radiator replacement?
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Northstar Engines and System Technical Discussion Discussion, radiator replacement? in Cadillac Engine Technical Discussion; Hey all. We just had some bad rain for 3 days in my area.. and we had some huge puddles ...
  1. #1
    hankk17 is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    radiator replacement?

    Hey all. We just had some bad rain for 3 days in my area.. and we had some huge puddles hiding some deeeep potholes.

    I found one in my 99 Eldo on the way home.. I bottomed the car out, blew my passenger side tire and just found out today I evidently ruined the radiator. It's now steaming from the core.

    I've located a autoparts store (an AC/Delco dealer) who will sell me a new one - but reading the Helm manual indicates that I have to disable the SIR system before actually taking out the radiator...

    my question is - is this absolutely neccessary? I only see one sensor in FRONT of the radiator and from what it looks like to me, I'll be taking the radiator out from the back side, never touching the sensor at all.

    Also, I'm assuming that this would also be an appropriate time to do a thermostat, yes?

    Thanks all!

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    hankk17 is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: radiator replacement?

    Also, will disconnecting the battery disable the SIR system?

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    Lawrence's Avatar
    Lawrence is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: radiator replacement?

    Quote Originally Posted by hankk17
    Hey all. We just had some bad rain for 3 days in my area.. and we had some huge puddles hiding some deeeep potholes.

    I found one in my 99 Eldo on the way home.. I bottomed the car out, blew my passenger side tire and just found out today I evidently ruined the radiator. It's now steaming from the core.

    I've located a autoparts store (an AC/Delco dealer) who will sell me a new one - but reading the Helm manual indicates that I have to disable the SIR system before actually taking out the radiator...

    my question is - is this absolutely neccessary? I only see one sensor in FRONT of the radiator and from what it looks like to me, I'll be taking the radiator out from the back side, never touching the sensor at all.

    Also, I'm assuming that this would also be an appropriate time to do a thermostat, yes?

    Thanks all!
    I don't know if a 94 STS is the same or not, but sounds like it is.

    The sensor in front of the rad/condensor is the outside air temp sensor.

    The airbag sensor is top center on the core suppport just above/behind the radiator.

    I disconnected the battery, removed the bolts and set it out of the way, wiring intact.

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    hankk17 is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: radiator replacement?

    and when you reconnected the battery no airbags deployed, right?

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    Lawrence's Avatar
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    Re: radiator replacement?

    Right, face is still as pretty as a picture.

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    hankk17 is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: radiator replacement?

    Glad to hear it! thanks, I'll report back when I finish the job.

    Also, I keep reading that you need to put in silicate tablets of some sort when you replace the anti-freeze. my AC-Delco parts guy had no idea what I was talking about..

    Am I brain-damaged, or did I not read about that stuff here..?

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    Lawrence's Avatar
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    Re: radiator replacement?

    Not silicates. That is what is in the green anti-freze. Don't get that stuff anywhere near your car.

    You want GM PN 1#3634621, "Cooling System Seal Tabs". Put all 6 into the lower rad hose (at thermostat). Use only distilled water and Dexcool. I use Havoline (Texaco) as it is the OEM fill.

    I understand Bars leaks makes an equal product. I have seen them on the shelve of local auto parts stores. Look for the very large pellts, as big around as a quarter.

    Personally I like the GM stuff, about $6.00

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    Re: radiator replacement?

    BTW, make sure you purge the system by hand before your start the engine and at engine startup (be carefull of the fans, belts, pulleys). With the cap off squeeze the large rad hoses repeatedly (both hands to displace as much as possible), to help work the air pockets out. Start the motor, repeat. And watch the temp gauge. You'll "hear" the system fill with coolant as you work the hoses. Be sure to get the cap on as soon as you feel the you've got the air out. Then watch the temp and if it gets even a little too hot, shut it down, CAREFULLY bleed the pressure from the cap, remove the cap, then work the hoses some more. This usally does it.

    I have filled my system from empty several times and always have a hard time getting it to bleed off, inspite of the fact that the purge hoses is open. Just make sure your coolant is circulating before you finsh up. After that the purge hoses takes care of the rest.

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    Re: radiator replacement?

    Hi your in luck I just did this job 2 days ago. Not as easy as it looks but not that really bad either. The fans have to be carefully removed and to tell it like it is the condenser should be freed up from its mounting points also. However if you're careful and don't mind a scraped knuckle (or ten) its not necessary. I would replace the lower hose(at least)while your in there. Make sure you can find one first though,no one stocks N Star stuff like they should around N/East PA anyway. PURGE THE AIR FROM THE SYSTEM AFTER THE INSTALL!!! Add Gm coolant tabs and check the level cold the next day. By the way I paid 140 plus 15 dollars shipping from a radiator place in detroit. Local was 300 plus from the dealer and 240 from a bargain auto parts store. Labor was 145-160 quoted by caddy dealer here. Could have been a 450-500 dollar job at dealer prices with parts. I spent about 175 with coolant and tabs total.

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    hankk17 is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: radiator replacement?

    I got mine for $240.. and did actually get the top&bottom hoses, a new thermostat and a new water pump belt. I have the Dexcool stuff but like I said, no tablets. I'll have to swing by a dealer during the week to get some.

    This bleeding of the system has me a little worried.. I'm used to the old method - fill the radiator and turn the car over. Let it run until the thermostat opens.. refill as the water gets sucked into the engine and wait until it happens again. Each time the level gets higher until you're done.

    but I'll squeeze the hoses and see how I do with that..

    oh, and yes - I have distilled water.

    One other thing I forgot to mention. my daytime running lights are now stuck on.. I haven't checked the system for codes yet - I wanted to get the radiator out of my hair first...

    However, anyone have any preliminary thoughts on this one? It must be a result of the bottoming out, because prior to that they were fine..

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    Lawrence's Avatar
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    Re: radiator replacement?

    Not to worry. You'll know if it's bled out or not. When the temp gets to about 200 feel the long rad hose on top to see if it is hot. If it is hot, it is bled. If it is not hot, it has an air pocket. Turn it off, pull the cap (again, carefully), and try to work it out.

    Don't know about the Day Lights. You might try pulling the cover from the Driver side fender well and spraying everything there with WD-40 to try and remove any moisture that may have gotten in there. If you have shop air, that will help too. As far as a specific place to look there, you'll need to refer to the shop manual.

    Maybe someone here can help with that. The Daytime running light relay, fuse, etc. Is it at the engine compartment electric center?

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    WillGlueIt is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: radiator replacement?

    I was at the local NAPA store last weekend picking up a few things I needed to finish an upper intake job on 95 Bonneville. I bought a package of Bar's Leak HDC tablets (samething as the GM coolant supplement). The package of six tablets was $2.19, thats about 1/2 of what the GM tablets sell for.

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    JimD is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: radiator replacement?

    Quote Originally Posted by WillGlueIt
    I was at the local NAPA store last weekend picking up a few things I needed to finish an upper intake job on 95 Bonneville. I bought a package of Bar's Leak HDC tablets (samething as the GM coolant supplement). The package of six tablets was $2.19, thats about 1/2 of what the GM tablets sell for.
    Exactly on the money. And Wal-Mart, Pep Boys and others usually carry the "G12BP" product (powder form).

    http://www.barsproducts.com/origin.html

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    hankk17 is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: radiator replacement?

    OK, radiator replacement: SUCCESS! I even followed the suggested method of massaging the top hose which worked great.

    I also found my daytime running lights problem - bad relay.

    My last question though is this - the stuff that BAR'S sells and the GM tablets are a leak-stop material.. I have no leaks, especially on the new radiator with new hoses. Why would I need to put this stuff in?

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    RLLOVETT is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: radiator replacement?

    Here is a lengthy and fascinating thread that should hip you to all things coolant...http://www.cadillacforums.com/forums...ead.php?t=9238

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