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Old 05-18-2012, 10:31 PM   #71
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How to Replace the Radiator in a 1990 Southwind

When my 1990 Southwind started to have overheating problems last year, I started cruising various web sites and blogs looking for advice. I read numerous postings on this thread, "454 Running too Hot" and got lots of feed back. Special thanks to "high5" who got me started in the right direction. It's a difficult job but you can save yourself $800-$1,000+ if you do it yourself. I posted the details on the Yahoo P30 group at:
Yahoo! Groups. Here are the highlights.

1. The radiator comes out through the front hood opening, not the bottom. You don't have to jack up the coach or take off the front tires. Bounders beware because of the split hood.
2. You won't find an OEM radiator replacement but the number is GM3094152. O'Reilly claims to have an aluminum replacement for around $200. Have the old one out for comparison if you go shopping.
3. I had the radiator rebuilt at a local shop. Existing tanks w/ 4 x copper core. There is no rodding out a 22 year old radiator. Cost about $450.
4. You will need to disconnect the A/C condenser to get the radiator out. This means you will have to recharge the system with R12 refrigerant, unless you have converted to R134 along the way. Legally you should have an A/C evacuate the R12 before starting the job. R12 is expensive....$90/lb retail and $35-50/lb on the gray market. Mine took 3 lbs + $75 it have the A/C guy put it in.
5. You may assemble things in a different order than you take them apart.
6. I did it myself but a helper is recommended.
7. Take some pictures from various perspectives for reference. Why? Because it might be several weeks before you put it all back together and my mind couldn't hold all that detail.
8. And finally, just take it slow an easy. As they say, there's more than one way to skin a cat.

I have some photos and free advice while it's still fresh in my mind. Just email me.

Bill Bevan
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Old 05-19-2012, 03:47 AM   #72
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one thought on R-12....you can get R-12A the legal stuf here for $13 a can it is colder than the old R-12.
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Old 05-19-2012, 09:27 AM   #73
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Thumbs up

Quote:
Originally Posted by bgbevan View Post
When my 1990 Southwind started to have overheating problems last year ....

Bill Bevan
Welcome to 'P30 Radiators Anonymous', Bill.
My temp gauge is rock solid and I haven't heard the dreaded overheat alarm since I did the upgrade - Nirvana finally. Great Yahoo post!
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Old 05-20-2012, 07:43 AM   #74
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Source of R12A

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Originally Posted by whem2fish View Post
one thought on R-12....you can get R-12A the legal stuf here for $13 a can it is colder than the old R-12.
I would be interested to know where you get the R12A for $13 a can. I will add it to my references on this subject. Also, I didn't know(and neither did my A/C guy) that this stuff works better(colder) and is legal. Any references on this would be appreciated.
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Old 05-20-2012, 08:40 AM   #75
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We have a bigger radiator and towing package that came with our van and it hasn't overheated in the hottest of weather.
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Old 05-20-2012, 12:07 PM   #76
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bgbevan View Post
I would be interested to know where you get the R12A for $13 a can. I will add it to my references on this subject. Also, I didn't know(and neither did my A/C guy) that this stuff works better(colder) and is legal. Any references on this would be appreciated.
UP at the top of most PC display screens, is a neat (and relatively UNKNOWN!) feature called "search" - might be Google, or perhaps Yahoo - or some other similar Internet search engine - I use Google, and a quick Internet search on "R12a" delivered PAGES of results - here's one:

ENVIROSAFE Refrigerant w/ Dye A/C Recharge Can 6 oz. | eBay

And THAT, is only ONE pointer for a 6 oz can of R12a for less than $8....
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Old 05-20-2012, 05:10 PM   #77
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R12a is better no license required
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