YotaTech Forums  

Go Back   YotaTech Forums > Tech Write-Ups (Staging Area & More Articles In The Wiki) > Maintenance & Repair
Sign in using an external account
Register Forgot Password?

Maintenance & Repair Care and feeding of your rig

Welcome to Yotatech!
Welcome to Yotatech,

You are currently viewing our forum as a guest, which gives you limited access to view most discussions and access our other features. By joining our community, at no cost, you will have access to post topics, communicate privately with other members (PM), respond to polls, upload content and access many other special features. Registration is free, fast and simple, so please join our community today!

Step by step: Replacing radiator on 3rd gen p/u

LinkBack Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 07-30-2008, 01:00 AM   #1
Contributing Member
Personal Sales Rating: (0)
Jay351's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: maple ridge, British Columbia, Canada
Posts: 9,055
Send a message via MSN to Jay351
Step by step: Replacing radiator on 3rd gen p/u

So your rad needs replacing, mine did too. This writeup is intended to shed light on the task of changing out a rad and how to properly flush a radiator.

*Note* My truck is equipped with a 3" performance accessories body lift kit. This kit uses brackets to drop the rad, these brackets use non-metric SAE nuts. Notes posted with a * refer to body lift equipped trucks only.

Tools/supplies needed:

-Metric sockets/open ended wrenches 10-12-14mm
* SAE sockets/open ended wrenches 1/2"-
-Flathead screwdriver
-Jugs to hold old coolant. (near 7 gallons once flushing is complete)

Parts needed:

- Radiator
- 2 jugs of Toyota Red coolant
- 1-2 gallons of distilled/purified water
- Oem toyota Thermostat
- Consider replacing your rad cap if your new rad didnt come with one
- Also consider replacing your rad hoses
*note* I also replaced my fan shroud at this time

Click the image to open in full size.

Prepping for removal

Click the image to open in full size.

- Park truck on level ground
- Open hood
- Remove rad cap along with the overflow hose and tank (for clearance)
- Remove battery (for clearance)
- unbolt and move washer fluid tank out of the way

Click the image to open in full size.

Click the image to open in full size.

- Remove 4 12mm bolts on skid plate
- Locate the drain on the bottom right of the rad. If your rad is a toyota brand rad the drain will look like this.

Click the image to open in full size.

-If aftermarket, the drain will look a little different. Should be in the same location.

- Use plyers to open the drain.

Click the image to open in full size.

-Don't forget to undo the rad hoses. Becarefull of the bottom one, there is going to be coolant stored in it.
Try to catch it with your drain jug/pan and not your face like me

- I used the time waiting for the rad to drain as an oppertunaty to unbolt the rad.
- It is only mounted by 4 bolts on the radiator support.

Click the image to open in full size.

*note* The drop brackets pictured on the rad mounting points are due to the body lift.

- Clearance will be tight, take your time. I used a rachet to start them off, then when the rachet wouldnt fit anymore I used an open ended wrench.
- Now that its unbolted it can come out. Be prepaired to wiggle and finess the rad out, it can be a fit fit.

*note* My fan shroud was torn to bits prior to this, I did not have to worry about its clearance when removing. You may need to undo the 4 mounting nuts and remove it from the rad for clearance over the fan.


-Once removed, it might look a little something like mine did...

Click the image to open in full size.

Me thinks that shroud is not very effective...

- Now is a perfect time to replace the thermostat. I opted not to as it was replaced earlier this year.
-It is also a perfect time to test your fan clutch ( if equipped). Spin with considerable force, if it rotates more then 1/2 way, it should be replaced.


- Place the fan shroud over the fan

Click the image to open in full size.

- Slowly lower the rad into the engine bay
- Make sure to avoid the mounting studs, they can rip fins out without a problem
- Don't force anything!
- It should look something like this once loosley in place.

Click the image to open in full size.

- re-install 4 rad mounting bolts
- re-install 4 rad/shroud mounting bolts (tighten by hand)
- re-install coolant hoses
- re-install Overflow tank
- bolt down washer fluid tank
- reinstall and connect battery

It should now look a little like this..

Click the image to open in full size.

- Fill rad cold completly full with tap water. This is just to get everything flushed.

Click the image to open in full size.

- Put on rad cap once full, and start the truck. Get everything circulating for a few minutes. I waited just till the thermostat opened then shut off the engine.
- Now open the drain and drain out all the water/coolant.

*note* Make sure you catch this stuff in a jug, there will be a good amount of coolant in it from inside the block.

Click the image to open in full size.

-Once flow has stopped tighten drain
- Now its time to fill it up with the good stuff.
- Pour in one jug of toyota coolant
- Fill that now empty jug with distilled water and pour it in
- Now mix some 50/50 mix in that jug and use that to top everything up

Click the image to open in full size.

- Now we need to burp the rad.
- Jack up the front of the truck a good foot or so. The more the better!
- Support on jackstands (dont forget to chock a rear wheel)
- Open the rad cap and Start the truck
- Make sure your heater is set to hot, this will flush the heater core
- Watch the bubbles come out of the rad and add coolant accordingly
- Squeeze the upper rad hose to get excess air out of the top
- Don't forget to fill up the overflow tank

Make sure you feel the upper and lower rad hoses periodicly to make sure the coolant is circulating properly.

- Once truck is fully warmed up, put on rad cap and shut off engine.
- Remove jack stands and lower truck
- Re-install the skid plate

Don't forget to rinse off your work area if you spilled any coolant.

Over the next few days keep an eye on your coolant level, Toyota rads are notorius for holding air. This air should purge out and the coolant level will drop. Make sure you top it up after every drive.

Congrats you are done! Grab a beer and relax.

If I have missed anything, or if you have any helpfull hints that could be helpfull for this process, feel free too PM me.


*Please note* You can buy kits to aid in flushing the rad, this may be needed if you cannot get everything flushed out by yourself. They go for about 30 bucks or so.
This ad is not displayed to registered members.
Register your free account today and become a member on Yotatech!
91 3.0 4x4 pickup - has a few mods
91 ls400 VIP on the cheap

Last edited by Jay351; 07-30-2008 at 05:21 PM.
Jay351 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-30-2008, 01:00 AM
4WD Truck

Paid Advertisement

3rd, 4runner, air, gen, installing, making, overflow, pics, radiator, remove, replace, replacing, step, tank, toyota

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Finally! Painted the toyota. Step by step pics. 56K no no. MIKEMOKAS 86-95 Trucks & 4Runners 54 10-18-2008 08:05 AM
WTB...3rd Gen. step bars and/or fender flares. The_Original_Zimp The Classifieds GraveYard 1 05-01-2006 09:03 PM
Step by step intructions for retro-fitting 99-02 front bumper on 96-98 4Runner? Jason B 95.5-2004 Tacomas & 96-2002 4Runners 4 08-31-2004 08:11 PM
3rd Gen Side Step Bars FORANA 95.5-2004 Tacomas & 96-2002 4Runners 2 08-18-2004 02:17 PM
Lift install: Step by step Instructions AznSky 95.5-2004 Tacomas & 96-2002 4Runners 11 10-15-2003 04:12 PM

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 12:02 PM.

2010 InternetBrands, Inc.