Friday, August 18, 2023

Radiator Ranch

After 11 years of service, ole White Horse decided to spring a radiator leak. I nursed her along until I final had a minute to tackle this project. 

One thing I’ve always liked about this truck is her simplicity. She’s right on the cusp of all the crazy car gadgets. With that in mind, I feel confident to take on most any repair. 

So I borrowed Dave’s shop and pulled out my trusty tool set that I put together in high school, and got to work. 

All the plastic on these rigs can be intimidating, but the more you remove you realize that they still have the basic components of a truck. 

Certain things are new and challenging, like these oil cooler lines. 

But after a little investigation, they just have an e-clip that holds them in. 

Eventually we got to the point of unbolting the radiator and pulling it out. 

Here’s the problem. Where the aluminum core attaches to the plastic reservoir is a common place to start leaking.  

Looking good. If I don’t go with OEM parts then I choose Napa. 

While we’re this deep I decided to change the thermostat as well. 

And the hoses too. 

Going back together usually takes a bit more effort. 

Here’s a trick Mr. Reachard taught me in shop class: don’t start adding 50/50 coolant right away. Because I’ve been adding water to the truck for the past couple weeks, the block was all water. Knowing that this is around a four gallon system, I first added two gallons of straight concentrate. Then topped it off with 50/50 so we retained a strong coolant ratio. 

Back in black. 

I enjoy mechanicing. Some guys’ minds just work that way and I guess mine’s one of them. But I’d also rather do things myself if I’m able too. Saves a bit of cash and gives me a chance to sharpen some old skills. This radiator project came just in time as things are heating up. Now we can stay cool in the summer and warm in the winter. On to the next one!

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