I thought i would write up a DIY radiator removal and installation for you people. alot a rads are pretty straight forward, some are a little more complex. also writing this DIY to inform people and the proper way to add coolant to your car once you've got everything back together.
some of you may know some of you may not but a few weeks ago I cracked my rad due to my own stupidity. i was plastidipping my front GTR emblem and in order to remove it i had to push down on a clip with a knife. anyways i left the knife on top of the rad cap and closed my hood. next thing you know within 24hrs i was leaking coolant because the knife pushed the rad cap down and cracked the neck of the rad.
the goop all over my rad is PL premium. its a gnarly epoxy we use to glue rocks together so i figured it would hold the coolant in for the time being untill i got my new rad.
so on to the DIY.
First things first, gather everything you need. nothing worst then being disorganized. gather all your tools and fluids.(coolant) make sure you have the correct coolant (long life, dexicool, the green stuff) also dont be foolish and buy premixed coolant its almost the same price as straight coolant for half the amount. it doesnt take a rocket scientist to mix coolant 60% coolant 40% water.
once youve got all that now its time for removal of the rad.
i can not stress enough MAKE SURE YOUR CAR HAS COOLED DOWN!!!!
if your car is hot and you crack that rad cap say hello to coolant all over you face and possibly burns.
touch your rad and upper rad hose. check to see if the rad hose is still pressurized and if the rad is hot. if not the you should bee good to go.
okay so what you wanna do jack you car up in the front. this will help you retain some coolant in your engine and make it easier to get under the vehicle. once shes jacked up pop your rad cap off, then crawl under your car and drain the coolant. there a two methods to draining your coolant. first ways is the clean but slow way. on most vehicles your rad will have a drain plug on the bottom. remove it and the coolant will drain. method number two is way fast but chances are youre going to get messy. this consists of pulling the lower rad hose from the rad. or get a kind friend like i did to take it in the face for you
i heart you steve
next once your coolant has drain remove the upper rad hose and drain the leftovers out of the
once youve done that then you can start to examine how your rad will need to come out. mine was pretty simple.
remove the bushings at the top of the front rail.
once those are out your rad should be free. if not check the bottom to the rad. sometimes they are bolted at the bottom.
once the rad is free you may have enough clearence between you rad, fan shroud and fan to just pull the rad out. if not, well then you have to remove the fan like i did
my fan was quite easy to remove. there where four small nuts holding it to the fan pully. loosened the four nuts and with a little wiggle she can off.
some fans have a big bolt on the front and youll need to put a braker bar and socket on the crank pully bolt to stop the engine from turning while you loosen the bold on the front of your fan
now that the fan is free you should be able to pull it all out in once piece.
once the rad is out swap all your parts over to the new rad.
once all parts have been swaped, put it all back in and just reverse your process. make sure everything is tightened to spec.
after everything is all hooked up again (upper, lower rad hose, fan, any wires and plugs that were removed) you can start adding your coolant.
this is where i want to focus on. any joe blow can fill a rad up, but when you lose that amount of coolant and just think you can re add it your wrong.
you will get air bubbles in the coolant and it can lead to future problem. not to mention over heating and no heat.
what i used to bleed my system of air is a special coolant funnel that has a rad cap attachment on it.
this makes bleeding your system very easy.
if you can get one or borrow one i suggest it.
to bleed the system your going to fill your rad up with this funnel on till the funnel is about half way full. then go start your car and make sure your heat is off!
your going to let your car run till it gets to operating temp and your thermostat opens. during this process you should see the coolant in the funnel bubble. this is just the air being pushed out. once the car is up to temp and the thermostat is open you will see a fair amount of bubbles and the coolant go down a bit in the funnel. your going to leave it there till you dont see any bubbles at all coming out for a good solid 15 mins i would say. once you dont see any bubbles turn your heat on. this will open your heater core and allow coolant to go threw and push any air out of the heater core. keep the funnel till you see no bubbles. BUBBLES ARE NO GOOD. if you keep getting bubbles that could mean you have bigger issues or you just didnt tighten a hose enough and air is getting in.
once the bubbles are done put the little plunger in the funnle
remove the funnle and place the rad cap back on your rad and pour the rest of the coolant in the funnle in your coolant reservoir if need be. if not them put it back in the jug.
wash all coolant off of your car and you and the street. animals will drink it. its sweet to the taste and it will cause them harm so make sure you wash it good.
there is another way to bleed the air from the coolant system and thats with a coolant system bleeder screw which is usually located close to the thermostat. im not going to get into that. you can google it.
but there you have it. hope that was informative. if you have questions feel free to ask.