Radiator Replacement or Fix?

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Feb 5, 2009
Well , after 205k miles, the radiator on our 1999 LC had developed a small leak in the hard plastic top piece right around the radiator filler neck. There is a hairline crack in the plastic. As a temporary fix last night, i put some JB Weld over the crack. no luck, still leaking. I probably didn't rough up the area around the crack well enough. I priced a replacement radiator with a local radiator shop that has worked on our Land Rovers. $300 installed. The dealer wants about $450, just for the radiator. The radiator shop told me that they can change out just the top plastic section and keep the rest of the radiator. Has anyone done that type of repair? I really don't want to do it if it will just mean that we will be back in there doing another fix in 12 months? I have read that everyone has recommended only using the oem radiator. Why, are they really that much better? . I look forward to your comments and recommendations. Phil
You might try the marine type waterproof epoxy 2-part putty. I was faced with having to buy an OEM radiator recently (long story you don't want to know :rolleyes:)...but the above epoxy came through for me.

If I had to buy one it would be an OEM from Onur at American Toyota with our MUD discount.
x2 what Dan said. On our Southern Utah trip 2 years ago, I put my fan blade through my radiator in the 80 and used "Waterweld" that TrickyT had in his stash to field repair the radiator. I was able to continue the rest of the trip and in fact used that radiator for another 1.5 years before replacing it.

That radiator sits as a spare.

And, I carry "Waterweld" with me now.

Epoxy is only a tempory fix. It expands at a different rate than the material it is attached to when heated and eventually will come loose.

There are as many levels of qualities of radiators as I have fingers and toes. OEM is a safe bet. You could also probably find a comparable quailty one for less money. On the other hand, you could find one for less money that wouldn't last two years.

I'm not sure that helps much, but just wanted you to be aware of quality variations across manufacturers.
Hey ljlc,
What did you end up doing about the cracked radiator?

I'm in a similar boat and I'm torn between repairing it or replacing it with a new Toyota radiator.
fwiw, if the radiator shop's fix was legit and cheap enough I'd consider it. If reliability were more important than cost I'd go new oem. If you are able/willing to do it yourself you'll obviously save $.
If you do go to the trouble of having it replaced, I'd personally go all out for new and not have to think about it again.

If cost is a major factor but you want oem here are a couple other options:
- sor.com has a 100 series radiator for $300 on their clearance site and since it's been in clearance forever you can "make an offer" say 150 and they may take the offer but sale is final. I did that for another item off their site and got the item super cheap and it was worth it to me.
- cruiserparts.net has 'used' oem radiators as well.

I don't know whether used/old stock oem is better than new non-oem. Just throwing out some other options. Wonder if there are any known aftermarket radiators that cruiserheads use - may be worth calling around to see if any cruiser shops have an aftermarket option they trust.
I plan on keeping so I am leaning towards replacement. There's quite a range out there from $630 at the local dealer to $303 at NAPA . There's bound to be a difference in these two right? I wish I could see them before I order...
LTrain0800 said:
I wish I could see them before I order...

This is america the great - why not order both and return the one you dont like? as long as you dont install and confirm u can return with no (or little) restocking fee :)

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