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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm going to replace the radiator in my 96 T&C tomorrow. Here is a list of parts I have. Let me know if there is something else I should replace at the same time.

radiator
radiator cap
thermostat
upper hose
lower hose
new coolant
 

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Thermostat housing gasket.
 

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Bypass hose, heater hoses (a real PIA!!!).
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Oh yeah, I have the thermostat gasket. And I have a bypass hose, but not a heater hose.
 

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Sounds about right, make sure you use the proper coolant for your car. NAPA carries the HOAT, zerex, if you need that. Why are you replacing the radiator? Reason I ask is that if your radiator opened up a seam, it could be a head gasket leak that is pressurizing the coolant system and it will bust the new one, or something else, soon.
 

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Our 3rd gens use good ol green anti freeze. Easy to find and know you are using the correct type. They even make it long life now.
 

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Our 3rd gens use good ol green anti freeze. Easy to find and know you are using the correct type. They even make it long life now.
My dad's '00 T&C uses the orange coolant. Even has a badge and a sticker stating that on the overflow bottle and by the radiator cap. I wonder if I should switch it with the green one that fits all makes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Why are you replacing the radiator? Reason I ask is that if your radiator opened up a seam, it could be a head gasket leak that is pressurizing the coolant system and it will bust the new one, or something else, soon.
There is at least one leak in the radiator, on the side where it is plastic. I will check the head gasket. My neighbor (a mechanic) is helping me. Or rather I am helping him!
 

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My dad's '00 T&C uses the orange coolant. Even has a badge and a sticker stating that on the overflow bottle and by the radiator cap. I wonder if I should switch it with the green one that fits all makes.
In my opinion, it is much easier to convert back to the green stuff. It is as easy as flushing water through the system a few times with a hose and then refilling with the easy to find stuff. Although hose flushing is not recommended depending on your water supply. I can use my hose water here and have never had any deposit issues in the cooling system.
 

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There is at least one leak in the radiator, on the side where it is plastic. I will check the head gasket. My neighbor (a mechanic) is helping me. Or rather I am helping him!
I would bet that your radiator just suffered from old age. They are known to leak where the fins join up with the plastic tanks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I would bet that your radiator just suffered from old age. They are known to leak where the fins join up with the plastic tanks.
Even so, I will mention it to my neighbor. I will say that having the right tools (like the hose clamp pliers he has!) makes jobs like this much easier. Any of you guys ever used them?
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Sounds about right, make sure you use the proper coolant for your car. NAPA carries the HOAT, zerex, if you need that. Why are you replacing the radiator? Reason I ask is that if your radiator opened up a seam, it could be a head gasket leak that is pressurizing the coolant system and it will bust the new one, or something else, soon.
Come to think of it when I had it running the other day there was a little bit of moisture coming out of the exhaust pipe. Like steamy smoke that dissipated pretty quickly. Might that mean a bad head gasket?
 

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Not necessarily. Depends on how persistent and the ambient air temp. If you see persistent white smoke that doesn't dissipate quickly then I would worry. Also, often a head gasket leak goes hand in hand with coolant entering the crankcase. Not always...but often. Watch for milky colored oil.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Not necessarily. Depends on how persistent and the ambient air temp. If you see persistent white smoke that doesn't dissipate quickly then I would worry. Also, often a head gasket leak goes hand in hand with coolant entering the crankcase. Not always...but often. Watch for milky colored oil.
The oil looks fine. Needs to be changed, but it's not milky!
 

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By the way.

I changed my radiator last year do to an apparent crack over on the cap side (driver's side).

It still leaked afterward. Found out it was the cheap but new cap I had bought at one of the local parts stores. Bought a slightly better one and not a drop leaks now.

The radiator definitely was cracked as there was epoxy over a crack, but just be aware that a bad cap can make it appear like a leak as well.
 

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A water leak into a cylinder will release steam consistently, not just a white puff at warm up. I have seen them fill a yard with steam in a few minutes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
By the way.

I changed my radiator last year do to an apparent crack over on the cap side (driver's side).

It still leaked afterward. Found out it was the cheap but new cap I had bought at one of the local parts stores. Bought a slightly better one and not a drop leaks now.

The radiator definitely was cracked as there was epoxy over a crack, but just be aware that a bad cap can make it appear like a leak as well.
Mine was cracked on the opposite side from the cap.

Also, the old thermostat was in 4 pieces. Probably the cause of the radiator crack to begin with! So always at least check it when replacing the radiator.
 

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If your minivan has the transmission cooler built in to the radiator, check the rubber transmission oil cooler lines. Sometimes they like to split and crack when removing them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Radiator is in (was installed Monday) and I had a leak at the overflow hose/filler connection, and another on the other side. I tightened the hose clamp on the overflow hose and it seems to have taken care of that one. I need to get under it to see where the other leak is coming from. Most likely another hose clamp, since there are 4 on that side.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I fixed the leak at the overflow connector. The outlet nipple on the new radiator was smaller, so I just used a sleeve to take up a little space. No more leak!
 
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