Cracked Radiator - Subaru Forester Owners Forum
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-07-2008, 02:05 PM Thread Starter
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Cracked Radiator

Was wondering if anyone else had a cracked radiator like mine, 2004 Forester XT 95,000 miles.

It appears as though the weight of the fan assembly /road vibration has caused a stress fracture on the top side of the screw boss.
[screw boss being pulled down]

It has been spraying out coolant through the crack.

I forgot to take a picture of the crack prior to putting a temporary patch over the crack [JB weld]. I don't expect the patch to hold long, just want to get a few more miles in while I await shipment of the replacement radiator.

Is this a common problem?

Chris
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-07-2008, 02:38 PM
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No, that is not a common problem. I have had one leak at the seam seal. Where the plastic top attaches to the aluminum core.

...04 XT.... 98S
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-08-2008, 03:06 PM
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I would say this is pretty common, a quick search on nabisco yielded several results for cracked radiators. Some are cracked in the same place, some are not, but most failed due to a crack on the plastic end tanks.


With pics and several others who have had the tanks of their radiator crack:
How's this for a broken radiator? - NASIOC



Need Help! My car is going through radiators - NASIOC
Overheating Issues... - NASIOC
Needed Asap: Wrx Radiator! - NASIOC
Radiator took a dump... - NASIOC
Cracked radiator - NASIOC
radiator cracked!! - NASIOC

His - 08 X Prem 5mt
Hers - 08 X 4EAT
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-08-2008, 03:11 PM
 
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Great. More preventative maintenance expenses to think of.
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-08-2008, 03:39 PM
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Originally Posted by tre36 View Post
Great. More preventative maintenance expenses to think of.
Oy vey, now more to worry about!
Do you think the failures might be related to over tightening of the hose clamps?

...04 XT.... 98S
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-08-2008, 03:50 PM
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Quote:
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Oy vey, now more to worry about!
Do you think the failures might be related to over tightening of the hose clamps?
I think its just the nature of using plastic on something that sees heat cycles like the rad. Plastic end tanks just don't make sense to me, especially on radiators and the newer style subaru intercoolers.

04xt/4eat, 16g, STI bits and bobs
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-08-2008, 03:52 PM
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Yeah, the plastic endtanks on Subie radiators are pretty notorious for cracking. I remember first reading about it when the STi radiator caps were all the rage. The endtanks often can't handle the resulting increase in pressure. In the OP's case it could be as simple as fatigue of the material, I suppose, especially at that mileage.

-Silke
04 FXT PP PSM ~ "Subed"
98 Forester S ~ "Slynki"
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-08-2008, 04:30 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SuperRu View Post
Oy vey, now more to worry about!
Do you think the failures might be related to over tightening of the hose clamps?

I'm with funkymonkey1002 on this.

I'm going to run my car til the last crank. I probably would look into a aluminum radiator or full steel at the very least for replacement.

I went through two headgasket replacement already and dread anything that leaks coolant. I'm fearful at this point actually.
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-08-2008, 04:57 PM
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Check what kind of warranty you have. That's clearly a falt and the rad should be replaced.
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-08-2008, 05:44 PM
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At 95k miles on an 04? I think the OP is SOL warranty-wise, unless he has the 100k Added Security Gold Plan...

-Silke
04 FXT PP PSM ~ "Subed"
98 Forester S ~ "Slynki"
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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-08-2008, 07:08 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by SuperRu View Post
Oy vey, now more to worry about!
Do you think the failures might be related to over tightening of the hose clamps?
I really don't see any relationship to the hose clamps. I have never tightened them since new so if they were overtightened it would be that way from the factory. Also if it were the hoseclamp I would expect the the plastic part of the radiator inside the hose to be damaged and it is not.

I think it is just the tank cannot take the road vibration, especially with the weight of the fan assembly hanging off the screw boss. A better design would have fillets and or ribs on the screw bosses /posts to more evenly spread out the stresses.

It seems to be a common problem on the NASIOC forum as flstffxe pointed out. Theirs cracked too and further away from the hose clamps.

How's this for a broken radiator? - Page 2 - NASIOC

However if you do overtighten the hose clamps that would lead to another failure no doubt.

Chris
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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-08-2008, 07:12 PM Thread Starter
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I'm with funkymonkey1002 on this.
I probably would look into a aluminum radiator or full steel at the very least for replacement.
Does anyone sell a good aftermaket aluminum radiator that is better?

I already ordered the OEM part again but maybe next time I'll do something else.

Chris
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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-09-2008, 12:13 PM
 
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I don't know for certain but I'll be looking into it for sure. I usually swap out the radiator hoses at 100K miles on all the cars I've own and after reading reports of crack Subaru radiators considering swapping the radiator too. It's an easy swap to do and I'll have all the hoses out and such anyway.
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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-09-2008, 12:20 PM
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