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OBS Cooling Power

by Scott Mason

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Let’s face it, few things are more annoying than a cooling system that can’t keep up. Our ‘92 C1500 has been LS swapped for some time now and the original 28”-wide radiator with dual electric fans from a Ford Windstar served their purpose as the engine evolved through different parts combos. After the bottom end was refreshed and a much larger cam and substantially looser torque converter were added a couple years ago, the little radiator setup just couldn’t keep its cool. 

After a bit of research, we decided to go with a brand new 34” wide radiator originally specified for a 454SS truck. With a core that is 1-1/4” thicker (2-1/4” vs 1”) and 6” wider, the 454 radiator is substantially bigger and looks giant in comparison to the old radiator. Our local Advance Auto had the new unit in stock (PN 431334) and we picked it up for a surprisingly low price.

With a core size that big, we realized that we had room to install two 16” puller fans with ease. Overkill? Probably, but we’re ok with that. We called up our guys at Holley and had them send us a couple SPAL 16” curved-blade high performance electric fans (PN 30102049). We’ve always heard rave reviews of SPAL products and were excited to try them out. These bad boys pull 2024 CFM a 20.5 Amps each, so we have no worries that we can keep our turbo LS setup cool, even with the AC blasting at rush hour.

To solve the mounting dilemma, our Google searches took us to eBay where we found a made-in-USA aluminum shroud from a seller by the name of Radiators4Less. As with most eBay purchases, we were skeptical, but the item arrived in perfect condition and the quality was top notch. Best of all, it fits the radiator core perfectly and was already cut out for dual 16” fans.

For less than $600, we were able to put together a great setup that should serve our needs very well. It’s not a fancy, expensive, polished aluminum radiator with custom mounts and wi-fi, but the price reflects that. We’ll keep you posted on the summer performance in upcoming issues.

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