Replacing radiator - what else should I do at the same time?

Discussion in 'Wrenchin' Secrets' started by Electra Bob, Jun 4, 2018.

  1. Electra Bob

    Electra Bob Well-Known Member

    I decided to replace the radiator on the Electra which is still running too hot for my liking.

    While the system is drained and I have good access to the front of the engine what else should I consider tackling?

    And dumb question of the day because I forgot to check the manual - how much coolant do I need to buy? ( I didn't have enough coffee yet to get a straight answer from Google...)

    I purchased a Champion AE161 and a 180 thermostat.

    Any "do-this" and "for-the-love-of-God-don't-do-this" advice most welcome.

  2. TrunkMonkey

    TrunkMonkey Well-Known Member

    Almost 4.5 gallons total capacity

    2 gallons of juice will do it.
  3. gsx455-4ever

    gsx455-4ever Gold Level Contributor

    What do the hoses look like ??? make sure the lower hose hase the " Non Collapse Spring " in it . Water Pump ???
  4. My3Buicks

    My3Buicks Buick Guru

    If you’re that far in I probably would consider changing the water pump especially if it happens to be the original one, that said, proceed with great caution, the bolts Snap very easily and then you open a whole new can of worms.
    Brett Slater likes this.
  5. cstanley-gs

    cstanley-gs Silver Mist

    before you take the old rad out.... flush the system first.
    The flush kit at autozone is about $5
    Hook the garden hose up to the flush kit nozzle you install in the heater hose. (pick up a new heater hose too if you want an original look, I still have the flush kit nozzle in mine)
    leave the rad cap off
    Turn on the water. Start the car and let it idle.
    It will pump some nasty crap out believe me...
    I let the car run like this for about 20 mins. Finally water was crystal clear.

    Now install the new rad (this keeps old engine gunk out of the new rad)
    New hoses if you need them.
    I like 50% pre mix, removes all the guess work.
    I also add a water wetter product like Royal Purple Ice (Autozone $10)

    With a new rad, and water wetter I lowered temps almost 20° from 215° to 195° all day long.
  6. My3Buicks

    My3Buicks Buick Guru

    I always have flushed mine as well, but I also have heard horror stories of pushing the gunk around can clog the heater core and also once sediment is washed away from freeze plugs them starting to leak. Just a "what could happen" but more than likely won't. I always have my original rads rebuilt versus replacing them.
  7. Electra Bob

    Electra Bob Well-Known Member

    Thanks for all the responses.

    I think I'll leave the water pump replacement until an engine rebuild planned for this winter. Then, if there are broken bolt issues they can be taken care of more easily and I won't be off the road while the sun is shining :)

    The hoses are all in good shape so I guess the big question is to flush or not to flush?

    The engine will get a good cleaning during the rebuild and while that's happening I could flush the heater core.

    If the rest of the system is undisturbed how much crud is likely to be normally flowing in the system and potentially clogging the new radiator?

  8. PaulGS

    PaulGS Well-Known Member

    Hi flow thermostat is what I would add to the replacement list.

    Robertshaw 180 degree version.
  9. cstanley-gs

    cstanley-gs Silver Mist

    When I flushed mine the water cane out like chocolate milk, then coffee and slowly turned clear. I would not put a new rad in without flushing.
  10. Electra Bob

    Electra Bob Well-Known Member

    OK - Sold on the flush!

  11. 436'd Skylark

    436'd Skylark Sweet Fancy Moses!!!!!

    Don't replace anything that isn't failing! Too many guys toss perfectly good parts just because of the "while i was in there" mentality.. waste of money and time.
    1973gs likes this.

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