Looks like it's radiator time, no?

CloudCity

CloudCity

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I noticed a very small but near-constant stream of red coolant running from the passenger front yesterday after a short drive. Today I crawled under and found nothing leaking down below so inspected the top and the leak appears to be coming from the upper part of the radiator on that side, or looks that way anyway. Just making sure there's nothing else up there that could leak like this before I begin the radiator search/replacement/dig through threads to see what current availability is thing.
Pic 1: Green circle is the area shown in Vid 1
Vid 1: Shows coolant leaking
Vid 2: Shows area from the top of the radiator looking down with foam buffer removed for better view

IMG 0277


Vid 1:

Vid 2:
 
hoser

hoser

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I don't know how old your radiator is but the upper end tank plastic looks pretty good from the videos. Sometimes the seal shrinks and leaks over time. If this is the problem, a radiator shop could tighten down the upper end cap. It involves applying pressure to the cap and tightening the notches... and then pressure testing. If the plastic end cap is indeed cracked, you'll have to replace the radiator. At one time, Toyota did sell the end caps separately but not any more.



There's a chance you might even be able to crimp it down while the radiator is still on the vehicle with hand tools. Would have to get creative with putting pressure/weight on top while bottom is supported.

 
CloudCity

CloudCity

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I don't know how old your radiator is but the upper end tank plastic looks pretty good from the videos. Sometimes the seal shrinks and leaks over time. If this is the problem, a radiator shop could tighten down the upper end cap. It involves applying pressure to the cap and tightening the notches... and then pressure testing. If the plastic end cap is indeed cracked, you'll have to replace the radiator. At one time, Toyota did sell the end caps separately but not any more.



There's a chance you might even be able to crimp it down while the radiator is still on the vehicle with hand tools. Would have to get creative with putting pressure/weight on top while bottom is supported.
I also think the plastic still looks good, no brown or discoloration at all. I don't see on PO's repair list that he had done the radiator before so it could be original, which means it has 250k miles on it, so really I can't say if it's ever been replaced. I have never heard that before about the seal leaking, seems worth a shot to try to have it re-crimped when I have it out (seems it must be out to get proper access rather than, say, pressing down with a flathead screwdriver or similar on the tabs) and if it doesn't work then go the replacement radiator route. Thanks for your advice.
 
abuck99

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You can buy aftermarket “tanks” and seals for about $25 per end. The challenge is getting them recrimped securely. IMO not worth the time and effort to repair a plastic tank radiator. New aftermarket under $200 and your good for another 10yrs
 
hoser

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@abuck99 after I took apart my 20 yr old radiator, I was thinking the opposite. If I could get aluminum tanks too weld on, I would do it. Cut off all the tabs.

Take a look. No visible corrosion. Looks new inside.

 
abuck99

abuck99

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@abuck99 after I took apart my 20 yr old radiator, I was thinking the opposite. If I could get aluminum tanks too weld on, I would do it. Cut off all the tabs.

Take a look. No visible corrosion. Looks new inside.

Pretty darn clean inside-at the top, any build up would propagate towards the bottom rows, that said your lower tank looks pretty clean. You must have taken pretty good care of the cooling system over time.

The condition of outside the cooling passages is what I’m mostly concerned with-they wear and develop pin holes: this is depending on your environment: salty- sandy and if you regularly spray out the radiator core (externally) or not.

Most people do none that PM which warrants simply replacing. My $.02 anyway
 
2001LC

2001LC

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I've seen these leaks from under top foam dam a few times. Remove the foam and you'll likely see the crack. Age, excess heat, air in system and excess pressure.

Flush, Rad, CAP, thermostat, upper/lower hoses & tees, Toy coolant is my standard. ALL OEM!

If system looks like it may have contaminated or build ups. I do a chemical flush with BG flush first thing, than triple distilled water flush. If 04 up (pink coolant). I only chemical flush if I really must.

IMHO It's not worth shop time to rebuild these anymore! But, DIY perhaps it is. May be fun and rewarding of job well done!!

Core can be taken to a radiator shop. Which will boil in a tank of solution cleaning internal, and then they soldier leaks. I took radiators to these shops, for most of my life, up to about 20 years ago. Cost was usually less than $100 of all metal rads. But hard to find rad shop still open these days, as most have closed, due to cheap Chinese made junk and raising labor cost.

Personally I stopped even recommending anything but NEW OEM. Shop time to deal with swapping and glueing foam, eats into cost saving of aftermarket. Better put money into new OEM part. Also I stopped using aftermarket, as most aftermarket have fitment issues. Some alignment with bolts holes and most weep at lower OEM radiator hose & clamp. Which then takes some custom work and or aftermarket hose and or clamp. A rabbit hole I just don't like going down with clients.

IMHO the life of factory radiator is very dependent on proper maintenance. I've one lasted for 20 yrs/360K miles. Which I bet it could have made 25 yrs/1 million miles, had it & coolant system been perfectly maintained by the book.

So when you consider a well maintained rig, could get 25yr/1 million miles. ~$500 OEM = $20 per yr/$.0005 per mile, just isn't that much.

I've about a dozen core's here now of 100 & 200 series. Thinking, "hey one day perhaps I'll rebuild them". But what will happen; I'll load them up and take to recycler when run out of room to store (like now).
 
CloudCity

CloudCity

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I think when I really consider my comfort level I will go ahead and replace with a new OEM unit. If I crimped it I would always have a concern it would leak or develop new leaks and leave me stranded, and these rigs are worth the money I think because the parts do last so long.
 

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