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Topic: New Radiator (Read 772 times) previous topic - next topic

New Radiator

Thought I'd ask the brain trust about a new radiator for my Turbo Coupe. I know a lot of you guys have heavily modified cars and was wondering what type of radiator you use. Just got my A/C working in my car, swapped over from R12 to R134. Living in Southern Nevada summer cruising is a real challenge. Car is running about 210* in traffic. Air temp is in excess of 110*. I'd like to avoid a potential problem. I run the stock fan with a Cobra fan clutch and a 190* t-stat. Motor is a modified 5.0. I would like to keep my fan and shroud if possible.
1987 Turbo Coupe, 306, Trick Flow Track Heat heads, Comp Cam, Trick Flow Pistons, Eagle Rods, Center Force clutch, T-5, 8.8 w/373 gears, and a bunch more

Re: New Radiator

Reply #1
Which radiator are you running now? A mechanical fan will blow more air then almost any aftermarket electric. What do you have the timing set at? Also is this ethonal fuel? We have 10% ethonal blend here, and I run 14-16° timing because the car likes it. Sometimes you can go as high as 18.
Quote from: jcassity
I honestly dont think you could exceed the cost of a new car buy installing new *stock* parts everywhere in your coug our tbird. Its just plain impossible. You could revamp the entire drivetrain/engine/suspenstion and still come out ahead.
Hooligans! 
1988 Crown Vic wagon. 120K California car. Wifes grocery getter. (junked)
1987 Ford Thunderbird LX. 5.0. s.o., sn-95 t-5 and an f-150 clutch. Driven daily and going strong.
1986 cougar.
lilsammywasapunkrocker@yahoo.com

Re: New Radiator

Reply #2
I'm going to keep my mechanical fan. Just don't trust the electric fans with all the money I have in this motor. I'm running 14* on the timing. I use nothing but 91 octane. I think it's a blend because we get it out of CA. I have no issues with horsepower, car runs great. I've had the car running since last November but just got the A/C charged. I went to R134 and had problems getting a new liquid line. Seems my 87 Turbo Coupe uses a liquid line out of a 85 TBird.
1987 Turbo Coupe, 306, Trick Flow Track Heat heads, Comp Cam, Trick Flow Pistons, Eagle Rods, Center Force clutch, T-5, 8.8 w/373 gears, and a bunch more

Re: New Radiator

Reply #3
I ended up replacing the radiator and fan. I went with the Frostbit aluminum 3 row radiator. I thought about the 4 row but I would end up modifying the fan shroud to clear the tensioner. The stock 3 row is 1 1/2in deep and the new Frostbite radiator is 2 1/2in deep. I replaced the original 7 blade fan with a Mustang 10 blade fan and kept the Cobra fan clutch. Coolant temp went from 210*+ down to 190* with the A/C on in traffic. On the freeway, cruising at 70 temp stays around 180*. That is with the outside air temp above 100*. The cowl hood is working good to get the hot air out of the engine compartment. I think the suction created at the windshield helps draw it out. You can feel the hot air if you have the window down. In all I think I solved the heating problem.
1987 Turbo Coupe, 306, Trick Flow Track Heat heads, Comp Cam, Trick Flow Pistons, Eagle Rods, Center Force clutch, T-5, 8.8 w/373 gears, and a bunch more

Re: New Radiator

Reply #4
Sounds like a very nice setup.  Glad it is working great.
Mike

Re: New Radiator

Reply #5
I think it might be working too good. Getting down in the thirties in the morning. If I drive the car it barely makes it to 150*. Almost like my F350 only I can't stick a piece of cardboard in front of the radiator.
1987 Turbo Coupe, 306, Trick Flow Track Heat heads, Comp Cam, Trick Flow Pistons, Eagle Rods, Center Force clutch, T-5, 8.8 w/373 gears, and a bunch more

Re: New Radiator

Reply #6
only I can't stick a piece of cardboard in front of the radiator.

LOL.  I did that once in High School with my old 81 XR7.  Very cold in NE Kansas.  About 15 min later on hwy my idiot lights went off like a Christmas tree.  I thought OH CRAP! I DIDNT PULL THAT DAMN CARDBOARD.   removed and all was fine, couldn't kill  that detuned 302 in that thing. 
Mike

Re: New Radiator

Reply #7
I drive my F350 27 miles out to the VA hospital and the temperature barely hits 140*. Have to wear Carharts with the window rolled up.
1987 Turbo Coupe, 306, Trick Flow Track Heat heads, Comp Cam, Trick Flow Pistons, Eagle Rods, Center Force clutch, T-5, 8.8 w/373 gears, and a bunch more

Re: New Radiator

Reply #8
It gets much colder here in Chicago and I've never had a problem with cars not reaching temp. I've driven my Thunderbird when it's been in the mid 40s and it's never had trouble getting up to thermostat temperature. Are you sure that the thermostat isn't stuck open? The thermostat should allow the engine to get to at least it's temperature rating. 30* isn't cold. It gets a lot colder here and we have heat in the winter when it's below 0*  :grinno: 
88 Thunderbird LX: 306, Edelbrock Performer heads, Comp 266HR cam, Edelbrock Performer RPM intake, bunch of other stuff.

Re: New Radiator

Reply #9
I thought it might be stuck so I changed it. No change. Driving on the streets, 35-45mph, I can get it up to 180*. Tried that today. On the freeway at 70mph it stays around 150-160*. I think the cowl hood might be working better than I thought with drawing the heat out.
1987 Turbo Coupe, 306, Trick Flow Track Heat heads, Comp Cam, Trick Flow Pistons, Eagle Rods, Center Force clutch, T-5, 8.8 w/373 gears, and a bunch more

Re: New Radiator

Reply #10
Maybe you could make a removable plug for the back of the hood, to block air when it's cold outside.
88 Thunderbird LX: 306, Edelbrock Performer heads, Comp 266HR cam, Edelbrock Performer RPM intake, bunch of other stuff.

Re: New Radiator

Reply #11
Never thought of that. Thanks.
1987 Turbo Coupe, 306, Trick Flow Track Heat heads, Comp Cam, Trick Flow Pistons, Eagle Rods, Center Force clutch, T-5, 8.8 w/373 gears, and a bunch more

Re: New Radiator

Reply #12
The stock hood has a rubber gasket seal at the rear to seal it. It might be possible to design something that can be removed when it's warm out but put in place when it's cold to block airflow. Perhaps some insulating foam carved to shape or an ABS plastic panel.
88 Thunderbird LX: 306, Edelbrock Performer heads, Comp 266HR cam, Edelbrock Performer RPM intake, bunch of other stuff.

Re: New Radiator

Reply #13
I know about that gasket. What I did was to cut along the middle of the support structure at the window. Raised the hood support up against the new cowl and added sheet metal in three locations at the rear. That allowed me to use the factory hood support. Looks like it came from the factory. I can cut foam pieces that will fit at the rear blocking the vent. I was trying to post a picture but it's asking for a url.
1987 Turbo Coupe, 306, Trick Flow Track Heat heads, Comp Cam, Trick Flow Pistons, Eagle Rods, Center Force clutch, T-5, 8.8 w/373 gears, and a bunch more

Re: New Radiator

Reply #14
Most "good" quality thermostats have a bleed hole in them. I've found that the hole just allows some coolant to bypass the thermostat. Also the more expensive ones tent to open up sooner and do not fully open until the temp rating.

Most cheap thermostats act more or less like an on off switch as they open and close.

So if you did have a bad radiator before, a better thermostat may have kept it from getting hot as fast, but now it might be overlooking.

As backwards as this sounds, I'd try swapping in a cheaper thermostat.
Quote from: jcassity
I honestly dont think you could exceed the cost of a new car buy installing new *stock* parts everywhere in your coug our tbird. Its just plain impossible. You could revamp the entire drivetrain/engine/suspenstion and still come out ahead.
Hooligans! 
1988 Crown Vic wagon. 120K California car. Wifes grocery getter. (junked)
1987 Ford Thunderbird LX. 5.0. s.o., sn-95 t-5 and an f-150 clutch. Driven daily and going strong.
1986 cougar.
lilsammywasapunkrocker@yahoo.com