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2005 Forester STI Manual
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140 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well, more of a fountain, to be precise.

Driving home last night, about 4 miles from home I noticed that there was a thin trail of smoke/steam running behind the car. A quick glance at the temperature gauge and the needle was hovering just under the red section. Usual contingency plan: heaters on full, which worked temporarily until the needle picked up again and the vent air became cold.

It was almost midnight when I got home and my phone needed charging so I couldn’t get the torch on it or take any photos, but the steam coming from the bonnet was obvious and it was all too hot to rummage around anyway.

Fast forward to this morning. It appears to have sprayed from the passenger side of the engine, as there’s a definite burst pattern on that side of the scoop under tray, and a lot of small pools in crevices on that side. Under high temperature and pressure, I assume there is a small crack or split through which the fluid was forced out while the engine was under load.

Slightly annoying as I’ve only had it four weeks. Doesn’t seem much point in contacting Torque GT about it as even if they were prepared to fix it under the guise of a warranty or goodwill gesture, they’re the other side of the country.

So now it’s a race to find the cause and organise a fix before the bank holiday weekend.

Any tips, hints or tricks gratefully received.

Apologies for the drawn-out rant. Happy Tuesday, everyone.

L
 

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2005 Forester STI
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64 Posts
There's a good chance that the radiator will have let go, a known issue with these engines. Oddly enough mine has just done the same on Saturday.

If you fill it back up with water you may be able to see where the leak is. To help you diagnose it.

I would still get in touch with Torque GT as I've heard of them sending money to help with warranty repairs for distant customers.
 

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2006 STI
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6,972 Posts
I'd also guess radiator based on your description, but also worth checking the top hose.

If it is either of those I'd imagine Torque GT would source you a replacement and contribute to (if not cover) any labour costs incurred. They seem like good eggs and given you've had it only a few weeks, the law is very much on your side... generally faults within six months are assumed to be the seller's responsibility unless there is evidence to the contrary, e.g. you've tracked it every day since buying!
 

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2005 Forester STI Manual
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140 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Luckily I was able to take the afternoon off work, so I could investigate.

One bottle of K-Seal later, and the problem appears to be patched, for the short term at least. Fluid level and temperature appear to remain constant, at least while idling. Before the K-Seal solution, temperature was at 3/4.

The leak is at the top of the radiator by the overflow; strangest place I’ve ever seen one. But you can see where the plastic is bulged outwards when compared to the radiator body. High pressure fluid through this gap is obviously the cause of the nozzle effect it deployed when repainting my engine bay.

It’s a bad leak though, it was falling out at the bottom just as quickly as I was getting it in at the top.

Am I better off biting the bullet and getting the standard SG radiator from ICP at 350 quid? Or is there a decent aftermarket alternative?

L
 

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2004 FSTi 6 speed manual
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1,974 Posts
That's exactly where the rad is prone to go.. Same thing happened to my last Foz... Rads are cheap enough though at 50 quid... I'd go for a mishimoto one though, much easier to bleed with the cap on the top. But just a bit more expensive lol.
 

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2004 Forester STI 6MT
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46 Posts
Go back to TGT, they were brilliant about my coilovers knocking a couple of months after picking up the car, sent me a set of MeisterR to replace them I just had to add a couple of hundred.
 

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2004 FSTi 6 speed manual
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1,974 Posts
Ebay item number 292266028044... 50 quid 🙂
 

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2004 forester sti
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2,536 Posts
Go back to TGT, they were brilliant about my coilovers knocking a couple of months after picking up the car, sent me a set of MeisterR to replace them I just had to add a couple of hundred.
Yes and hope that your shocks start knocking so you can get some meisters for a couple of hundred>:)
 

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2005 Forester STI Manual
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140 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks all. I’m waiting for TGT to get back to me, I’ll follow them up in the morning.

In my case, K-Seal appears to do the trick as long as the car is stationary, switched off and cold. To test it I made a 2 mile round trip to pick up Caz from her keep fit class this evening.

Proper warm up and cool down of the car, but there is still a little bit of spatter from the rad after the journey. Temperature held steady, but that is only while there is sufficient fluid in the system.

I expected a bit of steam from the residual coolant being burnt off any hot engine surfaces but clearly the rad remains a source.

The joys of owning a JDM-only model!
 

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2005 Forester 2.5 STI Manual
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308 Posts
That's exactly where the rad is prone to go.. Same thing happened to my last Foz... Rads are cheap enough though at 50 quid... I'd go for a mishimoto one though, much easier to bleed with the cap on the top. But just a bit more expensive lol.
Mishimoto are just rebranded Rads made by someone else, im not sure who the manufacturer is but im sure with a bit of googling, it could be found
 

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MY05 Forester 2.5 XT 5MT
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3,068 Posts
My first radiator failed on the plastic seam - Happens on the UK turbos too, not just the JDMs
Second one failed on a hose fitting point - Covered under warranty.
Third one has been good as gold

I fitted a Nissens radiator and Samco radiator hoses.
 

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2005 Forester STI Manual
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140 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thanks all.

New radiator on the way, arriving tomorrow. Then a bank holiday weekend to fit it and refill the system.

How hard can it be?
 

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2004 STi
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209 Posts
When I got mine I replaced the top and bottom hoses after it was mapped, the guy pointed out how much they were bulging and are a common issue so if you haven't already I'd do those as well. Sorry if I've missed this already
 

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2005 Forester X
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23 Posts
So.. it splits.at.the top, youll see.it.after 100K, dont cheap out and pick up both hoses, clamps.and a thermostat, run a rad flush first if you can and prepare to be disgusted as to what comes out - and dont be an idiot, buy undilluted rad fluid!
Oem rads are not that much more expensive but aftermarket has possibly better cooling.
Had it just happen to my 05 foz X 2 weeks ago, been chasing a slow leak for months 😉
 

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2008 GRB 20th anniversary 6 MT
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6,583 Posts
When I got mine I replaced the top and bottom hoses after it was mapped, the guy pointed out how much they were bulging and are a common issue so if you haven't already I'd do those as well. Sorry if I've missed this already
Out of interest, at what mileage did you have it replaced?
 

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2006 Forester XT Manual 5spd
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33 Posts
don't waste your time and money, mine blew a top tank in October of 2018, replacement blew the bottom tank in March 2019.
I now have a full aluminium Radiator and hoping for the best.
Considering the replacement was 50% of the value of the full aluminium and still blew, makes me very sad indeed as i should have gone full aluminium to begin with. :frown2:
It is the 24mm core from an STI with custom welded top and bottom tanks, the OEM if i am not mistaken is a 16mm core with the famous weak *** plastic tanks
 
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