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'04 CTS-V, '07 SRT8 Jeep, '86 Fiero
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If that's what it looks like, it definetly won't be a direct drop in. Look where the hose connections are and look at the one in your V.
 

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'04 CTS-V, '07 SRT8 Jeep, '86 Fiero
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The bottom hose on the radiator is on the opposite side and it's really tight down there. Also, stock radiator doesn't have a filler cap right? And the mounts aren't going to be there. Maybe our definitions of "drop in" are different. :)
Pick one up and try it out. That's cheap. My radiator cost about $960 lol.
 

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2004 CTS-V
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60 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
I get ya. I guess by drop in I mean it will fit in the rad cradle and not hit any accessories or the steering rack. I dont want to be the guinea pig! Figured hoses and making a custom top mount would be easy and considered "drop in" but not "fastened down" haha.
 

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04 CTS-V with a little hp persuasion device
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The bottom hose on the radiator may be on the opposite side but the stock hose comes out on the passengers side and snakes all the way to the drivers side right behind the radiator. I think its doable. A little work but doable.
 

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RON DAVIS drop in rad with more cooling capacity...Dont look to the cheap stuff, it will only get you in trouble in the long run
 

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2004 CTS-V
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60 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
RON DAVIS drop in rad with more cooling capacity...Dont look to the cheap stuff, it will only get you in trouble in the long run
I know about the Ron Davis Rad. Looks like a nice rad and he has one of the best reps out there for sure. $300-500 alll aluminum rads of this spec are not out of the ordinary mind you. I wouldnt expect it to be the same quality as a $1000 rad but thats 100% high-end. Just trying to explore another option here.
 

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04 CTS-V with a little hp persuasion device
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There is a guy here that has had three Ron Davis failures. I wouldn't say just cause its almost a grand that it is quality by any means. Just another cadillac tax.
 

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2004 CTS-V
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Discussion Starter #10
^Its amazing that there is no corvette tax but there is definately Cadillac tax out there haha. I dont want to turn this into a big debate. Just hoping someone had already tried this rad. Quality control, user install and other variables just make it even more difficult to compare when talking aftermarket
 

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2005 CTS V
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196 Posts
There is quite a bit of room between the core support an the accessories and height of the radiator isn't a big concern either. It's the width that is a problem. I installed a Jegs universal double pass radiator
http://www.jegs.com/i/JEGS-Performance-Products/555/52037/10002/-1?parentProductId=767134
Used hose adapers because of the different size hoses and the top one for the steam vent inlet
http://www.jegs.com/p/JEGS-Performance-Products/JEGS-Inline-Radiator-Hose-Drain/1206363/10002/-1
The mounts were universal aluminum parts that I modified to work
http://www.jegs.com/i/JEGS-Performance-Products/555/52075/10002/-1?parentProductId=980353
There is a filler neck on this one, but I put a 26 psi cap. The factory pressure cap is 16 psi, so it will never reach enough pressure to vent .

I just couldn't see spending almost $1000 for a radiator that I know will only last 3 or 4 years. Now to replace this one will only be about $230 plus shipping. It wasn't "easy" to make it fit, but I do all of my own work, so labor is free if I can make time to do it. Anyone with some moderate fabrication skills could accomplish the same outcome.

Here are a couple of pictures....
 

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2004 CTS-V
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60 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
^Thx for posting. That looks pretty good. I cant tell from the pics tho... are you using the stock fans and is it still shrouded?

Did you have to alter the rad cradle at all or just the fastening mounts?
 

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'05 CTS-V
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8,327 Posts
Anyone have proof this will be a drop in rad for our cars???

Size is close 27" x 19" x 3"(I believe stock is 26" x 17" x1")

Price is great at $337

Will it work?!
It doesn't answer your question, but just as a data point, I've seen Mishimotos used quite a bit in the Subaru world, it seems like they've got a pretty good rep for durability and quality control. I've also seen them used for LS motor swaps into Bimmers.

I didn't measure height, but just took a quick look at mine in the garage and my stock radiator is 27" wide. It looks to me like the ABS unit and lines might get in the way of a hose connection on the lower passenger side, but bjohnso0 did it, so I guess my initial look is wrong on that point. :)

There is quite a bit of room between the core support an the accessories and height of the radiator isn't a big concern either. It's the width that is a problem. I installed a Jegs universal double pass radiator.
Used hose adapters because of the different size hoses and the top one for the steam vent inlet.
The mounts were universal aluminum parts that I modified to work.

There is a filler neck on this one, but I put a 26 psi cap. The factory pressure cap is 16 psi, so it will never reach enough pressure to vent .

I just couldn't see spending almost $1000 for a radiator that I know will only last 3 or 4 years. Now to replace this one will only be about $230 plus shipping. It wasn't "easy" to make it fit, but I do all of my own work, so labor is free if I can make time to do it. Anyone with some moderate fabrication skills could accomplish the same outcome.

Here are a couple of pictures....
Excellent information. I've had a universal Griffin radiator on my Mustang for years. The "direct fit" radiator cost $400+ from Summit, while the universal 31x19" was less than half that. Pretty much a no brainer. I actually feel kind of stupid that I've never raised the point before, since radiators have been discussed here plenty of times and there's no reason a universal wouldn't work in the V just as well as it works in my Mustang or in any other car.

Since you didn't say anything about it, does that mean the ABS unit does not get in the way of the lower passenger side outlet? What did you use for that lower hose - just go to the auto parts place and find something close and cut it down?

What did you have to do to mount the fans? I didn't think to look when I was out in the garage to see how they mount to the radiator. Was that part of modifying the aluminum mounts you go from Jegs - making them work to mount the fans?

Looking on Summit Racing's site, there are a bunch of options for universal fit radiators in 19" high, 26"/27.5"/28" wide (looks to me like 28" would fit). And there are other height options, too, so there are even more options. Definitely something worth looking into when/if my stocker fails.
 

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2004 CTS-V
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60 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
AAIIC the more I look and measure the more you are definatley right about the abs unit being very close to the bottom rad hose connection. Its that and the width(3") of the mishimoto rad that have kept me from purchasing it yet. 3" width puts the rad + fans within 1/4" of the accessories it looks like...

If there was a 26x17x2.5" rad I would probably have bought it already. There probably is a universal of that size I just havn't looked!

Either way I have to either order a stocker next week or be a man and try to fit something universal haha
 

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2005 CTS V
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I used the stock fans and just trimmed the shroud a little. It took a little time to get them mounted, just some clever mounting and everything worked out. On the lower hose I used another adapter from Jegs that goes from 1.5" to 1.75" and a 90 degree hose on either side to get it routed. The lower mounts are the jegs units with an aluminum stid welded to them so that they slide into the factory rubber mount positions. The lower part of the radiator sits out a little, so the whole radiator is at a slight slant. This way the ABS module clears. It took more time than labor to figure out how to make it work.
 

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'05 CTS-V
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8,327 Posts
Thanks for the details. So the stock lower hose connection on the block is only 1.5"? (Hence you used the 1.5"-to-1.75" adapter to match up to the Jegs radiator?)
 

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2004 CTS-V
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Discussion Starter #18
Would you mind posting pics taken from the passenger side showing clearance by the ABS unit and between the passenger side fan and accessories?! Please! :)
 
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