7 Reasons to stock Plastic Aluminum truck radiators

  1. Fitment- Better fit because plastic tanks mirror the complex OE shapes
  2. Better cooling
  3. Brazed aluminum lasts longer and endures more pressure cycles for a longer life
  4. Lighter in weight
  5. Strength- plastic tanks have superior design reinforcements that cannot be done in a stamped tank
  6. Less expensive- materials and methods on a volume basis keep production costs down
  7. Low warranty return rate- In modern trucks Tier 3 and up, the duty cycles cannot be upheld with copper brass radiator construction

Common radiator metals ranked by thermal conductivity

For the majority of automotive history copper brass radiators have been the used for many reasons including copper being the best conductor of heat. But copper is too weak for other parts of the radiator so an alloy of copper is used, brass (check the chart). In most radiator applications copper is used for the fins transferring a lot of heat which helps but holding all the brass and copper together is a solder alloy which is much lower on the heat transfer rank. Keep in mind that the poor conductor, solder is between all of the good conductive metals, slowing transfer. Solder is the weak link being a soft metal with a low melting point often failing first from metal fatigue(cracking). Also solder traditionally has a lead (Pb) content and it is well known to be a toxic heavy metal.

Only now in recent times has modern chemistry allowed inexpensive manufacturing methods to braze All Aluminum radiator cores. The cores are made up of different aluminum alloys, combining strength and heat transfer properties. Aluminum is a better conductor than brass. In other words, it is 100% aluminum conductor making its construction more efficient than comparable copper brass radiators with dissimilar metals.

Rank Metal Thermal Conductivity [BTU/(hr·ft⋅°F)]
1 Copper 223
2 Aluminum 118
3 Brass 64
www.metalsupermarkets.com/which-metals-conduct-heat-best

Since the very beginning copper and brass radiators have been a staple component of most cooling systems. Today you’ll still find copper and brass radiators in a variety of industries and applications. But as manufacturing designs and technology have improved, “Plastic Tank/Aluminum Core” product have become the original equipment industry standard as a quality replacement to the copper and brass product. In most applications they last longer, they’re lighter, and cost less money!

In the Heavy Duty Truck market, Northern Radiator has offered you a choice of copper/brass as well as a plastic/aluminum radiators to various truck models, and where it makes sense we will continue to do so. However, it’s very apparent that in many specific part numbers, applications, and working environments, Northern’s plastic tank/aluminum radiator is far superior in its performance, longevity and customer satisfaction with substantially fewer warranty situations.

Aluminum Copper Brass
Stronger metal - more resistant to pressure and damage Weaker metal
Core and headers are brazed as one solid piece, allowing uniform heat transfer - no solder Core and headers are soldered together, reducing heat transfer capability
Wider tubes provide better contact with fins for better heat transfer Smaller tubes mean less cotact with fins and reduces heat transfer
Core is thinner allowing better air flow, wider aluminum tubes provide greater surface contact with the fins, it can conduct heat more efficiently than the copper brass Core is thicker, which can impede air flow
Lower weight, 40-60% lighter- less stress on mounting points Heavier
All aluminum - less risk of corrosion Composed of dissimilar metals due to the solder, which increases risk of corrosion
Less expensive than equivalent copper brass by about half Up to double the price of aluminum
More durable and lasts longer in most environments Heavier and more vulnerable to vibration and self-destruction in certain applications
Most modern trucks are designed for aluminum radiators Most modern vehicles are not designed for copper brass, increasing the risk of galvanic corrosion

As the leader in the cooling industry it’s Northern Radiator’s obligation to provide you with only the highest quality product available for you to service your customer. The below listing shows the Northern plastic tank/aluminum core radiator that you should be selling, where you may have previously recommended a copper/brass product.

Northern Plastic Aluminum Products

PART #  MAKE/MODEL without Frame  OEM # PART # with Frame
238601 Int’l/Navistar ‘03-’07 8600, 8600i, 9100, 9100i, 9200, 9200i, 9400, 9400i, 9900i Series  2508454C91, 2508454C92, 3E0115430000 - - - - - - - -
238603 Freightliner ‘04-’06 Columbia, M2 with Mercedes Engine  BHTD0535, D0535, D9526 - - - - - - - -
238611 Freightliner ‘07-Newer Cascadia, Century, Columbia  3E01228, 1A0201190021, 0529617009 238684, 238709
238612 Freightliner ‘08-’13 M2, ‘08-’10 Cascadia, Sterling 9500 Series  1A0201220032, 052661922, 0527751066 - - - - - - - -
238617 Freightliner ‘04-’07 M2 Bus with Mercedes Engine  BHT91657, BHTD2342, D2342 - - - - - - - -
238632 Freightliner 07-’09 Cascadia  0526678001, 0526621001 - - - - - - - -
238638 Kenworth ‘06-’11 T660, ‘08-’15 W900, 2014 T880  N4020001, F3160881101120, F3160881105100 - - - - - - - -
238648 Peterbilt ‘08-’13 384 & 386; Kenworth ‘08-’14 W900  F3160921214310, M3265001, BHTH4102, H4102 - - - - - - - -
238652 Freightliner ‘08-Newer Columbia with PTO, Sterling LT 9500  1A0201220012, 3E0120460001, 3E11548 238746
238695 Int’l/Navistar ‘04-Newer 7300-7700 Series  286042C91, 2586039C91, 2507375C91 - - - - - - - -
238697 Int’l/Navistar ‘02-’07 7300-7700 Series  2586038C91, 1S180075, 2508431C91 - - - - - - - -
238698 Int’l/Navistar ‘08-’09 7300, 7400, 7500 Series  2591761C92, 1S180186, 3E113970000 - - - - - - - -
238759 Ford ‘94-’97 and ‘01-Newer L, LTL9000, Sterling, Silver Star, Freightliner 1300  F4HT8009FC, F4HT8009FB, 1040145 - - - - - - - -
239010 Freightliner ‘03-’10 Century Series, Coronado B5325, C8989, 75080,  BHTC8987 - - - - - - - -
239048 Mack ‘08 CHU Series, ‘08-’13CHN Series, GU Granite E Models, Volvo ‘08-’14 VHD Series  21504550, 85125540, 21593033 - - - - - - - -
239050 Mack ‘08-’10 Granite, Volvo VHD Series  S5751, S5589, Y8075, 85112703, 21504540 - - - - - - - -
239077 Freightliner ‘06-’09 M2, MC, MM Models  B9705, B9696, D9454, BHT74683 - - - - - - - -
239086 Freightliner ‘07 Columbia, ‘08-Newer Cascadia  1A0201190020, 3E0118600004, A0526615020 238685
239087 Freightliner ‘08-’13 M2 / 106 Business Class, ‘08-’09 Sterling Acterra  BHTT3152001, T3152001, S2726001, P4022001 - - - - - - - -
239089 Volvo ‘06-’08 VT, V2 Models  20517559, G5713, G5719, G0440100 - - - - - - - -
239123 Mack CX, CXN61; Volvo ‘97-Newer VN, VNL, VNM Models  8113190, 81493, 3MF5544M4, 3100801 239141, 239154
239142 Freightliner ‘02-’07 FLD, Century, Classic XL, Sterling 9500 Series  BHTA4727, V0225001, E3760, V0225100 - - - - - - - -