Radiator leak?

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May 15, 2016
Colorado Springs
Hey gents, I am a 100 series owner but I am taking a look at my mom's GX before we road trip to CO from WA. I am trying to familiarize myself with the systems in this rig so I can do a bunch of maintenance for her. Looking underneath, there appears to be a radiator leak? I am assuming this isn't a normal thing, question is if I should be concerned or not. Coolant level appears to be normal. Thanks in advance

I think you're spot on about it being a radiator leak. I'd replace the radiator if i were about to drive it from CO to WA.
Not normal, but common. Radiator replacement isn't super difficult on these trucks. Hardest part is getting a good replacement radiator without paying dealer prices. Probably should flush the coolant while you're at it.
I had the same problem with pink stains on edges of radiator. I didn’t want to risk it on a trip to Utah so I had it replaced.

I just replaced everything since it was time. I got the oem Denso radiator 221-3125 for$165 on Amazon, aisin water pump kit TKT-021 with gasket, timing belt, tensioner for $185 on Amazon
:frown:Also finding out that parts are not as friendly in the GX and 4 Runner as they are in the LX and Land Cruiser
:frown:Also finding out that parts are not as friendly in the GX and 4 Runner as they are in the LX and Land Cruiser

A Denso radiator for the GX is $146 on RockAuto. An LX radiator is $148. The timing belt kits should be identical.
A Denso radiator for the GX is $146 on RockAuto. An LX radiator is $148. The timing belt kits should be identical.
Sorry, meant compatibility between the two. For some reason 4Runner radiators aren’t the same part #?
I have Amazon Prime, so shipping was free. RockAuto.com charges me shipping. Price was a wash between the two. It looks like both places are $155 shipped to me.

I've only put about 2K miles on the new Denso radiator and it's been flawless, but again it's only 2K miles. I did replace everything including thermostat, cap, upper and lower radiator hoses, drive belt, timing belt, water pump, water pump gasket, and tensioner. I'm still running Toyota pink coolant.

Death Valley here I come!
Realistically I am not going to be able to change it before the trip. Have there been many cases of these radiators exploding from tiny leaks? Or should I be good getting a gallon of coolant and watching the temperature?
I actually went on a couple of offroading runs to Joshua Tree and Big Bear plus a trip to Utah (all departing from Los Angeles) with the radiator leak prior to replacing. Nothing happened to me and the coolant temp was good. The coolant level didn't change much and it stayed within range in the reservoir.

I did notice that my pink leak was crusted and it seemed like the crust got a little thicker, but I made it fine. I can't say how bad it deteriorates once theres a leak, but I drove long trips (up to 10 hours straight) without any issues. My mechanic told me not to remove the crust since it acted as a plug. He said just to leave it alone until I replaced the radiator.

I can't predict what's going to happen to you, but if you can't change it...then just take some coolant and distilled water as a precaution.
I put in the CSF 3150 a few months back. $126 on Amazon with free (Prime) shipping. Good aluminum radiator and easy install
I did order a Denso radiator from Amazon after one week what I received was damaged and dented with a clear cut cross the top. I guess I am going to order one from auto zone at least I can inspect it right there and then so I do not have to wait for next one .I have to say I do not understand why there is clear cut cross the top of radiator .
I’ve been fortunate that all my parts from Amazon have been perfect. I’ve ordered radiator, alternator, water pump kit, front rotors, spark plugs, o2 sensors, etc. This is just for gx470.

I’ve ordered similar parts for my 80 and LS460 and no issues. You just got unlucky.

Also, I try to look for items fulfilled by amazon since they have better quality control than some of the 3rd party vendors who ship themselves.
I've heard of this before, on RX330 radiators (which are also highly prone to leaking just like the GX). Google can tell you much more than I can, but I recall hearing a hypothesis that the aftermarket radiators were being manufactured with the cut across the top for a specific purpose. Don't recall what it was, but the bottom line is that the cut across the top is likely a "feature" rather than a defect. Lexus replacement rads don't have the cut though.

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