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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So the time has come to change the radiator for my Galaxie, it's a '65 with a 289 2bbl in it, should I swap it for another, rebuild the current one or go to a bigger one since I live in the desert? Any valuable advice is much appreciated in advance.

Key info- I eventually plan on still keeping the 289 but putting headers and dualies on it, and possibly upgrading to a 4bbl although I'm fine with the 2. Going up to a 4bbl will depend on how good of a deal I can get on a Cast Iron manifold. Don't know if this info is pertinent to the advice I'm looking for, but I'd throw it in in case it is. Thanks again.
 

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I'm in the same boat. But have a six cyl 240. I understand the six and the SBF have the same configutation of upper/lower rad hoses and are the same size (from looking at replacements). I have dealer add on A/C and this will probably fit into the equation. I also need Transmission line attachments since I have an Automatic. I currently have a two core copper origional unit on the car but it's old and don't trust it. I will be following this post closely!!
 

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You know if you are going to do something with the radiator, I would put a larger one in. With the summer heat yall have it would help. Allso if you do more to the engine in the future, you don't have to worry about the radiator. When i was out there in Oct. and went to the sema show. I went to Count Kustom and visted with H. Mike and paid him for a custom air brush work on my cold air boxs. I have not got it from him yet. I believe he put the screws to me.But on the radiator it would pay off to up grade
 

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You know if you are going to do something with the radiator, I would put a larger one in. With the summer heat yall have it would help. Allso if you do more to the engine in the future, you don't have to worry about the radiator. When i was out there in Oct. and went to the sema show. I went to Count Kustom and visted with H. Mike and paid him for a custom air brush work on my cold air boxs. I have not got it from him yet. I believe he put the screws to me.But on the radiator it would pay off to up grade
And I bet he didn't even buy you dinner..
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks Randy- when upgrading to a bigger size, do you suggest a 302, or 351, 352 or larger?

I know Counts place got really busy once his show started taking off, so you may want to follow up with Mike in case he lost any follow up information with you. Stranger things have happened. Thanks again

-KRYSTOF
 

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Go for the 390 radiator. Measure your radiator hole in core support not the radiator.I have two core support and the openning is different., one big block and one small block. If you order a radiator call Griffin Tell them what you want, let them know you have high summer heat. This are good people. I spent some time with them at Sema. I talk with Mike on and off. Takes awhile for him to return call. I sure like Henderson. Spend alot of time at the M resort.
 

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To be clear, there are three basic sizes of radiators in most '60s Fords, including the Galaxie. They are commonly referred-to as the 16 (or 17), 20 and the 23 (or 24), or as the standard and wide/HD/AC versions. They have core widths of roughly 17" and 20" for the standard I6 and small blocks, and 23.5" for the HD/AC small blocks and big blocks. The mounting system is different between them, so if you want a direct bolt-in, you should stay with the width you have now. Also, if you have a factory shroud, it will only fit the one width as well. So, if changing width, you will also need to find mounts and shroud (and usually a different lower hose) as well.

Beyond the width, there are differences in the bottom outlet location, where the I6 and small blocks are farther to the right (passenger side) than the big block versions. Finally, there are options in the number of rows of cooling tubes, their spacing, and their width. These all impact cost and cooling capability. In general order of preference for efficiency, to get better cooling than stock you want to increase area (width), increase tube width (stock is 3/8" tubes, HE is 1/2" or so, and aluminum is 1"), increase fin count, decrease tube spacing, increase core rows.

Note that decreasing spacing and adding rows are last, as the increase in cooling is somewhat offset by the reduction of airflow through the core. However, with the added costs of changing width, these are options to consider. Finally, note that tube size impacts the thickness, so a 2-row aluminum version with 1" tubes will be about as thick and have very roughly equivalent performance to a 4-row 3/8" or 1/2" version, so take that into account.

Final viewpoint to offer - what you have now should be sufficient if in good condition. Upgrading for unusual conditions is fine, but it should be just for insurance. If you need to go bonkers on a killer radiator to try to keep it cool, the car has other issues you should address. You should be able to pick just one upgrade feature to cover most situations, such as just going to the wider version, or adding one row, or keeping original width and rows but go aluminum, etc.

Below is a comparison from U.S. Radiator of stock-style Galaxie radiators. I am not endorsing them (I have not used them), but simply using their site as a tool. Note the first one listed is the wide version with I6/SB outlet, the second is standard width (but actually has a 20" core) and the last is aluminum. There are 2 or 3 options in each category for core design, and price goes up with those. It's just a reference to be helpful.

David

U.S. Radiator comparison page for 1965 Galaxie 289:
 
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