The radiator is nothing more than a large heat exchanger. It is mounted so that the airflow at the front of the vehicle is forced through the fins of the unit, carrying heat away from the engine coolant flowing through the unit. The fan(s) supplement the airflow by drawing in cool air, thus providing cooling even when the vehicle is not moving.
Because of the need for good air flow, modern radiators and the fans have shrouding or ducting to guide the air through the fins. This duct work, including undervehicle covers and shields, must be in place for proper cooling. Leaving the shrouds and covers off can reduce cooling efficiency and reduce driveability.
Periodically, check the radiator surfaces for blockage by leaves, insects, or mud. Most debris can be removed by hand, and the force of a water hose can be useful in dislodging other items. When cleaning the radiator fins, don't use anything metallic or sharp; the fins are very thin and are easily bent or punctured. Generally, the only times a radiator must be removed are either for repair of a leak or to allow access to other components.
It should be noted that most radiators are mounted to rubber bushings rather than directly to the bodywork. This allows the unit to serve as a vibration damper while the engine is running. The mounts and bushings must be properly reinstalled. Replace the rubber bushings if they show signs of wear or lack of flexibility.
REMOVAL & INSTALLATION
On some models the battery and shroud(s) may have to be removed for additional working access.
- Disconnect the negative battery cable. Set the heater temperature control to HOT inside the truck.
- Using a large capacity container, loosen the radiator drain plug and drain the cooling system. It will drain quicker with the radiator cap removed.
- Disconnect the upper and lower hoses at the radiator and disconnect the overflow hose to the reserve tank.
- If equipped with an automatic transmission, disconnect the oil cooler lines at the radiator and at the transmission. Be prepared to contain oil spillage. Remove the hose assembly from the truck+ug the transmission ports and hose ends quickly to keep oil in and dirt out.
- Remove the radiator mounting bolts and lift out the radiator.
- Position the radiator in the truck, making certain all the mounts and bushings are correctly installed. Tighten the mounting bolts enough to hold well but do not overtighten them. Double check the draincock to make sure it is closed.
- Reassemble the automatic transmission oil cooler lines and install the retaining bracket. Make certain the hoses are properly routed and firmly attached at both ends.
- Connect the upper and lower radiator hoses and the overflow hose. Check each fitting and the inside of the hose for any corrosion or debris which would prevent a good seal.
- Fill the system with coolant.
- Start the engine and allow it to idle with the radiator cap removed. When the engine has warmed enough, the thermostat will open and water flow will be visible within the radiator. Fill the coolant to the bottom of the radiator neck and install the cap.
- Shut the