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S197 3V Fabman's build; How did we get here? Build Thread

3,772
3,067
Exp. Type
W2W Racing
Exp. Level
20+ Years
Pleasanton: 1/2 way between Sonoma and Laguna Seca
For lack of a better solution I have decided to keep the 3 valve electrical intact and add the control pack to it which necessitates relocation of the battery to make room for the extra fuse box.
It’s an anti-gravity battery so no weight advantage moving it, but there it is just the same.

87510884-44EE-4631-9726-DAD6A97D3C99.jpeg
 
Last edited:
3,772
3,067
Exp. Type
W2W Racing
Exp. Level
20+ Years
Pleasanton: 1/2 way between Sonoma and Laguna Seca
Kevin really getting into his work:

IMG_0704.jpg


I needed a little project to do while Kevin @Albino500 was performing some genius level wiring to get that gen 2 Coyote to talk to my early s197, so I decided it was the perfect time to convert my aluminum radiator into a 3 row/3pass radiator:
I've done this little trick many many times back in the day on the stock cars I used to build and race for both myself and customer cars with great success and this was the perfect time for a quick upgrade.

But why?

Radiators are typically less efficient in the corners as the bulk of the flow happens through the center of the core.

01.jpg

I can maximize flow to these areas by adding baffles that force water to go around them :

1.jpg


This will send water past all the cold spots and also give it 3 separate chances to transfer heat into the airstream.

2.jpg

First I divided the core into 3 equal sections and marked them with a sharpie.
I made sure my last baffle was just above the water outlet as the mustang has the outlet rather high in the tank.

Then I took my cutoff wheel and made some slices.
You should NEVER use a grinding wheel or cutoff wheel that's made for steel on aluminum....Never.
There are special wheels for this. Failure to do so will load up the wheel and it could explode in your face.
If you don't have one of these special wheels you can get by with a little paraffin wax. Just cut into a nice fat chunk of wax to transfer it to the spinning blade. This will lubricate and help keep the aluminum from sticking to it and clogging up the pores.
Don't over do it as you are going to have to weld to the cut areas later and TIG welding does not like melted wax....at all.
Your wife will never miss that ugly Poinsettia candle her aunt Edna gave you for Christmas last year and besides, it's for the race car and what's more important than that?.


I cut all the way up to (but not into) the actual core, directly between two tubes:

3.jpg


I then fashioned my baffles with a little reduced area on one end that followed the internal contour of the core so it fit snugly between two tubes and seal off the tank.

4.jpg



5.jpg



I cut the baffles slightly larger than the tank so that as I was welding, the edge wouldn't melt away into the tank and it also gave me a nice thick piece of material to focus my heat on.
The tanks are pretty thin, usually around .080 and I like to use .090 aluminum for the baffles but since I hadn't planned on doing this today I didn't have any on hand, so .125 was going to have to do.
A little thicker than I'd like but I wasn't waiting until next week for material so here we go.

6.jpg


7.jpg


While it was out I ran water and simple green through the fins to free up any debris and OPR (other peoples rubber) that had taken up residency. I gently blew compressed air through it being uber careful not to flatten the fins with an over zelous blast of air. You would not believe how easy it is to eff this up. I have had customers bring in an over heating race car only to find half the fins flattened behind the shroud out of site because somebody wasn't paying attention.

Several seasons of track use had seen damage to many of the fins so this was the perfect time to straighten them out.
I painstakingly straightened every repairable fin, opening them back up to the airstream.

There were a lot of damaged areas on both sides of the radiator so I pretty much had no choice here.
If the fins are bent to the left, start on the right and open them up just like a deck of cards.

8.jpg



Below is that same row after gingerly straightening them out.

9.jpg



And there it is, with a little patience and a couple hours of my time I have greatly enhanced my radiators ability to cool this new high winding Coyote motor. Plenty more to do on this monster but this will be all for today. All I need now is a burger and a beer.


9a.jpg
 
Last edited:
3,772
3,067
Exp. Type
W2W Racing
Exp. Level
20+ Years
Pleasanton: 1/2 way between Sonoma and Laguna Seca
Todays project was an oil cooler mount.

The stock hood latch bracing was blocking access to the top of the radiator and there just didn't seem to be a good way to build a nice tight shroud that goes all the way to the top, so like a bad tooth, it had to come out.

1.jpg



I Hacked that section off and made a plate from .062 cold rolled steel that welded to the bottom of the open channel and spanned the distance from the grill all the way back to the radiator in one fell swoop. This will give me a nice flat platform to mount the cooler bracket and ducting to. I removed the paint via wire wheel but TIG welding this was a real chore.
Seam sealer kept seeping out from between the layers of factory sheet metal and attacking my tungsten.
I did a rudimentary pass and then after all the poop burned up I went back over it with a wire brush, re welded it, and was ultimately able to make a half decent connection. Had I to do it all over I would have MIG welded it.
MIG is far less fussy about paint and seam sealer and other icky stuff.

2.jpg



I boxed in the top to make a nice stiff structure. The cooler mounts are welded to the bottom.

3.jpg




I bent the last inch of the top plate at a 60* angle to reach all the way up to those last two rows at the top of the radiator.
I paid for those suckers and I'm gonna get my use out of every last one of them.

4.jpg



Rubber edging seals the top plate to the radiator and keeps metal to metal contact at bay.
I built the top plate and cooler mount on the bench and installed it as one piece.
I'm getting too old to lay on my back and weld stuff upside down so a little planning made this a piece of cake.
The tubing is 3/4" x 1 1/2" x .062 so its plenty stiff and super light.

5.jpg



I wanted to mount the cooler in 100% rubber so I used studded rubber isolators and made the bracketry so that the cooler sat on top of them instead of loading them sideways or hanging from them. It was a lot of extra work but I feel much better doing it this way. Sticky backed neoprene foam strip on the end tanks seals it to the radiator and prevents any unplanned metal to metal contact.

6.jpg



It would have been a lot easier to hang the cooler upside down with the lines at the bottom but that's a good way to trap air in the system and also when it drains back into the pan it would give a false fluid level so that was out. I also looked at hanging it sideways as the plumbing would have been much easier but again, I didn't want it draining back into the pan and I just didn't like hanging those isolators sideways so I went the extra mile and took this route. A side benefit is that the box tubing will make a nice frame to attach a duct within a duct that feeds the cooler. Thanks @captdistraction for your write up detailing the effectiveness of a separate dedicated duct as I would probably have just stuck it in the wind and sent it.
There is just enough room above the cooler for a pair of 90* hose ends and it will just peek into the bottom portion in the grill. The bulk of airflow will feed from the lower opening at the bottom of the nose.

7.jpg



A good straight shot to the cooler. I'll dream up some ducting to maximize this later.

8.jpg



That 60* bend and rubber edging mates up nicely to the top of the radiator and by golly I got full use of ALL the rows.
I would have had to make a separate filler panel to do this and it would have been difficult to finagle it around all the little factory bumps and curves and still get a good seal so making this all in one piece worked out well.

9.jpg



I whipped up a bracket to mount the computer for the Ford Performance control pack where the windshield washer would be. We cleaned out (actually Kevin @Albino500 cleaned out) most of the factory wiring. The stock computer and a tiny fuse box will be mounted inside the cockpit. There are far less circuits in the system now so we can maximize space by substituting the big stock fuse box with a much smaller one. So far as I know, no one has figured out how to make the ABS work with only the Ford Performance control pack so there is going to have to be 2 computers and two fuse boxes.
Might as well make it tidy as possible.

90.jpg



I popped the grill on and it looks like nothing happened. Sweet.
Next project: Ducting! Stay tuned.

91.jpg
 
Last edited:
100
81
Exp. Type
HPDE
Exp. Level
3-5 Years
Lenoir City TN
Todays project was an oil cooler mount.

The stock hood latch bracing was blocking access to the top of the radiator and there just didn't seem to be a good way to build a nice tight shroud that goes all the way to the top, so like a bad tooth, it had to come out.

View attachment 60155



I Hacked that section off and made a plate from .062 cold rolled steel that welded to the bottom of the open channel and spanned the distance from the grill all the way back to the radiator in one fell swoop. This will give me a nice flat platform to mount the cooler bracket and ducting to. I removed the paint via wire wheel but TIG welding this was a real chore.
Seam sealer kept seeping out from between the layers of factory sheet metal and attacking my tungsten.
I did a rudimentary pass and then after all the poop burned up I went back over it with a wire brush, re welded it, and was ultimately able to make a half decent connection. Had I to do it all over I would have MIG welded it.
MIG is far less fussy about paint and seam sealer and other icky stuff.

View attachment 60156



I boxed in the top to make a nice stiff structure. The cooler mounts are welded to the bottom.

View attachment 60157




I bent the last inch of the top plate at a 60* angle to reach all the way up to those last two rows at the top of the radiator.
I paid for those suckers and I'm gonna get my use out of every last one of them.

View attachment 60158



Rubber edging seals the top plate to the radiator and keeps metal to metal contact at bay.
I built the top plate and cooler mount on the bench and installed it as one piece.
I'm getting too old to lay on my back and weld stuff upside down so a little planning made this a piece of cake.
The tubing is 3/4" x 1 1/2" x .062 so its plenty stiff and super light.

View attachment 60159



I wanted to mount the cooler in 100% rubber so I used studded rubber isolators and made the bracketry so that the cooler sat on top of them instead of loading them sideways or hanging from them. It was a lot of extra work but I feel much better doing it this way. Sticky backed neoprene foam strip on the end tanks seals it to the radiator and prevents any unplanned metal to metal contact.

View attachment 60160



It would have been a lot easier to hang the cooler upside down with the lines at the bottom but that's a good way to trap air in the system and also when it drains back into the pan it would give a false fluid level so that was out. I also looked at hanging it sideways as the plumbing would have been much easier but again, I didn't want it draining back into the pan and I just didn't like hanging those isolators sideways so I went the extra mile and took this route. A side benefit is that the box tubing will make a nice frame to attach a duct within a duct that feeds the cooler. Thanks @captdistraction for your write up detailing the effectiveness of a separate dedicated duct as I would probably have just stuck it in the wind and sent it.
There is just enough room above the cooler for a pair of 90* hose ends and it will just peek into the bottom portion in the grill. The bulk of airflow will feed from the lower opening at the bottom of the nose.

View attachment 60161



A good straight shot to the cooler. I'll dream up some ducting to maximize this later.

View attachment 60162



That 60* bend and rubber edging mates up nicely to the top of the radiator and by golly I got full use of ALL the rows.
I would have had to make a separate filler panel to do this and it would have been difficult to finagle it around all the little factory bumps and curves and still get a good seal so making this all in one piece worked out well.

View attachment 60163



I whipped up a bracket to mount the computer for the Ford Performance control pack where the windshield washer would be. We cleaned out (actually Kevin @Albino500 cleaned out) most of the factory wiring. The stock computer and a tiny fuse box will be mounted inside the cockpit. There are far less circuits in the system now so we can maximize space by substituting the big stock fuse box with a much smaller one. So far as I know, no one has figured out how to make the ABS work with only the Ford Performance control pack so there is going to have to be 2 computers and two fuse boxes.
Might as well make it tidy as possible.

View attachment 60164



I popped the grill on and it looks like nothing happened. Sweet.
Next project: Ducting! Stay tuned.

View attachment 60165

Somehow I managed to double quote the original post, so I edited to remove the duplication.

Nice work. I have been thinking about adding an oil cooler to my car and this has been a great help in deciding how to do it. Which Setrab cooler did you use and how did you run the lines?
 
3,772
3,067
Exp. Type
W2W Racing
Exp. Level
20+ Years
Pleasanton: 1/2 way between Sonoma and Laguna Seca
Somehow I managed to double quote the original post, so I edited to remove the duplication.

Nice work. I have been thinking about adding an oil cooler to my car and this has been a great help in deciding how to do it. Which Setrab cooler did you use and how did you run the lines?
948? I dunno, it's the big one. lol.
I haven't run the lines yet, I'm just boxing in the duct now so stay tuned....
 
Last edited:
100
81
Exp. Type
HPDE
Exp. Level
3-5 Years
Lenoir City TN
948? I dunno, it's the big one. lol.
I haven't run the lines yet, I'm just boxing in the duct now so stay tuned....

I was looking at a packaged cooler from Cool Tech, but it mounts with the lines on the side. I didn't think about the oil draining back down until I read your thread. Now I am leaning toward piecing together my own set up using yours as inspiration. Next time I have the nose off I will start measuring.
 
3,772
3,067
Exp. Type
W2W Racing
Exp. Level
20+ Years
Pleasanton: 1/2 way between Sonoma and Laguna Seca
I was looking at a packaged cooler from Cool Tech, but it mounts with the lines on the side. I didn't think about the oil draining back down until I read your thread. Now I am leaning toward piecing together my own set up using yours as inspiration. Next time I have the nose off I will start measuring.
This one?
It looks super easy. It also looks like they have a few different sizes.
It's not cheap, but its a kit so everything is there and you don't have to d!ck with it.
I do everything the hard way because I obsess over details that sometimes don't matter, and I have a fab shop so I like to make everything my way, even if its only 10% better. Plus I'm using all -12 hoses and there's no kit for that mongo sized stuff.
That kits is pretty tempting, i wouldn't let the drain back thing bother you. Again, I worry about stuff that sometimes doesn't matter. Hell, I see people mounting these things upside down. It says right in the Seatrab instructions "DO NOT mount it with the hoses at the bottom" yet people still do and they seem to be getting away with it so I wouldn't make it hard on yourself just because I did.
 
100
81
Exp. Type
HPDE
Exp. Level
3-5 Years
Lenoir City TN
This one?
It looks super easy. It also looks like they have a few different sizes.
It's not cheap, but its a kit so everything is there and you don't have to d!ck with it.
I do everything the hard way because I obsess over details that sometimes don't matter, and I have a fab shop so I like to make everything my way, even if its only 10% better. Plus I'm using all -12 hoses and there's no kit for that mongo sized stuff.
That kits is pretty tempting, i wouldn't let the drain back thing bother you. Again, I worry about stuff that sometimes doesn't matter. Hell, I see people mounting these things upside down. It says right in the Seatrab instructions "DO NOT mount it with the hoses at the bottom" yet people still do and they seem to be getting away with it so I wouldn't make it hard on yourself just because I did.

That is the kit I was looking at. I am sure they route the plumbing so the oil flows bottom to top to avoid air bubbles. I don't have a complete fab shop, but I do have enough tools to make my own brackets. I am not a professional by any means, but I like to play when I can. I made my own seat base to install the Cobra seat. I didn't like any of the ones commercially available and was going to have to modify one to get what I wanted. If I have to modify a commercial one I may as well make my own. I haven't made any decisions yet. I need to replace the radiator soon. I am still running the stock radiator at almost 10 years old and I occasionally have temperature issues when I go to the track and the temperature is hovering near 100. When I tear it down to replace the radiator I will look more at the oil cooler.
 
3,772
3,067
Exp. Type
W2W Racing
Exp. Level
20+ Years
Pleasanton: 1/2 way between Sonoma and Laguna Seca
That is the kit I was looking at. I am sure they route the plumbing so the oil flows bottom to top to avoid air bubbles. I don't have a complete fab shop, but I do have enough tools to make my own brackets. I am not a professional by any means, but I like to play when I can. I made my own seat base to install the Cobra seat. I didn't like any of the ones commercially available and was going to have to modify one to get what I wanted. If I have to modify a commercial one I may as well make my own. I haven't made any decisions yet. I need to replace the radiator soon. I am still running the stock radiator at almost 10 years old and I occasionally have temperature issues when I go to the track and the temperature is hovering near 100. When I tear it down to replace the radiator I will look more at the oil cooler.

I mean people mount them with both fittings on the bottom. Upside down.
I'm sure that kit is perfectly fine, but if you got the tools and knowhow you are only limited by your imagination.
I'd love to see what you dream up....I'm kind of a fab junky. I just love that stuff. Keep me in the loop.
 
3,772
3,067
Exp. Type
W2W Racing
Exp. Level
20+ Years
Pleasanton: 1/2 way between Sonoma and Laguna Seca
That is the kit I was looking at. I am sure they route the plumbing so the oil flows bottom to top to avoid air bubbles. I don't have a complete fab shop, but I do have enough tools to make my own brackets. I am not a professional by any means, but I like to play when I can. I made my own seat base to install the Cobra seat. I didn't like any of the ones commercially available and was going to have to modify one to get what I wanted. If I have to modify a commercial one I may as well make my own. I haven't made any decisions yet. I need to replace the radiator soon. I am still running the stock radiator at almost 10 years old and I occasionally have temperature issues when I go to the track and the temperature is hovering near 100. When I tear it down to replace the radiator I will look more at the oil cooler.
This looks similar, but way cheaper:
 
100
81
Exp. Type
HPDE
Exp. Level
3-5 Years
Lenoir City TN
This looks similar, but way cheaper:
Thanks, I had not seen that one before. The price is better, but the cooler is quite a bit smaller and it uses a generic Setrab bracket that may require some fabrication per the description. If I have to do some fabrication I may as well make my own. The price on Setrabs and thermostatically controlled sandwich plates are pretty good right now. It looks like I can piece a kit together myself and make brackets for several hundred less than the Cool Tech kit. I just need to tear into the car and figure out how I want to mount it. Then I can decide which series/size cooler to order.
 

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