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Split radiator side tank - common thing?


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13 replies to this topic

#1 rxleone

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Posted 07 November 2012 - 08:14 PM

So my radiator in my 89 Legacy EJ22 5MT decided to split a side tank recently, and quite badly, as it nearly ran out of water and came close to overheating today. Don't think I've done any serious engine damage, but this is the second radiator I've had in the car that's split the side tank right where the hot water from the engine comes out.

Is this a common occurance? I've never seen anything about it on the USMB or from anyone I know.

Is it worth my while to spring for an alloy radiator, or should I just go with a junkyard special?

#2 danbennett2u

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Posted 07 November 2012 - 08:39 PM

Thats where both of mine split. When the plastic is 20+ years old they do tend to split occasionally.

#3 grossgary

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Posted 07 November 2012 - 09:22 PM

it happens. twice is odd.

over here in the states new radiators are really cheap. last EJ radiator i bought from radiatorbarn.com was $89 shipped to my door, brand new.

#4 cal_look_zero

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Posted 07 November 2012 - 09:34 PM

Happens all the time, at the worst possible time. I'm down to 30 minutes to change one out lol.

#5 rxleone

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Posted 07 November 2012 - 09:51 PM

Sweet, good to hear that it isn't just me!

It's going to be a couple of days until I can get to the junkyard. Is it okay to put something like a piece of duct tape over the split just to get around until I can change it out?

Also, is there much difference between the EJ radiators? eg. EJ18, EJ20, EJ22, auto/manual, etc..

#6 lmdew

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Posted 07 November 2012 - 10:15 PM

Tape will not hold pressure.

I've installed early 90's radiators into 98-99 Legacy Outbacks, you just have to get the fans and the top brackets as well. Easy to find all metal aftermarket radiators on the older subarus that are almost new.

#7 rxleone

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Posted 07 November 2012 - 10:43 PM

Tape will not hold pressure.

I've installed early 90's radiators into 98-99 Legacy Outbacks, you just have to get the fans and the top brackets as well. Easy to find all metal aftermarket radiators on the older subarus that are almost new.



Of course, pressure. Brains not working today.

The junkyards here don't do refunds or even exchanges if you get the wrong part here, so I'm wondering if I can't find a 90 - 93 Legacy radiator would a second generation Legacy rad fit?

#8 markjw

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Posted 08 November 2012 - 12:20 AM

Ive been having the same problems with new radiators splitting open. My remedy, buy a lifetime warranty radiator from a popular, local chain store and never lose the receipt. As mentioned, it only takes a few minutes to change one out. And if I take my time, I can recover the coolant without too much mess.

#9 GeneralDisorder

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Posted 08 November 2012 - 03:05 AM

Buy a Koyo and you'll get a decent part.

Life span on the plastic tank units is about ten years. I replace one or two a month.

GD

#10 lmdew

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Posted 08 November 2012 - 06:50 AM

I'd purchased a aluminum radiator for a 2001 Impreza, I posted it here. All aluminum the only down side was it did not have the auto trans cooler in it if you needed that. Great price too.

#11 porcupine73

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Posted 08 November 2012 - 07:06 AM

I haven't had the mid 90's style split on me yet but I just replaced mine pre-emptively. I did have something in the end tank or gasket fail on 2000 Outback though. I used Vistapro rads for the '94 and '96 from rockauto. They were about $90 each. Except rockauto lists the same rad for both '94 and '96 and they of course are not the same.

So the late 90's rad will fit in the early 90's soob but the pin spacing on the bottom is different, the radiator mounts on top are different, and the fans are different. It will fit you just have to get creative in securing the fans to the rad and securing the bottom of the rad so it doesn't ever slide forward and right into the accessory belts.

#12 Rooster2

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Posted 08 November 2012 - 04:04 PM

The plastic end caps on all radiators that have them all have a tendency to split and leak over time. It is a common complaint of all car owners, no matter which make of car that has the plastic end caps.

#13 Ricearu

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Posted 08 November 2012 - 05:50 PM

your problem is you are replacing busted 20 year old brittle radiators with 20 year old brittle radiators. Do yourself a favor and buy a brand new one. Only time I use used radiators, is when i find a good recently replaced one at the yard. Usually I can find these on the 2.5d cars :D. Hopeless people see it overheating and replace the water pump, radiator and thermostat because they don't do their research and they actually have blown head gaskets.

I recently scored a new aisin water pump and new oem thermostat from a 25d car for $5 at the junkyard. :brow:

#14 rxleone

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Posted 11 November 2012 - 06:04 PM

Found a pretty new looking radiator at the local Pick a Part and slapped that in. Took me about 30 minutes all up including draining and refilling. Pretty chuffed with how it goes!

I'm just going to save up for a decent alloy radiator and buy that down the line :D




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