ORIGINALLY POSTED BY: trdproven ON Jun 4, 2012

HOW TO REPLACE YOUR RADIATOR: LETS GO!


REASON FOR REPLACING: Cracks and Leaks

TWO COMMON MODERN RADIATOR TYPES: Aluminum core with plastic tanks and Full Aluminum Core and Tanks.

RADIATOR I BOUGHT: Sadly I didn't get any of the cool looking fully aluminum ones. Normally I get a good OEM one or a really good aftermarket one but I needed it right away because the car was down so I got this regular replacement, some brand called Automotive Cooling (So creative name).

FULL ALUMINUM RADIATOR FYI: Fully aluminum ones have known to have reviews such as:
-Sometimes mounting/fitment is poor, things may need removing like the cruise control cover and stock fans may have no clearance
-Read a lot that these radiators tend to leak. This may be a hit or miss chance, but seen installs right out of the box or radiator does not last long enough for its price.
-Although fully aluminum, it still tends to rust on the welds
-Price definitely plays a major role on whether you buy it or not, if you are not racing it or need major cooling assistance, you don't need it. Unless you just want your engine bay to look cool and you got cash to blow.
-Mishimoto is said to have okay warranty or customer support as I've read however I heard Koyo does not offer warranty because the radiator is used in racing applications and there are many factors on how it could affect or damage their radiators so they don't offer any real warranty, sad but true.

FULL ALUMINUM OPTIONS FOR 6GC:
Megan, Godspeed, Mishimoto, Koyo (Koyo does sell an OEM version), and Plenty Generic No Name Fully Aluminum Ones (Not Proven)


TOYOTA RADIATOR INSPECTION:
Condition Code Procedure
Air flow obstruction .... A ................. Require repair.
Application incorrect ... B ............ Require replacement.
Attaching hardware broken ................. A ... Require repair or replacement of hardware.
Attaching hardware missing ................ C .......... Require replacement of hardware.
Attaching hardware not functioning ............ A .. Require repair or replacement of hardware.
Connection leaking ...... A .. Require repair or replacement.
Corroded ................ 1 .. Suggest repair or replacement.
Drain inoperative ....... A .. Require repair or replacement.
Fins damaged, affecting performance ............ A .. Require repair or replacement.
Fins damaged, not affecting performance .. .. ........ No service suggested or required.
Internal oil cooler leaking ................ A .. Require repair or replacement.
Internal restrictions ... B .. Require repair or replacement.
Leaking ................. A .. Require repair or replacement.
Threads damaged ......... A .. Require repair or replacement.
Threads stripped (threads missing) ............... A .. Require repair or replacement.
Tubes damaged, affecting performance ............ A .. Require repair or replacement.
Tubes damaged, not affecting performance .. .. ........ No service suggested or required.

MY INSPECTION:



REMOVING THE RADIATOR:



Basically, jack up the car, put jack stands, and secure vehicle from rolling. Under your car, you must remove the plastics to access the lower radiator area. There are 10mm bolts just everywhere under. Select which bolts to remove.


Once you've removed the plastics, you will see this. You can start at this step and drain the coolant into a proper container. After draining you can remove the sensor and transfer it to the new radiator using an adjustable wrench to remove and reinstall. You can also remove the lower radiator clamp at this point to unhook the hose.










You don't need to remove the upper clamp of the lower radiator hose unless you are putting in brand new hoses. Again same applies for the upper radiator hose, unless both hoses need replacing they both need to be removed fully and reinstalled. In this pic below, its only if you don't need new hoses.


At this point, once you drain the radiator, you can start removing anything you want on the top side, theres no sequential must order. The radiator will hold on its pegs even if you take out everything on the top side so don't worry.








Basically, at this point the radiator is all ready to be removed. You can start to pull it up. Make sure nothing is keep it hooked down like the trans cooler lines if you have it for AT or the AC lines that run across the radiator. Here is the radiator removed.












Installation is the reverse. Basically as long as you put everything back and tight without putting coolant yet. Coolant should be the last to pour and at this point you are not installing anything anymore, you are just concentrating on pouring coolant and bleeding.

FILLING COOLANT:
Make sure your drain plug is tight and everything installed back correctly. Pour Coolant until radiator is full.

BLEEDING THE RADIATOR:
Theres really different ways to bleed the radiator. The OEM one is a little bit too much for me. The most simplest technique I use which may not be the most preferred by some but works for me is leave the cap off. Turn on the car with the heater set to the warmest. Let it warm up to normal operating temperature which is about almost half. You'll start to see bubbles. I suggest you get rags to keep things clean and place it around the radiator. I used mechanic paper towels. Bubbles will start to escape, this take a while sometimes. You'll start to notice once a good amount of air has escaped your fluid will drop because the space that air has taken up has been reduced and its mostly becoming fluid now. You can kinda squeeze your upper and lower radiator hoses to force or speed the exit of the bubbles, this gets messy too. By doing this eventually the bubbles will stop and coolant will be consistent (You must know the difference between bubbling and boiling, this is how you know when its done). Once it looks good enough, turn off car, pour more coolant and radiator cap it. Put coolant also at recommended reservoir levels. Bottom Line, get rid of em bubbles, it will promote a longer lasting radiator and best cooling for it. You don't really have to get the heater to the warmest in some occasions, you can just leave the cap open, leave the car on, and let the bubbles come out and normal operating temperature, and keep filling. BTW, there is no bleeder valve on our vehicles I believe.

OEM BLEEDING PROCEDURE:
(IT MAY SOUND WEIRD OR CONFUSING, CELICA OEM MANUAL USES AN MR2 FOR AN EXAMPLE, THATS WHY I DON'T LIKE IT)
Installation
1) To install, reverse removal procedure. Proper cooling system bleeding procedure must be followed.
2) Remove spare tire, front luggage compartment trim and upper radiator support seal. Connect air bleed hoses to heater and radiator air drain plugs. Attach and support opposite end of hoses to hood or hood support. See Fig. 33. Ensure hoses are not pinched.
3) Place heater control lever on instrument panel to warmest position. Open heater and radiator air drain plugs at least 3 turns.
4) Slowly add coolant through coolant filler. Air will bleed from hoses on heater and radiator air drain plugs. Ensure coolant in air bleed hoses and coolant filler are at the same lever.
5) If coolant level in air bleed hoses is lower than lever in coolant filler, air still exists in cooling system. Check for pinched or restriction in air bleed hoses. If necessary, repeat step 4). When proper coolant level is obtained in air bleed hoses, close air drain plugs. Remove air bleed hoses.

GOOD REFERENCE VIDEO FOR BLEEDING:
Bleeding Video Informational

[b]IF YOU ARE REALLY LOST WITH BLEEDING, HERE: References

FINAL COOLANT POUR:
When all is said and done, pour more coolant into your plastic reservoir to the full line and put back cap. Make sure you check for leaks after. Monitor it for the first week or so to determine and conclude its a good install.



Note: I guess you can flush the system if you want, you can read up on that. But its a new radiator so the only old stuff is whatever has made it internally through the cooling system. This is your call.

Another Good Note: I got scared about having too much bubbles so I did some research. Heres what I found: If the bubbles come out ,but the water level doesn't change, then most likely you have a head gasket leak or a crack in the head or block . If the water level goes down as it bubbles then it's just air in the system being bled out. Thats what happened to me, so I feel a little better knowing the level went down (twice even) as the bubbles came out. At the end, the level just stayed down, meaning no more air. *Crossing my fingers* Plus I do not have any other negative symptoms. Plus i've been having this white smoke cus I barely drive it, might be just moisture, but its been like that since 2005, no milky oil or coolant, no overheating, no power loss, etc. IDK i hope its not a head gasket issue, i just don't have any of the symptoms besides that white smoke when I start up, some water drips out the exhaust, but it eventually dries up and goes away. Bad PCV?

Disclaimer: I am not responsible for how you go about following these instructions. If you are not capable, I suggest you take it to the mechanic.

This write up is a work in progress, any feedback is appreciated to further provide better information.

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