: radiator replacement

05-20-04, 10:53 PM
Hey guys. Thanks for all your help so far. I had been have coolant level low messages about every three weeks. Today I found a crack in the plastic under the top hose outlet that was leaking very slowly. I have no manual but got the radiator out in about 1.5 hrs. The knew one will be here in the morning. Are there any step-by-step installation tips out there? How to prevent line leaks..etc. Thanks

05-21-04, 01:54 AM
Replace the O-Rings on the oil and (I think) trans lines. The fittings don't need to be "real" tight, just snug. No big deal really though as they are still acessible with everything assembled.

When you refill the cooling system use distlled water and coolant (same color as it had) 50/50 mix. As the engine comes up to operating temp rev the engine up to 3K RPM a few times to purge the system of air. I usually have to shut it down and massage the big hoses to work out the air. If it still won't purge you can crack the rad cap HALF open, this will usually do it. As you crack it it releases pressure and gets the coolant moving. Just be careful not to douse yourself with hot water.

Don't forget to add the cooling system sealant tabs to the lower rad hose. USE the Gm tablets (6) or Bars leaks Golden Seal powder (2) .75 oz. tubes.

Also check your water pump belt for correct tightness. Push on the tensioner several times to loosen it up and apply a few drops of lube to the pivot.

I would also replace the thermostat while it is down.

05-21-04, 03:53 PM
If you don't purge the air out it will not circulate through the rad correctly and send the temp gage to the right...... rather quickly....

Now ask me how I know this.....:hmm: (And probably Lawrence as well)

05-21-04, 05:47 PM
Thanks for the info guys. I got the new radiator in this morning. NO LEAKS. I did purge it and got a consistent 210 F in traffic today. Installation was a real bear. It would take lots of patience to be a full-time mechanic.

Hey, How the heck do you install a new water pump belt? I took the cover off today (95 STS) and couldn't figure it out.

05-21-04, 07:34 PM
Just push the little spring loaded tensioner to one side to release the load on the belt and slip it off the top pulley. Twist the belt sideways to work it past the water pump pulley.

Check that the tensioner moves freely. You should lube the pivot point of the tensioner and exercise it to make sure it is tensioning the belt correctly.