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After 14 years the radiator (Ford Racing 3 row from 2001) decided to spring a leak. It was running a little hot the other day on the way home after work, out of the blue. Checked the coolant before work the next day at 2 and took 1 1/2 gallons to top it off. Drive to work no problem, which is maybe 3 miles. Walked outside for lunch at 8 and found a puddle of coolant waiting for me. Popped the cap and id say i lost 1/2 gallon. Seems like a lot for that short of time. Bought some coolant and topped it off for the ride home. I had no funnel, and of course the wind picked up just as i started pouring lol. Drove home with the cap cracked. Checked it this morning and id say its down 1/2 gallon again.

So i started tearing things down and sure enough the radiator is leaking. The lower left corner of the core on the engine side is green with corrosion. The good news is that i bought 2 spare copper and brass 3 row the other year before the prices jumped any higher. They were 170 or so. The bad news is that both need to be retested first as the outlets were bent slightly, and when i straightened them some of the paint chipped at the joint. Same deal with the drains. They were covered in so much paint i broke the ears off one of them trying to break it loose. And the joint at one of them looks like a possible leak as a result.

My uncle said there is a shop nearby that deals with the old copper and brass radiators, one of very very few left it seems. So i gave them a call and they do it all. A recore for my application averages 225-300. ill let you know how that goes.

So if anyone needs their old copper and brass repaired, there are still shops out there. The trick is finding them.
 

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So youre 100% sure its the core that's leaking?Is there any chance it could possibly be leaking due to a bad seal/gasket(fits between the core & outlet tank)That would be an easy repair,if you can locate the rectangular seal/gasket.
 

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Why not just pick up an aluminum brand new for $200?
It crossed my mind but then i blinked and it was gone. I am working on a factory style restoration. Not concours, but close, so im a bit picky when it comes to parts selection. Besides, i already had two copper and brass on hand, one of which tested good so im already ahead, in both time and money. I have not tested the other however. But if it were to fail, i will probably just have that one repaired or recored along with the Ford i just replaced.

So youre 100% sure its the core that's leaking?Is there any chance it could possibly be leaking due to a bad seal/gasket(fits between the core & outlet tank)That would be an easy repair,if you can locate the rectangular seal/gasket.
There are no seals in this one, its an old copper and brass piece from the stone age lol. And it was the core. The fins are a green scaly mess on both sides and all smashed in on one, in the same corner. I may take a pic in the morning as its on time out in the garage right now, bleeding transmission fluid. Anyway, the new one (ACP brand) is in with no leaks and no overheating. Fitment took some work as the core is a tad wider than the old Ford so the tanks didnt fit the insulators properly, but i got it to work without too much fuss. And the Ford drain fit perfect so i tossed the ACP drain i boogered. Ill pick up an extra from the parts yard now that i know they will fit. I need to go back for a fender anyway. The repos are crap. But thats another story for another time.
 

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Oh I see fb93,I didn't know those don't come with a seal.
Since were on the topic of radiators,I know the 86-93 4 cylinder radiators are the same as the 86-93 5.0 radiator,but do you know if there's a better quality(2/3 row,aluminum,etc)radiator that comes factory installed in different year,make or models that could be had at a junkyard?? I figured this might be a possibility since you can score things like aluminum driveshafts,larger MAF meters,brake calipers,etc from a junkyard.
 

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Oh I see fb93,I didn't know those don't come with a seal.
Since were on the topic of radiators,I know the 86-93 4 cylinder radiators are the same as the 86-93 5.0 radiator,but do you know if there's a better quality(2/3 row,aluminum,etc)radiator that comes factory installed in different year,make or models that could be had at a junkyard?? I figured this might be a possibility since you can score things like aluminum driveshafts,larger MAF meters,brake calipers,etc from a junkyard.
Fitment between makes and models? I started lookin into this a couple months ago. You are pretty much stuck using a radiator from another Fox body. I have a list here somewhere, but never took the time to confirm them. The 94 and up however mount differently than the Fox, so you would have to fab some brackets just to use it. Remember, the radiator supports are not the same. The radiator cap sits higher off the tank than the Fox so that would need addressed as well. I dont know if it will interfere with the hood or not. As far as other makes go, you would have to do alot of parts swapping to find out what fits and what doesnt.

Row count? Couldnt tell you. But the Foxes came with either a 1 or 2 row. IIRC, the 1 row came on the older 2.3 without a/c. The Spectra brand aluminum/plastic radiators i keep seeing for a Fox (part numbers CU138 and CU556) are both listed as a 1 row. Amazon, ebay, and even Rockauto say the same). The 556 measures 24 1/2 x 17 9/16 x 1 5/16, and the 138 measures 24 1/2 x 18 x 1 1/4. The pictures everyone uses show them to be quite thin. Rockauto also shows an OSC brand 138 and 556. The 138 measures 24 1/2 x 18 x 1 7/8 and is listed as a 3 row, but the 556 measures 24 1/2 x 18 x 1 1/4 and is listed as a 2 row. I have no idea what the parts stores will have, but i do know their computers can be full of errors, and some of those guys cant use a computer to save their life. Measure your old radiator to be sure you are getting the correct replacement, online or off.

Quality? I can only assume that all aluminum radiators that use plastic tanks, stock or aftermarket, will be more or less the same. The seals will still be an issue at some point, which is the weakest link. The only way around them is to use a solid aluminum piece, no seals.

Sometimes i overthink things, but i like to be thorough.
 

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Great info fb,thanks.2 bad a link doesn't exist(or maybe one does)that would show every radiator made(by height,width,thickness) regardless of the year,make or model of vehicle.Then you could find a matching radiator (by size)& check the chart to see which vehicles that radiator comes installed in.With the thousands of different vehicles out there,theres gotta be 50+ vehicles that would have the same size radiator as the Fox,regardless of vehicle manufacturer, year or model.I'm sure some newer model vehicles would have a much better radiator vs the 1 row in our Foxes.Sure its easy to go out and buy a new,aftermarket high dollar radiator,but I'm talking about the guy on a budget & what he needs.lol
 
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