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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
So I've been dropping by this forum for the past year, since I bought my Rolla and have thought of joining up. Well now, I'm in need, so I decided to join up. Sup!

This is what I had to deal with yesterday.

[picture of my cracked radiator]
https://s14.postimg.org/5ni1jrtc1/IMG_1246b.jpg

I had no warning. The car was in park and running, after a 30 minute drive, and boom white smoke from everywhere. I turned off the engine within 5-10 seconds of the burst, so I'm praying that I didn't do any other damage to the Head Gasket, Transmission, etc.

I hadn't seen any overheating from the temperature gauge in the car recently, actually never, for that matter.

The only concern I have is that I may have done this to myself. I have been performing an AC Delete this past week and all that is remaining is the condenser, drier and compressor. I did unplug a few things, that may have possibly made the radiator, sensor, relay, or fan not function properly? therefore leading to an overheating? You can see the two plugs to the left of the power steering cap.

[picture of my ac delete, wiring harness unplugged]
https://s14.postimg.org/hsg241aox/IMG_1245b.jpg

I read this in another post:

Ok, so I figured it out.

There is a switch in the high pressure (small) line of the AC system that turns the radiator fan on when open.

So look for a Blue plug with green wires going to it near where the AC lines go into the firewall and bridge that connector. the wire you bridge it with doesn't have to be very thick because it's just for a relay.

after you bridge that connector you'll connect the relay back to the water temp switch and it'll work normally.
I'm hoping that my fan has been running. Is there anyway to test that my fan works without running the engine?

After the blowout, the overflow container is full, but the cap didn't pop off, the plastic just cracked. It is an old radiator, so I'm hoping that the weak plastic had a flaw or was damaged a bit and that was the weak link only.

So now, I'm searching for a replacement. I really would like an all aluminum radiator under $200, but can't seem to source one for my car. I'm thinking maybe a universal one and modifying it a little to work with my setup. I'm handy but don't have the ability to weld anything. I've seen where Honda all aluminum radiators have been used, like in this post:

I do not know the answer to your question, but here's an idea!!

I'm running a Honda Civic halfie 2 row radiator. It cools just the same (if not better) and frees up room in the engine bay. The stock hoses will reach too. Only issue I had, was that the rad was a little tall and the cap vibrated on the hood, and I had to run a hose guard to stop the lower hose from rubbing on the front lower engine mount.

http://www.amazon.com/Manual-Transm...55467463&sr=8-2&keywords=honda+civic+radiator



Just an idea :grin:

Oh yeah... sense you have AC you have a sensor that needs to go in the bottom of the rad. There's a threaded drain plug at the bottom of that rad you could probably make work
but I have an Automatic Transmission and don't want to have to install another cooler for the Transmission fluid.

I definitely don't want plastic, so in my hunting I came across this one from Koyo.

[Koyo copper radiator, metal tank Part No. G1000116697KCS]
http://shop.advanceautoparts.com/p/...kcs/10802189-P?searchTerm=radiator#fragment-4

It's a copper core, with metal tanks.

This is my daily driver and I'm doing the work myself, so I need to make it happen asap. I can't wait for a custom aluminum radiator to be built and don't have $300+ to drop on one.

Anybody's advice, expertise, links, direction would be most most appreciated in my time of need here.

Looking forward to hearing from someone.

Peace.
 

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The plastic was just old. Even overheating it shouldn't crack. The coolant should come out of the cap before the plastic cracks. You're lucky it happened while stopped and you could turn the engine off immediately.

You may have leaned on the plastic while working on something and weakened it.

I don't know if there's a huge benefit to an all metal radiator. The plastic ones should be fine for many years. There are 2 types. One has a thicker core. I don't know about metal radiators so I'm not much help there.

You only need the key in the ON position (engine not running) to test the fans. They should be on with the AC wires by the firewall disconnected. If those were still connected you can disconnect the fan switch by the thermostat and the fans should kick on. The fans should have been on when the radiator blew, but just turn the key to ON and see if they are on.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
UPDATE:

I removed the radiator. Next is the condenser.

I did a little more research into buying a radiator and I've been looking into a separate stand-alone Auto Trans fluid cooler, so that I may be able to get an all aluminum halfie, like Prizdog said he's running, or some other option. I might even consider getting an extra little Trans cooler if I get a regular radiator that has one inside. The internal trans oil cooler in this old radiator looks mighty small. Would there be any problem in running the trans oil through a stand alone cooler only, without also having it go through the radiator?

Now that I've uninstalled and inspected the connections and space that I have to work with, my options are definitely open.

My only concerns at this point would be to

1. Be sure to get enough cooling for the Engine and the Transmission, without doing more damage.
2. Try to get products made in the USA by US companies, like Derale for the Trans cooler.
http://derale.com/products/fluid-coolers/transmission
3. Keep the cost around $100-$150, no more than $200-$250 total.


Thanks DrZ for the reply

The plastic was just old. Even overheating it shouldn't crack. The coolant should come out of the cap before the plastic cracks. You're lucky it happened while stopped and you could turn the engine off immediately.

You may have leaned on the plastic while working on something and weakened it.

I don't know if there's a huge benefit to an all metal radiator. The plastic ones should be fine for many years. There are 2 types. One has a thicker core. I don't know about metal radiators so I'm not much help there.

You only need the key in the ON position (engine not running) to test the fans. They should be on with the AC wires by the firewall disconnected. If those were still connected you can disconnect the fan switch by the thermostat and the fans should kick on. The fans should have been on when the radiator blew, but just turn the key to ON and see if they are on.
Indeed, I do believe I was lucky how it happened. My aunt was just dissing my car as I was telling her how it's not much to look at but how great it runs and then BOOM!! Smoke everywhere. Too funny. Glad I can laugh and I'm not crying about more damage. At least until I fire it up again after the new radiator goes in. I do believe I may have rested on it and cracked it or something along that line. The radiator is probably the stock Denso perhaps. It's a copper core, pretty thick. 27"x17.5"x2" It was rusted, banged up fins and all that.

I checked that the fan still works by connecting it directly to the battery, and it does work, but I'm not sure if it was engaging at the correct time or not. Come to think of it, I don't remember ever hearing it run? Is that possible? How long can a car stay cool enough without a functioning fan? Months?

Once I reinstall the system, I'm going to connect the fan to a switch inside the car so that I can have direct control of it. I'm very hands on about my driving and monitoring gauges, etc.

If anyone can suggest some US brands of radiators and/or transmission coolers, it'd be great. Hoping to order the goods in the next couple of days.
 

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I checked that the fan still works by connecting it directly to the battery, and it does work, but I'm not sure if it was engaging at the correct time or not. Come to think of it, I don't remember ever hearing it run? Is that possible? How long can a car stay cool enough without a functioning fan? Months?

Once I reinstall the system, I'm going to connect the fan to a switch inside the car so that I can have direct control of it. I'm very hands on about my driving and monitoring gauges, etc.
Like I said, with those A/C connectors disconnected, then both fans should be on with the key in the ON position. If not, then you have a bad fuse, relay or wire.

I'm not sure about wiring a switch to manually turn the fan on. What if you step out of the car with it idling and forget to turn it on? Also, if you leave the fan on it could prematurely wear the brushes in the motor out.
 

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Hey my car! :grin: They way your radiator blew is common on these cars when they get old.

There is one issue with using this radiator. If your car has A/C there is a sensor that is at the bottom of the radiator that you'll need to incorporate into this radiator. If the thread pitch for the sensor is the same, you can use the drain plug for it. The price for this radiator is good too. My car is manual with no A/C (so no incorporated trans cooler or extra plug) and I paid about $50.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
If your car has A/C there is a sensor that is at the bottom of the radiator that you'll need to incorporate into this radiator.
Not an issue, the ac is in the process of being deleted. It never held a charge, since I've owned the car, and I don't mind being hot. Reducing weight, scrapping the metal, etc It's a done deal. The only issue is whether I messed my radiator fan system up, but I won't know until the new rad goes in. All that's left is the condenser, which is a pain to get out, (does it come out towards the front of the car or towards the engine? and compressor, but I need to pick up a bypass pulley.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
UPDATE:

After further inspection of the radiator fan, it appears that there was a short in the motor. While testing it's power, I noticed that it kicks on and off when I wiggle the wires going into the motor housing. Plus when the motor does run it sounds like a bad bearing, or like it hasn't run well for a long time. This leads me to think that it may not have been working properly, if at all, since I've owned the car. I don't remember ever hearing or seeing it run. Is is possible that the car could have stayed cool enough without the fan running for a year? Anyway, I'm going to look for a fan motor at the junkyard, as the blade and shroud are fine,

it has part number 130104 on the motor TRIPAC 15-6002 12v DC
&
205613 14-4011RF1D TRIPAC Made in USA on the fan blade
&
14-4911B2 07013 on the shroud

which leads me to believe that this fan was a replacement and isn't OEM
 

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My Autozone fan motor's front bushing failed after a year and the replacement after a couple summer months. Cheap garbage. It would make a rattling sound. I had saved the original, took it apart and replaced the motor brushes. All is good now.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I took my motor apart but wasn't able to accomplish much. Off to the scrap yard with it. I just ordered another fan. Now I'm looking into the radiator.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
My car is manual with no A/C (so no incorporated trans cooler or extra plug) and I paid about $50.
I did an AC Delete, so I'm not concerned with that. I do need the trans cooler, as I have an AT. I did find this one https://www.amazon.com/Aluminum-Rac...nsmission+Full+Aluminum+2-Row+Racing+Radiator
but how did you mount it up? Does it seat in the rubber bumper mount? Do you have pics of the install and how you mounted it?
https://www.amazon.com/Aluminum-Rac...nsmission+Full+Aluminum+2-Row+Racing+Radiator
 

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Not an issue, the ac is in the process of being deleted. It never held a charge, since I've owned the car, and I don't mind being hot. Reducing weight, scrapping the metal, etc It's a done deal. The only issue is whether I messed my radiator fan system up, but I won't know until the new rad goes in. All that's left is the condenser, which is a pain to get out, (does it come out towards the front of the car or towards the engine? and compressor, but I need to pick up a bypass pulley.
The condenser itself is held in by 4 12mm bolts. Easy to get out especially with the rad removed. No need for a bypass pulley either. The A/C is ran by it's own independent belt. Remove the condenser, remove the tensioner pulley then remove the whole belt, and it's done deal. Now your just left with the main serpentine belts (alternator, crank and waterpump) and the power steering belt (water pump, pwr steering).

I did an AC Delete, so I'm not concerned with that. I do need the trans cooler, as I have an AT. I did find this one https://www.amazon.com/Aluminum-Rac...nsmission+Full+Aluminum+2-Row+Racing+Radiator
but how did you mount it up? Does it seat in the rubber bumper mount? Do you have pics of the install and how you mounted it?
https://www.amazon.com/Aluminum-Rac...nsmission+Full+Aluminum+2-Row+Racing+Radiator
The radiator you linked in a previous post (https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00PADCZBY?tag=vs-auto-convert-amazon-20) already has a trans cooler in it. You may also want to buy a radiator hose sleave to prevent chaffing on the lower hose. The lower hose will be moved to the other side of the lower engine mount which it might want to chafe against. I just bought a protective sleeve and it's worked great. Mine is mounted into the driver's side original rad mount only. It doesn't reach the other side but It's fine. You can buy the top mount part to hold the radiator in, but I just used zipties. I've never had any issues, the radiator sits in there and doesn't move. Lastly, buy a universal fan mounting kit. You'll need it to mount the fan to the radiator.
 
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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
UPDATE:

No need for a bypass pulley either. The A/C is ran by it's own independent belt. Remove the condenser, remove the tensioner pulley then remove the whole belt, and it's done deal. Now your just left with the main serpentine belts (alternator, crank and waterpump) and the power steering belt (water pump, pwr steering).
I had no idea. I thought it was one belt. I've never had to change any belts yet. That's great. Why do they sell an ac bypass pulley then? I was just about to buy one. That'll save $35. Thanks.

The radiator you linked in a previous post (https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00PADCZBY...vert-amazon-20) already has a trans cooler in it.
I'm considering buying the MT one like you have
https://www.amazon.com/Manual-Trans...55467463&sr=8-2&keywords=honda+civic+radiator
and an external Trans cooler like this
http://derale.com/products/fluid-co...tric-fan-mounting-bracket-kit-dual-fan-detail
I found it for $50
http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_from=R40&_sacat=0&_nkw=derale+13503&_sop=15
What do you think?

Am I foolish for adding this extra work and possible trouble? My thinking is that I have so much room now that the condenser is gone, plus since I'm not doing OEM radiator and a smaller one with different material etc, the trans cooler may not be good enough on the AT version of that aluminum Honda rad. Plus I know that you made the MT one fit, so I don't want to run into issues with the AT one, and this Derale Trans cooler, should work way better than the little internal trans cooler. I have two 12" efans on the way. I was thinking dual if I got a normal sized rad, or one on the rad and one on the external trans cooler.

Here are pics of the engine bay with the rad and condenser removed.




 

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Nope, IMO your smart to go with an external transmission cooler. While the radiator/transcooler combo saves space, I don't believe in it's design for shit. I just had to replace the radiator in my 90 Corolla because the radiator and trans cooler where leaking into each other. I've also had it happen in a Ford Thunderbird I used to have. It's frustrating and a pain.
 
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Discussion Starter #15
UPDATE:

The condenser itself is held in by 4 12mm bolts. Easy to get out especially with the rad removed. No need for a bypass pulley either. The A/C is ran by it's own independent belt. Remove the condenser, remove the tensioner pulley then remove the whole belt, and it's done deal. Now your just left with the main serpentine belts (alternator, crank and waterpump) and the power steering belt (water pump, pwr steering).
AC DELETE is pretty much complete, except for the electrical components, plugs and wires, which will probably just stay, as I don't want to mess anything else up that is on the same lines, and there isn't any weight gain with removing those. I just removed the Compressor. I only removed the compressor from the bracket mounted to the engine. Can I also remove the bracket that is bolted into the engine block, or should I keep it there?

Nope, IMO your smart to go with an external transmission cooler. While the radiator/transcooler combo saves space, I don't believe in it's design for shit. I just had to replace the radiator in my 90 Corolla because the radiator and trans cooler where leaking into each other. I've also had it happen in a Ford Thunderbird I used to have. It's frustrating and a pain.
Yeah, I've heard of trans fluid getting into the antifreeze, or the other way around.

Cool, so I'm going to order an external trans cooler and that Honda aluminum halfie for the MT. I'll update when I unbox.
 

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Is the trans cooler built into the radiator supposed to not only cool but also heat and keep the ATF at a certain temperature? A separate cooler could keep the ATF too cold like during the winter, no?
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Is the trans cooler built into the radiator supposed to not only cool but also heat and keep the ATF at a certain temperature? A separate cooler could keep the ATF too cold like during the winter, no?
Great question. I did a little research and it doesn't seem like it would be a problem but some do say to not use the external cooler in the winter. I think I might decide on getting the AT radiator and plugging the trans cooler inlet/outlet and using the external atf cooler. Which will give me the option to use the radiator cooler in the winter. But I also don't plan to have this car in the winter ever again, only Florida, so this might also remedy that potential problem. This past winter really did some damage after being exclusively in Florida for probably 10 years. Rust, suspension problems, strut oil like peanut butter. Other stuff I don't care to remember. This car, hopefully will never see another winter.

If I do this, and need to plug the inlet/outlet, how can I do this without having a blow out of high pressure. Or can I just use a hose to loop the inlet to the outlet.
 

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Just loop it I guess. I found that Gates trans cooler hose matches the original hoses best. The smallest inner diameter hose they make. I think that's 5/16" or 1/4". I posted the size some time in the past.
 

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Is the trans cooler built into the radiator supposed to not only cool but also heat and keep the ATF at a certain temperature? A separate cooler could keep the ATF too cold like during the winter, no?
Not exactly. If anything it's the other way around especially in our cast iron block cars. The auto trans heats up way before the thermostat in the engine gets warm enough to open. There really isn't such thing as an auto keeping too cold. As long as the transmission is healthy to begin with.

Great question. I did a little research and it doesn't seem like it would be a problem but some do say to not use the external cooler in the winter.
It doesn't hurt the transmission to stay cold. As long as it isn't already slipping/sticking it will actually be better for the trans in the long run. Transmission coolers aren't like oil coolers. Alot of people go wrong cheeping out on oil coolers which actually do keep oil too cold in the winter causing it to stay overly thickened and lubricate the engine improperly. I have an aftermarket oil cooler on my car, but I got a thermostatic one so the oil cooler only gets used when the oil actually needs to be cooled.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
but I got a thermostatic one
I'm looking at a Derale thermostat/fan setup for the trans cooler. Kicks on at 180 and off at 165.
 
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