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1999 White Diamond ETC
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
So the radiator is not covered under warranty. The leak seems to come from below the upper hose (used a cooling system pressurizer)... still unclear as whether it may be the hose itself so I purchased a replacement.

I also purchased some of that putty that hardens (steel reinforced) and is good for 500 degrees. Any luck patching cracks?

My reservoir was almost empty and I never got a low coolant warning. Luckily I smelled the coolant while I was checking tire pressure and decided to check levels.

Any help is much appreciated-- my thought is patching that crack (if I can see it), when I replace the hose... possibly this weekend. In the meantime I purchased premix Dexcool but I hope I'm not killing cats, dogs and squirrels with my leak (relatively minor, only when system is under pressure).

Cliffs notes appreciated... experiences with this putty, etc... Thanks!

PS never overheated, never got that low... lucky me.

How much coolant will I lose when I replace the upper rad hose? (how much should I purchase, etc)
 

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13 Challenger RT, 11 CTS Coupe Premium, 94 Eldorado (RIP)
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What year is your car? Is it time for a drain and refill anyway?

As long as you change the hose with the engine cool like you should, you shouldn't lose any coolant from the upper hose. If any, it will be minimal.

I had a leak in the same place that you are talking about. I didn't try any type of patching, so I don't know how it will work for you. Good luck with the job and let us know how it goes.
 

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1999 White Diamond ETC
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Discussion Starter #3
Eldyfig said:
What year is your car? Is it time for a drain and refill anyway?
It's a 98, but I had it drained and re-filled 6 months ago (Dex and distilled complete with the bars leak golden powder).

I wonder if, when I remove the hose, I will have enough room to "see" the crack?

It would appear as if though the leak is at the bottom of the hose where it meets the radiator, but I can't see because the hose is in the way. with a handheld mirror I noticed that the barsleak begins below that point.

I guess I will find out. Thanks!
 

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13 Challenger RT, 11 CTS Coupe Premium, 94 Eldorado (RIP)
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You'll just need to top it off. Buy one gallon of pre-mix and that will be plenty. You will have some for standby. When the side tanks get cracks, they are tough to see. One way is to let the engine warm up to operating temp. When it is warm, raise the rpms and see if you can see the leak. I smelled mine for about 2 weeks before I found it. But like you say, it might be just the hose.
 

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or if it is like most other cars including my 94 sts, one of the plastic end tanks have cracked, you can replace just the end tanks, they are just crimped on, if that is the case.
 

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1999 White Diamond ETC
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Discussion Starter #6
jjbuckley said:
or if it is like most other cars including my 94 sts, one of the plastic end tanks have cracked, you can replace just the end tanks, they are just crimped on, if that is the case.
do I need any special tools for that? How much are the end-tanks, and where would I purchase?

Indeed, the leak is on the passenger side tank, somewhere below the upper rad hose.

I tried some Quiksteel putty (it's hard as a rock), but I think I missed the right spot (it's hard to tell where the leak is).

I'm going to go borrow a coolant system pressurizer from Autozone when I get off work, to pinpoint the leak, and try the Quicksteel again.

It's good for up to 500degrees Farenheit, sets in 15 mins, fully cures in 1 hr.. can allegedly be done underwater too. So it's the right stuff, hopefully.
 

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White Diamond '03 DHS (with DTS floor shift)
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Like I said per our phone conversation, the only tools you need to crimp the side tank I believe, is a screwdriver and pliers (after the radiator is removed of coarse). You can probably get the side tank from gmpartsdirect, maybe rockauto as well.
 

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1999 White Diamond ETC
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Discussion Starter #8
Scoreboard:

School of hard knocks: 1

mtflight: 0


So I get the cooling system pressurizer... I pump it up... and the leak is now in the back of the radiator (The front of the car).

I am able to remove one of the supports, to gain clearance... the crack is so bad... that it's always moist with coolant therefore making it impossible to put the Quiksteel on. I patched it anyway, and put it back together.

Either the leak was always in the back (I doubt it) or the radiator tank is cracking all over the place.

:(
 

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13 Challenger RT, 11 CTS Coupe Premium, 94 Eldorado (RIP)
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I didn't see end tanks on gmpartsdirect.

I am not sure what it will cost you to get the end tanks done or purchase one yourself, but I bought a new radiator from these guys just recently through ebay. I paid $138. Personally, that is the route I would take, versus just doing an end tank.

Automotive Radiator Exchange at 1-800 321-1532.

That is half of what the local parts stores want.
 

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White Diamond '03 DHS (with DTS floor shift)
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In the school of hard knocks, the test usually comes before the lesson and tuition is rather high. On the other hand, you rarely forget the lessons learned.
 

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2008 SRX-V8, 1991 Eldorado
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mtflight said:
Scoreboard:

School of hard knocks: 1

mtflight: 0


So I get the cooling system pressurizer... I pump it up... and the leak is now in the back of the radiator (The front of the car).

I am able to remove one of the supports, to gain clearance... the crack is so bad... that it's always moist with coolant therefore making it impossible to put the Quiksteel on. I patched it anyway, and put it back together.

Either the leak was always in the back (I doubt it) or the radiator tank is cracking all over the place.

:(
Just buy a new radiator and be done with it. Eldyfig provided a good source.
 

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STS
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My STS just started to leak in and around the same spot ( Passenger side upper under the hose ) How was to replace the radiator ? Thanks
 

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13 Challenger RT, 11 CTS Coupe Premium, 94 Eldorado (RIP)
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It isn't too hard of a job. IIRC, you will need to disable the air bag system and relocate the forward discriminating sensor. Ofcourse, take the cooling fans out, drain the sytem, remove the hoses.

Don't forget to add coolant supplement to the bottom radiator hose when you do your refill of green antifreeze.
 

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1999 White Diamond ETC
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Discussion Starter #14
rollman said:
My STS just started to leak in and around the same spot ( Passenger side upper under the hose ) How was to replace the radiator ? Thanks
Well honestly, I got someone to help me. It wasn't terribly difficult, with the exception of space restriction.

Here are the highlights:

1) remove the SIR fuse,

2) disconnect the negative battery cable

3) remove electric fans (I had to remove the upper trans cooler line first)

4) detach the brace (1 screw) that attaches the line to the AC condenser to the radiator

5) open radiator drain (lower driver side corner, facing engine)

6) remove oil cooler and transmission cooler lines

7) detach hoses

8) take radiator out, replace with new radiator

9) place 2 tubes of the Barsleak Golden powder or the 4 GM supplement tabs into lower hose

10) GOTO step 7 and progress backwards replacing "remove" with "attach" etc.

I used distilled water gallon containers, along with Prestone DexCool, premixing them.

After everything is reattached, check your transmission fluid for coolant (I read the cooler can crack internally and contaminate and kill tranny).

Idle engine with pressure tank open, when it reaches operating temperature, the thermostat will open and you will be able to add more coolant... raise the RPMS to 2000, 4 times in a row, re-check coolant level... put cap back on.... you're done.

Keep an eye on the coolant level when car is cold, a few times in the next following days, to be safe. DO NOT overtighten lines to coolers, since they are plastic, and can crack.

EDIT: I used Dex-Cool because my car came with factory DexCool, otherwise I would've used green.

I got lucky and found a New AC Delco radiator on eBay, for $88...wow :)
 

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STS
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Thanks for the information . Is the SIR fuse marked as such ? ( I"m guessing it's located in the fuse box in the engine compartment ) I saw the fan mounts at the top are there some at the bottom as well ? Are they excessable from the bottom of the car ? Thanks again .

Regards
Jerry
 

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It depends on how much money you have and how much work you want to do.
The tanks at a dealer are like 75 bucks a piece I think.
It's an easy job to do but it takes some time. All you need are some good screwdrivers, maybe a nice pry bar and a pair of channel locks or vice grips.
Rarely to the actual radiator cores fail. A new radiator is quick and easy.
Once the tanks start to crack, they are pretty much done for.

Don't try to fix this leak with Bars leaks or anything else, just fix the radiator.
GM seal tabs should be crushed and poured in the filler neck of the radiator, then just fill the cooling system. You can put them in a ziploc bag and beat them with a hammer, then just open the bag and pour them in.
If you have a 4.9, 4.5 or a 4.1 don't do anything to the cooling system without adding the seal tabs when you are done. Northstars don't need them so badly but you can put them in those also just for good measure.

Depending on the car usually the fans are held in with hooks on the bottom and bolts on the top. The connectors are a bear to get to but not too bad.
 

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Yeah I plan on putting in a new radiator , I don't want to mess around with repalcing the tank , it's just as easy to replace the entire thing and be done with it . BTW this is a 94 STS .
 

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It's a pretty easy job no matter how you slice it.
My helper did one in a '96 Deville Thursday and when I asked him if he had it out yet he looked at me funny and said, it's almost done!
 
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