96 TBird - 3.8 vs 4.6 radiator? - TCCoA Forums
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-18-2019, 09:15 AM Thread Starter
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96 TBird - 3.8 vs 4.6 radiator?

94-97 - what is the difference between the 3.8 and 4.6 radiators? Can they be interchanged?


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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-18-2019, 09:28 AM
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3.8 has a cap on the radiator and the 4.6 has the cap on the overflow. Not interchangeable as far as I know.

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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-18-2019, 11:21 AM
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Definitely not interchangeable

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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-18-2019, 03:45 PM
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Even if the 3.8L radiator could physically fit in the same spot as a 4.6L Radiator, there is also an issue of cooling capacity. I encountered this when I tried keeping by 3.8L radiator with my 5.0 engine; it wasn't good enough to keep the engine cool under load.

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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-18-2019, 04:24 PM
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They will physically interchange. The 3.8 Radiator is slightly heavier than the 4.6 radiator ( @ 19 lbs vs. 14 lbs ), not sure if that's relevant since they are both aluminum core with plastic end tanks .. otherwise the inlet and outlet are both the same 1.5" diameter. The only major different being the overflow and radiator cap - you could always run a higher pressure cap than the one on the 4.6 overflow tank and plug up the overflow orifice .. or run two overflow tanks if you want to get creative. No reason why it cant work, but the price difference is only about $10 between the two if you are buying aftermarket.
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