Radiator shot. Trans fluid mixing with coolant.Few questions - GM Forum - Buick, Cadillac, Chev, Olds, GMC & Pontiac chat


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Old 12-02-2007, 02:43 PM   #1
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Default Radiator shot. Trans fluid mixing with coolant.Few questions

My brother has a 1996 ssei. Recently his trans fluid is mixing with my coolant and vise versa. I know his radiator is shot. But before I go and put tons of $$ in it I had a few questions. How much harm could have be done to the trans driving like this? What is the best way to flush all the crap ot if my trans, hoping it'* salvagable? I also broke the engine oil feed line that connects into the bottom of the radiator, and it looks to be a pricey part. I was wondering if I could just block off both lines by the oil filter and not run the engine oil cooler? I am trying to fix this as cheap as possible, because this car is my brothers and he drives it like ****, and probably will be in the junkyard before to long. Thanks, Denton
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Old 12-02-2007, 04:43 PM   #2
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/cheapest fix is to get a trans cooler off a sse or cadillac at the yard, Mount it externally in front of the radiator with rubber oil supply lines.Remove the overflow tank and flush it out.
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Old 12-03-2007, 02:37 PM   #3
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I broke the lower engine oil cooler line taking it off. Can I just cut the line and run rubber hose with a barb? I was wondering if this was under alot of pressure? I know I can do this with the trans, but what about the oil? If not, can I just bypass this all together?
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Old 12-03-2007, 04:10 PM   #4
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The oil cooler is there to keep the engine bearings happy. This is something that becomes more important as the engine ages, not less important. So, make sure the oil is cooled. Do not bypass the cooler in the rad unless you are adding an equally sized or larger cooler external to the radiator.

New aluminum/plastic radiators can be had online for about $100. And after pricing them online, you might want to see if a local radiator shop will match price for you. I found one that would in my town.

Re the cooler lines: If the oil pressure relief valve is working as it should, the oil cooler line should not normally see more than about 60 psi. But, we often see higher pressures (80-100 psi) on cold startups until things warm up a bit. Speaking of which, engine oil can get pretty warm, so, if you add any hose, make sure you get hose that is rated for hot oil. Hot oil will make quick work of regular rubber hose. You should be able to use properly sized hose barbs and gear clamps to effect a temporary repair. But, you might want to look into the cost of replacing the oil cooler line at the dealer or with an aftermarket equivalent. You may be surprised at the cost. For example, a new set of transmission cooler hoses with the proper bends and fittings on the ends for my '95 cost about $55 at the dealer. Perhaps the oil cooler hoses are similarly priced.

Re the coolant in trans: Coolant in the trans fluid will destroy the transmission. The quicker you get it out of there, the better. Maybe you can save it. Coolant is heavier than oil and should drop to the low spot in the trans which hopefully, is the pan. In this case, you may want to consider draining the fluid when the trans is cold. Because I am not a fan of flushing, I would drop the pan and change the filter, reuse the steel/rubber gasket (if it is still there), then do it again in a few hundred more miles. You want the fluid to be clear red, not milky pink, tan or orange that would indicate an emulsified mix of coolant and oil.
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Old 12-03-2007, 06:56 PM   #5
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Thanks for the info!
Can you direct me to a good online radiator source. Thanks
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Old 12-03-2007, 08:54 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 99xjclassic
Thanks for the info!
Can you direct me to a good online radiator source. Thanks
Just Google: "discount radiator" or "cheap radiator"...etc
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Old 12-03-2007, 09:00 PM   #7
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Ordered one online, thanks
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Old 12-04-2007, 04:05 AM   #8
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This is certainly a good amount of progress. I remember I had my radiator blow out about 30 miles from my house during a rainy winter, and I did a radiator swap under the roof of a Village Pantry gas station with a friend who helped a lot. Hopefully you'll have a lot of luck with this and won't work at a gas station.

I've seen the rubber lines go pretty bad after some time. I've also seen metal lines put in their place, but they deteriorate too, and with shrinkage. If you do go with the rubber lines, keep a good eye out on them.
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