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Radiator Removal Advice - '35 Chrysler Airstream CZ

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Hello All,


     As we are effectively in the winter months here in Pennsylvania, I am tackling some latent projects on my ’35 Chrysler Airstream CZ. 


     I am in the process of removing the water pump for a rebuild as it has developed a periodic leak at the shaft which has been exacerbated by my recent drives this past year.  Since the condition of the car is such I have no reason to believe this has ever been removed before, I am proceeding slowly.  I made good progress (just nuts and bolts really) in removing the radiator hoses, bypass hose & elbow, thermostat and housing, heater hose connector and fan.  I loosened the water pump itself (2 bolts and 3 studs) and wouldn’t you know the studs do not allow enough clearance for me to pull the pump off without hitting the radiator.  I only need about ½” but it’s a no go, the radiator has to be removed or at least tilted forward (bottom towards the grille) to allow the clearance needed to slide the pump off the studs.


    So my question is has anyone had experience in removing a radiator from an Airstream or a companion MOPAR make of similar vintage (’35/’36 I believe are closely related).  I can see the hood stabilizers need removed and the 4 screws/nuts on either side of the core support have to come out.  After that, does the radiator just tilt forward and lift out? (Of course removing the 2 hood cowlings to completely lift out)  I am concerned particularly if there is enough clearance away from the grill cowl above the radiator (the radiator would have to tilt forward approximately 4” to clear this). Otherwise, I’d have to attempt to disassemble the front of the car, of which of course I would rather not try to do.  Any tips are welcome regarding removal of the radiator.  


   Two follow-up questions, assuming I get the radiator out, does anyone have a preferred shop they recommend to hot tank/clean it?  I have no reason to believe it needs directly repaired but after 85 years, I figure it would be good to remove any accumulated mud/goop in the tanks.  I am looking at taking it to Powell’s Radiator in Wilmington, OH, anybody use them recently?


   And the water pump I was going to send to the Dutchman, I have read very good things about him or maybe Gould’s in MA.  Again, anyone have recent experience with either of these vendors? 


   Thanks for bearing with me on this and taking the time to read through it; any and all assistance in most appreciated!



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  • 3 months later...

Just to update this after a few months - I was able to remove the water pump without removing the radiator afterall - I double nutted one of the mounting studs and turned it out....this allowed me the slightest room to turn the pump for removal.  


Now, I've gotten the pump back from the Dutchman (great service BTW); he upgraded the impeller on the back and rebuilt the unit.  Got it installed on the car this Saturday last and am now in the process of reinstalling the fan blade, freshening up all the hoses, fan belt and general reassembly.  I purchased new hoses and clamps from Restoration Specialties (also good people).  I may have the car back on the road soon!


in the process, I replaced the heater valve on the lower hose (somewhat tricky - had to drill the hose just so) and replaced the lower radiator pipe (had to custom up new one out of stainless from a local pipe shop) after the old one swiss cheesed coming out of my blast cabinet.  If I can be of assistance for anyone working on a similar endeavor, please let me know!


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