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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
alpine radiator (stripped to the bone)

I brought this up for discussion before, but I believe the intercooler radiator would be more efficient if it didn't have so much paint on it. If the metal was bare and exposed directly to the air current, I believe it would cool better than with all that thick paint insulating it.

I have nothing better to do on a Saturday, so I removed the radiator and chemically stripped it. It had so much paint on it, I had to strip it 4x. Already when I pick it up after hosing it off, you can feel the temp difference on the cool metal. The outside frame appears to be capable of being polished. The actual cooling fins (I hope are aluminum) look gray. My radiator was painted silver/gray by Alpine, so there's not a big color difference with it bare metal. They (the cooling fins) should be non-corrosive, so I'm going to see if they'll stay natural, and then I'm going to fine sand the frame, and rough polish it. I really believe this will make a difference with cooling, now that all that thick paint is off. It had to of insulated some of the heat within the radiator.

Back with a couple of pics. Time spent removing, stripping and polishing, about 2 hours. With the rhonda bodykit, you can see the radiator, so this is gonna' look better than paint.



 

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I noticed that about my radiator when I was installing it, that it was caked with paint.

Let us know how it holds up (in other words, if it's steel and it starts rusting, or if it's aluminum)
 

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Discussion Starter #3
The frame's definitely aluminum, pretty sure the heat dissapators are also. Drove it around yesterday, and put my hand on the radiator and the intercooler, and both were cool. I didn't have a before and after temp test, but they were both definitely cooler than when I checked them prior to stripping it. Even without measuring temps before & after, common sense says it's going to cool better than being covered in paint. I've never seen an oem radiator painted. I'll keep an eye on the finish and post back in a couple of weeks.
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Okay, no evidence of corrosion whatsoever on the liquid to air heat exchanger (basically the Alpine intercooler radiator). I just wish I had of stripped it sooner, or just asked Alpine not to paint it if I had of known better then. It's cooling more efficient, and looks better unpainted.
 

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bagpiper said:
Okay, no evidence of corrosion whatsoever on the liquid to air heat exchanger (basically the Alpine intercooler radiator). I just wish I had of stripped it sooner, or just asked Aline not to paint it if I had of known better then. It's cooling more efficient, and looks better unpainted.
KEWL!!! So, what kind of paint stripper did you use? What was the process? Obviously the fins are very delicate, so how did you get the paint off without damaging the fins?
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
I can't remember the brand of stripper my GF picked up, but I've used airplane/aircraft brand before, and it works good. Just make sure to get the spray one, and use it away from your cars etc, and not in the wind. I just layed mine flat on the driveway (I wet the driveway first so the residue wouldn't stick), sprayed two coats ensuring to get it between the fins. Waited about 4 -5 minutes and hosed it off with a hose nozzle set on a good narrow spray pattern to knock off all the loose paint between the fins. I then shook off all the excess water, and layed the radiator on top of of a portable fan in the garage facing up to dry it off. Dry it however you can, but make sure it's dry before you reapply the paint remover or it won't work. That's it. I did this 2x on both sides and the outer edges, hosed it all off and never had to use a tool or brush to get it out of the fins. There was a few heavy spots on the top and side of the outer frame that were so thick I took a paint scraper after the first coat of paint remover to remove the excess.

I wet sanded the frame with 320, then 800, and then polished it with a buffer just on the front where it shows (with my bodykit).
 

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bagpiper said:
I can't remember the brand of stripper my GF picked up, but I've used airplane/aircraft brand before, and it works good. Just make sure to get the spray one, and use it away from your cars etc, and not in the wind. I just layed mine flat on the driveway (I wet the driveway first so the residue wouldn't stick), sprayed two coats ensuring to get it between the fins. Waited about 4 -5 minutes and hosed it off with a hose nozzle set on a good narrow spray pattern to knock off all the loose paint between the fins. I then shook off all the excess water, and layed the radiator on top of of a portable fan in the garage facing up to dry it off. Dry it however you can, but make sure it's dry before you reapply the paint remover or it won't work. That's it. I did this 2x on both sides and the outer edges, hosed it all off and never had to use a tool or brush to get it out of the fins. There was a few heavy spots on the top and side of the outer frame that were so thick I took a paint scraper after the first coat of paint remover to remove the excess.

I wet sanded the frame with 320, then 800, and then polished it with a buffer just on the front where it shows (with my bodykit).
so you polished it by yourself? i didnt know how they did that
 
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