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low radiator - in front of axle ?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Fenders, Feb 10, 2014.

  1. Fenders
    Joined: Sep 8, 2007
    Posts: 3,922

    Fenders
    Member

    This build is a channeled '31 Ford. The top of the radiator shell should be 36" from the ground (max), so it doesn't seem the radiator can be placed in the usual location over the spring, since it won't leave enough height for a normal radiator (cooling issue).

    So I'm looking for options, one of which would be radiator in front of axle. I'd like some photos of how that looks on finished rods. Also would like other ideas......

    Thanks fellas.
     

    Attached Files:

  2. I think your thinking to far ahead. Get a frame together, cross member and 800lbs sitting in it. Then start playing with the radiator.
    Just my opinion.
     
  3. MAD 034
    Joined: Aug 30, 2011
    Posts: 775

    MAD 034
    Member
    from Washington

    I am running a Walker 6" chopped radiator and a basically stock 283 in my 34. I live in WA state so super hot days are not common but on a 80 degree it cools ok as long as I don't let it idle too long.
     
  4. Toast
    Joined: Jan 6, 2007
    Posts: 3,885

    Toast
    Member
    from Jenks, OK

    Yep I have to agree with chopped51, plus when you get to that stage there is a zillion radiator choices and more than one will work for your combo. I have been in that position before and believe me it will all come together in the end.
     

  5. gimpyshotrods
    Joined: May 20, 2009
    Posts: 17,910

    gimpyshotrods
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I have put many a radiator ahead of the axle, on an early Ford.
     
  6. choppedtudor
    Joined: Nov 28, 2009
    Posts: 681

    choppedtudor
    Member

    I'll be doing the same thing with my '31 tudor. My radiator will be out in front of the axel with an electric fan. I'd like to see how others have mounted/supported it.
     
  7. nailheadroadster
    Joined: Jun 7, 2006
    Posts: 1,522

    nailheadroadster
    Member

    Be careful with the radiator in front of the axle. Too far forward and it will look nose heavy. The radiator should only be slightly forward of the middle of the front wheels... and NEVER, EVER higher than the cowl.
     
  8. Fenders,
    Your approach moving the radistor forward is one of 3 different options that have been done in the past, the other two are moving the radiator back behind the cross member (think stretched frame here) which is probably not an option with your build ( an assumption on my part) and the more popular is chopping the grill shell and using a custom radiator.

    I don't have any pics on my Hard drive for you but yes it has been done to move the radiator forward and drop it and it has been done a lot with good success.

    by the way I am glad that you are not going to just leave it sticking up there, I have seen in thre past and still see cars that are channeled or sectioned and the radiator shell is just left stock, looks like ass that way to me.
     
  9. On a fenderless channeled car, a full height grille/radiator shell in front of the axle looks better than a shortened one in the normal location. IMHO
     
  10. Fenders
    Joined: Sep 8, 2007
    Posts: 3,922

    Fenders
    Member

    I would like to have the radiator in its usual location, if possible.... This is the look I am after -- a full height (1931) shell, the bottom of which covers the axle. This basically means the bottom of the shell is 5" off the ground, and the top is 36" off the ground (a '31 shell is 31" tall). That's what I show in post #1 but with the shell in front.

    These heights determine the relationship of the frame to the front crossmember, on which the radiator would sit. I am obviously thinking flat crossmember.

    It looks like So-Cal got the look with the radiator in the stock location.

    This also determines the height of the Model A coupe body: the front of the cowl would be about 37" from the ground, and from there, with a 4" channel, I can determine the height of the frame under the body.

    Maybe I should just go with a flat front crossmember, with the frame rails no higher than the top of the crossmember, do the 4" channel, then look for a radiator that will fit, as some have suggested?
     

    Attached Files:

  11. 5window
    Joined: Jan 29, 2005
    Posts: 7,971

    5window
    Member

    In your rush to set the looks of your car, don't hastily ignore the Function of the radiator which is, of course, to move air through it and cool the fluid passing through the tubes. If you put the axle/crossmember,steering behind it, you may reduce airflow and consequently cooling capacity. Maybe not a big deal if you've got excess capacity, but you may be ahead to go with the chopped shell/new custom radiator depending on your motor-and your budget,of course.
     
  12. Muttley
    Joined: Nov 30, 2003
    Posts: 18,448

    Muttley
    Member

    Going for the buck toothed look?
     
  13. summersshow
    Joined: Mar 3, 2013
    Posts: 899

    summersshow
    Member
    from NC

    For cooling issues go with a thicker rad... have it custom made...
    I think the rad infront of the axle will look strange, and bust the rad.
     
  14. Fenders
    Joined: Sep 8, 2007
    Posts: 3,922

    Fenders
    Member

    Heh heh.... actually I would eliminate the frame horns.

    I am rethinking radiator in front of axle... Base on comments and suggestions, I think putting the rad in the stock location and just going as low as I can with that, will give the best look and best cooling.
     
  15. This is a common issue. My way of dealing with it isn't the norm but then neither am I. I can use a Stock 28-29 Rad with a 6" channel job. I did not change the wheel base and running the stock Frame Horns was a must. Also a manual Fan was a Must Have. The down side is. if I was to run a hood I'd have to build it to fit. That's really not an issue for me.
    The Wizzard
     

    Attached Files:

  16. nailheadroadster
    Joined: Jun 7, 2006
    Posts: 1,522

    nailheadroadster
    Member

    Pist-n-broke.... Why would you mount the radiator so the top of it sits ABOVE the cowl? The top of the grill shell should never be higher than the cowl.
     
  17. That photo is a little mis leading. That happens to be a 30-31 Rad for mock up.
    The Wizzard
     
  18. nailheadroadster
    Joined: Jun 7, 2006
    Posts: 1,522

    nailheadroadster
    Member

    Good... I was wondering whatchu been smokin mang. :D
     
  19. Koz
    Joined: May 5, 2008
    Posts: 2,318

    Koz
    Member

    I've done a bunch in front of the crossmember already. Not my favorite look but some guys like it. The biggest problem is getting the lower hose and radiator fitting to clear everything. You always need to do some tricky radiator work. I've used shorter radiators with great success over the front crossmember. Unless your running a blown big block the smaller radiators cool perfectly fine.

    [​IMG]

    A hair bugeyed but not horrible.

    [​IMG]

    This one doesn't look too bad.
     
  20. Hot Rod Jerry
    Joined: Oct 23, 2011
    Posts: 205

    Hot Rod Jerry
    Member

    I am running a 4" channeled 31, no hood top or sides. Stock 350. I have a chopped Walker radiator , Chopped 32 grill shell from Speedway.Stays very cool on the hottest days, just dont cruise parade speed , or catch a real long stop light. Running an original belt driven flex fan. Very happy with the way this car runs, in the temperature department. The rad and grill are the 4" chopped kind, right out of the catalogue. I dont think I hurt the looks of the car since the channel and the chopped rad are the same , both 4"
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2014
  21. Speed~On
    Joined: Apr 28, 2011
    Posts: 1,315

    Speed~On
    Member

    I also have a channeled 1931 Ford Model A (I have a coupe). My radiator and grill shell are mounted in front of the axle. I like the idea that you want to do the same as IMHO hot rods with a short wheel base look great.

    It's great you are thinking of layout (radiator, grill, etc) and clearance issues early in your project. This will save you headaches in the future as your build progesses.

    Here are some photos of how we built my frame and radiator mount.

    [​IMG]

    Labeled #1 is my Model A frame horns with spreader bar. You mentioned you may not use frame horns, which is fine. I like the look of them as well as the spreader bar so I went with them. It also provides some protection to your grill and radiator.

    Labeled #2 is the mount for my radiator. We fabricated this mount from steel and welded it to the frame. After grinding and skimcoat it looks nice .

    Labeled #3 is my cross-member where obviously the front spring and axle are loctated.

    Another view of the radiator mount:
    [​IMG]


    Since your Model A is also channeled, it will obviuosly sit a bit lower. Because of this, you may have to use a shortened radiator. I have an Aluminum Ron Davis radiator. (6" Lowboy radiator for a SBC) We also sectioned the '32 Ford grill shell 5". Measure to ensure your grill shell and radiator does not stick up higher than your cowl (because that looks like $h*t)

    I'm glad you are thinking about fit and finish now, so you can avoid headaches later. Mock up your radiator and grill now. Take measurements...once parts are sitting where they will be premanetly welded, stand back and take a look at your car and ask yourself if you like how it looks.

    Mounting your radiator and grill in front of your axle can make for a tight fit for your steering components. Tie rod, steeling arm, dampener, angle of pitman arm, etc all get cramped into a pretty tight area. That's fine, don't let this deter you. The look you are going for is well worth the extra measuring and thinking!!

    I would recommend you weld your cross-member (# 3 from above) as close to your engine as possible. This will help you close the gap between the engine and radiator. (just looks better)

    All of this and I still have room to run a mechanical fan. What you are trying to accomplish can certianly be done. Short wheel base Model A's look cool.

    Not sure if this will help, but here are some additional photos from my build. You can see what we did to accomplish mounting the radiator & grill in front of the axle.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AX879jmsdzs

    Here are some photos of hot rods that I think look pretty cool. Axle behind grill and radiator:
    My Coupe
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Sorry for rambling....hope this helps.

    Speed~On
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2014
  22. bgbdlinc
    Joined: Jan 11, 2002
    Posts: 522

    bgbdlinc
    Member

    ...here is mine with a channel the height of the stock Model A frame rails.....

    Note the bottom of the rad core:
    [​IMG]

    Measuring to make sure the rad shell is slightly lower than the cowl:
    [​IMG]

    Hooking up the lower rad hoses for a Flattie is a pain in the ass and having the rad core extended below the crossmember only makes it worse. I had a replacement rad made and use a electric fan with a shroud and it is adequate on most days but hot days are a challenge with a Flattie in traffic.
    [​IMG]

    The angled lower rad outlet helps a little for connections. Somewhere I saw 90* double swivel connecters ('Z' shaped) but lost the location. Ultimately I will have to rethink the rad location and push it forward about 1/2". That will allow for a taller core and better cooling..
     
  23. 31SedanMan
    Joined: Jun 21, 2011
    Posts: 9

    31SedanMan
    Member

    I attached a couple of pics of my '31 with sectioned 32 grill shell in front of the axle.
     

    Attached Files:

  24. Speed~On
    Joined: Apr 28, 2011
    Posts: 1,315

    Speed~On
    Member

    As HAMBer bgbdlinc has done, we also had to move the bottom waterneck on the radiator. I have a friend that can weld aluminum so that was nice. Also had to move the mounting brackets on the side of the radiator where it attaches to the grill shell.

    By the way Fenders, your '31 Model A grill shell is awesome! If I had to do it again, thats what I would use.
     
  25. Fenders
    Joined: Sep 8, 2007
    Posts: 3,922

    Fenders
    Member

    Thanks for the photos of rods with radiator in front of axel, guys. And speedon for the great frame photos. I see it can be done, and look good, too.

    Speedon, my current fendered rod has a '32 shell (repro), so I thought I'd do something different on this one. I do like the look of a '31 shell.
     
  26. barett
    Joined: Jul 1, 2012
    Posts: 466

    barett
    Member
    from Taylor TX

    Fenders, here is the front end of my car as it sits right now.
    View attachment 2138430
    the plan is rolling bones with the rad/shell on top of the axle... As said before its gonna make for a shorter radiator but I'll eat that for the look. I think we're on the same page. Channeled car without a sectioned radiator? For what it's worth on my first car I set the radiator in front of the axle and I was really unhappy with it. I hope this helps.
    View attachment 2138434
    I can't find a broad side picture of the car, and there is a reason. Looked goofy.


    Posted using the Full Custom H.A.M.B. App!
     
  27. barett
    Joined: Jul 1, 2012
    Posts: 466

    barett
    Member
    from Taylor TX

    ImageUploadedByH.A.M.B.1392567879.312151.jpg
    I guess it didn't upload.


    Posted using the Full Custom H.A.M.B. App!
     
  28. Fenders
    Joined: Sep 8, 2007
    Posts: 3,922

    Fenders
    Member

    Barett, I've been following your build thread, your coupe is going to be killer.
    Thanks for your comments here.
     
  29. barett
    Joined: Jul 1, 2012
    Posts: 466

    barett
    Member
    from Taylor TX

    Thank you sir, I certainly hope so... If I can help at all just let me know


    Posted using the Full Custom H.A.M.B. App!
     
  30. Just revived my custom radiator Friday.
    Its just setting in there right now.
    It was a challenge getting the cooling capacity in the available size space, wheel base and hood with a blown hemi all in the same car. My wallet needed to do the compromising on this one but something's got to give and nothing else could. It's a beautify hand crafted custom radiator with super duty core.

    The bottom of the tank is approximately 6" below the top of the frame. After gathering opinions from several different sources, there was no way a 6" chopped radiator would be able to cool that engine.
     

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