Radiator Installation Instructions
The replacement radiator is installed by following the basic steps listed below. Please keep in mind that the radiator installations vary somewhat from car to car, and that the following is intended only as a guide. For installation instructions specific for your vehicle with illustrated diagnosis and repair procedures, CLICK HERE
The basic tools required for the typical installation of your new radiator are a screwdriver, a set of open-end wrenches and a pair of pliers. We highly recommend that you replace your radiator hoses, hose clamps, thermostat and radiator cap.
CAUTION: NEVER REMOVE THE PRESSURE CAP WHILE THE ENGINE AND COOLANT ARE STILL HOT. ONCE THE ENGINE HAS COOLED REMOVE THE CAP SLOWLY!!
Slowly remove the pressure cap and save for later use, or better yet, purchase a new pressure cap designed specifically for your vehicle.
Drain the coolant from the system through the drain cock, if so equipped, or by removal of the bottom radiator hose. Replace the coolant with new coolant to protect your new radiator. Normal coolant replacement should be every (2) years. Be sure to discard used coolant in a safe manner and according to government disposal regulations. Failure to use the proper new coolant can void your warranty.
If the radiator has a transmission and/or an engine oil cooler, use a line wrench to disconnect the lines from the radiator tanks. IMPORTANT!! Before disconnecting any oil cooler lines be sure to identify where these line are connected and mark them, so they can be re-connected properly to the new radiator. Care should be taken to avoid stripping the fittings or kinking the transmission or engine oil cooler fluid lines. To avoid fluid loss, block the ends of the lines after removing them from the radiator fittings.
Remove the upper mounting panel and associated sheet metal.
Remove the fan shroud or electric fan assembly screws and remove the part, or slide it back away from the radiator far enough to permit removal of the radiator.
Disconnect the radiator inlet and outlet hoses, and heater bypass hose (if so equipped) from the radiator hose fittings. Check for brittle or deteriorated hoses. New hoses, clamps, and thermostat are strongly recommended.
Remove any sensor fittings attached to the radiator tanks, noting the exact location so that proper replacement can be made with the new radiator.
Remove the top mounting insulators, or the bolts from the radiator mounting brackets, if so equipped.
Remove the radiator assembly from the vehicle. NOTE: The installation of some high capacity replacement radiators may require trimming of the rubber mounting insulators to facilitate installation.
Reverse this procedure for the installation of the new radiator. Start to thread transmission or engine oil cooler lines into the cooler fittings carefully by hand to avoid stripping threads. NOTE: As a tip, it is often better to leave the mounting bolts loose until all the hoses and lines are connected. Improper installation (cross threading) of the oil cooler lines that results in stripping of the internal threads will void the manufacturer’s warranty Tighten the fittings with a line wrench. Be sure to connect all the lines to their proper location in the radiator tanks and tighten securely. Carefully retighten any connections as required: NOTE: Avoid over-torquing the drain plug; only hand tighten. Do Not use any tools to tighten the plug as damage to the threads will result. With the engine idling, recheck the automatic transmission fluid level.
Fill the system with a new 50/50 solution of the proper coolant and deionized or distilled water as recommended by the vehicle manufacturer. Coolant pre-mixes may also be used. Be sure to replace your coolant with the same kind that was removed (refer to your owner’s manual to identify the coolant used in your vehicle). Replace the pressure cap. Start engine and check for leaks.
After the engine has idled long enough to open the thermostat (engine should reach it’s normal operating temperature), turn the engine off. Make sure the cooling system has cooled down before slowly removing the pressure cap to check the coolant level: add the 50/50 mix or pre-mix as needed to bring the coolant level to the bottom of the fill neck or to the appropriate level in the overflow tank. Replace the pressure cap.
Check the coolant recovery reservoir the next few times you drive the vehicle, and, if necessary, add enough coolant mix to bring it up to the proper level.