Gen 3 I4 Radiator Change/ Thermostat Change - Toyota Nation Forum : Toyota Car and Truck Forums

Camry 3rd & 4th Gen (1992-1996 & 1997-2001)/1st Gen Solara (1999-2003) Toyota Camry Discussion for years 1992-1996 & 1997-2001, as well as Solara discussion for years 1999-2003. Topics of discussion range from fuel economy, safety, modifications, performance all involving America's favorite family car, the Toyota Camry.

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post #1 of 59 Old 12-19-2005, 02:32 AM Thread Starter
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Gen 3 I4 Radiator Change/ Thermostat Change

Okay, i seem to notice that the Camry Gen 3/ 3.5 , if they were to have a radiator failure it would be as a long crack along the top ridge. And as they are plastic, the remedy is to replace the whole unit


IN ORDER TO UNDER STAND THIS WRITE UP, IT IS ORGANIZED INTO THREE SECTIONS:

1. RADIATOR CHANGE
2. THERMOSTAT CHANGE
3. COOLANT HOSE CHANGE

Each section has a short diagnosis of the problem followed by the remedy.

PLEASE READ CAREFULLY AND ALSO USE A HAYNES OR EQUVIALENT TO CONSULT THE STEPS IF AVAILABLE, ONLY ATTEMPT IF YOU FEEL COMPETENT FOR THE JOB.

(TN AND RNINGONFUMES ARE NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR ANY MISTAKES OR DAMAGE TO YOUR VEHICLE.)

Parts list and approximate prices:


Radiator: 140.00
Toyota red coolant: 10.00
Duralast Thermostat: 10.00
Thermostat gasket: 1.00
top hose: 7.00
lower hose: 13.00
hose clamps (x2 sets): 4.00
Distilled water (x2gallons): 3.00
Radiator Cap: 10.00




yes, i could have done with just the radiator change as my hoses and the thermostat was in okay shape, but i figure the car is at 113k and the parts are still orginal.... and i'm too lazy to doo three separate repairs down the road (when they fail----radiator + hoses + thermostat)

so here goes:

1: Inspect the radiator, check hoses, check last maintence done.... compile list of needed parts.
a: Radiator--for the cam in these years...mostly plastic...if it busts, you most likely need replacement, part can be had for between 130 to 200 (non dealor)--usually ships next day to the store for pickup
b:hoses..... run your hands along them, squeeze....should parts of the hose feel thin...cracked, or is hard---- time to replace (should feel like rubber..pliable and rebounds when squeezed
c: maintenece?...ie...was the thermostat replaced already, were the hoses replaced... last time coolant was changed.

2: Decide on just the radiator or doing the rest of the stuff to come and get the necessary parts.

.........................................

Radiator:


1: Allow car to cool or doo in the morning when there's light and the car has been sitting all night.
a: Two plastic covers underneath the car... remove screws to gain acces to lower half of the raditor.
b: Drain coolant into a pan or collector by twisting open the spiget located at the drivers side end of the radiator. Open top cap to allow air in from the top (for safe enviromental disposal later)..
Haynes meantions something about a plug in the engine block, i say you dont' need to deal with it as it's hard to read and the flush to take place later will take care of any left over old coolant.

[img]http://i58.photobucket.com/albums/g2...toremovep3.jpg[/IMG]

2: Unplug battery, unplug wire harneses to fan and coolant temp sensor. =-two plugs on the drivers side: the diver's side fan and the temp sensor/ one plug for the passenger's side for that side's fan. Then use needle nose or the other one (pliers that open wide) to pinch the clamps open and pull hoses off of radiator. ----i took the hose fromt he top off of the radiotor, the one from the bottom going to the water pump, i took off at the pump. ( cutting might be needed as they are stuck on). Don't forget the oil hoses at the bottom of the radiator, they require you to pinch them to losen them to....becareful, you may spill some oil.

3:


Loosen top 2 nuts holding the radiator in place. Use 12 mm socket. take those two clamps off and set to the side so they won't be in the way.

4: Pull radiator straight out (pull up)

5: lay two radiators side by side to transfer hardware. and prep new radiator for installation. Use 10 mm socket for screws which attach fans to radiator. Don't forget the rubber mounts at the bottm of the old radiator either.
To be transfered: 1. Fans with screws 2. temperature sensore (NEAR LOWER COOLANT OUTLET) 3. install lower hose from old radiator or attache new one..use new clamps (8 mm socket)


Cleaned:

Here is where you may want to clean the plastic shroud and spray down the front section of the engine bay with simple green or other detergent as it'll be hard to get to once you get everything back in...let sit until you are ready to put in the radiator before you spray/rinse with water

6: Proceed to put the radiator back in... jiggle the radiator until it sits firmly with rubber mounts in their little holes. screew in the top two clamps/ holders, reattach the harneses right and left side

7: Attache the hoses...use the new clamps (as they are easier to work with since they use screws to tighten.

8. FLUSH
fill up the radiator with the lawn hose, start engine until warm (you feel warm / hot water go through the top hose, and start to feel the lower hose get warm as the thermostat starts to open up. Turn up the heat to full blast.

check for leaks...tighten where necessary. ...

9: drain and fill up with 50 percent coolant/ 50 percent water **use distilled as it has no minerals in it)

10: "burp" the system by running engine with cap off and letting trapped air escape. squeeze the hoses if you want some cheap fun . While air is coming out, you'll get room to either poor in the distilled water or more coolant (use which ever to maintain the 50/50 ratio. Don't go above a 70 coolant/ 30 water ratio.


for the next few days..... check for leaks and tighten as nesscesary

fini.




__________ --______________--________________--________________

Thermostat

[When to change thermostat?
Change thermostat when
1. Every other coolant change.
2. When you change hoses
3. When you change water pump
4. Or radiator
or every 50,000 miles at the very most. I burned up an engine once cause of a bad thermostat and it cost me arm + leg. Broke a piston cause of overheating. Dont keep in thermostat for too long, theyre not lifetime items.

If your thermostat sticks open, you will notice that the temp gauge will stay noticably lower and it will take you a long time to get heat from the heater. If this happens to you, its annoying but not really urgent.
But If thermostat sticks SHUT, the temp gauge will go all the way to full hot and stay there. If this happens to you, stop right away and let the engine cool some and replace the thermostat. If you cant do that at the moment but you must keep going, unbolt the housing and remove the thermostat and bolt the housing back on, drive only until you can replace it. Dont drive the car longer than you have to, obviously

----Contributed by Marc 780 03/11/06]


[My only advice, depending on where you live, is to possibly run a cooler thermostat than stock.

Houston is so hot, I always switch to a 180 (stock is usually 195), and the car will run noticably cooler on the gauge. There is some potential for power gain by running a cooler t-stat (computer will (ok, could, - depending on the car & computer fuel/timing tables) run more timing and fuel), however on a Camry I would guess that gain to be little or none. (I have not done it, YET...)

(For comparison, my Ford Lightning runs a 180 degree t-stat stock, and switching to a 160 degree t-stat produces a dyno proven 10 hp gain in Houston (of course the stock motor is making near 400 hp, so the % gain is small (neighborhood of 2.5%)).


-----Contributed by MSpringer 03-05-06]



hardware:


1: Follow step one above to remove cooolant.

2: Remove oil filter for clearance if you like ( you can try/ do with out it if you have an extenstion for you socket wrench) use 10 mm...long as you have to clear the bolt or the combination wrench 10 mm as shown in the pic of tools to use.



3: Remove two nuts holding the thermostat housing and put in a safe place.

4: Firmly tug on the housing and pull away from the engine block...beware of residual coolant if your engine is still warm.

5: Take out old thermostat. Here is optional:



take off the other hose (top coolant hose from other end of engine). Take garden hose and flush water through the engine and allow to run out the other end. Pick a hole and let run out..and do vice versa.




Prep new thermostat by applying new rubber gasket and place into housing



6: Place the housing back into the bolts, screw nuts back in. REtighten with 10 mm socket or combination wrench.

7: Reattach hose(s)

8: Follow step eight in radiator section to flush. Follow step nine and ten in radiator section


fini.

again...check for leaks the following days, check the levels, fill the coolant resevoir.

___--___--___--___--___--___--___--___--___--___--___--___--___--___--

Hoses:


Changing only Hoses?

Are they warn.. do they feel thin? are they hard in some places?... if you pinch them, do they still rebound right away> like pliable rubber should be? are there places where you see the interwoven fabric/ nylon/ whatever string there? are the ends cracked...is/ are the hoses cracked?>

well, you my friend need to replace a coolant hose or two.


1: Check hoses by following above entry. Compile list of parts.... Top/ bottom or both hoses/ coolant/ distilled water / new clamps if yours are worn as well.

2: Follow step one in Radiator section to drain radiator of coolant.

3: Use needle nose pliers or appropriat socket/ combination wrench to take off clamps on both ends of hose to be replaced.

If you have the squeeze kind of clamps...i've notice that you'll make life easier if you switch to the worm screw clamps that use 10mm socket or combo wrench

IF hoses are stuck...you'll need to pull out the trusty knife to cut it off.

4: Prep new hose(s) ...ie... add clamps, move the little cushions if you wish to the new hose.

5: install and tighten.

6: Follow steps 8 to 10 of radiator section to finish up.


Addition from a member later in this post:
Quote:
Originally Posted by 08Cumree View Post
Hi there,

I replaced my 97 Radiator 3 weeks ago got it from ebay for about $70. Very fortunate that I saw the failing radiator right away and not on the highway. It has hairline cracked near the cap. I put some Glue-weld it was good but the radiator can't hold the pressure and it crack on other the side of the cap after few minutes of running the engine.

As far as flushing coolant is concern, this is what I did when I removed and replaced my radiator.

Before you begin, make sure your car is out on the driveway not inside the garage. Also you need plastic container large enough to contain used coolant. You also need to jack up the car. I use wooden ramps. Buy a gallon of Concentrated Coolant (read on why I used concentrated instead of premix)

Let's begin

a) Drain coolant from radiator

b) Drain coolant from the back of the engine via drain plug (hard to reach but can be done). You don't want to skip this unless you are a ready put your coolant on much larger container or may force to spill it on the street which may get you in trouble.

c) Put back the drain plug(s) when completely drained. Tighten the drain bolt at the back of the engine as you don't want to go back there again. Leave the radiator drain slightly tight because you need to un-plug it later.

d) Remove thermostat as shown on this thread.

e) Put the thermostat housing back without the thermostat.

f) Go inside the car and turn your heating controls to maximum position.

g) Disconnect the upper radiator hose from the radiator

h) Connect a garden hose to end of the upper radiator hose and turn the water on.

I) Wait till the water runs clear out of the radiator (at the upper opening where you remove the rubber hose)

j) Now remove radiator drain plug to drain the water and put it back once fully drained. Reinstall upper rubber hose to radiator.

k) Take the new thermostat with new gasket back to it's housing. bolt it nice and easy.

l) Pour CONCENTRATED Coolant slowly until full. fill your coolant reservoir between full and lower mark. NOTE: Unless you drained the water from the back of the engine (see step "C") then you can use premix.

m) Now get ready to start the engine. Leave the radiator cap off to let air out and before you start make sure the heater temperature control is still on the maximum position.

n) Start the engine and keep it running for 10 minutes with the heater on to full speed.

o) While engine is running look for any leaks. re-fill radiator as needed with water at this time and put on new radiator cap.

If everything looks good, go and crack some ice-cold beer for your succesfull "Coolant Flushing"









fini.


________________________________- ________________________________


Why did i use distilled water? ...I have hard water in my area and in my opinion, it's better for the radiator and whole cooling system as a whole. There won't be mineral deposits later on that you'll have to deal with. (or less of it)

Things i'd change:

getting or finding a decent thermostat, maybe getting one from the dealor or using a brand you trust.



those rusted screws underneath the car... i need to rplace them so at a later date when i need acces to the area, i 'll have an easier time getting the plastic pieces off

fini...!!!


Last edited by RningOnFumes; 02-01-2007 at 11:35 PM. Reason: to add a thermostat section
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post #2 of 59 Old 12-19-2005, 02:55 AM
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Errr....I believe that Toyota Red is already a premix and does not need further dilution.
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post #3 of 59 Old 12-19-2005, 02:58 AM Thread Starter
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nope... back of bottle says to dilute to specified needs

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post #4 of 59 Old 12-19-2005, 03:55 AM
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Is a Stant thermostat available for your car? I have not had good luck with Duralast.

Gary

Don't worry about what other people think....as most of them don't!
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post #5 of 59 Old 12-19-2005, 11:39 AM Thread Starter
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lol...i was going to comment about the dura last thermostat...compared to the one which originally came with the car, it looked cheap ......stant might work, but you'll have to find the store that carries it, i went to kragen/autozone...so i guess i got what ever they gave me. if i could do it again, the thermostat would be one of the few things i want to get from the dealor.

thermostat write up tonite...should be real short

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post #6 of 59 Old 12-19-2005, 02:39 PM
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nice write up

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post #7 of 59 Old 12-19-2005, 11:26 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks rabibt.


write up complete.

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post #8 of 59 Old 12-20-2005, 12:18 AM
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u forgot water wetter heheh

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post #9 of 59 Old 12-20-2005, 12:21 AM Thread Starter
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huh?

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Fumes,

Thanks!
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post #11 of 59 Old 12-20-2005, 11:10 AM Thread Starter
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no prob bud.

Rate this thread people!


Umm....for the more knowledeable folks....can you give me a little paragraph for signs and symptoms for needing a thermostat replacement? I'll add it to the write up for a edit.

thanks,

dave

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post #12 of 59 Old 03-05-2006, 02:32 AM
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REAL NICE WRITE UP!
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Thanks bud...if it helped you out, I'm happy.

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Very nice write-up.

My only advice, depending on where you live, is to possibly run a cooler thermostat than stock.

Houston is so hot, I always switch to a 180 (stock is usually 195), and the car will run noticably cooler on the gauge. There is some potential for power gain by running a cooler t-stat (computer will (ok, could, - depending on the car & computer fuel/timing tables) run more timing and fuel), however on a Camry I would guess that gain to be little or none. (I have not done it, YET...)

(For comparison, my Ford Lightning runs a 180 degree t-stat stock, and switching to a 160 degree t-stat produces a dyno proven 10 hp gain in Houston (of course the stock motor is making near 400 hp, so the % gain is small (neighborhood of 2.5%)).
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When to change thermostat?

Change thermostat when
1. Every other coolant change.
2. When you change hoses
3. When you change water pump
4. Or radiator
or every 50,000 miles at the very most. I burned up an engine once cause of a bad thermostat and it cost me arm + leg. Broke a piston cause of overheating. Dont keep in thermostat for too long, theyre not lifetime items.

If your thermostat sticks open, you will notice that the temp gauge will stay noticably lower and it will take you a long time to get heat from the heater. If this happens to you, its annoying but not really urgent.
But If thermostat sticks SHUT, the temp gauge will go all the way to full hot and stay there. If this happens to you, stop right away and let the engine cool some and replace the thermostat. If you cant do that at the moment but you must keep going, unbolt the housing and remove the thermostat and bolt the housing back on, drive only until you can replace it. Dont drive the car longer than you have to, obviously
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