I recently came across a problem with my 95 Thunderbird SC.
My radiator started smoking. Being a fairly new car (only 3 years old), I was quite
surprised at this. I first called up Ford and asked them how much it
would be to replace my radiator... Being Ford (Cough Cough) they said "$600"
(keep in mind I'm Canadian and all prices I show are Canadian). I was
going crazy, no way am I gonna spend 600 bucks on a radiator. Next option, if
I'm gonna get a new radiator, I may as well check out a good one (i.e.
Griffin aluminum). But that was 600 American dollars.. and hrm for a
radiator that was a bit too steep for me. I was thinking my only option was
to go with Fords... But .. I realized wait a second, it was the Ford
piece of crap radiator that got me into this in the first place.
I started asking around for other alternatives.. and Wayne Ing
(president of SCCoO) told me to go check out a local radiator shop near his
house. So I, having nothing to lose went over there and asked the people
to check out my problem. First off, my radiator wasn't leaking from the core,
it was leaking from the tanks. If it was leaking from the core that is
easy to fix.. just re-core it.. only 50 bucks to do.. but they pressure
tested it and found that it was leaking from the tanks. The problem with
Ford's (cough cough) radiator was that their tanks were made of plastic..
hence the easy leakage. When they pressure tested it they found that to
repair it would be useless because it would happen again probably 1 year
down the road again.
Now here is where my article gets to the good part. This mechanic
also fixed Wayne's car and had found out through research that the 89
model SC actually had metal tanks, and not the cheap, money saving for
poor Ford, plastic tanks.. So he told me this was the deal.. he happened
to have an 89 SC radiator in stock (hard to find by the way). Now it wasn't a
direct bolt.. He needed the brackets of my existing radiator, plus the actual
89 radiator, then just throw in 3 cores and its done.
Breakdown in Price (Canadian Money):
89 radiator (he had in stock)
Extra Parts (actual cores)
Labor (inc. re-coring it, welding brackets to 89 radiator, etc)
What Ford wanted
Griffin (converted to Canadian, without labour, ouch!)
Now the 425 bucks I spent, what did it get me ? well since stock
radiators are 2 core, and my new radiator is 3 core.. I actually have a better
cooling radiator then I had in the first place. Second, I had 175 bucks in my
pocket (or 575 bucks, whichever radiator I would have got).
The Problems (there has to be problems) .. well not many. First off,
I think this radiator is really hard to find, I was just lucky the radiator place
had one in stock, I would call it a fluke they did. He didn't want to
lose the one he had so he called a bunch of junkyards and came up
empty.. so he gave me the one he had (it was also in great condition).
Other problems ? None that I know of, I don't mind having extra money
and better cooling =) I don't know how much better a Griffin would be,
but I can't imagine being that much better then my new 89/95 radiator.
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