How to protect your radiator–inexpensively | Project vintage race Mustang

Tim
Update by Tim Suddard to the Ford Mustang Fastback project car
Aug 17, 2022 | Ford, Vintage Race Cars, Mustang, Vintage Racing, Project Cars, Radiator, Cooling System

Photography by Tim Suddard

Before fitting the grille–it came uninstalled when we got our Mustang–we fit some heavy-duty mesh screen behind it in order to protect the radiator from debris.

We simply cut a piece to fit and pulled it taut before bolting it to the radiator support.

Since we’re not installing the heavy, factory hood latch–hood pins should suffice–we needed to fabricate a bracket for the center of the grille.


  

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deaconblue
deaconblue New Reader
8/16/22 1:31 p.m.

And you can paint it Black for a more stealth look. smiley

crankwalk (Forum Supporter)
crankwalk (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
8/16/22 1:49 p.m.
deaconblue said:

And you can paint it Black for a more stealth look. smiley

x2.

And black hardware.

No Time
No Time SuperDork
8/16/22 2:12 p.m.

Looks like it's pretty close to the radiator, so thats helpful for air flow. There's a thread from a couple years ago that talks about some of the technical considerations:

Mesh radiator protection

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
8/16/22 2:23 p.m.

In reply to deaconblue :

It's silver #becauseracecar. laugh

300zxfreak
300zxfreak Reader
8/17/22 9:02 p.m.

Uh, that would "taut", not "taught". I don't really think the mesh could learn anything.

No Time
No Time SuperDork
8/17/22 9:07 p.m.
300zxfreak said:

Uh, that would "taut", not "taught". I don't really think the mesh could learn anything.

I guarantee if it gets hit hard enough by something heavy, you will be able to see it remembers the impact. 

edizzle89
edizzle89 SuperDork
8/18/22 8:46 a.m.

I've been considering something like this since my crown vic kart has no grill, but the (non-functioning) AC condenser currently has taken the job of protecting the radiator

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
8/18/22 8:47 a.m.

In reply to 300zxfreak :

My bad on that. All fixed. 

RustBeltSherpa
RustBeltSherpa Reader
8/18/22 11:12 a.m.
300zxfreak said:

Uh, that would "taut", not "taught". I don't really think the mesh could learn anything.

Also known as "hardware cloth". What gauge is that -  looks like something in the 20's.

spedracer
spedracer New Reader
8/18/22 1:53 p.m.

I just riveted stainless mesh on the air dam of my Miata, haven't gotten a chance to test if it messes up temps. Next event is in a few weeks in the desert, should be a good test. I figure I can always cut it back out before the race if needed. Had to install a new rad after the last event as here in the SW doing w2w its next to impossible to not get showered with rocks at least once during even a 20 minute race.

kb58
kb58 SuperDork
8/18/22 2:18 p.m.

A buddy was a fabricator on the 1980's-era Nissan GTP cars and that's what they did. Welded stainless screen onto a frame mounted forward of the radiators. Besides protecting the radiators from rock impacts, if it was damaged in a minor accident, it could be quickly bent back into shape and reused, minimizing time in the pits.

Woody (Forum Supportum)
Woody (Forum Supportum) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
8/18/22 4:02 p.m.
David S. Wallens said:

In reply to deaconblue :

It's silver #becauseracecar. laugh

Editorial Director, Grassroots Motorsports & Classic Motorsports

But that actual grill is supposed to be blue #because65Mustang

Woody (Forum Supportum)
Woody (Forum Supportum) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
8/18/22 4:02 p.m.
David S. Wallens said:

In reply to deaconblue :

It's silver #becauseracecar. laugh

Editorial Director, Grassroots Motorsports & Classic Motorsports

But that actual grill is supposed to be blue #because65Mustang

 

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
8/19/22 10:28 a.m.

In reply to Woody (Forum Supportum) :

I can use that on our BBQ.

 

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