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'96 Seville radiator end tank replacement


KHE

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The inlet tank on my '96 Seville was leaking so I decided to check prices of radiators - $200+ for a decent aftermarket radiator. Rockauto had the inlet tank for $50.00 but it was a special order item taking up to 7 business days. I couldn't wait that long since it was leaking a 18x5" puddle of coolant every time the car was driven.

A buddy of mine owns a radiator and general repair shop about 20 minutes from my house and I called him. He quoted $75.00 with me bringing him the radiator. Not a bad price since the tank with shipping would have cost me 60.00+ and my buddy had the tank in stock. I had today off work so I took the radiator to his shop this morning. The inlet tank (passenger side) had a crack across it and was bulging. He used the special tool that looked like a miniature crowbar that was about 1/4" wide to uncrimp the tabs. I asked him about replacing the outlet tank and he said he could but it would be a waste of money as 99.9% of the end tanks were the inlet tank due to the higher temp. of the coolant.

The tank came right off and there was a little crud buildup in the radiator core tubes which surprised me since I have owned the car since it was 4 years old and 56,000 miles and have performed the coolant changes on a regular basis. It now has 143,241 miles on it.

The radiator was hooked up to the power flush machine and fluched with hot water at 180 psi. The crud that was in the core was gone in about three seconds... :D

He then installed the new tank and crimped the tabs with channel locks that had rounded jaw (for gripping pipe). I asked why he didn't use the special tool and he said the channel locks work MUCH better. Then he connected shop air to the inlet, plugged the outlet, and put the radiator on a motorized, submursible rack. He lowered it into the water tank and checked it for leaks. No leaks were present so he removed it, blew it off with compressed air and it was done. I installed it in the car and no more leak. It took about 45 minutes for the repair.

Spending $75.00 was much better than $200.00 and the radiator will most likely last the rest of the life of the car. I wouldn't have a problem doing the repair myself but I would want to leak check it BEFORE putting it in the car since it is a lot of work to R&R the radiator.

Kevin
'93 Fleetwood Brougham
'05 Deville
'04 Deville
2013 Silverado Z71

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Good job...and you saved a few bucks.

Sounds like your friend knows what he is doing.

:D

For the extra $15.00, I didn't want to mess with the tank R&R. Plus it was good to see him and have a cup of coffee while BS-ing with him while he worked on the radiator. :D

Kevin
'93 Fleetwood Brougham
'05 Deville
'04 Deville
2013 Silverado Z71

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Good job...and you saved a few bucks.

Sounds like your friend knows what he is doing.

:D

For the extra $15.00, I didn't want to mess with the tank R&R. Plus it was good to see him and have a cup of coffee while BS-ing with him while he worked on the radiator. :D

Exactly... It always good to visit with friends for a bit.

If I "KNOW" what I am doing... I don't mind doing the work.

If I am unsure, and the dollar amount is relatively small... I would rather take to someone who "DOES" know what he is doing. :D

Plus, in your case... you got to talk to your friend as a bonus.

Win all the way around.

:D

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The inlet tank on my '96 Seville was leaking so I decided to check prices of radiators - $200+ for a decent aftermarket radiator. Rockauto had the inlet tank for $50.00 but it was a special order item taking up to 7 business days. I couldn't wait that long since it was leaking a 18x5" puddle of coolant every time the car was driven.

A buddy of mine owns a radiator and general repair shop about 20 minutes from my house and I called him. He quoted $75.00 with me bringing him the radiator. Not a bad price since the tank with shipping would have cost me 60.00+ and my buddy had the tank in stock. I had today off work so I took the radiator to his shop this morning. The inlet tank (passenger side) had a crack across it and was bulging. He used the special tool that looked like a miniature crowbar that was about 1/4" wide to uncrimp the tabs. I asked him about replacing the outlet tank and he said he could but it would be a waste of money as 99.9% of the end tanks were the inlet tank due to the higher temp. of the coolant.

The tank came right off and there was a little crud buildup in the radiator core tubes which surprised me since I have owned the car since it was 4 years old and 56,000 miles and have performed the coolant changes on a regular basis. It now has 143,241 miles on it.

The radiator was hooked up to the power flush machine and fluched with hot water at 180 psi. The crud that was in the core was gone in about three seconds... :D

He then installed the new tank and crimped the tabs with channel locks that had rounded jaw (for gripping pipe). I asked why he didn't use the special tool and he said the channel locks work MUCH better. Then he connected shop air to the inlet, plugged the outlet, and put the radiator on a motorized, submursible rack. He lowered it into the water tank and checked it for leaks. No leaks were present so he removed it, blew it off with compressed air and it was done. I installed it in the car and no more leak. It took about 45 minutes for the repair.

Spending $75.00 was much better than $200.00 and the radiator will most likely last the rest of the life of the car. I wouldn't have a problem doing the repair myself but I would want to leak check it BEFORE putting it in the car since it is a lot of work to R&R the radiator.

KHE,

Good to know the repair has been done by someone who knows his stuff. As for inlet tanks being more vulnerable, it was indeed my inlet one on my 1991 Seville, but I order outlet too from gmpartsderict.com. Paid some $70 for the both tanks with all the gaskets. I was so happy I ordered the outlet as well, the old one fell apart while I was taking it off the core. Hopefully, yours will last much longer.

The saddest thing in life is wasted talent

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The tank came right off and there was a little crud buildup in the radiator core tubes which surprised me since I have owned the car since it was 4 years old and 56,000 miles and have performed the coolant changes on a regular basis.

Two words. Sealant tabs. That's why I no longer use them.

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That is a great job, thanks for the info.

Let me ask, when he put the new tank on, did he have some sort of a holder, or did he just start crimping it. I imagine he crimped it in a zig zag pattern?

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The tank came right off and there was a little crud buildup in the radiator core tubes which surprised me since I have owned the car since it was 4 years old and 56,000 miles and have performed the coolant changes on a regular basis.

Two words. Sealant tabs. That's why I no longer use them.

I don't think it was the sealer tablets - it was greyish in color and looked like sand. The amount that was there was minimal - it didn't affect the cooling in any way that was noticable but since the tank was off, it was good to flush it out.

That is a great job, thanks for the info.

Let me ask, when he put the new tank on, did he have some sort of a holder, or did he just start crimping it. I imagine he crimped it in a zig zag pattern?

He did not have a clamping fixture - he just held it on and started crimping. The short sides first to hold it in place then the long sides.

Kevin
'93 Fleetwood Brougham
'05 Deville
'04 Deville
2013 Silverado Z71

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The tank came right off and there was a little crud buildup in the radiator core tubes which surprised me since I have owned the car since it was 4 years old and 56,000 miles and have performed the coolant changes on a regular basis.

Two words. Sealant tabs. That's why I no longer use them.

I don't think it was the sealer tablets - it was greyish in color and looked like sand. The amount that was there was minimal - it didn't affect the cooling in any way that was noticable but since the tank was off, it was good to flush it out.

I saw the same "sand". I believe it is loose silicate.

The saddest thing in life is wasted talent

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I saw the same "sand". I believe it is loose silicate.

The car has had Dexcool coolant all its life - no silicates in Dexcool.

Kevin
'93 Fleetwood Brougham
'05 Deville
'04 Deville
2013 Silverado Z71

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I saw the same "sand". I believe it is loose silicate.

The car has had Dexcool coolant all its life - no silicates in Dexcool.

Hmm... what could it be then? What did the radiator shop guy say?

The saddest thing in life is wasted talent

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I saw the same "sand". I believe it is loose silicate.

The car has had Dexcool coolant all its life - no silicates in Dexcool.

Hmm... what could it be then? What did the radiator shop guy say?

All he said was "There's a little crud in the core." and then powerflushed it out. It was very slight and I never thought to ask him what it was. Next time I talk to him, I'll ask him.

Kevin
'93 Fleetwood Brougham
'05 Deville
'04 Deville
2013 Silverado Z71

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