later at 478,000km. It took the wife
    and kid and I from Vancouver to Chicago and back, AC cranking the whole
    way on one of the hottest summers on record (summer of '95). The next
    summer it took a buddy and I from Vancouver to San Francisco and back.
    All and a ton of other hard driving. In that whole time, the temp gauge
    never went past the 8 o'clock position (the dial goes from about 7
    o'clock to 11 o'clock).

    I'd say that's a pretty good testimony to the durability of the OEM units.
    Matt Ion, Nov 3, 2005
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