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Radiator leak,,

This is a discussion on Radiator leak,, within the General Help forums, part of the LSx Technical Help Section category; I have noticed my car is leaking water. I noticed that 3 days ago. But it only leaks in the ...

  1. #1
    Senior Member 98maro's Avatar
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    Radiator leak,,

    I have noticed my car is leaking water. I noticed that 3 days ago. But it only leaks in the morning when the engine is cold. When is running it doesn't leak at all.
    Is there anything I can use to fix that?
    Cuz right now I can't buy a new radiator.
    If that's the only choice I have. Where can I buy it? I dnt want aftermarket radiator. To Many problems.
    Thanks in advance
    00 ss blk m6 " STOCK" strano springs, slp bilstein shocks, adj LCA, adj panhard bar, relocation brackets, 2 point SFCs welded,OEM zo6 rims black, magnaflow exhaust, CME exhaust,E/cutout, slp grille, custom front plate mount, HIDs, whistler mod, side moldings delete, slp air lid, ported and polished TB, strut tower brace, 3.73s gears, and some other parts to list!
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    Veteran Hi-Po's Avatar
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    Have you tried to find the leak? I would start there before you assume its the radiator, might be something simple. Is it coolant low?

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    Senior Member 98maro's Avatar
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    I see the leak under the reservoir thank.
    And somewhere on the radiator hose the bottom one on the passenger side.
    I dnt think is a hose cuz I dnt see no pressure.
    The coolant is not too low.
    Few days ago I did the bypass on the tb
    I added a piece aluminum tube.
    I'm a check that. Idk if that could be the problm

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    Veteran Hi-Po's Avatar
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    I would start checking in other areas, especially the bypass you just did.

    You sure its coolant? Have you verified its coolant? Do a little troubleshooting before worrying about replacing a radiator.

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    Senior Member 98maro's Avatar
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    It is water. I'm a check everything tomorrow morning.
    I think if Is not the radiator. It should be the by pass tube.

    If it's the radiator. Where can I find one? Not aftermarket

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    Veteran Hi-Po's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 98maro View Post
    It is water. I'm a check everything tomorrow morning.
    I think if Is not the radiator. It should be the by pass tube.

    If it's the radiator. Where can I find one? Not aftermarket
    Used classifieds on the car forums. There fairly easy to find for cheap. You can also use the LT1 radiator, which is actually a upgrade.

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    2004 HEAD/CAM CTS-V 9t8z28's Avatar
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    I got both of my LT1 radiators from Hance Radiator in Doylestown Pa for $150. You can't really find them any cheaper than that. Early LT1 cars had the LT1 radiators which were a 1-3/8 core. Summit Racing carries these radiators but you might not get the right one. Make sure if you go through them you tell its a 93-96 LT1 radiator that you need.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 9t8z28 View Post
    I got both of my LT1 radiators from Hance Radiator in Doylestown Pa for $150. You can't really find them any cheaper than that. Early LT1 cars had the LT1 radiators which were a 1-3/8 core. Summit Racing carries these radiators but you might not get the right one. Make sure if you go through them you tell its a 93-96 LT1 radiator that you need.
    That's a good price. OP, if it is the radiator, forget searching the classifieds... go this route.

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    Senior Member 98maro's Avatar
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    Thanks guys.
    So radiator on the lt1 cars have better radiators?
    Should I get a used one or what u guys think.

    I boutgh an aftermarket radiator for my 98 z.
    I had many problems with that thing.

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    Moderator Cutlass's Avatar
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    used is fine as long as its in good condition.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cutlass View Post
    used is fine as long as its in good condition.
    Absolutely.

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    Member zeetwentyeight's Avatar
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    i bought a oem replacment radiator off ebay for 50 dollars shipped. i have had it in there for a year and havent had any problems yet. Thats if your going for a cheap route.

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    Senior Member 98maro's Avatar
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    i found one on craigslist for $40 0bo..
    i havent had chance to check for the leak,,
    i been working everyday,,

    what u guys think bout using some kind of sealer or anything?

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    I would not use any type of stop leak or sealer -- they just gunk up your cooling system and could cause even more problems. Better to properly diagnose the issue and fix or replace whatever is at fault.

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    Agreed, that stuff is nasty. I wouldn't use it.

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    Senior Member 98maro's Avatar
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    on my z the previous owner did that and i had many problms cuz of that,, i had to change the radiator and the thermostate,,

    i found a used 96 lt1 radiator.. it looks fine.. should i buy it?? i'll be doin the labor so im gonna save some cash on that..

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    Quote Originally Posted by 98maro View Post
    on my z the previous owner did that and i had many problms cuz of that,, i had to change the radiator and the thermostate,,

    i found a used 96 lt1 radiator.. it looks fine.. should i buy it?? i'll be doin the labor so im gonna save some cash on that..
    Have you determined that it is in fact, your radiator leaking?

  18. #18
    Senior Member 98maro's Avatar
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    not yet.. i got late of work.. but im sure thats the problem.. my maxima had the same problem and at the end it was the radiator..
    but i let you guys know tomorrow if it is the radiator..

    i think im just gonna get that radiator, just in case..

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    You really need to look it over before you open your wallet. Heck, the radiator cap may not be on tight or it could be something as simple as the hose to the overflow tank.

  20. #20
    Speak the truth jad628's Avatar
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    Just make sure the radiator is for a M6 and not an auto, or be ready to seal off the additional connector at the bottom (driver's side).

    I would warn you that once you find the leak, if it happens to be a major part (radiator, water pump, etc.) it's not uncommon to have another part start leaking once the first "weak link" is corrected. The fluid on the lower hose COULD mean the water pump as well, however it isn't always as easy as that. A pressure check would be helpful.

    I just had to change the radiator, water pump, and by-pass hose in my 96 Dodge Ram 1500. For several years, I noticed a leak similar to the one you described when the weather turned cooler. It turned out it was the seal between the plastic tank and the aluminum cooling/fin area of the radiator (I can't remember if our LS1's have the same type of radiator build). It only leaked a bit and after the weather stayed cool, it stopped all-together. Come fall of the next year, it would do the same thing again. During a recent snow/ice event, I drove my truck exclusively (go figure) and the other side of the radiator developed a more substantial leak. I decided to change the fifteen year old radiator and determined it WAS the only leak in the system. Installed a new one and within two days, I had a leaking water pump and thermostat housing. I went ahead and changed those out along with the by-pass hose, and lower radiator hose. While doing that, I found out my belt tensioner arm had seized in place (a common issue with OEM non-sealed Dodge part after a while). That greatly accelerates wear on the water pump from what I have heard, so I replaced it as well. Have to take a lot of stuff loose to change all that, but the cooling system is now 100%.

    My reason for telling you that is so you will be prepared to look at many potential reasons for the leak. It could be a radiator cap that isn't working properly, the collection hose for the overflow is worn/clogged, the thermostat isn't releasing properly, or a slew of other reasons. Start with the simple things and rule them out first. Good luck!

    I just did this on Tuesday, so it is still on my mind:




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