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Old 06-20-2011, 02:41 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Front Radiator vs Rear Radiator

Before anyone says anything I searched for this topic and didn't find anything.

I am in the beginning phase of a new buggy build and contemplating on putting the radiator in the back of the buggy for weight distribution purposes and to clean up some room under the hood. What are some of the pros and cons of doing this? Any help would be appreciated.

Oh a little facts on the buggy. It will be a Early Bronco themed buggy with a EFI 427 and C4.
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Old 06-20-2011, 04:17 PM   #2 (permalink)
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visibility from a lower hood line would be a major pro
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Old 06-20-2011, 04:19 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Personally, I like having my engine components as localized and compact as possible. I like keeping the radiator up front behind the grill.
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Old 06-20-2011, 05:20 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Before anyone says anything I searched for this topic and didn't find anything..

Really?.....come on guy.

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Old 06-20-2011, 05:41 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Is this a race or trail rig?

For the trail I think it would totally suck to have the radiator out back. The noise from the elec fans is annoying and you have hot air blowing all over the place. You'll lose cargo space and have longer coolant lines which are prone to leaking.

IMO rear mounted radiators have their place in racing/comp rigs where packaging becomes critical.

If you do decide to throw it in the back please don't be one of the guys that slaps it on the back of the fuel cell or right beind the seats. It needs to breathe!!
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Old 06-20-2011, 05:51 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Old 06-20-2011, 06:18 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Just want to throw this out there
https://pirate4x4.com/forum/showthrea...unted+radiator

https://pirate4x4.com/forum/showthrea...unted+radiator

Just a few things I've found while throwing around the idea of a rear mounted radiator.

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Old 06-21-2011, 09:02 AM   #8 (permalink)
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i moved my radiator to the rear in a yota "truggy" i had. obviously this was a trail rig, it made it easier to package a winch up front behind the grill, i did this so i didn't have the winch hang'n off the front get'n banged up. also i could use a larger radiator for better cooling. i had a single fan on it and it wasn't really that loud compared to the noise of the engine so, i don't think i would let noise concern you. and the hot air doesn't go "everywhere", just make sure the fans are pulling the air through the radiator away from you. if you're only trail riding, you don't have enough air moving accross the radiator, because of the slower speeds, to need to have the radiator out in the air. put a decent electric fan or fans on it and you'll be fine
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Old 06-21-2011, 01:54 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Some very valid points by everyone. That is why I asked. I am concerned with the safety first, sound second, and then the heat. But you have to understand what I have gone through with my current setup about all of those. I do like the idea of making room up front for line of sight and for the winch. Any other info would be great as well.
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Old 07-29-2011, 07:48 AM   #10 (permalink)
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One thing that constantly suprises me is the number of people that put the radiator right behind the head rests of the front seats. I guess people that do that are not worried about getting 3rd degree burns from 200 degree water soaking them in the event of a radiator failure. I've seen some people put screens up, but WTF is that going to do? Water flows through a screen like it isn't even there. No way I'd want to risk being disfigured for life.

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Old 07-29-2011, 08:31 AM   #11 (permalink)
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One thing that constantly suprises me is the number of people that put the radiator right behind the head rests of the front seats. I guess people that do that are not worried about getting 3rd degree burns from 200 degree water soaking them in the event of a radiator failure. I've seen some people put screens up, but WTF is that going to do? Water flows through a screen like it isn't even there. No way I'd want to risk being disfigured for life.
A quality radiator doesn't "just fail" and shower you with coolant. The screen is to protect the radiator from flying debris so it doesn't create a leak.

The top builders in desert racing all have the radiators behind the drivers and co-drivers head. 3 times the area to work with and less likely to get hit by something when you are chasing someone down in a race.

Fit and function is everything. If you are in a race scenario the noise means nothing. When I suit up there is 4 fans running, the pumper and the radios going, plus the sound of the motor.

You haven't stated what this rig will be doing but I assume it is a trail rig. You don't need it to be right behind your head. You can sink it down a bit so you still have rear viability.

Here is an old picture of my mock up when I was building.

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Old 07-29-2011, 02:44 PM   #12 (permalink)
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A quality radiator doesn't "just fail" and shower you with coolant. The screen is to protect the radiator from flying debris so it doesn't create a leak.

The top builders in desert racing all have the radiators behind the drivers and co-drivers head. 3 times the area to work with and less likely to get hit by something when you are chasing someone down in a race.

Fit and function is everything. If you are in a race scenario the noise means nothing. When I suit up there is 4 fans running, the pumper and the radios going, plus the sound of the motor.

You haven't stated what this rig will be doing but I assume it is a trail rig. You don't need it to be right behind your head. You can sink it down a bit so you still have rear viability.

Here is an old picture of my mock up when I was building.

also most people racing are or should be running quality hose with an fittings so you dont have to worry about a line bursting
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Old 07-29-2011, 03:01 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Glad someone brought this up. I'm building a KOH Mod and I've been deliberating this issue lately. I'm still thinking front mount just for packaging and reliabilty, (hoses and fittings wise) and for ease of maintenance but I'm open to hearing peoples real world experience and knowledge.
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Old 07-30-2011, 03:42 PM   #14 (permalink)
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My thoughts

I have built buggies here at the shop with both mounts. My current trail/race buggy is rear mount. The benefits are keeping heat behind the passenger compartment and cleaning up the engine bay. I run the trans/steering coolers where the rad would normally be also.They get plenty of fresh air that way. I also ran the water through the chassis. It is amazing how long it will run before the fans kick on just because of the added water and surface area of the chassis cooling it. On the other hand you do have some fan noise. it is also easier to run hoses that are a couple inches long and be done with it than thinking about chassis design and cooling design. I think there are pros and cons to both, depending on the execution.
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Old 07-30-2011, 04:28 PM   #15 (permalink)
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I suppose it depends on how much room you'll have to work with in the front and the back, and just ensure you build for it at the beginning vs handcuffing yourself after you've spent alot of build time into it. If it were a straight up EB I'd put it in the front.


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also most people racing are or should be running quality hose with an fittings so you dont have to worry about a line bursting
Define quality hose, as any radiator hose with a clamp on fitting can be blown off (IE failure at the connection point). One way to prevent this is to run fittings pressed onto the hose (IE hydraulic or AN style fittings) and even then make sure the hose is rated for at least 250*F and a pressure rated greater than the rad pressure by as much as you can find (or just run copper tubing or similar and just use small rubber couplers at the connection points).

In the mud racing I do we have rules that prevent the rads being mounted in the proximity of the driver without proper shielding, seen way to many blown hoses/connections not too.
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Old 07-30-2011, 05:06 PM   #16 (permalink)
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I have built buggies here at the shop with both mounts. My current trail/race buggy is rear mount. The benefits are keeping heat behind the passenger compartment and cleaning up the engine bay. I run the trans/steering coolers where the rad would normally be also.They get plenty of fresh air that way. I also ran the water through the chassis. It is amazing how long it will run before the fans kick on just because of the added water and surface area of the chassis cooling it. On the other hand you do have some fan noise. it is also easier to run hoses that are a couple inches long and be done with it than thinking about chassis design and cooling design. I think there are pros and cons to both, depending on the execution.
Good points. I think I'm going to run a rear mount although I will have enough room for a big front mount. I like the idea of running the Trans and P/S coolers up front as well. I had thought of the extra volume but didn't know how much of a difference it would have made.
I'm thinking of using stainless steel tubing for the long runs with AN fittings welded to the ends. Then it's just short runs from the engine and radiator. I've done that on some turbo street cars that had air to water intercoolers and ice boxes in the trunk.
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Old 07-30-2011, 05:47 PM   #17 (permalink)
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also most people racing are or should be running quality hose with an fittings so you dont have to worry about a line bursting
Not everybody has the budget for AN fittings. If you don't, you have to make sure your clamps are up to the task. I like the T-bolt clamps.

I can tell you that my hoses are high quality and are rated for temps and pressures that are many times higher then any of our applications. They for marine applications. I will have to get the exact part number and supplier.

Timmay from Liquid Iron or Joe from Clark Industrial can chime in with what the exact hose is. I know there is a bunch of Ultra4 cars running the same hose.
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Old 07-30-2011, 06:17 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Not everybody has the budget for AN fittings. If you don't, you have to make sure your clamps are up to the task. I like the T-bolt clamps.

I can tell you that my hoses are high quality and are rated for temps and pressures that are many times higher then any of our applications. They for marine applications. I will have to get the exact part number and supplier.

Timmay from Liquid Iron or Joe from Clark Industrial can chime in with what the exact hose is. I know there is a bunch of Ultra4 cars running the same hose.
i have seen T- bolt clamps that cost as much as an fittings if not more. the car i am building now will have the radiator mounted in rear. since my wife and probably eventually the kids will be riding in it, to me spending the money for an fittings is like spending money on a good fire extinguisher.
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Old 07-30-2011, 06:55 PM   #19 (permalink)
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What kind of intake are you going to run on this ford motor? The efi SBF intakes are fawkin tall... a lower hood is a sloppy wet dream if you are running one of these. My point is, if you have a tall ass efi intake... there's plenty o room for a front mounted radiator...
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Old 07-30-2011, 09:11 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Not everybody has the budget for AN fittings. If you don't, you have to make sure your clamps are up to the task. I like the T-bolt clamps.

I can tell you that my hoses are high quality and are rated for temps and pressures that are many times higher then any of our applications. They for marine applications. I will have to get the exact part number and supplier.

Timmay from Liquid Iron or Joe from Clark Industrial can chime in with what the exact hose is. I know there is a bunch of Ultra4 cars running the same hose.
Sub'd for this info.
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Old 07-30-2011, 09:27 PM   #21 (permalink)
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Not everybody has the budget for AN fittings. If you don't, you have to make sure your clamps are up to the task. I like the T-bolt clamps.

I can tell you that my hoses are high quality and are rated for temps and pressures that are many times higher then any of our applications. They for marine applications. I will have to get the exact part number and supplier.

Timmay from Liquid Iron or Joe from Clark Industrial can chime in with what the exact hose is. I know there is a bunch of Ultra4 cars running the same hose.
Yeah I hear ya, but, I gotta say some of the good SS t-bolts I've seen are more expensive than an AN fitting, but the hose info is appreciated.
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Old 07-31-2011, 07:50 AM   #22 (permalink)
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Not everybody has the budget for AN fittings. If you don't, you have to make sure your clamps are up to the task. I like the T-bolt clamps.
What's a good source for those t-bar clamps?
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Old 07-31-2011, 10:22 AM   #23 (permalink)
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What's a good source for those t-bar clamps?
McMaster Carr has them.
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Old 07-31-2011, 02:56 PM   #24 (permalink)
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Here is mine mounted in the back. AN fittings on radiator and motor with aluminum tubing under the pass side seat with AN fittings as well.. It has quite a bit of room between it and the fuel cell. I will also have clear lexan behind the seats, between the seats and fuel cell to help with noise and heat...

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Old 07-31-2011, 05:02 PM   #25 (permalink)
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Mounts mounts mounts .....

If you are going to put a radiator in the back anywhere near the passenger compartment then please for the love of god over engineer your mounts.

During you planning,engineering process. Think of the weight of a radiator full of water and make certain that your mounts are going to securely hold the radiator when shit goes bad......think of the violent forces at work when you do a 70mph triple end over end cartwheel.

The last thing you need is a 50pound 225 degree radiator smashing you in the head because of a failed mount. Aside from the mounts, having a " firewall" of some sort to keep the radiator out of the passenger compartment when it does break loose.

in the same safety consideration. Try and and put your inlet and outlets facing rearward. even with AN fittings and quality hose, leaks happen. Most likely spot for a leak is going to be at the connections.....so face them away from the passengers .....again, a "firewall" or shroud to protect the occupants deserves a lot of consideration in how it will be constructed. screen area should be just large enuff for airflow to the radiator fins.
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