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Radiator Selection

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Need some help here.


I was told my original radiator is in need of a re-core and that I am better off going with an aluminum replacement due to the cost. The problem I have is knowing which radiator is the correct choice.


My car is a factory Cleveland/AC/Automatic car that had what I think is a 2-row radiator, but I do not know how to tell.


What is the right size plastic/aluminum to maintain proper cooling? They offer single row versions pretty cheap, and mulit rows for increasing prices.(That makes sense) I see no sizing guide for radiator to power train.


I am kinda skeptical of what the radiator shop told me too. the radiator I have was just fine when I pulled it 10 years ago to begin restoration. It has been stored inside my garage the whole time. They told me it will go bad sitting there without any fluid in it. Not sure I buy that one.


Any good advice for me?


Thanks! kcmash

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i don't know the number of cores an a/c rad has, but i'd say at least 2. i have also looked for a new rad and i like champions.. all alum and welded. i have used 2 on different cars and i'd buy another.. now the one's i've looked at are the same size as an a/c unit. wider... it boils down to 2... a 2 core with 3/4" tubes or a 3 core with 1/2" tubes.. i've used 3 cores.. i've seen write ups saying the 2 core cools better. i also by directly from champion.. gotta keep looking on ebay to find them as a seller..

but measure yours, for they have measurements in the ad's. they run around $210

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I went with Be Cool, they make direct fit so there are no modifications needed and they also come in different HP power ratings. Are you doing any engine mods to increase HP and that will determine which one to purchase. I went with one rated for 700HP (my car about 425hp) and the temp gauge doesn't move past the first mark on the temp gauge. When I hook up the handheld controller the digital reading is 182* even when outside temps are in the 100's. Mine is probably overkill but I just wanted to make sure I would not have temp issues. Quality of these radiators are really good and are probably a little more than what you can get one for but they had really good reviews so I went with them.

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I have used champion on my 66 and 72. Both fit great and looked sweet. They are so bright and shiny; I love it myself but the aluminum does stand out so they may not b the best if u r going for a stock look

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Beefing it up with a performance cam. Going with a 4-speed too, and with an original AC system.


Keep the ideas coming.



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My 72 has what I believe to be the original radiator...it's an original ac car and radiator is a 2 row core.


I still have the 3 row from when I ran a big block but I'll be taking the overkill route like jbobo and get a much higher capacity aluminum.

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A 1968 mustang friend who bought a nice 302 stroker motor had the Champion 3 core radiator and it to change it out due to cooling problems. Even though it as 3 core radiator, the cross tubes were not adequate enough to transfer the heat from the coolant. He called the 302 stroker manufacture and they recommended the Griffin Performance 2 core aluminum radiator. He stated that since he changed it, his stroker operates around 180 degrees.







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If you want the OEM stock look but with today modern cooling performance of an aluminum radiator in my opinion there is only one choice- Look up Dewitt's radiators.


They come preassembled with Spal dual cooling fans (OEM quality) and a custom black plastic shroud. I would go this route if you want to avoid the shiny aluminum finish and/or the aftermarket radiator look.


Otherwise BeCool is another top brand out there for the aftermarket look. Just my 2cents :)

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The oem radiator was made of copper and brass and if it was drained and flushed prior to removing it for storage, will last forever. It it's got any weak tubes or damage to the seams, it will cause problems when reinstalled..


I too would be skeptical of the radiator shop statement because he's looking to empty your wallet with a sale of a re-core or new radiator.. I can tell you that re-coring an original radiator here in Florida is about $600.. What ever happened to the $100 to $150 re-core days????

The person who says it cannot be done should not interrupt the person doing it. 

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I just bought a replacement radiator from O'Reilly Auto Parts. It's black, looks stock, and works great with a standard fan shroud and monster 7-blade clutch-style fan (which came from my pal's '63.5 Galaxie 500 XL w/390 - since he believes it wasn't stock to his car, he hooked me up).


I also have a warmed up engine (intake, roller-cam & rockers, carb, headers, etc. - complete performance rebuild good for around 400-ish), AOD, power steering, and have added a Classic Auto Air system (which I haven't gotten the fan belt configuration completely ironed out to my satisfaction yet). I also did the 'Pantera Mod' to the thermostat, and the temp gauge hasn't risen past the 2/5 point since (mostly just sitting in the driveway idling, but I've driven it around the neighborhood with no high temps noted).


I think the radiator was $180-ish when I bought it 4 years ago, but it's up to $200 now. http://www.oreillyauto.com/site/c/detail/MHT1/433381/01386.oap?year=1971&make=Ford&model=Mustang&vi=5139382&ck=Search_C2465_5139382_1613&pt=C2465&ppt=C0331


Hope this helps.



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