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

Fabman

Epic Contributor
3,094
2,081
Pleasanton: 1/2 way between Sonoma and Laguna Seca
W2W Racing
20+ Years
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.

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Fabman

Epic Contributor
3,094
2,081
Pleasanton: 1/2 way between Sonoma and Laguna Seca
W2W Racing
20+ Years
Kevin really getting into his work:

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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.

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

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

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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:

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Below is that same row after gingerly straightening them out.

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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.


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Fabman

Epic Contributor
3,094
2,081
Pleasanton: 1/2 way between Sonoma and Laguna Seca
W2W Racing
20+ Years
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.

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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 seem sealer and other icky stuff.

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

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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.

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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 it plenty stiff, but super light.

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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.

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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 went 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 peak into the bottom portion in the grill. The bulk of airflow will feed from the lower opening at the bottom of the nose.

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

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That 60* bend and rubber edging mates up nicely to the top of the radiator and by golly I got full use of ALL of the rows.
I would have had to make a separate filler panel to do this with the stock setup 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.

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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.

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

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