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How to Install a Radiator
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General Radiator Removal
*Warning* Make sure the engine is completely cool before you install or remove your radiator.

Tools Needed for Removal of Radiators
  • Bucket
  • 1 gallon distilled water
  • Long, flat blade screw driver and short flat blade screw driver
  • (Optional) Short angled pick for breaking seal on hoses
  • (If Automatic) Open end wrenches/Flare wrench preferred
  • Assorted sockets and ratchet (1/4" or 3/8")

Note: Above tools are for removal of radiator only. Many vehicles have trim/cover pieces, as well as fan shrouds, that may also need to be removed.
  1. Disconnect the negative battery cable from the battery.
  2. Locate the drain plug (also known as the pet cock), it is usually located on either side on the bottom of the radiator. Drain fluid into bucket. It may be necessary to raise the vehicle for the bucket to fit underneath. It helps, when draining the radiator, if the radiator cap is removed first.
  3. Remove bottom hose clamp on radiator using a flat blade screw driver. If the hose will not come loose by hand, use the short angled pick to break seal between the hose and the hose connection.
  4. Drain remaining radiator coolant into the bucket.
  5. Use same procedure for top hose.
  6. If you have an automatic transmission, you will need to remove the transmission oil cooler lines. (Note: Many Ford and Chrysler late model cars use quick connect transmission oil cooler fittings. A special tool is required. Many import cars, however, use hose and clamp.) Carefully unscrew transmission oil cooler lines with open end wrench (flare wrench). *Metal* Do not bend lines!
  7. If your vehicle has an engine driven fan, remove fan shroud. (Note: they all attach differently, so be careful.) If your vehicle has an electric fan attached to the radiator, you can remove this assembly later. (Note: If you have an electric fan, you will have to disconnect fittings. Some cars also use sensors. Disconnect if necessary.)
  8. Locate the radiator mounting points. If the overflow tanks are located on the left and right of the radiator, they will be at each corner on the top tank. If the overflow tanks are located on the top and bottom of the radiator, they will either be on each corner on the top (for imports) || on the sides running vertical (for domestics).
  9. Lift the radiator from the engine compartment. Be sure not to contact the fan blades. There may be some fluids left in the radiator, be careful.

  10. How To Install New Radiator
  11. Remove any fan assemblies or sensors from the old radiator and transfer them to the new radiator.
  12. Compare the new radiator to the old radiator to be sure it is the correct one.
  13. After necessary parts have been transferred from one radiator to the other, reverse the procedure. (Note: Before you install the radiator, replace any damaged hose clamps and/or radiator hoses.)
  14. Once the installation radiator is complete and the hoses are tight, fill with a 50/50 mix of appropriate coolant and distilled water. Be sure to check your owners manual for the correct type of coolant your vehicle calls for. If the top radiator hose sits height (at any point) than the radiator cap, there may be a vent that you need to locate at the highest point in the system. Open the vent while filling and close the vent once radiator is full and before you start your vehicle.

**Dispose of coolant properly and legally. Refer to local EPA laws for proper disposal**
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