Guide to buying and fitting the right radiator

Guide to buying and fitting the right radiator

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Radiator Basics


The primary job of the cooling system is to keep the engine from overheating by transferring this heat to the air (ambient). The radiator is generally a heat exchanger of which roughly one-third of the engines heat goes into the water and eventually dissipated by the radiator. Fluid will carry heat better than air.

 

The Engine portion of the cooling system is a closed, pressurized (16-22psi/110-151kpa) system that is filled with a mixture of clean, soft (demineralised) water, ethylene or propylene glycol and other additives.

 

Traditionally, Copper and Brass were the choice materials to manufacture radiators however within the last 2 decades aluminium is new material of choice. Design changes also moved in with the material changes from the traditional  ½”  (13mm) tube to a more conventional 5/8” (16mm) and 1” (25mm) tube size.

 

Copper Brass conducts heat considerably better than aluminium does, aluminium has a lot less resistance in the transfer of heat.

 

B/C radiators in general are very tolerant to corrosion and hard water that finds its way into systems but not totally immune to corrosion. Aluminium normally seen as corrosion resistant because of an oxide layer formed on the exposed surfaces but when this barrier is broken corrosion is extremely rapid.

 

Installation Procedures for replacing the radiator still in vehicle


1. Check the vehicle for stray current, to ensure new radiator will not be damaged. Refer below procedure to do this.

Remove radiator cap or expansion tank cap, carefully, as a hot engine cooling system is under pressure.

Ensure all electrical devices are operational.

 

Using an Analogue amp meter (Multimeter) with low sensitivity place the negative lead on the negative terminal of the battery and the positive lead in the coolant of the radiator, ensure the lead does not touch the side of the filler neck or radiator core. Turn on all electrical devices one at a time, checking the amp meter each time a device is turned on for a reading. Carry out this process with and without the engine running. A reading of more than .04 ampere is damaging current to the engine cooling system.

 

The source of this stray current HAS to be removed, prior to fitting the new radiator. Failure to do so will result in premature failure of the new radiator and void the manufacturers warranty.

 

IF UNABLE TO REMOVE THE SOURCE OF THE STRAY CURRENT CONSULT A QUALIFIED AUTO ELECTRICIAN.

 

2. Loosen the drain cock of the radiator and drain all coolant from the engine cooling system.

 

3. Power flush the entire engine cooling system ensuring all sediment and particles are removed from all components including the heater core and overflow reservoir.

 

4. Refill the engine cooling system with water and an alkaline cleaning agent, turn heater on and run engine to operating temperature.

 

5. Drain engine cooling system, flush with clean water thoroughly until entire system is clean.

 

6. Check all engine cooling system components for wear, in accordance with the vehicle manufacturers specification.

 

7. Loosen and remove all hoses to radiator, unplug electric fans and remove fan shroud if applicable, remove old radiator from vehicle.

 

8. Fit new radiator in reverse of removal procedure and in accordance with vehicle manufacturers specification.

 

9. Fill engine cooling system with water and check for stray current. If stray current is present refer item 1.If no stray current is present drain engine cooling system of water.

 

10. Refill engine cooling system in accordance with vehicle manufacturers specification. If specification is not available refill with a coolant/inhibitor that meets or exceeds Australian Standard AS2108-97 (A) and follow the guidelines as recommended by this manufacturer for the correct mixture to fill the engine cooling system. Run the vehicle to operating temperature and recheck coolant level is correct.

 

Installation Procedures for replacing the radiator not in vehicle


 

1. Fit the new radiator in accordance with the vehicle manufacturers specification.
 

2. Refill the engine cooling system with water and an alkaline cleaning agent, turn heater on and run engine to operating

temperature. Drain engine cooling system.
 

3. Power flush the entire engine cooling system ensuring all sediment and particles are removed from all components

including the heater core and overflow reservoir.
 

4. Drain engine cooling system, flush with clean water thoroughly until entire system is clean.
 

5. Check all engine cooling system components for wear, in accordance with the vehicle manufacturers specification.
 

6. Fill engine cooling system with water and check for stray current. If stray current is present refer item 1 of installation

procedure where radiator is still in vehicle .If no stray current is present drain engine cooling system of water.

Any stray current more than .04 ampere MUST be removed or premature failure of the new radiator will occur and void the manufacturers warranty.

7. Refill engine cooling system in accordance with vehicle manufacturers specification. If specification is not available refill with a coolant/ inhibitor that meets or exceeds Australian Standard AS2108-97 (A) and follow the guidelines as recommended by this manufacturer for the correct mixture to fill the engine cooling system. Run the vehicle to operating temperature and recheck coolant level is correct.

NEVER MIX COOLANTS OR INHIBITORS. THE FINAL MIXTURE MAY CAUSE PREMATURE FAILURE OF THE NEW RADIATOR AND VOID THE MANUFACTURERS WARRANTY.

 

Choosing the right radiator


You can order direct from us, the importer, using our vehicle make, model and year filter on our site. Check the specs of the radiator in the description and it will provide you enough information to match to your existing alternator. All our radiators come with the 12 month manufacturers warranty if installed using the instructions provided above.If you need help in choosing your radiator, drop us a line at parts@myautoparts.com.au and we can help you get a replacement.