New core or new radiator? - GM Forum - Buick, Cadillac, Chev, Olds, GMC & Pontiac chat


1987-1991 Parley with regards to your 1987 to 1991 Bonneville, Olds 88 or Buick Le Sabre Please use General Chat for non-mechanical issues, and Performance and Brainstorming for improvements.

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Old 03-21-2005, 11:24 AM   #1
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Default New core or new radiator?

My 1990 Bonneville has the original radiator. The previous owner did a poor job of routing the tranny cooler lines and they have warn a hole through the core causing a slow leak. I know of a local shop that could put a new core in it for me for under $100. Autozone wants $220 for a new radiator. Option 3 is trying to buy on off of ebay (new) for less than $220.

What should I do? Is there an advantage to buying a new one that has an aluminum core and composite tanks (that is what all the new ones I found are)? Or is the original radiator better with a new core? $220 is a bit steep for me right now, but so is adding a gallon antifreeze every weekend. If a new radiator is worth it, I can make that work, but if it isn't worth the extra $120 I won't waste my money.

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Old 03-21-2005, 11:35 AM   #2
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In my opinion its worth it if it has a lifetime warranty....

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Old 03-21-2005, 12:11 PM   #3
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"Upgrade" to a 1991 radiator, from what I've experienced, it'* a bit thicker.



We needed a new radiator, and sourced a 1990 (SSE) one, which we found to be thinner than the one we had. It was used and fit without problems, so no complaints, it sure beats buying a new one.
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Old 03-21-2005, 12:45 PM   #4
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If that is the only problem area I have patched leaking radiators before with JBWeld (other things do not seem to work). If fanatical about surface cleaning and roughening it seems to last a long time (actually havent had one fail yet). JBWeld Quick seems to work as good as any.
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Old 03-21-2005, 02:00 PM   #5
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I'd go new. Find one with a lifetime warrenty, put it in, and forget about it.
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Old 03-21-2005, 03:12 PM   #6
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Default leak

if your tanks are good putting in a new core should be like new.
But there is no beating a lifetime warranty.
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Old 03-21-2005, 03:57 PM   #7
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The egg sealing does work, also. I don't believe it goes anywhere other than the radiator.. so if in the end it still leaks, get a new radiator. I have the original radiator and not a single leak. Lifetime warranty may not be worth it if it costs extra. Can't hurt, but radiators aren't really a huge problem about failing.


-justin
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Old 03-21-2005, 04:06 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by opensourceguy
The egg sealing does work, also. I don't believe it goes anywhere other than the radiator.. so if in the end it still leaks, get a new radiator. I have the original radiator and not a single leak. Lifetime warranty may not be worth it if it costs extra. Can't hurt, but radiators aren't really a huge problem about failing.


-justin
Dropping an egg in your radiator and not having it go everywhere? I don't see that happening I can only imagine what'll happen when the car gets up to operating temperature
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Old 03-21-2005, 04:13 PM   #9
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Default The decision is.......

Quote:
Originally Posted by opensourceguy
The egg sealing does work, also. I don't believe it goes anywhere other than the radiator.. so if in the end it still leaks, get a new radiator. I have the original radiator and not a single leak. Lifetime warranty may not be worth it if it costs extra. Can't hurt, but radiators aren't really a huge problem about failing.


-justin
Now that you mention that.. I do think I see a little egg in your lifter valley ... I'm just kidding. I take long trips in this car, sometimes over 700 miles a day, so I would really prefer to make a solid repair. I am thinking that the best thing to do may be just get a new radiator. A new core would work, but that doesn't come with a warranty.

Thanks for the input everyeone
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Old 03-21-2005, 04:48 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by repinS
"Upgrade" to a 1991 radiator, from what I've experienced, it'* a bit thicker.



We needed a new radiator, and sourced a 1990 (SSE) one, which we found to be thinner than the one we had. It was used and fit without problems, so no complaints, it sure beats buying a new one.


^ Look into that! Seemed that my post up there went slightly unnoticed

However, although 1991 --> 1990 works, no guarantees that 1990 --> 1991 will. As well, I don't know if non-SSE radiators differed between the two years.
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