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Replacing 5.0 V8 Radiator

JonnyRock

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Washington
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'98 XLT
Hey guys, having a little difficulty getting a bad radiator out.

Here's what I've done:
-removed the lower shroud (4 10mm bolts)
-drained the radiator
-removed the intake (pipe clamp)
-removed upper and lower radiator hoses (pipe clamps)
-unbolted the shroud (3 10mm bolts) and slid it back over the fan
-unscrewed the transmission coolant lines
-pulled the two a/c lines from the bracket on radiator bottom

Here's my problem:
I cant get the radiator out! I can't slide the radiator enough to the driver's side to get the two tabs on the coolant condensor out of the notches on the radiator. Am I missing a bolt or tab?

Thanks
 
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71cutty455

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1998 XLT 5.0 V8 AWD
I did this about 6 mths ago on my 5.0 Explorer so I know how much of a pain it is. If you have EVERYTHING else disconnected which it sounds like you do then you need to get the radiator lifted up off the mounts it sits in then you can simultaneously pull the radiator to one side while pulling the condenser to other side to get the tabs to slide all the way out. So basically pull up on the radiator and move it back towards the engine so that it's no longer sitting on the mounts then you should be able to get them apart by sliding them towards their respective sides.

Here's the kicker though - if I remember correctly they are also attached by another tab on the bottom passenger side of the radiator. I can't remember 100% if you have to detach that one FIRST or if it comes apart AFTER the tabs on the driver's side. But I do remember all I had to do is study it for a minute and it came apart pretty easily. Stick your head under the passenger side and look for that first then it should all come to you....
 
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1998Exp

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There are two latches 'sandwiching' the condenser and the radiator together at the bottom. There is also one at the top, on the driver side. The two at the bottom disangage front-to-back, and you need to take care of those first. The one on the driver side is small and easy, but the one the passenger side is big and tough. It looks like an oversize backpack clip. You need to squeeze the tangs and then stick something in-between and push hard to separate the two parts by about 2" before they disengage. It will feel like something's going to break, but it won't.
After separating the bottom latches, slide the radiator to the left, to disengage the top latch. This one is fairly easy. Assemble in reverse order.

This is from memory, having done the job last December. If you search for my postings, you will find more detail under a thread dealing with coolant leak.

Hope this helps...
 
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fjones

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I just replaced the radiator on a 1998 5.0 XLT two weeks ago. There is a tab on the bottom passenger side that has to be released to let the condenser and radiator come apart. Then you slide the radiator to the drivers side to let the upper and lower tabs on the drivers side slide out. Can be a pain but it will come apart.
 
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mounty71

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I think the engineers who designed those sliding radiator mounts should be fired. I replaced a radiator about 2 months ago, and then a month later had to replace it again, and I wanted to cry. I dread the day I need to replace it again.

Slide the radiator towards the passenger side, not the driver side. And tilting it so the clip at the bottom passenger side goes under the frame rail helps. I also found that by removing the black plastic cover above the grill, I could get a screwdriver behind the grill and use it to slide the radiator and condenser apart. Just be careful that you don't break anything that you might need. Getting the 1st replacement radiator out, I broke the male part of the sliding mounts, which wasn't a problem anyway since it was a bad radiator.

And when you reconnect the trans lines, make sure to use teflon tape. I had to go back and add some after the fact.

Good luck.
 
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1998Exp

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These engineers have all probably been laid off years ago anyway.
To their defense, they designed the cheapest and quickest way to install the radiator and the condenser at the assembly plant -- the two get sandwiched together in a couple seconds, and then simply dropped in as a unit...
The people who should be fired are the bean counters who pushed the engineers to create this service monstrosity to save a few pennies. But isn't Ford famous for that?


I think the engineers who designed those sliding radiator mounts should be fired. I replaced a radiator about 2 months ago, and then a month later had to replace it again, and I wanted to cry. I dread the day I need to replace it again.
...
.
 
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beach

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Pretty much the above summed it up... removing the Radiator in the 5.0 is one of the biggest pain in the asses especially if your by yourself. I've done it, dread ever doing it again.
 
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mcnulty6807

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How long did it take you all to swap out radiators? I am planning to do this this weekend.
 
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Joe Dirt

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Are these things worse than flathead screws, or what!? :)
 
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mounty71

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How long did it take you all to swap out radiators? I am planning to do this this weekend.

I'd say it took around 3 or 4 hours my first time, but plan on spending an afternoon to get it done.
 
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Joe Dirt

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I've got an afternoon planned. Done one a while back, it's a PITA.
 
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kevinspann

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Are these things worse than flathead screws, or what!? :)

I guess I'm not the only one. Someone put up shelves in my garage with flat head screws. Trying to get those things out with a drill is :mad::mad::mad:
 
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Joe Dirt

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Flathead screws are much worse- honestly, I don't consider the V8 rad to be that bad, at least the 2 I've done. Maybe I got lucky both times...
 
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kevinspann

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Flathead screws are much worse- honestly, I don't consider the V8 rad to be that bad, at least the 2 I've done. Maybe I got lucky both times...

The way the condenser attaches is complete bullshit.



Have you had issues with the lines to the transmission cooler leaking? Mine are leaking where the adapter screws into the cooler. Teflon tape + tight and there still seems to be a little seepage.
 
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mounty71

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The way the condenser attaches is complete bullshit.

Agreed!


Have you had issues with the lines to the transmission cooler leaking? Mine are leaking where the adapter screws into the cooler. Teflon tape + tight and there still seems to be a little seepage.

I did before using teflon tape, but after adding it I haven't had any leaks. Although it seems that some coolant has disappeared, but I know it's at least not from there.
 
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Trolling

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took me all of 2 hours to do mine last month. a few bolts and the two transmission cooler lines was all it took and that heavy 2" OEM ford radiator slid right out.

If i wasn't constantly adjusting the tarp to cover me from the scorching sun, I might have shaved 30 minutes off of the work.
 
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Joe Dirt

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Same thing, Trolling. It's only a couple of hours. The first one I did took about 3, but I had been coming in and out reading the forum tips.

I'm doing a writeup for this one, I took pics this time since I couldn't find one.
 
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EMG7895

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Once you figure it out its not that bad, especially compared to some cars that pretty much need the entire front end disassembled.
 
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