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Griffin Radiator - Junk

Posted: Thu Jun 30, 2016 3:44 pm
by SWAMPHUNTER45
When we built my boat 2 years ago Griffin Radiator made a custom radiator for me. I communicated with them several times and outlined my engines needs and disclosed that this was for an airboat. We completed a sketch and within 10 days received my custom radiator. We had been happy with the job it did up until recently. It seems that recently we were finding coolant on the deck of the boat. A few tablespoons usually at cool down. So this began the process to find the source of the leak. What I discovered is that Griffin uses a compound much like polymer around it's tubes and tanks. This unfortunately is a poor design idea and renders this custom rather pricey $ radiator a piece of disposable junk!

My advice to you would be to avoid Griffin Radiator and look to purchase an all welded design from another manufacturer.

Re: Griffin Radiator - Junk

Posted: Thu Jun 30, 2016 5:53 pm
by Waterthunder
I have seen every high dollar radiator fail prematurely. I have seen some of my old boats from 5, 10 ,15 years ago still running the same radiator. I put Wade at Hamant onto this brand. They are 100% aluminum ZERO epoxy,,, HOWEVER DISCLAIMER I RUN DISTILLED WATER IN ALL OF OUR INSTALLS WITH DEXCOOL ANTIFREEZE. City water will kill a radiator especially when electrolysis is present.

Re: Griffin Radiator - Junk

Posted: Thu Jun 30, 2016 8:01 pm
by hdsadey
Which brand Water? Or is this a guessing game? lol

Re: Griffin Radiator - Junk

Posted: Thu Jun 30, 2016 10:27 pm
by SWAMPHUNTER45
Dave we used distilled water and ran the new orange Dex coolant hence the orange tint in the picture.

I think the thing that really led me to post this was there is more to the story beside a poor design using epoxy. When I called looking for help the woman who answered the phone before seeing pictures or learning any facts states that the only reason their epoxy would fail is if it is overheated! Insinuating I cooked it which if anyone knows the boat and my engines they know the hottest that radiator has seen is 195 at the most. So after I send pics that disproved her overheat theory she tells me that the radiator is not an airboat radiator blah...blah...blah! This after 2 years prior I call these pricks and tell them I need a top shelf radiator for my airboat. You cant make this stuff up, avoid Griffin or you too will learn the hard way!

So I am not the only guy who has not had the best experience. There is another Southern Airboat poster A1Mudpuppy who ordered their new "HEAVY DUTY AIRBOAT RADIATOR" $700 for his boat. This thing weighs about 50 pounds and is made of plate and box like tubing. He installs it to cool his 519 cubic inch engine and this radiator could not shed heat to save it's life. The boat ran so hot he had to take it off and purchase another radiator.

No way to manufacture a product and worse yet to treat the client like a liar!

What brand you recommending Dave?

Re: Griffin Radiator - Junk

Posted: Fri Jul 01, 2016 8:03 am
by scottyroll
Erik, that sucks that you put a considerable amount of effort into explaining to Griffin what you wanted and the final product didn't end up fitting the bill when it was all said and done.

However, I put a low dollar griffin radiator on my first CM Boat and it did fine even though I thought it might be too small when it first showed up.

I've heard of people having mounting issues which ended up leading to cracking radiators and that poly stuff would probably be the weak point in such a situation

I imagine you put quite a bit a bit of consideration into the mounting apparatus just like you did with all the other details of this build but just wanted to share my thought.

Re: Griffin Radiator - Junk

Posted: Fri Jul 01, 2016 8:58 am
by Bdriller
Jmo but properly mounted makes a world of difference in longevity.

Re: Griffin Radiator - Junk

Posted: Fri Jul 01, 2016 9:21 am
by SWAMPHUNTER45
Blu and I set it up with rubber vibration isolators so I don't know what more I could do to improve on the rigging job.

Maybe it is the engine harmonics.....joke

Re: Griffin Radiator - Junk

Posted: Fri Jul 01, 2016 9:39 am
by Waterthunder
I have seen Griffins, CR, Howe and Ron Davis all fail quickly. To the point the lifespan average is only around a year. It doesn't matter what you do on the epoxy ones most will go bad even when you run distilled water and dexcool. What I was saying is if you use city water they will have problems even quicker. However if you use a all aluminum radiator make sure to run the distilled water and dexcool and 5 plus years is the average life span! Dont even get me started on how many radiators are mounted to ridged or close to the prop. The number one killer of radiators is when they are mounted on the prop side of the rear engine stand legs. I know of people who had this and went thru radiators quicker than they changed oil. After one customer had 4 or 5 failures in a year and a half I moved the radiator infront of the rear legs and so far 5 or 6 years later ZERO problems an still running the same radiator.

Re: Griffin Radiator - Junk

Posted: Fri Jul 01, 2016 10:44 am
by SWAMPHUNTER45
What brand have you had success with Dave ?

Re: Griffin Radiator - Junk

Posted: Fri Jul 01, 2016 12:22 pm
by One Eyed Gator
I have had decent luck with my afco been running the same radiator. I use the well water from my house and regular antifreeze.

I did have a bracket welded from tank to tank on the top and bottom. It is also mounted in front of the rear legs and with rubber mounts.

I just recently got a pin hole from crap going through my prop. Took in to Marion radiator the welded the pine hole and It has been back in service fro almost a years.

I am not very delicate with my stuff, I do take care of it but it gets run fairly had at times.

Re: Griffin Radiator - Junk

Posted: Fri Jul 01, 2016 12:32 pm
by Waterthunder
Never heard anything good come from well water. Are you running a iron block and iron heads. I have seen aluminum head motors on well water rot out the water jackets in a year! Had to weld everywhere and deck just so they would quit leaking!

Re: Griffin Radiator - Junk

Posted: Fri Jul 01, 2016 12:45 pm
by 90chevy396
old man griffin sold the company a few years ago and since moved to Brevard and now that the no compete clause has expired they are selling the originals again here in Brevard. that's where I got my griffin from and it works like a champ and the engine never gets warm or leaks
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I will look and see if I can find the business card I received from them when I bought it and I paid $125 for the radiator you see in the pictures delivered personally to my door by one of old man griffins family members.
did you receive yours from florida of California

I run water out of the hose and 2 gallons of extended life green antifreeze in mine
sorry to hear you had a bad experience with griffin but I think its the new owners of the corporate company not old man griffin himself your issues are with which are 2 separate entities

Re: Griffin Radiator - Junk

Posted: Fri Jul 01, 2016 12:50 pm
by SWAMPHUNTER45
Well that would explain the changes! My beef is with the new corporate assholes not the old man.

If you get the familys number please pass it along.

Re: Griffin Radiator - Junk

Posted: Fri Jul 01, 2016 1:28 pm
by PAINKILLER
Waterthunder wrote:Never heard anything good come from well water. Are you running a iron block and iron heads. I have seen aluminum head motors on well water rot out the water jackets in a year! Had to weld everywhere and deck just so they would quit leaking!


We must be living right over where i live i know of dozens of motors that are 10 yrs old or older running well water with no problems where are the wells your talking about

Re: Griffin Radiator - Junk

Posted: Fri Jul 01, 2016 1:42 pm
by PAINKILLER
Long story short water treatment stuff at your house has salt in it or the well it self can have salt water coming in it in small amounts

Re: Griffin Radiator - Junk

Posted: Fri Jul 01, 2016 1:49 pm
by jeepinocala1111
Not to sound rude but who would ever buy a radiator that is not a 100% welded unit? Next I'll see Toyota engines being used.

Re: Griffin Radiator - Junk

Posted: Fri Jul 01, 2016 2:14 pm
by SWAMPHUNTER45
I was thinking about a Toyota 5.8 they are bullet proof, just don't buy a Griffin Radiator...lol

On another note: Probably something that was said back in 1989 about buying a G17 pistol, only difference is Glock got it right!

Re: Griffin Radiator - Junk

Posted: Fri Jul 01, 2016 3:09 pm
by glades cat
Well water often has sulfates and turns into sulfuric acid and also tends to have iron and high mineral content, depending where you are.
Here is a good article that answers questions about water and coolant.
http://www.sancarlosradiator.com/VoltageDrop/water.htm

…but their conclusions are:
Conclusions
Ethylene Glycol: A 50/50 Ethylene Glycol-Water mix is the best and most economical heat transfer fluid for our automotive cooling system. For optimal results the coolant mix must have the appropriate levels of inhibitors and buffers matching both the requirements of the engine, and also for the water that is being used. A coolant supplement is often used when the water purity is imperfect, or if the engine has dissolved solids that seep back into suspension changing the coolant chemistry, or if there are underlying issues that need to be addressed. The cooling system must be kept free of dirt, rust and pH lowering elements (acids) if we want the cooling system remain trouble free. A glycol concentration higher than 50% can be of some benefit in extremely cold climates, as well a concentration lower than 50% can aid slightly in heat transfer during extremely hot climates with a properly operating pressurized cooling system.. It should be noted however that changing the concentration more than 15% in either direction (from 50/50) can cause unintended results.

Water: The best water available should be used, however distilled or deionized water may not be the best water for a cooling system suffering from electrolysis. Water that is void of the buffering effects of calcium and magnesium may tend to adopt the low pH characteristics of an acidic cooling system, allowing aluminum to be an unwitting donor of electrons. It is this reason that I do not use or recommend soft water, distilled water or deionized water in a cooling system suffering from electrolysis.

Almost all vehicle manufactures recommend that distilled water be used in the coolant mix. When performing regular routine maintenance on a vehicle free of galvanic corrosion (electrolysis) distilled water is just fine. The problem with distilled water is that it is too "willing", meaning that an electrolysis infected cooling system is actually being fed by aluminum and distilled water.

Re: Griffin Radiator - Junk

Posted: Fri Jul 01, 2016 7:13 pm
by emmitt Kelly
I too have a Griffin installed by Diamondback (1999)...502 marine engine "no" aluminum heads 50/50 distilled and green prestone.

But...when you mount your new radiator ...hopefully you have a buddy helping you...is that radiator "Flat" on the mounts ..no rocking...I wonder if some of these radiator failures are because of "torquing" ..you tighten down the mount bolts and the radiator is in a very slight twist or torque...just a suggestion....I know you want to ride not turn wrenches..hope it works out for you

Re: Griffin Radiator - Junk

Posted: Fri Jul 01, 2016 8:10 pm
by pontoon outlaw
well well I use a summit 4 core on my Cad 507 and on the hottest day in august it only gets to 180 and we all know I run the Hill more often than I can say LOL!!! and it's mounted to the back legs for the last 6 years NO problems at all

Re: Griffin Radiator - Junk

Posted: Fri Jul 01, 2016 8:11 pm
by pontoon outlaw
here she is :)

Re: Griffin Radiator - Junk

Posted: Fri Jul 01, 2016 9:25 pm
by SWAMPHUNTER45
Probably not a 4 core Turtle

4 core was back in the day of brass 1/2 inch tubes

It is aluminum so chances are it's a 2 core only question is tube diameter and cross flow or dual pass, ask Momma to dig up the receipt and post up the part number if it does have 4 rows. I think your success is you got serious air flow cuz!

Re: Griffin Radiator - Junk

Posted: Sat Jul 02, 2016 6:15 am
by pontoon outlaw
yu are right Erik :) heres the parts number I bought it 2010 # 380311 it's all Aluminum universal fit :)

Re: Griffin Radiator - Junk

Posted: Sat Jul 02, 2016 7:00 am
by SWAMPHUNTER45
I got a radiator coming just not sure it is gonna be enough to keep this engine cool. My radiator is mounted forward so airflow at idle is a bit less than what you have but we are going to try it. Regardless the message to all who read this is simple avoid any radiator that uses gaskets, seals or epoxy. Griffin Radiator based on my interaction appear to be headed in the wrong direction. I understand a product having a defect that happens even to the best built items, but when it does it is how the customer is treated that really matters. In this case after I ordered a custom radiator from them they basically said tuff luck.

Fuxk them!

Re: Griffin Radiator - Junk

Posted: Sat Jul 02, 2016 1:50 pm
by akblackdawg
[quote="glades cat"]Well water often has sulfates and turns into sulfuric acid and also tends to have iron and high mineral content, depending where you are.
Here is a good article that answers questions about water and coolant.
http://www.sancarlosradiator.com/VoltageDrop/water.htm

I agree fully with the opinion of well water here. I have never paid much attention to what water I use, but perhaps I should. I have been involved in testing of well water for several properties and it can vary a great deal even in the same community. Lots here is very hard water, with high mineral content. Just had experience this past winter with high arsenic content in one, etc. I am using the premix antifreeze, 50/50 but have had experience in the past of overheating on the river and had to add river water to the mix. Of course up here, the important part of the coolant isn't the cooling ability, but the anti-freeze capabilities where it often gets way below 0 in the winter.