cracked radiator - do it myself? - update - went great... - 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 10-16-2007, 02:55 PM   #1
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Default cracked radiator - do it myself? - update - went great...

Hello all, I have a 99 Bonneville L36 with a cracked radiator. I have a pretty significant external coolant leak which I have been maintaining by adding coolant (no dex-cool warnings, guys) regularly. I have some questions for the denizen pros. Any links to other threads and other suggestions are most welcome.

1) Should I replace the radiator myself? I have done a few minor repairs myself and am moderately comfortable working under the hood. The shop wants 500$ to replace it and I feel this is a form of robbery.

2) How do I ensure the part I get from an online radiator site/parts store will replace my radiator with little or no mods?

3) How safe am I driving locally (+/- 10 miles) as long as I am diligent about keeping coolant in the system?

Advance apologies for any noobish qualities to my post. I am clearly not a gearhead but have the utmost respect for the species.

Thank you all for your help...

---
That project went off without a hitch a week after this post. Got the new radiator online at radiatorexpress.com. Thanks for everyone'* kind assistance.
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Old 10-16-2007, 03:04 PM   #2
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A radiator is a great place to start when learning how to fix a car. Overall there are a couple transmission lines, a couple hoses and a few bolts to remove in order to change it out.

If you remove the fans as well..that makes it much easier and I can't see why it wouldn't be a piece of cake.

On the diligence and driving locally. If you don't overheat and don't get overly low on coolant..your car should be fine. These radiator endcaps are known to crack over time and heat cycles.
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Old 10-16-2007, 03:05 PM   #3
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1) radiator replacement is pretty easy
2) as long as you specify make , model it should be plug and play
3) as long as the fluid is kept up, you could drive forever
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Old 10-16-2007, 03:09 PM   #4
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Default the thing that bothers me...

...was that on radiatorexpress.com, once all the particulars are plugged into the website'* brain, two different sizes of radiator come up. 28" and 31" I believe. Is there a place I can get OEM specs on the radiator or is this going to matter?

Thanks for the rapido responses. You guys reinforce my love for my fine automobile.
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Old 10-16-2007, 03:30 PM   #5
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...just noticed this on the website...

28" x 17" - w/o EOC, w/o LCI

30" x 17" - w/o EOC, w/LCI

I understand the dimensions, the rest I'll leave for you guys to explain.
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Old 10-16-2007, 04:04 PM   #6
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You will want the 31x17

Do you have a Bonneville SE, SLE or SSE?

You may not need the Low coolant indicating unit...

Last 2 I bought were about $130-$140 to my front door.... Both have been great with no issues..

The New radiator you get will have an HD cooling core, should be 1" to 1.25"... It will have better cooling ability than the stock radiator...

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Old 10-16-2007, 04:29 PM   #7
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I have the SE.

Where do you recommend I buy the radiator?

Thanks again.
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Old 10-16-2007, 04:43 PM   #8
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I like www.radiatorexpress.com

I have had good dealings with them...

There may be some fittings for the radiator to Tranny cooler lines... The removal and install is very easy...

Some of the Radiators have different fitting sizes for the Trans lines,but if thats the case the radiator will usually have the fittings to adapt..

Also check the prices with the Local parts stores..

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Old 10-16-2007, 04:45 PM   #9
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Alright, thanks for the help, I'll order the part and keep you all posted on how things go...
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