The CSF Radiator Challenge! CSF vs Masiv

The CSF Radiator Challenge!  CSF vs Masiv

by Mike Kojima and Khiem Dinh

During the summer CSF radiator launched a bold ad campaign with MotoIQ: the CSF Summer Challenge.  CSF boldly challenged the entire radiator industry to s shootout to see who makes the most effective radiator with us conducting the test.  CSF's only rule was that a radiator for the challenge had to be an off the shelf part built for a given car available to the general public, not a one off bespoke radiator designed just for the test.

Only one company rose to the challenge to take on CSF, Masiv.  Masiv is a company that is well known in the industrial heat exchanger world and is now getting into the high performance automotive radiator business.  Masiv has just released a heavy duty radiator for the Scion/Subaru FR-S/BRZ.   CSF also had a radiator for the same cars and we happened to have several examples of the car around the palatial MotoIQ megashop available for testing

In order to stress out the cooling system we picked our Scion Tuner Challenge FR-S which happens to be supercharged and also equipped with a CSF radiator.  The supercharger would greatly increase the overall thermal load on the cooling system and we figured someone who is a forced induction system owner woul be a prime candidate for an upgraded radiator.

The CSF radiator is a state of the art high performance racing heat exchanger.  The tube design is called a B-Tube. The B-Tube does not use rows of tubes like a traditional radiator but has a long thinwalled plate much like a tube and fin intercooler.  The B part of the tube is an internal rib which both strengthens the tube and helps exchange heat to the outside of the tube better.  This exchanges heat 15% more effectively than the traditional oval shaped tube and is the same sort of tube used in the CSF GT-R radiator.  
A strong machined aluminum drain plug is used and the radiator employs a standard SAE cap. Made of all TIG welded construction, a CSF radiator also has a 40% higher burst strength than stock.  Finally the radiator end tanks are hand polished for nice looks!
Made of aircraft grade aluminum, the radiator core itself is 32mm thick vs the stock 15mm which is more than twice the thickness!  Typically a good heat exchanger design is less that 1.5″ thick for best efficiency and the CSF falls right into this range.  
The Masiv radiator is about as opposite of a design from the CSF as possible.  It is a traditional design with brass tubes and multiple rows soldered together.  It is much thicker than the stock radiator as well as the CSF radiator.

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