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1949-1951 Mercury/Shoebox Radiator Help

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Pro Stock John, Feb 25, 2012.

  1. What I am basically wondering is:

    -Can I put a radiator right in the opening flush with the exterior sheet metal which Jesse James' Merc appears to have done?
    -If that is the case, I'm assuming that the bottom set of triangle looking guskets have to be cut off?
    -Generally speaking, and I'm really speaking to the guys with non-flathead combos, what size radiators are you running width, height, depth? Seems based on research if I can get 25 x 19 I'll have a lot of options.


    Jesse James '51 Mercury pic from his FB (hope that's cool)
    -My ac condenser is mounted on the front of my current radiator, is there any other way to mount those things ie not front because otherwise I'm thinking I'd get rid of the AC for now.
  2. If there is a really good radiator thread with do's/don't tips would be very interested.
  3. Big Blue Car
    Joined: Dec 9, 2006
    Posts: 187

    Big Blue Car
    from Orlando FL

    I ended up mounting mine on the outside of the core support. I had to modify the splash pan to provide the clearance.

    Here are some old pictures that show the install.

    Attached Files:

  4. Thanks. Are you running a custom-ordered radiator in order to get the right hose sizing in the inlet/outlet for that engine?

  5. jfrolka
    Joined: Oct 4, 2007
    Posts: 897


    Hey John, not to ham up your thread but I have a alum radiator I was gonna run in my 51 with the cad 472" motor but I ended up going with a flathead and copper tank og radiator...I can post a pic of itagainst the core support if you want.
  6. Absolutely post away!
  7. jfrolka
    Joined: Oct 4, 2007
    Posts: 897


    Ok it will be later tonight.
  8. Thanks. Between driving on the highway, and getting stuck in bumper to bumper traffic, I want to upgrade the cooling system so that I never have to worry about it.
  9. I run the Stock Rad
    I took it to a Rad Shop had it all Checked out
    had the Chevy Necks put on the Merck Rad
    and Had NO Problem running the Car in Tuscon, AZ.
    for 10 years
    now I live in NY & its still holding up & I have
    the Trans Oil Cooler mounted in Front of the Rad

    just my 3.5 cents
  10. Cool, I don't have a stock one so pretty open at this point. I plan to swap in 450 hp engine this year so I'd like to increase cooling power. I don't know how 200 hp Flathead guys can merge and keep up with traffic.
  11. John I run a 327/300 hp in my Merc for the
    Last 30 years with No Problem

    just my 3.5 cents
  12. when I built my Race Car I used a 4 core Rad from a Chevy
    427/800 hp for 6 years Never overheated

    hope this Helps
  13. So anyone know what is the max width and height that fits in these cars? I'm thinking 19 tall and 25 wide... but I'll measure again.
  14. I took the beaty cover off my setup (pics soon), and took a bunch of measurements. Current radiator is:
    18 tall
    26 wide
    2 thick

    The opening is:
    29 wide

    Looks like I can move a radiator 2-2.5 inches forward. Right now the AC condenser is flush with the flat section of the opening.

    I picked up a Mark VIII fan from a bud (thanks Intmd8) so I could see if something like that would fit my car, it would fit no problem if my motor was set back or the assembly moved forward.

    So I think I have a lot of options going forward.
  15. [​IMG]

    I think the original builder spaced up the radiator because he made the beauty cover first:

    AC lines:

  16. Bump.

    1) So can we just use a cutting wheel and remove these custom feet? I'm assuming the bottom most part of the bracket I should keep though it will leave a gap between the radiator and the bottom of the grille opening
    2) Do I need to keep the beauty cover, does it help manage the airflow in the nose?
    3) How much gap should I leave on the sides, I was thinking .5 inch?

  17. Jim J
    Joined: Jul 11, 2011
    Posts: 87

    Jim J

    hehe. 200? try 110 on the stock motor (200lb-ft tho). Need be careful merging. It's I think just enough to get out of it's own way. (not that I've been on the Hiway recently). fine around town.
  18. I might do 1 or two legs of the Power Tour, I really do drive my car everywhere. I can keep up with traffic right now, but I think my current setup will be laboring to stay cool in bumper to bumper traffic.
  19. Ol Blue
    Joined: Oct 31, 2005
    Posts: 394

    Ol Blue
    from In

    A mid -70's Dodge pickup radiator slides right in the original 51 Merc support.

    Seems like my support was moved forward 1 1/2 inches, used a SBC long water pump with 73 Monte clutch fan, no fan shroud and never have gotten over 190 degrees in traffic. But I don't have A/C either.

    I made an aluminum cover to keep the airflow going thru the radiator instead of over it.
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2012
  20. 51 mercules
    Joined: Nov 29, 2008
    Posts: 3,353

    51 mercules

    Ol Blue where's the inlet & outlet on the mid 70's Dodge Pu radiator.Thanks.
  21. Ol Blue
    Joined: Oct 31, 2005
    Posts: 394

    Ol Blue
    from In

    Radiator inlets outlets match SBC perfectly. See picture of aluminum box to direct all airflow through radiator. Before putting that on, the car did get hot in traffic. Amazing difference. Seems like the 51 merc radiator support was lowered 1 inch as well as being moved forward 1.5 inches.

  22. Thanks OB!

    So inlet on the driver's side, and outlet (lower) on the passenger side?

    I measured again, and I have 29 inches of wide available. Can anyone else measure their stock grill opening, I was wondering if mine is still original....

    My beauty cover is only 23 wide at the top, so maybe I need to go a bit less on the height than I had planned. I definitely plan to kick the radiator out to where it probably was stock, that should free up a few inches.
  23. Ol Blue
    Joined: Oct 31, 2005
    Posts: 394

    Ol Blue
    from In

    Yes John, upper hose is on drivers side, lower hose on Passenger side. I could even use molded hoses instead of flexible ones. Remember, my radiator support was moved forward 1.5 inches and down 1 inch. I have over an inch between fan and radiator and no shroud. I have no doubt that with a shroud I could run AC without danger of over heating.

    The engine is a SBC 355, performer cam, 10:1 compression, stock cast iron exhaust manifolds, 700R4 trans with no posi 3:36 diff. cast iron manifold and quadrajet. Runs quarter in high 14's at 95mph spinning one tire thru first gear. You high HP engine my requre more cooling I guess.

    Did you ever find time to measure your bench seats we PMed about?
  24. I might be able to measure tomorrow thanks for your interest on those.

    Do you have a pic of your setup?
  25. Bump, would like to hear any advice folks have. I just wonder how much gap to leave on each side of the radiator.

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