Jump to content

ACP USRad Copper Brass or ColdCase Aluminum Radiator for 1971 Mustang 351 Cleveland, both are (3) Row

Recommended Posts

Hi 7173 Mustangs Forum !


Trying to decide on what Radiator to buy and install in my 1971 Mustang Grande 351c 3-speed Auto.

I could keep it fairly original with copper brass core 3-row using ACP or US Radiator:



or switch to an aluminum core 3-row using ColdCase:



Opinions on radiators seem to vary also, just like politics and grain or non-grain dog food, lol, I was always told Aluminum cools the best, now I found a forum that actually put down the Aluminum with thicker tubbing and put up the Copper/Brass models with the thinner tubbing.


"3 core brass, or if you must, 2 core aluminum."

"Imps, any radiator is an engineering solution, and a compromise between surface area and flow. The copper tubes are softer in a brass radiator, and can only be made 'so wide' without wanting to collapse. Aluminum, despite being not-quite-so-good at conducting heat, is stiffer. That means a flattened tube can be wider, so it is.
Brass tubes are typically 1/2" wide, while aluminum ones are 1". By the time all is said and done, if you went to a 'three core' (three thicknesses of tubes and fins) with aluminum, you have more surface area to cool with (which is good!) but air has a much harder time making it through so you lose too much airflow. Same with 4-core+ brass radiators.
So, simply said: 2 core brass is not enough cooling, 4 cores inhibits airflow. One core aluminum is not enough, but 3 is far too much, and too thick."

Oh and I found another article which actually indicates the 351c is better off running HOT, less wear and tear on the motor ?

I had previously thought 180 degrees was optimal and less than that was okay to run a bit cooler from (170 - 175), but they were saying its okay to run at 200+ to keep moisture out...



*What do folks on this forum think concerning the Radiators I mentioned and have any of you had good or bad luck with any of them ? 


I received great advice on my last post regarding Seat Tracks, which nobody else really knew about, so figured why not try to ask about Radiators.


This is going to be next project right after I install a PA Performance Alternator 1614e ALT56, which hopefully is Clocked correctly or close to 7:30 and I've got their 1G/3G convertor 462802C ATLCK, both sets of wires w/out w/ gauges WALT7A and WALT7B and 14 gauge power wire regular 9404 and electrolytic copper 9405.  Supposed to put out 60 AMPs at Idle and 120 AMPs at 2000 RPM, so a step up in the right direction...


Thank you kindly,


Edited by 1971stang
added specific TEMP references
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I prefer brass radiators, I also believe they cool better and last longer, due, in part, to potential electrolysis problems with an aluminum radiator.

Aluminum Radiators and Electrolysis - Engine, Transmission, Drive Line, Etc - 7173Mustangs.com


  • Thanks 1



“If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough.”

--Albert Einstein


Link to comment
Share on other sites

I swapped over to a 2 row aluminum radiator 8 years ago when my brass radiator started leaking.  Still going strong without a single issue.  While I was in there, I also swapped out the water pump, hoses, and went with a 180 degree 351C correct thermostat.  I was worried the 2 row wouldn't provide enough cooling after dropping in Classic Auto Air AC.  However even on the hottest days sitting at idle, the temp stays at the bottom of the normal range on the stock gauge.

Regarding electrolysis, I don't believe an aluminum radiator is anymore susceptible to it than copper or brass.  Make sure your grounds are good, radiator isolated from ground, and don't use tap water.

  • Thanks 1

Jason (71 Mach 1, 351C 4V, 4 Spd. Toploader, Grabber Blue)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Up until sometime in the 60s or 70s all brass radiators were connected directly to the chassis. Electrolysis was not a problem. Chemical corrosion (sulphides and chlorides) are a problem when using tap water, as well as growth of sulphides plugging the tubes.

  • Thanks 1



“If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough.”

--Albert Einstein


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
  • Create New...