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?
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.
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
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,
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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
On 2 Oct 2003 19:16:54 -0700, todd email@example.com (Todd Stafford)
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.
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.
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
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
On 6 Oct 2003 18:40:01 -0700, todd firstname.lastname@example.org (Todd Stafford)
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.
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