View Full Version : Radiator painting

05-25-2014, 10:44 AM
I bought some of the Eastwood radiator paint...
Any thoughts on the best way to clean the radiator cooling fin area?
The small cooling blades seem really delicate.

05-25-2014, 12:52 PM
When I did mine, I first blew out what I could with an air hose. The I used a water hose with a nozzle to blast out all the bugs and road grime. Alternate front and back until you get out what you can.

Then it's just a matter of finding a brush that's stiff enough to get in between the fins but won't easily bend them. Brush left to right with some Simple Green and rinse. You may want to do that a few times from both sides. Then blast the excess water out with the air hose and set in the sun to dry.

That's about all you can do to prep those. I usually go along between the fins with a small flat screwdriver to carefully straighten any fins that are bent before painting. And I always keep the paint as thin as I can in the cooling fin area. I'm just guessing the heat would transfer better but it may not be an issue with a special radiator paint.

Or the easy way is to drop it off at the radiator shop, have them boil it out and pressure test. Make any repairs as needed, and you get a "free" paint job! :ROTFLMAO:

05-25-2014, 01:18 PM
Humm...the radiator shop idea actually doesn't sound too bad!

06-15-2014, 04:14 PM
Father's Day...and both my dad and my wife's dad (visiting for sons graduation this weekend) are telling me I better get my radiator totally cleaned and checked or just get a new one.
Anyone recommend a good radiator shop? The few I called a couple weeks ago either didn't work on old ones or they said there's high risk it wouldn't live through the cleaning process.
Or, anyone bought one of the replacement models out there that looks really stock? It's pretty difficult to tell from the online pics.

06-15-2014, 11:24 PM
Don - Look at the top of the radiator first to see if you can find any Ford markings. If it is original - get it rebuilt. There are places who will do it (I've got to look through my notes, but I may have a contact) and if you have the top tank - use it on the rebuild. If it's already a replacement (no Ford markings), then there are a few on eBay for a couple hundred max... last time I looked.

http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_odkw=ford+falcon+radiator&_osacat=33602&_from=R40&_vxp=mtr&_trksid=p2045573.m570.l1313.TR0.TRC0.H0.Xford+falc on+radiator+CU1463&_nkw=ford+falcon+radiator+CU1463&_sacat=33602

06-16-2014, 01:24 PM
Went home at lunch and found the markings in the attached pic.
It looks to me like the date code is May of 61 which would mean this is the original radiator. Any referrals to a good radiator shop would be most appreciated.

06-16-2014, 02:05 PM
Oh yeah - that's a keeper.

I'll look for the information from the guy who purchased a bunch of old radiators from the swap meet a couple years ago. It was only then I was told these old radiators may be worth their weight in gold - to the right person. He attends swap meets to buy up old radiators just to restore them.

Barring me finding that information (50/50 chance) there is a shop in Seattle who claims they will work on it:


I suspect anyone will want a lot more for the work because it is a collector/classic car.

I looked on the HAMB and found a couple more recommendations, which included Seattle Radiator in their list. One place is probably nearer to you:

112th St Radiator, ask for Leon, Tacoma
Greenwood Radiator, ask for Ron, Greenwood @ 100th / Aurora

Good luck!

06-16-2014, 07:58 PM
If it's the same Greenwood Radiator that used to be on Greenwood near the zoo, they worked on mine a dozen years ago. The guy knew all about old Ford radiators. He's the one who told me never use anything but a 7 lb. cap. Anything more can damage the solder joints. He also adds way more solder on the bottom of the tank than the factory does.

They get a thumbs up from me. [thumb]

Jeff W
06-16-2014, 09:30 PM
... and I give a thumbs up to Seattle Radiator as well. They rebuilt the heater core on my 1958 Rambler Super when I couldn't get any one else to work on it.

Greenwood Radiator did me right on a Fairmont Radiator many years ago. I tore the top nipple clean out of the tank while changing hoses. I think they charged $10 to make a ring patch and solder the whole thing together.

06-17-2014, 11:34 PM
Thanks all...I called Seattle Radiator and they seem totally confident (and reasonably priced.) They did say that if they had to replace the core, which they usually do, they would replace the core with a more modern core style (not the V blades), but could keep everything else. Any thoughts on that? Seems like it will look a little different. I plan to call the other two places when I get a chance.

06-18-2014, 04:38 AM
Unless you are going contours judged know one will know.

Plus if it works better than it did 50 years ago then[thumb]

06-18-2014, 09:14 PM
I know what you mean...I'm not going to win any concours...but there's always just that little piece of guilt! :NERVOUS:

02-16-2015, 10:50 PM
I picked up my radiator from Seattle Radiator today. Super nice guys!
They tested it- it tested it good, they soldered the loose edge pieces on, and amazingly they straightened all those little cooling fins almost entirely (amazing! I thought they were very brittle!) AND, they painted it. It looks almost new from the front. The picture is of the inside which was damaged from the fan. The damage will barely be noticeable now.
Best of all, they said that since it was such a small job they weren't going to bother charging me! :D:WHATTHE::3g: