Radiator Upgrades - A Curt Ingraham Radiator

My car ran hotter than I liked... and Summer wasn't here yet, there was just too much junk in it after setting for the better part of 10 years. Remedy: a friend who won the prize for driving the farthest to Mid-Atlantik O2Fest II received one of Curt Ingraham's radiators. I was thoroughly impressed with the construction and design, so I contacted him. Curt has been making rebuilt radiators for some time. His reputation for re-engineering the 2002 radiator is known well outside the Bay Area, where he operates from his "Silicon Garage" in Oakland, California. 

During our discussion about my radiator, he explained that he had a newer model that is wider than the stock design and requires moving the TII fuel filter. Thinking about the long term effects of great cooling, I opted for the wide body model, and requested that Curt leave the brass exposed so that I could polish it. (I once did this with an old 65 Mustang I owned and I liked the way it turned out) Curt stated that he has setup several brass ones that way. 

There was a lot of crud in the core of my radiator. Flushing did not help it.
The radiator fan was also in need of replacement. The hoses were already new. 
Here are the stock and replacement radiators side by side. As you can tell, the wider model holds more water and has more cooling area for air to circulate than the stock model on the left. In this shot, I had just begun the polishing process.

First - I spent about 2 days part time polishing the brass on the radiator to showcase the new radiator. After that step was completed, I removed the old radiator and installed a new cooling fan ($20 item) which was not defective, but was old and looked like it was 27 years old.

1) I started by mounting the radiator in the stock holes on the right hand side. 

2) Removed the fuel filter and drilled a new hole to mount it, roughly 4 inches from the original spot. The main thing is to make sure the fuel supply hose isn't in a bind or where it could be easily damaged by other work later done to the engine.

3) Drilled two new holes for the new bolt locations by first marking them with a Sharpee pen, then using a cordless drill, drilled the appropriate size hole for the new mounting bolts I changed over to. Gold chromate finish matches the stock look for the engine compartment finishing screws.

4) Tightened the bolts up

5) Replaced the hoses, and replace with new hose clamps while I had everything loosened up.

6) Topped off the fluids and installed the new radiator cap.

That's all it takes. Time to complete was about 45 minutes. Bottom line is that the engine runs as cool as a cucumber and looks good too. The needle now barely makes it above the blue setting on the temperature gauge.


Curt Ingraham can be contacted for pricing and availability through email at [email protected]



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