Aftermarket 2 or 3 core radiator? - Ford Mustang Forum
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-03-2018 Thread Starter
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Aftermarket 2 or 3 core radiator?

What's up y'all. I'm looking to replace my factory radiator on my 97 GT. My radiator isn't bad, I just want a new and better one for my build that's in process now. It's a daily driver, so I like to keep her cool, because it gets muggy, and nasty hot here in KY. If any one has an aftermarket radiator, please comment. I'm looking for durability, reliability, fitment. Could you tell a drop in average temperature readings? 2 core would be nice, but is it worth the $ to go ahead and buy the 3 core? Any info would be greatly appreciated, and thank you very much in advance.

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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-03-2018
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The factory radiator and fan setup is sufficient for almost anyone. Unless you are tracking this car for road racing you won't see much differencen in temperature readings. I personally have the SVE 3 core aluminum radiator and the fitment was atrocious. I recommend a factory radiator or an 03-04 terminator radiator (it is aluminum) and is better than the GT/early cobra radiators. What does help is a 180 thermostat and having your fan settings adjusted via a tune to have them come on earlier.


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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-04-2018
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Ive got a mishimoto radiator in my car with a 180 degree thermostat. I can watch the temp get up to 180, the fan comes on and then it drops me down to about 165 and stays there. Even in stop and go traffic in louisiana and a 3600 stall converter. I will stand by this radiator.
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-04-2018 Thread Starter
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Thanks for the heads up. I should be done with everything by early June, but I've been working long hours and it's hard to get everything done when you want too. I will be taking the car to Blankenship's tuning in western KY, so I will be definitely have them set the parameters on the cooling system. An all aluminum piece sounds nice, so I might check them out. You guys hit it on the head with which ones I was looking at. Much appreciated on the info.
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-05-2018
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Unless you plan on driving your car across Saudi Arabia the stock one should be more than fine. In 11 years of having this car, driving around in 100+ temps (which is more months than not where I live) I've yet to see a stock radiator on any vehicle I've ever owned not be sufficient.

Put in a 180 stat, have your tuner change the fan settings and whatever needs to be changed to accomodate the stat (because otherwise your pcm will think it needs to maintain a rich fuel mixture) and call it good.


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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-05-2018
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Spend the money and get the 3 core.
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-05-2018
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Normal running temps should not be affected by whether a 2 or 3 core radiator is used, that's controlled by the thermostat. What the 3 core gives you is some additional cooling capacity reserve in extreme conditions. If the cost and installation aren't too much more burdensome, I'd just go for the 3 core and additional piece of mind.

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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-06-2018 Thread Starter
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Aftermgarket 2 or 3 core radiator?

Good info here, thanks. I've always been anal about things working properly. I think the service did it to me, and all the terms and regs. Anyways, last year on one of our hottest days I checked the coolant overflow with a thermocouple, and recorded a temp of 175, never any higher. I was running my factory temp thermostat of 190 or 192. I didn't know if having a bigger radiator and cooler stat will help with cooler running temps. Thanks for clearing things up for me.
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