We installed a new Flex-A-Lite Extruded Core radiator and twin electric fans in a 1971 Oldsmobile 442. While Flex-A-Lite made this kit specific for doing LS swaps in the 68-72 Chevrolet Chevelle, this is perfectly adequate for cooling small-blocks and big-blocks. Many probably know that the Chevelle is part of the GM A-body family. The GM A-bodies for 1968 to 1972 were the Chevrolet Chevelle and SS (Super Sport), the Oldsmobile Cutlass and 442, the Buick Skylark and GS (Grand Sport), and the Pontiac Lemans and GTO. While these first-cousins do have some differences, they have more similarities. Also, Flex A Lite makes radiator and fluid coolers for just about any application.
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Flex A Lite Extruded Core Radiator Features
Our 442 will soon receive an LS swap; however, for the time being, it’s keeping the Olds Rocket powerplant. Installing the Flex A Lite extruded core radiator is very straightforward and requires very little fabrication. This radiator came with an aluminum radiator top plate that probably bolts right up to the Chevelle. Oldsmobiles are just a bit different, so it requires some light fabrication. We opted to modify the stock radiator plate, so it would still retain an original appearance. Sure, you can quickly and easily see the new Flex-A-lite aluminum radiator, but it still gives it a retrofit look.
The extruded core design dissipates the heat much quicker and more efficiently. Twin electric fans move 4,600 CFM of air, cooling just about anything. Choosing this setup at over $1,000 is not cheap, but what’s more important than cooling your engine? We’ve been testing this Flex A Lite setup for months now without any issues. The fans come on about 180F and they go off a few seconds later when idling. While it does eat into your budget, we can’t help but recommend the Flex A Lite product that’s built in the USA, cools like an igloo, and looks good too.