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Big or small job??? Radiator must go!!!

Discussion in '1973-1991 K5 Blazer | Truck | Suburban' started by WakeBoard&4X4er, Apr 19, 2001.

  1. WakeBoard&4X4er

    WakeBoard&4X4er 1/2 ton status

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    Radiator must go!!! The other day, I posted that there was some coolant leak but I could not tell where. Well yesterday after driving home from work, I was walking in front of my K5 and could hear a hissing sound. Opened the hood and could see a small spray from the back side of the radiator. So, I gave a 1991 K5, Stock tranny cooler, stock oil cooler 4 inch lift(might go bigger some day), tow a 2 ton boat, and not much 4X4ing, bit will do more when I have a different daily driver. What kind of radiator should I get, stock or 3 core? Should I change out the water pump at the same time? Should I change the fan clutch? What kind of job is this? Can I change all this by myself? Or do I have to have some help? Thanks!!!

    Brettmcox.coloradok5.com


    Made some calls I can get a 4 row for $180 but i was told that i will have to cut the ruber feet to fit in place. Good, Bad, Or???

    <P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1>Edited by wakeboard&4x4er on 04/19/01 06:32 AM (server time).</FONT></P>
     
  2. Can Can

    Can Can Pusher Man Staff Member Super Moderator

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    I'd go for the 3-core- when my rad let go last year, I upgraded mine to a 3-core. It only cost an extra $30 and it's nice to know it's there if I ever need it...........

    A rad is simple to R&R. Just unhook the hoses and tranny lines and unbolt it from the support. I can't remember finding any obstacles along the way.

    If your water pump and fan clutch are ok, I wouldn't bother spending the extra cash if you don't need to. Both the pump and the clutch can be replaced without removing the rad, anyway...............



    <font color=red>PHOTO ALBUM-</font color=red> <A target="_blank" HREF=http://albums.photopoint.com/j/AlbumList?u=1289798>http://albums.photopoint.com/j/AlbumList?u=1289798</A>.......<font color=blue>TRUCK & HIKING PICS</font color=blue>
     
  3. scavenger

    scavenger 1/2 ton status

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    If you havn't already I would go to www.carparts.com and take a look at what radiators they have available for your year. If it was mine and I was putting in a new radiator, I would replace the water pump if it is the original. It is a lot easier to change while the radiator is out. Also, from what I hear it is best to get a new, not rebuilt water pump because I guess there is some real junk out there. As far as the fan clutch, they reccomend installing a new water pump if you replace the fan clutch because a bad pump bearing may have been the reason for the fan clutch failure. If your present fan clutch is good I guess I would say it depends on how much you can afford to do. Personally I would replace it all because of the ease to get at the stuff with the radiator out, and the peace of mind knowing the cooling system should be in top shape. Difficulty level of doing these replacements is very minimal. If you have never replaced any of the above items get yourself a manual specific to your truck to help with things that are not so obvious. And also you have a lot of fellow k5ers here that would be more than happy to walk you through anything you may have trouble with.......Good luck.
     
  4. WakeBoard&4X4er

    WakeBoard&4X4er 1/2 ton status

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    I do have a shop man for my 1991 but just wanted to ask on how hard it was. Also, the water pump and fan clutch are OK, but i know that when I change this the other will go out. Last month i chage the throsate and the rad cap, and floshed the system and then the radiator lets me down!!! DAMM THING!!! IF it is not one thing it is something else!!
     
  5. Esteban86K5

    Esteban86K5 1/2 ton status

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    All you have to do is take of a total of 8 bolts and it's off. I just did mine on tuesday. 4 bolts on the fan shroud then just move it back and then 4 bolts that hold the radiator down. 3 hose clamps and two fittings for your tranny cooler. BTW if you don't have a trann cooler yet, now would be the best time to get one.
    I don't know about yours but my truck came wih a three core stock. What you do have to look for is the difference in three cores. There are what I think is called a high efficiency 3 core and a stock 3 core. The HE has the fins spaced tightly together and the stock ones are spaced wider apart. A HE 3 core has just as many fins as a stock 4 core so you get better cooling. Anyways I went with a recore rather than a new radiator foe 3 reasons. First I looked at the new ones and like most all of the hose attachments were flimsy. My rad shop reinforces all the oulets so they won't develop a leak over time with the vibration of driving/off roading(which is why I took my rad out in the first place).and second of all the core that he uses is made n the good ole USA all the new ones wer not. BE AMERICAN BUY AMERICAN! Good luck on yours. If you do need more help you know wgere to ask.

    <font color=blue>Esteban</font color=blue>

    <font color=red>SEMPER FI TO MY BLAZER
     
  6. muddin4fun

    muddin4fun 3/4 ton status

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    a 3 core is a good idea. BTW: make sure when you put the new radiator in that you've got the little cushy rubber radiator things in the right spot or you'll put a hole in it. Sometimes they're stuck to the bottom of the old radiator, sometimes they stay where they go, and sometimes they fall off. Make sure you put those back or get new ones.

    [​IMG]
    <A target="_blank" HREF=http://k5chevyblazer.homestead.com/home.html>http://k5chevyblazer.homestead.com/home.html</A>
     
  7. Emmettology 101

    Emmettology 101 3/4 ton status

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    IF it is not one thing it is something else!!

    Welcome to the world of K5's!!! ;)


    Mike - <A target="_blank" HREF=http://emmett.coloradok5.com>http://emmett.coloradok5.com</A>[​IMG]
     
  8. Blazer79

    Blazer79 1/2 ton status

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    Hey man, why don't you save some money and just take it to a radiator shop to have it welded? They'll pressure check it and find all the leaks. Way cheaper than buying a new one.

    To find out if you need to change the fan clutch, just try to spin the fan with the engine hot (and off, of course). If the fan is free, you need to change the clutch, if it's somewhat hard to move, then it's ok.

    Hope this helps.

    <font color=blue>//////
    <A target="_blank" HREF=http://blazer79.coloradok5.com>http://blazer79.coloradok5.com</A>
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  9. WakeBoard&4X4er

    WakeBoard&4X4er 1/2 ton status

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    I would just get the radiator fix and just replace it but, I know that it is the original and i my past car 87 honda i had to replace it at 10 years to. I is just nice to have a new one that i hope will last 10+ more years.
     
  10. Blazer79

    Blazer79 1/2 ton status

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    Yeah. I think you're right, you're better on the safe side. I fixed mine because I'll have to replace it anyway for my 454.

    BeCool makes a nice aluminum radiator that fits our Blazers. You might wanna call summitracing. I think it was in the $600 range, though.

    <font color=blue>//////
    <A target="_blank" HREF=http://blazer79.coloradok5.com>http://blazer79.coloradok5.com</A>
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  11. dyeager535

    dyeager535 1 ton status Premium Member

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    Since you have to replace it, if you have the time, try looking up a similar size one for a newer chev truck (88-up pickups) I'm curious if any of those are the right size. I would be willing to bet that somewhere close to '88 they went to aluminum radiators, which are a better overall design for cooling efficiency.

    For the cars, the difference between AL and copper/brass radiators is 0, and they are almost a direct bolt in. They won't list any as direct replacements for your year as AL, you just have to find one from a newer truck that is exactly the same height, and has the same mounting points for the rubber insulators.

    Dorian
    My K5 and Chev/Olds tech/links page: <A target="_blank" HREF=http://www.dorianyeager.com/index2.html>http://www.dorianyeager.com/index2.html</A>
     
  12. bigerik

    bigerik 1/2 ton status

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    When this happened to me, I took the chance to upgrade to the largest radiator core that my radiator (housing?) would hold. The upgraded core has 50% more cooling fins. I had a shop do it and it was $500 for that, a new temp sending guage and selling/installing a fan spacer on a fan I got from Summit and brought in. You probably don't need an electric fan since you didn't mention rockcrawling. After the shop was done, I was running at only 127 degrees Fahrenheit. It was so cool that I had to put in a 185 degree thermostat and I still run 170 degrees at the hot point of the water cooler. You don't need to replace your water pump if it's working OK, but you will need thermostat and water pump gaskets.

    <A target="_blank" HREF=http://www.bigerik.coloradoK5.com>http://www.bigerik.coloradoK5.com</A>
     
  13. WakeBoard&4X4er

    WakeBoard&4X4er 1/2 ton status

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    i did replace the thermostat about 3 or 4 weeks ago, but why the water pump gaskets?
     
  14. bigerik

    bigerik 1/2 ton status

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    You're right about not needing a water pump gasket. I am confusing my radiator swap with my camshaft swap. I obviously need more coffee. I do so many things to my trucks it all becomes a big, expensive blur.

    <A target="_blank" HREF=http://www.bigerik.coloradoK5.com>http://www.bigerik.coloradoK5.com</A>
     
  15. WakeBoard&4X4er

    WakeBoard&4X4er 1/2 ton status

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    LOL That is the way i am with my boats!!
     

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