Installing a new all aluminum two core radiator | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

  • Register Today It's free!

Installing a new all aluminum two core radiator


Staff member
Elite Explorer
March 14, 2005
Reaction score
Mesa AZ
City, State
Year, Model & Trim Level
2000 EB Explorer 5.0
I just picked up an all aluminum (no plastic tanks) radiator from Ebay. We shall see if its any good or not as I install it. I'm following the "How to remove and replace your second gen radiator" thread for the removal of my radiator, so I'll skip that part of the procedure, here is a link to that thread.

Here are a few pics of the new radiator. It looks ok out of the box, but the proof is in how well the mounting points line up...

I'm doing this thread as I'm doing the job, so if it appears that the thread just ended with no completion, I'm under the truck. Patience. :)







Join the Elite Explorers for $20 each year.
Elite Explorer members see no advertisements, no banner ads, no double underlined links,.
Add an avatar, upload photo attachments, and more!

Old radiator is out... along with the AC condensor (not necessary but I have a side project going of replacing some AC parts)

Here are some side by side comparisons

It is obviously sturdier, and as expected twice as thick as the factory radiator.





As long as I'm elbow deep in crud, I have chosen to replace the thermostat and gasket. (I've had a seeping leak there for quite a while... Just didn't want to get it done til now.

Very cool, I hope it fits great. I would get a couple three of those if they work out. What kind of radiator cap is that using, is it made for a normal OEM type also?

Same type of cap as factory, but it comes with a 21.7lb cap.

That looks really good iv had problems with the plastic radiators and I'm on the third one! (One was damaged during an accident) how much $! The one I have now has a lifetime warranty but ..... We'll see.

Keep us updated. I recently had to pull my OEM dual core out as it started leaking. Looked everywhere locally and couldn't find a plastic tank dual core. Didn't have time to wait for one of those.

well this hasn't turned out to be a very good demonstration.. LoL got distracted, lost a bolt, then got focused and the next thing I knew the radiator was in without pics.

It basically went in just as an OEM radiator would go in. The tabs and mounts are in the right places, and they fit. I did have to use slightly shorter bolts to attach the shroud. Speaking of the shroud, it fits well with the exception that the top portion of the aluminum radiator doesn't have that metal tray that holds the overflow tube in place. As a result it does't fit flush with the shroud. I don't see it causing any concerns however.

I'll get some pics taken of it tomorrow morning when I have better light. It looks good, only real flaw I've found so far is I can't seem to get the transmission fluid lines hooked up to it. But then again, I've been thinking of bypassing the radiator altogether and just running the big transmission cooler I've got hooked up.

So I guess this is more of an evaluation of the install than it is a "how to". Its pretty basic, just follow the instructions for the install of the regular radiator with the following exceptions.

1) you'll have to move the mounting bushings on the sides of the original radiator to the new one (very easy)

2) be aware of differences in bolts. The threads all match up, but you may want to go with shorter ones for the shroud. I'd just use all new hardware cause it looks better against the shiny new radiator.. hehe

3) There is no place to attach the bracket that holds the transmission cooler lines where they pass by the bottom of the radiator. But this shouldn't be a big deal. If it does concern you, zip ties are your friend.

4) When I installed it I also removed my AC condenser as I have AC work to do as well. This made it easy to attach the condenser to the radiator while both were out of the truck. I have installed an OEM radiator in this before and if I recall I counted on some flex in the plastic to get the Condenser attached to the radiator while in the truck. The Aluminum radiator will not have that flex. It will attach as it should but it may take some patience and ingenuity.

Other than that it was a straightforward install. No problems other than those caused by me... lost bolts, forgetting steps, etc.

Its late so I'll fill it up tomorrow when its light out so it'll be easier to check for leaks, etc. I will also post more pics.

Well, this is the best I can do. Should have posted pics as it went in, but still not good at stopping in the middle and taking pics.

From the top standing on the drivers side

Lower left corner

Lower right corner

Fanny pack buckle

slide in clips



So cause it is Shiny and new will make your Explorer faster right? :burnout: LOL Looks so purty next to the Dirty stuff.

I need to get one for mine. But that will be after I get mine up and running and the old Radiator dies out on me.

still working on getting the transmission lines to fit. It appears the bungs aren't deep enough for the fitting to go in. Perhaps if I cut the line, took the factory fittings off and found some that were shorter. The really hard part is I don't have a spare vehicle to make runs to the parts store! I could just by pass the radiator and use the big cooler, but gotta find some rubber line to do that. Just moved and finding things around here is a challenge.

I know the feeling about moving and finding things. I still find things and I have been in this house a year now. LOL I would try and go with the Separate Trans Cooler if you are able to find the Rubber lines.

Yeah, just don't even mess with it. Unless you expect to start the vehicle in sub zero weather, bypass the radiator.

Make a cut in the line feeding the radiator, then make a small flare on it to bite into the hose. The rubber hose going from the radiator to aux cooler can now be moved over to the cut line. Then you can remove the 2 radiator trans lines from under the hood forever.

If you are worried, I have a few sets of spare lines if you feel the need to go back.

Or, A small chunk of rubber hose can be used to "repair" the cut line in the future if you want to hook them back up to the radiator later.

I know the feeling about moving and finding things. I still find things and I have been in this house a year now. LOL I would try and go with the Separate Trans Cooler if you are able to find the Rubber lines.

Traveler has a v10 f250 trans cooler with 2 fans installed . You can see the red fans in one of the pictures. The trans lines are just warming his fluid now--lol

Uhh... thats F350. ;) And I don't predict any starts in sub zero, though I am told it gets down to freezing (32*) here in the winter.... at night.... sometimes...

And just found extra hose from my external transmission filter install. I even found clamps and my tubing cutter and flaring tools in the mess that is my toolbox.

Join the Elite Explorers for $20 each year.
Elite Explorer members see no advertisements, no banner ads, no double underlined links,.
Add an avatar, upload photo attachments, and more!

Your radiator should have come with adapters to fit the factory flare fittings into the radiator the last radiator I bought came with 2 sets of adapters. These adapters/fittings were used exclusively with explorer and aerostar. 5/16 inverted flare with recessed threads and there were two fitting sizes used 3/4 and 7/8 Hayden sells these adapters or you can pull them off of your old radiator.

You can bypass the radiator but the radiator helps warm the fluid to operating temp quicker there is a transmission fluid temp sensor in your transmission that your pcm uses to adjust shift scheduling on a cold start. Also it's not so much as a cooler in this sense as a heat exchanger between fluids which is more efficient at cooling than a fluid to air senario adding an aux cooler helps further cool the fluid after it has left the radiator when your running at full operating temps or when your " working" your drivetrain by towing, offroad , etc. Just a little FYI. With the proper cooler with a thermostat than you would have no problem bypassing the radiator. But you would need a decent size cooler might have trouble fitting it. Your half lifing the fluid and in turn your transmission with every 20* above 180. So if you bypass a gauge would be nice ie Scan gauge ll or an auto meter or something.