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Super Coupe Club of America > SC Literature > Replacing Stock Radiators (90 and up)

by Sozon Sigalas

     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) $150
Extra Parts (actual cores) $ 50
Labor (inc. re-coring it, welding brackets to 89 radiator, etc) $225
Approximate total $425
What Ford wanted $600
Griffin (converted to Canadian, without labour, ouch!) $1000

     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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Document Last Modified: 07/29/04 03:33 AM
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