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Old 12-28-2009, 03:11 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default How to change radiator?

SF5 2002 pre facelift non turbo 2.0 manual.

Christmas Eve, in car heating went cold, engine temp gauge went to high, when I stopped the car steam was shooting out of the front of the radiator and through the front grille.

Is there a step by step guide to changing the radiator?

Also, when standing at front of car looking down at radiator, what is the thin black pipe that comes out a third of the way down the right hand side of the radiator then goes to a block, where a silver pipe then continues up to the top of the engine? I've looked at aftermarket radiators online and they don't seem to show this.

Any help appreciated.

I've also posted this in Europe section but hoping for more coverage here.
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Old 12-28-2009, 08:15 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I don't know what the mystery hose is that you describe. Could you post a photograph?

You can get a Haynes Manual (#89101) for your car that covers the 2000-2006 model years. Removal of the radiator is not that difficult. A summary from section 3-5:

Secure car and raise front end. Remove splash shield under engine. Drain remaining coolant. Remove the coolant reservoir and the drive belt covers. Disconnect top & bottom hoses. Unplug the fan electrical connectors. Remove radiator mounting brackets and lift out the rad. Then remove the cooling fans and shrouds. You might want to remove/replace the thermostat too (connected to the lower hose).

Reinstallation is the reverse. Fill the radiator back up with coolant and add Subaru coolant conditioner. Start the engine with the rad cap off and wait until the coolant starts circulating. Shut it off and top off the coolant to fill the radiator, cap it, add some to the reservoir. Hopefully all air gaps will eventually purge, but watch the levels.

Removal should take about an hour (first time), reinstallation less than 20 minutes. You will have to make adjustments for the additional component you mentioned.
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Old 12-28-2009, 09:15 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Well I feel like a complete idiot, the small black pipe was actually coming from the air con radiator so was nothing to do with it
I've taken the radiator out this afternoon, wasn't too difficult but I could not get the undertray bolts undone, actually managed to round one off so had to do the whole job from above, had real trouble undoing the bottom hose clip!

Anyway, hopefully get the new rad tomorrow. The only thing that's worrying me is getting that bottom hose on tight!!

Thanks for the advice
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Old 12-28-2009, 05:13 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Be careful tightening the clamps. The pipes that connect to the hoses are plastic. At least, when you are reconnecting the bottom hose you can position the clamp in any orientation to help you get your socket wrench at a better angle given that you are working from above.

Don't forget about the coolant conditioner when filling the cooling system. You can find more info on this forum.

As a side note, do what you can to get the bad bolt out that is holding the bottom skirt in. Being able to remove the skirt for oil changes and engine inspections is really great.
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Old 12-29-2009, 07:20 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Thanks for the advice Wormguy.
The coolant conditioner seems to be a bit hard to come by here judging by some of the UK threads I've been reading. Even Subaru dealers are telling people they can't get it any more
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Old 12-29-2009, 09:50 PM   #6 (permalink)
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search this site for Holts Radweld. Seems to be the same thing its likely available over there. good luck.
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Old 04-16-2011, 06:12 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I just discovered a leak on our 2004 XT. The crimping on the passenger side is allowing coolant to escape while the car is running. The car has 86K miles on it currently.

Is this a good time (looking to save money on labor) to have the timing belt and water pump replaced while the mechanic replaces the radiator?
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Old 04-18-2012, 05:33 PM   #8 (permalink)
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My 04 XT is leaking along the top PS side crimping as well at 126K. Looking at Mishimoto all Alumin(i)um for $380 from Mishimoto. Calling Jackie tmo at Annap Subaru to see if there's a $ diff. Just saw they have a huge aftermarket vendor list from which they can order all the good stuff(Mishimoto, Whiteline, Perrin, etc.).

Lehman Sub is quoting me 540 for oem radiator, 480 for 'good aftermarket'. How can it be justifiable to double the markup, even if labor is incl. still unreasonable. Sorry, no thanks. Will DIY and get one that won't 'uncrimp' again.

EDIT:
Found Mishimoto Radiators on Amazon for $279, free shipping. Annap Subaru can do them for ~$285 shipped. Installed it looks pretty sweet. All the guys at Lehman Subaru now want one. They put mine in for free since they had the belt covers off doing belts, idlers and the AVCS actuator.

Found out that as the 3rd owner beginning at 118K(I purchased the vehicle from the 2nd owner, who bought it "Certified Pre-Owned" at 80K from owner 1) that it was now at 125K on the original timing belt. Yikes!

Anyhow, the 1,3,4 misfire and 0011 timing overadvance in bank 1 ended up being a combo of a dead AVCS solenoid and stuck AVCS actuator on that side. I can envision the solenoid perhapse failed when or at some point after the actuator stuck, which was the cause of the terrible to no idling in my case. That crapped up the plugs(except#2), burned lots of oil-had about 6/8mpg less while driven with the misfires and shook the radiatior to the point of a leak around the crimping.

To all the spark plug banter, the mechs at Lehman(30 years exp on Subarus, the svc mgr owns 2 Foresters) were quite emphatic about using the OEM plugs. This probably goes along with the discussions of ruined engines after using other plugs outside the temp range, gap and electrode material specs advised.

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Old 04-18-2012, 05:37 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Oh and btw(I know 86k was a year ago) regardless of the radiator, thats about the mileage for a new timing belt kit. Whenever anyone's in there for that, a water pump is also highly recommended, esp since they're so cheap new and oh so exp when they go.

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Old 04-18-2012, 06:06 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Prob not....

Quote:
Originally Posted by ForesterXT04 View Post
I just discovered a leak on our 2004 XT. The crimping on the passenger side is allowing coolant to escape while the car is running. The car has 86K miles on it currently.

Is this a good time (looking to save money on labor) to have the timing belt and water pump replaced while the mechanic replaces the radiator?
Unless there are some symptoms to indicate you need to have your TB or WP replaced right now, I think you have a little time before you need that service performed. Look in your owners manual, and there should be a maintenance schedule that will show you when you need it done based on mileage. If there is some indication that you need it done, then get it done.

In general, replacing the radiator is something a competent mechanic can do in an hour as long as something does not go wrong. It took me about 45 min start to finish and I am an egghead scientist.
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