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Old 04-28-2005, 02:49 PM   #1
a1ex
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Default Question regarding OEM radiators

Guys, I bought a replacement rediator for my03 wrx, but it doesn't have a fill hole at the top, so no rad cap and such. Does anyone know what this thing is and how I can fill my cooling system? tia
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Old 04-28-2005, 02:52 PM   #2
SubyDuz
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Quote:
Originally Posted by a1ex
Guys, I bought a replacement rediator for my03 wrx, but it doesn't have a fill hole at the top, so no rad cap and such. Does anyone know what this thing is and how I can fill my cooling system? tia
You bought the wrong one their cheif. Two different kinds one with a resevoir one with out. Is it OEM or after market?
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Old 04-28-2005, 02:54 PM   #3
Mulder
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There have been two versions of radiator used on the WRX. The 02's and early 03's used the type you just got, that did not have a cap. Later '03's and on had an updated radiator with the cap. Your car is probably a late 03 that originally had the newer style w/cap, and that is what you should be replacing it with. While the older one will work you would be taking a step backward. The old non-cap ones are prone to seam leaks while the newer ones don't seem to have this problem, also the cap allows for draining and refilling the system without trapping air.
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Old 04-28-2005, 02:57 PM   #4
a1ex
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Thank you for clearing that up. So, if I opt to use the older revision rad, I can fill it up by funneling the coolant through the upper rad hose?
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Old 04-28-2005, 03:00 PM   #5
Mulder
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Yes, and you can also fill it through the cap on the engine tank as before. But if I were you I'd sell it and get the right one.
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Old 04-28-2005, 03:04 PM   #6
a1ex
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Thanks.

my body shop guy, who's replacing the rad, is insisting that it's impossible to fill it through the rad hose. I have the late model 03, apparently, and the early revision rad - should this combo work?

Also, where is the "cap on the engine" located exactly?
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Old 04-28-2005, 03:11 PM   #7
Mulder
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Is the car new to you, or have you never done a coolant service before? There is a small coolant tank on the passenger side of the engine, just ahead of the turbo. The tank has a cap and that is where the system is filled on the early cars that didn't have the radiator cap.
It is possible to remove the upper hose, fill the system through that, then reconnect the hose when the level gets high enough and complete filling through the tank. This method may help prevent air getting trapped during the filling process.
The tubing from the radiator to the reservoir tank is also different between the two versions of radiator, so you will have to get the proper parts or rig something up.
I highly suggest that you do the right thing here, and get the radiator that belongs on your car.
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Old 04-28-2005, 03:37 PM   #8
a1ex
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I bought the car through a family mechanic, but haven't seen it in person yet. He's working on it for me out of state. Just got off the phone with the guy, he's going to try to fill it through the hose like you suggested. Hopefully this will work, if not I'll buy the correct rad.
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Old 04-28-2005, 03:50 PM   #9
Mulder
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Well, ok it's your choice but you know what my opinion is so I won't say it again.
Don't forget what I said about the tubing for the reservoir, he's going to have to make that work.
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Old 04-28-2005, 03:53 PM   #10
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your missing filer holey thing issue can be fixed with a few basic tools:

Hammer
railroad spike
cork

Well not really...but i got an image in my head of your body shop guy spiking the top of the radiator, jamming a rag in it and praising himself for a job well done. I'm a retard.
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Old 04-28-2005, 03:58 PM   #11
a1ex
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^^
I'm not sure what you're saying; can you be more direct?
------


So, according to this pic (03 wrx), there are TWO caps - one on top of radiator and the other just beside the airbox, near the tmic?

What I am doing is installing an odler rad, so the cap by the airbox should still be functional and I'll be able to fill it with coolant through that passage, i hope.
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Old 04-28-2005, 04:05 PM   #12
Mulder
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Yes, you are correct. The cap by the IC is where you fill the system. However without the second cap on the radiator you have to follow the filling procedure for the older cars, and be mindful of air pockets which can cause serious problems if you don't purge them.
I'm not getting a good feeling here from what you're saying about the shop doing this work, and the fact that the car is out of state where you can't be around while the work is being done. If the shop does not know what they are doing, and they fill it up and go for a drive with air in the system, it may overheat very quickly with possible engine damage as the result. All this because the wrong radiator was used. Not saying this WILL happen, but it is very common to get those air pockets with the non-cap radiators, it even happens sometimes when dealers do the service.
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Old 04-28-2005, 04:05 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by a1ex
What I am doing is installing an odler rad, so the cap by the airbox should still be functional and I'll be able to fill it with coolant through that passage, i hope.
That is correct. Like Mulder said... the 02 and early 03 wrx's have an older style radiator. They do not have the cap on the radiator(which is the model that you have in your hand). It should still work fine on your car, and you can fill the coolant through the cap by the airbox.
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