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TexasEd

Replacing radiator on early 69 302 car

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I live in Texas and this car has always run hot.  I've owned it since the 80s.  I already flushed everything, installed a new LH water pump and tested the thermostat. I assume the root cause is the vertical hose orientation on the radiator that uses only about 30% for cooling the hot coolant.

I would love to replace the engine with a roller 351W in the next 5 years.  Until then I thought I might replace the original radiator with a cross flow and put a RH water pump on the 69 block.  Getting the right radiator to support the 351 would save me that expense later.  Is that possible to get a RH water pump on there or do I need to use a cross over for the lower hose?

I read that the cross flow design was implemented in 1969.  My car was built in Jan 1969 so it must have been before the change.  Anyone know when the change was made?

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the ford "cross flow" rad will typically not cool a hot running engine with a non cross flow enough to make it run cool if all else remains the same, so your problem lies elsewhere. less than optimal ignition timing can cause an engine to run hotter than it otherwise would, also, if it is bored more than .030" over, it will likely be next to impossible to make run cool on a hot day, especially if it has ac.

i have an original style rad that i had recored with the original style big tubes if you need another rad.

 

 

 

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I installed a 24” wide AC radiator into my no AC car for added cooling.

was an easy swap.

yes you can go to a 70 setup, you will have to change the timing pointer location and the easy thing would be to add a timing tape to the damper so you don’t have to replace that, however you could replace the damper and all the pulleys to make the 70 setup on your 69 engine 

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69 and 70 have different inlet hose locations....69 passenger side 70 driver's side... different location of water pump inlet ...and timing pointer's....just get a 69 radiator.24"..with new top mounts and lower mounts...you are done and off cooling..

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31 minutes ago, TexasEd said:

Thanks @Rsanter you listed the real impacts of switching over.  I think I'll hold off until I do a motor swap to change over the water pump.  I can look into the cross over tube if I want a new radiator.

 

32 minutes ago, TexasEd said:

 

As I previously stated:

"the ford "cross flow" rad will typically not cool a hot running engine with a non cross flow enough to make it run cool if all else remains the same, so your problem lies elsewhere."

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1 hour ago, TexasEd said:

Thanks @Rsanter you listed the real impacts of switching over.  I think I'll hold off until I do a motor swap to change over the water pump.  I can look into the cross over tube if I want a new radiator.

When you make the change to a 1970 setup, in addition to radiator, water pump, damper, timing pointer, and pulleys, to be a correct conversion I think you will also need the accessory mounting brackets for a 1970.  If not, I think you will find seeing the timing marks and pointer rather difficult.  Plus, it will then look correct.

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I addressed the ignition issues and it seems to run stronger and cooler now.  If I replace the radiator what should I use?  My car was a non AC car from the factory but had dealer added AC.  I imagine I should get an AC radiator now. I don't like the silver showing through the grill of an aluminum radiator but I guess the condensor.  I need to replace most of that stuff too.

Too much to work on and too little money

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You can paint the aluminum flat black so its not seen from the front...I bought a champion aluminum..pain to fit with a factory  shroud..but I did have my factory radiator recorded to a 3 core... bought a 4 core for my convertible from John's mustang...many years ago..it was expensive but the fit was good...

 

 

 

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12 hours ago, TexasEd said:

I addressed the ignition issues and it seems to run stronger and cooler now.

If I replace the radiator what should I use?  My car was a non AC car from the factory but had dealer added AC.  I imagine I should get an AC radiator now. I don't like the silver showing through the grill of an aluminum radiator but I guess the condensor.  I need to replace most of that stuff too.

Too much to work on and too little money

Exactly how did you "address" the ignition issue?

Why would you need to replace the ac condensor?

 

Your car should not run hot when it is around 80 degrees outside if the ac is off. If it does, then you have other problems that are unrelated to the radiator that should be fixed if possible. If the engine has ever been rebuilt, it may be bored out too far or may have a core shift, in which case it will run hot when it is 80 degrees outside with the ac off. It may also have some plugged water ports etc.

If it does not run hot now when it is 80 degrees outside with the ac off, then a lager rad will likely be all you need.

Not all rads are created equal. Some have large tubes in the core like the original rads and some have chinese cores which have tiny little tubes and the chinese ones are crap and will not cool nearly as well. They also have different thickness rads. Some have 2 rows and some have 3 and some have 4 etc. They also have different tube spacings available. The closer together the tubes are, the more tubes the rad will have which means the more water it will hold and the more cooling area it will have if all else remains the same. They also have rads with a multi pass feature which is used on problematic cars that have significant over heating issues.

Also, if your engine runs hot at low speed but cool at high speed, you do not have a rad problem you have an air flow problem which fan be fixed with different fans.

Also, if you install a big rad, you should install a high flow water pump and preferably also a brass milodon t stat.

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You also do not need to change all your pulleys and water pump just to run a cross flow rad on a non cross flow car. All you need is a flexible lower rad hose that is long enough to go from the pump to the lower rad fitting. I have done this many times without issue. No need to send a ton of money and reinvent the wheel here.

 

 

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12 hours ago, TexasEd said:

If I replace the radiator what should I use? 

Remove the rad cap and lower the water level until you can see the to of the tubes then take a high resolution photo of the tubes thru the fill hole and post it here.

Tell us how many rows deep the rad is.

Count the number of tubes going across the front of the rad.

What temp does it get to and under what conditions?

 

 

 

 

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I looked at my rads today and I have two 24" wide non cross flows if you are interested in one.

1. Used original in mint condition 3 rows deep and 42 rows across = 126 rows.

2. Original tanks with new core 4 rows deep and 43 rows across = 129 rows. This is basically the same as the rad in the link below that costs $570.00 without shipping.

http://www.coolcraft.com/ford-mustang-1968-69-v8-289-302-351-radiator.html

 

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Barnett I agree on the paint but the radiator should be sized big enough to cool the engine with some more to spare.. allowing the thermostat to function properly...this is Texas...it's hot..I have a mc338 in my 427 small block it keeps it cool with room to spare with a 147 deg thermostat ...there is a big difference between a 20" and. 24" 2-3-4 cores out there...more BTUs...I'm not taking about a small fan either..18" or 19" if you can fit it in a shroud... extra cooling flex..I would give up HP for better cooling between rounds...or stopping at a red light

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1 hour ago, 1969vert said:

Barnett I agree on the paint but the radiator should be sized big enough to cool the engine with some more to spare.. allowing the thermostat to function properly...

this is Texas...it's hot..

I have a mc338 in my 427 small block it keeps it cool with room to spare with a 147 deg thermostat

...there is a big difference between a 20" and. 24" 2-3-4 cores out there...more BTUs...

I'm not taking about a small fan either..18" or 19" if you can fit it in a shroud... extra cooling flex..

1. Yeah the paint won't have a huge affect but it is just as easy to buy the "right" paint and spray it on if one is painting it anyway.

2. The heat in most of Texas is nothin compared to Phoenix Arizona in the summer.

3. A 147 t stat is pointless in a street car and will usually always be open unless you have a 20 gallon rad, plus even if you got an engine to run at 147 degrees it will do far more harm than good due to premature engine wear, plus the oil will likely not get hot enough to cause any water in it to evaporate.

4. I know because I have been making engines run cool in hot weather as part of my business for over 40 years and I posted several of the differences previously.

5. Flex fans are not used anymore by any knowledgeable people I know, and they are not always a good choice since the blades flatten out at higher revs, thus greatly reducing the amount of air they can flow at higher engine rpms. Plus, the blades have been known to fly off and cut rad hoses or go thru hoods etc.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, barnett468 said:

1. Yeah the paint won't have a huge affect but it is just as easy to buy the "right" paint and spray it on if one is painting it anyway.

2. The heat in most of Texas is nothin compared to Phoenix Arizona in the summer.

3. A 147 t stat is pointless in a street car and will usually always be open unless you have a 20 gallon rad, plus even if you got an engine to run at 147 degrees it will do far more harm than good due to premature engine wear, plus the oil will likely not get hot enough to cause any water in it to evaporate.

4. I know because I have been making engines run cool in hot weather as part of my business for over 40 years and I posted several of the differences previously.

5. Flex fans are not used anymore by any knowledgeable people I know, and they are not always a good choice since the blades flatten out at higher revs, thus greatly reducing the amount of air they can flow at higher engine rpms. Plus, the blades have been known to fly off and cut rad hoses or go thru hoods etc.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Amen to everything you said.

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@barnett468  So I am curious what you mean by "Ford crossflow."  I have a universal Northern radiator that is a crossflow.  Crossflow to me means that the radiator flows horizontally.  Is a "Ford crossflow" something different, or am I reading into it too much?

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18 minutes ago, Cantedvalve said:

@barnett468  So I am curious what you mean by "Ford crossflow."  I have a universal Northern radiator that is a crossflow.  Crossflow to me means that the radiator flows horizontally.  Is a "Ford crossflow" something different, or am I reading into it too much?

Yes, a true cross flow has horizontal tubes, but that term has been attached to ford rads with the inlet and outlet on opposing corners of the rad, which has been tested by US Radiator and determined to decrease outlet temps by around 5 degrees, which is why I posted earlier that a (Ford) cross flow won't do much to increase cooling over a non cross flow.

Cooling systems are far more complicated than most people realize and unfortunately many people buy things they don't need or buy the wrong things etc and end up wasting a lot of money in the process and still end up with an engine that runs hot.

One of the best improvements one can do to a Ford rad in particular is have a "multi pass" plate installed. This forces the water thru two sections of the rad before it exits.

 

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On 7/15/2019 at 11:23 AM, barnett468 said:

Remove the rad cap and lower the water level until you can see the to of the tubes then take a high resolution photo of the tubes thru the fill hole and post it here.

Tell us how many rows deep the rad is.

Count the number of tubes going across the front of the rad.

What temp does it get to and under what conditions?

 

 

 

 

Looks like 2 rows deep.  21" wide by 3.5" thick

34 sets of fins across the front

I have not used a thermometer on it but it get 3/4 on the temp scale.  I recently installed a new sender unit.

 

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On 7/15/2019 at 6:54 PM, barnett468 said:

Yes, a true cross flow has horizontal tubes, but that term has been attached to ford rads with the inlet and outlet on opposing corners of the rad, which has been tested by US Radiator and determined to decrease outlet temps by around 5 degrees, which is why I posted earlier that a (Ford) cross flow won't do much to increase cooling over a non cross flow.

Cooling systems are far more complicated than most people realize and unfortunately many people buy things they don't need or buy the wrong things etc and end up wasting a lot of money in the process and still end up with an engine that runs hot.

One of the best improvements one can do to a Ford rad in particular is have a "multi pass" plate installed. This forces the water thru two sections of the rad before it exits.

 

You know I kept wondering why these types of Ford "Down Flow" radiators were being referred to as Cross Flow.  Down Flow ===> vertical tubes, Cross Flow ===> horizontal tubes.

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10 hours ago, TexasEd said:

Looks like 2 rows deep.  21" wide by 3.5" thick

34 sets of fins across the front

I have not used a thermometer on it but it get 3/4 on the temp scale.  I recently installed a new sender unit.

 

Ok, the core can not be 3.5" thick if it only has 2 rows of tubes. The stock tubes are 1/2" front to rear and those are the biggest tubes made for a copper brass rad and they always space them around 1/4" - 5/16" apart front to back.

The new sender is most likely reading incorrectly I guarantee it, therefore, the only way to know exactly what the true temp is, is with a caibrated infra red gun pointed at the intake next to the sender or a numerical read out gauge.

Irregardless, if your rad really is only 2 rows deep, I would definitely change it even if it really isn't running hot, but if your sender is causing the needle to read artificially high, and the true temp currently never gets higher than around 200, you can safely get away with using a smaller rad which will save you money, and just a standard 21" 3 row with 1/2" tubes will work, but bigger is always better in the case of cooling systems. The biggest problem is the ridiculously high cost of a copper/brass rad, which is one reason many people are switching to the much less expensive aluminum ones.

I would sell the 4 row I have for $400.00. That is at least $170.00 less than you can buy one just like it for and I would sell my 3 row for $300.00, and us radiator/coolcraft is the only company in the world that makes a big tube 3 or 4 row copper/brass rad.

 

 

 

 

 

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9 hours ago, 1969_Mach1 said:

You know I kept wondering why these types of Ford "Down Flow" radiators were being referred to as Cross Flow.  Down Flow ===> vertical tubes, Cross Flow ===> horizontal tubes.

Just turn it sideways and will be a real cross flow, lol.

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