Radiator questions....


Old 11-09-03, 06:45 PM
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Smile Radiator questions....


1993 Ford Thunderbird LX
3.8L V6 Auto
160,000 miles

Well my radiator decided it was time to give up. It is werid, it pores out coolant when it is cold between the tank and the core, but as soon as it warms up the leak goes away. So I am thinking that once the metal expands the leak is stoped. Anyway, I need a new one.

Where can a get a good radiator, for a good price?

Also, are there any advantages in upgrading to a three core radiator on the 3.8, if they even make one? I live in Jersey, we do have cold winters, I dont want to have any problems with the car running to cold but at the same time I would like a little more protection in the heat, especially with the headgasket probles these cars experience.

Thank you!
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Old 11-09-03, 07:09 PM
darrell McCoy
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Call around to the parts stores/radiator shops. Prices will vary but I would say about 200 bucks for that year and model. I like modine myself but that is just my opinion. Get one with a good warramty and keep paper work on it. I do not believe you will benefit upgrading to a larger radiator.
Old 11-09-03, 09:43 PM
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I agree, a larger radiator on this particular car won't benefit anything. Your radiator may be repairable by a competent radiator repair shop, probably for less than half of a new price. They can completely clean and recondition it and install new tanks and gaskets on most radiators.
Old 11-10-03, 07:04 AM
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Put a stock Modine in there. Don't waste your money upgrading.

Fix the cooling system issue in a jiffy because this 3.8 is a notorious gasket blower and any problems in the cooling system usually intensify this problem.

160k on one of these is collosal without a head gasket problem .
Old 11-10-03, 05:35 PM
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This is where I buy my radiators for work and personal use.Performance Radiators Most that I have bought have been fully metal radiators to replace the plastic tank radiators on some vehicles. Just did one the other day on a Escort wagon. The list price was only $149. Being as you have a larger vehicle could be a little higher, but surely not much over $200. I just checked and they have 2 different radiators for your particular car. Im betting you dont have a turbo so the radiator price is $194.00 with a online discount of $48.00, add $19.00 shipping for a grand total of $165.00. Check the website as there may be a retail outlet in your area that will deliver or allow you to pick it up for a reasonable price.
Hope this helps ya,
Old 11-10-03, 06:00 PM
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Thanks for the advice. I ordered a stock size Modine from Napa. It cost a little bit more then I wanted to spend, but after talking to area shops, and the responces on this message board they seem to have a reputable name and are worth the extra bucks.

Joe_F the car blew the gaskets at 150K, I replaced them, 50 miles later I spun a rod bearing. So I rebuilt it. This is I figured it was best to get the Modine radiator, protect my investment (labor investment that is ).

Thanks for the Help!

Old 11-10-03, 08:42 PM
mike from nj
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JG---i'm curious, i always change the oil twice after a severely blown headgasket, first before i start it(and watch a large amount of coolant come out) then after it is completely warmed up, i change it again after a good 15 minute 2500rpm warm-up, and watch the last of the milky (steaming) oil come out. did you do something similiar to this, or better, or worse?

just for my knowledge.

(it common for coolant to mix with oil and waste bearings that close to a headgasket job)
Old 11-11-03, 07:44 AM
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What did you wind up paying for the Modine? I always had good luck buying direct from the local radiator shops using my trade discount.
Old 11-11-03, 08:14 AM
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Mike, I did the a simmilar oil chaning that you did. I changed the oil right and filter after the gaskets went, so there was no water in the engine, after running the car for about five minutes, after the car was running up to operatining temp, then after a trip around the block, then once more at the 10 mile mark. After this I put in Mobil 1 with a motorcraft filter. I also reverse flushed the cooing system.
I went through a lot of oil. But the damage was already done. I still get some piece of mind knowing that it was nothing else I could have done to prevent the spun rod bearing.
I purchased the car with the blown gaskets, so I knew I was getting into a risk. But I took the chance with the gaskets.

When I took the oil pan off the bearings were in a pile of little flakes, there was no bearing left around the crank.

Joe, I payed 188ish for the radiator It was 200, but the guy at the parts counter gave me a local business discount.

Thanks again!
Old 11-11-03, 09:29 AM
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Not a bad price for a Modine. Also a lifetime warranty on this, so it's as good as the life of the car .

Last edited by twelvepole; 01-05-04 at 05:13 AM.
Old 11-11-03, 06:58 PM
mike from nj
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JG---you get an 'A' for effort though, it's likely that the gaskets were letting coolant mix with the oil for a while before they finally blew, causing that damage.

at least you know it's done correctly now.
Old 11-11-03, 07:23 PM
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Hey Joe, I just checked my reiept for the radiator. It was 168. (just a little off)


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