Restorations and "Recores"...what's the difference?

We are often asked by prospective customers to “just re-core my radiator.”  We do not just recore a radiator, rod out cores or hot tank a radiator in caustic chemicals.   These may be time saving techniques but they can damage, weaken or shorten the life of your radiator.  Furthermore, these terms suggest quick and easy fixes to fundamental problems, weak brittle metal, clogged tubes or compromised joints or seams.  Shortcuts invite problems and we don't want problems.  Instead we offer a thorough restoration service.

Our prices for this service are based upon time and materials. We place orders in a queue and restore as the work order comes up. Please allow ample time for the restoration of your radiator. Due to the unpredictable nature of used radiator parts (original top and bottom tanks, inlet and outlet fittings, etc.) and the passage of time on metal materials, we cannot guarantee the long-term structural integrity of your old parts but we will not use any compromised parts.

Our standard two-year warranty against solder joint leakage, as well as our two-year warranty on the materials and workmanship used in the construction of the new core still applies.

Radiator restoration is rarely easy and never quick.  Perhaps a better question is “what is the difference between a restoration and re-core?”  Our radiator restorations generally involve the following steps.

  • An estimate of the restoration time is made and the customer deposit is provided.
  • A visual inspection and physical test of the radiator to identify stress cracks in tanks
  • Dimension and dismantling the old radiator.
  • Surface cleaning  and further inspection of all parts for damage.
  • Parts straightening, dent removal and parts fabrication as needed
  • Core construction
  • Radiator assembly
  • Pressure testing for leaks
  • Testing the fit (if shell or mounting assembly is provided)
  • Painting or prepping for paint
  • Packaging the radiator in a custom foam filled box or customer crate suitable for return shipment


A typical question we are asked...I found another used 1948 radiator.  This rad is suppose to be in good working condition. 

Is this something I could send to you for you to "go through" or test.  I would hate to ship it all the way here and have an issue.  Would this be a more cost alternative option ? 

Our answer:

Every person selling a radiator says, "it seems in good condition."  It always makes us wonder why they're selling it.

You can certainly use a used radiator but it is 73 year old heat exchanger that has been heat cycled with corrosive fluids.  I can pressure test the radiator but the challenge is the repair to the affected area.  It is a challenge due to the  condition (brittle, fatigued, cracked, dented) of the metal, the cleanliness, and, of course, the ease of getting to the leaking areas.

We make a distinction between restoration and repair because we can be certain of a restoration when we dis-assemble every part, inspect and repair or replace. 

We also are selling our bill-able time and do not like to sell that time knowing full well that we cannot remedy all the issues facing aged formed metal.

Any other style of repair is a gamble with your money.  Its not something I generally want to do but I will do it if you need me to.