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Dakota Boy
01-06-2017, 02:11 PM
Has anyone out there purchased and installed a "Optima core" radiator like this? If so, I'd like to hear your thoughts and results. thanks (click on link)

http://www.usradiator.com/ford-thunderbird-1958-60-all-radiator.html

Dakota Boy
01-06-2017, 02:26 PM
http://www.usradiator.com/news/usradiator-factory-tour/

simplyconnected
01-06-2017, 02:26 PM
They are careful not to say what metal the lowest line radiators are made from. Then, they go into aluminum, copper, different centers, etc.

I want to see the real numbers. Heat exchangers can be accurately measured regarding BTU/minute ratings. An important factor is, how easily air flows through the cores. Sometimes too many 'obstructions' slows air flow like a brick wall.

Keep in mind, when Squarebirds left the factory they were equipped to tackle the Mojave desert while running A/C. So, 'factory' is usually good enough for stock engines.

If you are serious about cooling your engine, get an oil cooler because oil reaches temps of 300-degrees F.

Dakota Boy
01-06-2017, 02:32 PM
One way or another, my car is going to run cooler this year.

Yadkin
01-06-2017, 04:07 PM
These old cars usually overheated due to excessive idling or stuck in traffic. An electric fan is the fix for that.

Dakota Boy
01-06-2017, 05:42 PM
tried that already. I could idle all day with the electric fan, but temps would climb running down the interstate at 70mph. My engine also makes twice the HP than before. I went to a 6-blade fan with a proper shroud. I'm ok now unless its a warm day.

Deanj
01-07-2017, 12:46 PM
I have an AC car and the problem is low speeds or idle. The needle goes right up to the H, but not beyond. I heard the aftermarket fan shroud helps these situations. I heard this was a late 1960 addition. Is any of this confirmed? I'm aware Chevrolet eliminated oil coolers on the C5 corvette by mandating synthetic Mobil 1.

jopizz
01-07-2017, 01:34 PM
I heard the aftermarket fan shroud helps these situations. I heard this was a late 1960 addition. Is any of this confirmed?

There is a fan shroud shown in the parts manual however I've had a number of '60's with A/C and none have had one.

John

Yadkin
01-11-2017, 02:20 PM
tried that already. I could idle all day with the electric fan, but temps would climb running down the interstate at 70mph. My engine also makes twice the HP than before. I went to a 6-blade fan with a proper shroud. I'm ok now unless its a warm day. My fan doesn't even turn on when I'm on the highway.

Dakota Boy
01-11-2017, 02:26 PM
then perhaps my original radiator is not as clean inside as I am assuming.

Deanj
01-14-2017, 12:35 PM
John, so I don't find the shroud anywhere in my manual, but it seemed to be there as depicted in your diagram.

The next question is does it make a significant difference in cooling? It would certainly make things more crowded in an AC car like mine.

BTW, I know you were asking about non-modified 1960 AC cars. The only change in mine was the switch to R134.

Tbird1044
01-15-2017, 12:21 AM
Dean:
Just by logic, the fan shroud should improve airflow through the radiator. There is also a lot of info out there of proper fan position with a shroud. Rougly they want about 60% of the fan blade inside the shroud and 40% outside. I had to buy a thinner fan spacer to get this position. I'll include a picture of the aftermarket shroud on a stock AC 1960 with a 352.
Nyles

olevet
01-15-2017, 01:46 AM
Im thinking of adding and electric fan to Front side of the Radiator and just add a simple toggle switch for on/off And just turn it on if she starts gettin hot
Anyone tried that?

simplyconnected
01-15-2017, 02:36 AM
That's not a good idea because:

You will forget,
Someone else driving your car won't know, won't pay attention to your gauges or won't remember.
You don't want to wait until the engine overheats.
The cooling system should always have a reserve of some capacity.

If you put anything in the path of air flow it is a restriction. Even so, an electric fan should be thermostatically controlled OR it should automatically come on with the A/C compressor.

The thermostat should monitor RADIATOR temp, at least half way down in case you lose some coolant. And yes, sometimes I go many Michigan winter months where my electric fan never turns on.

There is such a thing as 'too much cooling' like in trucks, where they cover part of their radiator to conserve heat. Too bad we don't have that problem.

scumdog
01-15-2017, 03:54 PM
Im thinking of adding and electric fan to Front side of the Radiator and just add a simple toggle switch for on/off And just turn it on if she starts gettin hot
Anyone tried that?

Exactly what I use.

After years of no fan at all I regularly check the temp gauge anyway - so knowing when to turn the fan on is second nature. (Not that I need it that much anyway - little traffic build-up, mostly open roads and NZ isn't exactly the Mojave Desert!)

"Your results may vary"

olevet
01-15-2017, 03:59 PM
That's not a good idea because:

You will forget,
Someone else driving your car won't know, won't pay attention to your gauges or won't remember.
You don't want to wait until the engine overheats.
The cooling system should always have a reserve of some capacity.

If you put anything in the path of air flow it is a restriction. Even so, an electric fan should be thermostatically controlled OR it should automatically come on with the A/C compressor.

The thermostat should monitor RADIATOR temp, at least half way down in case you lose some coolant. And yes, sometimes I go many Michigan winter months where my electric fan never turns on.

There is such a thing as 'too much cooling' like in trucks, where they cover part of their radiator to conserve heat. Too bad we don't have that problem.

Forget? Very possible
Some one else driving my Bird? Aint gonna happen
Wasnt planning on waiting till it overheated.

c4clewis
05-31-2017, 06:35 AM
Did you ever get your temps down? I'm down in Louisiana, and with the engine .30 over, headers, and A/C, I can't keep the temps down with the stock radiator. I've had the original radiator cleaned and rodded, and added the fan shroud. I still couldn't keep it off the "H" driving around town last summer, when I would shoot the surge tank with an infrared gun, the temps were around 220F, higher than I would like.

I was also looking at the US Radiator Optima, but their website email doesn't work and I'm out in Afghanistan through the winter. I'm trying to have any parts waiting on me when I get home. You know, something to do!

I also stumbled upon this one today.... http://classicfordradiator.com/58-60FordThunderbirdCopperBrassHighEfficiencyAutoRadi ator.aspx

RustyNCa
05-31-2017, 02:00 PM
Did you ever get your temps down? I'm down in Louisiana, and with the engine .30 over, headers, and A/C, I can't keep the temps down with the stock radiator. I've had the original radiator cleaned and rodded, and added the fan shroud. I still couldn't keep it off the "H" driving around town last summer, when I would shoot the surge tank with an infrared gun, the temps were around 220F, higher than I would like.

I was also looking at the US Radiator Optima, but their website email doesn't work and I'm out in Afghanistan through the winter. I'm trying to have any parts waiting on me when I get home. You know, something to do!

I also stumbled upon this one today.... http://classicfordradiator.com/58-60FordThunderbirdCopperBrassHighEfficiencyAutoRadi ator.aspx

I wonder if that is similar to what I ended up with? I had my stock radiator recored recently with a high performance core. But it was thicker than the stock core by probably .5"? I also pulled the heavy duty clutch fan I was running and converted over to dual electric fans with a thermostatically controlled switch.

I didn't switch the fan out because of cooling issues though, I'd never had a problem with running hot. For one, the original core was done, but pretty impressive that it had been in use since 1958, about 59 years... The other reason was, I had no room for the traditional fan and radiator location. I would guess I have moved my radiator forward three maybe more inches forward of the stock location at this point.

Cheers
Bryan

Penelope
06-01-2017, 04:10 AM
then perhaps my original radiator is not as clean inside as I am assuming.

I put this through a block and radiator of another classic vehicle I have, but only the "flush" parts, not the coolant.

http://liquidintelligence.com.au/products/239-500-engine-cooling-system-overheating-repair-kit

It is an Australian made product and it works, guaranteed. They ship overseas as well. I also then use this instead of glycol coolants or water

https://www.evanscoolants.com.au/vehicle-types/classic-cars/

It certainly isn't cheap but, neither are rebuilds. The comfort of not worrying about temp in the heat when you are lining up to go into a classic car show is worth it as well, especially when you drive past others with their hoods up...

It have also just put it in my 1960 bird as I have added air con to it and was concerned about temps, but the block and radiator in that one are now clean as well. Bring on summer I say....

Derbird
06-01-2017, 06:54 PM
Here is another company to look at. http://prchotrod.com/
There are a lot of high horsepower street rods that run a radiator from PRC that have no problem with heat. They are also running good electric fans and shrouds. They have made them for Squarebirds also, I have one sitting in my shop now.

Dakota Boy
06-02-2017, 09:11 AM
I ordered a 4-row "optima" core radiator from US Radiator yesterday. I just got tired of looking at my temp gauge all the time.

c4clewis
06-03-2017, 05:09 AM
Where/how did you order it? I've tried the email from their website, but something is wrong with the page.

Did you call them directly? (trying to call from overseas so I'll have to find a good time)

Dakota Boy
06-03-2017, 10:33 AM
I called them on the phone during west coast business hours. Be prepared to pay another 70 for shipping. Then wait 2-3 weeks for it to be built.

c4clewis
06-03-2017, 11:55 AM
Let us know how it looks, fits, and functions. I don't get home until December, so I'll use you as the guinea pig!

2-3 weeks isn't a bad turnaround time.

Dakota Boy
06-27-2017, 06:00 PM
So.... I have installed the new radiator and took a test ride today. Now I have all the cooling capacity in the world; or so it seems.

Anyone considering one of these for their own Square' should be aware that the 4-row version sits 5/8" closer to the fan.

Bolts right in; no unexpected fabrication or frustration.

c4clewis
06-27-2017, 06:11 PM
Awesome.

I take it there is a noticeable difference in your temps then?
I won't need to order for a couple of months, please keep us updated on how it holds out through the summer.

Dakota Boy
06-27-2017, 07:04 PM
old radiator = going down the interstate at 75mph/3000rpm the temp was 200-205 F.

New one under the same conditions = 160 F. (Thermostat is a 160)

I am going to cut the tanks off the old radiator and see how the tubes look. I will post up a photo when I have it.

DKheld
06-28-2017, 10:50 AM
Ouch $$$ ...... but worth protecting all that money in the engine. About double a standard radiator price so thinking about it further maybe it's not so expensive for custom work.

Wonder why they have N/A for factory A/C in all their types of radiators - maybe because they also sit out further and will interfere with the Condenser coil?

Do you have the auxiliary transmission cooler or was one built in to the new rad?

Thanks,
Eric


(from US Radiator web site)


Extreme style copper core with 1/2" tubes on 5/16" centers. Offers 40% more heat transfer points. The most efficient core on the market when combined with increased air-flow and our Tripleflow option (note: In almost all cases, we will not sell the Optima core without the Tripleflow option. Tripleflow option requires that inlet and outlet be on opposite sides and must use auxillary tranny cooler for AT vehicles). LEARN MORE (http://www.usradiator.com/cores)

Part Number..Factory Air..Rows..Cooler..Core..Thickness.MSRP
050270SNNK...N/A.........3....... No..................2"....$562.00 050270ANNK...N/A.........3........Yes................ 2"....$562.00 050270SNDK...N/A.........4.........No...............2-5/8" $647.00
050270ANDK.. N/A.........4........Yes...............2-5/8" $647.00

Dakota Boy
06-28-2017, 03:02 PM
I have an external trans cooler; not in the radiator itself.

As far as the A/C thing goes; I will say the new one does not sit any further out towards the front of the car. The 4-row version is 5/8" thicker, and so it is 5/8" closer to the engine.

byersmtrco
07-05-2017, 05:11 PM
I had a 4-row built for mine when I put the engine in. It helped.
But at slow speeds, you can have a radiator the size of a building. If there's no air going thru it, it can't do it's job. The 7 blade (direct drive ) fan and the SHROUD does the trick. I have idled in traffic on HOT days. It never ever gets hot. When I 1st did it, I let it idle for an hour on a 95 deg day.
I used an old meat thermometer in the surge tank. It never went over a buck 95.
Runs 180-185 normally.

Dakota Boy
07-06-2017, 07:31 PM
I cut open the old radiator today. I suppose its condition is average for a 59-year-old radiator. Photos attached. The transmision cooler construction was not what I was expecting to see. Sorta interesting...