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Radiator Recommendations

Discussion in '1st Gen. Tacomas (1995-2004)' started by Mrogers33, Dec 1, 2012.

  1. Dec 1, 2012 at 10:29 PM
    #1
    Mrogers33

    Mrogers33 [OP] The way is open, the time is now

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    Mike
    Columbus, OH
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    Noticed small amounts of leaking coolant at the top of my radiator, shop said that it is leaking between the plastic and metal, everything is clamped tight and it just needs replaced with about 176K miles on it. They want well over $300 for the job plus $100 for something else (I wasn't listening at that point). Going to keep an eye on the coolant levels while I drive it in the meantime but planning on just replacing it myself.

    After searching TW I wasn't finding any definitive guides or real good information. I saw Koyorad radiators mentioned but read some bad reviews online and I can't find them available anywhere. What are other 1st gen owners using as aftermarket radiators and how much did you pay? This is my daily driver so no need for a racing or offroad edition. Is Napa or Autozone radiators good enough? Should I just find one with a good warranty and go with that? I hope to get it replaced sometime in the next 2 or 3 months before going back to school for an MBA program so I have a little time to find a decent part at a decent price. Thanks in advance for any ideas or advice!
     
  2. Dec 1, 2012 at 10:45 PM
    #2
    wolftree

    wolftree Well-Known Member

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    Napa, Autozone or most any other parts house will be fine. They are all plastic and aluminum today. Gone is the copper and brass ones.
     
  3. Dec 1, 2012 at 10:46 PM
    #3
    detnight

    detnight Well-Known Member

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    cheaper to replace it yourself. The rad for my 1989 Toy Pickup cost less than $150 online.
     
  4. Dec 1, 2012 at 10:49 PM
    #4
    Tylerm5000

    Tylerm5000 Well-Known Member

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    Alcan stock height 4-leaf springs, greaseable main eye bolts, OME greaseable shackles, all energy suspension bushings, 2-row extra deep radiator, KYB gas-a-just shocks. ALL LED exterior and interior lighting including custom tail lights and blinkers.
    I got a two row radiator from the internet. It is almost a half-inch thicker than the one row one.
     
  5. Dec 2, 2012 at 6:55 AM
    #5
    Robertgeejr1

    Robertgeejr1 Well-Known Member

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    I have done all the hi-pro mods for a life time, since I got this truck at a great price, I will be happy with showroom new.
    you could check out Amazon, just put in vec. info, sometimes they have free shipping. just a option.

    as for doing it yourself, its not hard at all. just google it, there are lots of easy step by step instructions for it. really its just 4 bolts.

    one word of advice. you can save lots of money doing it yourself, and if you do it yourself, do a good flush, use only distilled water. good time to replace the upper and lower rad. hose. and pop in a new thermostat. and one thing, get the good one from NAPA, or online, its about 32 dollars but its the OEM made in Japan, and it will last. the parts store ones are made in China, and if you hold the two together you can see the quality difference. and they run about 16-18 dollars.
    just don't overheat the motor!
     
  6. Dec 2, 2012 at 7:54 AM
    #6
    Mrogers33

    Mrogers33 [OP] The way is open, the time is now

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    Thanks much for the advice everyone. I will just start price comparing I suppose and look for the most affordable alternative.

    I did see a few vids online so it doesn't look too hard and my brother-in-law offered to borrow me any tools I need. I literally just had the coolant flushed 2 weeks ago do you think I should do it again and if so, before or after the install? Copy on the better thermostat though, I noticed NAPA oem parts are usually higher quality that the competitors.
     
  7. Dec 2, 2012 at 8:10 AM
    #7
    Monkeysuncle

    Monkeysuncle My Cat's breath Smells like Cat Food

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    Do it yourself. I bought mine from car quest. I think it was 160 plus tax, and the whole job was less than 2 hours start to finish.
     
  8. Dec 2, 2012 at 8:47 AM
    #8
    Robertgeejr1

    Robertgeejr1 Well-Known Member

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    I have done all the hi-pro mods for a life time, since I got this truck at a great price, I will be happy with showroom new.
    no, if it was flushed good then everything should be fine. zerex makes fluid for it, cheaper than going to a dealership. they sell that at napa also.
     
  9. Dec 2, 2012 at 9:58 AM
    #9
    wj32796

    wj32796 Member

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    I bought mine from Advanced Auto Parts and haven't had any problems. I will say though that I had to take the original mounting brackets off my original radiator and bolt them to the new one. The new ones wouldn't line up with the bolt holes. Its not that hard or that big of a deal just save your self some frustrations. Oh and mines a 1996 so not sure about the newer grills but if you need to remove your grill to get the radiator out you might want to buy the new plastic clips that hold the grill on. Yes they will break when removing the grill.
     
  10. Dec 2, 2012 at 2:40 PM
    #10
    Mrogers33

    Mrogers33 [OP] The way is open, the time is now

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    Cool I will be sure to keep all old bits and pieces until entirely finished and reassembled. Not too disappointed with not finding a Koyorad now, the estimate from the shop had a $257 radiator with the CU1755 item code (which matches the Koyo item code) so i assume they were going to use that particular overpriced item on top of labor costs.
     
  11. Dec 2, 2012 at 8:00 PM
    #11
    allentacoma

    allentacoma Member

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    I just replaced mine Saturday with one from O'reilly's. Murray was the brand. $125 and it took aout an hour and 1/2, and that included relplacing the hoses and thermostat.

    One thing to check is whether yours is 20.5 inches long, or 22. My manual V6 was 20.5.
     
  12. Dec 3, 2012 at 5:26 AM
    #12
    Robertgeejr1

    Robertgeejr1 Well-Known Member

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    Aorora, Ill, yeah!
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    1996 Toyota Tacoma SR5 4x4
    I have done all the hi-pro mods for a life time, since I got this truck at a great price, I will be happy with showroom new.
    ^^^^^ see that a good price for one.
    as long as you take care of it, it will last and do the job.
    heck when I was young, you would be doing good to get a radiator to 100,000 miles with out it falling apart, and that would be with doing the maintenance every year. back in the stone ages you had to flush every 12,000 miles or 12 months.
     

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