looking for advice about installing new rad

Discussion in 'General Chevy & GM Tech Questions' started by kawasaki_kid, May 26, 2010.

  1. kawasaki_kid

    kawasaki_kid Rockstar 100 Posts

    It seems like every 2 weeks for the last little while Ive had to dump more money into my truck just to keep it on the road. Ive spent over $2500 on it in the last year, and thats just repairs, no real ad ons. if i hadnt spent so much id sell the damn thing... anyway.

    I discovered my rad as a nice leak today. the seam on the drivers side end cap is leaking. looks like another $280 for a new rad. for now i have tried dumping some AC Delco stop leak in it, figured it was worth the $5 to give it a shot. anyone had luck with this before? idk yet if its worked or not.

    If i do have to change my rad, how difficult is it? my mech. says today that i could probably do it myself, but then therell be no warrenty on the new rad. should i do it myself and save the $180+ in labour, or get him to do it to get the lifetime warrenty?
  2. sharpshooterusmc

    sharpshooterusmc Rockstar 100 Posts

    u can do it yourself, its really simple, all u gotta do is pull the fan shroud off, drain the radiator, disconect all the lines and u have 2 bolts on the top, pull them out and the radiator pulls right out. u might have to pull it a little cuz it has 2 rubber gromets on the bottom that some studs fit in. make sure u put a pan under it to catch the antifreeze and oil thats gunna leak when u disconect the lines
  3. wis bang

    wis bang Rockstar 100 Posts

    Rads are rather simple. It can be messy and you need to be careful disconnecting the trans cooler lines and, if equipped, engine oil cooler lines. Disconnect them b/4 you loosen the bolts holding the rad in place. You should get a lot of working room after removing the top shroud.
  4. phoebeisis

    phoebeisis Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    I changed the radiator on my 1998 Suburban about 2 years ago.It was a 3-4 hour job for me-I've average work slowly with no pneumatic tools.

    I got a new ebay radiator-$160 delivered-seems ok. The only downside is it came with a different sized female fittings.It had adaptors, but the adaptors mean the old hard lines are a tiny bit too long, so they don't fit "dead on any more-they meet at a slight angle, so screwing them in takes some patience.

    You also have to use some teflon pipe tape with them because they aren't the pure compression fitting like the OEM fittings are.

    All in all worked out ok.

    If the total charge was $500-I would still DIM, but $500 for a new radiator-installed with all three fluids topped up- isn't too bad. Just the 2 gallons of Dexcool is almost $30.

  5. 2COR517

    2COR517 Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    Your mechanic is feeding you a load of crap about the warranty. I'd start looking for someone a little more honest.

    You can buy a radiator from Autozone with a lifetime warranty. You bought the radiator, it's warrantied to you.

    Don't use Dex Cool, I mean Death Cool. Give the cooling system a good flushing, and put regular coolant in.
  6. Loggerhead Mike

    Loggerhead Mike Rockstar 100 Posts

    if you dont keep dex flush'd atleast every 50k it will eat everything (starts turning acidic around 32k)

    you can take the radiator and have it repaired for probably less than 50 bucks.
  7. Dr_Zero

    Dr_Zero Epic Member 5+ Years 500 Posts

    Here read this thread

    I got both of my new rads from radiator classic for right around $100 :great:

    Its pretty straight forward on the install and you can do it yourself with handtools.

    Also when you get to looking at your rad look to see if its a single or dual row radiator mine both came with the single but a dual will drop right in the core in wider not the tanks so all fits the same.

    While you are at it now would be a good time to flush the system and change the hoses and the thermostat, flush the system with the OLD radiator still on no need to dirty up the new rad.
    Also believe it or not Amazon had the hoses for my truck cheaper than the local parts stores.:lol:
    Fresh green coolant also no funky orange stuff and a new radiator cap!

    As far as warranty's go check this out

    Limited Lifetime Warranty

    Silla Cooling Systems warrants their radiators and condensers, under normal use and service, for as long as the original purchaser owns the vehicle in which the radiator was originally installed.
  8. phoebeisis

    phoebeisis Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    On the Dexcool vs green ethylene glycol controversy. I changed my gaskets-12 moths ago-roughly 208,000 miles, they had last been done at 155,000 miles by PO.

    The newest gasket kit- #58000 by Mr Gasket or one of the other big name gasket makers- I forget exactly who it was-specifically claim they have "fixed" the dexcool problem.Whatever new material they use they claim is resistant to Dexcool.

    Is it,I don't know. I stayed with Dexcool,I won't know for 50,000 more miles(this seems to be how long it takes to eat thru the "old" gaskets.

    I'm just hoping that GM and Mr Gasket know what they are doing.

    Obviously, I don't plan to let that Dexcool stay in for 100,000 miles(I have 213,000 miles now). 2 years or 30,000 miles -like others said- is the smart change interval.

  9. langss

    langss New Member

    Try 1-800-Radiator.Lifetime Warranty.
  10. kawasaki_kid

    kawasaki_kid Rockstar 100 Posts

    well i tried the stop leak, it worked four about 4 days, now its back to leaking again. looks like i will be changing the rad.

    i believe my mechanic said the rad i have is a dual core.

    i am already running glycol, no dexcol.

    i just had the cooling system flushed about a month ago when i had the water pump changed.
    (might the new water pump have something to do with this?)

    i i will be doing the swap myself, sounds easy. my mech. said the worst part is the trans cooler lines(i have no oil cooler), but i used to work at MrLube doing trans. flushes all the time so im not worried about those.

    i went to "Piston Ring" here in winnipeg, they quoted me $240+ tax for a new one, ill trying shopping araound a little more for a better price, but i usually end up back at them buying my parts.

    I was told the new rads like mine cant be repaired? it is leaking between the core itself and the plastic end caps, the seem i guess you'd call it.

    Of course it had to start leaking again on monday morning, when i wont have time to fix it now untill thursday evening. For now its not leaking too bad, managable, i just keep toping it up, carrying some water with me where ever i go. how bad will putting straight water in is for the next 4 days whenever its low affect it? ohh... now that ive thought of it i guess i will need to do a full flush afterward to get all the water out and balance the mix.

    i guess i have a new question now, how can i do a flush myself? ive only ever seen it done using a rad machine.

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