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Mustang Aluminum Radiator Vs Stock Radiator Benefits, Features & Differences

Created by Tyler Rodriquez
Date Created: 1/9/2017
Last Updated: 6/15/2022

Upgrading to an aluminum radiator has many benefits over the stock radiator and is one of the most common upgrades for cooling systems. LMR walks you through some of the biggest differences, features, and benefits of making the switch.

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  • Aluminum Radiator Vs Stock Radiator Benefits, Features & Differences

If your factory aluminum radiator has started to leak, is clogged, or has been damaged, it is the perfect time to upgrade to an aluminum Mustang radiator. Some of the questions we always get are, "What is the difference between an aluminum radiator and a factory radiator?" & "Why should I upgrade to an aluminum radiator." We will break down some of the key features, benefits, and differences you will see in an aluminum radiator.

Better Materials/Construction

One of the most apparent differences is the all-aluminum construction, where the factory radiators are usually a mix of aluminum and plastic. This dramatically reduces the chances of your radiator leaking as the plastic tanks found on OEM radiators often crack over time. With most aluminum radiators, you will get wider, more efficiently shaped tubes that help cool coolant faster. Aluminum also offers greater heat dissipation properties over your OEM counterparts.

More Rows

he terms "2-row radiator" or 3-row radiator" used in the industry. This refers to the number of rows in the core of your radiator. More rows mean more coolant can flow through the radiator, thus keeping your engine cooler. Also, with these added rows, more air can flow through the cooling fins to help with the overall cooling properties.

Lighter Weight

Depending on what year car you have, an aluminum radiator could also be a lighter option for you. This will be an excellent upgrade for older cars with copper radiators. Newer vehicles with copper core and plastic tank radiators may not significantly differ in weight. If your aftermarket aluminum radiator offers a larger fluid capacity, this can also offset the overall weight differences.


If you are looking to get a cleaner look in your engine bay, an aluminum radiator can always help! Aluminum radiators are usually offered with a flat, clean top that can give the messiest of engine bays a better look.

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Thumbnail image of the author of this article, Tyler Rodriquez.

About the Author

Tyler has written content for Late Model Restoration for nearly 8 years, producing over 300 articles. As an avid New Edge fan, Tyler has owned 4 2004 Mustangs and an 88 Convertible Fox Body. Read more...