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Discussion Starter #1
I've seen a lot of talk that goes both ways, even on a few threads on this forum.

I'm needing to replace the core on my 96 Cougar for the second time. This one lasted 5 years and almost 100k miles so I can't complain.

Thoughts on if aluminum or copper is better? Whichever I choose it will be grounded this time like the TSB suggests.
 

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What? I've never heard of this. Wow! Are you sure of this? I replace mine like in 2003. Then it went out in 2007. So I just disconnected it and run with out one. It doesn't get that cold here.
 

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Aluminum transfers heat better, but in my experience, the copper ones seem to last longer. Key to making them last is proper cooling system maintenence. I replace mine back in november and it was the original from 1991, With 198,000 miles :D
 

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Discussion Starter #6
The car was flushed at least once and a drain and refill at least twice during the 100k that the heater core lasted....I would assume that would be good enough for coolant flushes.

I plan on grounding the heater core when I do replace it, but I did check the coolant and was getting about .002 volts in the antifreeze, doesn't sound like much.
 

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I think copper is better and probably like the original. There is a lot of controversy on doing the ground on the core. The TSB actually says ground it if flushing doesn't get the voltage down to a certain level, can't remember what it is.
I got in an argument about that with a smart mechanic on another board about grounding the core. Others chimed in that would be like the sacrificial anode on a boat motor - the softest grounded metal gets eaten up first.
I was going to ground mine as a precaution, but did not after that as that kind of makes sense. My boat engine has a zinc anode that is supposed to be eaten up before it works on the aluminum in the engine.
I keep my Bird flushed out and use distilled water with the coolant and knock on wood still have my original core.
I changed the core (PIA) on my 81 5.0 Bird when it was 3 yrs old. The replacement core lasted about a year. I bypassed it and did without heat after that. Moved to Florida a year later and you don't need heat down there.
I would check the grounds on your engine, but in my case if it isn't broke don't fix it.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I did notice the strap that grounds the hood has broken. Could that be part of the problem?

Noticed on my Moutaineer it doesn't appear to have grounding straps on the hood.....any reason why?
 

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Ground everything on your cooling system; otherwise it will corrode.

Sacrificial anodes are used in a salt environment, mostly, to extend the life of something that is going to wear anyway; they're not 100% effective. (as of 1988, anyway... :) )

Our coolant system has aluminum, bronze, iron, and copper, in varying amounts.

Iron will corrode all the others, so grounding and clean cooling fluid is the only hope for the least amount of corrosion.

Any voltage difference allows electrolysis, and the coolant's corrosion inhibitors will break down pretty quickly.

On my DOHC swap project, I'm trying to eliminate all the iron in the system...the water pump impeller and the water ports at the rear of the heads seems to be it, now; my heater core is aluminum.

Anyone know of more Iron in the coolant passages?

If you don't think the grounds are necessary, look at all the grounds on a Mark VIII's cooling system; they're not there for looks...and they don't have an iron block to make the problem worse!
 

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My heater core isn't grounded. It's the original and has never caused a problem. Change the coolant regularly,and keep it all clean. Also-no half-ass wiring of aftermarket stuff to keep ground paths to a minimum.
JL
 

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I'll have to keep all that in mind if i ever change it out again. I don't like taking the dash out. It is a pain in the arse. Man! I don't want to do it. Last time I pinched a bunch of wiring going to the engine from the computer.
 

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Aluminum transfers heat better, but in my experience, the copper ones seem to last longer. Key to making them last is proper cooling system maintenence. I replace mine back in november and it was the original from 1991, With 198,000 miles :D
Actually copper has almost twice the thermal conductivity of aluminum

Thermal Conductivity for Different Metals Metal [Material] Symbol, Atomic Thermal Value
Silver Ag 4.08
Copper Cu 3.94
Gold Au 2.96
Aluminum Al 2.18
Beryllium Be 2.00
Tungsten W 1.74
Rhodium Rh 1.50
Molybdenum Mo 1.46
Chromium Cr 0.937
Nickel Ni 0.92
Platinum Pt 0.716
Tin Sn 0.666
Tantalum Ta 0.575
Lead Pb 0.353
Titanium Ti 0.219
Manganese Mn 0.078

But, aluminum is obviously lighter and cheaper and still has excellent thermal conductivity for the intended purpose.

I didn't know there was an option of material for the cores. I'd get the copper if the price was reasonable.
 

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It wouldn't hurt to put on of these in when you replace the core.

It's a heater core inlet restrictor that came on SSP Mustangs and PI Crown Victorias. I picked one up for my car for 15.00.



 

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Also, run the heaterabout once a week. This will insure that there is a fresh load of anti-freese in the core.
 

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It wouldn't hurt to put on of these in when you replace the core.

It's a heater core inlet restrictor that came on SSP Mustangs and PI Crown Victorias. I picked one up for my car for 15.00.



What is it supposed to accomplish?
 

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It restricts the flow of antifreeze to the heater core to stop it from bursting.

It's cheap insurance to have if your car sees high RPMs, even if it's only every once in a while.
 

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Also, run the heaterabout once a week. This will insure that there is a fresh load of anti-freese in the core.
Where is the logic in this? Coolant is constantly running through the heater core whether the heater is on or not.
 

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Never had mine out. Just thought that, cause some other fords work that way.
 

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What? I've never heard of this. Wow! Are you sure of this? I replace mine like in 2003. Then it went out in 2007. So I just disconnected it and run with out one. It doesn't get that cold here.
Yes. When I gutted my 5.0 car, I didn't actually have to add anything, the length of hose that runs from the engine to the core was long enough to loop back around and hook to the engine. I'm considering using that to cool something else.
 
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