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Discussion Starter #1
I need to replace my radiator. 96 4.6.
What have you guys used and how where the results?

Thanks

Mitch
 

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What kind of changes to our cars benefit from an upgraded radiator? From what I have read here the cooling systems design for these cars is well designed. Is it for down south climates, or more when getting into forced induction?
 

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I have always purchased from US Radiator, but when the radiator plastic part began failing on my wifes 97 Cougar Sport (which lasted 17 years with an anode), called them and it's too new of a car and they recommended:

Radiator Express
Radiator For Sale | Radiator Express
Irvine, CA
866-723-3977

I was very pleased with the product, it was built exactly to the oem specs. What I liked about this place is when I spoke to their support staff, the person I spoke with had definitely experienced getting their hands dirty on a car.......when I asked questions, I got answers....no hesitation. Whit I also liked is they track installation issues that both mechanics & customers have so when you place your order, they order the brand/mfg that has the least amount of reported issues.
 

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What kind of changes to our cars benefit from an upgraded radiator? From what I have read here the cooling systems design for these cars is well designed. Is it for down south climates, or more when getting into forced induction?
unless you plan on hot-rodding the car significantly----- none
 

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Yea, for a stock car a stock radiator is plenty good enough.
 

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I like the KKS Radiator for the MN12 4.6 cars. A 3 core radiator for $199 from Ebay, a great upgrade for towing. The one drawback is brackets for fan need adjusting and spacers.
 

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Typically when I need/want a radiator I want it now, so I tend to go to the local auto parts store for those. Got one at advance (432344) three years ago, no issues. Some of the local chain shops offer 20-25% discount when ordering on-line. Put teflon tape on the transmission cooler line connections so they don't leak.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks guys. Just recently, I bought an NOS for my other 96 TBird on ebay. Shortly thereafter, the radiator on my second one started leaking.

Mitch
 

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Thanks guys. Just recently, I bought an NOS for my other 96 TBird on ebay. Shortly thereafter, the radiator on my second one started leaking.

Mitch
It's like when you order a new phone and somehow you manage to drop your current phone and crack the screen.
-g
 

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Discussion Starter #11
The seal let go on both. Cooling systems regularly flushed and an anode used for the past 15 years.
 

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I'm with Wildturkey on this one, the KKS 3-core welded aluminum radiator works real nice and fits like a glove, provided you do a little shimming and trimming to make the fan shroud fit properly.

Incidentally, the shims supplied for the ignition coils I'm using worked great, just slapped two and a half on the driver side and bingo, trimmed a tab off the lower (passenger I think) and shroud fit flat.

For two-hunnit doll-hairs, it's worth the money and keeps my car happy in this stanky south-texas climate.
 

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I would get something that is a direct fit. Custom fitting something is unnecessary. I have done my share of custom fitting.

Al
 

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Link to this KKS 3-core readiator? I'm curious about it.
Just sift through these results to find a seller that's close to you and has the best feedback.
https://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_from=R40&_trksid=m570.l1313&_nkw=KKS+thunderbird+4.6&_sacat=0

I would get something that is a direct fit. Custom fitting something is unnecessary. I have done my share of custom fitting.

Al
The radiator drops right in and fits snug and proper, the only thing that needs adjusting is the way you mount the fan shroud to it... the stock radiator had quite a large offset due to one tank being full-size but the other being single-row, so the fan shroud is shaped for that offset. The KKS unit is flat across, so you just have to knock one little aluminum tab off I believe the bottom passenger side, and a couple spacers for the driver side bolts that hold the fan shroud on.

Beyond that, it sits on the bottom mounts in the support perfectly, and the upper mounts drop right in. The top of the radiator leaves no gap at the support and is nice and even, it looks great in there. It even comes with new adapters for the trans cooler lines so you don't have to hunt them down in parts stores.
 

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I have always purchased from US Radiator, but when the radiator plastic part began failing on my wifes 97 Cougar Sport (which lasted 17 years with an anode), called them and it's too new of a car and they recommended:

Radiator Express
Radiator For Sale | Radiator Express
Irvine, CA
866-723-3977

I was very pleased with the product, it was built exactly to the oem specs. What I liked about this place is when I spoke to their support staff, the person I spoke with had definitely experienced getting their hands dirty on a car.......when I asked questions, I got answers....no hesitation. Whit I also liked is they track installation issues that both mechanics & customers have so when you place your order, they order the brand/mfg that has the least amount of reported issues.....BTW, I have had it now for 3+ years and no issues!
 

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If your wanna go big power your gonna need 3 core.
Read ya later, Nick
Yup.

https://forums.tccoa.com/20-parts-sale/188287-fluidyne-high-performance-radiators-group-buy-pricing-now-available.html

I - and some others - just ordered some FLUIDYNE radiators.You can probably call them and get one made. They still have the core I gave them to use as a template. There are some good pix in the linked thread in these posts.

Yeah, I just had it in my head for whatever reason that with this being what it was, that it wouldn't have it.

In any case, a couple pics, as requested. I'll get it installed... eventually. Maybe early next week.
Bit the bullet and installed mine this evening. It's relatively cool here now so I won't really know what kind of difference it makes in temps out in the heat... but it truly "just bolted in". It was a little tricky getting the fan on but it still only took 10 minutes. Closest was clearance between the A/C suction line and the pass. mounting tab. Here are a few pics...
 
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