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1988 Coup radiator question(s)

Old 10-16-2018, 08:46 PM
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Da Mail Man
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Default 1988 Coup radiator question(s)

Greetings all,

Found a coolant leak "somewhere" leaking down from drivers corner and believe it is the radiator....I have to put it up and take a better look....Does anyone know what the STOCK radiator (tanks,etc) is made of (plastic?..metal... etc?) or how many ROWS the stock is?..Experience any difficulty in changing same?...Thanks
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Old 10-16-2018, 09:52 PM
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If my memory serves... stock has two rows, plastic end caps and metal fins.

If it were me, I'd buy a factory replacement and pop it in. It is not a difficult job but the shroud removal will give you a bit of a fight
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Old 10-16-2018, 09:57 PM
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Thanks for the reply...Plastic---ugh!....I always thought there were 3 rows but, oh-well!...Ya wouldn't happen to have a gm part number nearby would ya?......I did a cursory look and sizes all over the place!
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Old 10-17-2018, 08:47 PM
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Hello there Da Mail Man,
I too have a 1988 C4 Coupe and when I replaced mine it was over $300 locally (about 15 years ago) available with the crappy plastic tanks. On ROCKAUTO. Com they have them from $78 on up and at ZIP PRODUCTS they have them in all Aluminum for roughly $580. I did not check with DeWitts but they make great products as well. I replaced mine with the plastic tanks but wish I had spent the extra money on an all aluminum radiator. Flush the engine well when you do replace the radiator. I replaced the radiator hoses at the same time.

Good luck with the Radiator R&R and I hope you find a good deal on a great radiator!
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Old 10-17-2018, 08:54 PM
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Call Zip and give them your VIN. You will get a factory (yes, it is plastic capped, but look how long the originals lasted. Arer you going to keep this car for more than 20 years??) radiator that fits the first time.

Keep it simple.
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Old 10-17-2018, 08:56 PM
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**CAPS ARE NOT YELLING AND ONLY SERVE TO SEGREGATE PORTIONS OF THE CONVERSATION**

Hello there Da Mail Man,
HELLO THERE TOO.

I too have a 1988 C4 Coupe and when I replaced mine it was over $300 locally (about 15 years ago) available with the crappy plastic tanks.
I BELIEVE MINE HAVE THE PLASTIC TANKS BUT, IS THE ORIGINAL RADIATOR. I STILL DO NOT HAVE THE NUMBER OF ROWS AS STOCK OR ACTUAL GM PART NUMBER.

On ROCKAUTO. Com they have them from $78 on up and at ZIP PRODUCTS they have them in all Aluminum for roughly $580.
THAT IS A PRETTY WIDE RANGE!

I did not check with DeWitts but they make great products as well.
BUT, DAMNED EXPENSIVE!

I replaced mine with the plastic tanks but wish I had spent the extra money on an all aluminum radiator.
I COULD EASILY UNDERSTAND THE WANTING FOR ALL METAL BUT, MINE LASTED TILL 2 DAYS AGO AND WAS ORIGINAL....I TOO WOULD RATHER HAVE METAL.

Flush the engine well when you do replace the radiator. I replaced the radiator hoses at the same time.
I PLAN ON DOING ALL AS MENTIONED. I JUST GOT DONE DOING THE AC AND REPAIRING A BLOWN BRAKE LINE AT DRIVERS REAR OF CAR AND UP BY THE ABS UNIT.

Good luck with the Radiator R&R and I hope you find a good deal on a great radiator!
YEAH, ME TOO!

Last edited by Da Mail Man; 10-19-2018 at 08:25 AM. Reason: spelling
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Old 10-17-2018, 09:02 PM
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THANKS FOR THE REPLY!

Call Zip and give them your VIN.
I WAS JUST TOLD THAT EARLIER...I DID FIND A 3 ROW ALL ALUMINUM FOR A PRICE (CLEARANCE) THAT WAS UNDER $150 *BUT* ALTHOUGH IT SAID WOULD FIT, I QUERIED THE SELLER/COMPANY AND HE/THEY WOULD NOT COMMIT IN WRITING THAT IT WOULD FIT EVEN THOUGH THEY SAID WAS COMPATIBLE AND SHOULD DROP IN...I DON'T WANT TO DO ANY MODS AND EXPLAINED TO THEM THAT THERE IS A "SHROUD/TRIM" THAT HOLDS ALL IN PLACE.

You will get a factory (yes, it is plastic capped, but look how long the originals lasted.
I AGREE AS A LAST RESORT AND AS I PREVIOUSLY STATED.

Arer you going to keep this car for more than 20 years??) radiator that fits the first time.
PROBABLY.

Keep it simple.
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Old 10-17-2018, 09:12 PM
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Does anyone know for sure how many row(s) the stock gm radiator has?

Last edited by Da Mail Man; 10-18-2018 at 08:46 AM. Reason: spelling
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Old 10-19-2018, 12:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Da Mail Man View Post
**CAPS ARE NOT YELLING AND ONLY SERVE TO SEGREGATE PORTIONS OF THE CONVERSATION**
Why don't you just highlight your text, press the little B button and achieve the same thing and not have to include the caps disclaimer?

Hi
Hi back

I love C4s
Yeah me too

Cool Hows the weather?
Cloudy and grey
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Old 10-19-2018, 12:55 AM
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Originally Posted by ctmccloskey View Post
I replaced mine with the plastic tanks but wish I had spent the extra money on an all aluminum radiator.
I'm curious as to why you think that?
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Old 10-19-2018, 12:58 AM
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Originally Posted by billschroeder5842 View Post
Call Zip and give them your VIN. You will get a factory (yes, it is plastic capped, but look how long the originals lasted.
What do you mean by factory, and how do you know this? There is no notation about the radiator on their site as to who made it.
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Old 10-19-2018, 08:22 AM
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Originally Posted by gpierce View Post
Why don't you just highlight your text, press the little B button and achieve the same thing and not have to include the caps disclaimer?

Hi
Hi back

I love C4s
Yeah me too

Cool Hows the weather?
Cloudy and grey
**************************************** ***********

PeRsOnAl PrEfErEnCe.
(personal preference)

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Old 10-24-2018, 07:25 PM
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UPDATES;
Well, many radiator companies/sellers pu$$ied out when I queried them about a 2 or 3 core radiator for my vette...I somehow contacted AutoZone and after finding a radiator there, entered into their chat room help section...I spoke with a guy whom I asked about the specific item/radiator and asked him to verify that it would be a direct fit for my car AND, if it had 2 or 3 rows/cores.

That lying SOB indicated that he verified that it was a direct fit w/out mods AND, that the radiator was a 3 row/core...I asked him to verify the info again and I re-furnished the info back to him and he guaranteed that it was a 3 row and that it would fit...Based on his info and chat which i printed and save, I ordered same.

Today, I received radiator and found that most all staples on box were "popped" and, that it was missing the instructions that the stickers on the radiator said to refer to!...Further, I opened the seal on the neck and discovered the lie!...With the numbers I scavenged off of the radiator, located the manufacturer and e-mailed them and almost immediately, they wrote me back and verified it was a 1 row/core (need 2 at minimum)!....I contacted auto-zone and read them the riot act and directly accused the previous chat guy at time of sale for intentionally misleading me.

The current guy then accused me of not giving any information about my application/vehicle to the liar in question...That pi$$ed me off to say the least!..I pointed out that I saved and printed the chat as well as took screen shots of the chat and at that, he shut the "f" up....Auto-Zone chat people seemingly lie to promote themselves to their supervisors or, to snag a sale. needless to say, I wouldn't even buy a d-cell battery from them let alone order another product/part from them....And the search goes on for a 2 row radiator that won't cost me an arm, a leg, and one of my nut$!

Last edited by Da Mail Man; 10-24-2018 at 07:27 PM.
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Old 11-07-2018, 07:20 AM
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Greetings all---UPDATE;

I did purchase a 3 row aluminum radiator from ebay but, the seller did not/would not honor a 10% coupon that appeared in his ad so, I did not pay him after winning auction. Seems ebay sided with me on this one.

I went back to doing research and like I may have said previously, dealerships, etc said my 88 takes a 3 row (even Ecklers said that). I did get an e-mail from another seller whom explained that the "stock" radiator in my car is a 1-row but, that is is "one giant and wide elongated oblong row(width) measuring just over 1''. I wondered why mine looked so damned strange when I looked into is and saw what that seller told me.So, going to purchase radiator and see what happens from there - will advise.


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Old 11-14-2018, 02:05 PM
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Default Lower tranni cooler line removal issue

CURRENT UPDATE:

Struggled this morning to get radiator shroud off because I missed 2 small bolts but, it's off....Have the top transmission line off and now walked into another problem, the lower transmission cooler line!...My friend took off with my PB BLASTER so, had to use wd 40 crapola.....I let it soak for a bit and applied several sprays over the course of 1/2 hr...While attempting to remove the lower line/fitting, I just started to twist the line so, obviously I stopped...ANY suggestions as to remove the line from the radiator?....
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Old 11-14-2018, 10:13 PM
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ANYONE?....
IF I have to cut the line, can I use tubing and "gas line clamps" to splice the line AND, if not, would anyone know the thread/ fitting size + tubing size?

Last edited by Da Mail Man; 11-14-2018 at 10:14 PM.
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Old 11-15-2018, 04:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Da Mail Man View Post
Greetings all,

Found a coolant leak "somewhere" leaking down from drivers corner and believe it is the radiator....I have to put it up and take a better look....Does anyone know what the STOCK radiator (tanks,etc) is made of (plastic?..metal... etc?) or how many ROWS the stock is?..Experience any difficulty in changing same?...Thanks
I don't think it's much different from my 1986. I just ordered a stock replacement and swapped them out and called it a day. Not too difficult a job. The endcaps are made of plastic and I do believe if I remember correctly that there is a procedure in the FSM to repair them if they are leaking in either the fin area or the side clamps.

Good luck
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Old 11-15-2018, 04:50 PM
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No, don't use fuel line and clamps. I know some do but not really good. Cut the tube with a tubing cutter, get the radiator out then get the the fitting and cut line off. You can replace it with steel brake line tubing from whatever parts store you use. Use a compression fitting to put it all back. As far as size of the fitting, I'm not sure but you'll have the old one, it's a standard size.
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Old 11-15-2018, 11:15 PM
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No, don't use fuel line and clamps.
I probably will for the brief time being. It is low pressure unlike the brake line replacement I did a few months back.

I know some do but not really good.
Hard line is unquestionably the best.

Cut the tube with a tubing cutter,
Did that earlier today - had little choice as the line had a very slight twist and simply was not coming out of the radiator.

get the radiator out then get the the fitting and cut line off.
As above. Once line cut and radiator removed, line was easy to remove with the fitting seeming fused solidly...It seems to me that the fitting should have "revolved" around the line but. in no way would it move!

You can replace it with steel brake line tubing from whatever parts store you use. I actually was given the wrong fitting and line size and had to make a return trip to parts house to refund. There, I bought a brass barbed fitting, hose clamps, and 12'' of hose. I attempted to begin the installation process but, the low coolant sensor switch shattered when I attempted to remove it from old radiator so, ordered another.

Use a compression fitting to put it all back.
Already planning that. Brake line seems a bit heavy as my lines appear to be aluminum but, I could be very wrong!

As far as size of the fitting, I'm not sure but you'll have the old one, it's a standard size.
I don't know about "a standard size" since I was give incorrect info from another source but, believe I may know it now and will verify.

Last edited by Da Mail Man; 11-15-2018 at 11:16 PM.
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