I have been researching many posts. I know there were 2 designs of radiators that had different flow paths. I have a standard Fluidyne that many people have. My question has to do with the flow in these. Old school is Hot water goes into the top. Cooled water comers out the bottom. Is this true of the Fluidynes 2 in/out tubes?

Original Post

Panteras usually have hot water in bottom and cooled water out top. This mainly because of the arrangement of pipes under the car. As a heat exchanger it doesn't make a difference which way water flows and is usually determined by what is the simplest arrangement.

 In my nearly 20 active years in the DeTomaso community I think the most common topic of discussion has been cooling. 

 I have no doubt that what Marlin has done on his car delivers satisfactory results in his Badlands adventures. I also have no doubt  that the modifications suggested by George in the cooling sticky also work. I’m also sure the modifications done by John Taphorn work. I know owners with original radiators and fans that have fully functional cooling.

 What the years have taught me is there are many different, and yet totally successful, approaches to cooling a Pantera.  

 As for what qualifies as a “successful” cooling system, my advice to newbies has always been this:

 If you can exit a freeway after a lengthy drive on a 95° day, then get stuck on city streets in stop and go traffic for 30 minutes and park your car at your destination with no bubbling, gurgling or expansion tank overflow, your cooling system is working just fine. 

 It basically doesn’t matter what your temperature gauge says, nor does it matter what style radiator, fans, water pump or anything else is installed on your car.

 If it works, it is a good system. Period  

My 2¢


Now I am feeling really stupid. I cannot for the life of me figure out how to route the front tube so they line up with the under body straight tubes without interference with the sway bar or the front small cross member that bolts to the rack caps and frame. Let alone route these so I can run the hot water to the upper tube for the radiator. It has the bump steer kit on it which makes a little difference. I would like to throw the cross member out but am afraid to.

 Having recently converted from a stand up to a lay down radiator I definitely understand the problem you are facing and you have my deepest sympathies. 

 When I called the vendor who supplied the radiator he basically brushed off the installation as being not much of an issue, just maybe requiring a 10 or 12 inch extension on one of the coolant pipes. I found his advice to be lacking. 

 Like you, I had interference and clearance problems with the crossmember and sway bar structure. It took a lot of under the car eyeball assessment and the use of several longer connecting hoses to make things work. 

 I could share my solutions but I’m not sure they would transfer to your situation. Hopefully others will chime in with their experiences. 


Captain, I tried this as well as a full dozen other tricks. On a 1200 mile round trip to/from Vegas, I switched the hoses from top-feed to bottom-feed midway. It made zero difference in running engine temps. . In a Pantera, NOTHING made any difference except changing to a Fluidyne aluminum- 21 years ago. Same assembly still working just fine. As Forest said, to a heat exchanger it makes no difference

 Flipping the hot and cold from bottom to top is truly an unnecessary exercise in futility. Just getting them to route in the normal manner will be sufficient and will provide more than enough headaches for you. 


Gee, I had no trouble building a lay-down setup? I even have an A/C core mounted in front. It takes two ca 3" long straps from the stock body mount to the stock radiator bolt-bosses, using factory bolts. If its a Fluidyne, you also need two 1-1/2" copper 90 degree sweat-solder fittings, as most aftermarket rads use straight hose stubs. This requires two more short straight 1-3/8" ID hoses to hook up the copper fittings and rad stubs, & allows the hoses to run close behind a pair of flat sucker fan motors in a Flexilite shroud. They attach to stock or ss  underbody pipes. It also needs a shorter top rad cover. So its not quite an eyes-closed-drop-in installation.

Note- the lay-down rad setup makes NO difference in cooling- it's simply more convenient to tighten hose clamps and fan wiring without tearing up your hands on the very rough core. Several Nor-Cal guys run a Fluidyne & sucker fan shroud with the rad etc mounted straight up as-stock.

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