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1980 - 1986 Bullnose F100, F150 & Larger F-Series Trucks Discuss the Early Eighties Bullnose Ford Truck

Radiator fitment

 
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Old 02-08-2019, 12:23 PM
Jghake
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Radiator fitment

I have an 83 F250 with 5.8L and cooling issues. I found a radiator from a "Bronco F150" on craigslist for a decent price but it says its from an 85 with a V8. I'm having a hard time finding if this should fit for my application. Does anyone have any experience with this?
 
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Old 02-08-2019, 12:35 PM
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I cant say off hand but what I do is get on line with 1 or 2 of the auto parts stores like Auto Zone or Advance Auto or maybe Rock Auto and look up the part in question for both and see if the part numbers are the same.
Just watch as some radiators are listed as Alum. / plastic and others as brass / copper, just go for the same type when looking.
Dave ----
 
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Old 02-08-2019, 12:40 PM
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LMC is showing the part numbers for the trucks being slightly different. The guy selling the radiator says its off an 85 with a 351.
 

Last edited by Jghake; 02-08-2019 at 12:59 PM. Reason: got a response from seller
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Old 02-08-2019, 01:45 PM
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What I was trying to get at is if the numbers are the same then I would say they inter change.
Being LMC list 2 different numbers even "slightly" I would say is a no go.

What you can do is measure your radiator, core size top/bottom, where it mounts is it at the tanks in rubber cushions top & bottom?
Note where the hoses are and their sizes also if you have a fan shroud how it mounts and where are the bolt holes.
Then have them measure the CL one or if not far you can measure it and if you can take your old one you would have both together to measure.

It may be best to bite the bullet and get a new one you know should fit. Besides who knows what shape that CL one is in till it does not cool.
Dave ----

BTW I got my radiator thru Rock Auto for my 81 F100 with a 300 six and so far am happy with it.
 
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Old 02-08-2019, 02:05 PM
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The one on Craigslist looks new-ish and is advertised as "low miles". My radiator when I start it up cold with the cap off will start to overflow out the top once the thermostat opens up. Seems to me like mine might be clogged. I recently swapped out my 2bbl intake for a 4bbl and Edelbrock 1406. With the new intake/carb on it just idling in the yard while trying to tune the carb spiked the temp gauge. The charge gauge is bouncing around as well so I'm thinking maybe the gauges are just wrong due to electrical issues (dash lights don't work either).

Does the overflowing behavior correlate with a clog in the radiator? I don't want to keep throwing money at this thing...
 
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Old 02-08-2019, 02:16 PM
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Overflowing radiator is normal if you have just done some work to the engine and drained the coolant some. It can get air trapped in the top of the engine, and until the thermostat opens the air is trapped. That can also cause the temp gauge to spike, since air doesn't transmit heat to the thermostat as good as coolant does.

Only other time the coolant overflows the radiator is when the head gasket is bad.
 
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Old 02-08-2019, 03:10 PM
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The overflowing was before the 4bbl swap but after a fluid change. I've only had it running for about an hour since the swap so I'll need to do my tests again.

Where should I start?
 
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Old 02-08-2019, 03:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Jghake View Post
I have an 83 F250 with 5.8L (351W) and cooling issues.

I found a radiator from a "Bronco F150" on craigslist for a decent price but it says its from an 85 with a 351W

I'm having a hard time finding if this should fit for my application. Does anyone have any experience with this?
Bronco & F150 are "kissing cousins," and since 1978, Bronco's have been based off F150's.

1981/84 F150/350 & Bronco 351W: There are 4 different radiators. 1985/88 F150/350 & Bronco 351W: There are 4 different radiators, but these are not the same as 1981/84.

You cannot just buy any 'ol radiator and stick it in there, because A/T is different than M/T, with or without A/C makes a difference.

Then there's the Super Cooling radiator that uses a different radiator support, because it has a much larger opening radius.

Which one of these radiators does your '83 F250 351W have?
 
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Old 02-08-2019, 03:21 PM
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The truck doesn't have AC and is an automatic. Is there a way I can identify which I have by looking at it?
 
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Old 02-08-2019, 03:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Jghake View Post
The truck doesn't have AC and is an automatic. Is there a way I can identify which I have by looking at it?
Look for a brass ID tag that's sweated onto the top tank and post the number from it.

If the tag is missing, you'll have to measure the length, width and how thick the core is.

 
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Old 02-08-2019, 03:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Jghake View Post
The overflowing was before the 4bbl swap but after a fluid change. I've only had it running for about an hour since the swap so I'll need to do my tests again.

Where should I start?
Run it till the top radiator hose gets hot. It will spew coolant a couple of times before it finally opens the thermostat. When it finally opens then you will be very low on coolant. You then need to fill it while the engine is running. What I sometimes do when it is spewing is find something nice and flat the size of the radiator neck, and seal the opening on the radiator neck by pressing whatever I have down with my hand. Then when it spews a lot of the coolant will go down the little hose over to the overflow bottle. Be careful and don't get burned.
 
  #12  
Old 02-09-2019, 12:48 AM
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Originally Posted by Franklin2 View Post
Overflowing radiator is normal if you have just done some work to the engine and drained the coolant some. It can get air trapped in the top of the engine, and until the thermostat opens the air is trapped. That can also cause the temp gauge to spike, since air doesn't transmit heat to the thermostat as good as coolant does.

Only other time the coolant overflows the radiator is when the head gasket is bad.
I have also seen this surging with a bad water pump(Impeller broke off) Coolant couldnt get passed it, so it was getting hot and surging back through the top.

It sounds to me like it has air trapped. I've heard rumors about bleed screws, but they never open if they are included. What I've always done after a radiator flush or a waterpump replace is leave the cap off, fill the radiator. Let the truck idle and watch the temp guage closely and the second the needle starts climbing shut it off and let the heat in the engine even out, takes a couple of minutes. Then start it back up. Usually just a couple cycles of this will allow the thermostat to open even with the air behind it. You'll know when it opens too by the massive coolant draw out of the radiator. Top the radiator up, put the cap on and top up the overflow.

What state was the old coolant in, was the color way off, and was the cap full of sludge? With the radiator drained a little so you can see the ends of the ports through the radiator you should be able to tell if they are stopped up with deposits. I'd for sure try and flush the radiator before I replaced it assuming it looks pretty good from the outside and doesn't appear to be leaking(although I've been guilty of using pepper on leaks as well). I hear a lot of folks like to use CLR to flush the radiatory, i've never tried it, last time I did one I used some Non-Acid Coil Cleaner(N.A.C.C.) as it was what I had on hand from cleaning condenser coils, safe on aluminum. And I believe I've heard of guys on here using vinegar as well, FuzzFace did that, I think?
 
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Old 02-09-2019, 12:55 AM
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Originally Posted by Jghake View Post
The one on Craigslist looks new-ish and is advertised as "low miles". My radiator when I start it up cold with the cap off will start to overflow out the top once the thermostat opens up. Seems to me like mine might be clogged. I recently swapped out my 2bbl intake for a 4bbl and Edelbrock 1406. With the new intake/carb on it just idling in the yard while trying to tune the carb spiked the temp gauge. The charge gauge is bouncing around as well so I'm thinking maybe the gauges are just wrong due to electrical issues (dash lights don't work either).

Does the overflowing behavior correlate with a clog in the radiator? I don't want to keep throwing money at this thing...
Re read all posts and this one jumped out at me. Is the coolant surging out hot/warm? I'd suspect the thermostat isn't opening, if not that coolant should be cold, and like I said in previous post if you don't have or cant use a bleed screw just baby it until the thermostat opens. If it is opening, what does it do with the cap on, does it exit to over flow? How old is the thermostat and like I said about the condition of the old coolant and the radiator cap. When the gauge spikes, does it act like it's running hot?
 
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Old 02-09-2019, 01:10 AM
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Originally Posted by Kramercd View Post
Re read all posts and this one jumped out at me. Is the coolant surging out hot/warm? I'd suspect the thermostat isn't opening, if not that coolant should be cold, and like I said in previous post if you don't have or cant use a bleed screw just baby it until the thermostat opens. If it is opening, what does it do with the cap on, does it exit to over flow? How old is the thermostat and like I said about the condition of the old coolant and the radiator cap. When the gauge spikes, does it act like it's running hot?
It's been a few months since I did the last cap off test and it's currently snowing like hell here so I doubt I'll be able to dig the truck out to fix it for a few days.

The coolant looked pretty rusty, but I didn't see any sludge or anything. The cap looks clean. When it was overflowing out the top of the radiator it was hot for sure.... It's a new-ish thermostat. Less than 500 miles. I have a bleed screw in the top of my thermostat housing but I tried to open it and it started to strip so I gave up. I could probably get it open with penetrating oil if it would help me out. I've also picked up a spill free funnel kit. This last time the gauge read really hot the engine didn't seem like it was actually hot, but in the past the gauge has shown accurate.

My defrost/heat isn't working in the cab either but I don't think it's worked since I bought the truck.
 
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Old 02-09-2019, 01:14 AM
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Originally Posted by Jghake View Post


It's been a few months since I did the last cap off test and it's currently snowing like hell here so I doubt I'll be able to dig the truck out to fix it for a few days.

The coolant looked pretty rusty, but I didn't see any sludge or anything. The cap looks clean. When it was overflowing out the top of the radiator it was hot for sure.... It's a new-ish thermostat. Less than 500 miles. I have a bleed screw in the top of my thermostat housing but I tried to open it and it started to strip so I gave up. I could probably get it open with penetrating oil if it would help me out. I've also picked up a spill free funnel kit. This last time the gauge read really hot the engine didn't seem like it was actually hot, but in the past the gauge has shown accurate.

My defrost/heat isn't working in the cab either but I don't think it's worked since I bought the truck.
I kinda feel silly for asking, but was your fan working at the time? Also, have you ever cleaned the outside of your radiator?
 

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