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Re-crimp or re-gasket radiator?


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Well, the "inlet" (passenger side) radiator side tank has decided to start leaking this winter ('94 STS)... two tubes of BarsLeak hasn't helped.

I know the advice here is to first try and re-crimp the side tank gasket... but, honestly, the clearance between the side tank and engine is SO tight, I can't really see a way to get the vise grips in there...

So my question is: If I have to go to the trouble to remove the radiator (spilling trans fluid, engine oil, and coolant) to re-crimp, should I just take it to a radiator shop and have both side tank gaskets replaced, and the thing pressure tested? Anyone been down this road?

Of course, I'm ASSUMING it's the gasket... could be a cracked side tank, which happened on a previous GM car.

GRRRR... coolant leaks with both GM cars (also 3800 leaks between throttle body and upper plenum)... me not happy this week!

Thanks! Rick94

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If you are going to take it out bring it to a local rad shop have it tested to be sure your leak is from the gasket.If it is then replace the both sides and have the shop do it as they will be able to retest the rad after the gasket job.


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My 93 STS also began to leak from the passenger side on the radiator this winter.


I also tried the Bars Leak and it didn't help. I didn't know the side tanks could be replaced, nor did I know there was a gasket. I thought the whole radiator had to be replaced, and it would be a shame, because there are no external rust signs, and the coolant has been well maintained. Let me know how you got it resolved. I will search my Baltimore area for a radiator shop that can work on side tanks.

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