Heater core... Aluminum or Copper?

Discussion in 'Camaro Questions' started by Twisted_Metal, Jan 7, 2018.

  1. Twisted_Metal

    Twisted_Metal Administrator Staff Member Lifetime Gold Member

    Feb 26, 2004
    Bloomington, MN
    I replaced the heater core in my 80 (with A/C) 15 years ago.

    I noticed a few drips out of the heater box last October :mad: and immediately built a heater core bypass.
    (Seemed to drip only after I shut it down and never fogged the windows or anything. Tiny leak now but I know how quickly it can become a major issue on a cool day.)

    I'm noticing most of the available heater cores out there are aluminum.
    (NPD still carries a copper/brass one)

    Realizing that differences in metals potentially cause corrosion within the heating/cooling system...

    I still have iron block/heads but now have an aluminum intake and radiator... Would there be less galvanic action by also using an aluminum heater core?

    I don't remember electro-chemistry well enough to know if the copper or the aluminum is becoming the sacrificial metal in this combination but eliminating one of the metals would help... Wouldn't it?

    Has anyone here had an aluminum heater core in their car for over a decade?

    Or... Should I just go with the copper one and hope it lasts another 15 years?
    (I'll be over 70 by then so I'll need to get my middle-aged sons to help change that one. ;) )

    BTW... I plan to connect the new core to by bypass hoses and pressure test it prior to any disassembly.
  2. wiseryder

    wiseryder Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

    Sep 11, 2004
    belding,mi USA
    I stuck a new aluminum heater core in my Z in 2006, No problems with it so far
  3. BonzoHansen

    BonzoHansen Administrator Lifetime Gold Member

    my new copper one failed after 10 years. its gone now. so i say it doesn't matter.
  4. zeventy128

    zeventy128 Member

    Jan 5, 2014
    I too am interested in this topic which seems to have been answered above.
    My other question however is in relation to what "Type" of heater core should I get. By "type" I mean with factory a/c or without factory a/c. My car (71, 350sbc) is originally factory non-a/c however, I plan on installing vintage air in the future so should I be looking at installing an "originally factory a/c" type of heater core while I have the chance seeing as though mine is shot now?

    upload_2018-3-5_14-34-9.png upload_2018-3-5_14-36-6.png upload_2018-3-5_14-37-6.png
  5. budro6968

    budro6968 Veteran Member

    Apr 2, 2016
    Jax Florida
    Which is the cheapest? If you go to V/A why spend a lot.
    zeventy128 likes this.
  6. BonzoHansen

    BonzoHansen Administrator Lifetime Gold Member

    you would need the non ac one. the VA doesn't come with heat? I thought it did
  7. DrPepper

    DrPepper Veteran Member

    Aug 29, 2017
    Central VA
    x2 on VA coming w/ heat. I've installed a couple and they all had heat included.
  8. budro6968

    budro6968 Veteran Member

    Apr 2, 2016
    Jax Florida
    You can get it with or without heat. They have a heat only option also.
  9. ZEN357

    ZEN357 Veteran Member

    Feb 12, 2018
    Go with aluminum so you get less corrosion if any.

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