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Radiator height

Rip VW

Active Member
Ok so now I am looking at the radiator in the TCoupe project. I am a little concerned with radiator height. I was told long ago there is an unofficial rule that says your T radiator must not be higher than the front edge of the cowl. In other words, if you measured the height of the cowl where a hood would attach above the ground the radiator must not exceed this height.

Well, I was setting the radiator on the chassis today to start making lower mounts for it and I measured this once before and my current radiator a 18" X 18" Rand and it would seem to be an inch and a half higher at the top of the tank than the cowl edge. Now looking at this with the Rad mocked into place I really don't notice any big difference in height to the uncalibrated eyeball of mine. So, I snapped a couple of pictures and will post them. I would like opinions on is the radiator to high or is it an eye appeal thing and it looks ok! from where it is now it looks ok to me but maybe I am wrong so look at the photos and tell me what you think.

A smaller radiator is not desirable to me as the reduced cooling would be a worry. I am also going to have dual fours with velocity stacks on the engine so some of the real estate will be used up on top of the engine and kind of break up the sight line. So, give it a critique and let me know what ya all think of it. Is it ok or really too tall!
Rad1.JPG Rad2.JPG Rad3.JPG Rad4.JPG Rad5.JPG
Looks to high to me, especially after you add your grill shell. Looks like you may be pretty tight on the sides if you drop it down a couple of inches you would have. You will need to at least get it below the welds to have clearance. Now, photos can be deceiving. In photos 1, 2 and 3 it looks pretty good. In the last 2 photos it looks to high. Add your grill shell and it would be high.
Just my thoughts, others may differ.
It does look too high. Follow the cowl line and it hits the radiator well below the top. Lines, like stance, can make or break a car.
Chop the radiator if you can't lower it enough. Cooling can always be handled.
The last pic makes it look too high. Perhaps go with a shorter radiator...with an additional core? It’s your build, so only your opinion counts. Looking good, nice progress!
You need a narrower radiator as it will not fit between the frame rails to sit on the mounts. If I'm looking at the pictures correct.
I may be stuck with what I have. The budget can't see another $500 dollar plus hit. and even then, I can't find what would fit.

I can't lower the radiator between the frame rails as this is a 32-style frame complete with a narrowed 32 front K shaped crossmember. There is no room behind the crossmember as the engine is too close so that move is out. I can't drop it in front of the crossmember because the steering and Panhard links are in the way and to get the rad outlet below the crossmember I am so low the rad could almost drag the ground.

So, I been looking at replacement Rads and try as I might, I can't find this style of radiator in anything shorter that 23 7/8 tall overall. Right now, my current radiator is 24" tall. by 22 1/4 wide with an 18 by 18 core. This rad is a 3-row rad. model T model A and I am trying to stay with this style of radiator. I did look at some conventional radiators as in mustang or old ford shoebox style rads but then trying to hide them under some kind of grill would lead into its own set of nightmares. I don't think a crossflow will work either as it would be even harder to hide the side tanks and where the rad cap is located on top of one of the side tanks would add to the difficulty of a cover.

Having a new rad built may be defeating the purpose of having a radiator at all. I can't go any wider and the only direction is smaller, or thicker and the radiator is already 3 inches thick, so it is a catch 22. shrink the size and deal with more heat or maybe fatter and need to pull a lot more air. Anyway, just venting as nothing in this entire build has been simple or smooth. there are times a person just wants to walk away, but I don't want to just flush all the money I have spent on this monster down the drain while there is a still a spark of hope left...
Is this a 26' or 27' body? Depending on the room in the truck, that is if it is not already too crowded back there, you might think about mounting the radiator in the back with cooling fans. Louver the trunk lid for extra of air flow cooling. Saw this done on another late 'T'. No radiator in the front means you can mount an empty shell in the front or leave it clean. Just a thought. Btw, I found a photo. If you want more info search "Stoner T"


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Or... mount the radiator in front of the crossmember. Notch the frame, slide the radiator down between the rails. Modify the shell to fit the upper half. There doesn't appear to be anything in the way from looking at photos 1 and 4.
RIP, check this out: Cooling secrets I went thru every cooling challenge and came up with some ideas that can help you. I wouldn't worry too much about cooling. Get a radiator that fits your space and I'm sure we can make it cool.
I had my radiator custom made by a radiator shop so I got the exact size and fittings I wanted. Might check around to compare prices against the big SEMA names.
Oh, I put my radiator in the bed. Gets the hot air away from motor and the vacuum behind the car pulls air thru.

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I have searched high and low for a shorter radiator, and I mean I have looked at a million radiators. It seems that T and A radiators are all 24 inches tall give or take a 1/4 inch. I could not find an acceptable radiator with the T & A style with the rounded upper tank. I contacted several custom builders, and everyone wanted $700 to $1400 to spec me a radiator for the Job. I can't relocate the radiator to the trunk as that is already spoken for by the fuel tank. I can't drop the rad between the frame rails nor can I drop the rad in front of the crossmember. At this point in the build, I just cannot justify spending that much on a replacement radiator. I have decided at this point to continue on with what I have and after the car is finished maybe look at what's left of my cash reserves for a custom radiator. After all I am only 2" higher than ideal. It's just something I am going to have to live with.

On the continuation of this part, I need to get a fan and shroud, so I proceeded to build a shroud that completely covers the core of the rad it is 1 " in depth and makes a perfect 1" tall square box and a 16 inch curved blade fan for the middle. I wish I could have made it with gently curved sides but that exceeded my skill level. I still have to decide on fan manufacture and that is down to 3 suppliers. They are "Spal", "Afco", and "Maradyne" all are comparable in price and features. I just have to get on it and pull the trigger.

At this point I also need to plan for the headlight mounts as that is going to depend on where the radiator's location is. Arghhh it is always something to mess with a plan.
Well back to work and maybe get something done.
They have all kinds of sizes and are very helpful and a nice web site.

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