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Old 04-25-2020, 11:25 AM   #1
53MERC
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Default The Radiator Blues - Let's Pray

OK Folks, I got my original 53 Monterey radiator out. I'm taking it in on Monday to see if the radiator shop can repair it. Hopefully he doesn't slam the door on me. LOL. I'm not sure why the fan would have beaten the heck out of it?
What do you think? Does it look like a goner?
Has anyone had one repaired that looks this bad?

Has anyone added a fan shroud to a 52 or 53 model?

Fingers crossed.

Here's the only new radiator that I have been able to find for my car. It's $714.
Shhhhhh, don't tell the wife.

http://www.usradiator.com/mercury-1939-1956-car-1952-53-v8-flathead-radiator.html
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Rad 1 small.jpg (136.5 KB, 149 views)
File Type: jpg Rad 2 small.jpg (104.3 KB, 107 views)

Last edited by 53MERC; 04-25-2020 at 01:09 PM.
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Old 04-25-2020, 11:44 AM   #2
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Default Re: The Radiator Blues - Let's Pray

See where the fan penetrated the core, but otherwise think a good shop shouldn't have too much of a problem bringing it back. My '39 was in worse shape than yours, and it came back looking like new. However, it depends on the shop you have access to. I was lucky and hope you will be, too.
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Old 04-25-2020, 11:45 AM   #3
joe 1950
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Default Re: The Radiator Blues - Let's Pray

do yourself a favor and don’t even bother with the radiator shop ,that core is rotted away and in rough shape ,if your not into original looks ,get the new aluminum one ,for the price you can’t go wrong
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Old 04-25-2020, 12:25 PM   #4
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Default Re: The Radiator Blues - Let's Pray

Might want to check the motor mounts.
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Old 04-25-2020, 12:26 PM   #5
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Default Re: The Radiator Blues - Let's Pray

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Originally Posted by 53MERC View Post
Has anyone added a fan shroud to a 52 or 53 model?
Re your question about a fan shroud: Looking at your picture we can see that the fan has been pulling through the vast majority of the radiator. I think any improvement in air flow from a shroud would be negligible.

For any shroud to function as intended the fan needs to be at the outlet opening, fan blades half in/half out of the shroud. If the fan is left at its location close to the radiator, a shroud is doing nothing. Unless there is a shroud available with only about 1-1/2 inches of depth, you would need to relocate the fan back away from the radiator to the shroud's outlet. I don't know how that could be done.

Last edited by JayChicago; 04-25-2020 at 01:00 PM.
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Old 04-25-2020, 12:55 PM   #6
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Default Re: The Radiator Blues - Let's Pray

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Might want to check the motor mounts.
Thanks for the reply. I will mention that to my mechanic next week.

I am no mechanic. Are new motor mounts a costly repair?

Last edited by 53MERC; 04-25-2020 at 01:17 PM.
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Old 04-25-2020, 12:58 PM   #7
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Default Re: The Radiator Blues - Let's Pray

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Re your question about a fan shroud: For any shroud to function as intended the fan needs to be at the outlet opening, fan blades half in/half out of the shroud. If the fan is left at its location close to the radiator, a shroud is doing nothing. Unless there is a shroud available with only about 1-1/2 inches of depth, you would need to relocate the fan back away from the radiator to the shroud's outlet. I don't know how that could be done.
Thanks for the reply Jay. I may just drive it the way it was built without a shroud. I'm only going to be doing local driving around town.
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Old 04-25-2020, 12:59 PM   #8
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Default Re: The Radiator Blues - Let's Pray

Many shops will tell advise that you need a new core. That will be $700+. If the fan chopped into the tubes, that may be your only solution for an original look. If it just bent over the fins, you can straighten them yourself to open the air flow. With nothing more than a metal fingernail file and a few hours you can straighten up the fins. If the leaks are tiny, Barr's Leaks will probably do the job. If the tubes are not too badly crudded up internally, you are back in business.

And, figure out why the fan hit the radiator in the first place.
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Old 04-25-2020, 01:00 PM   #9
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Default Re: The Radiator Blues - Let's Pray

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See where the fan penetrated the core, but otherwise think a good shop shouldn't have too much of a problem bringing it back. My '39 was in worse shape than yours, and it came back looking like new. However, it depends on the shop you have access to. I was lucky and hope you will be, too.
That's what worries me. We only have one radiator shop around here. It's an older man, and his shop has been around forever. I remember bringing a radiator to him once from a 72 Olds Cutlass that was in way better shape, and he said it couldn't be fixed.
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Old 04-25-2020, 01:05 PM   #10
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Default Re: The Radiator Blues - Let's Pray

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do yourself a favor and donít even bother with the radiator shop ,that core is rotted away and in rough shape ,if your not into original looks ,get the new aluminum one ,for the price you canít go wrong
Thanks Joe. I've only found one place so far that carries a radiator for my car.
It sounds like that may be my only option. It is $714 but looks like the original.

Here it is:

http://www.usradiator.com/mercury-1939-1956-car-1952-53-v8-flathead-radiator.html
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Old 04-25-2020, 01:07 PM   #11
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Default Re: The Radiator Blues - Let's Pray

Guess it boils down to your budget and how "original" you want it to be. Lots of aftermarket alternatives that work well.

Since you have it out, might be worth a trip to the "old guy" for an opinion?
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Old 04-25-2020, 01:13 PM   #12
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Default Re: The Radiator Blues - Let's Pray

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Originally Posted by RKS.PA View Post
Guess it boils down to your budget and how "original" you want it to be. Lots of aftermarket alternatives that work well.

Since you have it out, might be worth a trip to the "old guy" for an opinion?
Oh yeah, I'm going to stop by to see him for sure.
The new one I found from US Radiator will take a month to receive. Covid has them backed up right now.
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Old 04-25-2020, 01:14 PM   #13
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Default Re: The Radiator Blues - Let's Pray

Thank you for the input.
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Old 04-25-2020, 01:21 PM   #14
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Default Re: The Radiator Blues - Let's Pray

Its a long time ago but I seem to recall the motor mounts being worn out on this 52 Merc and allowing the fan to contact the radiator. I could be wrong though.
A real old time handy radiator guy did some major repairs on a rad for my 64 Chevy II. He got salvage yard parts from a newer vehicle and basically cut a core to fit my tanks. It bolted right in. looks original and works great.
On my 52 the main seam on the tank blew out when I overheated it. My own fault as I had the radiator covered for a winter drive and let it get too hot. I have not taken it to a radiator shop yet but am using the 53 radiator on the 52 for now. Good luck with yours.
http://https://youtu.be/KO6QzVe_xGY
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Old 04-25-2020, 01:30 PM   #15
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Default Re: The Radiator Blues - Let's Pray

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What do you think? Does it look like a goner?
Has anyone had one repaired that looks this bad?
On further inspection of your picture I can see solder repairs on the tank seam just the same as where mine blew out on the 52. I tried a little soldering on mine but gave it up as I was never much good with solder and would not trust my work on even a low pressure system like this one. Sometimes the expensive option is the cheapest one in the long run.
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Old 04-25-2020, 01:59 PM   #16
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Default Re: The Radiator Blues - Let's Pray

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On further inspection of your picture I can see solder repairs on the tank seam just the same as where mine blew out on the 52. I tried a little soldering on mine but gave it up as I was never much good with solder and would not trust my work on even a low pressure system like this one. Sometimes the expensive option is the cheapest one in the long run.
Thanks Ralph. I have a feeling a brand new radiator is in my future.

Next will be a gas tank. Are you able to measure that gas tank that you have sitting in your 53' parts car?
Remember the gas tank on Ebay? Heres the measurements that he states in his ad:
Tank measures 31 1/2" x 23" x 8"

I'm wondering if those measurements match the tank you have before I consider ordering one.

Thanks for your help,
Doug
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Old 04-25-2020, 02:33 PM   #17
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Default Re: The Radiator Blues - Let's Pray

Check your motor mounts I had that same think happen to me in 1962
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Old 04-25-2020, 02:42 PM   #18
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Default Re: The Radiator Blues - Let's Pray

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Next will be a gas tank. Are you able to measure that gas tank that you have sitting in your 53' parts car?

Doug
I'll check and measure this 53 tank later today.
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Old 04-25-2020, 03:52 PM   #19
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Default Re: The Radiator Blues - Let's Pray

Does anyone make an aluminum one for your car ? If so , how much ?
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Old 04-25-2020, 06:07 PM   #20
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Default Re: The Radiator Blues - Let's Pray

Sound like you have been using it as is ,pretty beat up ! as a tampery measure lay it face down and fill it with washing soda for 2/3 days then water blast it through the top, straighten the fins as the others have said ,you can get a model A plastic Shroud that might fit ,within a 1" of the fan will do or you could cut it , Or you could make one .
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