Radiator removal/replacment - Nissan Armada Forum: Armada & Infiniti QX56 Forums
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post #1 of 60 (permalink) Old 05-20-2008, 06:38 PM Thread Starter
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Radiator removal/replacment

I don't post much here but do lurk around and use the site for info/ideas. However, I do try to contribute when the opportunity arises, so I decided I would do a brief diy guide for those capable and confident enough to try.


****PLEASE NOTE: I am not a formally trained mechanic, or ASE or Nissan certified. Proceed at your own risk.****

I'm a diehard DIY'er and just cringe at paying $100/hr for most basic repairs. A month or so ago the radiator cracked on my 04 Armada. Left me stranded on the side of the road...with boat in tow. Thankfully it was cool out so the motor didn't get too hot before I shut it down and even more thankful that I was only about 15min from my home. I limped it home, called the dealer and got the bad news....$500 for a replacement part. A quick online search didn’t turn up any significant discount and the dealer had one in stock so off to the parts dept I went.

Here is a pic of the crack. The only other thread on radiator replacement I found online the radiator had cracked in the exact same spot, pass side-lower corner. If you’re out of warranty I would inspect this area at every oil change.


I would rate it about 3 out of 10 on a difficulty level and only needed basic tools. Tools I used: 8,10mm box wrench (ratcheting), ” & 3/8” drive 8/10mm sockets, ” drive swivel & extension, ” & 3/8” drive ratchet, screw driver, pliers and a bucket or pan.


1. Disconnect battery. Remove engine cover and intake pipe.

2. Underneath, drain radiator by unscrewing large plastic bolt on lower pass side. Also remove lower radiator hose as it will also be holding fluid. Here is a pic of the underside (sorry, only took pics of replacing, I'm just reversing pic order)


3. Disconnect and plug up the trans cooler lines. I used some bolts to plug up the lines and some wire shelving caps to contain the oil in the radiator (to keep the mess down).

4. Disconnect the top hoses and all hoses clipped to the shroud.

5. Loosen fan shroud, but leave one bolt to hold it in place.


6. Remove 4x10mm nuts holding fan clutch to water pump, remove the last fan shroud bolt and pull fan out between the radiator and shroud.


7. Remove fan shroud.

8. Loosen outer most bolts on core support for the condenser.


9. Loosen two top radiator bolts and tilt radiator forward to remove two bolts holding trans cooler to the radiator.


10. Lift condenser off the radiator (it is just set down into two mounts on the bottom) and secure it up in the bumper area. Secure trans cooler as well.


11. Lift radiator up and out of its mounts. Remove it from vehicle.

12. Installation is reverse of removal.

13. I filled up radiator and reservoir with a 50/50 (since I’m in the south I dilute it more like 65/35 or so for better cooling) mix of anti-freeze (dealer told me their techs use regular Peak brand) and distilled water. Start the engine and leave the cap off the reservoir (not the radiator) while the engine warms up and continue to top it off as the system bleeds. You should see bubbles in the reservoir as they are worked out of the system. Once the car has warmed up and run for a few minutes you can put the cap back on. You should also check the transmission fluid and top off as necessary. Check the coolant level again after a day or so. And keep an eye on your temp gauge in the interim.

It really wasn't all that difficult and I had it done in a few hours (that includes figuring out how to get everything out). I hope this will help anyone that needs to replace their radiator. I now have about 1000mi on it with no issues.

Last edited by Bremsen; 05-20-2008 at 06:41 PM.
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post #2 of 60 (permalink) Old 05-20-2008, 08:34 PM
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Great post Bremsen. I've changed a few radiators in my day and your instructions are on the money!



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post #3 of 60 (permalink) Old 05-20-2008, 10:35 PM
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AWESOME Writeup!!!!



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post #4 of 60 (permalink) Old 05-21-2008, 10:31 AM
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Great job. I was reading a post by scr38 and he mentioned that the spring clips for the transmission cooler lines are prone to leaking and should be replaced with screw clamps. Might be worth it since you are already familiar with where everything is.

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post #5 of 60 (permalink) Old 05-22-2008, 06:43 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks guys.

spta, I would agree. I noticed mine don't hold very well and will probably make the switch on the next oil change.
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post #6 of 60 (permalink) Old 07-01-2008, 09:56 PM
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Oh..... lookey, another issue that seems to be across the board..
I just encountered the same issue, seems like the 04 year was just a waste.. Axle slides out, evap purge control solenoid valve breaks, radio stops working, break lines leak, and radiator breaks for no apparent reason.... Awesome


Thanks for the write up, im just sick of these nevr ending problems

04 Armada LE W/DVD
00 Eclipse GT
05 Caddy CTS
05 Honda AR12X
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post #7 of 60 (permalink) Old 07-02-2008, 11:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carnagebeatz
Oh..... lookey, another issue that seems to be across the board..
I just encountered the same issue, seems like the 04 year was just a waste.. Axle slides out, evap purge control solenoid valve breaks, radio stops working, break lines leak, and radiator breaks for no apparent reason.... Awesome


Thanks for the write up, im just sick of these nevr ending problems
Sorry to hear about that Player! A lot of '04 have problems, but a lot of them have had no problems at all. It just seems hard to narrow down which '04s have. You know, like whether they are the first generation '04 or later '04 models.



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post #8 of 60 (permalink) Old 03-28-2011, 04:24 PM
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I normally don't necro-post, but this is relevant.

It's been a long time since I have been back to this forum.

And true to form, I had an issue with my Beast... This first and only one.

My radiator developed the same crack on the same side.

Mine is a 2006 LE....

Called up the dealership, and my warranty had expired just the month before. I only have broken 52K on my vehicle. Oh well, I asked how they would charge, hahahaha!! No freaking way, was I going to pay $1K or upwards.

Found think post and remembered my login.

I will post my results...


-chris
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post #9 of 60 (permalink) Old 04-06-2011, 04:55 PM
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My radiator is leaking in the exact same spot. Was quoted $450 by a radiator repair shop to replace the radiator with a new one. Now that I saw this write up I think I will do it myself. Save me some money...
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post #10 of 60 (permalink) Old 04-06-2011, 06:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ahamade View Post
My radiator is leaking in the exact same spot. Was quoted $450 by a radiator repair shop to replace the radiator with a new one. Now that I saw this write up I think I will do it myself. Save me some money...
it can be done...but it's harder than it looks. Radiators are not like the old days when all you had to do drain, pull the top and bottom hoses off and unbolt the cooling fan. These trucks got too much sh!t connected to it.
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