The Nissan Club banner

Status
Not open for further replies.
1 - 20 of 37 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
524 Posts
Discussion Starter #2
I went with a Radexpress.com radiator. It is all metal. It fit very well with only one small issue. I've got my pics done. I just need to get off my butt and do the write-up.:cheerleader:
 

·
I keep em comin back.....
Joined
·
3,205 Posts
I think a write up was already done about four years back in the faq section on how to replace the radiator

by the way, I once had an all metal one, it cracked on me in three years. Brass/Copper doesnt do well when it comes to dissapating heat, remember that
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
524 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Disclaimer:I am not an auto mechanic. I wrote this procedure from an idiot's point of view. If you harm yourself or your car using this procedure, I do not take responsibilty. Also, this was my wife's car for 5 years, so when you see all the scratches under the bumper and any other related damage, know that it was a woman's fault. :bigok:

Cost:
1. Radiatorexpress.com metal replacement radiator - $141 shipped. It really should only be called Radiator.com because there was no "express" in the time it took to get my radiator. It took 9 days. :blah:
2. Upper radiator hose - $12 Nissan OEM
3. Lower radiator hose - $12 Nissan OEM
4. Bypass hose - $24 Nissan OEM (I don't see the logic in why the smallest hose costs the most. :smack:
5. Thermostat - $9 Nissan
6. Tube of silicon sealant - $4 Autozone
7. Gallon of Preston Universal Antifreeze - $11 Autozone
8. Two-gallon jug of distilled water - $2 HEB
9. Six-pack of Bud Light - $5 HEB ON SALE, :woot:
Total: ~$220 Price Nissan wanted to do this: $780

Issue: Radiator leaking coolant in the area where the upper tank meets the metal radiator core. I also had a pinhole leak where the "Nissan" emblem was on the top of the tank. :sad: After this leak occured, my water temperature gauge started dancing up and down. This must have been from the pressure loss.

Here is a look at where the leak was:
http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y10/sstupid/radleak.jpg

Here are the tools you'll need minus the rubber mallet that I forgot to take a pic of. If you're just putting in a radiator and not a thermostat, these are all the tool you'll need. The drain plug on the water pipe was 14MM, I believe, but you won't be getting that out anyway. Good luck trying, though.
http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y10/sstupid/tools.jpg

To begin, I drank a beer. Then I started with a cool engine and took the radiator cap off:
http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y10/sstupid/radbegin.jpg

Then I jacked up the front of the car a little bit, put a drain-pan underneath the radiator drain plug and pulled the drain plug out. The drain plug for the radiator is located on the driver's side of the car, at the bottom of the radiator. You do not need to remove the plastic covers from underneath the car, because Nissan was nice enough to place a hole in the cover to allow access to the drain-plug. Yay, Nissan!
http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y10/sstupid/raddrain.jpg

Water/coolant doesn't come out very fast until you loosen the bleeder screw at the thermostat housing. I took it all the way out, but loosening it works fine.
http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y10/sstupid/bleeder.jpg

After you pull the plug out and open the bleeder screw, water streams out into your pan, emptying the radiator and lower-rad hose that goes up to the thermostat.
http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y10/sstupid/raddrain2.jpg

Next, I pulled out the overflow bottle. It has one bolt on the top and then it snaps into a holder. Don't be afraid to pry on it a little to get it out of the holder. The hose going from the radiator overflow neck to the overflow bottle is attached down low on the bottle, so it's easier to remove the hose clamp once the bottle is pulled up out of the car.
http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y10/sstupid/overflow.jpg

Now you have an empty radiator, but the block is still full of water/coolant. I didn't see anywhere in the Haynes manual where there was a block drain plug. Boo, Nissan! All it listed was this water pipe drain plug, just behind the water pump on the water pump.
http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y10/sstupid/drainplug.jpg
(In retrospect, I should have worked on this harder once the radiator was out and the plug was easier to get to. Oh well.)
I sprayed mine with PB Blaster penetrating lubricant and waited an hour and drank a beer, but I couldn't get the plug out. I sprayed it again and waited
but still couldn't get the plug out. I sprayed it again and waited. It still didn't come out. Oh well, so I put the radiator drain plug back in, put the bleeder screw back in (but only loosely), filled the radiator with water, started the car, and let it warm up. I didn't tighten the bleeder screw, but I put it back in and threaded it a little ways in. After the car reached temp, I let it cool for a while and drained it again. I did this 5 times, which took a while. The last time, the water looked pretty clear. I wanted that block water out and couldn't get the water pipe drain plug out, so I disconnected the bypass hose from the thermostat housing. It is just upstream from the water pipe drain plug, so it made sense to me. (That doesn't mean it makes sense to anyone else. ;))
http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y10/sstupid/bypass.jpg
This is where I will lose those of you that don't have an air compressor. I removed the upper radiator hose at the radiator and blew some low-pressure air through it, which blew a lot of water out which came out the bypass hose.
http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y10/sstupid/radremove2-1.jpg
That procedure is not in the Haynes manual, so I don't know if it's a good way to get the block water out, but it sure seemed like a lot came out. At this point, I was pretty satisfied that all the water left in the system was probably only in the heater core, which isn't a lot. If you don't have an air compressor and you can't get the water pipe plug out, you're kinda stuck with the water left in the block. It's not distilled and you might have to add a little more pure coolant to balance you're mixture when you're done, but I don't think it's that big of a deal.

Next, I removed the lower radiator hose at the water neck. Then I removed the water neck by taking out the 3 bolts you see in the pic. After the 3 bolts are out, the water neck doesn't just drop off. Nissan silicon is like glue, so you have to use a rubber mallet to lightly beat it off the housing. DO NOT use a metal hammer or anything else that will damage your expensive water neck.
http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y10/sstupid/thermostat.jpg
Now I removed the thermostat paying special attention to where the air bleed valve was facing on the thermostat (12 o'clock) See pic of the thermostat with the air bleed valve marked.
http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y10/sstupid/thermostat5.jpg
http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y10/sstupid/thermostat11.jpg
I was replacing the thermostat, so you don't need to do this if you're just replacing the radiator. I put an red arrow that shows the path that the bypass hose used to take. Next, you need to clean the thermostat housing and water neck surfaces of the old Nissan silicon.
http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y10/sstupid/thermostat11.jpg
Nissan silicon is a lot like glue, so it's hard to get off. You DO NOT want to use any kind of metal scraper on the water neck, or the polished surface of the thermostat housing. You'll scratch up the surface and cause leaks. I used a plastic scraper I got a Autozone. There is no paper gasket to worry about, but the Nissan silicon is hard enough to remove. It probably took me 30 minutes to get both the water neck and thermostat housing clean enough to reassemble. I forgot to take a pic of the clean housing. I put the new thermostat in the housing with the bleed valve at 12 o'clock and put blue silicon on the water neck before reassembling. Tighten the water neck bolts down evenly, a little at a time, to 56 in-lbs. NOT ft-lbs.
http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y10/sstupid/thermostat3.jpg
I put a new bypass hose on, as well. I try to use Nissan parts, when I don't think the prices are over-inflated. All 3 hoses costed only $48.
http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y10/sstupid/thermostat4.jpg
http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y10/sstupid/thermostat10.jpg

Time to remove the radiator. You need to remove the two mount that also hold your hood prop.
http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y10/sstupid/radbegin5.jpg
The upper radiator hose is already disconnected at the radiator and the lower radiator hose is already disconnectd from the water neck, and the overflow bottle hose is already disconnected, so you just have to disconnect the fans, and pull the fan wiring harness to the side.
http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y10/sstupid/fans3.jpg
http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y10/sstupid/fans.jpg
http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y10/sstupid/fans4.jpg
The fans are held to the radiator with two bolts, but I found out that it is easier to leave the fans attached and pull the whole radiator/fan unit out as one.
http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y10/sstupid/radremove.jpg
Just pull up on the whole thing and it will come out very easily.
http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y10/sstupid/fans8.jpg
http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y10/sstupid/fans7.jpg
I took a break at this point and had a beer, then washed my overflow bottle out.
http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y10/sstupid/overflow2.jpg

After the beer, I pulled the new radiatorexpress metal radiator out of the box, inspected it, then put the new lower radiator hose on with the old clamps. It's easier to install the lower radiator hose with the radiator out of the car.
http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y10/sstupid/newrad.jpg
I then took the old fan assembly off the old radiator by removing the 2 mounting screws, and moved it over to the new radiator. There are two pieces of plastic on the side of the radiator that act as a shroud. They just slide up and off. They don't need to come off, but they fell off. Just be sure to reinstall them. The new radiator almost had a pefect fit. I had to bend one of mounting tabs and they didn't supply any mounting screws, but I was lucky and had some that would work. The old screws from the old fan shround would not work because they were just sheetmetal style screws.
http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y10/sstupid/newrad3.jpg
http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y10/sstupid/newrad2.jpg
I was sure to transfer the two little bottom rubber feet from the old radiator as well. Forgetting those would be evident when you put the new radiator in.
http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y10/sstupid/newrad10-1.jpg
New radiator ready to go back in.
http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y10/sstupid/newrad3.jpg
New upper radiator hose.
http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y10/sstupid/upperhose.jpg
I plopped my new radiator/fan assembly back in by just lowering the rubber feet into their respective holes in the frame.
http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y10/sstupid/feet.jpg
I reinstalled the two top mounts and reattached the fan wiring harness, the lower radiator hose to the water neck, the new upper radiator hose. When I reinstalled the clean overflow bottle, I attached the overlow tube to the bottle first, then seated it in the holder. Checklist:
http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y10/sstupid/newrad15.jpg

*Drank a beer.*

I mixed some 50/50 coolant/distilled water.
http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y10/sstupid/newrad6.jpg
Haynes says to fill the radiator until the coolant comes out of the bleeder hole. It filled all the way to the top of the radiator without anything coming out of the bleeder, so I just left it at that. I then put coolant in the overflow bottle to the "min" mark. I reinstalled the bleeder screw, but did not tighten it and started the car and let it warm up with the heater still all the way to the hot zone. After it warmed up, the water level went down because the thermostat opened. I filled the radiator back up as the car was running and waited for it to warm back up again. I continued doing this until the level did not change. I shut the car off and waited for it to cool, then started it back up and let it warm back up and went through the process again. As soon as water/coolant started to leak out of the bleeder, I tightened the bleeder screw completely. Don't forget to do that. I then installed the radiator cap, and checked the overflow bottle level, which was good, but make sure it's at the "min" level with coolant. I drove around near my house to make sure the car wouldn't overheat. Temp held steady, so I put the AC on and drove for a while. I had no issues, so I went home and drank another beer. :bigok:

http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y10/sstupid/newrad4.jpg


I will go back and edit this if I screwed up somewhere. It was harder to put together than I thought it would be. If I don't have the correct procedure, just let me know and I'll change it. Thanks! :threadsucks:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
524 Posts
Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
I think a write up was already done about four years back in the faq section on how to replace the radiator

by the way, I once had an all metal one, it cracked on me in three years. Brass/Copper doesnt do well when it comes to dissapating heat, remember that

Thanks for the downer. :eek:wned: Copper has a much higher thermal conductivity than aluminum, I thought.
 

·
PureDenizenCitizensBand
Joined
·
132 Posts
Copper has a much higher thermal conductivity than aluminum, I thought.
Indeed it does. Just take a look at CPU coolers and you'll see that most of the cheap OEM heat sinks you get with CPUs are aluminum whereas most of the higher-end HSF units are just splays of copper fins.

Nice work, by the way.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
91 Posts
Additional hoses in 95 GXE with AT

Just want to note that the radiator in the 95 GXE (Automatic Transmission) has two more hoses (for transmission fluid) at the bottom that need to be disconnected.

I'm in the process of replacing the radiator and stopped to post this. Wish me luck!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
832 Posts
sstupid nice write up.......

Very nice and informative write up. I like how you included your beer cost in the total of dollars spent lol...........

Glenn
 

·
Another Boosted Altima
Joined
·
3,984 Posts
nice write up and pics
 

·
I keep em comin back.....
Joined
·
3,205 Posts
im not trying to bust your bubble bro, but I had the exact same radiator and the fins ended up corroding, brass/copper corrodes easily, and it weakened the metal eventually leading to it leaking....no factory installs these radiators on their cars, not even high end mercedes because of this reason...metal is not always your best option for protection unless its 100% aluminun.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
524 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
im not trying to bust your bubble bro, but I had the exact same radiator and the fins ended up corroding, brass/copper corrodes easily, and it weakened the metal eventually leading to it leaking....no factory installs these radiators on their cars, not even high end mercedes because of this reason...metal is not always your best option for protection unless its 100% aluminun.
If I get 3 years out of it, I will be happy. Your corrosion was probably caused by lack of proper care. I flush my cooling systems approx every 50K miles. My other radiator was the original and the plastic tank came apart from the metal. That had nothing to do with care and everyting to do with age.
 

·
I keep em comin back.....
Joined
·
3,205 Posts
nope, flushed that thing at one point 5-6 times one year because of other maintenance I had to do to the cooling system, it still corroded on me...and this is with the redline water wetter being used as well.......just food for thought, some parts just need to stay oem.....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
524 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
I've had a metal one in my K1500 for 8 years now with no issues, so I guess I'm gonna disagree with you. I keep things like CV axles, seals, alternators, and hoses OEM. A radiator is a radiator.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
I just installed this same one from Radiator Express last week. I second the comment that they are not "express". I ordered on a Monday, was told to expect on Thursday. When I get the tracking number, it says to not expect it until the following Monday.

I contact them, and their response was: 1) East coast to the West coast always takes three days (no it doesn't) 2) You ordered on a holiday (Veteran's Day) (Again no go, UPS was working normally).

This radiator has a lfetime warranty, and I think I will be happy with it.

Other than the issue with the top radiator holders not fitting exactly, I think this one will be just fine.
 

·
white on rice
Joined
·
1,565 Posts
I've had a metal one in my K1500 for 8 years now with no issues, so I guess I'm gonna disagree with you. I keep things like CV axles, seals, alternators, and hoses OEM. A radiator is a radiator.
most aftermarket parts have a good quality, if anything i think the rad. should stay oem while using aftermarket hoses or seals is a good alternative. However, im sure the radiator will be fine..
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
254 Posts
"Glue" It is RTV. Also Disconnect the neg batt cable. You don't what any shorts.
 
1 - 20 of 37 Posts
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top