Bonnie Radiators - lessons learned - GM Forum - Buick, Cadillac, Chev, Olds, GMC & Pontiac chat


1992-1999 Series I L27 (1992-1994 SE,SLE, SSE) & Series II L36 (1995-1999 SE, SSE, SLE) and common problems for the Series I and II L67 (all supercharged models 92-99) Including Olds 88's, Olds LSS's and Buick Lesabres Please use General Chat for non-mechanical issues, and Performance and Brainstorming for improvements.

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Old 09-26-2003, 10:15 AM   #1
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Default Bonnie Radiators - lessons learned

The radiators in both of my supercharged bonnies have PLASTIC side tanks. I thought they were just plastic covers for the outer ends of the radiator, but that'* not the case. I now know that they're not just covers because the driver'* side plastic tank on my '92 sprung a leak this week. The bad news is that the plastic tanks are "not repairable", and they tend to crack and leak. The factory shop manual says that the tanks can be replaced separately, but nobody I talked to knew where to buy them or recommended replacing just one or both side tanks.

The radiator for the supercharged bonnie ('92/'93 and maybe other years also) has 2 oil cooler lines, 2 tranny cooler lines, and an electrical sensor built into the rear of the passenger side plastic tank. I wasted the day yesterday looking for a direct-fit replacement and ended up being sold the wrong one; and I didn't find that out until I got it home and started taking the old one out...the new one wasn't the version that has the electrical sensor.

Rather than getting the runaround again with local shops, I tried radiator.com and called their toll-free number today, and a new one with lifetime warranty will be delivered tomorrow - and this one costs less than the one I bought yesterday from a local radiator shop.
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Old 09-26-2003, 10:39 AM   #2
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Good to know. I think I might be doing a replacement soon...

If you don't mind my asking, how much did it cost from radiator.com?
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Old 09-26-2003, 10:54 AM   #3
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Fully sympathize with you.

Check this out:

http://www.bonnevilleclub.com/forum/...103&highlight=
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Old 09-26-2003, 01:16 PM   #4
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Thanks ssei95,

Even the shop manual didn't specify that the electrical connector is for the low coolant sensor. If I remember correctly, it was referred to as the "fan connector" in the factory shop manual, in the radiator removal instructions section, figure 15.

Did you try to get one that has the sensor?
Is your new one compeletely metal, or does it have the plastic end tanks? In your photo, yours likes like it'* aluminum with the plastic end tanks. The one I got yesterday is completely metal, and looks like a traditional black painted copper/brass one...it didn't even have the plastic caps (covers) for the 4 cooler line ports - I didn't think a new radiator should have had those ports left open to the air and dust, etc.

I guess I could have installed the metal one and tried to find a way to get around the low coolant sensor problem, but I'm not going to go that route.
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Old 09-26-2003, 01:27 PM   #5
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My new one is identical to my old, except for that sensor. I just put it in as is. I have the wiring for the sensor tucked away behind the battery. I get the "low coolant" light in the driver info center but no SES light. If I start to go down coolant I'll know. If mine is low the engine heat shoots up right away, and I watch that religously.

I am hopeing to order the DP chip for mine in the next few weeks and I will just get the coolant sensor disabled in that. Too much hassel to go get another rad with the hookup in it.

It was kinda funny too, i checked the new rad when I got it to make sure that all the oil and tranny lines were right. Didn't even see the sensor on my old one until it was half way out.
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Old 09-26-2003, 01:40 PM   #6
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Me too; I didn't see that connector until I was just about to remove the oil lines, so I stopped and immediately called the radiator shop that sold me the radiator . The guy who answered said the electrical connector was probably just mounted to the back of the radiator so it wouldn't flop around and I could use a tie wrap to hold it in place somewhere. I knew better than to believe that.

Too bad nobody at the radiator shops asked me about that electrical connector when trying to find the right replacement...but the person on the phone from radiator.com specifically asked me about whether or not it had the sensor and said that there are 4 different versions of radiators for the Bonnie (30"x17"), depending on whether or not it has the oil cooler lines and the sensor connector.

How much did you pay for yours?
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Old 09-26-2003, 07:47 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by billha
How much did you pay for yours?
$216.61,

$259.93 shipped.

www.gmpartsdirect.com
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