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View Full Version : Radiator blew in my car, Trying to find metal one with out spending 500 dollars can



BossII
01-24-2017, 07:59 PM
So the radiator blew in my car literally. The top tank and bottom tank are both blown. The rad had a small leak, which caused the coolant to go down, factor in -20 weather in canada wasn't pretty. I was taking the car down to the store and back when on the way back i noticed it started over heating. I heard a pop and a cloud of white smoke behind the car i pulled over and shut down the car i was only half a block from home so i limped it home. So today i started to pull the rad and noticed the damage. I'm hoping the head gaskets didn't pop when this happened, looking at the rad i'm thinking it took most of the damage. Looking around i'll be paying around 500 dollars for a new rad with metal tanks. I want to try to save money with out paying an arm and leg.

I found a rad out of town for 100 bucks it came out of a 1990 SC. I was trying to find out if it has plastic or metal tanks. Google doesn't seem to tell me anything and when looking at this site i can't find anything. It sucks because i had an 89 SC that i wrote off with two deer and that car had a metal rad wish i kept it as a parts car. So any help would be appreciated.

35thpartdeux
01-24-2017, 09:36 PM
I used the aluminum one from this site, it works well for stock cars https://www.radiatorexpress.com/part_lookup.asp?make=FORD&year=1990&model=THUNDERBIRD&submodel=SC&engine=3.8,232,,V6&subcategory_id=RADIATOR&stepCompleted=5

Creighton
01-24-2017, 10:35 PM
Sorry to read of the failure. No idea if the guy is to be trusted but here is one.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/THUNDER-BIRD-SUPERCOUPE-1989-TO-1995-Radiator-NEW-/232212313553?hash=item3610eeb5d1:g:8woAAOSwJ7RYXU-W&vxp=mtr

Hope to go aluminum myself, but budget...
Creighton

90tbird4.7l
01-25-2017, 12:27 AM
SC radiators are all metal

BossII
01-25-2017, 12:33 PM
i live in canada, so trying to obtain a radiator isn't easy. The one from radiator express would be nice if i had a way to get their. Does anyone know if the 1990 rad is plastic or steel?

good to doo
01-25-2017, 12:37 PM
Here in Bc I got my rad from Lordco auto $500 all metal. 95 sc.

RalphP
01-25-2017, 12:58 PM
I don't know if the radiators are all metal or not; however, the replacements RockAuto shows are all metal (you can tell from the shaping and the crisper angles).

RockAuto would be one possibility; the Ebay link says it ships to Canada, might want to message the seller and ask him/her what shipping would be.

Also, check RockAuto, they do ship from Canadian warehouses sometimes.

RwP

DOUG H
01-25-2017, 01:03 PM
My 89 & all 3 90's have metal, but 93 is plastic.
Spectra Industries(or spectra Premium offer's a
metal replacement part # CU 128. There was 2 in
Toronto w/house last time I checked.

KMT
01-25-2017, 01:06 PM
Does anyone know if the 1990 rad is plastic or steel?

As noted above...all are metal.

BossII
01-25-2017, 01:12 PM
Okay, because when i looked online at rock auto it didn't specify whether or not the spectra one is metal. Does anyone know how the quality is for spectra. the car does have only 112k kms on it so i want to ensure my investment is well worth it. That's why i was tempted to buy a grifen rad. To throw down a 1000 dollars is a little bit much. Yeah i seen lordco and other autopart stores sell the rads but 500 bucks is a little much.

RalphP
01-25-2017, 02:42 PM
Okay, because when i looked online at rock auto it didn't specify whether or not the spectra one is metal.

Click "INFO" tab.

At the bottom - Core material, Copper. Tank material, Brass.

Last I heard, both were metals *grins*

RwP

DOUG H
01-25-2017, 03:49 PM
Before worrying about how much to spend on a replacement
rad,maybe verify that you don't have a head or head gskt issue
My 5 S/C's & 2 XR-7 are all Canadian car's & all still have original rads
as far as I know. (some have over twice the km's of yours) In your first post you said it was overheating & then
BLEW both tanks off the rad ? I think you've got bigger problems.

BossII
01-25-2017, 04:17 PM
Before worrying about how much to spend on a replacement
rad,maybe verify that you don't have a head or head gskt issue
My 5 S/C's & 2 XR-7 are all Canadian car's & all still have original rads
as far as I know. (some have over twice the km's of yours) In your first post you said it was overheating & then
BLEW both tanks off the rad ? I think you've got bigger problems.

It looks like it was just the top tank, still not sure why it blew. Yeah that's something we're going to look at i hope it wasn't a head or head gasket that also went. I checked the oil 6 times to make sure it's not milky and still looks clean. when i started up the car to move it in the drive way to work on it it seemed to start up fine with no lack of power. Kinda hard to tell when moving a car 10 feet. Is their ways i can tell if i did any major damage to the car. I'm trying to be confident that it wasn't anything major.

Creighton
01-25-2017, 10:08 PM
A photo is going to help here. Excess pressure only thing I can think of that would blow the top seams. Let me know if you decide to pass on the $150 eBay unit. Fins on mine serious bent. Must have hit something.
Thanks!
Creighton

KMT
01-25-2017, 10:18 PM
Let me know if you decide to pass on the $150 eBay unit. Fins on mine are bent badly.


So bad a fin comb and a knitting needle wouldn't make better?

But yes, that eBay unit seems a good deal.

BossII
01-25-2017, 10:23 PM
I'm hoping that the pressure went to the weakest link which looks to be the rad. I'll post up some pictures tomorrow when it's light out. I'm going to go with the spectra unit on rock auto. It's 310 shipped to my front door which isn't bad at all. Like my buddy was telling me try to go with the best rad you can find, it's an investment not like it's going into a crappy car.

KMT
01-25-2017, 11:07 PM
I'm hoping that the pressure went to the weakest link which looks to be the rad.

Just like when ice cracks rocks on a cliff face, the damage comes from expansion when the coolant freezes - system 'pressure' isn't a factor when that happens. The radiator hangs out in the air and is likely to go first, but that doesn't mean it has any 'weakest link' dynamic/protective effect on other cooling system locations.

From a cracked block or water pump, to cylinder heads lifting etc., a good inspection when thawed out will help spot other issues, but if you can also commit to a reliable radiator so you can fill and close up the system, a pressure check is even better - good luck.

BossII
01-25-2017, 11:12 PM
Just like when ice cracks rocks on a cliff face, the damage comes from expansion when the coolant freezes - system 'pressure' isn't a factor when that happens. The radiator hangs out in the air and is likely to go first, but that doesn't mean it has any 'weakest link' dynamic/protective effect on other cooling system locations.

From a cracked block or water pump, to cylinder heads lifting etc., a good inspection when thawed out will help spot other issues, but if you can also commit to a reliable radiator so you can fill and close up the system, a pressure check is even better - good luck.

Yeah that's what my dad was saying was once i get a rad installed do a pressure test to ensure everything is fine and holding. I'm being optimistic that's the only damage that happened, i'll let you guys know the situation.

KMT
01-25-2017, 11:22 PM
Positive thinking FTW ;) Fingers crossed here too.

Creighton
01-26-2017, 01:27 AM
Yes,
Dog grooming comb is near spot on for mending. At $150 would just rather buy a new one.
Creighton

DOUG H
01-26-2017, 07:48 AM
Not 100 % accurate but can't hurt at this point since rad is out anyways & it may give you some piece of mind before buying a rad.
Plug or block off bottom hose, loosen off top hose at t/stat end & turn so that rad end is facing up,
Fill system up through top hose(will be slow with stat in) remove fan belt so w/pump wont run
hook trans cooler lines together if auto trans & start engine & observe top hose for 30-60 sec's If any bubbles come
up or it start blowing coolant out as soon as you start it, there is compression or combustion gases in
cooling system.

good to doo
01-26-2017, 11:44 AM
-20 You say. Are you positive it didn,t freez and pop the tanks. Just a thought.

BossII
01-26-2017, 01:59 PM
-20 You say. Are you positive it didn,t freez and pop the tanks. Just a thought.

that's what i'm wondering. Once i get a new rad i'll be able to figure out what i all did.

sam jones
01-26-2017, 03:13 PM
Yes,
Dog grooming comb is near spot on for mending. At $150 would just rather buy a new one.
Creighton

Good afternoon


If the radiator is the original brass/copper a good radiator shop could upgrade the core from 2 to 3 row. It is a good compromise between the high end Griffon price and the new stock unit.


Not as efficient as a Griffon but this change will make a significant difference over a stock unit cooling with a good operating fan.



Good Luck.

Creighton
01-26-2017, 07:07 PM
Excellent idea. Thank You.
Creighton