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My radiator has sprung a leak and my mechanic says that there are no radiators to be found, he is a good guy and I trust him, but he says that I will have to send it to Detroit and have a new radiator built. I know the 1989 is special and other years won't fit it, but are there really none available? I love my TC, but she is going to cost me an arm and a leg.... any suggestions???

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Hi Noni1124,

I have a new radiator in a box. Needed one last month and the shipment took a week. I could wait and replaced it with another. Let me know if you are intereted. Mine is for 1990 3.0L auto. Not sure if it fits to 1989.

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Unfortunately, the V-6 model radiator does not fit the 4 cylinder models. AS you found out the V-6 ones are easy to get, the 4 cylinder ones are note. Some unscrupulous suppliers charge over $300 for the 4 cylinder ones.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Larry,

I took your advice and called Andy, he sent me a radiator that was freshly painted, but my mechanic says is no good. Called again Andy said that he would send another radiator and then I could send the first one with my radiator, hadn't heard anything... called last week he said he would check on it, called today and now he is telling me to send back the one I paid for and it will be looked at. Labor on this now will be for installing two radiators not to mention how long my car has been out of commission. Andy seems like a nice guy, but this is ridiculous! With shipping and labor I'm out of pocket a little more than five hundred dollars and still at square one. Any suggestions?

Thanks,

AY

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AY,

The radiator that was sent to KY was recored by a supplier in Phoenix that has been in business since 1955. Installation of a 1989 TC radiator takes no more than 15 - 20 minutes and you should not have to pay $250 for a repair that takes such a short amount of time. Are you SURE that your car does not have a restriction in the thermostat, and that he flushed and burped the system properly? If the engine block was full of crud and the mechanic did not flush it and replace the thermostat the crud could clog the new radiator in a short amount of time.

All our parts are warrantied, so if there is a problem with the radiator the supplier will repair or replace it.

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Hi Doc,

Thanks for trying.. NO GOOD when I followed up on the listing they have what almost every parts supply in the country has nothing more.. Only for the V6 3.0 I asked them to please change the listing. It did nothing but create confusion. .. Lou

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Hi Noni,

Please start all over again and I will try to help.. What is the year and engine and trans of your car. I would also like to know what exactly was wrong with your original radiator to cause your mechanic to say it was No Good.. Lou

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Lou,

After installing the new radiator, Ann said her fan is still running all the time - even when first starting up. Her mechanic stated that he "could not see" fluid passing through the radiator. That is not necessarily an indication of a bad radiator, but of a restriction either at the thermostat, a bad coolant temperature sensor, a bad fan relay or the mechanic's failure to properly "burp" the system. People who do not own a 4 cylinder TC may not be aware of the special requirements of that engine compared to the easy to deal with V-6. See page 7-14 of the BLUE service manual in the cooling system section which explains why the plug on the top of the water box must be removed to release trapped air from the system.

There is a quick and easy way to test and see if a radiator is clogged. Take the radiator, put it on its side, upper hose inlet down, cap and lower hose connection on top and put a garden hose full blast through the lower hose connection. If water only comes out the top hose connection (which is at the bottom) the radiator core is clear and functioning properly. If water backs up in the core and starts exiting through the cap connection, then the core is blocked and it needs to be cleaned and rodded or recored. This process only takes a few minutes, and the amount of water that is put in the radiator with a garden hose is greater volume than the engine's water pump can push through the system. If your mechanic is unwilling or unable to do this simple test, then it is time to go to a different mechanic.

Edited by TCParts
Aditional information (see edit history)
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Hi Larry,

As far as the diagnostic things that you described to me-- We Know; but for the rest reading that was good info.

I'm trying to start a dialogue with Ann I know the radiator leaked (She wrote) I would like to know - Where & How Bad -

When I discover a cooling system problem I always Remove the thermostat, & boil the complete system out with "Arm & Hammer Washing Soda Till the system runs clear, and back flush from a heater hose if I can. I do this Before I disassemble Then when I install new or rebuilt we are starting good.

I know she is up tight because of the problem but there are too many other things included like that fan running all the time.. did someone possibly move the AC control to on. fan will always be on with AC.. Lou

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Lou,

You are completely correct - and trying to get any reasonable information from a customer or their mechanic is sometimes hopelessly futile. I still was not able to get a hold of her again today to ask more specific questions. Of course, if a car is maintained properly throughout its life and the radiator fluid is changed at the proper intervals, a radiator should last the lifetime of the car and never need replacing. One of the first articles I did for the TC America newsletter was regarding how important it is to change the anti-freeze - the consequences of not doing so is the fluid becomes acidic and starts eating away at the soft metal parts like the head gasket and freeze plugs. I have never had to replace a head gasket or radiator in *any* of my vehicles, and one has 300,000 miles and my 16v TC, close to 200,000. Of course many TCs are on their second or third owner and especially the lower mileage ones may not have had proper maintenance done "because they did not have that many miles" on them. I charged her $175 for the radiator so where the mechanic has her at close to $500 is beyond me - the R&R of a TC radiator takes only a few minutes. Hopefully one of us will be able to get more information so the issue can be resolved. I took a perfectly good radiator out of one of my show cars today and took it down to the radiator shop to be recored, in the extremely unlikely event there is something wrong with the one we sent her and it needs to be replaced. Otherwise it will be ready for the next person who needs one......

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