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Needs a New Radiator

Discussion in 'Chevy Trucks' started by Stan MI, Oct 8, 2005.

  1. Stan MI

    Stan MI Member
    Messages: 86

    88, 1/2 Ton

    With a crack in the side I think rather than try and patch with JB Weld or solder I'll just put a new core in.

    Looks like a fairly easy install. Any one who has done this before got any special tips before I start. I am at best a "Shade Tree" wrench. Any help is apperciated.

    Thanks !!
  2. 75gmck25

    75gmck25 Senior Member
    Messages: 119

    I've never done it on an '88, but on most trucks its fairly straightforward.

    - Drain the radiator by opening the petcock in the bottom.
    - Take off the clamps for the upper and lower hoses and work the hoses off the fittings. This is probably a good time to replace the hoses, since they may be nearly as old as the radiator and may not come off easily. If you are going to replace them, just slit the hose ends lengthwise and peel them off.
    - Use a wrench to unscrew the two lines for the transmission cooler. You can usually just catch the fluid with a rag, but might need a pan. If you use a flare nut wrench, you are less likely to mangle the fittings.
    - Remove the fan shroud, or unbolt it and move it back over the fan so its out of the way.
    - Remove the plate or bracket at the top that holds the radiator in place.
    - Lift the radiator out (it is usually not bolted at the bottom - it fits into brackets lined with rubber that hold it in place).

    You should also consider replacing the thermostat and radiator cap, since its very little additional work. You will need to remove the thermostat housing from the intake manifold (which means you will need a new gasket), which is at the other end of the upper hose. Most trucks now use a 195 degree thermostat. If you want to spend a little extra you can get one of the newer fail-safe thermostats that are not supposed to fail in a closed position. The standard GM thermostat only costs about $5 and the housing gasket is another $1.

    Reassemble everything, making sure the rubber-lined brackets that hold the radiator are in the right place when you bolt it all down. You want to avoid any possibility of metal-on-metal vibration. Don't get carrried away with the hose clamps and cut into the hoses. Also be cautious with the cooler fittings. Line them up by hand and screw them in finger tight to make sure they are not cross threaded. Then finish up with the wrench.

    Refill radiator with 50/50 mix of antifreeze to the top of the radiator neck. Start the truck, and with it running slowly add antifreeze mix to the radiator until its at the top of the filler neck again. Put the cap back on and refill the overflow bottle to the cold mark. Let the truck warm up completely to purge all the air out of the system, then let it cool down, and recheck and top off the radiator.

  3. Stan MI

    Stan MI Member
    Messages: 86

    Sounds good but can you be more specific..................

    Just kidding !!! Thanks for the info.
  4. The Boss

    The Boss 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,099

    Radiators can be replaced blindfolded. Matter of fact I have to replace the one in the ladys' truck. LOL, maybe then she'll be happy enough that she'll let me hang a new Boss plow on it. ;)
  5. Stan MI

    Stan MI Member
    Messages: 86

    Just to follow up the thread for anyone that does a search on this subject.

    The radiator was easy to take out and replace. It definately helped haveing the info from here to reffer to.

    Thanks for all the help !!!!!!