K1500 Radiator Replacement

Hi All, I need to switch out my radiator on a '96 K1500 w/ 5.7L engine. When I look down from the top I see four metal "hoses"two on each side,
and a rubber hose up at the top right. My question is; what is involved with removing and replacing the radiator? Is it just to unhook the four metal "hoses" and the rubber hose unbolt it and slide it out? Or do I have to tear my truck halfway apart to get it out. Also do you have any advice about what kind of radiator I should pick up..Double Core, Four Core, All Metal, or OEM? I find that the OEM parts with the plastic on the sides look a little fragile when compared to an all metal one. Any help that you could offer would be greatly appreciated. Also my truck has another smaller radiator in front of the main radiator..Power Steering, or Transmission?
Thank You, Todd
PS: Could someone tell me how everyone finds out the spec on what transmission that they have, and what ratio rear end they have? I bought my truck used and would like to know, but the mechanics I have taken my truck to never really tell me definitively.
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replies inline...

two metal lines on each side should be transmission cooler lines (passenger side) and engine oil cooler lines (driver side). Rubber hose you mention is the upper radiator hose and you will have another hose at the bottom of the rad. that goes to the water pump attached to the engine.

I put in a 2 core in my last truck ('90 K1500 with 350 vortec conversion/700R4 and it cooled very well, as it was two very thick cores. I got above 200 deg. one time while towing, but it had no reason to NOT overheat in the conditions I was in: K1500 3.42 gears, 33" tires, slide in camper in bed, tandem axle trailer with two 4wd quads (10,080# gross weight across certified scales), 90 degrees outside and A/C on full blast. Yup, I was asking it for it's very life and it gave me everything it had. Very good radiator with fiberglass tanks and aluminum cores - pretty sure it was a Modine.
Also my truck has another smaller radiator in

If on the side and vertical, it's PS. If in front of the rad on the pass. side, then it's ATF cooler. If in front and on the driver side, then it's probably eng. oil cooler.

Look at the RPO codes in the glove box and look for numbers like G80 (limited slip), GU4, GU5, etc. someone here will post the numbers and what they designate - I can't remember.
One note, though, if you're asking what all the lines and hoses are, then you may want to get someone who is more familiar with their way around an engine bay to give you a hand when you change these radiators out.
another long winded response, Snowman
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save money and your transmission
buy a radiator for a manual-transmission vehicle, and install a BIG separate cooler for the transmission
"Snowman" <somethingorotherdotcom> wrote in message

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its a rather startiforward operation. I have a 92 K1500 with the 350 engine and auto trans. Your truck may have an engine oil cooler...mine does not.
anyway. drain the coolant. THere is a petcock on the bottom rear of the radiatior...open this and drain the coolant. disconnect your radiator hoses from fhe radiator. THe lower hose will still have some collant in it. Remove the radiator shroud. Disconnect your trans cooler hoses and engine coller hoses if you have them. remove the two top radiator hold down mounts and your radiator is ready to come out. Be careful and don't loose the little rubber insers that the radiaort sits in on the two bottom and top top mounts.
I bought an aftermarket 4 core radiator for my truck and its performced very well.
email me at elbert.clarke**@us.army.mil if you get stuck or don't understand something I may have writen. Remove the two ** to email. I get tired of the junk mail so I'm forced into altering my email address.
On 2 Oct 2003 19:16:54 -0700, todd snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com (Todd Stafford) wrote:

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Elbert Clarke
elbert.clarke**@us.army.mil
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Thanks a lot for all of yalls help. More than likely I will be attempting this in the upcoming week or so. Any advice as to brands I should buy and how much they should cost would also be greatly appreciated. Also I was wondering if going the junkyard route is out of the question or not, I am on a very tight budget, but buying a new truck cause I cheaped out on the radiator isn't what I want either. Thanks Todd
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Todd,
Don't buy this type of part from a junk yard. Yours failed in a normal vehicle, the one you will buy there will have gone through a wreck, additionally. Seams bust or welds crack. You don't know until you get it home and installed. Then you're back where you started.
Snowman

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radiators are somthing you don't buy from a junkyard. Modine is a known good brand for radiators. IF you are going to take the time to replace the radiator then you might as well get a new one...
ask around where you live...usually there are a couple of good radiator shops in the community or close by. Talk to someone in the automotive or body shop business and see who they reccomend.
I would think you could find a decent deal on one, for around $200.00 or less.
On 6 Oct 2003 18:40:01 -0700, todd snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com (Todd Stafford) wrote:

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Elbert Clarke
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I asked the same question here about 4 months ago and everyone told me to go with a dual-core, aluminum Modine radiator. I picked one up at a local radiator shop for $120. The two rows are twice as wide as stock cores, so it's probably equivalent to a stock 3 row. My engine has run completely cool ever since.
All that I remember having to do is unbolt the top of the fan shroud, disconnect all the hoses and lines and lift the thing right out. The new one slid right into place. I had the option of upgrading to the wider version of the radiator, but I would have had to buy a new fan shroud and replace all the mounting.
Like yours, mine had the integrated AT fluid cooler and engine oil cooler, but I opted to ditch the internal oil cooler and mounted an external Hayden cooler instead. I live in Phoenix, AZ, where the temperature was about 115 at the time I did the swap. I had no problem sitting in dead-stopped traffic with the A/C running after the swap. Before, I had to roll down the windows and sweat to avoid overheating.
-Derek

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