View Single Post
Old 05-07-2007, 05:56 PM   #9
Goon Squad Leader
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Seattle
Posts: 25,841

It turns out that the instructions for the drain plug were wrong. Oh well. The end of the story is that the radiator installation ended well, after some frustrating detours, the first of which was the misdirection in my manual.

After that, I was surprised to learn that there are seven (!!) hoses connecting to the radiator. I expected no more than three, one large top coolant hose (out), one large bottom coolant hose (in) and a small hose to the overflow tank. They were there, as well as a pair of hard lines on each side of the radiator, making four more, one in each corner. I soon found out that one pair was in/out for ATF and the other pair was in/out for crankcase oil.

I found this strange since each of these important fluids already had it's own dedicated radiator in front of the large coolant radiator. Well, getting then unhitched wasn't hard, but it was messy. I admit I was a little spooked to see bloody oily smears in my puddle of coolant. Ok, I was freaked out thinking I had some kind of serious internal hemorrhage spilling crankcase oil into the coolant system. Eventually I figured out what was happening though.

Once the hoses were off, a few bolts holding down the top cover and a couple holding the fan in place and the radiator lifted right out. It is not actually bolted in anywhere. The bottom has a couple of locating pins which rest in generous rubber sockets and the top is covered with a sort of plate which is held down with a couple of bolts. That, plus the front top engine mount and she's free.

Once I got it out I could easily see where the coolant was coming from. This is one of them new fangled radiators, with plastic (!) tanks on the sides with horizontal metal circulation tubes and vertical cooling fins. Plastic? Well, the pound that it saved eventually cracked. A fair tradeoff? Who knows.

So now in with the new. It slips into the recently vacated radiator slot nice enough, and I start to reconnect all those dang lines. Coolant, ok. Oil, ok. ATF, not ok. The lines are hard (really hard lines, half inch aluminum, like brake lines) and they don't want to line up with the connection points. I manage to catch what I hope/think/pray is the first thread and snug them up with a couple of largish (19 mm and 16 mm) wrenches. I'm very cautious since stripping either side might make me say a bad word or two... safe. I guess.

All the hoses on, the top plate on, the engine remounted to the front top crossmember, fan in, filled with coolant, fire it up! And I did. And the ATF was drip drip dripping. Shit. What do they use to seal oil? Rubber, right? But these compression fittings didn't have any rubber at all. Just brute force with aluminum on brass on steel. I wasn't eager to win a contest of strength with these fittings... so a day later I went back to Action Auto Parts and plead my case.

Matt (some young whippersnapper) suggested some RTV silicone since it's good for other gaskets. We talked back and forth for some time and eventually settled on a pack of o rings and a spool of PTFE tape (pipe tape).
Also a very stable genius.
BigV is offline   Reply With Quote