Go Back  CorvetteForum - Chevrolet Corvette Forum Discussion > C3 Corvettes, 1968 - 1982 > C3 General
Reload this Page >

Any tips on replacing radiator on '76 with air conditioning?

Notices
C3 General General C3 Corvette Discussion not covered in Tech
Sponsored by:
Sponsored by:

Any tips on replacing radiator on '76 with air conditioning?

 
Old 06-07-2019, 03:05 PM
  #1  
OLE442
CF Senior Member
Support Corvetteforum!
Thread Starter
 
OLE442's Avatar
 
Member Since: Oct 2016
Location: Way too close to the city
Posts: 1,035
Received 56 Likes on 40 Posts
Default Any tips on replacing radiator on '76 with air conditioning?

Well, I have started removing the old radiator and did happen to break off the bottom passenger side stud that holds the shroud on! Darn, it felt like it was moving. I have started using PB Blaster whether it looks like I need it or not and working it slowly and re- tightening it a couple times while removing them.

Dropped the alternator, removed the air cleaner and snorkel/air intake, removed the fan and pulley, loosened the air cond. compressor, loosened most of the top bolts for the shroud but still haven't removed it because I think there may be a couple more bolts.

Just curious if I have to move the air cond. compressor out of the way to get the shroud off? I sure hope not!!

I also am fighting the lower automatic transmission line at the radiator. It's kinda funky because a lot of it is rubber hose with clamps. Any I have done over the years had all steel lines to the radiator fittings. I have soaked the fittings with PBB and will go slow.

I'm putting in a new Dewitt aluminum radiator, new hoses and DeWitt high performance coolant with additives for the aluminum radiator.

Any tips and other info will be appreciated.

Thanks,
OLE442
OLE442 is offline  
Old 06-07-2019, 04:15 PM
  #2  
7T1vette
CF Senior Member
 
7T1vette's Avatar
 
Member Since: Jan 2006
Location: Crossville TN
Posts: 30,718
Received 1,085 Likes on 978 Posts
Default

Too late, now...

I was going to suggest that you just cut thru the bottom of the shroud (front-to-back in the middle) so that you could remove it a LOT easier. Then drill a couple of holes on each side of the split, make a small aluminum plate, and Pop-rivet it back together. Paint the splice black or whatever to make it less visible, if you want. That shroud is a PITA to remove on an a/c car.
7T1vette is offline  
Old 06-07-2019, 04:27 PM
  #3  
OLE442
CF Senior Member
Support Corvetteforum!
Thread Starter
 
OLE442's Avatar
 
Member Since: Oct 2016
Location: Way too close to the city
Posts: 1,035
Received 56 Likes on 40 Posts
Default

Wouldn't you need to cut the top of the shroud too?
OLE442 is offline  
Old 06-07-2019, 10:32 PM
  #4  
palmbeachvette76
CF Senior Member
 
palmbeachvette76's Avatar
 
Member Since: Jul 2010
Location: Boynton Beach Florida
Posts: 663
Likes: 0
Received 8 Likes on 8 Posts
Default

Though it's more work I have found raising the car and removing the front wheels so you can take out the upper control arm bolts is the easiest thing. the control arms are the biggest thing in the way of the shroud.. I kept the shims in order and set the controls arms to the side a few inches giving the clearance needed. Now this was discovered on my 3rd go round with the radiator when I finally switched to a dewitts. The radiator sits in a metal frame that you'll need to loosen and or remove 2 bolts from each side that are accessed from outside of the frame. This allows some wiggle room and makes it easier taking the radiator out and might give you some room to remove the trans cooler lines but the shroud is the nightmare but again with the upper control arms out of the way it makes things a lot easier.

Eric
palmbeachvette76 is offline  
Old 06-07-2019, 11:35 PM
  #5  
7T1vette
CF Senior Member
 
7T1vette's Avatar
 
Member Since: Jan 2006
Location: Crossville TN
Posts: 30,718
Received 1,085 Likes on 978 Posts
Default

Once you cut thru the bottom of the shroud, it is flexible enough to wiggle out of its "home". If the owner is a 'purist' and can't cut the shroud...."you get what you asked for".

Otherwise, it's the simplest alternative.
7T1vette is offline  
The following users liked this post:
OLE442 (06-08-2019)
Old 06-08-2019, 06:25 PM
  #6  
OLE442
CF Senior Member
Support Corvetteforum!
Thread Starter
 
OLE442's Avatar
 
Member Since: Oct 2016
Location: Way too close to the city
Posts: 1,035
Received 56 Likes on 40 Posts
Default

I may try the method of cutting the shroud at the bottom. I'm somewhat of a purist but it isn't a chrome bumper hot engine Vette so what the hey. I'm pure enough to want a non-leaking radiator instead of the original radiator that leaks. I did put a removable rear window in it so I'm not really that muck of a purist. Thanks for the input!
OLE442 is offline  
Old 06-08-2019, 07:38 PM
  #7  
HeadsU.P.
CF Senior Member
 
HeadsU.P.'s Avatar
 
Member Since: Aug 2017
Location: Cool Northern Michigan
Posts: 2,214
Received 397 Likes on 375 Posts
Default

Yes, that lower tranny line on the Rad is a PITA to get at. Once you get it off, switch the hose clamp to a hexagon worm style. That way you can use a nut-driver on the clamp instead of cussing at a slipping screwdriver.

On my '77, all belts off, clutch fan off, shroud loose, I just laid the shroud over the water-pump. The pulled the Rad. Then the shroud slips right out.
I hate to see anybody cut the shroud. It will never be the same.

Last edited by HeadsU.P.; 06-08-2019 at 07:39 PM.
HeadsU.P. is offline  
Old 06-08-2019, 08:10 PM
  #8  
Mod75
CF Senior Member
 
Mod75's Avatar
 
Member Since: Jan 2007
Location: Danville Illinois
Posts: 5,528
Received 65 Likes on 58 Posts
Default




After the first time i pulled the radiator, i said to my self there has to be an easier way, yes cut the bottom of the shroud.
No, i am not a purist.
Mod75 is offline  
Old 06-08-2019, 09:07 PM
  #9  
pd64
Junior Member
 
pd64's Avatar
 
Member Since: Aug 2018
Location: Canada
Posts: 49
Received 5 Likes on 4 Posts
Default

I cut the shroud at the bottom as well. Screwed a metal plate that I painted black on the bottom and some black silicone on the top so the split is barely noticeable. As mentioned pulling the rad with the shroud attached may be an option.
pd64 is offline  
Old 06-08-2019, 09:20 PM
  #10  
OLE442
CF Senior Member
Support Corvetteforum!
Thread Starter
 
OLE442's Avatar
 
Member Since: Oct 2016
Location: Way too close to the city
Posts: 1,035
Received 56 Likes on 40 Posts
Default

HeadsU.P., pd64 and Mod75:

Did your cars have air conditioning and power steering? I think the late 76 and later was a bit different from my early 76 though. It sure is tight in there with everything coming together in a very limited space. I'm working slowly and trying not to get in a hurry or excited. I can break things pretty easy....LOL! So, I try to stay calm.

Last edited by OLE442; 06-08-2019 at 09:21 PM.
OLE442 is offline  
Old 06-09-2019, 08:47 AM
  #11  
Pa'svette
CF Senior Member
 
Pa'svette's Avatar
 
Member Since: Mar 2015
Location: SE Ohio
Posts: 467
Received 31 Likes on 29 Posts
St. Jude Donor '16-'17-'18
Default

If you are replacing just the radiator the shroud doesn't need to come out. Just take it loose from the support and move it back toward the engine. Should give you room to remove the radiator.
Pa'svette is offline  
Old 06-09-2019, 08:57 AM
  #12  
pd64
Junior Member
 
pd64's Avatar
 
Member Since: Aug 2018
Location: Canada
Posts: 49
Received 5 Likes on 4 Posts
Default

Originally Posted by OLE442 View Post
HeadsU.P., pd64 and Mod75:

Did your cars have air conditioning and power steering? I think the late 76 and later was a bit different from my early 76 though. It sure is tight in there with everything coming together in a very limited space. I'm working slowly and trying not to get in a hurry or excited. I can break things pretty easy....LOL! So, I try to stay calm.
I have an early 76 with PS no AC. Manual trans so didnít have to deal with transmission lines.

Last edited by pd64; 06-09-2019 at 09:47 AM.
pd64 is offline  
Old 06-09-2019, 08:58 AM
  #13  
HeadsU.P.
CF Senior Member
 
HeadsU.P.'s Avatar
 
Member Since: Aug 2017
Location: Cool Northern Michigan
Posts: 2,214
Received 397 Likes on 375 Posts
Default

Originally Posted by OLE442 View Post
HeadsU.P., pd64 and Mod75:

Did your cars have air conditioning and power steering? I think the late 76 and later was a bit different from my early 76 though. It sure is tight in there with everything coming together in a very limited space. I'm working slowly and trying not to get in a hurry or excited. I can break things pretty easy....LOL! So, I try to stay calm.
Yes on both options. I am not a purist. Hate to see a shroud cut not because its a lot easier, but rather some of the cobble / bubba jobs putting it back together look like shet.
HeadsU.P. is offline  
Old 06-09-2019, 02:50 PM
  #14  
OLE442
CF Senior Member
Support Corvetteforum!
Thread Starter
 
OLE442's Avatar
 
Member Since: Oct 2016
Location: Way too close to the city
Posts: 1,035
Received 56 Likes on 40 Posts
Default

Anyone have a picture of an AIM or GM shop manual with a diagram of the radiator area including the radiator, shroud, core support and mounting hardware that I could get a scan of?

Might help taking this apart and re-assembling it!

Thanks, OLE442
OLE442 is offline  
Old 06-09-2019, 03:31 PM
  #15  
carriljc
CF Senior Member
 
carriljc's Avatar
 
Member Since: Jan 2001
Posts: 2,508
Received 213 Likes on 201 Posts
Default

Here is a link with pictures, pointers, and guidance:
http://repairs.willcoxcorvette.com/?yt=1976&s=radiator

Originally Posted by OLE442 View Post
Anyone have a picture of an AIM or GM shop manual with a diagram of the radiator area including the radiator, shroud, core support and mounting hardware that I could get a scan of?

Might help taking this apart and re-assembling it!

Thanks, OLE442
carriljc is offline  
Old 06-09-2019, 04:26 PM
  #16  
Bikespace
CF Senior Member
 
Bikespace's Avatar
 
Member Since: Mar 2017
Location: Northern Virginia
Posts: 1,809
Received 278 Likes on 260 Posts
Default

I'm not really a purist either, but I hate to see a large part wasted for convenience. I was able to remove the shroud in my 80 without cutting it. I had the water pump, hood, and upper control arms removed at the time, and the upper radiator bolts loose. Easy! A new dual-Spal fan replaced it.
Bikespace is offline  
Old 06-10-2019, 10:19 AM
  #17  
RocketNerd
CF Member
 
Member Since: Dec 2017
Location: Yuma Az
Posts: 59
Received 12 Likes on 10 Posts
Default

Just did this on my 76, if you're not a purist, then the upgrade to the DeWitt's electric fans for the radiator is well worth it. ditch the shroud and the big spinning metal finger guillotine and run the SPAL fans. it was 108 here the other day, driving home from work, with just a 50/50 blend the temp barely got over 185 when the fans were running, and that was even without my air dam installed, they move a ton of air through that awesome radiator.
RocketNerd is offline  
Old 06-11-2019, 07:58 PM
  #18  
OLE442
CF Senior Member
Support Corvetteforum!
Thread Starter
 
OLE442's Avatar
 
Member Since: Oct 2016
Location: Way too close to the city
Posts: 1,035
Received 56 Likes on 40 Posts
Default

Well, this radiator replacement is a bear at every turn. Got the fan shroud out by making the cuts. It really needed to have the water pump removed to get it out without scuffing up the old radiator. I made a way to make it work. It's like they built this car so you have to disassemble half of it to do a repair that would be fairly easy on a passenger car of the same era!

Getting the old radiator out then became another ordeal. Every way i'd try to move it, it would be blocked or snag on something especially the lower inlet vs. the front right side suspension! My wife and I worked it around and turned it a weird way and it just came out! I'm not sure how I can get the new expensive radiator back in?

Tomorrow, my brother and I will take the hood off.....which I was trying to avoid....darn. I'm thinking the only way I can get it in is by pulling the core support and assemble it all and try to slide it back in in one chunk. Of course, I have the evaporator (?) in front of the radiator to deal with also without effing it up! I'm afraid it won't go in as planned. That will be my luck. I really don't want to undo the front suspension or to remove the AC compressor? Everyone says this is easy but this is the worst time I've ever had with replacing a radiator.

OLE442
OLE442 is offline  
Old 06-11-2019, 09:39 PM
  #19  
Bikespace
CF Senior Member
 
Bikespace's Avatar
 
Member Since: Mar 2017
Location: Northern Virginia
Posts: 1,809
Received 278 Likes on 260 Posts
Default

I'm impressed you got the radiator out without taking the hood off first.

With some creative use of ratchet straps, I was able to remove my hood by myself. Make sure you mark the hinges EXACTLY, if you want the hood to go back on easily. Going back on was a bit more of a chore, but I managed that alone, too.


Bikespace is offline  
Old 06-12-2019, 08:22 AM
  #20  
KenSny
CF Senior Member
 
KenSny's Avatar
 
Member Since: Apr 2001
Location: Olmsted Falls Ohio
Posts: 2,430
Likes: 0
Received 18 Likes on 17 Posts
Default

Originally Posted by OLE442 View Post
Well, this radiator replacement is a bear at every turn. Got the fan shroud out by making the cuts. It really needed to have the water pump removed to get it out without scuffing up the old radiator. I made a way to make it work. It's like they built this car so you have to disassemble half of it to do a repair that would be fairly easy on a passenger car of the same era!

Getting the old radiator out then became another ordeal. Every way i'd try to move it, it would be blocked or snag on something especially the lower inlet vs. the front right side suspension! My wife and I worked it around and turned it a weird way and it just came out! I'm not sure how I can get the new expensive radiator back in?

Tomorrow, my brother and I will take the hood off.....which I was trying to avoid....darn. I'm thinking the only way I can get it in is by pulling the core support and assemble it all and try to slide it back in in one chunk. Of course, I have the evaporator (?) in front of the radiator to deal with also without effing it up! I'm afraid it won't go in as planned. That will be my luck. I really don't want to undo the front suspension or to remove the AC compressor? Everyone says this is easy but this is the worst time I've ever had with replacing a radiator.

OLE442
Engine and all that was installed BEFORE body was dropped on car at the factory.
How nice it would be if we could just lift the front part of the body off to work on engine compartment.
KenSny is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Quick Reply: Any tips on replacing radiator on '76 with air conditioning?


Contact Us - About Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service

© 2019 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.
 
  • Ask a Question
    Get answers from community experts
Question Title:
Description:
Your question will be posted in: