Aluminium Radiators & Engineering Pty Ltd
Unit 11 / 60 Kremzow Rd
Brendale QLD Australia

Ph +61 07 32054620 Email

Horror Pictures

This section is does not exclusively apply to aluminium products, most of the pictures and information below is a result of badly maintained cooling systems (most of which have copper/brass radiators).
It doesn't matter if your cooling a Gen 3 (Commodore) or a A14 (Datsun) if you don't maintain your cooling system IT WILL COST YOU!!!

Don't let this happen to you!

It just takes a little more time and effort to properly care for you cooling system,
and it can save you lots of money and downtime.  For more infomation on how to properly car
for you cooling system please click here!

The most important information we can offer is to NEVER MIX INHIBITORS!!!
Always put the same inhibitor/coolant into the system, as what was previously there.  
Even the mixing of different inhibitors of the same brand can have disastrous consequences.

Mixing Inhibitors  |  Jammed Thermostats  |  Stray Current  |  New Product Flaws  |  Opposition Jobs
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Stray current & mixed inhibitors didn't give this VP Commodore much chance of a life.  The current was 0.09 of a volt, so I'm sure the mixed inhibitors did most of the damage in this case.  The new assembly we supplied the the mechanical workshop lasted 4 months, & no, they didn't have their warrantee claim allowed.  They didn't check stray current levels (max. 0.05v allowed) & didn't flush the engine/heater assy. properly.  Core manufacturers are really strict on this now.

Aluminium core

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The owners wondered why they had to keep stopping & let the engine cool on their holiday trip.  7 hours to cover 170 klm.  The tube circled is the only one in this 4/5 side of the core.

copper/brass core

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Rarely seen.Thank goodness.  This is an unusual mix of inhibitors, where they must have both (or more) deposited very heavy coatings on the water jacket walls, & when reacted, peeled of like a thick plastic coating.  The radiator came to us from a workshop so we didn't get to see inside the engine.  I bet it was a shocker !!


copper/brass core

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2 row core  fitted to a Ford telstar.  Apparently this recore was only 3 & a bit years old & possibly had 3 different inhibitors fitted during this period.   It was badly blocked, but was soft enough to be bayoneted out & clean up good.   If the engine was allowed to boil bad for a few times, the scale & sludge in the tubes turns rock hard, turning the core into a throw away.



copper/brass  core

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Big job! Hino truck was overheating on longer runs, so the owner pulled it out in his holiday.  More mixed inhibitors.  Not to bad but remember that even most tubes flowed water, the coating acts as an insulator to the ambient air.



copper/brass  core

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I can't remember seeing a worse core than this one

1989 Toyota Landcruiser 60 series diesel.

Was driveable, but only for 6 - 10 klms. at a time. Lady owner for the last 11 years. Shifted cities 3 times & used to get the vehicle serviced at local service stations. This engine is one major problem to clean out, & I reckon will have to be stripped & hot tanked, with all new hoses, heater, etc.

Apparently the head gasket is good & not supposed to be have contributed to the build up.



copper/brass core

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Datsun Stanza.  A yellow/orange baby poo sludge reaction from inhibitors here.  A sloppy sludge which indicates that it is a very recent reaction & has not had time to solidify & change to a darker colour, as is common occurrence.   Easy to bayonet out, & can be flushed out of the engine with a high pressure hose at this stage.


copper/brass  core

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Toyota Camry.

The result of mixing different brands of inhibitors - Oil didn't mix tough when headgasket check out - this is inhibitor only




Datsun 200B

  Mixed inhibitors - Yuck!
  And you thought it was filled out of a dam.  DO NOT MIX INHIBITORS!!!!




Ford Telstar

Something not often seen in aluminium cores - fin corrosion.
Fin corrosion and areas accelerated when tubes started weeping.  When fins corrode the strength of the core decreases which speeds the break down of the fins.





  Toyota landcruiser HZJ75 

  The scourge of the nineties cooling system.  STRAY CURRENT!!
In this case the inhibitor brand was mixed too.  We're talking a truck just under 3yr old.   We've seen a Barina radiator go within 7 weeks!!


  From another angle. Note that the core usually goes close to the inlet pipe, where the water flow is generally fastest (or highest volume of water flow per tube).



Holden CommodoreVR

  STRAY  CURRENT again. GM inhibitor had been used since new, but unfortunately NO inhibitor can stop the effects of stray current although we have noticed A few of the major brands definitely cut down on the voltage readings.


  R C Grieve had this 3rd owner Jaguar XJ140 in with water in the transmission.  The radiator had been recored previously (not by them) with a copper/brass core, but the stray current cause was not fixed -- BIG MISTAKE. mucho dollars now for a trans.  We could weld the oil cooler good though, saving some money.






Blow hole in cast tank - brand spankers


  Ground holes out to fill with TIG weld.  Repair like this makes that area better than new.



  Casting slag in tank - brand spankers. next stop when this broke off would've been into the engine!! We double check everything,




  Mazda Econovan had a thermostat jam shut. when the engine boiled & the thermostat finally opened, the pressure behind it had built up that much, it created a pressure wave that did this damage. The rubber seal on the radiator cap had also swollen & this stopped the cap from releasing in time when the wave traveled down the top hose & into the tank. Periodic maintenance would've prevented this!! If the cap is sticking after you've turn it & try to lift it, have a look at rubber seal washer & if it looks swollen, replace it.




Here's a Toyota Hi Ace van with the same problem,but less catastrophic results. In the lower picture, notice how the header plate has bowed up a bit like a football. It takes some pressure to do this. It also weakens the tube to header plate joint, shortening the life of the radiator considerably, after we repair it. The only way to do a proper repair is to sweat (I did put knock but though it didn't sound professional) the header plate off & do a rebuild on the top of the core, which involves soldering around every tube. Allot of work & in most cases a core is getting too corroded to be worth the expense of a rebuild.



  Toyota Corolla really popped it's lid. Once again, the washer under the radiator cap was swollen.



 results of mixing inhibitors


  Ford Corsair (Nissan Pintara) with a blown headgasket.  We didn't even have to put the pressure tester on to get this to happen. Driven until it ground to a halt - on the freeway - 110KPH.



  Toyota Corolla with a blown headgasket. I'm sure the blocked radiator caused the headgasket to go. This is from mixed inhibitors over the years.






Peugeot 504 radiator. Lady came in complaining it took her 4 hrs. to travel down the coast (80k's) & 6 hrs. home. No wonder!



  Close up of blocked tubes. Caused by both mixing inhibitors & going for a while with no inhibitor. Sludge type build up from mixing inhibitors, chunks of alloy from no or weak inhibitor mix (or different brands conflicting to nullify protection).





  Holden Commodore VH 6cyl. air conditioned. This is purely the result of mixing brands of inhibitor, in this case giving a dry build up (not oily). Looks like it's been filled from a farm dam a few times eh!

  If you own a pre VN Commodore & it's air conditioned, you should have a 3 row radiator (3 rows of tubes thick) like this, as they came from the factory. If you only have a 2 row core (from new) then the dealer fitted the air conditioning, not bothering to fit the proper radiator - this is why it was often cheaper than the factory option.





  Mitsubishi L300 Express that had it's inhibitors mixed over the years The deposits built up in the radiator, lead to the demise of the headgasket from constant overheating. Once the engine has a little boil, this accelerates the build up as it scours the scale & sludge in the engine.





   Ford Falcon EL 6 cyl. This is predominately mixed inhibitors, but also casting sand from out of the block.  Very bad in the EA, common in the EB, & still not fixed in the EL model,Some companies are so slow to react to a problem. It gave us allot of work though - upset allot of high mileage drivers who had problems every 60 to 90,000 klm's.




   Mazda 323 that mixed inhibitors.






  Late model Toyota Landcruiser HZJ 75. Came in leaking due to Stray Current, but also typical early stages buildup of grass,seed,bur & feathers, normally found on vehicles doing off road country work.

  A gauze mesh behind the grille & wrapping under the radiator is a good prevention of this. The radiator / air condenser / oil cooler - s / intercooler, should be blown & cleaned out periodically.

  Remember that gauges in modern cars are slowed down & do not react as quick as the temperature can build up under load.





  This is what our floor can look like after we've machine power flushed the engine / heater assy's of the above cars. Remember that at least 80% of the sediment gets washed into our drain & so into the catch sump, so this is less than 20% of what came out of the engine!





  Another car, same story. We see this at least every fortnight, & we're only a small shop!




 Close up of Scale & deposits out of engine!






  Yet another blocked core. This one is mostly from long periods without inhibitor & when it was fitted, probably with a different brand



  Close up of above pic.  Dramatic eh!



   This is the floor after we had reversed machine power flushed the engine & heater of the above radiator.





  Closer pic of the above & a little different angle.



  Closer again, the lumps of scale are really visible now





This is one of our OPPOSITION'S intercoolers. He couldn't afford for us to make the tanks in the first place, but after picking the unit up, came back to us to make the mounts & bead the pipes.

  No matter how cheap you get an intercooler made, There is ABSOLUTELY no excuse for not BEADING the PIPE ENDS. None at all. Even at a low pressure, the hose will compact under the force of the clamp,& with time, becomes loose, allowing the pipe to BLOW OFF. Give a company like this a miss, because if they make the basic of basic mistakes, what else do they stuff up??

  The tanks being sharp rectangular box shape,hurts the charge distribution through the core, especially at low boost - no boost, which means that light throttle driveability suffers noticeably. At high boost it is much less a problem, but I've never seen  any Indy, IMSCA, GTP etc. cars with intercooler tanks shaped like this!!

  Welding like this is probably more a cosmetic problem, it may never crack / leak, but it also tells you the business hasn't any TALENT or PRIDE. to let this sort of a product out the door!






  Here's a different OPPOSITION shops work.  $3000.00 was paid for this Intercooler / radiator assy.  (not fitted). It is in an AE80 corolla / 3tgue turbo fwd. - awesome.


Once again, it probably won't leak / crack, but it shows that businesses complete lack of  KNOWLEDGE, TALENT , PRIDE & ETHICS to let products like these out the door!!!  They really shit me!! Please have a look & give some thought to the products previously made by a shop, before laying your money down.

  There are a number of shops doing good work & a few doing great work, so choose carefully & it will definitely pay off.


This has been a nightmare job for us. I made a small mistake ordering the core initially, we made another small mistake fitting the bottom tank to the header plate (tapped it on a bit too far & didn't notice we dented the outside 7 -8 tubes). We also made the cutout for the spring hanger a little to small & had to enlarge it.  When the radiator was tested the outside tube leaked, the next two tubes weeped.

I always strive to sell a product that I want to buy myself - as close to perfection as possible. That radiator was SCRAPPED & now will be used for display only. 3 solid days & nights work & a $600.00 (at cost) core down the shute.

  Too top it off, it's not keeping the rod cool enough.  The engine   has one or more internal problems (one of which I 'm sure is high static compression - I since found out the engine was built for atmo tunnel ram), opening the 160 deg, thermostat within a minute idling. The pulley ratio has been changed as well.   13deg. difference. between 2400 revs 2nd. & 1900 revs. 3rd gears, both on light throttle.

This Radiator is at least 70% more efficient than what was in the car before, but even though it's heaps better, it's still not able to do the job under these circumstances. We'll post the engine results when we get them.

  Unfortunately, occasionally,  Shit happens!!

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Aluminium Radiators and Engineering Pty Ltd (ARE Cooling)
 While every effort is made to ensure details and information is correct at time of publishing Sunday, 05 August 2012
please contact ARE by phone, fax or email to confirm prices before order