Fix that leaking radiator - Nissan Titan Forum
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#1 (permalink) Old 05-10-2012, 07:34 AM
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Fix that leaking radiator

In January, my radiator started leaking from the usual spot at the seam between the lower end tank and the core. I limped it around town for a couple weeks because I was too broke from just replacing the transmission. I wanted to get an all aluminum rad. but couldn't afford it. I found a new plastic end tank rad. on eBay for $70 shipped. I couldn't pass it up. I installed it a few days after it arrived and the leak was gone...until last week. ::explitive::explitive::explitive:: I emailed the company from eBay, but the best they could do is ship another rad. once a tracking number showed the defective rad. was in transit. It's my only vehicle, so that was a no go. After a little research online, I found that some guys on a Porsche 928 forum were repairing/replacing the end tanks and seals. One dude even made some replacement clamps to hold the plastic tank to the core. I ran and grabbed my old radiator from the shed and decided to see if I could get the lower tank off to try to seal the old radiator back up. A small screwdriver and a small tire spoon along with some careful work to straighten the aluminum tabs without breaking them and I had the tank off. Here's some pics for those that have never seen the inside of a Titan radiator.















The tranny cooler (which I have bypassed) is a double walled tube that the tranny fluid flows through. To get the tank off, the tabs don't have to be completely straightened. You can bend them to around 60* and flex the tank enough to get it out. Once the tank is out, I used a crecent wrench to straighten them a bit more so the tank will easily slip back in place. There is a large rectangular o-ring that seals the tank. The Porsche 928 guys have a source for replacement end tank seals. I know AC Delco has many different sizes available for some GM radiators - I need to see if I can find one that fits this thing - just for future reference...

Anyway, back to the story. Since the tabs were pretty easy to straighten out, surely I could clamp them a little tighter. I grabbed a pair of channel-locks and slid under the truck. At this point the coolant drips were frequent, one about every three seconds. After I got the fan shroud loose and held up out of the way, I worked all the way across the backside of the radiator, squeezing each tab. Quite a few of the tabs crimped down considerably more than they had been. I even got the tabs on the short ends of the radiator. Once I was done, there were no more drips. HOORAY. I got the fan shroud bolted back up, topped off the coolant tank (which was empty) and went to pick the kid up from the sitters. I've only put about 30 miles on it so far, but it is staying dry. It may be worth a shot for those of you needing to get a few more miles before upgrading to an all alum. radiator.*


2005 4WD LE
K&N drop in filter • Magnaflow muffler
black painted stock wheels • bedlined mirrors

Last edited by earz; 05-10-2012 at 07:37 AM.
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#2 (permalink) Old 05-10-2012, 07:50 AM
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Re: Fix that leaking radiator

I have to admit - great job.. I also understand not having enough cash... But I also understand that I dont want to do the work over and over.. Since you have a fix (no telling how long its going to last)... save up for the CSF and that way you can install once and be done with it..

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#3 (permalink) Old 05-10-2012, 08:30 AM
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Re: Fix that leaking radiator

That is a little tranny cooler? or is that to heat up the fluid LOL

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#4 (permalink) Old 05-10-2012, 09:25 AM
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Re: Fix that leaking radiator

Quote:
Originally Posted by TA CC TX View Post
That is a little tranny cooler? or is that to heat up the fluid LOL
Maybe it is a "fluid heater" but the stock setup has a large cooler inline with this. Seems counter-productive to heat the fluid, then cool the fluid or vice versa.


2005 4WD LE
K&N drop in filter • Magnaflow muffler
black painted stock wheels • bedlined mirrors
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#5 (permalink) Old 05-24-2012, 11:30 AM
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Re: Fix that leaking radiator

Two weeks in with daily driving (~20-30 miles a day) and its still dry. I did order a new OEM radiator cap - in case the cap was causing too much pressure to build in the system. Here's the new cap (right) next to the original cap (left). Looks like they changed the design a bit - or was my old cap not OEM?




2005 4WD LE
K&N drop in filter • Magnaflow muffler
black painted stock wheels • bedlined mirrors
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#6 (permalink) Old 05-24-2012, 12:41 PM
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Re: Fix that leaking radiator

Your cap looks just like mine. Nissan must've changed the design at some point. Or I also have a non-OEM cap, lol.

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#7 (permalink) Old 06-16-2012, 07:50 PM
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Re: Fix that leaking radiator

Update: a little over a month and still bone dry.


2005 4WD LE
K&N drop in filter • Magnaflow muffler
black painted stock wheels • bedlined mirrors
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#8 (permalink) Old 06-16-2012, 08:32 PM
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Re: Fix that leaking radiator

Nice job and thanks for the update! It's very encouraging, should we have problems.
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#9 (permalink) Old 01-26-2013, 09:16 PM
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Re: Fix that leaking radiator

Update - its been 7 months and approx 7000 miles since the re-crimp, but this past week, it started leaking again. We have had some pretty cold temps (20°'s) here for a month or so with a few 50-60° days sprinkled here and there. I decided to try the crimp again. I pulled the skid plate and fan shroud and found two tabs towards the center that didn't look like they were crimped as well as the others. I gave 'em a squeeze with the channel locks and they crimped down a bit more. I checked the rest of the tabs but couldn't tell if the rest crimped down any more. I washed the remaining coolant off, topped off the coolant (which was only about 1 cup low) and its been dry for a couple days. I'm not sure if I just missed those two tabs, or if the temp fluctuations cause the tabs to "un-crimp", or maybe there's an "excessive coolant pressure" issue with these trucks that the crimped on end tanks cant handle since all stock radiators suffer from this problem? Who knows. I'll keep an eye on things and see how long this lasts me. It only takes me about 20 minutes start to finish...


2005 4WD LE
K&N drop in filter • Magnaflow muffler
black painted stock wheels • bedlined mirrors
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#10 (permalink) Old 02-14-2014, 12:51 PM
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Re: Fix that leaking radiator

Is this still working for you ? I just started leaking on the bottom on mine in the last couple of days, I am thinking about trying this out this weekend.


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