: Has anyone replaced their radiator themselves?



Lyn Labahn
02-09-07, 09:24 AM
Well, I am getting stick of topping off the coolant tank in my 04 V. I haven't closely inspected all of the lines in the coolant system, but I am pretty sure it is the classic defective radiator. Since I am out of warranty, I am looking into replacing the radiator myself. The radiator is about $180 bucks on GM parts direct, then I would just need to pay for coolant and water. Has anyone attempted it themselves?

On the radiator TSB, it says that the shop hours for the operation are 1.3 hours. This is for a professional mechanic, so I am hoping that if I have the right tools I should be able to accomplish it in 3 to 4 hours.

If I do it myself, would anyone be interested in my documenting the procedure I take?

rand49er
02-09-07, 09:41 AM
... If I do it myself, would anyone be interested in my documenting the procedure I take?Heck yeah!

Just FYI, I don't know if it'll be necessary, but there's a very recent thread (I couldn't find it just now) on removing the front fascia that might be of some assistance.

heavymetals
02-09-07, 11:44 AM
Look at the old maggie install threads or go the the FAQ's and find the maggie install procedure..
It covers the radiator removal.

NoSlackCadillac
02-09-07, 02:43 PM
If you have a set of metric wrenches/sockets and a pair of channel locks to remove the hose clamps, you are good on tools. I would recommend a nice 5 gallon drain pan to catch the coolant.

Three to four hours is plenty of time.

ZEUSROTTY
02-09-07, 02:53 PM
its soooooooo easy... 4 bolts and some hoses...1 hour at te most...

Redline CTS-V
02-10-07, 07:40 PM
Here's the service procedure from the shop manual... Make sure you get the updated part number when ordering the radiator - 19129908.

Lyn Labahn
02-11-07, 10:41 AM
Redline, thank you very much for that document. Do you have an electronic version of the service manual?

The only part that I am confused on is the push pins for the side seal. I assume these are little plastic fasteners that press in to hold a plastic shroud on the edges. Does anyone know?

Redline CTS-V
02-11-07, 11:46 AM
Redline, thank you very much for that document. Do you have an electronic version of the service manual?something like that... :D


The only part that I am confused on is the push pins for the side seal. I assume these are little plastic fasteners that press in to hold a plastic shroud on the edges. Does anyone know?
Yes, those are plastic fasteners, no big deal...

rand49er
02-11-07, 12:12 PM
Redline, thank you very much for that document. Do you have an electronic version of the service manual?

The only part that I am confused on is the push pins for the side seal. I assume these are little plastic fasteners that press in to hold a plastic shroud on the edges. Does anyone know?Mechanically, they amount to a center pin with a head on it. You pry that center pin out about a half inch or so which collapses the split sleeve portion still inside the hole at which point you can remove (pry) the whole thing out. The car is chocked full of 'em.

Z06-PWRD
02-11-07, 12:46 PM
you can also go to magnachargers website for the CTS-V install. You have to pull the radiator to install the supercharger. The radiator swap is not hard at all. The hardest part is supporting the front facia while you disconnect it from the rest of the body. I removed my front wheels so that I could get to facia bolts eaiser, they are tucked under the fender pretty good. The rest of the fasteners are the black pop up plastic style. The radiator itself will come right out after you disconect all the hoses and bolts. You have to put some pretty good presure pulling the radiator out because there is two snap in slots that it wedges into at the bottom. Good luck

Lyn Labahn
02-11-07, 01:53 PM
From the look of the instructions that Redline posted, it appears that you can remove the radiator with the fascia on, I am hoping that is the case.

heavymetals
02-11-07, 02:00 PM
It is not that big of a deal to remove the facia.

You are gonna hate life if you leave it on and scrape it putting the new radiator in.

ewill3rd
02-11-07, 03:11 PM
On tip I might offer is, make sure to remove the serpentine belt.
GM belts don't like Dex cool.
If you get a considerable amount of coolant on the belt it usually ends up making all kinds of racket for the rest of it's life. I take them off to avoid such a circumstance.

Remove the lower hose from the radiator with a catch pan under it to drain the coolant then come back up to the top to work.
You can get the fans out without having to remove the T-stat housing but it is harder. The t-stat housing is 2 bolts, one is kind of hard to reach.
The clips that hold the air shrouds on the radiator can be a pain, a long pry tool usually works nicely to pull them out and put them back in.
The GM radiator comes with new shrouds, but I rarely replace them unless they are really torn up because it is a nuisance.

We have done several and I would say that it shouldn't take you more than probably 2 hours depending on what kinds of mods you may have.

1QUICKV
02-11-07, 08:30 PM
i took mine to the dealer and a month later it began again, so i took it out at my shop and clamped the radiator back where it was leaking. 2 hrs. Its working for now but it will go again due to the cold and hi- PRM'S. The hardest part was the push pins that hold a shield of plastic to the radiator. So that the wind go's into the radiator, rather then the body of the car. And you WILL CUT YOUR HANDS UP alittle.