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Radiator question

938 Views 9 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  rockrash
Ok, I have a slight leak on the driver side of my radiator that is coming from where the plastic extension meets the actual metal radiator. Its right in the seam about three inches down from the top.

Has anyone ever fixed a leak in this particular spot? I had it looked at today and they said it will likely be caused by the plastic being cracked or from some sort of gasket that goes between the plastic part and the metal radiator. They said they won't know until the radiator is removed and they check it out.

How difficult is it to pull the radiator? They said if I will bring it to them it will save me at a minimum $130. Would I just be better off buying a new radiator and installing it myself? I can't find a radiator for less than $250 so it might be cheaper just to have them order the platic end piece if necessary. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
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The radiator shouldn't be bad. The service manual makes it look pretty simple. I would suggest looking for a copy of the FSM but here goes.

1. Disconnect the negative battery cables from both batts
2. Drain the cooling system
3. Remove all hoses and hose clamps from the radiator
4. Remove the coolant reserve/overflow tank from the fan shroud. (If the tank slips onto t-slots then it does not need to be removed just disconnect the hose.)
5. Disconnect the electrical connector for the windsheild washer reservoir tank and remove tank.
6. Remove the two metal clips retaining the upper part of the fan shroud to the top of the radiator
7. Remove the four fan shroud mounting bolts
8. Remove the radiator upper mounting bolts
9. Lift the radiator out, the radiator is equipped with two alignment dowels that fit into holes in the lower radiator support panel. Rubber biscuits are installed on these dowels. Take care not to damage cooling fins or tubes on the radiator and air conditioning condenser when removing.

* BTW I did not write this it, it was quoted from the service manual for the most part *
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks man, I appreciate it.
 

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Your radiator is bad. It is a common problem with a plastic aluminum or plastic copper radiator after a few years. Especially if it has been run hot, or even just low on coolant. Steam errosion eats away at the internals of the plastic tank and gaskets.
Call 678-382-2101 and speak to JD. They can build you that radiator in a 4 row copper/brass all metal for about the same price as a factory unit.
 

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I took one out a few weeks ago, instructions sound like what I did. I figured it out without any instructions or problems... BUT the transcooler and intercooler were screwed to the radiator assembly. I was tearing the truck apart so I just started with the bumper, moved back and just took it all out.

Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Your radiator is bad. It is a common problem with a plastic aluminum or plastic copper radiator after a few years. Especially if it has been run hot, or even just low on coolant. Steam errosion eats away at the internals of the plastic tank and gaskets.
Call 678-382-2101 and speak to JD. They can build you that radiator in a 4 row copper/brass all metal for about the same price as a factory unit.

Thanks, I was hoping that I could get away with having it repaired rather than spending $250 but I guess I'm SOL.
 

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Heck, $250 is nothing in the long run.........except when you aren't ready to spend it.:shock:
Good luck with it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Can a plastic tank and a new gasket be purchased as the rest of the radiator appears to be fine? The radiator shop seemed to think that they could just order the plastic tank and a new gasket.
 

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I am sure they could. See how much it costs parts and labor, then weigh that cost vs. a new all metal. You decide. I am still runing the factory unit with 160k on my 02. When I do have an issue, as all do eventually, I'll go with an all metal. They are just more durable.
 

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Also be aware that often times the metal tabs that hold the tank in place have to be pulled up, then bent and essentially hammered back into place. Often times they fatigue and break as a result. In which case you'll need a new radiator. Either way, give JD a call and he should be able to price it for you.
 
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