Wes Duenkel
July 2, 2019
Contributers: Wes Duenkel, Damon Rivetti Photos By: Damon Rivetti

Though it's been out of production for over twenty years, the 1979-1993, or "Fox" Mustang remains a popular target for the performance automotive aftermarket. While some companies have scaled back their product lineups for the Fox Mustang, Flex-A-Lite remains a steadfast supporter of Ford's boxy bruiser.

Not to leave well enough alone, Flex-A-Lite has updated its offerings for the still-popular pony car with their new Flex-A-Lite Extruded Core Radiator and Electric Fan package for the 1979-1993 Fox Body Mustang (PN 315560).

The included Flex-A-Lite Extruded Core Radiator features technology that supersedes traditional multi-core radiators with a new "extruded core" design. Flex-A-Lite claims it provides better cooling, improved durability, and less weight. The extruded tube cores are rectangular, which provide a flat surface on which the cooling fins are brazed. This increases the contact area between the coolant, tubes, and fins to transfer heat more efficiently from coolant to the air. Even the fins have a louver pattern cut into them to direct airflow and improve cooling.

The extruded cores are also stronger, as the Flex-A-Lite Extruded Tube Core Radiators have a 100-psi burst rating. To further increase reliability, the Flex-A-Lite Extruded Tube Core Radiators reinforce the cooling tube-to-header joint with corner subheads to prevent fatigue cracking in this critical area. Flex-A-Lite is so confident in their new radiators that they're covered by a transferable two-year warranty.

The Flex-A-Lite Extruded Core Radiator and Electric Fan package is a direct bolt-in for 1979-1993 Fox Body Mustangs, and includes a fully-shrouded Black Magic Xtreme S-Blade electric fan that's mounted to the radiator. The fan sucks 3,300 cfm of airflow through the radiator and is controlled by an adjustable thermostat. Even a 22-24 PSI radiator cap and drain petcock are included.

To sample this updated Flex-A-Lite cooling package for Fox Mustangs, we turned to the pros at Gear Driven Automotive, who installed this combo easily and quickly in just a couple of hours.

We began the installation process by draining the coolant from the old radiator.
After the coolant drained and the radiator hoses were disconnected, we removed the upper radiator brackets.
Then, we removed the old radiator and previous generation Flex-A-Lite Black Magic fan. Note the old fan's shroud draws from a smaller area, and the fan's blades are straight.
Next, we turned our attention to the new Flex-A-Lite cooling package. We drilled a small hole through the bottom of the fan shroud with a stepped drill bit.
Then, we passed the fan's wires through the hole.
Note how the new Flex-A-Lite fan draws from a much larger area of the radiator. This will allow the fan to more effectively regulate this Mustang's engine temperature.
We carefully slid the new Flex-A-Lite radiator and fan combination down until it was seated on the factory rubber saddles.
Then, we tightened up the upper radiator brackets.
Despite the package's increased cooling capacity, the Flex-A-Lite radiator and fan combination fit the factory brackets and cleared the engine's accessories with ease.
We continued the installation by attaching the radiator hoses to the Flex-A-Lite radiator.
With the radiator installation complete, the next order of business was installing the fan controller. Flex-A-Lite includes the necessary wiring and fuse pigtail.
Using the detailed instructions as a guide, we wired up the thermostatic fan controller with the required power, ground, and switched power feeds.
We found a suitable location to mount the controller behind the right headlight.
Per the instructions, we inserted the temperature probe into the radiator so the controller can accurately measure the coolant temp.
Next, we soldered the wiring connections between the fuse pigtail, fan, and controller.
We finished the electrical connections by attaching the main power and ground leads directly to the battery.
After checking all the connections, we filled up the cooling system and installed the supplied radiator cap.
We're confident the updated Flex-A-Lite Extruded Core Radiator and Electric Fan package will keep this Fox-body running cool, even in the heat of summer.

 

 

Flex-A-Lite Extruded Core Technology
Compared to traditional radiator cores that consist of individual tubes to form a single "core," Flex-A-Lite's Extruded Cores are rectangular, which provide a wider, flatter surface on which the cooling fins are brazed. This increases the contact area between the coolant, tubes, and fins to better transfer heat from the coolant to the air. Even the fins have a louver pattern cut into them to direct airflow in multiple directions and improve cooling. Flex-A-Lite's own wind tunnel testing confirmed that their new Extruded Core radiators are significantly more efficient than standard tube radiators.

The extruded cores are also stronger, as the Flex-A-Lite Extruded Tube Core Radiators have a 100-psi burst rating. To further increase reliability, the Flex-A-Lite Extruded Tube Core Radiators reinforce the cooling tube-to-header joint with a corner subhead to prevent fatigue cracking in this critical area. Flex-A-Lite is so confident in their new radiators that they're covered by a transferable two-year warranty.

Sources:

Flex-A-Lite
800-851-1510
flex-a-lite.com

GEAR Driven Automotive
8656 Reseda Blvd, #9
Northridge, CA 91324
818-678-6500
www.geardrivenautomotive.com

Photos By Damon Rivetti