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post #1 of 40 (permalink) Old 10-31-2013, 08:02 PM Thread Starter
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Radiator upgrade

I haven't posted a question in a while but Iam in the process replacing my cooling system. I just installed the pi intake, no leaks thanks to all the info everybody here post about the install. Thank you very much. My 2003 cobra water pump from rockauto is on the way. Along with new upper and lower rad hoses. I have already replaced my rad fan two months ago. Stock type could not find mark vii fan for a good price. I replaced my heater hoses and temp sensors with the pi intake. My question is a 99 mustang aluminum radiator replacement. I know there will be install mods to do but how bad. I know there is the cobra radiator upgrade but I can get a mustang radiator for far less. Any advice or ideas will be very much appreciated. Thank you.
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post #2 of 40 (permalink) Old 10-31-2013, 08:21 PM
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What's wrong with running the factory one? Are you road racing? I don't know if there will be any performance difference with a GT? I can see doing a 03-04 Cobra radiator, Robertp has one in his 95. You'll need a nice trans cooler to go with it. Rob and I both run a 05 an up f150 large trans coolers. I bypassed my radiator and haven't seen trans temps above 130 yet.

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post #3 of 40 (permalink) Old 10-31-2013, 09:13 PM
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When you say "far less", what do you mean?

I see Cobra radiators on sale all the time on ebay for $75-$100!

AAMOF, I have a solid aluminum 2003 Cobra radiator in my TBird that I got for $100 a couple years ago.

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post #4 of 40 (permalink) Old 10-31-2013, 11:42 PM
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You really don't need a radiator upgrade until you're running boost, IMO. Even with my extra compression, my temps stay where they need to be.

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post #5 of 40 (permalink) Old 11-01-2013, 07:37 AM
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Edit that the stock radiator is more than enough even with boost the only reason I upgraded radiator is I road coursed my car, if it had not been for that I'd still be using the factory radiator


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post #6 of 40 (permalink) Old 11-01-2013, 02:03 PM
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Good to know.

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post #7 of 40 (permalink) Old 11-01-2013, 05:32 PM
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I found the stock radiator did not have enough margin with my stock PI motor and Dog converter. Worked fine until I came up on a light running the air on a 95+ day.

Even with the Cobra radiator and fan it will go from 190 to 210 at just one light running the AC on a 95+ day. It cools back down pretty quickly once moving again.

I think I could use more cooling and also on the Trans side. I run the TruCool Max and still hits 190 on a hot road trip. The heat builds over time, it takes more than a couple of hours with the AC on to hit 190 and then it levels off even for 10 more hours.

I compared my radiator to Raphael's stock at a local meet. It is noticeably bigger, but there is plenty of room for more fins between the tanks.

I guess it depends on what you are doing with your car. Short runs at home or track stock is fine.

When I pull my 3500 lb boat with the Bird, it heats up plenty quick on a hot day, hitting 220 in about 10 miles.

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post #8 of 40 (permalink) Old 11-01-2013, 05:35 PM
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Well, there must be something going on in my engine because I simply could not stop the overheating problem (I even had parked the car for TWO YEARS because I couldn't run it without it overheating).

I bought two new stock t-stats, two new 180* t-stats, new hoses, new temp sensors, two new water pumps, new OEM radiator, two new catalytic converters (rammed out the third), new electric fan motor, two different fan blades, flushed the motor, replaced the little stock chin spoiler cover, and added water wetter. STILL OVERHEATED...

I know others live here in Florida with these cars and don't have this issue, so I have no clue what was going on.

2009 I found this forum, swapped in the 2003 Cobra radiator and haven't had an overheating problem since. Thank you TCCoA !!!!

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post #9 of 40 (permalink) Old 11-01-2013, 06:02 PM
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It is plenty radiator for pi swap, I have proof oem radiator pi motor on 9 pounds of boost 88 degree temps 20 minute track cessions of wide open throttle with 380 plus rwhp temps never got over 220 degrees and to be honest my temps with the cobra radiator are no cooler driving around! So those that think there maxing out there cooling system are wrong I've got quite a few svo cars around here making atleast. 400 rwhp with no issues in the summer with a/c on

www.robstireandauto.com for all your car needs and parts
95 bird corn powered 735rwhp and 580 tq
86 bird vortech s trim
10.75 @128.38
95 bird - Vortech t trim
9.98 worlds fastest IRS 4.6 thunderbird
1/8 [email protected]
10.11 @ 139.19 best mph
1.47 best 60ft if I can get a full pass with this 60ftt
All made possible with Braincoating'™s ported manifolds
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post #10 of 40 (permalink) Old 11-01-2013, 06:09 PM
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I have yet to see over 201 on WT & 180 on trans, since Roberts rebuild.

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post #11 of 40 (permalink) Old 11-01-2013, 06:19 PM
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Exactly those with problems there is something else wrong never had any trouble if the radiator is new and no plugged up

www.robstireandauto.com for all your car needs and parts
95 bird corn powered 735rwhp and 580 tq
86 bird vortech s trim
10.75 @128.38
95 bird - Vortech t trim
9.98 worlds fastest IRS 4.6 thunderbird
1/8 [email protected]
10.11 @ 139.19 best mph
1.47 best 60ft if I can get a full pass with this 60ftt
All made possible with Braincoating'™s ported manifolds
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post #12 of 40 (permalink) Old 11-01-2013, 08:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NetKeym View Post
Well, there must be something going on in my engine because I simply could not stop the overheating problem (I even had parked the car for TWO YEARS because I couldn't run it without it overheating).

I bought two new stock t-stats, two new 180* t-stats, new hoses, new temp sensors, two new water pumps, new OEM radiator, two new catalytic converters (rammed out the third), new electric fan motor, two different fan blades, flushed the motor, replaced the little stock chin spoiler cover, and added water wetter. STILL OVERHEATED...

I know others live here in Florida with these cars and don't have this issue, so I have no clue what was going on.

2009 I found this forum, swapped in the 2003 Cobra radiator and haven't had an overheating problem since. Thank you TCCoA !!!!
You weren't just relying on the junk that the factory temp gauge was reading? I've had my gauge read higher than usual like it's over heating until I plugged in my OBD scanner and found out the temp was normal.

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1998 Mustang GT premium. Trans Go shift kit, Bassani catted x-pipe, PI heads, cams, intake swap, Accufab elbow, SCT Xcal 4 tune, Eibach Pro-kit, Maximum Motorsports Caster/camber plates, fat tires. Banging audio system.
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post #13 of 40 (permalink) Old 11-01-2013, 10:14 PM
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I see you bought a cobra water pump, but a lot of people don't know about the Stewart water pump. Outflows the stock unit while consuming less power to run. Only a little bit more in price but worth it.

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post #14 of 40 (permalink) Old 11-02-2013, 06:18 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for advise I could not find a cobra radiator for less than $250.00 on eBay and there was only two listed. Plus Iam not fond of plastic tank radiators. I have had bad luck with them. Even on my 89 f150 5.0 I replaced the plastic tank radiator with all metal. I guess more piece of mind first and extra cooling second. Sorry took long on reply. Just got off a couple day work stint. So I assume the fabrication to convert is bad.
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post #15 of 40 (permalink) Old 03-22-2014, 01:57 PM
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My factory original radiator has sprung a leak, so time to replace it, the thermostat and the hoses. I can get a new '03/'04 Cobra radiator for $110; will it bolt right up or are there some 'mods' that need to be done?

1995 Thunderbird LX 4.6- 20% tint, removed air silencer and not much else! (Mustang hubs, Cobra brakes, Vogtland springs, Mark VIII LCAs, Sport shocks and more waiting to be installed)

2013 DIB GT 301A 6-speed- 15% tint, Kooks 1 7/8 mid lengths, off-road x and cat back, Barton 2-post bracket, JPC clutch line, Koni Yellows, Maximum Motorsports C/C plates, BMR K-member, A-arms, UCA & Mount, LCAs and relo brackets, Steeda Ultralites and PHB, Shaftmasters DS, Brembo wheels- Tuned by AED
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post #16 of 40 (permalink) Old 03-23-2014, 12:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave_6 View Post
My factory original radiator has sprung a leak, so time to replace it, the thermostat and the hoses. I can get a new '03/'04 Cobra radiator for $110; will it bolt right up or are there some 'mods' that need to be done?
Mods are involved.

Which mods depend on Who's radiator.

Most Cobra radiators don't have coolers for the tranny; you'll want an external one.

I recommend these:

http://www.dirtydogperformance.com/t.../prod_114.html

I'm using them on all three cars, and may get one for the Contour...

Red '96 Cougar XR-7 240k mi. '02 4R70W, PST DS : '03 PI engine, 04 maf, 24lb injectors, 2.5" exhaust, '02 4r70w + Jmod, DirtyD0g TC + cooler + 3/8" lines, 255 walbro fp. Alpine system.
Black '96 Cougar XR-7 (Lazarus) 210k mi PI Intake, '02 4R70W, Jmod, PST DS, GrogTune, Konis, Mark LCA+Poly, racecougar Custom Engine Chain, and JL and racecougar Bracing.
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post #17 of 40 (permalink) Old 03-23-2014, 12:52 PM
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This one has a built in trans cooler.

1995 Thunderbird LX 4.6- 20% tint, removed air silencer and not much else! (Mustang hubs, Cobra brakes, Vogtland springs, Mark VIII LCAs, Sport shocks and more waiting to be installed)

2013 DIB GT 301A 6-speed- 15% tint, Kooks 1 7/8 mid lengths, off-road x and cat back, Barton 2-post bracket, JPC clutch line, Koni Yellows, Maximum Motorsports C/C plates, BMR K-member, A-arms, UCA & Mount, LCAs and relo brackets, Steeda Ultralites and PHB, Shaftmasters DS, Brembo wheels- Tuned by AED
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post #18 of 40 (permalink) Old 03-23-2014, 01:09 PM
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I had to modify the lower mounts on the radiator core support for my Cobra radiator, they are slightly wider for the Mustang .. im assuming any Mustang radiator would be similar. Same with the upper mounting brackets, they were flipped around to make it work with the stock brackets and the lower hose outlet on the radiator is slightly larger than the Tbird so it was a very tight fit getting the hose over the outlet.
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post #19 of 40 (permalink) Old 03-23-2014, 08:40 PM
No, Mr. Lemmywinks, No!!!

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Quote:
Originally Posted by SCTbird1994 View Post
...the lower hose outlet on the radiator is slightly larger than the Tbird so it was a very tight fit getting the hose over the outlet.
Order the mustang hose; you will need to extend the line to the tank ~3" or so, but it's a direct fit.

Otherwise, you're stretching a hose 1/4"...

Red '96 Cougar XR-7 240k mi. '02 4R70W, PST DS : '03 PI engine, 04 maf, 24lb injectors, 2.5" exhaust, '02 4r70w + Jmod, DirtyD0g TC + cooler + 3/8" lines, 255 walbro fp. Alpine system.
Black '96 Cougar XR-7 (Lazarus) 210k mi PI Intake, '02 4R70W, Jmod, PST DS, GrogTune, Konis, Mark LCA+Poly, racecougar Custom Engine Chain, and JL and racecougar Bracing.
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post #20 of 40 (permalink) Old 03-25-2014, 09:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SCTbird1994 View Post
I had to modify the lower mounts on the radiator core support for my Cobra radiator, they are slightly wider for the Mustang .. im assuming any Mustang radiator would be similar. Same with the upper mounting brackets, they were flipped around to make it work with the stock brackets and the lower hose outlet on the radiator is slightly larger than the Tbird so it was a very tight fit getting the hose over the outlet.
What exactly needs to be done to the lower mounts? I just have to turn the upper brackets around?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Grog6 View Post
Order the mustang hose; you will need to extend the line to the tank ~3" or so, but it's a direct fit.

Otherwise, you're stretching a hose 1/4"...
Do I need to just get a lower hose for any year 4.6 2V Mustang?

1995 Thunderbird LX 4.6- 20% tint, removed air silencer and not much else! (Mustang hubs, Cobra brakes, Vogtland springs, Mark VIII LCAs, Sport shocks and more waiting to be installed)

2013 DIB GT 301A 6-speed- 15% tint, Kooks 1 7/8 mid lengths, off-road x and cat back, Barton 2-post bracket, JPC clutch line, Koni Yellows, Maximum Motorsports C/C plates, BMR K-member, A-arms, UCA & Mount, LCAs and relo brackets, Steeda Ultralites and PHB, Shaftmasters DS, Brembo wheels- Tuned by AED
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post #21 of 40 (permalink) Old 03-25-2014, 10:59 AM
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Put a stock radiator in, do I need to put a stock radiator back in my car to prove to all u it's a waste, I Gurantee the stock unit will keep my car cool with over 800rwhp, I mean trunkmonkey is making near 430 rwhp with no issues and darrin with about 400 rwhp and Ricky had around 380 rwhp with a 30 shot of nitrous with no issues, also van in Winston Salem with a vortech around 380 rwhp with no issues

Robert

www.robstireandauto.com for all your car needs and parts
95 bird corn powered 735rwhp and 580 tq
86 bird vortech s trim
10.75 @128.38
95 bird - Vortech t trim
9.98 worlds fastest IRS 4.6 thunderbird
1/8 [email protected]
10.11 @ 139.19 best mph
1.47 best 60ft if I can get a full pass with this 60ftt
All made possible with Braincoating'™s ported manifolds
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post #22 of 40 (permalink) Old 03-25-2014, 11:16 AM
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Quote:
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Put a stock radiator in, do I need to put a stock radiator back in my car to prove to all u it's a waste, I Gurantee the stock unit will keep my car cool with over 800rwhp, I mean trunkmonkey is making near 430 rwhp with no issues and darrin with about 400 rwhp and Ricky had around 380 rwhp with a 30 shot of nitrous with no issues, also van in Winston Salem with a vortech around 380 rwhp with no issues

Robert
I'm thinking about just going with a stock one to get this done as quick as possible and without any hassle since it's my daily driver. I'm going to be putting in a 180 stat anyways.

1995 Thunderbird LX 4.6- 20% tint, removed air silencer and not much else! (Mustang hubs, Cobra brakes, Vogtland springs, Mark VIII LCAs, Sport shocks and more waiting to be installed)

2013 DIB GT 301A 6-speed- 15% tint, Kooks 1 7/8 mid lengths, off-road x and cat back, Barton 2-post bracket, JPC clutch line, Koni Yellows, Maximum Motorsports C/C plates, BMR K-member, A-arms, UCA & Mount, LCAs and relo brackets, Steeda Ultralites and PHB, Shaftmasters DS, Brembo wheels- Tuned by AED
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post #23 of 40 (permalink) Old 03-25-2014, 12:19 PM
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I will add that it probably helps to have an auxiliary cooler on the trans. Just make sure everything else is in good order. Make sure the condenser fins are straight, the fan is good, and the radiator isn't full of corrosion. As for radiator replacements, I replaced mine with a good quality stock replacement. I still utilize the built in trans cooler in conjunction with the Hayden 679 cooler. In the dead of summer, no cooling issues. As Rob has said, if you're overheating with everything else fresh, you have other issues. Some will argue about using the built in trans cooler, but I have never had any problems with it. I was on my original radiator at 130,000 miles and still didn't have any issues. Reason I replaced mine was one of the side tanks started to weep coolant.

We get hot summers here too, some days are over 100 degrees.

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1985 Mustang GT. modified stock Holley 4180C, Weiand Street Warrior intake manifold, equal length headers, true dual exhaust, 5 speed, 3.55:1 8.8'' rear end, Ford Racing 10.5" clutch.

1998 Mustang GT premium. Trans Go shift kit, Bassani catted x-pipe, PI heads, cams, intake swap, Accufab elbow, SCT Xcal 4 tune, Eibach Pro-kit, Maximum Motorsports Caster/camber plates, fat tires. Banging audio system.
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post #24 of 40 (permalink) Old 03-25-2014, 04:24 PM
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Leaking tanks did my stock one in too, I got the Cobra one purely because of the aluminum/brazed tanks. Plus the Cobra rad sweet under the hood

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave_6 View Post
What exactly needs to be done to the lower mounts? I just have to turn the upper brackets around?



Do I need to just get a lower hose for any year 4.6 2V Mustang?
I just trimmed some of the rubber off the ends of the lower bushings with a rasp on mine. The pass side upper mount you just flip and the holes line up, the driver side I had to tap a new hole.

The Mustang lower hose is setup for a different coolant reservoir location and will take modification to work. If you lube the end of the stock hose with coolant you can tightly slip it on.

-Matt
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post #25 of 40 (permalink) Old 03-25-2014, 07:58 PM
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What exactly needs to be done to the lower mounts?
Slot the circled holes in the radiator to move the bottom of each mounting bracket inward a bit and the Cobra radiator will drop right into the core support.




That said, I don't know what radiator you're buying, but it isn't a new OEM '03-'04 Cobra radiator, as it won't be $110 or have a built-in transmission heat exchanger. Not to mention that they're absolutely impossible to find new at this point.

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post #26 of 40 (permalink) Old 03-25-2014, 08:22 PM
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Doh! I can't believe slotting the holes like that didn't occur to me, I even had those brackets removed for the couple years I had it in storage

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post #27 of 40 (permalink) Old 03-26-2014, 11:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by XR7-4.6 View Post
Leaking tanks did my stock one in too, I got the Cobra one purely because of the aluminum/brazed tanks. Plus the Cobra rad sweet under the hood

I just trimmed some of the rubber off the ends of the lower bushings with a rasp on mine. The pass side upper mount you just flip and the holes line up, the driver side I had to tap a new hole.

The Mustang lower hose is setup for a different coolant reservoir location and will take modification to work. If you lube the end of the stock hose with coolant you can tightly slip it on.
Thanks for the info. It must the end tank weeping on mine as it doesn't even drip on the ground at this point. It does run a little warm though even in the cool temps were having right now.

Quote:
Originally Posted by racecougar View Post
Slot the circled holes in the radiator to move the bottom of each mounting bracket inward a bit and the Cobra radiator will drop right into the core support.



That said, I don't know what radiator you're buying, but it isn't a new OEM '03-'04 Cobra radiator, as it won't be $110 or have a built-in transmission heat exchanger. Not to mention that they're absolutely impossible to find new at this point.
After seeing this pic, he must have pulled the wrong one or looked up the stock MN12 radiator cause it looked nothing like that. It is an aftermarket one though and that is the price he gave me (not retail). Thanks for posting that pic!

1995 Thunderbird LX 4.6- 20% tint, removed air silencer and not much else! (Mustang hubs, Cobra brakes, Vogtland springs, Mark VIII LCAs, Sport shocks and more waiting to be installed)

2013 DIB GT 301A 6-speed- 15% tint, Kooks 1 7/8 mid lengths, off-road x and cat back, Barton 2-post bracket, JPC clutch line, Koni Yellows, Maximum Motorsports C/C plates, BMR K-member, A-arms, UCA & Mount, LCAs and relo brackets, Steeda Ultralites and PHB, Shaftmasters DS, Brembo wheels- Tuned by AED
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post #28 of 40 (permalink) Old 03-26-2014, 09:01 PM
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When I get a chance, I'm going with another one of those thick eBay aluminum radiators with built in trans cooler in series with external trans cooler. Right now I'm running my trans straight to a cooler. Supposed to be for auto Mach 1. Took a few hours to put in with mods. Hardest part was stretching the bottom hose. Interested in trying the mustang hose.

-Rob
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post #29 of 40 (permalink) Old 06-10-2014, 09:56 AM
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Originally Posted by RobertP View Post
Put a stock radiator in, do I need to put a stock radiator back in my car to prove to all u it's a waste, I Gurantee the stock unit will keep my car cool with over 800rwhp, I mean trunkmonkey is making near 430 rwhp with no issues and darrin with about 400 rwhp and Ricky had around 380 rwhp with a 30 shot of nitrous with no issues, also van in Winston Salem with a vortech around 380 rwhp with no issues

Robert
Interesting! My stock one get a small leak from the vortech intake rubbing it...was debating stock vs cobra (if i could find one). Sounds like a stocker is plenty for most guys! With that said...Rock auto a good place to buy one?

1997 MN12 Sport 4.6L Supercharged 5 Speed Sold
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post #30 of 40 (permalink) Old 06-10-2014, 12:07 PM
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Originally Posted by smokymance View Post
Interesting! My stock one get a small leak from the vortech intake rubbing it...was debating stock vs cobra (if i could find one). Sounds like a stocker is plenty for most guys! With that said...Rock auto a good place to buy one?
Yes, that's where I bought mine. I have around 50,000 miles on mine with zero issues so far.

Michael M. ASE P2 Automobile Parts Specialist.

1996 Thunderbird LX. Gone, but not forgotten Oct 1995-March 24 2016 Trick Flow headded, E85 guzzling beast.

1985 Mustang GT. modified stock Holley 4180C, Weiand Street Warrior intake manifold, equal length headers, true dual exhaust, 5 speed, 3.55:1 8.8'' rear end, Ford Racing 10.5" clutch.

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