Alloy radiators?

What are the thoughts on alloy radiators (Chinese?) offered everywhere for a Mk2, worth it? reliable? any better than std? I have my original radiator and a much better looking one I bought cheap at the Beaulieu swop meet, or buy an alloy one for better cooling?

Same for the fan, original, electric or both?

Pat UK based but would use the car in Europe one the French fishermen calm down!

I had one , only reason I went back to a Jaguar one , was the top hose out let was diffrent on the replacment engine , so had a new up rated core fitted , so more or less a new rad , £270 I think it was , last time I looked SNG want about £700 for a new rad .

So the £140 odd plus import duty , is a no brainer really , if your not worried about originality .


I have had an aluminum rad in my mk2 for 10+ years, not sure if it was Chinese made or from XK’s I can’t remember. It works perfectly and with my setup actually overcools on cold days. For the first time in many years the car is in a cold climate and it’s started slightly leaking, so I think the expanding and shrinking from temps has created tiny leaks in the aluminum but it’s so old I can’t complain. I run an aluminum radiator with no shroud or mechanical fan, a 16" SPAL fan on the front of the radiator, and a number of other cooling mods, and the engine never breaks 75-80*C even driving hard on hot days.

Our is a UK car also – only time heat is an issue is hot weather stop start traffic or similarly, after a motorway run (warm/hot day) then stuck in usual UK motorway traffic queue.

We have a standard set up except for a Spal 8” auxiliary fan in front of the rad – the rad is standard (recored 15+ years ago) and we have ensured we sealed around the rad-to-body and the ‘D’ plate is in place. The auxiliary is permanently wired (straight to battery with an inline fuse) and controlled by a sensor set at 80’ in the top hose (can be / might be better in lower hose – just easier for me to fit in top hose.) Being permanently wired the fan will run on after ignition off – seldom has it run for more than 10 minutes or so – the Spal item is very low draw (3 amps I think) and continuously rated.

Also, to state the obvious, use green or blue coolant, mix 30% to deionised water and change this every 2 years with a bottle of ‘Water Wetter’ thrown in. Images show the sensor and fan in place.

P.S. Excuse the pizza.

In my 3.8S I run a standard radiator, with a Hayden pusher 16" fan in front of the radiator plus the engine driven fan. The electric fan is controlled by a thermo switch which looks like a large nail pushed in through the shroud toward the upper fins. There is a potentiometer to set the kick on temperature, which is usually about 3 needle widths above 70C on the gauge. It is wired to run after shut down to ventilate the engine bay and reduce fuel percolation and fuel smells. It cycles on and off a few times after a hot weather shut down. Has never caused the battery any issues.

I fitted an aluminum radiator made in the UK by Alicool. I haven’t got the car running since ( almost… almost…) so can’t comment on its efficiency.

It was however a really good fit. It was also available black powder coated so it fits in really well. So much lighter than the original.

The service was personal and excellent. They spend some time working with me on getting a solution to the remote drain tap. It wasn’t part of their original design/ manufacture but using some parts to model with, measurements and pictures from me you should now be able to order one with the outlet port for that at the right angle. Mine as you can see point straight out at 90degrees.

They also supplied it to me with an optional heat sensitive switch for my pusher fan.

List price on the website is £564 inc shipping and tax. I think I paid £500




If you want any type of Jaguar radiator matrix in UK, then use NAR at Northampton, post code NN5 6PB. Usual disclaimers.

They produce radiators up to about 20 foot square, and also supply Jaguar /Rover directly today. From my experience of automotive engineering with manufacturers over the years, I believe they have the only radiator matrix plant in the UK.

They will produce you a radiator to suit your needs with the correct Jaguar top and bottom tanks at sensible prices.

Tip:- Forget Alloy, get a standard radiator with extra depth and some spare BSP threaded adaptors, with blanks in each end of the top tank. These BSP ports will be very useful if you every need to check pressures or flow.

Norman G

I had mine re cord by Regal Rads - Top Quality Car Radiator Servicing
First class job

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