Question about replacing the radiator


Dedicated LVC Member
Nov 27, 2004
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Chanhassen, MN
'00 V6 5 Speed Manual. Replacing the radiator in the next couple days and I have a question. I read through the process per the Ford shop manual and it does say to remove the air conditioning condenser. I suspect that this does not really need to be done as the radiator looks fairly simple. Can anyone give me some insight, does the condenser need to be removed?
I did this in 2010 on my identical car. I did not remove my condenser. I believe that I had to drop the radiator through the bottom of the car though. I also had to make a special tool from [I believe] a 17mm open end wrench to be able to turn the fitting for one of the hydraulic fan lines that needed to be moved in the process. There was a little persuasion also involved in some of the hard lines, possibly even the refrigerant lines, to get that radiator out. I don't recall the job being fun at all. That all said, it may actually be easiest to recover the refrigerant and remove the condenser to service the radiator. I would definitely do it that way the next time. On the 17 mm open end wrench tool modification, it involved making a cheap wrench into a 3 inch stubby wrench and possibly bending the handle upward. It may have been able to be avoided had I had the proper crow foot wrench, but then again I may have tried the right crow foot and found that it did not fit correctly into the limited space. It has been 12 years.. Good luck with the job!
Milehighmikey - your insight and experience is much appreciated. I was just about to pull the car into the garage and do this at home, but with what you are saying I am going to take it over to the shop I work at. They have an air conditioner machine and I can easily capture the R134. The shop manual also said to remove the cooling fan lines, I was thinking I would be able to avoid this too. If I take it to the shop I can more easily remove the radiator from the bottom as I will have it on a lift.

Thank you so much!
Got the radiator done yesterday and I did take it to the shop where I work and use the lift. I was glad I did that. Just so others know, the radiator needed to come out the bottom of the car. The reason for this is that the lower mounting bracket on the radiator extends to the back of the radiator about 2 1/2 to 3 inches and you just can't get it out the top. I also did not drain or remove the condenser, nor did I disconnect the hydraulic hoses for the fan. I simply unbolted the fan shroud and pulled it back into the engine with the fan still attached. The main difficulty was removing the 8mm bolts that hold the radiators and the radiator mounts together. While I had the cooling system down I also replaced the coolant overflow tank with one of the aluminum ones on ebay. It fit in very well.

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