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1963 Ford Galaxie 500
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Discussion Starter #1
So I am running a 302 engine in my 1963 Galaxie 500. It has the aftermarket A/C installed, with the cooler completely in front of the radiator, and right now, with it being 100-110 degrees outside, my car is not happy, and it running very hot after 20-30 miles of driving, especially with the A/C running. I know the older cars run hot in this type of weather anyway, but I need to have it at least a little bit reliable. After I turn the car off, I am filling the overflow tank, and also puking onto the street. I have changed out the cap, just to be sure. I have the original size non-A/C radiator in the vehicle, with the 4-blade fan. They did add air flow deflectors (rubber on sides and top) when the A/C was installed.

I know I need to upgrade on the radiator. So I guess my options are:

1. Go with a larger (wider) radiator, since the A/C cooler is completely blocking the radiator from direct airflow. Do I uggrade to an aftermarket aluminum, or try to find one that matches up to the look in the engine compartment? Right now it is definitely not stock look, and I am more concerned about performance than looks.
2. Go with a larger fan in addition to radiator. Clutch or no clutch? What is the difference? What model?
3. Go with a radiator / electric fan combo. If so, what model/manufacturer is recommended?
 

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What temp is the coolant when running and driving? How much does it heat up at idle and not moving? Does it spit coolant when the engine is running or only after you shut it down? Do you have a fan shroud? Does it have a fan clutch or is the fan directly mounted to the water pump shaft? Automatic or manual trans?

This type of information will help determine the best solution.

- John
 

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1963 Ford Galaxie 500
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Discussion Starter #3
What temp is the coolant when running and driving? How much does it heat up at idle and not moving? Does it spit coolant when the engine is running or only after you shut it down? Do you have a fan shroud? Does it have a fan clutch or is the fan directly mounted to the water pump shaft? Automatic or manual trans?

This type of information will help determine the best solution.

- John
Not sure on the actual temp, but it is running at just above 1/2 on the gauge normally and in cooler weather, but lately in hot weather it is at 2/3, and A/C on it goes to 3/4, and then above that if I am sitting for any period. It is pushing some antifreeze into the overflow when driving, but not much. Once I shut the car off, it begins to really boil, and I had one explosive mess from the overflow a few weeks ago.

This year Galaxie with a 289 did not have a fan shroud, I have been looking, but they are unicorns for a 1963. 4 blade fan is mounted direct, and it is an Automatic Transmission, FMX.
 

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Have you had the car for a while? If it ran cool in years past, you might be dealing with poor heat transfer due to corrosion in the cooling system. Some guys have had amazing luck with Thermocure treatment, then flushing the system and replacing the coolant. It's easy and worth a try before you replace major components.
 

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1963 Ford Galaxie 500
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Discussion Starter #5
I bought it about 4 months ago. It was owned by a guy in Kissimmee, FL who rarely drove it more than a few miles here and there. HE said it had never been on the highway or above 55 MPH for the 8 years he owned it. So I have no history on the car itself. I will look into giving the system a cleaning, flush, and go from there.
 

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For your climate I would get the biggest rad I could fit.
May have to cut the rad support on the sides to get a bigger rad in there.
I had to do that on my 66.

By all means try the flush first, but with those ambient temps I really think you will need a bigger rad.

I despise cooling system problems and it will never hurt to go overkill on the rad.
(well, maybe your bank balance) ;)
 

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1963 Ford Galaxie 500
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Discussion Starter #7
For your climate I would get the biggest rad I could fit.
May have to cut the rad support on the sides to get a bigger rad in there.
I had to do that on my 66.

By all means try the flush first, but with those ambient temps I really think you will need a bigger rad.

I despise cooling system problems and it will never hurt to go overkill on the rad.
(well, maybe your bank balance) ;)
I am looking at a few online. Any recommendations from anyone would help, something that is not a huge PITA to modify and install. I have quite a bit of room to work with.
 

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When it comes to aftermarket universal fit radiators you need to take some measurements before you go shopping.

Measure the actual rad opening in your core support and decide if you can make it bigger and if you will be able to fabricate brackets for mounting.
You will also need to know inlet and outlet hose sizes and locations. IE: upper hose on driver or passenger side? etc...
Also decide on how many rows of tubes and tube sizes, fan(s) etc...

If you are looking for a straight "bolt in" replacement for your existing rad, your choices will be limited.

Personally I'd go the custom route, take the measurements and start shopping.
It's not that difficult to fab brackets for rad mounting.

TONS of options out there....

Radiators - Universal

Flex-a-Lite has a interesting take on rads... watch the vid in the link below.

https://www.flex-a-lite.com/radiators/universal.html

.
 

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Those small blocks are prone to overheating anyway, throw in a aftermarket AC and you got trouble. Still, I would take it to a radiator shop and let them do their magic on it. I did that to mine ten years ago, best $100 ever.

Combine that with a better fan, shroud, water jacket and heater core flush, check/straighten fins on the condenser, more timing, Water Wetter instead of antifreeze, a 180 deg thermostat, working radiator cap, and maybe a new water pump while you're in there.... Man, that's a lot when you list it out.

Meanwhile, if your thermostat housing has a nipple like Edelbrock Water Necks 48143 get a sender for it and mount the gauge on the dash so you can keep an eye on things. I recommend a mechanical over electric if you have a 3/4" hole in the firewall for the fitting.
 
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