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Open Roads Forum  >  Tech Issues

 > Four (4) Row Radiators? Gimmick or Blessing?

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211Racing

Texas Hill Country

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Posted: 04/25/22 11:20am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I managed to put a crack on the bottom of my radiator (2002 E350 Super Duty 5.4 RV). Act of sheer stupidity. Cannot be fixed. Looking to replace. Factory OEM replacement has 2 rows of tubes. Costs about $180. Aftermarket with 4 rows of tubes costs about $370. Much to consider, as in the tubes might get smaller with more rows, the radiator might get wider (not fit), and the amount of coolant inevitably increases. While I am interested in opinions, I am more interested in someone that took the leap and installed a 4 row radiator. I am in central Texas where it does get good and warm, and will be towing maybe 2000# worth of trailer and dirt bikes.

Thanks for your help.

campinghut

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Posted: 04/25/22 11:32am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The 4 row one would be better if built properly, it should be wider were the fins are but the tanks might be the same size. I have even put more row rads in SxS to help with cooling never mind heavily loaded vehicles. But if you were not having any problems with cooling to begin with the extra money might not be worth it.


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BurbMan

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Posted: 04/25/22 11:45am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

If it's spec'd for application it should fit in where it needs to go. 4 row rads provide better cooling but as was noted, if you were not having any problems with cooling to begin with the extra money might not be worth it.

If you weren't towing before and you're not sure if you'll have cooling issues then go for it, do the job once.

OkieGene

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Posted: 04/25/22 12:18pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

4 rows will make the hot coolant take a little longer time as it travels in and out thus providing more time to cool off better.
.

211Racing

Texas Hill Country

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Posted: 04/25/22 12:31pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The RV is new to me. Slowly bringing it back to life. No idea or evidence of overheating issues. Just trying to select the best options. I suppose another consideration is if you go from 2 rows to 4 could that keep the engine from reaching optimal operating temperature.

RLS7201

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Posted: 04/25/22 12:43pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Ford has done an excellent job of sizing radiators for HD vehicles. Go back with original configuration. The "more is better" doesn't always work. The engine AND transmission need to operate at temperatures set by the factory.

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BurbMan

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Posted: 04/25/22 12:43pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

211racing wrote:

I suppose another consideration is if you go from 2 rows to 4 could that keep the engine from reaching optimal operating temperature.

No, because the thermostat won't open until the engine gets up to temp, and the thermostat keeps coolant out of the radiator

* This post was edited 04/25/22 01:20pm by BurbMan *

Grit dog

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Posted: 04/25/22 01:17pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Gimmick? No.
Blessing? Depends. Some lower row rads have a greater or better cooling capacity than higher # of rows or cores.
That said, I'd hazard whatever the original radiator was/is, is fine. It made it 20 years, right? I wouldn't spend the money to beef that up, without a decided need to, which isn't likely needed.


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time2roll

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Posted: 04/25/22 01:38pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Check again with Ford OEM for a 3 core. My F150 has one as it was an Option on the HD 7700 F150 back in the day.

Otherwise I would stick with the Ford radiator unless installing a supercharger. Do check any aftermarket has the same number of tubes and fin spacing as this can affect the BTU capacity to shed heat.


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Lwiddis

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Posted: 04/25/22 01:53pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Aftermarket providers come and go even if their product is top notch…which is a guess, a hope. IMO stay with Ford.


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