New Radiator... Grrr... - 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 06-15-2006, 05:12 PM   #1
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Default New Radiator... Grrr...

Hey all. As you could most likely tell from the name of my post, I am well on my way to getting a new radiator. But as before any major car repair, I check with the members of Bonneville Club to make sure I am not getting played. This one involves a leak in my radiator.

Before I purchased the car, I noticed it had a very tiny leak where the metal hose on the driver'* side met the radiator. This leak caused me absolutely no problems for several months, but as the weather here in Colorado got progressively hotter; The leak got progressively worse. My engine temperature regularly hovers at the line directly above the 'Red Zone', which makes me very nervous.

While at E&B today in Loveland, Colorado getting my exhaust manifold checked, [I thought it was cracked, but it was just an E.G.C. [?] hose that came un-threaded, which they fixed for free.] I inquired about the radiator leak. They told me right away that I would need a new radiator. For a 1992 Pontiac Bonneville SSEi Supercharged, the radiator would cost about $220.00, plus labor of near $100.00. That would make the total install around $350.00 after taxes and what-not. Is that a reasonable price? Or do I even need a new radiator, and not just a gasket?

My appointment is set for the 19th of this month, at 2:30PM. If anyone could let me know their thoughts on the whole situation before then, it would be greatly appreciated. I'm not exactly thrilled about spending $350.00, especially with rent and gas prices here in Fort Collins, Colorado. Thanks again.

-Jeff-

P.*. - I wish I could show you some pictures of the leak, but my digital camera recently took a fall off of the roof of my house, smack-dab on the driveway... Ouch...

*EDIT* I accidentally listed the cost of the radiator as $320.00, when in all reality, it'* $220.00. Sorry about any confusion.
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Old 06-15-2006, 05:21 PM   #2
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They are hitting you too much for that radiator. Rockauto.com has the one you need for 205.00. You should order that and we can talk you through the installation of the radiator.

EDIT - Actually, you may not even need a radiator. I had the same problem and tightned up the large nut on it and it was fine after that. Give that a try.
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Old 06-15-2006, 07:25 PM   #3
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Make sure on that RockAuto part.

92-95 radiators are triple-core. Coolant, Trans, and Engine oil. Yes, that'* right. Series 1 L67'* have oil coolers.

Give me time to get home to my magic book and look up a GMPD radiator for you, or maybe one of the Moderators or Gearheads can check before I get to mine.

We'll do a little digging and tell you what to expect. The labor rate sounds fair at least.
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Old 06-15-2006, 07:34 PM   #4
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Old 06-15-2006, 07:41 PM   #5
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No offense, William, but we have other reference sources we like to verify with before having a member commit to a GMPD number. They don't give refunds for mis-ordered parts.

That part number DOES look correct at GMPD, but like I said, I'd like to get verification from another source or two first, and I'm not near my reference materials.

Quote:
GM PART # 52462631
CATEGORY: Radiator
PACK QTY: 1 CORE CHARGE: $0.00
GM LIST: $277.44
OUR PRICE: $173.13
DESCRIPTION: RADIATOR
After shipping, the radiator your shop is charging you for may be about the same price.
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Old 06-15-2006, 08:02 PM   #6
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Not to hijack but is the SSEi'* coolant portion of the radiator larger?
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Old 06-15-2006, 08:55 PM   #7
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If your going to get ir from rockauto dont forget to use this

http://www.bonnevilleclub.com/forum/...ic.php?t=55833
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Old 06-15-2006, 10:36 PM   #8
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The above part number for GM is correct (just verified). Keep in mind many aftermarket Radiator suppliers may not realize the SSEi uses an extra core for the engine oil. I wouldn't trust that RockAuto part unless it is clearly a different part number than the SE of the same year WITH or WITHOUT the towing package.

But like I said above, if you buy the GMPD OEM unit and have it shipped, it might be close in price to what your shop is quoting you, and their labor sounds very fair. It sounds to me like you're getting a straight deal. I'd prefer an OEM radiator, so check and see what their source is.
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Old 06-16-2006, 02:39 AM   #9
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Thanks a ton for the quick responses, being that my appointment is still set for the 19th.

I too thought that labor-pricing was very fair. E&B has a good reputation, and guarentees all of their work, which can make a huge difference. At this point, I think I'm going to stick with the professional install, but if anyone has any big objection, please let me know, because $350.00 is a lot of money to anybody...

Also, I tried to tighten the bolt to no avail. It was already in there pretty sturdily, but I did manage to move it just a tad. It didn't make a difference though, because the leak is coming from where the plastic-gasket [?] and the radiator actually meat; Not just the threaded area on the hose.

Thanks again.

-Jeff-
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Old 06-16-2006, 04:40 AM   #10
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man...radiators are SO easy to install its crazy...7 hoses, a few screws are all that hold it in, i would not pay someone $20 to install one...but hey, if you want to throw money away, be my guest..

as for the radiator....mine was sitting at about 240-250 b4 i decided to replace mine...it is probably just clogged... best way i have found to find out if your cooling ducts are clogged is to get your car nice and hot...sounds like you dont have much trouble doing that...and once you have it up to normal op temp...run your palm straight up and down over the cooling fins on the back of the radiator, if you feel any cool spots...well you basically know you have clogs.that simple. Now, if you don't feel any cool spots, that is good, but does not tell you automatically that the radiator is good. Are you running a good 50/50 mix of coolant and water? also it may be possible that your cooling system needs to be flushed...the cooling properties of coolant do break down over time.

As for replacing the radiator, i don't want to be killed for recommending this, but I went to my local JY and found an almost new aftermarket radiator in an 89 LeSabre. Now I can't say the car would not overheat if i was pulling a load or something....like a boat, but under normal operating conditons, and a nice 60/40 mix of dexcool, my car runs cool as a cucumber now...You wanna know what the total was for this radiator swap? Try $30. Oh yeah baby, thats the stuff.

Bottom line: installation is easy...paying someone that much is insane to install it and look for a better deal on a radiator...ive been running my JY rad for 10 months now, through summer, all through winter, and back into summer...no problems...for $30 total...
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