can i use a car radiator in my water loop?

jvinsnes

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I did research quite a bit before asking this, but could not find a concrete answer. sorry If this has been asked multiple times, but please do not send hate comments. I am wondering if a car rad would do the job just as good a normal pc rad. Fitting the tubes is not a problem, as the car rad i have got the same fittings as the other parts i am going to use in my water loop. The only problems would be where and how to mount it. Also, i have no idea of how to mount fans on it... maybe a 240mm fan and some duct tape? Its 280x280x2cm. I do not know if this is overkill or if it even competes with normal pc rad. So, can i use a car radiator in a pc waterloop?
 

atomicWAR

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If the Rad is big enough you may be able to skip fans...I have done passive water cooling in the past with good luck. I have helped other folks do exactly what your asking and it does work when implemented properly. Put a pic up of the Rad so I can help you more.
 

USAFRet

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Yes but....

Differing materials?
Is your pump strong enough for that length of pipage?

A car radiator is pretty large. Maybe one from a motorcycle instead?

Lastly, unless for just the hobby factor...what are you looking to achieve with a car rad vs a regular PC size rad?
 

Karadjgne

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A rad is a rad, it's just the cooling agent, so yes it'll work no worries. You could use a transmission cooler or motorcycle rad if you wanted, all you need is fans and fittings.

As to fans, it's a 280x280mm rad, so 4x 140mm fans will fit just fine, you could use zip-ties or other such to attach them.

As to mount, personally I'd mount the rad to the side panel using 1" standoffs. Using the fans in pull config. That'll keep the rad pretty much out of sight, but still provide a single unit.
 
An automotive heater core might be a more reasonable choice. They come in a variety of sizes and materials. Automotive aluminum radiators have a "sacrificial" zinc anode in them since assorted metals are almost always present. The Zinc corrodes first to save the other metal parts in the cooling system.
I would expect that the pump wouldn't be powerful enough to force the water through all of the coolant tubes in the radiator since there are so many, and they are spread out over a larger distance.
 

Karadjgne

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I thought about that, but the coolant tubes are considerably larger diameter, so I figure that flow rates from a D5 or similar would be considerably slowed, while volume is increased. Get a lot less resistance per tube per inch. Maybe even use D5's in tandem.
 

USAFRet

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True, but we're talking about a car radiator.
Even a small rad in a small car might be 26" x 15" (660mm x 380mm)
Quite a bit larger than 280 x 280.
 
Realistically a larger radiator still won't cool below ambient temperature. It's a case of diminishing returns. The effort would be better spent on a Peltier assisted water loop. Even then condensation will become a problem before very long.
 
no benifit at all here.this is a case of massive overkill.even if your pump can handle the sheer volume of coolant(and it most likely cant),why would you need this?not to mention having a freaking car radiator in your room.then there is the problem of inlet and outlet sizes.try going from 1 3/4 inlet and outlet sizes to your pump?this is not hate at all,but merely a word of caution.cheers
 

jvinsnes

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the pump has more than enough power for the whole loop. i only have this radiator and dont want to spend much more... the radiator (aluminium) normally cost 600 USD, but i got it free from my dad :) my cpu is thermal throttling with 100c and i am hoping to be able to overclock with this loop
 

jvinsnes

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the inlet/outlet has 9 or 10 mm outer diameter, and is not a problem
 

USAFRet

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What CPU is this, what is the current cooling situation, and it is currently overclocked any?
 

jvinsnes

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the cpu is currently an old school/work cpu (no oc) that i am looking to upgrade and it is using a small heatsink with 2 fans that flips up when i open the case. i am not quite sure if i am going to buy a new pc, upgrade my current, use my gaming laptop (alienware m17xr3) or something else, but i am definitively want to have water cooling (on low budget). this is the rad btw: https://imageshack.us/i/pnzDbe6Jj
 

The Paladin

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and the sentence comes to mind ... " that's not radiator.... THIS is a radiator..." you could use a water pump external to the system to push that much water around.... maybe you could consider a smaller version like a lawn mower radiator...
 
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USAFRet

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Well...if it is hitting 100C with whatever stock fans are on it, then something is wrong with the stock fans.
Either not installed properly, or no thermal paste, or whatever.

Can you use a car radiator? Sure.
But aside from the hobby/cool factor, you'll get no real performance benefit over a regular PC cooler.

And we still don't know what CPU it is.
 

jvinsnes

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i just discovered that the fans dont even spin at all... lol. sorry for not telling the cpu name, but i really dont know. all numbers and such is washed away and i cant boot it (missing hdd at the moment) to check
 

USAFRet

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And that is why it is getting too hot. Not because of the lack of a HUGE radiator.
 

jvinsnes

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I understand that now, but i am still going to setup water cooling with my car rad and maybe upgrade my system a bit . just if you wondered, i payed a total of 11 usd on ebay for all components for the loop. maybe i will update this thread about how it went out after i get my parts as it was VERY cheap :)
 

USAFRet

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Sure.
As said earlier...as a hobby project, this is fine. Just don't expect magic.

And for your current lack of hard drive to see what the actual parts(CPU) are...a Linux USB or CD would do the trick.
 

atomicWAR

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Wow I missed a lot. Yeah other water cooling car rad builds i helped on have all been hobby projects. Most have turned out pretty good but as I saw other posts there are some issues to be careful of...Pump strength, using all aluminum, cooling capacity, etc. On the pump strength note, others who have done this I have helped, use dual pumps in serial. One builder put a pump on each side of the rad while another opted for a more typical pump to pump set-up. If I remember correctly the guy who put a pump on both sides of the rad had better cooling results; however, the rads were not identical nor were the water blocks so a direct comparison may not be the most accurate. Point being if you rad is big/long a dual pump set up may not be a bad idea.
 
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