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Old 11-20-2012, 08:24 AM   #1
The Big D
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Radiator just randomly leaking?

Has this issue happened to anyone else? Also, for anyone that has done the job is there any thing that helps make the job easier?
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Old 11-20-2012, 08:28 AM   #2
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My cap had gone bad and it would randomly spew fluid.
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Old 11-20-2012, 08:30 AM   #3
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Is it cracked? Good old plastic end caps

Mine one day started to crack on my '06 and it was under warranty at the time, so the dealer replaced it no questions asked...but, it did overheat on me on my way home and thankfully happened right down the street from my house and the next day had enough fluid in it to make it to the dealer (8 miles away).

I'm sure it's a simple job once you remove the hose clamps; hardest part will be getting the hoses off the nipples, as they like to stick.
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Old 11-20-2012, 08:33 AM   #4
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It's not that hard to replace. Pull the fan shroud, unplug the fan assembly and pull it out, 2 hoses, and the two U-clamp thingys on each side of the radiator and it should come out.

I replaced mine with a POS chinese RAD and its got a TINY leak in one of the side tanks and I have to put in some water every month or so.

So, you will roll the dice on a replacement "cheap" one if you don't want to spend the big bucks on an all aluminum one.

I could not get the AC condenser to fit back into place snugly either so, there is now a zip tie involved there.

Good luck.
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Old 11-20-2012, 08:37 AM   #5
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mine cracked in the plastic end and I replaced with a lifetime warranted replacement and has done fine for 4 years. Also Had to replace the cap, no big deal to replace, good time to replace all the hose also
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Old 11-20-2012, 08:38 AM   #6
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I'm going to replace it with a spectra radiator, a brand that I have had luck with before, It looks pretty straight foward. thanks guys
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Old 11-20-2012, 10:00 AM   #7
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Do you see it leaking, or is it just randomly low on water? I've had the bad cap, the leaking radiator, and the bad water pump. The cap and the water pump both did the randomly-low-on water thing. The radiator was puking water like crazy through the leak.
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Old 11-20-2012, 10:05 PM   #8
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You can see it leaking from the radiator
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Old 11-21-2012, 12:42 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Big D...View Post
You can see it leaking from the radiator

Invest in something good and don't settle for something cheap. It WILL fail you one day!

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Old 11-21-2012, 12:47 AM   #10
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It's time for a new radiator. This past year with 108,000 miles I needed a new thermostat, new cap and radiator. When the radiator gets hot the pressure builds and forces the antifreeze out of the plastic ends. I guess next will be the water pump and hoses. No biggie to change out.
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Old 11-21-2012, 02:36 AM   #11
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the lower plastic nipple was all cracked and broken causing my leak. either the original or the new one i got had some deal with the tabs you have to press in to remove or install that was a major PITA, otherwise not bad.

one other thing i ended up having to do is replace the alternator. about that time i was having charging issues, and when i looked, you could see the antifreeze was blowing back from the lower hose fitting leak right into the face of the alternator. might want to look at it, much easier to replace while the radiator's out already.
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Old 11-21-2012, 04:37 AM   #12
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No caps on the 04 radiators guys. I replaced the radiator in my father's 04 about this time last year with a Spectra. It's still working just fine.
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Old 11-21-2012, 04:43 AM   #13
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If it's OEM, it usually is a hair line crack where the aluminum tank meets the plastic sides. At least, that's what mine was.

You ready for the all aluminum radiator vs. OEM lifetime warranty debate? LOL
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Old 11-21-2012, 06:32 AM   #14
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I wish they made a copper/replacement (much better than aluminum other than the weight), but all the replacements seem to be alum. core and plastic end tanks, boo. At least if the core was copper it would be a good upgrade; only time alum. will be better is if it has a better design, more rows and different FPI density. For most folks, reliability aside, an oem replacement is more than adequate with a properly functioning cooling system.

I have a *really* nice afco alum. unit I was going to put in the chevelle and was looking to see how I may modify it to fit and work in the GTO when the time comes...Only thing is it's backwards (nipples), but it's easy to modify with some welding (closing off where the cap would be on that one) and turning it upside down. I ordered it for a manual (no cooler) and side brackets, so it may just work

Otherwise, I am not looking forward to this happening, as the only good option would be to get a replacement but it's probably less quality than the oem...sucks. And surely not going to pay the laughable prices 'they' charge for aftermarket alum. units.
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Old 11-23-2012, 12:24 PM   #15
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Mine cracked on the end cap also...
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Old 11-23-2012, 02:18 PM   #16
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I had the end cap leak also.. I went with the Non-Sponsor alluminum piece. I also changed the water pump for piece of mind and also a derale stand alone tranny cooler.. I personally would never put another radiator with plastic end caps on my car, but i also know funds dont always allow to do the better thing..
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Old 11-23-2012, 03:08 PM   #17
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Had mine spring a leak 2 weeks ago (cracked plastic side-tank). Replaced it with a Griffin aluminium one for $485...money well spent
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Old 11-23-2012, 04:48 PM   #18
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I just had this exact same situation. Some tips to help:

1.) You can get either a ~400$ all aluminum radiator that will last the lifetime of the car, or another plastic end-cap radiator for around 175$. There is absolutely no shame at all in going the cheaper route. In fact, this is probably the better choice for most people with a properly functioning cooling system (I see a guy further up said the same thing! Hooray! I'm not crazy). That said, there is nothing wrong with going all out and getting an all aluminum one either. Decisions!

2.) If you just order your favorite choice off of your favorite online retailier, you will most likely get a radiator with a trans cooler built in. No worries, if you're an M6 you can just plug the holes (or get creative and find something to cool! A frosty beverage, perhaps.)

3.) While you're in there and have all the coolant drained, you might as well do a flush and fill. Coolant is one of those fluids that gets forgotten a lot, and you're right there!

4.) It looks like you've already come to this conclusion, but it's not a difficult job at all. The hardest part for me was fitting the fan shroud back on. I finagled with the edges of the shroud that fit inside the aluminum part of the radiator and easily got it to fit..

5.) Since you're an 04 just be aware that you will not have a drain nipple. You'll have to remove the lower hose instead. Hooray!

Have a good old time!
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Old 11-23-2012, 08:10 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Big D...View Post
Has this issue happened to anyone else? Also, for anyone that has done the job is there any thing that helps make the job easier?


I replaced my radiator on Thanksgiving and was mostly done by lunch time.

A couple of quick notes ...
  • Presuming that the transmission line nuts are the same size on your '04 as my '05, you'll need a 19mm line wrench.
  • Have some Automatic Transmission fluid on hand to top off for what remained in your old cooler.
  • You don't have to remove the front bumper cover, but I understand why some people do. I didn't remove mine, but it would have made accessing the bottom clips for the AC condenser much easier.
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Old 11-27-2012, 08:38 AM   #20
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Thanks guys! I have yet to get enough time away from school to do it yet. I'm glad I'm not the only one!
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Old 11-27-2012, 10:37 AM   #21
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Thanks guys! I have yet to get enough time away from school to do it yet. I'm glad I'm not the only one!

I think every part of my cooling system has failed. Radiator (twice; the second time I went with a Griffin), water pump, radiator cap, and most recently the heater core sprung a leak and soaked my carpet. Currently running with it bypassed, as it doesn't get that cold in Houston, and I don't feel like removing the dash pad, which is merely one of the first steps of replacing the heater core (after discharging the AC, of course).

At least the overflow jug hasn't sprung a leak. Yet.
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Old 11-27-2012, 11:39 AM   #22
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^^^you (or repair shop) didn't mix regular ethyl glycol (green stuff) in did you? One thing I hate about the dexcool is that possibility of sludge build up should somebody put the wrong stuff in.

*Knock on wood* only thing I've had an issue on was the plastic tank cracking.
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Old 11-27-2012, 01:16 PM   #23
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^^^you (or repair shop) didn't mix regular ethyl glycol (green stuff) in did you? One thing I hate about the dexcool is that possibility of sludge build up should somebody put the wrong stuff in.

*Knock on wood* only thing I've had an issue on was the plastic tank cracking.

Nope. I just have bad luck at times.
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Old 12-04-2012, 08:30 AM   #24
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Picked up my spectra today, 187 bucks plus tax from my local warehouse. I unfortunately do not have the money to replace the hoses as I like, but A belts and hoses replacement is in order within a few months... I'm glad I am not the only one with the same problem!
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Old 12-04-2012, 09:45 AM   #25
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Griffin FTW! Mine cracked and I said screw it n bought one. Love it and it looks great too!
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Old 12-04-2012, 06:01 PM   #26
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Mine started to leak about a month ago and replaced it with an aluminum radiator from genesisautopart here is the link
http://www.genesisautoparts.com/radi...c-gto-2005.htm
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Old 12-06-2012, 04:10 PM   #27
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Previous owner put in a beefy aftermaket one that kicked the bucket about 8months after I bought it. Developed a steady leak near the top for some reason. Then the shop that put the new radiator in put on the wrong cap and it got blown off at the drag strip
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Old 12-13-2012, 07:01 AM   #28
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Well I wish I had seen this thread earlier but for some strange reason, all of the radiators in my area start at around 260 bucks. How's the one from genesis holding up? Should I need another, that will be the next option. Didn't realize radiators for these cars were that expensive. I know of the GTO bonus when it comes to prices on certain things but damn did I get blindsided on this one.
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Old 12-15-2012, 09:51 AM   #29
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Well I replaced the hoses and my radiator yesterday, and the car built temperature up fine, but as soon as I left my driveway it did did the same exact thing. It appears to be leaking out of the end caps. Did I just happen to get a bad radiator?
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