Amatuer Radiator Replacement / Flush Radiator, Series 80 '98 (1 Viewer)

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Oct 16, 2014
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Needed to replace the main cooling radiator. Don't have any kind of manual, could not find an adequate article or You Tube video.
Main trick was the uppermost two connections that hold the radiator to the body sub frame. More on that follows...
Steps:
1) Forget draining the radiator at its flush valve. Saw no way to access the drain valve from under the car. Removing the bottom hose was the easiest way found.
2) Remove Battery and Battery Box.
3) Both lower radiator mounts are now visible, L shaped brackets with three nuts securing them. After removing the nuts it was possible to pry the brackets off.
4) Remove the Fan and Shroud as a unit. We used a pair of vice grips to hold the fan shaft flange. Once the shroud is out, you'll see the radiator drain valve for the first time. You'll now have access to the two smaller hoses at the bottom of the radiator. Have something ready to cap the metal tubes and plug the hoses, these lines are full of transmission fluid.
5) The two top mounts for the radiator are where, with my brother's generous blessing, we went gonzo. Inside the engine bay you'll see two rubber donuts held in by a shiny flat steel disc, these hold the top of the radiator in. You will wish there was a nut on a threaded fastener in place of that shiny disc. The threaded end is actually on the front side of the car, exposed to years of road spray and corrosion, but it gets worse. To reach these little darlings, you remove the front grill, headlight enclosures and parking lamps. This would allow you to see that access to the fastening nuts is still behind the oil cooling radiator and AC radiator. We decided this was nuts and took a power grinder equipped with a cutting wheel to the rubber donuts inside the engine bay. (Wear goggles, cutting wheels emit showers of hot metal sparks! You can also set a t-shirt on fire. Done it.) You are cutting through the rubber, then a metal bushing, then the shaft of the bolt that holds it all together. This took five minutes versus don't know how long doing it the proper way. We fastened the top mounts of the new radiator in with stainless steel wire, completely ignoring the original fastener holes and going with loosening one of the two heavy bolts that fasten the plastic radiator core to its vertical steel braces, (comes as part of the new radiator).
6) The only trick with the radiator install was realizing that it does not drop straight in. The bottom of the steel braces on the radiator are a little wider than the space the L shaped brackets occupy. You drop the radiator down a little behind where the L brackets go and then slide the bottom of the radiator forward, now the radiator is at its normal height and the L brackets fit right in place.
 

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