Questions for those who have built cooling radiators

Hello All!
I am in the process of building a gas cooler for my gasifier. The engine is 5.8 (351w) Ford, thus there can be a lot of heat. Based on your experiences, I would like to hear your insight. I’m using 3"galvanized fence tubing with a large pipe for condensate at the bottom.

  1. Should the gas flow be baffled or should it essentially be one, continuous tube?
  2. Any pointers on what to avoid?
  3. Should additional fins be added to the tubes?


Hello Brit

60-70 foot of 2-3 inch tubing should be enough cooling rails for the V-8 motor.

I try to arrange my radiators so the gas runs through several pipes at the same time . ( I don’t use the continuous pipe )

I would make sure all pipes has access for cleaning .

Good ideas Wayne! Thanks!

If you want paint to stick you will need to treat the pipe. I’ve heard of using vinegar and muratic acid. I used 2 inch fence pipe but on the look out for EMT conduit for next build/replacement due to the weight. One uses what one has. Chris Saenz has a nice cooling rail check his out

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Good morning Brit.

On my latest radiator modification I followed Chris’s lead and made it modular .

Below is the thread showing the details.

Interesting. I’m looking at the 90 degree black elbows and trying to figure out what exactly they are. They look like a schedule 40, but then have rubber connections with clamps. Are these store bought or wizard made : ) ?

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Thanks Andy! Off to HD.

Interesting. I wonder if regular coats of zinc paint would be sufficient.

If I had it to do over, I would not paint the rails. Black absorbs heat from the sun, and a layer of paint in an insulator. Cooling rail function is very important to condense moisture and reduce the gas temperature before it hits the PVC pipe. Driving home from Argos, I had to limit the gasifier to maintain 200-210F at the PVC. If I can find some reasonable aluminum tubing, I will replace the thin wall conduit using the couplings Wayne mentions above.

I had a tractor that the radiator was painted silver it ran hot in the summer. so I took it to radiator shop to have it cleaned. They toll me it didn’t need cleaned, it just needed to be painted black. After being painted black there were no more over heat problems. I guess black draws heat but as air passes over it sheds heat a lot faster. maybe why all car radiators are black.

Hi Carl, what do you think of this to run to the engine? Rated 550deg.F, but sure bout the vacuum collapsing it.

Never saw that stuff before. It looks flexible and has a good heat rating… Do you think it would be air tight?