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'48 Ford F-1 Pickup Radiator Replacement

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by aldrowsboy, Feb 17, 2013.

  1. aldrowsboy
    Joined: Jun 9, 2012
    Posts: 18


    I’m rebuilding a Ford pickup and have the chassis and drive train pretty well finished up. It's a 48 Ford F-1, 350 small block Chevy and Chevy automatic transmission with a Camarro front clip and rear end. We’re getting to the radiator/cooling part of the project and I’ve read as many posts as I can find on HAMB about hot rod radiators. <O:p</O:pFrom what I can see, I have three alternatives: 1) Recore my existing radiator by re-using the tanks, modifying the radiator outlets to match the positioning of the water ports on the Chevy engine and having a radiator shop put a new core on those tanks.This would likely require an independent “stand alone” transmission cooler of some kind. 2) Buy a new “generic” aluminum radiator (I’ve looked at Speedway) and modify the original ’48 Ford radiator mounting bracket and fasten that new generic radiator into the Ford mount. I’m thinking this too would require an “stand alone” separate transmission oil cooler. 3) Buy one of the aluminum radiators specifically made to fit the original 48 Ford radiator mounting bracket. It’s my understanding those radiators will fit the original radiator mount and it is simply all bolted in place with no modifications needed. Haven’t really checked yet but I’m thinking it’s likely that these radiators would have the transmission cooler built into the new radiator.<O:p</O:p
    Can anybody out there identify other options or solutions that they have used? I’d be interested in any “bolt in” solutions that others may have found. Also, any radiators that are “close fits” that would install with minimal modifications or fabrication would also be appreciated. Thanks for the help.<O:p</O:p
  2. 100% Matt
    Joined: Aug 7, 2006
    Posts: 2,559

    100% Matt

    Mid 80's dodge pick-up
  3. Dirk35
    Joined: Mar 8, 2001
    Posts: 2,032


    I did number 2 of your options.

    "Buy a new &#8220;generic&#8221; aluminum radiator (I&#8217;ve looked at Speedway) and modify the original &#8217;48 Ford radiator mounting bracket and fasten that new generic radiator into the Ford mount. I&#8217;m thinking this too would require an &#8220;stand alone&#8221; separate transmission oil cooler."

    I bought a generic radiator off ebay with the inlet and outlet I needed. Built my own cradle (used Chevy Pickup lower cushions) to hold it in the original mount. Welded some tabs on the side of the radiator and used the rubber shock cushions to bolt it in. I used an external transmission cooler on the frame under the truck.

    I put my truck onto a car frame so I had to section out 5 inches of the stock bracket (the one that is basically a core support).

    It was really easier than I thought it would be.

    That long black thing in the picture of the close-up of the lower bracket is the alternator belt.

    Attached Files:

  4. Get ahold of US Radiator. They can build a replacement rad that will bolt right in, have the inlets and outlets in the location you want, and have a trans cooler installed in the lower tank. I have used them for a number of projects, including my 351W powered '51 F-1. There quality is second to none.

  5. GassersGarage
    Joined: Jul 1, 2007
    Posts: 4,729


  6. fordf1trucknut
    Joined: Feb 13, 2007
    Posts: 1,114


    I paid the $$ for one of the direct fit ones for my sleeper f-1 and couldn't be happier.

    AND on my other truck The the 4x4 daily driver, I had the stock one re-cored and modified... it has been working out ok also.
  7. Copper radiators "R" value is about half of Aluminum. The copper radiators cool about two times better than aluminum. There are a lot of posts on this forum about cooling problems and they usually include electric fans and aluminum radiators.
  8. A local radiator shop can change and relocate the nozzles without much effort.
  9. FYI,...AD truck radiators (47-53 Chevy) fit in these trucks great and you can buy them in lots of places, U.S. Radiator, etc.
    Joined: Mar 12, 2006
    Posts: 263


    Mid 70's dodge pick up with a v8 engine. There are two widths, the 22" and a 26 or so. You need the 22" wide. I'm using one on my F1 with a SBC. Drill three holes in the side bracket of the radaiator and bolt it to the stock radiator support. If you can get the three row from a junkyard, get it. Most of the new ones are only a two row. If you do some research, you'll find that lots of mid 70's dodge and plymouth cars and truck used the same radiator so don't limit your self to only dodge trucks in the junkyard. BTW, the radiator has the inlet and outlet in the correct spot and the correct diameter for sbc hoses.
  11. aldrowsboy
    Joined: Jun 9, 2012
    Posts: 18


    Just read all the posts and thank you all for taking time to reply. This has really helped a lot and I'm feeling a lot more "solid" about what alternative to follow. Am now accumulating and comparing costs and hope to make a decision by the end of the week..Thanks again for all the help.
    Also, don't let my "thanks" post stop additional replies or ideas. There's always more to learn.
  12. aldrowsboy
    Joined: Jun 9, 2012
    Posts: 18


    Just as a quick update I compared prices between several different alternatives and settled on a new aluminum radiator from Superior Radiator in Michigan -
    The price was great ($320 plus freight) with a two year warranty. Charlie at Superior was very helpful and said the radiator is a "bolt-in" to the original Ford radiator mounting frame/bracket. The radiator also includes the tranny cooler.
    I'm very comfortable with my final choice and again, thanks to all of you for helping me get there. I really appreciate your help.

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