GM Cavalier/Sunfire 1995-2000 Repair Guide

Radiator

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In the process of our vehicle teardown, we checked the factory procedure against our teardown vehicle. An alternative method could be used for vehicles equipped with A/C that would eliminate the need for the A/C system to be recovered. We will cover both methods since the alternative method is slightly more difficult. If your vehicle does not have A/C, use the factory method.

REMOVAL & INSTALLATION



See Figure 1



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Fig. Fig. 1: Radiator mounting

Factory Method

See Figures 2 through 13



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Fig. Fig. 2: Remove the radiator shroud cover from the engine compartment



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Fig. Fig. 3: Unplug the connector on the crash sensor located on the hood latch support bracket



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Fig. Fig. 4: Remove the hood latch retaining bolte and remove the latch from the bracket



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Fig. Fig. 5: Remove the lower retaining bolt (one on each side) for the hood latch support bracket



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Fig. Fig. 6: Carefully remove the hood latch support bracket from the vehicle



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Fig. Fig. 7: Release the clamp and remove the lower radiator hose and ...



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Fig. Fig. 8: ... the upper radiator hose from the radiator



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Fig. Fig. 9: Remove the transaxle fluid cooler lines from the radiator, there are two: the pressure and ...



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Fig. Fig. 10: ... the return lines



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Fig. Fig. 11: It is advisable to plug the openings of the transaxle fluid cooler lines preventing the system from getting contaminated



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Fig. Fig. 12: Remove the condenser-to-radiator bolts

When adding coolant, it is very important to use GM Goodwrench DEX-COOL®, which is an orange colored, silicate free coolant. If silicated coolant is used on these vehicles, premature engine, heater core and/or radiator corrosion may result. In addition, the engine coolant will require change sooner, at 30,000 milee (50,000km) or 24 months.

  1. If equipped with A/C, have a certified repair shop recover the refrigerant.
  2.  
  3. Disconnect the negative battery cable.
  4.  
  5. Disable the Supplemental Inflatable Restraint (SIR) system. For details, please refer to the procedure located in Chassis Electrical of this guide.
  6.  
  7. Properly drain and recover the coolant in an approved container.
  8.  
  9. Unfasten the hood latch from the mounting plate.
  10.  
  11. Remove the right and left headlamp assemblies.
  12.  
  13. Remove the radiator mounts.
  14.  
  15. Raise and safely support the vehicle.
  16.  
  17. Detach the forward SIR sensor harness.
  18.  
  19. Remove the cooling fan assembly. For details, please refer to the procedure located later in this section.
  20.  
  21. Disconnect the lower radiator hose from the radiator.
  22.  
  23. Unfasten the lower transaxle oil cooler line from the radiator.
  24.  
  25. Carefully lower the vehicle.
  26.  
  27. Remove the hood latch support bracket and the forward SIR sensor with the harness.
  28.  
  29. Disconnect the upper transaxle oil cooler line from the radiator.
  30.  
  31. Detach the upper radiator hose from the radiator.
  32.  
  33. If equipped with A/C, disconnect the compressor and accumulator lines from the condenser. Discard the O-rings.
  34.  
  35. Disconnect the overflow hose from the radiator.
  36.  
  37. Remove the radiator/condenser assembly from the vehicle, then detach the radiator from the condenser, if equipped.
  38.  

To install:
  1. Attach the condenser to the radiator. Position the radiator/condenser assembly into the vehicle.
  2.  
  3. Fasten the overflow hose to the radiator.
  4.  
  5. Install the hood latch bracket, then route the forward sensor harness.
  6.  
  7. Raise and safely support the vehicle.
  8.  
  9. Install the cooling fan assembly, as outlined later in this section.
  10.  
  11. Fasten the lower transaxle oil cooler line to the radiator.
  12.  
  13. Connect the lower radiator hose.
  14.  
  15. Attach the forward SIR sensor connector.
  16.  
  17. Carefully lower the vehicle.
  18.  
  19. Attach the upper radiator hose.
  20.  
  21. Fasten the upper transaxle oil cooler line to the radiator.
  22.  
  23. Install the hood latch support.
  24.  
  25. If equipped, using new O-rings, connect the compressor and accumulator hoses to the condenser.
  26.  
  27. Install the left and right headlamp assemblies.
  28.  
  29. Install the hood latch assembly, then adjust if necessary.
  30.  
  31. Enable the Supplemental Inflatable Restraint (SIR) system. For details, please refer to the procedure in Chassis Electrical of this guide.
  32.  
  33. Connect the negative battery cable.
  34.  
  35. If equipped, have a certified repair shop recharge the A/C system.
  36.  
  37. Fill the cooling system with the proper 50 / 50 mix of DEX-COOL coolant and distilled water.
  38.  
  39. Bleed the cooling system.
  40.  

Alternative Method

See Figures 14 through 21



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Fig. Fig. 14: Use a piece of wire or another suitable device to support the condenser before removal of the radiator



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Fig. Fig. 15: Remove the front bolt on the suspension support arm



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Fig. Fig. 16: Loosen the rear suspension support arm bolt and swing the arm down out of the way



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Fig. Fig. 17: Remove the wire harness retaining clips from the radiator support bar



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Fig. Fig. 18: Remove the retaining clips on the radiator support bar for the splash shield



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Fig. Fig. 19: Remove the four bolts on each side (only three shown in the photo) for the radiator support bar and ...



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Fig. Fig. 20: ... remove the support bar.



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Fig. Fig. 21: Carefully lower the radiator out the bottom of the engine compartment

When adding coolant, it is very important to use GM Goodwrench DEX-COOL®, which is an orange colored, silicate free coolant. If silicated coolant is used on these vehicles, premature engine, heater core and/or radiator corrosion may result. In addition, the engine coolant will require change sooner, at 30,000 miles (50,000km) or 24 months.

  1. Disconnect the negative battery cable.
  2.  
  3. Properly drain and recover the coolant in an approved container.
  4.  
  5. Disconnect the upper transaxle oil cooler line from the radiator and plug the line to avoid contamination.
  6.  
  7. Detach the upper radiator hose from the radiator.
  8.  
  9. Disconnect the overflow hose from the radiator.
  10.  
  11. Support the condenser with some mechanics wire or other suitable device.
  12.  
  13. Raise and safely support the vehicle.
  14.  
  15. Remove the cooling fan assembly. For details, please refer to the procedure located later in this section.
  16.  
  17. Disconnect the lower radiator hose from the radiator.
  18.  
  19. Unfasten the lower transaxle oil cooler line from the radiator.
  20.  
  21. Remove the front bolt from the suspension support arm.
  22.  
  23. Loosen the rear suspension support arm bolt and swing the arm down out of the way.
  24.  
  25. Remove the wire harness retaining clips from the radiator support bar.
  26.  
  27. Remove the retaining clips the radiator support bar for the splash shield.
  28.  
  29. Remove the four bolts on each side for the radiator support bar and remove the support bar.
  30.  
  31. Have an assistant support the radiator and remove the two radiator-to-condenser bolts, one on each side.
  32.  
  33. Carefully lower the radiator out the bottom of the vehicle.
  34.  

To install:
  1. Position the radiator assembly into the vehicle.
  2.  
  3. Have an assistant support the radiator and install the two radiator-to-condenser bolts.
  4.  
  5. Place the radiator support bar into place and finger-tighten the retaining bolts. Tighten the bolts to 18 ft. lbs. (25 Nm).
  6.  
  7. Raise the suspension support arm and attach the front bolt finger-tight. Tighten the rear bolt and then the front bolt to 18 ft. lbs. (25 Nm).
  8.  
  9. Attach the wire harness retaining clips onto the radiator support bar.
  10.  
  11. Install the retaining clips on the radiator support bar for the splash shield.
  12.  
  13. Fasten the lower transaxle oil cooler line to the radiator.
  14.  
  15. Connect the lower radiator hose.
  16.  
  17. Install the cooling fan assembly, as outlined later in this section.
  18.  
  19. Carefully lower the vehicle.
  20.  
  21. Remove the condenser support wire or other device.
  22.  
  23. Fasten the overflow hose to the radiator.
  24.  
  25. Attach the upper radiator hose.
  26.  
  27. Fasten the upper transaxle oil cooler line to the radiator.
  28.  
  29. Connect the negative battery cable.
  30.  
  31. Fill the cooling system with the proper 50 / 50 mix of DEX-COOL coolant and distilled water.
  32.  
  33. Bleed the cooling system.
  34.  

 
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