New Aluminum Radiator

Replacing the old radiator with a new aluminum radiator is something I see people doing a lot. Looking around at the car shows, one thing I don’t like about the aluminum radiators is how they often have a big silver brick for a top (Champion). For my radiator, I wanted best of both worlds with the original look, but modern technology.


I chose the ACP Max Core from Virginia Classic Mustang. Since I have a ’72 302 which has the water pump intake on the driver side, I had to get a later model radiator as well. I chose the 69-70 6 cylinder and 70 302 model with 2 cores since aluminum allows for larger tube diameters. For the shape, this radiator has the original style, which I really like.


As you can see, I still have an issue with a BRIGHT silver radiator in my otherwise black engine compartment. That is solved with Black Radiator Gloss paint from Eastwood. I used all of one can and a bit of the second. With the flash, the pictures kept showing shadows on the front grill since I wasn’t getting an even coat across the fins. At some point I figured it was good enough so that I didn’t end up putting too much paint on, and affecting the cooling ability.


I think it looks pretty good. I was able to get the look I was looking for without compromising on a new aluminum radiator with a big silver brick on top. Mounting was simple as it mounted to the original location. Since this was a 6 cylinder originally, the new radiator was essentially the same as the original dimensions. This one did have the larger diameter outlet on the bottom for the V-8 though.

To round out the project, I had to also get a driver side input hose along with the passenger side return. To prevent hose collapse, there is a spring to get that goes inside the lower hose as well. Throw in the hose clamps, radiator mounting hardware, and a radiator cap, and call it good.

The last part I have to put on is the fan shroud. I will go over that at another time since it got more complicated with the motor mount changes, and still needs to be mounted. I plan on going with a mechanical fan for now. I want to put an electric in eventually, but want to simplify the electrical project until the basics at least function.


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