From the surface this looks like a normal radiator from a 1997 crown
victoria police interceptor
But the car randomly decides to run real warm sometimes. But other
times, the coolant guage gives normal readings. The waterpump and
mechanical radiator fan are new and have less than 1,000 miles on them.
So the radiator is a likely culprit.
After cutting the radiator apart using a sawzall
Here's the problem. Some "car repair expert" poured copious quantities
of some sort of stop leak product in the cooling system. The stop leak
likely slowed the intake manifold leak that was referenced in the
vehicle's repair history, but it also adversly affected the heat
transfer of the radiator too.
The metal tube in the radiator end cap is used to transfer heat from
the transmission oil into the engine coolant
The tranny cooler lines didn't want to come off of the radiator easily
and the fittings at the radiator side "spun" and broke off the tranny
cooler tube inside the end cap.
Attempting to use a radiator with a broken off tranny cooler would have
resulted in engine antifreeze mixing with the tranny fluid. So 1997
& earlier crown vic owners looking to "save themselves a buck" by
purchasing a used junkyard radiator could end up costing themselves
thousands of dollars in transmission rebuild costs.