Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Fitting A New Larger Race Radiator In The 68!

While our old 3 core copper radiator worked just fine for our 68's mild built 302. Going turbo will add additional heat into the car, so a larger more efficient means of cooling is a must. For that I got a champion 4 core aluminum radiator. While it will do everything we need it to, fitting it in  was not a simple bolt in task.

First I removed the fan and disconnected the wiring. 4 bolts attach it to the radiator and the power and ground wires were disconnected from the fan control module. Then just lift out and set aside.

 Next the radiator was drained and the hoses removed from it. Since its a
5-speed car no transmission lines were attached. If you have an automatic you'll need to detach the transmission cooler lines as well, if your radiator uses the lower portion to cool (champion makes radiators for both 5-speed and auto). After draining all the fluids, 4 more bolts hold the radiator to the support. Then remove the thermostat probe and lift radiator out of the car.

Now the easy part is over. The new radiator is a little taller and doesn't have the slopping the edges like our copper one did. So to fit, it had to be lowered into the car more and here's how. First because the car has a Mustang II front suspension installed. The old strut rods braces can be removed. To do so I used a reciprocating saw to remove the large pieces. Then went back with an air saw to remove the smaller portions and finally finished it up with a grinder to remove any remaining metal. With this done the focus turned to the radiator support. Because this radiator is thick, I wanted to set it back as far as possible for the most engine clearance. So the bottom lip of the radiator support had to be altered. To do so, I made about 6-7 cuts along the lip and folded it up against the support itself. For added strength I went ahead and welded the fold to the support.

The reason for the new radiator was larger surface area for cooling, but the current opening concealed a good part of that area. So I set the radiator again the support and traced a line using a marker of area needing to be removed. The air saw with a fine blade made quick work of the excess sheet metal leaving a perfect fit for the new radiator. Lastly 4 new hole were marked and drilled to mount the radiator. This was done by positioning the radiator on a floor jack and raising to the correct height of the hole. Using a 1/2 drill bit and a uni-bit to clean up the holes. The radiator get mounted up.

For the fan. It mounted directly to the old one, but because the new one is much wider. I had to come up with a new design. Using the same parts that came with it. I mount the fan to one side to the radiator as before (had to drill the holes for it. Then using two of the supplied arms, I created a new single arm able to reach to the other side of the radiator. To make the arm I used a flat head socket screw, so it would sit flush in the arm. This prevents any radiator wear and bolt down from the top to allow adjustment with ease. Then Just reverse the removal process bolting down and reattaching the wires.

Now we have a bigger, better and more efficient means of cooling off our street beast. Total cost was around $300 including the cost of the radiator, hoses, bolts and blades. Not bad for the gains in cooling!

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