As we’ve added more ponies under the hood to our project car Black Mamba, a 1987 Mustang GT, it has come time to upgrade the cooling system. An upgraded radiator not only makes cooling more efficient but also can add performance. Think of your car’s engine as the heart of a runner: it’s only as powerful as the air it can take in. Making air intake easier on your engine can have many benefits from extra oomph to longer engine life.
For our Mustang we went with a radiator from Flex-a-lite. Our kit came with the fan and radiator assembly, radiator cap, wiring, hardware, brackets, coolant reservoir, additive, fan control and thermostat. In fact, the only thing you’ll need to buy that Flex-a-lite doesn’t include in the kit is new coolant.
The first step is straightforward: simply drain the old coolant. Since you’re going to be dealing with the electrical systems in your ride the battery needs to be disconnected. Grab a Craftsman 1/2″ wrench to disconnect the positive battery terminal. Safety tip: be sure to wear plenty of protection for your hands when dealing with the battery. Use further caution if there is corrosion present.
With the power safely disconnected, it’s time to start disconnecting the old unit. Remove the old hoses, unbolt and then remove the radiator. On your new unit, attach the pre-installation components and then drop into position. Using your Craftsman power drill, attach the correct size drill bit and mount the control unit and temperature monitor.
Once you’ve completed installation, simply add coolant. Flex-a-lite even offers their own additive called Flex-a-Chill. Adding Flex-a-Chill not only prevents blockages but also reduces engine temperature by 20 degrees fahrenheit. For more information on Flex-a-lite products head to their official website.
For a full radiator installation guide watch the video below.