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  • March 01, 2024, 02:33:48 AM

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Author Topic: Radiator replacement  (Read 812 times)

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Offline vangremlin

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Radiator replacement
« on: May 09, 2023, 11:05:37 PM »
I recently noticed some coolant under the front of my 80 two door sedan and sure enough the radiator was leaking. I had also noticed a slight coolant smell from time to time and figured that could be the cause.

Since I had previously successfully installed an aluminum CJ radiator in my 81 Kammback, I decided to go that route again. Ordered it off eBay and it arrived a couple days later.

On the Kammback, I measured from the top of the old radiator to locate the mounting holes I would need to drill on the mounting bracket for the aluminum radiator. I didn’t take into account that the neck on the new radiator was much taller than the OEM style radiator so I ended up extending the holes vertically to avoid interference with the hood. I didn’t want to make that mistake again so was careful in locating the vertical spots for the holes to be drilled. Past mistake avoided but made a new one. I located the holes in the horizontal center of the mounting brackets, but the spots where it attaches on the car were actually a little wider, so I had to extend the holes horizontally. But that was a pretty minor problem everything else went pretty smoothly.

I used the flexible upper and lower hoses I had used the last time around. The lower hose is the same one used on 80s CJs, 1.5” on one end, 1.75” on the other. The top is 1.5” on both ends, about 15” long.

The only issue I ran into was potential interference between the upper hose and the A/C compressor pulley. I used a piece of aluminum brace to lift the hose slightly and keep it out of the way.

I pulled the fan off to make it easy to install the radiator. When I reinstalled the fan, I noticed a pretty noticeable so then had to get the water pump replaced.

And unfortunately, the slight coolant smell is still present. There is no sign of a coolant leak, and no drips inside the car or film on the windshield so I’m stumped where the smell is coming from.

Pictures below!
« Last Edit: May 09, 2023, 11:14:54 PM by vangremlin »
1981 Kammback 258 - "Pepe"
1980 Coupe 258 - "Ginger
1972 Gremlin X 304
1978 Gremlin 4 cyl 121 - sold
1964 TBird 390 - sold

Offline rmick

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Re: Radiator replacement
« Reply #1 on: May 09, 2023, 11:39:56 PM »
Rent a pressure tester from a parts store and test system to look for leaks and see if it will hold pressure. Look for leaks around head gasket.
72 Javelin AMX
72 Javelin SST
72 Gremlin with 4.0
81 SX 4

Offline vangremlin

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Re: Radiator replacement
« Reply #2 on: May 10, 2023, 11:01:58 AM »
Rent a pressure tester from a parts store and test system to look for leaks and see if it will hold pressure. Look for leaks around head gasket.

Thanks!
1981 Kammback 258 - "Pepe"
1980 Coupe 258 - "Ginger
1972 Gremlin X 304
1978 Gremlin 4 cyl 121 - sold
1964 TBird 390 - sold

Offline CaliEagle97

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Re: Radiator replacement
« Reply #3 on: May 10, 2023, 06:25:28 PM »
Any room for the fan shroud to still fit in there? I'm in the middle of my aluminum radiator swap right now
Be groovy or leave, man

Offline maddog

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Re: Radiator replacement
« Reply #4 on: May 10, 2023, 06:45:57 PM »
You might also want to get one of the die kits for the cooling system. It uses a UV light with some special glasses so you can see where it's leaking out of.
1998 CHEVY S10 (DAILY DRIVER/PROJECT) INTIMIDATIN'
1980 AMC EAGLE WAGON (PROJECT) EAGLE EYES
http://forums.amceaglesden.com/index.php?topic=30758.0
1983 AMC EAGLE LIMITED WAGON-SURVIVOR (gone)
http://forums.amceaglesden.com/index.php?topic=32372.0

Offline vangremlin

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Re: Radiator replacement
« Reply #5 on: May 10, 2023, 07:06:20 PM »
Any room for the fan shroud to still fit in there? I'm in the middle of my aluminum radiator swap right now

There is room for the shroud but you would have to fabricate a way to mount it.  My cars run so cool, especially with the aluminum radiator, that the shroud is not required.  Maybe in places with a hotter climate they may be.
1981 Kammback 258 - "Pepe"
1980 Coupe 258 - "Ginger
1972 Gremlin X 304
1978 Gremlin 4 cyl 121 - sold
1964 TBird 390 - sold

Offline vangremlin

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Re: Radiator replacement
« Reply #6 on: May 10, 2023, 07:06:49 PM »
You might also want to get one of the die kits for the cooling system. It uses a UV light with some special glasses so you can see where it's leaking out of.

Thanks!
1981 Kammback 258 - "Pepe"
1980 Coupe 258 - "Ginger
1972 Gremlin X 304
1978 Gremlin 4 cyl 121 - sold
1964 TBird 390 - sold

Offline CaliEagle97

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Re: Radiator replacement
« Reply #7 on: May 10, 2023, 08:35:50 PM »
There is room for the shroud but you would have to fabricate a way to mount it.  My cars run so cool, especially with the aluminum radiator, that the shroud is not required.  Maybe in places with a hotter climate they may be.
[/quote]

Okay good to know. I picked up a Liland Global radiator for a 4.2 CJ7, and it looks like I may have to clean the threads on the oil cooler holes. Looks like 1/4" NPT
Be groovy or leave, man

 

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