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Old 03-10-2005, 09:01 AM
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Mustang Radiator Use with SBC

I am installing a 350/350 combo in my subframed 54 Chevy 1/2 ton and have identified that the early V8 Mustang radiator will fit in place of the stock radiator. The subframe (G-body) has required significant modifications to the core support to clear the steering box and also to kick the bottom of the radiator forward to also clear the box.

Using the Mustang radiator would clear the steering box eliminating one problem. I have identified a 3 row unit with trans cooler as a good option over the other higher cost desert coolers or aluminum models.

I am not familar with Ford cooling systems and am wondering if there would be a function problem using this radiator in my application.

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Old 03-10-2005, 02:03 PM
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As one of the MODERATORS here..........let me be the first to WELCOME you here

The Mustang radiator may cool it........if it is big enough.
How about the outlets........a lot of the Fords are on a different side than the SBC.

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Old 03-10-2005, 02:20 PM
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Thanks for the welcome. The ports are on the far right as you look forward and I am assuming that if it can cool a Ford V8 (302/351) it should work for a 350 SBC. The bottom outlet matches well with the SBC water pump location but the top right inlet will require a search for a hose that will work. I already see I will need a thermastat housing that points forward and not to the left as I now have. That being the case, one of the questions I had was whether the coolant flow path was different than a GM radiator. See how little I know about radiators.

Like anything else I am hoping someone else has used this radiator in a custom application and can provide some definitive advice. Like a friend has told me "Custom does not come with instructions" and it is better to learn from others experience than spend your own money to learn the same lesson.

Just about everything on this 54 is custom to a certain degree. Heck I like a challenge and this keeps me out of the men's club (at least that is what I tell my wife).
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Old 03-10-2005, 11:48 PM
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Well lets look at this like any reasonable engineer would. The radiator doesn't care if it's cooling a Ford, Chevy, Datsun, Toyota or Mazda. In fact if your carefull it won't even know. All the radiator cares about is if you put in X amount of BTU's into it can it reject at least that amount of BTU's prior to returning the water to the engine. So, the easy way to figure this is to ask yourself this question.

How much HP did the ford 302/351 this radiator was designed for make? If the Ford motors made 200 HP and you decide to use the radiator on a motor that makes 400 HP, well there will be times when your going to have problems, when its hot out and your rodding it. If the HP is about equal then your all set. About equal is around 25-50 HP.

Almost all radiators are crossflow. Just look inside the opening and if holes are in the sides it tells you the tube direction.
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Old 03-10-2005, 11:57 PM
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Well said rick!! A rad is a rad and three rows is pretty good.
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Old 03-11-2005, 09:47 AM
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Great! I ask for a definitive response and I get commodians. Thanks anyway.

As for cross flow rads, my understanding is they have tanks on the sides. The mustang rad has top and bottom tanks like the original 54 rad. I do not think is considered a cross flow. As for HP the SBC will have about 250 rear wheel and 300 Ft-lbs. AC will be added in the future.


I would like to hear from rodders who have used the early mustang V8 tank themselves in an application. I am trying to determine if it is a solution or whether I need to spend the extra money for a desert cooler rad which will still present the current interference with the steering box.
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Old 03-11-2005, 02:53 PM
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Can you weld?

You can order the pieces seperartly and weld them up


You can call Afco Rad. many others too. They are less expensive though. They will make whatever you need. They can tig the outlet's anywhere you need em. AN fitting and hose and it won't matter.
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Old 03-11-2005, 03:53 PM
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Mustang II radiator to cool a 350sbc...

my 37 Dodge had a Mustang radiator in it and it worked just fine...I added a large electric fan just in case I got stuck in traffic...didn't need it though.


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Old 03-11-2005, 09:57 PM
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I have delt with Ford radiators and higher horsepower mods.

I originally had a Maverick. It has a lot bigger radiator than the Mustang. I put my aluminum headed 5.0 that I built into my Maverick. The stock Maverick unit was sufficient. On hot days it would get to 190o tops.

Then, I put everything from my Maverick into my '61" Ranchero. The Ranchero has a the same sized radiator as the Mustang. It didn't cool nearly enough.

So I put the Maverick radiator into the Ranchero. I had to cut the radiator supports wider and move the radiator out from the engine 1" in order for it to fit. Now it is back to 190o tops.

I think Chevys require more cooling than Fords. I would shy away from the Mustang radiator unless it is a 4 core that is in new condition. It might work, but be ready to cut in a bigger radiator.
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