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Technical My Radiator Whistles At 50 Plus!

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by 26 T Ford RPU, Apr 24, 2016.

  1. Hi all, I got my RPU going in January and found that my new radiator core whistles from 50 mph up, and its load!! At first I thought it was the windshield posts but after many test drives with masking tape and rags I narrowed it down to the new radiator core. I even took the Shell off, that changed the note of the whistle up a bit. I have even towed the car with the same result so its not the fan or anything in the engine bay.

    Has anyone had this happen to them and if so what was the remedy?

    I made a radiator guard as a bug screen from #4 S/S mesh in the hope it would soften or defuse the air flow but no luck. This pic is of the new core.

    Cheers, JW
  2. bryan6902
    Joined: May 5, 2008
    Posts: 1,137


    That happened to me... It was leaking and whistling like a teapot.
  3. tfeverfred
    Joined: Nov 11, 2006
    Posts: 15,792

    Member Emeritus

    I won't whistle at any woman older than 35..... Fred's law.;)
    Hnstray likes this.
  4. Its not leaking and Fred, I like Freds Law. :D JW

  5. trad27
    Joined: Apr 22, 2009
    Posts: 1,108


    Just means your moters not loud enough... Never noticed it on mine maybe because I have a plate on my headlight bar, deflects the air? Maybe something to try.

    Attached Files:

    lothiandon1940 and 26 T Ford RPU like this.
  6. I have thought of something similar, its loud enough to be heard from a following vehicle !! It comes on at much lower speeds if i am going into a strong head wind. JW
  7. G-son
    Joined: Dec 19, 2012
    Posts: 804

    from Sweden

    The fan setup behind the radiator should be affecting the air flow through it, and might make a diffrence on the noise to (better or worse). Perhaps some minor change in that area can solve the issue?
  8. gnichols
    Joined: Mar 6, 2008
    Posts: 11,000

    from Tampa, FL

    Never heard of your problem. Is this an aftermarket radiator or recore? Gary
  9. Musical Hot Rod, or annoying piercing whistle, it just wants to join the band, :D

    Do you have a shroud for the fan?
    Might make some difference, and have you tried out driving the whistle, ie; dose it get louder the faster you go?

    I'd just uncap the headers. ;)
    26 T Ford RPU and lothiandon1940 like this.
  10. clem
    Joined: Dec 20, 2006
    Posts: 3,431


    drive slower .........:)
    never heard of whistling radiators, so probably can't help much, but,
    have you absolutely narrowed it down to the radiator, ie put a cloth/towel over it (briefly) to ensure that it is the radiator.
    I've just had a friend spend 2 months looking for a noise in his front suspension, (OT car), only to find it was a loose exhaust clamp at the rear of his car - local "mechanics" couldn't find it.
    26 T Ford RPU likes this.
  11. prpmmp
    Joined: Dec 12, 2011
    Posts: 1,079


    Really?? Pete[​IMG]
    tb33anda3rd, kiwijeff and wraymen like this.
  12. prpmmp
    Joined: Dec 12, 2011
    Posts: 1,079


  13. To answer some suggestions....
    Jeff, no shroud for the fan and it has made the whistle with the motor not running while being towed. I have tried out driving it ant just gets louder and higher pitched.

    Clem, I did tape a rag over the front of the shell and took it up to 80 and not a sound. I then took the shell off and re tried and it was back but at a slightly higher pitch.

    Gary, its a copper aftermarket Model A replacement core, $700 worth. They are used a lot and my radiator guy said he has never had or heard of an issue till now, but there is always a first.

    Cheers guys. JW
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2016
  14. I had a high pitched irritating noise that happened when ever I carried a passenger. Broke up with my old girl friend and it went away.
    Seriously, its probably just a couple of fins too close together acting like a whistle. To narrow it down to the exact spot try blocking off portions of the radiator until you find the area. Then carefully work with some small punches and drivers to try and open or better align the fins.
    dana barlow, Hnstray, Truck64 and 2 others like this.
  15. Thanks, will try that. JW
  16. trad27
    Joined: Apr 22, 2009
    Posts: 1,108


    The radiator is probly at just the perfect angle to whistle, maybe try messing with the radiator support rods going to the firewall, screw them out as far as you can try and then try in all the way in. Assuming you don't have a hood to worry about fitment with.
    26 T Ford RPU likes this.
  17. If you find that the noise continues its probably just the way the fins are designed and are at the right angle to catch the wind. Kind of like an open beer that you can make whistle by blowing at an angle to the hole. Changing the angle of the radiator could make it stop.

    Crap, I type slow. ^ what he said.
    26 T Ford RPU likes this.
  18. stimpy
    Joined: Apr 16, 2006
    Posts: 3,547


    we had this happen on some semis that we replaced the radiator after a accident to the front end , the cowl had a plastic duct that aimed the air at the radiator so it wouldn't go around , well what happened was when they rebuilt the hoods ( fiberglass) they removed a rubber seal that butted against the radiator and made the seal well the square edge of the radiator was making the noise from air turbulance ( kind of like how a venturi in a carb makes a whistling sound ) from the air being pushed around the sheetmetal lip we put the rubber back on and the noise went away . so maybe your cowl needs to be sealed to the radiator body . I would also look for a lip on the radiaitor that sticks in the wind , as I had a few trucks that had rain gutters like a car make that noise too around the windsheild . they had to remove them or later that built a air director on them .
    26 T Ford RPU likes this.
  19. EZ Cool
    Joined: Nov 17, 2011
    Posts: 261

    EZ Cool
    Alliance Vendor

    Sounds like its happiest above 50!
    26 T Ford RPU likes this.
  20. I bet that would be annoying as hell. Might want to try a "fin rake" to make sure there isn't one offending spot.
    26 T Ford RPU likes this.
  21. Annoying and just damn loud. I will have a good study of the fins and also cover the core in small strips to try and find an offending area.
    Happiest above 50? car not !!:(
    Cheers. JW
  22. brokenspoke
    Joined: Jul 26, 2005
    Posts: 2,921


    I had the same issue in my 65 wasn't a radiator issue, but I finally narrowed it down to a screw on my drivers out side mirror. Its suprising how one little item can make so much noise..
    26 T Ford RPU likes this.
  23. I know what you mean, I thought at first it was a 5/16 hole in the R/H windshield post....... but that would be too easy, it took a long time and a lot of masking tape to narrow it down to the radiator core. JW
    Hnstray likes this.
  24. Update time, I have tape a strip of heavy cloth (2'' wide) across the radiator and tried it and kept moving the cloth down till I got to the change at all !! Next I covered just the top half and the bottom with the only change being only half as loud each time. I then covered it all with a light cloths and took it up to 90-100 mph and it was silent. is the whole of the core making the whistle and not just a small amount of fins being out of alignment. Next step is to go back to my radiator guy and say fix it. JW
    Last edited: May 16, 2016
  25. wineslob
    Joined: Mar 14, 2016
    Posts: 20


    Does it whistle.......................................................Dixie?

  26. brokenspoke
    Joined: Jul 26, 2005
    Posts: 2,921


    Try tilting the radiator back a little first, then without the shell....
  27. Have tried it without the shell and have tilted it as much as I change except for note change without the shell. JW
  28. Have you tried it without the license plate? Mounted at an angle I wonder if its altering the airflow like blowing over on open bottle?
    26 T Ford RPU likes this.
  29. They sell whistler deals here to scare the deer off maybe whistling will also work on Wallabies.

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