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Author Topic: New Motor, Aluminum Radiator & Electric Fan Questions  (Read 4982 times)

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Offline 80_2.3_ESS

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New Motor, Aluminum Radiator & Electric Fan Questions
« on: August 26, 2013, 11:36:05 AM »
This winter, I will be dropping in a new motor into my 80 Pinto. Motor is a bored & stroked 2.3 (now a little over 2.5 liters), flat-top pistons (with valve reliefs), ported head w/ valve-job etc. etc.

To get the most out of the motor, I was thinking about running an electric fan to get it off the motor. Does anybody have any experience / done this mod to their car? Currently I am running the stock radiator, and haven't had any issues.

While I have the motor out, and adding the electric fan, I thought it might be a good time to add the 22" aluminum racing radiator from Speedway. How well does the aluminum radiators work? And can I use an electric fan with it to maximize the cooling?

I know the aluminum radiator and electric fan are probably overkill for the car. Hell, with the stock set-up, I am staying in the lower 1/3 of the temperature range on the gauge in the car.

Either way, I want to run the electric fan though, I want the most out of this motor that I can with the items I have. Mated with the T5 I just put in, and the posi 3.55's in 8" in the back, the car should be able to move along pretty good.

Thanks!
Nick in CT

1980 2.3L Pinto ESS

Offline amc49

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Re: New Motor, Aluminum Radiator & Electric Fan Questions
« Reply #1 on: August 26, 2013, 08:02:06 PM »
The big bugaboo of aluminum radiators is that they are much harder to fix leaks on than brass ones.

Offline 71HANTO

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Re: New Motor, Aluminum Radiator & Electric Fan Questions
« Reply #2 on: August 26, 2013, 10:02:50 PM »
Modified-If you want max life from an aluminum radiator, put in aluminum compatible coolant with corrosion resistance. I would inspect it every 6 months and change it as recommended by the coolant manufacturer. Look for a white slime coating the inside. This is the start of the aluminum breakdown. This goes with aluminum heads on an engine also (found this out the hard way). Buy the pre-mixed or use distilled water in a 50/50 "mix your own" type. Water Wetter is something I would add also because it coats the inside with water soluble oil, aids in heat transfer, and helps lube the water pump. I am only talking going from stock brass to aluminum. If you stay with brass, you will not need to pay as much attention.
 
71HANTO
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Offline amc49

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Re: New Motor, Aluminum Radiator & Electric Fan Questions
« Reply #3 on: August 27, 2013, 08:45:46 AM »
Surely you jest, they've been using aluminum in car cooling systems since the '60s, and the coolant will protect it nicely. I never change old school green that is supposed to change every year, I run it 3-4 years or until I pop a hose and have an excuse to change it. It works even better than the late extended drain 100,000 mile coolant so highly touted nowadays, that stuff is garbage to me. It takes up to 6 months to get max protection, or what the old school gives instantly. I learned the lesson on Focus cars that kept slowly rusting the clear plastic reservoirs, going to old stuff stopped 100% of it. Ford orange or yellow, whatever you want to call it, GM Dexcool, the commonly sold green that 'mixes with all types and brands, and good for 100,000 miles' at parts stores, all that stuff is trash. I'll be crying when they drop the original stuff, I'll bet right now they are already cutting it to mix in more of the commonly used stuff used now. I'll know though by looking at that coolant tank.

Every six months........ ........LOL. I can pull aluminum parts 10 years later and virtually no damage there at all. The outside of the part will be far worse. Not in a hard water area, I have never used distilled water in coolant or batteries either.

The one or two degrees you get from water wetter are worthless for the price you pay. I sure sold plenty of that stuff to people at the parts store though, and thank you for the incentive there.

I've never done an electric fan conversion, but I do know one thing. The commonly available race type electric fans are garbage, they will not last anywhere as long as a good factory fan intended for a vehicle to drive on the street day in and day out. When Detroit first went en masse to electric fans I predicted there were going to be lots of engine fails due to fans dying. Of course that was based on my thinking on electric fans used on race vehicles, which didn't last for spit. Products like Flex-a lite, Hayden, and such. The engine fails didn't happen. I ran through a string of FWD cars, two Tempos, a Contour, two Focus. Get this, not ONE of the factory fans has failed yet, and all cars are still running. The oldest Tempo is an '88 and even though the fan melted at the connector, it still works fine. Now I'm not the only guy on the planet, but I didn't get very many new fan requests at the parts store while I was there either. Detroit stepped up and did its' thing, and those fans are among the most reliable parts on earth to me. So, rule #1 to me would be see if you can find a factory fan and shroud that can work there or be made to work, it should be bulletproof. It might be nice to get a two speed one which is the rage now, single speed but put in a resistor and get two speeds out of it. Running on low they impact your idle less if you are not running a PCM with idle control. Those fans can pull a walloping amount of current at switch on time.

Offline 71HANTO

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Re: New Motor, Aluminum Radiator & Electric Fan Questions
« Reply #4 on: August 27, 2013, 10:03:33 AM »
I agree that every 6 months may be overkill for most situations but there are other variables to consider. Is the car going to sit for long periods? The metallurgy of the older cast iron blocks is not as good as the tight tolerance modern high temp blocks. This can set up bi-metal electrolysis with the aluminum causing corrosion (think of your battery tray). Tap water that has been "softened" can be worse than "hard" water because it is softened by adding salt. You said you had no issues with running old school coolent for 3 -4 years but did you go through water pumps? I also agree that Water Wetter may be overkill for anything except extreme driving conditions like racing or running your air in the desert. Some of us like insurance and some of us like living on the edge...71HANTO
 
http://www.forum.w116.org/auto-torque/bi-metal-engines-coolants/
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Offline bbobcat75

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Re: New Motor, Aluminum Radiator & Electric Fan Questions
« Reply #5 on: August 27, 2013, 03:03:10 PM »
just my 2 cents but have had good luck with using what was in the car the day it rolled off the car lot, ,my 2006 explorer has the ford gold coolant and have not had any issues other then the radator did fail and was a nationwide recall on them. but the fluid has been changed 2 since new at 75,000 miles and still going strong!!
 
my two bobcats both have oldschool green with water wetter added for the hot summers here in fl, plus both being a/c cars!!!
 
the caddy and other imports i have had always added oem coolants!! keeps factory warrantys and no issues later in life!!!
 
good luck!!!
1975 mercury bobcat 2.8 auto
1978 mercury bobcat wagon 2.3l - soon to have a 88 tc drive line
1975 ford pinto - drag car - 2.3l w/t5 trans - project car

Offline amc49

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Re: New Motor, Aluminum Radiator & Electric Fan Questions
« Reply #6 on: August 27, 2013, 10:45:16 PM »
No trouble with water pumps at all.

I have 4 running cars at this time, I am an expert at what can go wrong as they sit, or my perennial hatred of ethanol.

Cast iron is cast iron, some has more nickel than other along with other things, the main difference is now stuff has gone to thinwall casting techniques, why parts crack easier now. Metallurgy and tight tolerances have little to do with each other, the tolerances are not even that much tighter, look at engine specs nowadays. Or almost the exact same. They could be achieved just as tight in the '60s, just done now with more repeatability.

You have to have electrical power flow to get electrolysis, none in a car sitting. Ground the engine well and it disappears anyway. Never had any issue with it at all, but I generally add another ground or two.

I inherited a Focus using Ford gold, in the year I owned it the coolant had reacted and turned the plastic reservoir PURPLE. Dumped coolant, cleaned the reservoir and it is still light green two years later, no more rust like before. Problem is gone and before, it was not a little, it was a lot.

Someone with GM product should be glad the Dexcool fiasco never bit him, there are thousands of guys out there who got bit hard. The coolant as first released was garbage and GM had to work on it a couple times before it quit damaging engines.




Offline 74 PintoWagon

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Re: New Motor, Aluminum Radiator & Electric Fan Questions
« Reply #7 on: August 27, 2013, 11:32:22 PM »
I use the cheap stuff from Crap-Mart and mix my own half the price of pre mix, never have any problems..
http://www.walmart.com/ip/Super-Tech-Antifreeze/16645420
Art
65 Falcon 2DR 200 IL6 with C4.

Offline HOSS429

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Re: New Motor, Aluminum Radiator & Electric Fan Questions
« Reply #8 on: August 28, 2013, 11:01:39 AM »
i dont know what is in the 80 pinto i just bought but it is still green and good after sitting 8 years .. surprised me ....

Offline amc49

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Re: New Motor, Aluminum Radiator & Electric Fan Questions
« Reply #9 on: August 28, 2013, 11:57:12 PM »
I used Walmart too until I realized they slipped the long life in there. I use Walmart oil in my cars, conventional straight 30 weight and 9K oil changes. Of course, that's on PCM controlled engines which run so much cleaner than these it's not funny.

Offline 74 PintoWagon

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Re: New Motor, Aluminum Radiator & Electric Fan Questions
« Reply #10 on: August 29, 2013, 07:49:12 AM »
As long as you get the cheap stuff it don't have the long life, I use nothing but Castrol in my street vehicles, wife's truck has almost 500,000 on it still runs great and don't burn oil.
Art
65 Falcon 2DR 200 IL6 with C4.

Offline 71HANTO

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Re: New Motor, Aluminum Radiator & Electric Fan Questions
« Reply #11 on: August 29, 2013, 11:07:56 AM »
To get the most out of the motor, I was thinking about running an electric fan to get it off the motor. Does anybody have any experience / done this mod to their car? Currently I am running the stock radiator, and haven't had any issues.

While I have the motor out, and adding the electric fan, I thought it might be a good time to add the 22" aluminum racing radiator from Speedway. How well does the aluminum radiators work? And can I use an electric fan with it to maximize the cooling?

I know the aluminum radiator and electric fan are probably overkill for the car. Hell, with the stock set-up, I am staying in the lower 1/3 of the temperature range on the gauge in the car.

Either way, I want to run the electric fan though, I want the most out of this motor that I can with the items I have.

Since no one jumped in on this, you have a lot of choices for cooling fans. If you go with an electric fan, you can get either a push type (goes in front of the radiator) or a pull type (goes in back of the radiator). You may be able to just reverse the wiring on some to go push or pull but check the instructions. If you are looking for better cooling with your stock fan blade and you donít have a fan shroud, add one. They can make a big difference in slow traffic, etc.  Ford also used viscous fan mounts on some cars. The idea is to have it slip at high RPM to cut down on drag. They tend to be a little heavy however. If you are looking at cutting parasitic drag on the engine with better cooling, a flex fan may be the best of both worlds on the cheap (especially when using a fan shroud). Maybe others can chime in on this.
 
71HANTO
 
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Offline Wittsend

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Re: New Motor, Aluminum Radiator & Electric Fan Questions
« Reply #12 on: August 29, 2013, 12:30:44 PM »
I have a pusher fan in my '73.  I was at a swapmeet and some guy was begging me to take his generic electric fans (4) for $1 each.  How could I resist!  He didn't want to take them home.

  I removed the fan from the shroud, reversed the blade and made a mount. I also modified the cradle and bumped up from the 17" to the stock 20" radiator.  Since I installed a 2.3 Turbo I had the harness wiring and fan control box from the Turbo Coupe.  It works quite well.  When it activates it cools as effectively as the Turbo Coupe did.  The one issue with my install is the exposed blades.  As time allows I'll probably put some mesh in to protect fingers.