atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,

#2427: Radiator replaced.

Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, that was a pain in the ass.

About 1 PM, after a trip to McDonald's for some food, I put myself together and hit the driveway like a flaming sack of crap.

Two layers all over: sweat socks under those ultra-warm wool socks I got last year; sweat shirt over tee shirt; sweat pants over sleep pants. Shoes, coat, hat, gloves.

It snowed the entire time I was working on the thing.

I pulled the fan and shroud out, and found that yes, it was the radiator which was leaking. The radiator has plastic side tanks; you can't fix that kind. You have to replace it. Fine. I proceeded to remove everything; the electric fan, the top bracket, the hoses, the trans cooler lines, everything. It took maybe an hour, tops.

I lost an hour going to get the radiator twice. First time they gave me the wrong part--it was one number off, and it wasn't a number on the end--431335 versus the correct part, 432335, so I had to go back and pick up the correct part. Getting parts would only have taken me half an hour had I gotten the right part, but I can hardly be mad over an honest mistake.

Jumped back into it once I had the correct part, and eventually managed to get the radiator in correctly, though it nearly took an act of Congress.

The fan shroud for the mechanical fan wouldn't fit the new radiator--the mounting tabs are wrong--and while I was trying to finagle it into place it broke into three pieces. Well, I don't need that during the winter, anyway; I'll worry about that crap come spring.

More annoying was the fact that the brand-new long 1/2" wrench from the set I bought yesterday dropped into the fucking Twilight Zone. It fell down the left side of the engine; I used a magnet to try to retrieve it and dropped it, and I CANNOT FIND IT. It's somewhere in the engine compartment, but God alone knows where.

Worst part: that wrench is the entire reason I bought that set of long wrenches: that's the one that fits the fan bolts. Well, without the shroud I didn't really need the long wrench, so I was able to get everything back together again.

So with everything buttoned up and bolted in--and with the trouble light standing in for sunlight, which had faded by now--I got a funnel and added coolant...and the shit drained right onto the fucking driveway. Yes, all the hoses were connected. I couldn't see any reason for the thing to drain out the driver's side, yet coolant had poured right out as soon as I added it. (The drain cock is on the passenger side, and it's tight.)

I was just about to call it quits when it occurred to me: maybe I should try a different funnel. Mirabile visu, if I used a funnel that DIDN'T SUCK FUCKING DONKEY BALLS, the coolant went into the radiator instead of draining all over the freaking driveway. Real daylight would have let me see that the funnel sucked; but oh well. I only spilled a cup or so of coolant, anyway.

I thought adding coolant to a Fiero after radiator work was bad. Ha! The Jeep's ten times worse. With the Fiero you fill the front, then fill the back; with the Jeep, you dribble coolant into the radiator for ten freaking minutes.

Anyway, after the first gallon I started the engine and kept dribbling coolant in from the second gallon. Eventually the thing could take no more coolant; I dumped the remainder of the second jug into the overflow tank.

No leaks. Everything looks good. Tomorrow I'll have to drive it a bit and then add trans fluid, but it shouldn't be egregiously low.


...took me four and a half freakin' hours to replace that damn thing. If I have to do this again, I hope I don't have to do it in the snow.

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