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Old 10-17-2021, 02:24 PM   #1
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Location: Epping NH
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1996 F53 Radiator Help

Took my new (to me) 96 Mountain Aire to CT and back which is about a 230 mile round trip and the rig ran fine, no overheating, no issues.

After I was home I noticed a small amount of coolant under the front.. coolant bottle still had coolant in it (slightly low) but I did find a drip under the radiator.

Searched online and YouTube.. can’t seem to find info on replacing the radiator.. doesn’t look easy.

Here’s a quick video I made today..
if anyone can offer some advice or experience with replacement of the radiator I’d be grateful.

https://youtu.be/v1tajXVVln8

Thanks!
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Old 10-17-2021, 02:41 PM   #2
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Leak does not look to be super serious have you confirmed that it is not coming from a hose and just exiting in that spot, does it leak after it warmed up to operating temperature are all hose clamps tight. If they used regular hose clamp on a silicone hose that is potential source of a leak on cool down. Look for the simple things first. A 2 yr old rad is not old. You could also try a rad leak stop product available at all auto supply stores
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Old 10-17-2021, 02:49 PM   #3
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Sorry thought you said the rad was two yes old, if it is the original it could very well be beyond it’s due date. Have not worked on that type of rad so can’t offer anything specific on that replacement
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Old 10-17-2021, 05:01 PM   #4
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First off, nice job on the video. You really showed what you're dealing with.

Several things.....first, you might want to invest in a radiator pressure test tool. Harbor Freight has one for under a $100.00 (you can never have enough tools). With the pressure tester, you can pressurize the system and better check for a leak. Pressurize it and then put your phone camera up in the corner and snap some photos. Even if you know it's the radiator, the pressure checker is good for double checking the work at the end.

I've never pulled an F53 radiator, but it looks like there could be two ways....

One, pull everything off the front of the radiator, which would include the A/C condenser, the part with all the bolts you were pointing to. On that, try to unbolt it and move it out of the way, WITHOUT disconnecting and breaking the seal on the A/C freon. I'm doubting though it will come out the front.

The second way, run the coach up on blocks and drop the radiator straight down. Disconnect and remove the upper and lower hose, disconnect the two trans cooler lines and move them to the side. I would then try and remove the fan blade from underneath and drop the shroud and fan at the same time. If all that works, remove the four bolts for the radiator and drop it out the bottom.

Obviously, once everything is out, I would replace the water pump, thermostat, belts and hoses, including heater core hoses and heater control valve. Those will all be hard to do later. Once done, your cooling system will be like new.
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Old 10-18-2021, 12:31 PM   #5
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Have you pulled off the engine cowl to see it from a different view? That may help give you a better idea. I'm not sure I'd want to to tackle that job and would probably try some stop leak first. Back in the 70s we changed one from the out of a Banner® Motorhome and dropped it from the bottom, but that was on a Dodge chassis. There was a lot more room back then. (pre EPA stuff) .
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Old 10-18-2021, 12:41 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rev. Roy View Post
Have you pulled off the engine cowl to see it from a different view? That may help give you a better idea. I'm not sure I'd want to to tackle that job and would probably try some stop leak first. Back in the 70s we changed one from the out of a Banner® Motorhome and dropped it from the bottom, but that was on a Dodge chassis. There was a lot more room back then. (pre EPA stuff) .
I also replaced one on a motorhome , but it was a P30 chassis.... I raised the front and dropped the radiator down.
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