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 How to Measure A Radiator

Before measuring a radiator, or replacing a radiator it is important to determine which design you have. Radiators are constructed in one of two ways. The first is called downflow, while the second is considered a crossflow.

With a crossflow radiator, the overflow tanks are on the left and the right of the core and the coolant travels horizontally.

Conversely, with a downflow radiator, the overflow tanks are on the top and the bottom of the core and the coolant travels vertically.

Whether or not you have a downflow or crossflow radiator depends solely on the design of your vehicles' engine. Not one design is better than the other.

 
Cross Flow Radiator
A. Radiator Core Height
B. Radiator Core Width
C. Radiator Core Depth
D. Radiator Header Depth
E. Radiator Header Length
 
Down Flow Radiator
A. Core Height
B.
Core Width
 
Key
A. Radiator Core Height
As you can see from the diagrams, the core height is measured from top to bottom. On a downflow radiator, measure everything between the two tanks. On a crossflow radiator, measure only the core from top to bottom, excluding any brackets or metal.
B. Radiator Core Width
As you can see from the diagrams, the core height on is measured from top to bottom. On a crossflow radiator, measure everything between the two tanks. On a downflow radiator, measure only the core from side to side, excluding any brackets or metal.
C. Radiator Core Depth
The easiest and most precise way to measure the core depth (or thickness) is to insert a piece of wire between the fins of the radiator. Mark the wire and measure it for your core depth measurement.
D. Radiator Header Depth
As you can see from the diagrams, the header depth refers to the depth (or thickness) of the top of a crossflow radiator. If there is nothing blocking the view or reach of the radiator, simply measure the header depth (thickness) from the top of radiator.
E. Radiator Header Length
As you can see from the diagrams, the header length refers to the overall length of the top of a crossflow radiator. If there is nothing blocking the view or reach of the radiator, simply measure the header length from the top of the radiator.
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