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ss396t6
01-05-2015, 05:24 PM
Were all OEM 1957 Thunderbird radiators 4-core? How do the new aluminum radiators compare in performance?

Thanks,
Scott

simplyconnected
01-05-2015, 05:53 PM
I don't think so, and don't be deceived. Sometimes 'more' is not better. More cores obstruct air flow. Air is a fluid as well. Your cooling system depends on ALL free-flowing fluids in order to exchange heat efficiently.

The OEM radiators were copper and brass. They conduct heat four times faster than aluminum. A factor of four is huge. If you have a copper radiator and the price of an aluminum is close to a re-core, always do the re-core.

Copper and brass can be repaired more easily than aluminum. - Dave

DKheld
01-05-2015, 07:18 PM
Scott,

Check with partsetal (Carl Heller) here on the forum. He may be able give some info on a great replacement if his vendor has rads for "Little Birds" too. I purchased mine for my Squarebird through him and couldn't be happier. Thought about the Aluminum route but would have needed to have a custom one built that included a transmission cooler $$$$ and the info Dave mentioned on heat exchange.
Went with the copper/brass as original and it's super nice.
Check this post for info and pics....
http://www.squarebirds.org/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=15883 (http://www.squarebirds.org/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=15883&highlight=radiator)

Eric

ss396t6
01-05-2015, 08:39 PM
Thanks, Dave and Eric. I am leaning toward re-core but I needed input from those who are veteran Thunderbird owners. There are some reproductions that have the OEM look but they are pricey. Aluminum compromises the OEM appearance even when painted black.
Dave, are you saying that 4-cores are less cooling efficient than 3-cores?

simplyconnected
01-05-2015, 09:48 PM
Yes, that's exactly what I'm saying. If you shut off air flow, none of the cores can cool. There needs to be a margin of space.

ss396t6
01-06-2015, 10:14 AM
Would 3-core be okay?

YellowRose
01-06-2015, 10:42 AM
Hi Scott, I went to our Advertisements Forum, clicked on CASCO, which is a 1955-1957 Tbird parts house only company. I asked them what the 1957 Tbird had on it for a radiator when it left the factory. They said the OEM radiator was a 3 row radiator. Then I asked them if they had any OEM type 3 row radiators in stock. Their reply is that they do not and they do not know of anyone who is making an OEM 3 row radiator for the Babybird. They have radiators for the '55-'57's but they are copper/brass (not OEM I gather) and aluminum. Check out CASCO in our Ad Forum, look up their copper/brass and aluminum radiator costs. Then go to this website and check and see what they want for a '57 Tbird 2 or 3 row aluminum radiator... I see that Radiator Express says you need to run a 16" fan with these radiators..

https://www.radiatorexpress.com/part_lookup.asp?make=FORD&year=1957&model=THUNDERBIRD&submodel=&engine=5.1,312,,V8&subcategory_id=RADIATOR&stepCompleted=5

If yours is an OEM radiator you might want to have yours re-cored if at all possible...

Here is what their pdf files says about these copper/brass radiators and also their aluminum ones.

First lets look at what radiators are readily available to the Classic thunderbird market.
Here at CasCO we offer two styles of copper-brass (Cu/brass) radiators. both have four rows of 1/2" copper tubes.
Part number 8005G has 144 tubes while parts number 8005H boasts 192 tubes. the manufacturer is able to get more tubes in the 8005H because they space them closer together. the third radiator CasCO offers is the all aluminum radiator. the aluminum radiator, part number 8005J, has two rows of 1" aluminum tubes. so at their core, these radiators are not only made of different materials, they also have different size tubes and different spacing between the tubes. You might wonder why aluminum radiators use 1" tubes and Cu/brass use 1/2" tubes. Our understanding is that aluminum tubing is stronger than the copper tubing. as a result, flattened aluminum tubes can handle more pressure than the copper counterparts without bulging. some calculation shows us that the 8005H has the highest square inches of contact with the fluid in the radiator.

I think the CASCO radiators also require a fan. Here is the .pdf file they provided me with regarding their radiators.

http://www.squarebirds.org/SB/ThunderEnlightening-23.pdf

ss396t6
01-06-2015, 05:12 PM
Ray, the engine has an aftermarket 6-blade fan and there is an electric fan mounted in front of the radiator. According to Peter the radiator is period correct but appears to have been re-cored. The leak is a small one right now so I am going to pull the radiator when I get it home and take it to my local radiator place to see if they can repair the leak.

In the other side of his shop he has a '37 Dodge pickup he is working on for a customer and a nice black '66 Thunderbird convertible he is storing for another customer. White top and white interior. $20K and it can be bought. Peter himself owns a '57 sedan delivery he is working on. He has a Paxton blower on the engine and he modified the hood with a '55-'57 Thunderbird hood blister.

By the way, the reason you couldn't read the whole VIN plate data is because someone peeled off part of it. Grrr.

Thanks for all that you do on the Squarebird. You and others have been a great help to this rookie.

Dutchbird
01-06-2015, 05:50 PM
I don't think so, and don't be deceived. Sometimes 'more' is not better. More cores obstruct air flow. Air is a fluid as well. Your cooling system depends on ALL free-flowing fluids in order to exchange heat efficiently.
The OEM radiators were copper and brass. They conduct heat four times faster than aluminum. A factor of four is huge. If you have a copper radiator and the price of an aluminum is close to a re-core, always do the re-core. - Dave

That's info everybody can use!
Thanks Dave for your thoughts on this (call it experience..) and everyone do with it what they want...

YellowRose
01-06-2015, 07:20 PM
Hi Scott, hopefully, when you pull the radiator, they will be able to fix that link. Did Peter give you any indication of his impression of that radiator over all? Hopefully, it is still in good condition.

Thanks for the explanation regarding the Data Plate.

Peter has some interesting toys around there to work on and play with!

ss396t6
02-01-2015, 02:57 PM
The radiator had two separations in the tank seam and was repaired and cleaned for $100. I repainted it and put it back in yesterday. New coolant and fresh water. I let it run for half an hour and the needle stayed on the left side of the gauge where the arc begins. When the tank was removed the repairman said it is a heavy duty four core. It is ready to drive and show.

Scott

simplyconnected
02-01-2015, 07:35 PM
MARCO!!! Good to see your posts again. I got your Christmas card (with a tree growing out of your hood, lol). I don't know what you are feeding them but Mees & Merel are growing too fast. Beautiful family. - Dave