Hood Clearance and coolant tank

While I had the body on, I checked the underhood clearance to help clear up some questions about the FE coolant tank.

The FE uses a coolant reservoir mounted on the front of the manifold. Tanks available exit on the passenger side of the vehicle. But the original Cobras had an exit on the drivers side. I purchased my kit with a drivers side inlet on the radiator, so the upper line would appear period correct. I chose to use a double path radiator, with the lower outlet also on the drivers side. This would allow a more direct path to the FE’s waterpump inlet and also, would provide a little better cooling.

The FE tank is easily reversed by un-soldering the pieces and turning the tank 180º. This is easily accomplished with a proper sized torch. Those less experienced may wish to have it done by a local radiator shop. My car didn’t require any cutting or modifying other than to unsolder, turn and resolder.

Those choosing to put a small block motor into the car and duplicate this appearance will find info regarding this on the web. Google is your friend. Be careful with this combination – this may be subject to hood clearance issues.

Underhood clearance
Many Hurricane builders have run into hood clearance problems. To help clarify this, I double-checked my build.

I am putting an FE block, with the coolant reservoir tank on the front in the car. With the engine in place and the body installed, I came up with this info:

IMG_3565 IMG_3568

Opening Clearance

I plan to run a 3×2 setup. From first glances, it looks like there is more than enough room for the oval air cleaner although the opening in the hood does appear to match.

Cooling System
My quest to build a period correct car began when I ordered the kit. I specified a cross flow radiator so the upper radiator port would be on the left side. I did deviate on the lower outlet. The original cars used a “Chevy” style radiator – outlet on the bottom right and inlet on the upper left., Rather than run the 3′ long lower hose, I went with the outlet on the lower left. That lines up better with the FE pump inlet. It also allows the radiator to operate as a cross-flow for better cooling. The coolant path runs across the upper tubes then back across the lower tubes and out to the pump.

The upper path incorporates a stainless tube, bent 90º and connecting to the reservoir tank. The tank, commonly used on the FE, is reversed on its mounting bracket.

For better performance, I chose to operate at 190º. Through luck, I found a 2 1/2″ diameter thermostat to fit the larger Ford manifold. The Stant 14429 is used on mid-80’s GM diesel engines.The balanced flow style provides much higher flow than the reverse poppet style.

I added a zinc anode to the lower drain port, knowing electrolysis can be an issue. I also incorporated a thermal switch for the fan by adding a connector tube with a 1/4″ NPT port in the lower hose.

IMG_3826IMG_3828 IMG_3830 IMG_3834
Stant 14429 Thermostat Upper Tube Coolant Reservoir


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Posted 09/02/2007 by Paul Proefrock in category "Body", "Engine