Engine Cooling Thoughts And Radiator Recommendation

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Engine Cooling Thoughts And Radiator Recommendation

Machspeed
Administrator
Drove my truck to work today using the AC. No issues driving to, as it wasn't in the heat of the day. Drove to Walmart after work and start up wasn't quite normal. Temp outside was like 103 degrees.

Since changing out the thermostat, water pump, and sending unit a couple of years ago, the gauge has read a little over half, previously gauge read around a 1/4. Also, I think I put a 195 degree stat in it and am thinking I need to go cooler. I've long thought the truck was running a little to the hot side since doing all this work. Had the clutch fan out a couple weeks ago and it seemed just fine.

That aside, also wondering about the radiator. While it does not leak, it is the OEM unit. Seems someone posted on here a few days ago about a two core radiator that cools as good as a three core. What caught my eye was that it seemed very closely follow the appearance of the OEM unit. I've looked for that post but unable to locate. Anyone?      
John

"Blackie" - 1986 F150 4x4 - Mildly warmed over 351W HO - Original owner
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Re: Engine Cooling Thoughts And Radiator Recommendation

Rusty_S85
Sounds like the one I was talking about that I am thinking about getting myself.

https://www.coldcaseradiators.com/product/80-84-ford-broncof-series-truck-radiator

100% TIG welded
All Aluminum
16 fins per inch

Core Height 18.75"
Core Width 27.5"
Overall Height 20.75"
Overall Width 33.25"
Overall Thickness 3"
Tubes (2) 1.25"
Upper Hose 1.50"
Lower Hose 1.75"
Trans Cooler 1/4" NPT

Im looking at getting it for my truck to replace my OE 3 core copper radiator.  Only thing is I am trying to figure out the core thickness since the fan shroud mounts to the cores and I am a little concern it might change how my fan shroud fits placing my flex fan more into the shroud than it is with the OE radiator which is half in half out.

I did email them about cooling and hp rating since they have no rating on their website like other aluminum radiator companies and below is the reply I got back.

[Quote]We do not rate our radiators by the HP level. Reason for this is you may make 900hp but that is at 6,500 RPM or more. Your are not driving around at that RPM. Most motors even high HP will make 150-250 hp while cruising around and short blast to the big horse power #'s. We base our over sized 2 row on efficiency. We have more surface area to the fins that help dissipate heat by 15-20% over an equivalent size 3 or 4 row radiator.[/quote]

It makes a lot of sense the way it was explained, when putting around at cruising speed you are not making power that only comes in at wot.

But in any case they have a 60 day cool guarantee where if it doesnt cool better you can return it for a full refund.  They also have a life time warranty for material and workmanship.

It is pricy at $481.20 but it looks and retains the OE setup so there shouldnt be modifications required.  Plus the life time warranty is really growing on me just like it did with Scorpion roller rockers with their life time warranty.

To compare it this is a 3 core copper radiator from Radiator Express

Core Dimensions 27 1/2" x 19 5/8" x 1 7/8"
Overall Dimensions 21 1/8" x 32 7/8"
Thickness 1 7/8"
Inlet 1 1/2"
Outlet 1 3/4"

Wich a core thickness of 1 7/8" with 3 tubes means that if they are touching they would be 0.625"  But with an air gap between cores the 3 tubes are most likely 1/2" wide where the aluminum one above is 1 1/4" wide which creates more surface area to dissipate heat.
"Old Blue" - '56 Fairlane Town Sedan - 292-4V, Ford-O-Matic transmission, 3.22:1
'63 Belair 2dr sdn - 283-4V, Powerglide transmission, 4.56:1
'78 Cougar XR7 - 351-2V, FMX transmission, 2.75:1 9inch
"Bruno" - '82 F150 Flareside - 302-2V, C6 transmission, 2.75:1 9inch, 31x10.50-15 BFG KO2
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Re: Engine Cooling Thoughts And Radiator Recommendation

Machspeed
Administrator
Yes, that is the one. Please let me know which route you go in this? Thanks, Rusty!

John

"Blackie" - 1986 F150 4x4 - Mildly warmed over 351W HO - Original owner
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Re: Engine Cooling Thoughts And Radiator Recommendation

Rusty_S85
Machspeed wrote
Yes, that is the one. Please let me know which route you go in this? Thanks, Rusty!
Will do.  I will most likely run the aluminum cause I got lots of money in my engine build and I rather spend the extra $500 - $600 and go over kill on the radiator as well just to ensure no over heat issues.

My only concern as stated was the core thickness and if it is on the back side or the front side of the radiator.  I am hopeful it is on the front side so it wont move the fan shroud back towards the engine.  I hate to have to try and play with aftermarket flex fan spacers to recenter my fan.
"Old Blue" - '56 Fairlane Town Sedan - 292-4V, Ford-O-Matic transmission, 3.22:1
'63 Belair 2dr sdn - 283-4V, Powerglide transmission, 4.56:1
'78 Cougar XR7 - 351-2V, FMX transmission, 2.75:1 9inch
"Bruno" - '82 F150 Flareside - 302-2V, C6 transmission, 2.75:1 9inch, 31x10.50-15 BFG KO2
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Re: Engine Cooling Thoughts And Radiator Recommendation

Rusty_S85
I forgot to add, I been doing some browsing since I found the radiator, below are some photos I found from the FSB forums of the radiator and installed in a Bronco to give an idea of fit and look.

First one was posted by an individual that had a similar but slightly different part number than the one I posted.  Looks like only difference is his has a ear on the passenger side lower radiator.


This one shows the core thickness of 2 3/4" posted by another member


This one was posted by first member comparing it to the OE copper radiator.


Same guy previous but with a reproduction fan shroud from LMC which seems to have his clutch fan in the OE position with the Cold Case Radiator.  Which means my flex fan should sit like it did with my copper radiator if I go with this radiator.


The two people above did say they were good radiators on build quality but cant vouch for anything else as their broncos been sitting for a year.

Looking at it I am seriously contemplating not even painting it cause I kind of like the shiny look but at the same time I do want it to blend in and look like a stock radiator at the same time.



I also forgot I had this saved, this is showing Cold Case`s cores cut away.  The radiator I linked is the far right one the x2 1.25" cores.  The OE radiator would be more like the the second from the left the x3 .47" cores.
"Old Blue" - '56 Fairlane Town Sedan - 292-4V, Ford-O-Matic transmission, 3.22:1
'63 Belair 2dr sdn - 283-4V, Powerglide transmission, 4.56:1
'78 Cougar XR7 - 351-2V, FMX transmission, 2.75:1 9inch
"Bruno" - '82 F150 Flareside - 302-2V, C6 transmission, 2.75:1 9inch, 31x10.50-15 BFG KO2
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Re: Engine Cooling Thoughts And Radiator Recommendation

Machspeed
Administrator
Thanks Rusty! You've been doing your homework on this, for sure. Looks like a quality radiator and I like the OEM look and fit that they speak about. From what I read, supposedly bolts right in and accommodates the shroud. I thought I read somewhere that it was made in the states but can't seem to find it. I like to know where stuff is made, as I take preference in our own country and am sick of this Chinese stuff.

Looks like it can be acquired through Summit Racing, thus free shipping. Read through the five reviews there, mostly good. One guy who owns a 96 Bronco posted; "Installed it in a 96 Bronco and couldn't be happier. It was a substantial size upgrade to the OEM one." Not sure what he means by the size upgrade???

https://www.summitracing.com/parts/rad-fot579a/make/ford/model/f-150/year/1986

If I get this, I'll paint it. I'm not a fan of that polished aluminum stuff. It will oxidize in time and look like garbage.

I can't recall, but do our OEM radiators have plastic tanks?  


John

"Blackie" - 1986 F150 4x4 - Mildly warmed over 351W HO - Original owner
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Re: Engine Cooling Thoughts And Radiator Recommendation

Gary Lewis
Administrator
Don't forget Champion radiators.  I really like mine - especially the 2nd one as the first one leaked.  They have a lifetime warranty and bolt right in, but are hard to find right now.
Gary, AKA "Gary fellow": Profile

Dad's: '81 F150 Ranger XLT 4x4: Down for restomod: Full-roller "stroked 351M" w/Trick Flow heads & intake, EEC-V SEFI/E4OD/3.50 gears w/Kevlar clutches
Blue: 2015 F150 Platinum 4x4 SuperCrew wearing Blue Jeans & sporting a 3.5L EB & Max Tow
Big Blue: 1985 F250HD 4x4: 460/ZF5/3.55's, D60 w/Ox locker in front & 10.25 Spicer/Trutrac in back, & EEC-V MAF/SEFI

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Re: Engine Cooling Thoughts And Radiator Recommendation

85lebaront2
Administrator
A couple of observations. First when Ford "downsized" the F series for the 1980 model year, they had no plans on using the 460 in them. The length and width of the 460 vs the 351M/400 is not huge, but when it wasn't planned for it became a problem when Ford realized that GM was hurting the sales of the heavier pickups used for towing. There are only two sizes of radiators for gas engines, the one for the six and the one for all V8s so you are trying to cool a 460 with a radiator for a 302/351/400. The other issue goes back to the physical size of the 460. To quote Gary Lewis looking at some pictures of Darth "How high did they have to drop that from to get it in?". The engine is a tight fit and there isn't much room for air flow out.

The other, lifetime warranties, I had a very nice Modine radiator in Darth that I purchased from a shop in York County VA. I did the original install and when it developed a leak a few years later, I needed it done quickly, so paid the shop the labor and materials to replace it. Eventually it needed another, (a) Modine was out of business (b) radiator shop was out of business due to the owner having a massive fatal heart attack right after his 65th birthday. As a result I have a "lifetime warranty" Modine radiator on a shelf in my garage next to my spare, no longer available radiator/intercooler assembly for a Chrysler product (fits G,J & K bodies). Maybe one day, someone will resurrect Modine.
Bill AKA "LOBO" Profile

"Getting old is inevitable, growing up is optional" Darth Vader 1986 F350 460 converted to MAF/SEFI, E4OD 12X3 1/2 rear brakes, traction loc 3:55 gear, 160 amp 3G alternator Wife's 2011 Flex Limited Daily Driver 2009 Flex Limited with factory tow package Project car 1986 Chrysler LeBaron convertible 2.2L Turbo II, modified A413

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Re: Engine Cooling Thoughts And Radiator Recommendation

Rusty_S85
In reply to this post by Machspeed
Machspeed wrote
Thanks Rusty! You've been doing your homework on this, for sure. Looks like a quality radiator and I like the OEM look and fit that they speak about. From what I read, supposedly bolts right in and accommodates the shroud. I thought I read somewhere that it was made in the states but can't seem to find it. I like to know where stuff is made, as I take preference in our own country and am sick of this Chinese stuff.

Looks like it can be acquired through Summit Racing, thus free shipping. Read through the five reviews there, mostly good. One guy who owns a 96 Bronco posted; "Installed it in a 96 Bronco and couldn't be happier. It was a substantial size upgrade to the OEM one." Not sure what he means by the size upgrade???

https://www.summitracing.com/parts/rad-fot579a/make/ford/model/f-150/year/1986

If I get this, I'll paint it. I'm not a fan of that polished aluminum stuff. It will oxidize in time and look like garbage.

I can't recall, but do our OEM radiators have plastic tanks?
I am not sure where it is made I will how ever shoot an email to them to find out.  I wouldnt mind if its made over seas long as it fits and is made to high quality standards.  From the looks of it, it appears to be more of a US made item than a imported chinese build.

Size upgrade is probably the thickness of the cores over OE.  Its a big reason why I am entertaining the idea of just going with this radiator over keeping my OE copper one, the larger cores means more coolant can be held and will give it a larger cooling capacity.  Thats whats so bad about modern vehicles is the radiator is sized to be just enough to keep your engine cool and if you lose a spit of coolant then you are over heating.

Yep the aluminum will eventually look dingy even if it doesnt oxidize it will at the very least get stained with spots.  I know Eastwood sales their radiator black paint that is thin to not block the radiator cooling fins and make heat transfer harder.  It is what I would use if I decide to paint mine black.

The OE tanks at least on my '82 F150 was all copper for the tubes with brass end tanks for strength.

There are other brands out there and I have looked at them but I keep coming back to Cold Case myself for various reasons.  This page here of theirs "Why Us" breaks down the benefits of their aluminum radiator over cheaper units.

https://www.coldcaseradiators.com/why-cold-case

This is also the video at the top of the page, the founder of Cold Case is the founder of Pypes exhaust components.

https://youtu.be/CFN-LurcC30
"Old Blue" - '56 Fairlane Town Sedan - 292-4V, Ford-O-Matic transmission, 3.22:1
'63 Belair 2dr sdn - 283-4V, Powerglide transmission, 4.56:1
'78 Cougar XR7 - 351-2V, FMX transmission, 2.75:1 9inch
"Bruno" - '82 F150 Flareside - 302-2V, C6 transmission, 2.75:1 9inch, 31x10.50-15 BFG KO2
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Re: Engine Cooling Thoughts And Radiator Recommendation

Jake Papageorge
In reply to this post by Gary Lewis
I'm with ya on Champion Radiators!  

We have been using Champion heat exchangers for our race cars and tow rigs for the last 5 years or so.  Probably 10 or 12 installed in that time.  We had only one fail on a Dodge because the person who we installed it for zip tied his electric aux. fan directly to the core and after three years of vibration, it finally ground into the core causing one of the rows to leak.  If he had just used some rubber isolators!  

For the money, Champion radiators are a great value!  I had one in my Bronco.  Put in a two row to replace the 3 row brass/copper I had built several years before.  It was a pretty heavily modified 400M.  I actually had to take the 160 T stat out and put a 198 in so it would reach operating temperature a little quicker in cold weather.  Ran at a steady 175/180 year around.  

Unless your running some high compression or drag racing, a quality 2 row fabricated aluminum radiator is more than enough to cool a stock to moderately built V8 with a Viscus Clutch fan.  
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Re: Engine Cooling Thoughts And Radiator Recommendation

FuzzFace2
John, What you may have seen when you came out of the store was what is called Heat Soak.
That is where the heat from the motor soaks into the non-moving coolant and the temp will rise on the coolant but once the motor is started and the coolant moving a bit the temp should level out to normal.

This is normal for any motor & cooling system.
Also the 19x* stat is normal too. My 300 six calls for a 192* stat and is what I run.
I also have AC so have the larger radiator and shroud, 300 motors with out AC did not get a shroud.
I am also told the AC trucks got a clutch fan but I am running a good old direct drive fan and it cools just fine so I dont mess with it.

The only time I may see the temp climb a little is if I am sitting for a long light, AC on and it is in the high 90's but once I start moving it comes right down.

You also dont want the motor to run too cool as you will not boil off condensation and that can hurt your motor.
Dave ----
Dave G.
81 F100 flare side 300 six / AA OD / NP435 / 2.75 gear
http://cars.grantskingdom1.com/index.php/1980-Ford-F100?page=1
81 F100 style side 300 six/SROD parts truck -RIP
http://cars.grantskingdom1.com/index.php/1981-Ford-F100
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Re: Engine Cooling Thoughts And Radiator Recommendation

Rusty_S85
FuzzFace2 wrote
John, What you may have seen when you came out of the store was what is called Heat Soak.
That is where the heat from the motor soaks into the non-moving coolant and the temp will rise on the coolant but once the motor is started and the coolant moving a bit the temp should level out to normal.

This is normal for any motor & cooling system.
Also the 19x* stat is normal too. My 300 six calls for a 192* stat and is what I run.
I also have AC so have the larger radiator and shroud, 300 motors with out AC did not get a shroud.
I am also told the AC trucks got a clutch fan but I am running a good old direct drive fan and it cools just fine so I dont mess with it.

The only time I may see the temp climb a little is if I am sitting for a long light, AC on and it is in the high 90's but once I start moving it comes right down.

You also dont want the motor to run too cool as you will not boil off condensation and that can hurt your motor.
Dave ----
From what I see in the parts and illustration guide 81/82 had two options of fans for with A/C while 80 and 83/86 only had one option of fans for with A/C.  Below is what is shown on the screen further down for 81/82 which is what I used for my decision on fan upgrade for my '82 F150.

D7TZ-8600-A : Std Cooling, Extra Cooling, Super Cooling - 5 blade flex fan - 18" diameter
E0TZ-8600-A : Super Cooling, A/C - 7 blade flex fan - 18 1/4" diameter
D8TZ-8600-A : A/C - 5 blade clutch fan - 19" diameter

It is why I opted for a 18" diameter 7 blade flex fan from Flex-A-Lite in place of my 5 bladed flex fan.  I know it is 1/4" smaller than OE but the extra blades should improve cooling with my dealer installed AC and I hope to get my air registry vent temperature to drop below 58*F on a 100* summer day.  It also will go nice with the Cold Case radiator I am seriously looking at getting to over kill my 302 build.  I do have the E0TZ-8600-A part number saved on ebay in the off chance I can locate a NOS one which I would gladly swap in place of my Flex-A-Lite fan since I prefer OE components.

Interesting part is 80/82 had a flex fan option for A/C but only 81/82 had the option of a 7 blade flex fan everything else was capped at 4 - 5 blades.



"Old Blue" - '56 Fairlane Town Sedan - 292-4V, Ford-O-Matic transmission, 3.22:1
'63 Belair 2dr sdn - 283-4V, Powerglide transmission, 4.56:1
'78 Cougar XR7 - 351-2V, FMX transmission, 2.75:1 9inch
"Bruno" - '82 F150 Flareside - 302-2V, C6 transmission, 2.75:1 9inch, 31x10.50-15 BFG KO2
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Re: Engine Cooling Thoughts And Radiator Recommendation

Rusty_S85
In reply to this post by Jake Papageorge
Jake Papageorge wrote
I'm with ya on Champion Radiators!  

We have been using Champion heat exchangers for our race cars and tow rigs for the last 5 years or so.  Probably 10 or 12 installed in that time.  We had only one fail on a Dodge because the person who we installed it for zip tied his electric aux. fan directly to the core and after three years of vibration, it finally ground into the core causing one of the rows to leak.  If he had just used some rubber isolators!  

For the money, Champion radiators are a great value!  I had one in my Bronco.  Put in a two row to replace the 3 row brass/copper I had built several years before.  It was a pretty heavily modified 400M.  I actually had to take the 160 T stat out and put a 198 in so it would reach operating temperature a little quicker in cold weather.  Ran at a steady 175/180 year around.  

Unless your running some high compression or drag racing, a quality 2 row fabricated aluminum radiator is more than enough to cool a stock to moderately built V8 with a Viscus Clutch fan.
Dont get me wrong Champion makes a nice radiator.  Its about all we use at work, Champion or Enthropy which is the only company we use that makes LS retrofit radiators with baffled tanks and inlet/outlet on the same side.

For me I just cant justify a Champion radiator for a street driven truck with a warmed over 302.  I also dont want to go making these changes which it seems with every Champion radiator Ive installed at work requires some fabrication to get it to properly fit.  Sure it usually is chopping the rubber mounts down for a proper tight fit or in the case of Chevrolet trucks with the panel that holds the radiator down having to be chopped on.  Its just something I don't see the point of when I believe the cheaper Cold Case radiator would do what I need it to do in conjunction with my almost OE spec 7 blade flex fan.  Hell I was fully content with sticking with the 3 core copper radiator but the more I thought about it the more I realized do I really want to spend money to have a local radiator shop remove my tanks to clean it out so I don't contaminate my new engine build or put that $100 - $150 towards the $500 for the Cold Case plus shipping and tax.  I figured it would be better to invest on the new radiator for my expensive new engine build than to cheap out at the last minute.  It was also a reason why I decided against shipping my Cardone DSII distributor for a '85 5.0 HO mustang to be recurved and just spent $350 on a DUI distributor that is being custom built with a custom curve.  I just couldnt bring myself to trust my new engine to a cheapie $30 cardone distributor.
"Old Blue" - '56 Fairlane Town Sedan - 292-4V, Ford-O-Matic transmission, 3.22:1
'63 Belair 2dr sdn - 283-4V, Powerglide transmission, 4.56:1
'78 Cougar XR7 - 351-2V, FMX transmission, 2.75:1 9inch
"Bruno" - '82 F150 Flareside - 302-2V, C6 transmission, 2.75:1 9inch, 31x10.50-15 BFG KO2