Aluminum Radiator in a 6 Cylinder - Mustang Evolution

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Old 04-30-2015, 08:43 AM   #1
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Aluminum Radiator in a 6 Cylinder

I am considering putting an aluminum radiator in my '66 6 cylinder. I'm wondering specifically if anyone has experience with this setup, but would also like to heat from V8 owners who switched to aluminum. I don't know if I have room for 2 row with 1" tubes, so I'm also considering 1 row with 1 1/4" tube. Should still be more capacity than the 3 row copper I have now. My first 3 row worked great but had a mishap last year and had to replace it. The replacement does not work as well. Looking for informed opinions please. Thanks

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Old 04-30-2015, 09:53 AM   #2
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I have a 67 with a 289 (later 302 dressed as a 67 289). I switched because my old rad would clog, overheat, and spray coolant everywhere. If I remember correctly, I went with a Champion 3 core I think. With the electric fan setup I added, I was having interference issues, so I wound up manipulating the core support. The support flanges back towards the engine about a half inch. I bent the flange forwards significantly and carefully knocked the mounting points forwards a bit. This gave me almost an extra half inch to play with. If you do something like this, be sure not to flatten it completely because I'm sure the core support gets a lot of rigidity from having the flange there.

I also replaced the drain plug on the alum rad with a sacrificial anode. I found it on amazon for maybe $10-15. I have yet to drain things and pull it to see its condition, but it seemed like pretty cheap insurance compared to the price of the rad.

Not sure is anything else I did really applies to your situation. Good luck and let us know how it goes!
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Old 05-01-2015, 10:17 AM   #3
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I think I would go with the 2row and one inch tubes. I'm about to order a rad in the next few days and I'm in the same boat...3row, 2row...tube this tube that, dual fan...single fan?!?!?
I think I will go for the 2row with the bigger tubes and a double fan assembly. Probably Champion rads. Mind you, I do have a big block so maybe my boat is a little bigger lol.

What brand r u going to order?


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Old 05-01-2015, 01:11 PM   #4
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Yeah in hindsight I would have gone with a dual fan setup just for clearance issues. When I finally get around to engine work, I might go with an electric water pump or short water pump.
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Old 05-01-2015, 06:55 PM   #5
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There is a local guy that makes them. I'm in Southeast Michigan. He's got a good reputation. I may be stuck with the 1 1/4" tube because the six cylinder is longer than the v8's and I don't have much room. He says the rows in a copper rad are 3/8" so 3 rows equals 1 1/8" vs 1 1/4" aluminum one row. I am going to see him tomorrow so we can make a decision. If there's room, I'll do the 2 row. I would also like an electric fan so 1 row would make that easier. It may come down to what fits, or a coin toss!

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Old 05-01-2015, 07:08 PM   #6
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If you're going with electric fan, I'd look for that first. If you remove the original can and go with a two-fan setup, that would give you much more clearance. Then you can get as much rad as you want in there.
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Old 05-01-2015, 07:23 PM   #7
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The '66 read isn't very big, something like 20" x 17" so 2 fans might be tough. That would keep them away from the water pump pulley though. The guy is suggesting off-setting a single fan to move the motor from the same space as the pulley.

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Old 05-01-2015, 09:39 PM   #8
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That might work too. The fan motor can't be more than 4ish inches wide, so all you'd need is a few inches to clear. If you wanted to get really crazy, you could drop in a V8 rad
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Old 05-02-2015, 12:34 AM   #9
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I've recently put a electric fan on my car with a stock rad and barley had enough room between the fan and the water pump stud. ( the little nub that keeps the pulley and space centered) less than a 1/16th of an inch. So I had to offset it. And without a shroud it gets pretty warm sitting at lights gets up to like 210 pretty fast. My fan is 16" I think if I were to get two 12" fans I would be able to space then out better and would be able to make a shroud.
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Old 05-02-2015, 06:03 AM   #10
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Ya exactly, I found a kit on the champion site for that 2row and 2 12inch fans and the shroud for about 300$. All aluminum. And yes, the space between the 2 fans would allow for more clearance. I have a "mopar" friend with a big block 400+inch that swears by these rads.



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Old 05-02-2015, 09:05 PM   #11
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I went saw the radiator guy this afternoon. There is about 3/4" in front of the rad and if he offsets the brackets and I minimize the fan spacers, I might get the 2 row to fit. Gonna do some mocking up at my brother in law's shop Monday. It's more expensive than you guys are talking, but I don't think I could get one off the shelf to fit a 6 cylinder. Car ran hot today and it was only 75 deg. Pretty sure this radiator has a problem anyway.

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Old 05-15-2015, 06:25 PM   #12
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Well I bought it. Polished it up myself. We'll see if it fits! Pretty sure it well.

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Old 05-15-2015, 06:37 PM   #13
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Sweet rad brother!


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Old 05-15-2015, 07:05 PM   #14
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Sweet rad brother!


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Old 05-15-2015, 07:43 PM   #15
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Nice! You might consider this:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B001GR09S4..._ZgPvvb1DYB8VZ

Some cheap insurance to protect the rad from electrolysis. Let us know how it fits!
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Old 05-15-2015, 11:18 PM   #16
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Good tip. I think I'll get one. Thanks

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Old 05-15-2015, 11:50 PM   #17
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I got one when I swapped rads, fit right in the drain plug hole. I'd double check the length just to be sure you don't push out the front of the radiator.

I'll be honest though, I haven't drained it since I installed it, so I can't confirm that the anode is actually wearing down, but for $8....
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Old 05-16-2015, 12:56 AM   #18
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Looks ba!
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Old 05-28-2015, 07:31 PM   #19
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It's sad that it took 3 weeks for me to find an hour to swap the radiator, but it fits perfectly. I had him mount the brackets so I could recess it about 1/4" and removed all but 1/8" of spacer. There's actually more space between the rad and fan now than there was. And I was worried. Now to admit I didn't plan well so I need to get new houses to finish the job. And my fan bolts are 3/8" too long now. Both quick fixes. I'll be testing it this weekend if all goes well.

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Old 05-28-2015, 07:32 PM   #20
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Here's a pic. Might be sideways, sorry.

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Old 05-28-2015, 09:47 PM   #21
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Looks good! I know what you mean about finding time...story of my life.
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Old 05-29-2015, 06:33 AM   #22
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Looks great! And the final $ ?


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Old 05-29-2015, 09:02 AM   #23
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Slightly more than a Scott Drake off-the-shelf unit which can be had for about $325. I liked being able to work with the guy locally. I was able to test fit it before I bought it, and we customized the brackets a little. All in all, I'm happy with the part and the price.

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Old 06-02-2015, 09:17 PM   #24
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OK it's in. Fit great, no leaks. I went with a 180 deg t'stat. Temp needle stayed nice and low. 50 deg Michigan night may not be the toughest test though! I'll have higher tempts later this week but I'm very confident. As Edd China would say on Wheeler Dealers, "Result"

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Old 06-02-2015, 10:26 PM   #25
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Nice. 180 should work fine...I think originally the small blocks were 170, but I might be misremembering. Let us know how it handles idling on a hot day.
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Old 06-03-2015, 07:29 PM   #26
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I don't know when we'll get a "hot" day but it did great in heavy traffic with the a/c on today. Temp was about 75.

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