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08/24/2005

  Replacing Radiator

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Changing the Radiator

I had started to get a small pool of coolant on the garage floor every night, after the car had been left standing, although the amount was very small I was concerned as the car had always been dry in every respect. Further investigation revealed that the front of the radiator had sustained some damage on the last row of fins and was starting to bulge.

I priced the item at Ford Main dealership (Ouch) and decided that there must be a cheaper option, and enquiries with my local Motor Factor gave me a price of 145 plus Vat but as I was regular customer I got it a trade price of 87plus the vat, not bad considering the Ford one was in the region of 300+ .

I was not however looking forward to crawling under my car yet again, having reached an age where this did not seem like a good idea,  but having it was relatively simple job! Or so I thought. The 12v is Not especially mentioned, but the V6 was, so that was the instruction I printed out and started to follow... I put the car up on my ramps and put a large plastic sheet underneath to protect the drive way from any oil spills.

 

I removed the under tray and then drained the coolant into a suitable container, I took the old coolant (changed last year, to my local waste disposal place) Disconnected the top and bottom hoses and with it being an automatic the oil cooler pipes which run into the right (Nearside) part of the radiator taking care to catch the small spillage of ATF.as it ran out, also making a mental note of the state of the ATF fluid and its associated colour (Not too bad considering 96K and 9years old).

I disconnected the temperature sensor for the fans from the side of the radiator and the two plugs to the fans, tying the wiring out of harms way.

I removed the small 10mm nuts which hold the radiator fans and the shroud in pace and unclipped  the bottom hose from the clips ( This hose on the 12v runs right across the bottom of the radiator and into the header tank.) () the Fans and the shroud were now carefully be removed through the top.

The radiator is held in place by two bolts (one either side) in rubber mounts. these a were carefully removed and the radiator was now loose and could be removed... or so the instructions stated.. I could not however get the radiator out either through the bottom or the top. It was a  physical impossibility . Further examination revealed that removal of the two oil coolers at the front of the engine, solved the dilemma. Allowing them to drop out of the way, permitted the radiator to be removed from under the car, which is why you will see that the car was left on the ramps, as sufficient clearance is required. 

With the radiator removed I now transferred the temperature sender unit to the new one and then proceeded to refit the radiator. I did however come across one further small problem which require the trimming of the  bottom two rubber mounts so that they fitted inside the lugs of the new radiator mounting. Junior hacksaw solved that one.

All that done. It was only a question of reconnecting all the pipes and hoses onto the new radiator, after carefully checking for splits etc.

 I had replaced the hoses a short time ago and they still looked in good order, were still soft and pliable, I decided that I would NOT replace them  this time ( More money saved). I also decided that replacing the thermostat was also not required as this had been done less that 12months ago, but this is a relatively easy job on the 12v . but I am not sure how easy a job it is on the 24v Cosworth engine.

Refitting the radiator does require the help on another person for just a short time while the new one is carefully positioned and the bolts located and screwed in. The top of the radiator is located in two rubber grommets and locates easily.

The fans and the associated shroud then fits back from the top, again taking care not to damage the new radiator and is located onto two clips near the bottom and the two bolts half way down each side.
I replaced the oil coolers and reconnected the fan plugs (one either side) and refilled the system with the recommended coolant 8 Litres of 50% according to the hand book and that's what it took.
Started up and then ran the engine up to bring it all to temperature. checking for leaks..


I waited until the fans cut in at their usual low speed and then switched. I made one last check for leaks , replaced the under tray and then road tested the car.


After the road test I added the required amount of ATF fluid to the gear box and cleaned up ( No point in checking before as it was not up to working temperature)
It took me about 2 hours working slowly, even with having to remove the oil coolers but with a set of ramps and a helper, it is a job any competent DIY mechanic can do.....saved me a load of cash and I also learnt something but I always do, which hopefully will help someone else one day.

 

Dave Richards

 


 

 

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