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Old 07-17-2009, 10:37 AM   #1
GonzoWRX
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Default Busted Radiator and maybe thermostat, help!

So driving in to work today I smell coolant, immediately look at the thermostat and it's running hot. Crank the heat, windows down and get to the auto parts store ASAP. Thinking I may just be low on fluid, fill it up let the engine cool and make it maybe a couple miles and realize its spraying from the top of the radiator.

So the thermostat reads like the engine is super hot, but the heat coming out of the car into the cabin isn't really hot and holding my hand above the engine bay it still seems rather cool.

So at least a new radiator. Question is, what do I replace with (stock or upgraded) and where do I get it replaced? I'm in Chantilly, Va. at work.

Bummer of a Friday...

-James
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Old 07-17-2009, 10:40 AM   #2
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Did you determine for sure it's leaking rom the radiator? If so, where? Whatever you do, don't get a Gimmick Motorsports radiator. If you go aluminum, I'd recommend the Koyo. That said, I have a perfectly good stock STI radiator I can sell you pretty cheap.
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Old 07-17-2009, 11:07 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mav1c View Post
That said, I have a perfectly good stock STI radiator I can sell you pretty cheap.
It's been fully bump tested at the track via a trunk ride I've heard Interesting QC method but I guess it works.
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Old 07-17-2009, 11:28 AM   #4
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We have been stocking Mishimoto Radiators and customers have been very happy so far. They are all aluminum like a KOYO however they are about half the price.
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Old 07-17-2009, 11:40 AM   #5
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My brand new GMS radiator leaked. Not trying to take away any sales, just an FYI. Speaking of an FYI...you'll be getting some business from me soon. I sent a PM to the Annapolis Subaru vendor account regarding some parts I need.

Last edited by mav1c; 07-17-2009 at 02:37 PM.
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Old 07-17-2009, 11:41 AM   #6
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It's been fully bump tested at the track via a trunk ride I've heard Interesting QC method but I guess it works.
No. It wasn't the stock radiator. It was the aluminum GMS radiator that was flopping around in my trunk.
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Old 07-17-2009, 11:50 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by mav1c View Post
Did you determine for sure it's leaking rom the radiator? If so, where? Whatever you do, don't get a Gimmick Motorsports radiator. If you go aluminum, I'd recommend the Koyo. That said, I have a perfectly good stock STI radiator I can sell you pretty cheap.
It's hard to tell exactly where the leak/s is/are coming from, there's fluid pretty much everywhere. Now that the car has cooled down, you can see the fluid drying all over the engine bay.

I'm just trying to figure out if I should replace it myself, or just have it worked on. Anyone know the estimated prices for radiator and install?

Also, how would one know if the thermostat is done?

What's the STI radiator like? A beefier version of mine in the WRX?

Thanks,

-James
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Old 07-17-2009, 11:52 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by SubaruPartsGirl View Post
We have been stocking Mishimoto Radiators and customers have been very happy so far. They are all aluminum like a KOYO however they are about half the price.
Do you also carry the Mishimoto radiator caps with the thermometers on them?
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Old 07-17-2009, 11:57 AM   #9
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We can work on your car, Gonzo. We replaced mav1c's radiator, for that matter. We also sell Koyo and Mishimoto radiators, as well as the thermometer caps.

--Dan
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Old 07-17-2009, 11:58 AM   #10
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Correct me if I'm wrong, but the Mishimoto Radiators are the same as the Gimmick Motorsports radiators (just rebadged). My brand new GMS radiator leaked. Not trying to take away any sales, just an FYI. Speaking of an FYI...you'll be getting some business from me soon. I sent a PM to the Annapolis Subaru vendor account regarding some parts I need.
That is absolutely false, we are not a rebadged version of any other brand.

That being said, we also have a lifetime warranty on all of our products. If our radiator develops a leak or if you get into an accident and destroy it, we will replace it for you.
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Old 07-17-2009, 11:59 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GonzoWRX View Post
It's hard to tell exactly where the leak/s is/are coming from, there's fluid pretty much everywhere. Now that the car has cooled down, you can see the fluid drying all over the engine bay.

I'm just trying to figure out if I should replace it myself, or just have it worked on. Anyone know the estimated prices for radiator and install?

Also, how would one know if the thermostat is done?

What's the STI radiator like? A beefier version of mine in the WRX?

Thanks,

-James
I don't know what a stock STI radiator would costs, but it would be fairly easy to find out. I'm sure Jackie can help there. Does your radiaotr have a cap on it? I don't think it matters, but the STI radiator has a cap. Should still install on your car without issues.
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Old 07-17-2009, 12:14 PM   #12
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Agreed, we can help you out with the cost of an OEM as well but it is about the same price as the Mishimoto which is why I have been selling these instead of the OEM.
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Old 07-17-2009, 12:34 PM   #13
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If you don't know where the coolant is coming from, you need to figure that out first. It could be the radiator itself, but it could also just be a leaky cap. Worst case scenario, you have a bad head gasket and the engine is overheating and pushing coolant out of the overflow tank and spraying it all over the engine bay.
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Old 07-17-2009, 12:36 PM   #14
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one way to check to see if the thermostatis bad s to get teh car hot and feel both the upper and lower radiator hoses... if its the thermostat the lower radiator hose will be noticeably cooler than the upper radiator hose....
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Old 07-17-2009, 01:02 PM   #15
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Need a ride anywhere? I think we're in the same office park in Chantilly.
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Old 07-17-2009, 01:47 PM   #16
mav1c
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mishimoto View Post
That is absolutely false, we are not a rebadged version of any other brand.

That being said, we also have a lifetime warranty on all of our products. If our radiator develops a leak or if you get into an accident and destroy it, we will replace it for you.
OK. I stand corrected. Thanks for the clarification. Took it out of my post.

Last edited by mav1c; 07-17-2009 at 02:38 PM.
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Old 07-17-2009, 01:48 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Hokie-wrx wagon View Post
Need a ride anywhere? I think we're in the same office park in Chantilly.
I appreciate it. I may take you up on that. At this point I'm trying to figure out the extent of the damage and whether or not I should try to replace it myself or just pay to have it done. I pm'd Dan of MachV to see about pricing.

Anyone have experience in replacing their radiator?

Thanks,

-James
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Old 07-17-2009, 01:50 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by boost junkie View Post
If you don't know where the coolant is coming from, you need to figure that out first. It could be the radiator itself, but it could also just be a leaky cap. Worst case scenario, you have a bad head gasket and the engine is overheating and pushing coolant out of the overflow tank and spraying it all over the engine bay.
This: You really need to figure out where it's leaking. If it's obviously coming from the overflow, it's probably a head gasket, otherwise, check the hoses, cap(s), and end tanks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by big16gwrx View Post
one way to check to see if the thermostatis bad s to get teh car hot and feel both the upper and lower radiator hoses... if its the thermostat the lower radiator hose will be noticeably cooler than the upper radiator hose....
If it's just a thermostat, I doubt you'd get the spewing coolant like you're describing. That said, it's probably a good idea to replace the thermostat while you've got it apart.
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Old 07-17-2009, 01:52 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by GonzoWRX View Post
I appreciate it. I may take you up on that. At this point I'm trying to figure out the extent of the damage and whether or not I should try to replace it myself or just pay to have it done. I pm'd Dan of MachV to see about pricing.

Anyone have experience in replacing their radiator?

Thanks,

-James
I've never done it, but radiator replacement seems pretty straight forward (couple hoses, a sensor, and the fan?). Flushing/burping the coolant system correctly seems like the harder part. Transporting the coolant and disposing of it properly without making a mess might be a bit tricky. I take my used oil to Advance Auto Parts... maybe they take coolant too? If it's only an hour of labor at a shop, it might be worth paying so you don't have to deal with the hassle.
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Old 07-17-2009, 01:57 PM   #20
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i replaced mine... its pretty straight forward... you basically just have to undo the two upper mounts, electrical connectors for the fan and hoses... then it should lift right out
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Old 07-17-2009, 02:00 PM   #21
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When you say that you "looked" at the thermostat do you mean that you looked at the gauge on your cluster? The thermostat is at the bottom of the block between the lower rad hose. Try replacing your temp sender switch and thermostat, could just be bad reading which is confusing your cooling system.
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Old 07-17-2009, 02:07 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by mav1c View Post
This: You really need to figure out where it's leaking. If it's obviously coming from the overflow, it's probably a head gasket, otherwise, check the hoses, cap(s), and end tanks.

If it's just a thermostat, I doubt you'd get the spewing coolant like you're describing. That said, it's probably a good idea to replace the thermostat while you've got it apart.
You think I should run it briefly to get a better idea about the location? I guess if it's for only a couple minutes it can't be that bad, right?

I agree about the thermostat.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hokie-wrx wagon View Post
I've never done it, but radiator replacement seems pretty straight forward (couple hoses, a sensor, and the fan?). Flushing/burping the coolant system correctly seems like the harder part. Transporting the coolant and disposing of it properly without making a mess might be a bit tricky. I take my used oil to Advance Auto Parts... maybe they take coolant too? If it's only an hour of labor at a shop, it might be worth paying so you don't have to deal with the hassle.
Yeah I'm really going to have to take that in to account, those all aluminum radiators don't appear to be inexpensive, but ultimately may be worth it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NNJ_wrx View Post
When you say that you "looked" at the thermostat do you mean that you looked at the gauge on your cluster? The thermostat is at the bottom of the block between the lower rad hose. Try replacing your temp sender switch and thermostat, could just be bad reading which is confusing your cooling system.
Sorry, I meant temperature gauge on the cluster.
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Old 07-17-2009, 02:28 PM   #23
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You think I should run it briefly to get a better idea about the location? I guess if it's for only a couple minutes it can't be that bad, right?

I agree about the thermostat.
I think you should. You might get an idea by just looking at the dried coolant and seeing a pattern. And I'm not positive that you won't spew coolant all over the place if it's just a bad/stuck thermostat. I suppose if that's the case and it overheats, it would spew out the overflow tank, but I'm no expert. Anybody? Dan?
Also, if it's a head gasket and it's causing you to overheat as much as you say, the coolant would be darker and sort of milky. I learned that what might look like a little oil usually doesn't mean anything. It has to look really bad and be pretty obvious.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GonzoWRX View Post
Yeah I'm really going to have to take that in to account, those all aluminum radiators don't appear to be inexpensive, but ultimately may be worth it.
Unless you're tracking the car, I think an aluminum radiator is overkill, but if it's the same price as a new stocker, you might as well. I still have mine FS if you're interested. Only has about 12K miles on it. Definitely no leaks.
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Old 07-17-2009, 02:34 PM   #24
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And as stated above, replacing it isn't really that hard. Just messy and takes time to make sure all the air is out.

Mach V did mine when I had the radiator leak and thought it was a head gasket. They correctly diagnosed that it was the crappy GMS radiator i has just installed myself. I had them put in the Koyo while it was there. They did a great job so if you're going to get it done at a shop, take it there.

Last edited by mav1c; 07-17-2009 at 02:39 PM.
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Old 07-17-2009, 02:45 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mishimoto View Post
That being said, we also have a lifetime warranty on all of our products. If our radiator develops a leak or if you get into an accident and destroy it, we will replace it for you.
I've bought 2 for other cars...I (as the flunky laborer) was very happy with both purchases.

Fit was dead on and both are still in the cars they were installed in...I'd recommend them.
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