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Mustang Radiator Upgrades
By Justin Cronin
For top quality Mustang upgrades, with guaranteed lowest price, lifetime warranty and free overnight delivery, check out radiator.com.
Mustang engines are designed to run hotter than most engines, but running too hot can cause serious damage and dramatically reduce engine life. Engines running above normal temperatures are more likely to cause breakdowns and failure of major engine parts. No question about it, keeping the engine cool is a key element in the functionality of your Mustang -and stock Mustang radiators can barely begin to keep up with the driving habits of many Mustang owners. Most stock Mustang radiators have one or two rows of tubes in the radiator core, which is hardly enough to cool a high performance vehicle such as a Mustang. Many stock radiators last an average of 5-7 years, and radiators in high performance Mustangs last even less. The easiest and most effective way to improve the cooling capacity of your engine is to install an upgrade radiator. Aside from being a low cost, easy to install modification for your Mustang, an upgrade radiator will improve gas mileage, emissions, and will allow for better compression and engine power.
PERFORMANCE DRIVING CONDITIONS
In high-speed situations, greater engine stress puts additional pressure on the radiator. This type of engine stress is a common cause of overheating. The cooling system of a Mustang dissipates enough heat to warm two average sized houses. Add a warmer climate to the already stressful conditions of racing and your stock radiator could fail at any time. An upgrade radiator would enable your engine to run at peak performance while reducing the risk of overheating. Many of these upgrade radiators can be installed with little or no modifications to your vehicle, and are made to fit your specific vehicle perfectly.
MAJOR ENGINE MODIFICATIONS
Many mustang owners choose to increase engine horsepower or upgrade their engines instead of keeping their cars "stock". With any increase in horsepower, your radiator may not be capable of handling the added pressure from the engine. Although many engines are compatible with stock radiators, stress and heat from added horsepower regularly causes overheating, and anyone upgrading their engine or horsepower must also upgrade their radiator.
TYPES OF MUSTANG RADIATOR UPGRADES
The most important aspect regarding radiator upgrades is finding one that moves engine coolant at a higher volume or has more fins per inch of core surface. Many times this will mean a thicker core or more rows of tubes in the core, but this is not always the case. In some instances upgrade radiators are the same thickness but have wider tubes, resulting in more coolant mixture flowing through the radiator and engine. Sometimes the upgrade radiator will cool more efficiently because it has more fins per inch of core surface. In either case, the result is a more efficient running engine. Here are common upgrade radiators for several Mustangs:
64 1/2 - 69 MUSTANGS 2.7L, 3.3L, 4.6L, 4.7L, 4.9L, 5.0L, 5.7L, 6.4L, 7.0L
Mustangs from these years came with either a 2 or 3-row core. The upgrade for these Mustangs is a heavy duty 3-row. If your stock radiator has the bottom radiator hose on the driver side of the vehicle, then you may have to modify the hose in order to fit a 3-row upgrade, but this is rare.
Radiator.com has both the 2-row and the 3-row upgrade for these Mustangs, and the 3-row upgrade can't even be found at the dealership. The Radiator.com price for the standard 2-row replacement is $169 and the 3-row upgrade is $229. All radiator.com prices include a lifetime warranty and free overnight shipping.
71-72 MUSTANGS 4.1L, 5.0L, 5.7L, 7.0L
Like the 64-69 models, these radiators are usually 2-row and sometimes 3-row. There are many upgrade models available for these Mustangs, and the best thing to do is call the people at Radiator.com. Their toll-free number is 1-888-radiator (888-723-4268) and they will be able to find your best upgrade option with a few easy questions.
If you tell them that you heard about them from this web site, they will give you the following lower -than-normal prices. The stock 2-row radiator for these Mustangs is $195 and the 3-row upgrade is only $205. If you can measure the core of your radiator before you call them, it will help them find the perfect fit for your particular Mustang. For further information on measuring the core of your radiator, see the section entitled "Measuring the Core of Your Radiator."
79-93 MUSTANGS 2.3L, 2.8L, 3.3L, 3.8L, 4.2L, 5.0L
Stock radiators in these Mustangs have two rows of tubes in the radiator core.
Radiator.com has the 2-row available as well as the 3-row. The price for the stock 2-row is only $99 and the upgrade 3-row is $134. These prices include the Radiator.com lifetime warranty and free overnight shipping.
MEASURING THE CORE OF YOUR RADIATOR
Measuring the core of your radiator is a key element in being able to insure correct fit on your first order. To measure the radiator core, you need to obtain proper measurements on the thickness of the core, the height of the core, and the length of the core. Make sure you are measuring the core only. Do not measure the tanks, mounting brackets, or any other part of the radiator or fan shroud. Only measure the honeycomb, finned part of the radiator. With other engine parts in the way, it is sometimes difficult to obtain a proper measurement. Try to be as accurate as possible with these measurements, because it may make the difference between ordering the correct or incorrect radiator.
SOME IMPORTANT THINGS TO REMEMBER...
Replacing your existing radiator with an upgrade will not necessarily make your engine run cooler, but it will prevent the engine from overheating better than the stock radiator. The engine in your Mustang runs best at a fairly high temperature. When the engine is cold, components wear out faster, the engine is less efficient, and the vehicle emits more pollution. So another job of the cooling system is to allow the engine to heat properly and quickly, and then to maintain the engine at a consistent temperature.
Also, installation of an upgrade radiator is not the only step in ensuring that your engine is running at proper temperature. Upon replacing or upgrading your radiator you should also have the engine flushed, check the thermostat for proper opening and closing, conduct a visual inspection of all cooling system components including all belts and hoses, and test the engine fan for proper operation.