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How to assess 1967 Mustang without Radiator

463 Views 14 Replies 13 Participants Last post by  wicked93gs
I'm considering buying a 1967 Mustang with a 302 but it doesn't have a radiator and I am not sure the best way to make sure the engine is healthy.

I know this isn't the original motor as 302's were not available off the assembly line. So I am concerned this 302 might have a blow head gasket or cracked head; might be why it's getting sold.

Is a compression test on a cold engine the best way I can evaluate this 302? Not sure what else to try. Any advice would be appreciated.
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Yank the plugs one by one. If you find one or more that looks new (super clean) that could indicate a head gasket leak. Especially if it's two that are side by side. You could also bring a radiator, hook it up and pressurize it with air with a leak tester and see if it leaks down. No need for coolant unless you actually want to run the engine. If it was just a radiator, then it would have been replaced, so it being missing is a bad sign. Just like 'AC, just needs a belt or a charge' which is never the case. What this really comes down to is what is the asking price and overall condition?
 

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Not having a radiator could be his way of masking an engine problem. As was mentioned, use the opportunity as a bargaining chip to lower the price.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I'm thinking an engine problem is probably being hidden as well.

I like the idea of running it with water to get the engine warm and running a comp test. I just didnt want to buy a radiator for a car i might not buy. Thanks for the help!
 

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Just low ball your offer by the cost of a complete engine rebuild. Tell the seller to get a radiator in the car if he wants you to up the offer.
^^^^ This. Even if you fired with a wet engine no radiator (and he let you) it won’t give you a full idea relative to what is wrong. You could read the plugs and borescope the cylinders but that still isn’t going to get you that much closer. Unless you can hear it and step on the gas a couple of times to see if it sounds like a canister of Lincoln Logs it’s hard to tell if it’s impending doom.

Did you ask why there is no radiator?
 

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I'm thinking an engine problem is probably being hidden as well.

I like the idea of running it with water to get the engine warm and running a comp test. I just didnt want to buy a radiator for a car i might not buy. Thanks for the help!
If you had your location listed maybe another member here could help you out with a loaner.
I have a couple of spares down stairs.
 
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