Need advice on radiator replacement

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So it's a 94 Accord with 67K miles. Barely broken in. :-)
It seems I have a small crack near the top of the radiator, about an inch long, It's weeping, but still able to maintain pressure,
more or less. Anyway, I want to replace it - the crack isn't going to get any smaller.
I'm pretty handy, and wonder if I can do this myself. The local independent Honda/Accura repair shop is quoting me around $400.
I assume the fans unbolt and swing out of the way. That would leave the upper and lower radiator hoses, and I assume the transmission oil coolant connections. Anything else?
I guess what I'm looking for is some encouragement, maybe some detailed instructions on how to do this, and suggestions for where to get the replacement radiator.
Any suggestions appreciated. I'm particularly goosey about the transmission cooling.
I guess it's silly to think of putting JB Weld on the crack? I mean it looks like it's plastic, so I assume there's no way to patch the crack effectively. Right?
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This is a very easy job. Two clamps on top, the fans' electrical connections, the hoses, then the rad just lifts out.

It's best to leave the fans attached to the rad when the rad is removed.

Leave the lower rad hose attached to the rad, and disconnect it at the engine only. Remove the upper hose entirely.

It's easy. Once you start tearing into the job, it should be pretty obvious.

Any auto parts place. Try to get a Visteon rad, if you can get one. If not, any aluminum rad will do. Aftermarket aluminum rads are of pretty good quality.

The lines will make a mess once they're detached, so have a drip tray under there.
Replace the rad hoses (with new OEM) while you're in there. THIS is the time to do it! And reuse the original hose spring-clamps if they haven't been replaced with aftermarket worm-screw types.
Have some fine emery-cloth handy to clean up the hose stubs. Corrosion will make new hoses very difficult to attach. A bit of dish soap on the stub helps the new hoses slip on more easily.

You have absolutely nothing to lose by trying JB Weld, so I'd do that first. Just don't expect long-term success. Thermal cycling will eventually crack the JB Weld.
--
Tegger

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JBW doesn't work worth a shit on plastic.
This is MUCH better.
http://www.loctiteproducts.com/p/epxy_plstc_s/overview/Loctite-Epoxy-Plastic-Bonder.htm
Just bought some at Walmart for $6.00. Only difference is what I bought has a 5 minute and not 20 minute set time.
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wrote:

I stand corrected.
--
Tegger

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Ron says...
> JBW doesn't work worth a shit on plastic.
> This is MUCH better.
> http://www.loctiteproducts.com/p/epxy_plstc_s/overview/L > octite-Epoxy-Plastic -Bonder.htm
> Just bought some at Walmart for $6.00. Only difference > is what I bought has a 5 minute and not 20 minute set > time.
Thanks. I'll keep that for future reference. But further inspection reveals it's also leaking at the seams - where the top tank connects to the body of the radiator. Looks like several places. So it's time to replace it.
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On 12/10/2010 10:56 AM, Tegger wrote:

the transmission hoses disconnect at the transmission. the a/c hoses may need slight bending out of the way, but it's harmless to do so.

yup.
i'd avoid the really cheap ones - they're pretty danged thin and unbelievably easily punctured. visteon is a good call.

soap's not such a good idea - foaming is the last thing you need in radiator coolant.

--
nomina rutrum rutrum

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What are you talking about? There are 2 rubber hoses with spring clamps right there at the bottom on the radiator.
Talk about making a job harder than it has to be.
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On 12/10/2010 04:59 PM, Ron wrote:

i'm talking about the two air conditioner hoses that are run alongside the top of the rad. if you want to lift the rad out of the way, you have to move the a/c hoses to get the attached fan motors past them.

you'd be better talking about a car you'd actually worked on.
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Well, you said; "the transmission hoses disconnect at the transmission"

Oh, you you mean like the one sitting in my garage?
http://i54.tinypic.com/2rdyq7b.jpg
http://i54.tinypic.com/bgnud4.jpg
http://i51.tinypic.com/2nklv76.jpg
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On 12/10/2010 06:56 PM, Ron wrote:

the transmission cooler hoses, the ones that run to the radiator, /do/ disconnect at the transmission. tegger didn't state that because he drives sticks, not autos - which is why i said it.

yes, the one sitting in your garage. the one where that top a/c hose needs to be slightly bent out of the way in order to get the radiator with attached fans out.
it's ridiculous when some wisenheimer who hasn't done a job tells people who have how to do it.
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Oh, I haven't done the job? WRONG. And the bottom line is, it's STUPID to disconnect them from the tranny. Double work.
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On 12/11/2010 02:10 PM, Ron wrote:

you haven't done this job ron - otherwise you'd know you can't get at the other end of the transmission cooler hoses because the fab cowlings are in the way.
have y'self a nice little day now, y'hear?
--
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On 12/11/2010 02:25 PM, jim beam wrote:

typo: f-a-n

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There is NOTHING in the way. Do I need to take another picture from underneath my car to prove you wrong?
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On 12/11/2010 04:17 PM, Ron wrote:

yes you do. and it'll show that if you can access from underneath, then the plastic air ducting is missing. but why unclip two hoses from on top and list the radiator out when you can lie on your back and fuck about with 10 plastic plugs, damage 6 of them, and get covered in crud from the debris the ducting contains? because you say you've done this before and have figured out how to do it better than how it says to do it in the manual. great job ron - thanks for sharing your valuable expertise.
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Tegger says...
> Any auto parts place. Try to get a Visteon rad, if you > can get one. If not, any aluminum rad will do. > Aftermarket aluminum rads are of pretty good quality.
Well, O'Reilly and AutoZone appear to carry the same radiator. At least they have the exact same price - $94.99. I see there are some available online for less, but I'm under some time pressure and will probably go for a local one. Besides, they do have a lifetime warranty, which might have some value at some point.
> Replace the rad hoses (with new OEM) while you're in > there. THIS is the time to do it! And reuse the original > hose spring-clamps if they haven't been replaced with > aftermarket worm-screw types.
Well, the current hoses are original, but at 67k miles they appear to be in very good shape. So I don't know. But I understand what you're saying.
So do I have to remove something called the drip pan from underneath the car? And will the standard wheel jack be enough to do whatever lifting I'll need to do?
I have one other concern. I have replaced the thermostat before, and remember having some trouble with the little bleed valve that's used to remove any air. It didn't want to shut off, so I'm worried what I may have done to it when tightening it down. Since I'll need to use it again, I'm concerned it may be damaged and I may not be able to get it to close at all. Actually, I'm not quite sure how it works. Would a parts store carry the right replacement valve if I wanted to buy one just in case? Would there be any risk in trying to remove the old one? I'm assuming the body of the valve screws in to the thermostat housing or whatever.
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The ones that Autozone sell are fine. I have one on my Accord and just installed one in my Miata.

It's a plastic splash guard. Held in place by a few 10mm bolts.
I won't comment on the wheel jack. I don't believe in working under a car w/o using jack stands.
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They're ORIGINAL? Mileage is irrelevant: they're 16 years-old! Buddy, replace these before they go pop!

Yes. That's a matter of some plastic clips. Easy peasy lemon squeezy.

No. Get a pair of stands and a real hydraulic jack. Harbor Freight has them about as cheap as you'll find outside of a garage sale.

Hmm. It's starting to sound as though you may not be quite as handy as you originally asserted.
It may hurt to read this, but I think you may find it quite a lot cheaper, and a lot less troublesome, to just pay the $400 you've been quoted and let the pro's do the work.
Lack of experience and lack of proper tools can add a very large amount of undesirable cost to a fairly simple project.
--
Tegger

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Get this. I had the original timing belts replaced this week on my '95 Accord that has 97,000 miles on it. The original belts had NO sign of wear on them!
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Timing belts wear and fail /internally/. Typically the carcass weakens to the point where the teeth begin to delaminate, and the teeth eventually strip off.
The exterior usually exhibits little appreciable wear.
--
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