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Paul has lost his cool .. in a manner of speaking

• CATEGORIES: Builds, Features, News, Reader Stories • TAGS: .

Paul continues to make progress on his Stainless M-38.  However, he recently ran into a problem getting the radiator he needs.

He needs some ideas or suggestions.

I’ll let him explain:

Paul writes, “I’ve run into a bit of a problem with my perpetual Willys project and I need information and ideas.  I ordered a brand, spanking new radiator from KaiserWillys for the Buick odd fire engine I installed in my M38 thinking this was the best way to prevent overheating and additional problems down the road.  Boy, was I wrong!

The KaiserWillys catalog lists the Buick 225 radiator as being 17 inches high, 21 and 7/8 inches wide and 1 and 1/2 inches thick which is just about the perfect size for the space available under the hood.  Just to make sure I checked their online site and discovered a cautionary note mentioning this radiator could be either 17 inches or 22 inches wide and I was to let them know which width I needed.  To avoid any misunderstandings I called KaiserWillys and, after confirming the 17″h X 21 7/8″ w X 1 1/2” t, I placed an order for a radiator.  I even called back after I ordered it just to confirm the dimensions.  As I mentioned in a previous email I was told the radiator wouldn’t be done until the end of Feb. (I ordered the radiator the 15th of Feb.) and I was very surprised and pleased when the UPS guy delivered the radiator the afternoon of Feb. 19th.  The next day I carefully removed the radiator from the box and placed it into position.  Not only didn’t the radiator fit but the radiator cap was about 5 inches above the level of the hood.  Not good at all.

How’d they mess that up?

The radiator was 21″ high, not the needed 17″ so I called KaiserWillys again and it turns out the dimensions listed in their catalog, the dimensions listed on their web site and the dimensions they gave me over the phone are all wrong.  Not only did the radiator have to be sent back but Mike told me they won’t deal with radiators for the Buick 225 engine and he was sorry but he knows of no source for this radiator.  I’m not trying to pin the blame on anyone, I just want to find a this radiator which will fit my Jeep and allow me to attach an electric fan on the engine side without hitting the waterpump pulley.

My questions to you are

1. do you know the original size of the CJ5 radiator with the Buick V6 and did the Jeepster (Commando actually I guess) use the same size radiator?

2. Do you know where I might be able to purchase a used radiator (new would be better but I don’t think that will happen) even if it needs to be recored?

I realize I could notch the front crossmember and move the radiator forward (after trimming the shroud) but I’ll save this as a last resort.  The chances of me finding an original V6 powered Jeep here in the Great White North are pretty slim but I’m going to look anyway.”

My ideas

I told Paul that I ran a Pinto radiator with a buick 225 in my first Jeep.  I’ve also found some new radiators for sale for various 1980s buick cars. Here’s what I wrote Paul, “I found some other options using  I searched for ‘buick v6 radiators’. Here’s a radiator for a buick regal that is $89.  It is an aluminum 20-3/4 x 16-7/8 x 1-1/4, 1 ROW (and I’m assuming that is 20-3/4 wide, which isn’t safe to assume as you well know).

Anyone else have ideas?

While you think about it, you can marvel at more of Paul’s handiwork – A table made with stainless legs and Ancient Kauri wood, along with a wall hanging from the same wood.  About it he writes, “Naturally the table legs are fabricated from stainless in a truss pattern.  Each leg is made up of 30 individual parts (not counting the attaching hardware) and by the time I was all done fitting and filing these parts I’d spent 78 hours just making the legs.  The wood took many more hours because ultrafine sanding is necessary to get the best grain activity>  After sanding the wood to 1500 grit I applied numerous coats of clear marine varnish (Interlux 95), wet sanded the varnish to 3000 grit and then finished it off by hand polishing the varnish.”


8 Comments on “Paul has lost his cool .. in a manner of speaking

  1. jon

    he might try some place like JEGS, or SUMITT for an all aluminum rad. lots of sizes for the racers just a thought

  2. Dan

    Well I got off my lazy seat warmer and measured the radiator. It is out of a 1968 Commando. The height is roughly 21.5 inches or 22.25 inches to the top of the cap. The width is about 22.125 inches.

  3. Oswald

    Wow that’s some detail work on a natural surface of the wood.

    The uncut parts are even harder to deal with than the cut surfaces.

    Looks like lot’s of time. Very Nice.

    Paul, You Are Into It!

  4. Paul in Alaska

    I’d like to thank everyone for their help in finding a radiator for my Willys project. I’m trying to find a reasonable cooling solution and your help is much appreciated.

    Stay warm and have fun

    Paul in Alaska

  5. Pingback: Paul is finally chillin’ | eWillys

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