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How Flex-a-lite Makes its Flex-a-fit Aluminum Radiators

2013 January 15
by admin

We started making Flex-a-fit® aluminum radiators in 2006, and we decided it was time to give you the inside story on how they are made! The quality in the Flex-a-fit radiator we build for you starts in our Fife, Washington, manufacturing facility.

Flex a fit detailFlex-a-fit radiators from Flex-a-lite® start with aluminum extrusions to create our patented sidetank design that uses internal and external fins. On the inside of the tanks, the fins perform as heat sinks by absorbing heat more quickly from the engine coolant through increased surface contact. The external fins increase the surface area threefold to transfer heat more effectively. We cut and machine the extrusions in-house, giving us the ability to do custom configurations in addition to our direct-fit and universal radiators. You can view our custom forms for cross-flow radiators and down-flow to see all of the available options.

We use high-efficiency, 2-row cores. We found that this design provides excellent heat transfer while still making it possible to draw air through the radiator with and electric fan or a belt-driven fan. We have two versions of our radiators: the original Flex-a-fit that uses two rows of 1-inch tubes and our Slim Profile that uses two rows of 5/8-inch tubes. The overall thickness of the original design is 3 ¾ inches, while the Slim Profile lets us reduce the sidetank thickness of our radiators to just 2 ¼ inches for tight engine bays such as the Jeep TJ and YJ Wranglers.

Welding-RadiatorThen we hand weld the sidetanks to the cores. That’s right, there’s no epoxy in Flex-a-fit aluminum radiators, and every one of them is hand welded in the U.S.!  Then we design and stamp the brackets in-house. This lets us mount Flex-a-lite electric fans directly to the radiators with precise and clean-looking aluminum brackets, as well as create direct-fit radiator applications that in most cases don’t require any drilling to install in a vehicle.

The video above shows more details in our manufacturing process and custom configuration options. You can see all of our radiators at

You can also learn more about how the patented Flex-a-fit radiator technology works by clicking here.

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