Old Farm Truck New Radiator Warning!

For years, I have done most of my own mechanical work on my vehicles.  Since I moved to N. Idaho and the shop/garage keeps getting put off for other priorities, I have taken my vehicles to the mechanic in town.  However, when it came to the old farm truck radiator, I couldn’t justify seeing a mechanic and paying twice what it would cost me to install it myself.  So, I figured easy removal and patch job and be done with it by the end of the weekend.  Not so, the radiator shop in town said a patch job would be well over the price of a new one since my 41 year old radiator needed a complete rebuild.


I purchased a brand new plastic radiator matched all the hole patterns and easy install, right?  Not so again.  The radiator installed and fit fine, but the fan shroud which protects people while working on a running engine could not be installed because the bolts that connect it to the radiator would no longer fit and hold it in place.  What does that mean?  Fan shroud doesn’t fit leave it off?  No, I wanted my fan shroud installed back where it belonged to protect myself and tools; especially, when adjusting the carburetor while the engine is running.

I purchased some bolts, nuts and washers, which was another trip into town, and created my own hanging mechanism for the fan shroud.  What upsets me the most is the company that decided to change the hole size on the radiator for the fan shroud to be more “universal” specialized the radiator to no longer work properly for the fan shroud.  No tips were provided or instructions on how to remedy the problem, just any experienced mechanic should devise a system to work or purchase a new fan shroud that has specialty hook up system to “universally” fit several radiators.  I haven’t done mechanical work on the automobiles for a while.  I have been building an off grid home, pretty time consuming.  Plus, without a garage to protect me and the vehicle from the elements while I work on it, is personally too demoralizing unless the day is picture perfect.  With this in mind, I had to get my own brain back into the game to figure out a solution.

For those who have landed on this post, I would really appreciate your thoughts on what is happening to after market parts.  I posted a while back that my RIDGID generator does not have a pull start assembly that will fit it. The after market part has been designed so cheap; it will not work on the machine after 1 pull.

I would like to create a buyer beware list, so others can see what is happening out there.  Perhaps, companies will be shamed into fixing their design department.  Perhaps, not.  At least the buyers will be more informed in the future.

6 thoughts on “Old Farm Truck New Radiator Warning!

  1. Your solution is perfect.

    My guess is that making the holes larger allowed the radiator to fit into multiple years of trucks and this helped to reduce inventory problem of stocking a large number of slow selling parts.

    Oh, the fan shroud is more than just a safety device. It also is very important in engine cooling very low driving ( < 20mph or so) speeds. Without the shroud, a large portion of the air moved by the fan will flow to the fan from the space between the fan side of the radiator and the fan itself…which does no good for cooling the water in the radiator. The fan shroud prevents this and all the air moved by the fan will have to flow through the radiator fins.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for the info about the fan shroud. I thought I replied to this yesterday, but the comment isn’t showing today. I was working on my F-250 snow plow truck this week and it does not have a fan shroud. I purchased it a few years ago not thinking anything about this until my dilemma with my F-150.

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    • I live in a hot city with horrible rush hour traffic. Sitting still when it’s 115F degrees…the fan shroud is important for both engine cooling and air conditioning system performance. Where it is cooler and traffic is not so bad, you can likely “get away” without the fan shroud.

      Liked by 1 person

      • The worst I’ve seen it here is -20 F degrees during the winter, so the snow plow truck should be okay. I don’t drive it in the summer when the temperature is around 90 F degrees, but I still would like the fan shroud.

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