EXCLUSIVE! This radiator comes with a correct 5-7 pound radiator cap for your Spridget. All other imported aluminum radiators we've seen are sold with a 15PSI cap which will stress any weak links in your cooling system and may result in antifreeze leaks. This radiator, however, is sold with the right cap to match the original pressure rating for your car. If you are shopping for a radiator, make sure you have the right cap pressure or you risk blowing out your cooling system.
This is a 2 row radiator. Whether two or three row, this is the radiator I use on my personal car Gumby and my wife’s car Iris and also the radiator that we used on Ducky for a 948 powered 4000 mile cross country trip. None of these cars have overheated, and in particular Ducky with a little 948 engine climbing the continental divide was still running cool without overheating. We have tested this particular product in harsh conditions and found it be a great product so it is recommended for any Spridget.
I encourage you to get an aluminum radiator for your Sprite. It's one of the best upgrades you can make, for both your car and for your peace of mind. If you've ever been out on a hot day and been distracted (and stressed) by a rising temp gauge, you'll appreciate the fact that a new radiator will obliterate any temperature worries once and for all.
Original Bugeye radiators are getting pretty old these days and their cooling efficiency is generally somewhat diminished. Even after a good flushing, the capillary tubes are usually somewhat coated with deposits and so they don't cool like they did when they were new.
Air in the original Sprite cooling systems (unlike sealed modern designs) contributes to corrosion and reduced efficiency. Aluminum radiators just work better. They offer superior heat transfer. They are particularly useful if you've upgraded to a bigger engine, as more HP=more heat. We have sent more than 200 Sprites out into the world and many have been fit with our aluminum radiator. It has been really nice to take cooling off the table as an issue for those customers-there is no such thing as too much cooling on a classic British car.
You'll notice we are not huge fans of electric cooling fans. We have found these to be wonderful for slow speed parades or in traffic but in most cases, they seem to block air flow at speed and REDUCE radiator efficiency. We feel that the best line of defense is the best radiator with an upgraded engine driven fan.
We have tested this particular aluminum radiator, I use it on Gumby, my personal Bugeye. It's is a nice product with which we have had great success. If price is your primary concern and you want improved cooling, go with this choice. A nice affordable upgrade to this radiator, would be to upgrade the stock plastic plug to a metal version. Although not necessary, this metal plug is a nice addition to our aluminum radiator and can be purchased here: upgraded metal drain plug
When changing your radiator, make sure your bypass hose and water pump are in great shape-these are the weakest links in the system and we change them proactively whenever we change a radiator, to restart the clock on these components. Consider changing these parts when you remove the radiator to swap it for an aluminum one-order a spare!
If you would rather stick with an original style radiator click here:
NOTE 1: Your Sprite operating temp should run at about 180 degrees (or less). It may climb to 200 in traffic, sometimes a little more. Temp gauges are sometimes inaccurate, best to check with a handheld IR thermometer to confirm accuracy.
NOTE 2: We use regular 1/2 inch heater hose for our bypass hoses as this material is much stronger and more durable than the accordion bypass hose that is commonly fit. If you have trouble getting such hose to fit, the accordion type we sell is easier to install and also a good choice.
NOTE 3: After you install your radiator, make sure to confirm that the top of your radiator is not hitting your bonnet. In some situations, particularly if your car has old crash damage, your radiator may sit a little too high and can dent your nose if you don't check inside the wheel well to make sure you have an air gap between the top of your radiator and your bonnet. If you do have this problem, you may need to put a spacer between the uprights and bottom of the radiator as well as a spacer on the top bolts to slightly tilt it.
NOTE 4: Occasionally there are problems with the temperature probe for your gauge not seating well with this radiator, thus causing leaks. We see this on a fraction of the cars we install these in, but if you're a lucky one who is experiencing this problem then you need the temperature probe adapter with the sealing washer.
NOTE 5: Every Bugeye Sprite that we’ve ever seen has had some form of front end damage and if the frame horns get bent the radiator support towers will also bend which can sometimes lead to radiator fitment issues. When installing, you may have to bend cut weld drill elongated and or otherwise fabricate a solution if the previous damage is fairly bad, but in most cases, this is unnecessary.
When installing a new radiator, consider replacing the hoses, found here