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Discussion Starter #1
Looking at replacing my OE radiator this spring, just because it is 18 years old and I figure I do not want to be struck on the highway in the middle of nowhere with a leak while RVing.

What is the best replace for our trucks?
 

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If you have done the coolant changes when you should I would just keep the one that is in it now.

If you start replacing things just because they are old and might fail you might as well as go purchase a new truck and then worry about what is going to fail on it.

My radiator is 23+ years and I have no problem hopping in my truck and heading out. I don't tow heavy but I keep up with the maintenance that has to be done along with coolant flushes every 3 or 4 years.
 

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Yes, I have kept my maintenance up meticulously with Rotella ELC coolant and never had any problems. I do not agree about your concern about replacing old parts. Radiators take more abuse than one would think, with small rocks and road debris penetrating them, sometimes sight unseen.

I too, would go anywhere in my truck and trust it more than a new one. But over the years I have been proactive to make upgrades that have been better than some of the original parts, like many of us here on this forum have done.

This being said, I have replaced many older parts with Motorcraft and OE when available, as I have found them to be higher quality than cheaper parts at parts stores.

When I replace the radiator, I plan to have the fan clutch replaced also, as it is, like the radiator, OE when the truck was bought new.
 

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I am trying to think back on all the vehicle radiator fails I have had over the years and don’t recall even one that did not first give a long warning of drips first.

I would say a guy with nothing bigger to worry about than his radiator might fail leads a blessed life. ;)

I think I will stick with Motorcraft if/when I do have a failure.
 

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Yes, I lead a blessed life for sure, Very thankful for what has been given me. When one is close to 80 years of age, he/she can take nothing for granted. Being stranded in 105 degree heat on a lonely road, with help eighty miles away, can be scary.
 
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I understand what you are saying but I don’t think its fair to make an assumption that a new radiator is automatically superior to an old radiator that has had proper coolant maintenance.
We still have an actual radiator shop near me that has been in business atleast 45 years I know of.
I still bring old tractor radiators in for repair and they repeatedly tell me that new radiators are made with more plastic and are almost always inferior to original in materials and construction.

What is the average life of a factory original 7.3 radiator that has received regularly scheduled coolant changes? My trucks are 18-20 years old with no indication of failure or issues of overheating. Maybe the average life is 35-40 years? 7.3 cooling systems are designed to be quite robust.

I would atleast stick with Motorcraft if you are set on replacing it. Some online Ford parts offer great pricing over my local Ford dealer.
 

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I've installed two Spectra and so far so good
 

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Looking at replacing my OE radiator this spring, just because it is 18 years old and I figure I do not want to be struck on the highway in the middle of nowhere with a leak while RVing.

What is the best replace for our trucks?

You got 18 trouble free yrs from the OEM radiator and you are wondering which radiator to replace it with?

My vote is to go with OEM. You don't say if you are looking for a cheaper solution than OEM.
 

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Not sure oem is a default quality, ford builds a radiator for the masses with a math formula for profit, do some homework, has to be options. At some point, its wise to replace as maintanace. My trans has 185k, do i wait and get stranded or replace when convienent for me and not on the side of road
 

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Not sure oem is a default quality, ford builds a radiator for the masses with a math formula for profit, do some homework, has to be options. At some point, its wise to replace as maintanace. My trans has 185k, do i wait and get stranded or replace when convienent for me and not on the side of road

I would say, and I think most would agree, that for mechanical parts OEM is a default for quality. There are definitely some exceptions but usually the OEM part is a good quality and reliable part.
 
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Research mishimoto, not cheap but not sure what oem runs
 

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I'm on the (if it ain't broke, don't fix it side). DDT
 
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