It’s not often, but every once in a while a product you purchase exceeds your expectations. This article is a review of a DeWitts Direct Fit Aluminum Radiator that I purchased recently. I am happy to say that DeWitts exceeded my expectations.
First off, I am not affiliated with DeWitts Radiator in any way, and I am not getting paid for this review.
“DeWitts Direct Fit” is a registered trademark of DeWitts Radiator. They have been making aluminum radiators for over 15 years. Located in Howell Michigan, they manufacture 100% of the product in house and proudly advertise “Made in the USA.”
The story begins with me searching Corvettes at Carlisle for a new aluminum replacement radiator for a 1965 Corvette. I went to Carlisle with the intention of buying a radiator that I could see in person. I wanted to make sure there weren’t any scratches, marks, bent fins, ugly welds, or anything else that would take away from the appearance or integrity of the radiator. Well, guess what? There wasn’t one new radiator on site for the car. I was disappointed to say the least. I would have to order one online and take my chances.
After looking in every Corvette catalog known to man, and then researching every radiator I could find online, I chose the DeWitts. The reviews were good, the price was right, and I liked the fact that it was made in America. I did see some radiators that were less expensive however their quality, fit, and finish were suspect. Most of these come from China and I decided not to take a chance on buying one sight unseen.
The radiator arrived in a custom white cardboard box with the red white and blue DeWitts logo printed on the front and back. The American flag is displayed on both ends along with “Built in the USA.” I was impressed the moment I saw it. The packaging was not only more than adequate to protect the radiator during shipping, but it looked first-class as well.
After I cut the white nylon straps that went around the box, I quickly removed the staples from the top flap and anxiously looked inside. The radiator was encased in a cardboard mount that was integral to the box it came in. I had to fold back the hand hold tabs to release the mount. Oh I forgot to mention, “Hand Holds.” The box has hand holds! I guess they wanted to make it easy for you to carry and hard to drop. Imagine that, they are thinking about the welfare of their product after the sale! Upon sliding the cardboard mount out of the box I got the first glimpse of the radiator itself. Right away it was apparent to me that I had made the right decision to go with DeWitts. Take a look at these pictures.
So how does it function?
After installing the radiator (it was a direct fit) and mounting the same SPAL electric fan that I had been using with the old radiator, I filled the system with new anti-freeze and fired up the car. I waited for the temperature to build up enough for the fan to come on, and then I checked the radiator for leaks. As I expected there were none.
Now for the acid test, stop and go traffic. I took the car out and beat on it for a bit to get the temp up. Guess what? It wouldn’t go over 185 degrees. With the old radiator under the same abuse the temperature would rise to 195-200 degrees. I purposely headed into traffic to see how the new radiator performed there. After sitting in traffic for 10 minutes the gage read 180. 180! I was impressed. With the old radiator idling in traffic on a hot day like this the temperature would hover around 195 degrees. NOTE: I believe the rest of the cooling system to be in very good condition. The system has been flushed and filled with a fresh mixture of anti-freeze and distilled water, a 180-degree thermostat installed, and all hoses and water pump are new. The water pump belt is tensioned correctly, and the engine is tuned properly and running very well.
Needless to say I am very happy with this product. The fit, finish, and performance couldn’t be any better. For anyone thinking about an aluminum radiator you can’t go wrong here.
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It’s all about the car!