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Old 11-14-2010, 21:46   #1 (permalink)
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confused 4.6L Radiator Questions - part failures

Hello all, I have a 1996 4.6L T-Bird, and this is the 5th time I am going to need to replace my radiator. The original radiator had metal tanks and lasted about 80,000 miles (10 years).

The replacements have had plastic tanks and the first two lasted 12,000 miles each (about 20 months) and the last two have lasted 3,000 miles each (about 1 year). They were all OEM from Ford.

Is this a common problem with the plastic radiators for 4.6L T-Birds, or is there a problem I need to fix?

I had all of the radiators ordered and replaced by a Ford dealer, and they tested the thermostat and overflow tank cap. Should I think about getting an aftermarket aluminum radiator instead?

BTW, all of the replacement radiators were single-row radiators. I don't remember if the original metal radiator was single or double-row. Will a double-row radiator with a 2.5 inch thick core fit?

Last edited by 96TBirdV8; 11-14-2010 at 21:49. Reason: Add additional info
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Old 11-19-2010, 21:00   #2 (permalink)
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Question Re: 4.6L Radiator Questions - part failures

Quote:
Originally Posted by 96TBirdV8 View Post
Hello all, I have a 1996 4.6L T-Bird, and this is the 5th time I am going to need to replace my radiator. The original radiator had metal tanks and lasted about 80,000 miles (10 years).

The replacements have had plastic tanks and the first two lasted 12,000 miles each (about 20 months) and the last two have lasted 3,000 miles each (about 1 year). They were all OEM from Ford.

Is this a common problem with the plastic radiators for 4.6L T-Birds, or is there a problem I need to fix?

I had all of the radiators ordered and replaced by a Ford dealer, and they tested the thermostat and overflow tank cap. Should I think about getting an aftermarket aluminum radiator instead?

BTW, all of the replacement radiators were single-row radiators. I don't remember if the original metal radiator was single or double-row. Will a double-row radiator with a 2.5 inch thick core fit?
What is failing on these rads., the side tanks or the cores???
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Old 11-20-2010, 02:36   #3 (permalink)
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Re: 4.6L Radiator Questions - part failures

In all cases, it was the side tank on the driver's side. Usually started as a small leak.
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Old 11-20-2010, 09:58   #4 (permalink)
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Re: 4.6L Radiator Questions - part failures

It may be something causing a vbration and putting pre ssure on them. It's not a normal fault.
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Old 04-17-2011, 13:31   #5 (permalink)
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Question Re: 4.6L Radiator Questions - part failures

Bump. Has the car ever been hit in the front??? If the rad support is tweaked it could put stress on the side tanks.
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