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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
4.6 donor Rad from a 97 GT installed as per the FFR manual on my mk4.

You read well: as per the FFR manual.

Big mistake! Can't believe I'm this naive! You'd think I'd know by now not to trust this piece of sh!¿

The 4.6 kit comes with an adapter bracket to the 3/4" cross member that allows to bolt the rad tank and then rivet the rad.

Did that and put the body on. The rad is about 2 inches too high along the axis of that slope to connect to the rad aluminum floor.

This must be a known issue.

Pics please of how you solved this? How did you attach the rad lower? to the 3/4 " cross member at the top? To the sides using rubber isolator? Any interference at the bottom with where the quick jack bumper bolts are?

Not perfect pics at the correct angle (it's worst when you look from normal height a few feet away, you can barely see the rad)

Land vehicle Vehicle Car Classic car Coupé
Land vehicle Vehicle Car Coupé Classic car
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Just mocked up the rad aluminum to show the gap I'm missing.

Green Light Automotive exterior


I guess I need an extension of some sort at the upper mount to lower the rad????

My rad is 18" high, std donor rad, is that the issue should it be more like 20"?

Anyone been through this?
 

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I used the FFR Rad, so no help there, but looks like you have two options, change the mount to lower it. It sounds like you riveted the Rad to the frame. Many advise that this is bad as the Rad needs a cushion so it won't crack/fail in the future. Lowering the Rad will lower the weight if that is important to you.

I have a heat exchanger in front of my Rad and will make a custom lower piece to close it off. Part of the fun on the build. Making custom parts, then redoing them over and over again. :winkiss:

Good luck
 

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My solution

I did two things. First I bolted a 1 1/2" piece of 1/8" aluminum to the top rad support. This brought the bottom edge of the aluminum in line with the bottom of the two little 3/4" pieces that FFR welds to the cross member. I then attached a SS piano hinge to the aluminum and then hung the rad from it. This effectively dropped the rad about 3/4".

On the bottom of the rad I riveted another piece of 1/8" aluminum to the bottom flange on the radiator this gave me a new bottom edge to the radiator that was also 3/4"+ lower than original. Overall the bottom working edge of the rad was now a bit over 1 1/2" lower than original.

Now I used a 87-93 radiator so don't know if the vertical dimension is the same as the 94 or later.

I will go through my pictures and see what I have that may show all of this.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
... It sounds like you riveted the Rad to the frame. Many advise that this is bad as the Rad needs a cushion so it won't crack/fail in the future. Lowering the Rad will lower the weight if that is important to you.

I have a heat exchanger in front of my Rad and will make a custom lower piece to close it off.
My reserach on this topic has led me to a number of posts on the value of cushioning the rad, but the most popular install at the top appears to be the piano hinge solution: does that really do anything to absorb vibration? It would release the stress on the top of the rad, but I don't think I have seen a hinge/rubber isolator combo... the rubber part seems to be only for the lower mount. I'll likely copy AC Bill's version.

Also planning on a oil cooler under the lower rad alumnimum piece, the support for which will likely have to be incorporated into the lower rad support.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I did two things. First I bolted a 1 1/2" piece of 1/8" aluminum to the top rad support. This brought the bottom edge of the aluminum in line with the bottom of the two little 3/4" pieces that FFR welds to the cross member. I then attached a SS piano hinge to the aluminum and then hung the rad from it. This effectively dropped the rad about 3/4".

On the bottom of the rad I riveted another piece of 1/8" aluminum to the bottom flange on the radiator this gave me a new bottom edge to the radiator that was also 3/4"+ lower than original. Overall the bottom working edge of the rad was now a bit over 1 1/2" lower than original.

Now I used a 87-93 radiator so don't know if the vertical dimension is the same as the 94 or later.

I will go through my pictures and see what I have that may show all of this.
Thanks Paul.
The 4.6 completion kit from FFR came already with a metal bracket that does a bit what you describe at the top, but it is not bringing the rad low enough. the hinges might help extending this a bit.

My pain will be to drill out all the rivets I have in place, lower the rad, rivet an extension plate as you've described then rivet a piano hinge, then do a lower support, ALL WITH THE BODY ON!

Lower support: not anywhere near as complex as yours, probably more like ACBill's with a added piece in the middle to support my oil cooler.

Definitely see if you have any pics and maybe measure the height of your rad?

Also, did you install Mike Everson's rad aluminum piece? How does it stay in place? no rivets seem visible. you didn't keep a template of the aluminum by any chance? :icon18: Shipping on this part alone must've cost a bundle...
 

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I will go measure

I will try and get some measurements for you this weekend.

I don't have a template but could easily make one as I had planned to for fitting and trimming but the piece required no trimming. Shipping was actually pretty reasonable at around $25. I was surprised.
 

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yes i went though this with mine.
i didnt realize this till the body was on and painted.
i added a 2x1/8 inch plate at the bottom of the radiator.
its not a problem now that i have the water intercooler in front.
but i did call ffr they didnt know what i was talking about.
i guess not many people use the donor radiator.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
i added a 2x1/8 inch plate at the bottom of the radiator.
its not a problem now that i have the water intercooler in front.
I'm kind of afraid you'll see more aluminum than rad if the added piece is placed at the bottom... The car being so low on the road. At this stage would be much easier to install, so I would love a pic showing your setup!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Perl, thanks for those. The collant tank was actually a non-issue for me. the FFR bracket and the pictures in the manual were bang on for those. I even treated myself to a canton tank as I HATE the look of the plastic donor tank even though I cleaned it up nice (for sale to anyone who wants it). Reused the donor T hose with clamps and seems to work alreight for me. the only thing missing from the Canton is a water level sensor... but there are ways around that. In my case I will treat this car like an airplane and do checks everytime I get on board, oil, water, etc...

Still looking for other ideas for my rad positioning at the top. The pics from Henry Beamer in your first link seem to illustrate well my issue, I don't think his rad drops low enough to make a nice rad showing through the rad opening and for proper fitting of the lower rad aluminum. Would love to see the finished car.

Yours turned out alright for sure with the intercooler attracting the attention: GOOD JOB!

I'll post a pic of my tank setup. Used the donor supporting rod, as the 4.6 FFR kit came with a short bracket still meant for when the X-member was square tubing... duh!
 

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Here are a few more pictures of my radiator area.





 

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Jeff,
Thanks for sharing.
I am in process of picking up AC components & don't like the black Condensor on Aluminum Radiator.
Did you rattle paint Silver the Condensor?
Any idea the effect on efficiency?
Cheers,

Ok one more

 

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Yes I used rattle can paint. I read that it should be fine as long as you use as light a coat as possible. I ended up removing the silver color because it showed too much thru my radiator cover so I went back to black.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
So back to the original intent for this thread.
I didn't find much in the way of answers on the Forum, so I'll just have to concur with MyBigBrain, whom I thank for his help and pictures that "i guess not many people use the donor radiator."

When I was down at FFR a few weeks ago, I talked to the guys there about my problem. Same as MyBigBrain again: "ffr (they) didnt know what i was talking about". According to them, the frame didn't change on the SN95 Mustangs, all years have the same rad, never a problem to fit that rad according to the manual's instructions.

And Like I said, you only find out you have a problem once you put the body on. It's a good thing I decided to build the car completely before attacking bodywork and paint.

So I stalled my build for a few months not having the courage to remove the rad with the body on and try to refit it, not knowing too much how and growing frustrated.

Instructions I got verbally from JF (MK4) were a bit of help, he has a 2003 4.6Donor. He said he kept the lower rad support and rubbers and just reattached that part to the 3/4" tubes. No such luck, that part left for the scrapyard early in my donor harvesting.

Best description of how to fix this came below from PaulW, who's now selling his car.

What I had to do is drill out the rivets holding the rad at the top (very tight access with the body on) and let the rad drop down after removing the hoses and draining. I spend a full day trying to figure an optimal position for the rad: everytime the drain nipple would be hitting the 3/4 tubes, rad would be too low or too high to do a good fit in the front opening. Plus I needed to find a way to hold it in place while testing it all. I confirm that the rad and shroud can actually be removed from the front body opening, if this is any use to anyone...

So I went back to the forum, got more pictures from Perl and MyBigBrain, and made more sense of PaulW's narrative. Bought a strip of 1/8"x1.5"x36" alum cut 24" long. and fitted it to the lower rad, extending the lower lip (just like Paul described). Brought in the lower rad aluminum to position the rad at the lower end. and set out to build some rad support bracket.

Those were inspired from Henry Beamer in his thread going back to 2007:http://www.ffcars.com/forums/45-ford-modular-engine-roadster-builds/117710-donor-radiator-mounting-need-measurement.html

Essentially at the top it's a piece of 1/8"x1.5" alum bend in the wise and drilled to accomodate a rubber grommet with OD matching the rad support pins. At the bottom same trick but using some scrap alum angle. Everything gradually clamped in place before riveting in place using the 3 rad alum pieces as guides to fit the rad angle and vertical position. I have no clue how you could achieve this without the body in place to bring the rad in the right place relative to the body, remember it's not attached at the top yet. My brackets are nowhere near as nice looking as Henry Beamer, but will not be visible after I install Alex's wheel well liners.

End result is a little tight at the top hose connection, so will have to protect the corrugated hose with some rubber and a little more alum is visible in the nose of the car, a few rad fins damaged through the whole exercise. I will have to cut up the right rad alum panel to get better mirror image of the left side.

But now I have a rad in the right place. It looks OK so I can start fitting the oil cooler.

The worst part for me is that I had first fitted my donor rad early in the build and waited for it to come on sale at the local parts store. Mine had 175,000 km and 15 years of summer use, but it was grimy, fins damanged, ugly. So when the sale came, I bought a straight replacement fitting my donor's year.

Had I known this problem and if FFR could stipullate that some years donor rads don't fit, I would have bought the right size rad to start with...

Long narrative, just hoping to avoid someone else going through the same pain.

Oh and I forgot, now I have a rad that is suspended through rubber grommets, addressing (I hope) all this Forum talk about vibration effects on the rad.

Once the body is back off to paint, I'll have to clean off the remaining rivets and upper rad support plate which is visible when the hood is open.

Another moment on 'how to make your life difficult' shared to you by Wormie.

I'll try to post some pics shortly.
 
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