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1966 Mustang Fastback
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Discussion Starter #1
Wanted to share my experience with ACP's MaxCore Performance 2-Row Aluminum radiator.

In my '66 with a 302, I had a 3-row copper-brass radiator that was about 5-years-old and kept the car at around 190, with a Derale 17117 6-blade steel fan and Hayden 2747 themo-clutch, unless stuck in commuter freeway traffic when it was 90+ out and then it'd creep up. Well my 3-row finally burst it's top tank so I decided to upgrade to ACP's Performance 2-row radiator, which is as wide as a 4-row copper-brass radiator.

CJ happened to offer the best price for this radiator (ACP model FM-ER201) at $279:
https://www.cjponyparts.com/acp-rad...inum-type-259-oe-style-v8-1965-1966/p/RADA83/

You'll also need the 4-row shroud brackets and I went with these, which worked great:
https://www.cjponyparts.com/scott-drake-fan-shroud-mounting-kit-4-row-1965-1966/p/HW1325/

In short, I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this product! The TIG-welding and overall construction is quite good and each of the 2 cores is 1.25-inches long, which is huge. Additionally, you can use the stock radiator cap or upgrade to 16-lbs if needed. One issue - although ACP's website said this radiator should fit a V8 without changing fan spacers, that wasn't my experience. I originally tried my 6-blade fan with thermo-clutch and it hit the radiator so I switched to my backup of a HiPo fan with correct 2-1/16-inch fan spacer and this setup also touched the radiator. I ended-up ordering the Hayden 2947 low-profile themo-clutch and that fit perfectly with my same 6-bladed steel fan and stock shroud.

I decided upon the ACP alum radiator because it was the only one I found with a top-tank which appears similar to a stock 65-66 Mustang 289 radiator. It's not an exact match but on quick glance it looks correct. I painted it with Eastwood radiator paint originally but that paint came out really grainy so I re-shot it lightly with standard Krylon semi-gloss and that flowed much nicer. Finally, I swapped out the drain petcock for a self-sacrificial anode.

Only put a few miles on it but no leaks and runs cool with the 90F days we've been having in San Diego. Good times! :pirate:
 

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I have the wider version of that same ACP MAXCORE 2 row large tube type. Ten months now and no issues at all. I painted mine with the Eastwood rad paint and it came out smooth as silk, so I don't know what the deal was with yours. I wiped the rad down with lacquer thinner first though if that would make a difference. Obvious quality and fits and appears period correct with the stock factory saddle brackets. The proper oem style shroud fit right on too. It hasn't been a year yet but I already believe this is a really good product. :thumbsup::thumbsup:

I got mine from California Mustang because they had a sale on and were $40 less than CJ's at the time. It came all the way across the country and arrived in perfect condition.
 

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1966 Mustang Fastback
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Discussion Starter #3
Good to hear! I only had 1 can of the Eastwood radiator paint and did prep the radiator with acetone per the Eastwood instructions but it came out really grainy. It might've been the heat though since it was about 100F and dry in my garage when I shot it. I'll give it another try if needed in the future but I'm thinking I won't have that issue for a while ;)
 

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I'm running one of these Rads as I recently added AC to my build. I was even able to fit the shroud. It's a very nice looking Rad too.
 

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In the pictures posted above, I noticed in both installations, there is a very sizeable gap between the upper radiator tank and the factory shrouds. Another member had an issue with the same oversized gap. With a factory style radiator, the tank extends well beyond the finned surface of the core which closes the space to under 3/8". It my not be a problem for you, but you may want to figure how to address the problem down the road. I'm sure a great solution would be appreciated by a lot of other members using the same radiator.
 

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I have the ACP maxcore 2 row in my '65 with a hot little 331 and A/C. I run a spal fan with fabricated shroud and it cools nicely too. Looks great. They are decent quality welds too.

Man yours looks good painted black. Maybe I'll have to do the same.

When I had the stock rad in there, I tried out one of the repop fan shrouds and it too showed a gap like the above. Maybe thats the issue?
 

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This is the same radiator I have, and have still been struggling with overheat issues. I have pretty well concluded that I may have gotten a dud...I’m glad you guys are liking it.
 

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In the pictures posted above, I noticed in both installations, there is a very sizeable gap between the upper radiator tank and the factory shrouds. Another member had an issue with the same oversized gap. With a factory style radiator, the tank extends well beyond the finned surface of the core which closes the space to under 3/8". It my not be a problem for you, but you may want to figure how to address the problem down the road. I'm sure a great solution would be appreciated by a lot of other members using the same radiator.
The gap is only at the very top and doesn't span the entire length of the top, it serves a very good purpose I found. It makes it very easy to slip the accessory belts on and off through the opening. If I had to guess as an engineer I would say it was designed that way, if not it was a useful accident.
 

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It was designed that way to clear the 3/4" offset of the OE radiator tank to the core face. Your Maxcore is nearly flush. I think that I can safely say that it was not designed that way for belt access!
 

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It was designed that way to clear the 3/4" offset of the OE radiator tank to the core face. Your Maxcore is nearly flush. I think that I can safely say that it was not designed that way for belt access!
Are you talking about the shroud itself? It could have easily designed it to fit on the top closer if that was the case. The bottom of the shroud is much closer than the top. This shroud also fit the same on my OEM style 3" brass rad as well. Same gap at the top too.
 

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1966 Mustang Fastback
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Discussion Starter #11
The shroud does have a larger gap up top than with the OEM radiator because as was mentioned the OEM radiator has a recessed section on the top tank for the fan. The ACP radiator designers seemed to have made a compromise with making the top tank closely resemble an OEM Ford top tank, while not making it too thick, but at the same time making the cooling cores as wide as possible, which are as wide as the top tank. Additionally, using 4-row shroud brackets does provide slightly more space than is needed and I may bend these brackets to take up some of the space. However, the top gap will not be eliminated with the stock shroud and the ACP radiator, but it shouldn't matter. My cooling system is in top shape as the engine only has 1000 miles on it, I installed a quality aluminum water pump, upper coolant hose filter, 6-blade steel fan with thermo-clutch, and my past copper radiator had been recently rodded/rebuilt. Just installing this new ACP radiator lowered my operating temps from about 190 to 180. If additional cooling is required then I'll probably switch to a 3-inch solid shroud, and that's where this radiator will be nice, because both sides of the radiator are perfectly flat so a plastic/fiberglass shroud will seal completely around it.
 

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This is the same radiator I have, and have still been struggling with overheat issues. I have pretty well concluded that I may have gotten a dud...I’m glad you guys are liking it.
You may have some other issues going on. Like water pump pulley sizing, fan/shroud issue, blocked/corroded passages in the aluminum timing cover. That was the issue with my old 289.. someone had *repaired* the corrosion with epoxy and blocked off a huge portion of the passageways.
 

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This is the same radiator I have, and have still been struggling with overheat issues. I have pretty well concluded that I may have gotten a dud...I’m glad you guys are liking it.
I have been struggling with overheating issues too. Tried radiators, fans, etc... I have finally figure out it was my heads. There is most likely na warp or crack that is letting compression gases into the coolant system. These gases are super hot and are overwhelming the systems ability to cool effectively. I doubt you have a dud radiator. I suggest you look at other possible issues.
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
I have been struggling with overheating issues too. Tried radiators, fans, etc... I have finally figure out it was my heads. There is most likely na warp or crack that is letting compression gases into the coolant system. These gases are super hot and are overwhelming the systems ability to cool effectively. I doubt you have a dud radiator. I suggest you look at other possible issues.
If a leak is suspected, or your can't cure your overheating, there are a few ways to check for blown intake/head gaskets or cracks.
1) Watch your liquids. If oil/carbon is mixing with your coolant or coolant is mixing with your oil, that's an obvious give away. Rent a radiator pressure tester from Autozone/Napa/etc; this replaces your radiator cap, you pump it up to induce pressure to 13lbs, and then you let it sit for a while and see if the pressure decreases or your can hear it hissing out through a blown seal or block/head crack. Edit - you can also rent coolant dye which'll change color at the presence of combustion gasses in your coolant, which is another way to check for leaks or cracks.
2) Check your spark plugs; if one or two are really clean and the rest appear normal, this could signify that coolant is getting into those cylinders and washing the spark plugs.
3) With your engine cool, remove your radiator cap and start the car. Without driving the car, slowly warm up the engine idling until it gets to operating temp and the thermostat opens; with the radiator cap off you should be able to see the coolant flowing across and as you SLOWLY increase RPM you should see the flow rate increase to signify your thermostat and water pump are functioning.
4) Running a cylinder compression check on all 8 cylinders can also tell you if you have a crack, although a low reading can also indicate valve or ring leaks, not necessarily a crack or blown head gasket. But if you have 1-2 cylinders with much lower compression than the rest, that'll be a red flag.
5) Does your lower radiator hose have the spring installed?
6) are the tabs from the head gaskets sticking out the front signifying you installed the head gaskets in the proper orientation?

I also installed an upper radiator hose filter as my past radiator had plugged up from engine sediment, and sure enough, even with a new engine which was hot-tanked and cleaned well, it caught a bunch of large chunks of metal/gaskets/rubber/etc for the first few hundred miles.

Good luck!
Brent
 

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Are you talking about the shroud itself? It could have easily designed it to fit on the top closer if that was the case. The bottom of the shroud is much closer than the top. This shroud also fit the same on my OEM style 3" brass rad as well. Same gap at the top too.
If your brass/copper core was 3" thick, it was not an OE part designed to be used with the factory shroud. Please note that on my application which has the factory style 3 row core, the gap is 3/4" tighter than what is achieved with these aftermarket aluminum radiators. My true factory style core is 2 1/4" thick (measured at the side mounting section). I find it interesting that the difference in core thickness directly correlates to the gap size!
 

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This is the same radiator I have, and have still been struggling with overheat issues. I have pretty well concluded that I may have gotten a dud...I’m glad you guys are liking it.
You may have some other issues going on. Like water pump pulley sizing, fan/shroud issue, blocked/corroded passages in the aluminum timing cover. That was the issue with my old 289.. someone had *repaired* the corrosion with epoxy and blocked off a huge portion of the passageways.
The radiator is the very last thing I would have suspected, but I’ve honestly checked and/or changed everything else I can think of to do with cooling. The engine is a fresh rebuild, and I personally made sure the coolant passages were both clean and open (my machinist tanked everything, but lots of stuff left over that I got out). I’m on my second shroud, 4th thermostat, 3rd fan clutch, second fan/spacer, second fan pulley (Cross checked the Bob Mannel book to be sure it’s correct for my ‘66 289), second set of radiator hoses (spring installed in lower), second radiator cap. I see coolant flowing rapidly after the thermostat opens. My timing is 24* at idle (12 base, 12 manifold vac advance). Head gaskets are for SURE on correctly. I’ve done a coolant flush with Thermocure, and I’ve experimented with different coolant mixtures and added water wetter. Outside of the water pump, which appears to be working and is also new, the radiator is the only component I haven’t changed. I get a slow creep on initial startup to operating temp, then it just keeps going. I’ve always shut I down just above 220*, but I’m sure it would keep going. If I’m on the highway, it runs very cool, but stopped even briefly, it climbs quickly once the car is warmed up. I’ve confirmed the temp readings are accurate with three different devices. I just considered the possibility that the radiator had an internal blockage, possibly a manufacturing defect that was making it less efficient at flowing that intended. I’m really at a loss. I have 4 other 289 cars with less beefy radiators and cooling system components. I can’t make those cars overheat, even in the dead of the summer heat. They can idle at 500RPM in direct sunlight all day without a slight bump in the temp gauge needle. I built those engines too, but they are concours cars, so they are stock (in one case the original, untouched 54 year old) radiators. I figured this car was my going overboard, and it’s the one that overheats...I do much prefer the looks of this radiator to the other aluminum ones on the market, but I’m very tempted to change it out.

Thanks for letting me piggyback your thread, by the way!
 

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Resist the temptation to use regular aerosol enamel paint on radiators, especially the fins. Even one coat is too thick and will prevent proper heat transfer. You don't need a special "radiator paint", either. Just a plain old ordinary black LACQUER in 2 light coats is enough.
 

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If your brass/copper core was 3" thick, it was not an OE part designed to be used with the factory shroud. Please note that on my application which has the factory style 3 row core, the gap is 3/4" tighter than what is achieved with these aftermarket aluminum radiators. My true factory style core is 2 1/4" thick (measured at the side mounting section). I find it interesting that the difference in core thickness directly correlates to the gap size!

Please note that I said OEM style...which implies similar in appearance which is much different than stating true factory style. Come on man not trying to make an argument out of this. I had the shroud on both rads OEM style and ACP Aluminum, the gap wasn't that much different.
All that it is really is the top of the tank is a little flatter and wider so that it protrudes inboard further slightly lessoning the space of the shroud at the top.

I find all of this to irrelevant if the car is staying cool. I live in 100+ weather and idle in stop and go traffic and didn't overheat with my OEM style brass rad. I just added the aluminum ACP rad with shroud because I added AC to the car and didn't think in my climate the OEM style Rad would work well....didn't want to wait to find out. I initially fitted the shroud to my OEM style rad prior to buying the ACP.

The reality is the rad cooling is really determined by the size of the opening between the supports on the front end. The surface area that is exposed to air isn't really at the top because the upper rad support brace blocks it. The opening at the top of the shroud doesn't create any issues as the fan is still pulling air from the surface area of the rad matching the opening in the frame on the front end.

I have seen people put in oil coolers, forced induction intercoolers, and any other type of cooler and not good air flow to it and then wonder why their temps are still high after driving and getting heat soaked.

Because I'm an engineer and can't help myself now due to this conversation (a good thing). I'm going to do a test. I will cut out a piece of sheet metal and install it over the opening in the shroud, then I will drive the car in stop and go traffic when it is hot out, that way I can see if it makes a difference or not.
 
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