radiator blew apart
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HT4100 4.1, 4.5, 4.9 Discussion, radiator blew apart in Cadillac Engine Technical Discussion; Was drivng in triple digits temps for 2 hours heard what sounded like a water baloon hitting my car. I ...
  1. #1
    Hoss Melton is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Exclamation radiator blew apart

    Was drivng in triple digits temps for 2 hours heard what sounded like a water baloon hitting my car. I pulled over thinking that my hose blew only to find where the hose connects to the radiator on the top right side of the radiator the damn thing blew off the part that the hose attahes to and the radiator cracked. I can't believe that they would build a radiator with plastic. I plan on taking off the old radiator and replaceing it with a new myself and that is where I could use some help. Any tips, things to look out for, or other issues i should know about before starting this process? Thanks again for any help that can be offered.

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  3. #2
    adalla is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: radiator blew apart

    Quote Originally Posted by Hoss Melton
    Was drivng in triple digits temps for 2 hours heard what sounded like a water baloon hitting my car. I pulled over thinking that my hose blew only to find where the hose connects to the radiator on the top right side of the radiator the damn thing blew off the part that the hose attahes to and the radiator cracked. I can't believe that they would build a radiator with plastic. I plan on taking off the old radiator and replaceing it with a new myself and that is where I could use some help. Any tips, things to look out for, or other issues i should know about before starting this process? Thanks again for any help that can be offered.
    Yep, the both end tanks are plastic (the core is aluminum though). You do not need to replace whole thing, just order intake end tank from gmpartsdirect.com for some $30 plus S&H and replace it. I would recommend to replace the both end tanks while the radiator is out. They are notorious for developing cracks. The tanks will come with all the gaskets, so do not pay extra for gaskets. Good luck! If you decide to replace the tanks I'll try to guide you through - been there done that!

    In my car the upper radiator hose is inlet one. I am not familiar with 4.1 setup.

  4. #3
    Hoss Melton is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Exclamation Re: radiator blew apart

    When it blew I looked down the radiator and it didn't look like it was a component it looked like it was the radiator itself. Is there a place were I can view like a diagram of the engine? I don't want to replace the radiator if i don't have to but I don't know what an end cap is. Can you explain more? It sounds like I will need to take the radiator out to replace the end caps, correct? Will there be any specialty tools needed for this job? I just want as much informtion as possible before starting.

  5. #4
    adalla is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: radiator blew apart

    Quote Originally Posted by Hoss Melton
    When it blew I looked down the radiator and it didn't look like it was a component it looked like it was the radiator itself. Is there a place were I can view like a diagram of the engine? I don't want to replace the radiator if i don't have to but I don't know what an end cap is. Can you explain more? It sounds like I will need to take the radiator out to replace the end caps, correct? Will there be any specialty tools needed for this job? I just want as much informtion as possible before starting.
    There are no end caps... there are end tanks... The radiator consists of the central part (core) and two plastic end tanks attached to the core from both sides. Two radiator hoses and engine oil and transmission cooling lines are attached to the end tanks as well. Looks like this work is too much for you. You better to take the car to a radiator shop. There are cheap aftermarket radiators available.

  6. #5
    Hoss Melton is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Exclamation Re: radiator blew apart

    No, I think I can handle it. I'm taking caution asking dumb questions now to save my self time and money later. Have you replaced the end tanks before? I now this may seem like second nature I just want to do it right. The car is around 168 miles away from where I live so I can't afford to buy a part (radiator) if i don't need one. I would like to be able to fix the car and drive it home in 1 day. I don't see any problems with that. You never answered my question on specility tools. Also, should I change the thermastat and hoses in the process? Thanks again for bearing with me on this.

  7. #6
    adalla is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: radiator blew apart

    Quote Originally Posted by Hoss Melton
    No, I think I can handle it. I'm taking caution asking dumb questions now to save my self time and money later. Have you replaced the end tanks before? I now this may seem like second nature I just want to do it right. The car is around 168 miles away from where I live so I can't afford to buy a part (radiator) if i don't need one. I would like to be able to fix the car and drive it home in 1 day. I don't see any problems with that. You never answered my question on specility tools. Also, should I change the thermastat and hoses in the process? Thanks again for bearing with me on this.
    As I already mentioned I have areplaced the both tanks. You do not need any specialty tools. Wrenches to remove cooling lines, pliers, etc. The hardest part is removing the radiator. To remove the end tanks you should pry up clinch tabs with a srewdriver or a chisel. You should be careful to not brake the tabs. You do not need to replace the thermostat and hoses if they are ok. If you are serious about the work I can scan some pictures for you and email them to you.

  8. #7
    Hoss Melton is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: radiator blew apart

    Oh, I'm serious about the repair. That would be great if you could e-mail some pictures over to my e-mail account just as a point of reference. hosscmelton@yahoo.com Also, any other helpful hints would be great. How long do you think this repair will take?

  9. #8
    MicDaddy is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: radiator blew apart

    Is there anyway you can forward those pictures to me as well? I am in the middle of a coolant change and want to replace the t-stat too. breasticks@hotmail.com. Thanks.

  10. #9
    adalla is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: radiator blew apart

    Quote Originally Posted by MicDaddy
    Is there anyway you can forward those pictures to me as well? I am in the middle of a coolant change and want to replace the t-stat too. breasticks@hotmail.com. Thanks.
    Sorry, you are in wrong forum. This is for 4.9 motor and besides the pictures do not show the thermostat...

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