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Just found my 94 164LS upper radiator (plastic) neck was broken in half!

Karl
What are you sayiing - inlet for upper radiator hose broke off?
 

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Yes, from thermostat to radiator's neck was broken.

So you need a new radiator, huh? Did somebody jack up engine to change motor mount and not take off radiator top support and jack engine's alternator into upper hose and outlet?
 

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I just replaced my radiator as fluid was seeping out of an stress crack along the passanger side of the radiator. It would do this only when running as the pressure was forcing the fluid out. My mechanic said that when he went to take off the hoses, the connection at the top snapped off. These are mostly plastic radiators and I guess the heat eventually causes them to fatigue. Upgrade to one of the aluminium models if you can, they sound like a great solution. I wish I had known about them when I had mine replaced.

Regards,

Jeff
Dallas, Texas

1994 164 LS
 

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Dittos

The same thing happened to me last fall. The passenger-side tank began to ooze and when removing the hose to the overflow tank, the fitting broke off. Replacement is not difficult, the hardest part being the short, lower hose.
 

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Plastic, unless fiber reinforced, has virtually no fatigue resistance, thus we have cracking due to the pressure and temperature cycling of the cooling system.

Manufacturers went to the plastic parts for radiators because it was a little cheaper, and perhaps lighter. Now, instead of radiators which last for many years and are repairable, we have radiators which have a short lifetime between failures, and cannot be repaired.

Such a deal.

One question: can the aluminum radiators be repaired, and would the parts be readily available?
 

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Plastic, unless fiber reinforced, has virtually no fatigue resistance, thus we have cracking due to the pressure and temperature cycling of the cooling system.

Manufacturers went to the plastic parts for radiators because it was a little cheaper, and perhaps lighter. Now, instead of radiators which last for many years and are repairable, we have radiators which have a short lifetime between failures, and cannot be repaired.

Such a deal.

One question: can the aluminum radiators be repaired, and would the parts be readily available?
Yes. But it takes skill. I mean if the radiator was damaged say from someone jacking it up on the support and bending or cracking the those hose inlet ot outlet it can be fixed. Will it be as good as new, I would say you should have many years of a problem free radiator if done correctly. For example if you had one of mine I would ask you not to take it some just some radiator person to have it fixed even though it may be convenient, I rather have my guys look at it and determine whether or not it is repairable.
I suppose depending on the break it may or may not be repairable. Maybe just a band aid fix at best!

Jason
 

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You are correct. I was just thinking of how my uncle used to repair and dip clean radiators in his radiator repair shop years ago. A radiator could be disassembled for complete cleaning of the core, etc.

Personally, I still prefer the "old fashioned" brass/copper versions, being totally repairable, and pretty darn efficient, enough for these cars, although I'm sure that aluminum versions are quite suitable otherwise.
 

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You are correct. I was just thinking of how my uncle used to repair and dip clean radiators in his radiator repair shop years ago. A radiator could be disassembled for complete cleaning of the core, etc.

Personally, I still prefer the "old fashioned" brass/copper versions, being totally repairable, and pretty darn efficient, enough for these cars, although I'm sure that aluminum versions are quite suitable otherwise.
I would prefer the old brass/copper over plastic /brass and copper like the OEM.
I would say the only draw back to brass/copper is the weld areas which act like heat sinks. Weight is an issue as well as corrosion although the new anti-freeze and distilled or di-ionized water should reduce that problem unless you have electrolysis; which may be an issue with these cars as we can hear some engine noise in the speakers on some cars which is a ground loop problem. Although very efficient on a more modern V6 as well all know it can cause it to run hot which they are made to do for efficiency. The aluminum on the other hand if not properly taken care of can induce problems as well, like pitting!
I prefer the Aluminum now as I have replaced the plastic at least 4 times in the life of my 1991 164. The thing leaked right off the lot almost new!
Now I really don't even have to think about the thing. flush and replace coolant every 2 years and she should be problem free. Another good thing with the aluminum in this car is that they are set on their own bracket with bushings which reduces shock to the radiator and weld joints. Just something that popped in my head and not of real importance.

Either way the plastic are OK, 24V being the better design. If anything all you 12Vers if you need to replace radiator use a 24V and reroute the hose. Much better design and larger.

Old school is great stuff as well as the new aluminum stuff but they all can have problems.

Ciao
 
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