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  1. #1

    Unhappy replacing radiator in '94 suburban-need a how to advice and general help.

    my '94 suburban started leaking the day before yesterday. I heard a squeak under the hood and when i looked it was a hose clamp on my belt, not a big deal turned the clamp and that fixed that. notice the coolant in the reserve tank was empty and checked the cap it was low. I filled it and then yesterday drove about 2-4 miles to get oil to do my oil change and a air filter. when i got to auto zone i realized under my front bumper drivers side i had a steady drip of coolant. I popped the hood and determined that the coolant was coming from the radiator. I can't see exactly where the leak is. there is some along the side on the plastic and some most at the bottom in the little pan under. I drove home and it was still leaking, however both times after parking for about 5 min the dripping stopped. I can't identify where the leak is exactly.

    I had about 21/2 qt of coolant I put in when I filled it. I'm only about 95% sure it was mixed. if I forgot to delude it with water before what could the repercussions of that be? is there a way to check and or fix that? As I said I'm about 95% sure it was mixed however that 5% isn't comforting. lol

    My plan is to go to the local pic n' pull and grab one from there as I can't afford a new one. My first question is other than general visual observation is there anything i can do to tell if it leaks? It would be pointless to get a replacement if the replacement will just leak. Also is there any way to determine exactly where its leaking and fix it without pulling it completely out?

    lastly is there any tricks or tips to know when working on a radiator other than the basics?

    '94 chevy suburban k1500.
    251*** miles
    new water pump, exhaust, and im mixing coolant at 50/50.

    thanks for the help
    Brendan- Green Bay Wisconsin
    suburban K1500 V8
    251***miles
    all black light body damage

  2. #2
    Jr. Mechanic
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Wylie, Texas, United States
    Posts
    105

    Default

    Brendan, first let me say good luck with the radiator change. Its not hard; just remember if you are an amateur like me to give yourself plenty of time to do it. I do a lot of repairs I know little about and do it with help from this forum. I have learned that if something is not working or you can't figure something out stop, go get a cup-a-joe and rest.

    That said, you didn't hurt anything with the unmixed coolant. Some people run pure coolant. Absolute waste but makes people feel better.
    Second you can't just find the leak and fix it. If the leak is truly in the radiator you need to have the radiator re-cored at minimum; replaced with new at worst. I cannot imagine doing a pick and pull radiator because you really don't know what you are getting.

    I know my mechanic has this cool little pressure pump he put on my wife's radiator (no jokes guys) and hand pumped until we started hearing/seeing a leak. You might be able to get one of those pumps and do the same thing to make sure the leak is the radiator. maybe you will luck out and its sneaking out of a hose and traveling down the radiator.

    Good luck; hopefully someone smarter than me will pipe up and offer some better advice.

    Congrats on the 251*** miles; that's where my 95 Silverado is.
    95 Chevy Silverado
    Beat up by hail and a faulty tow truck
    5.7L V-8
    251,000 miles


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