90Q radiator problems

Jacques Fournier jfgte8296 at yahoo.com
Mon Sep 24 08:36:40 EDT 2001

I just replaced the main radiator in my '88 90 this
weekend with an AKG I got for IMPEX 
for 200.00.  Bau sells the same one for 259.00.  The
only difference between this one and the original (13
Years & 177K miles) was the lack of a drain cock at
the bottom.  It's not needed anyway.  I took my time
and did it in 3 hours with no missing
bolts/nuts/pieces.  BTW, I don't believe in rebuilding
radiators.  If you're that cheap, buy an Escort or
Cavalier.  I also went ahead and replaced the fan
switch that screws into the bottom of the radiator and
my temp sender, which worked only once in a while.
I'll change the thermostat when I do the timing belt.

I don't know who would recommend an all-metal
radiator.  I would think the plastic in the OEM ones
is much more resilient and flexes without breaking
when expanded and contracted during the extreme
temperature changes.

As for removal of the radiator, I had to pull the
carbon canister, expansion tank and windshield fluid
tank to get that pesky bolt on the side out.  I also
took out the tube from the intake side that went to
the carbon canister.  They’re expensive and I didn't
want to break it while digging around in there. Loosen
the clamp that holds the power steering hydraulic
hose/tube passing right in front of the A/C condenser
and "gently" pull it and the pestoin fluid reservoir
up and over the radiator and condenser.  This will
give you the room needed to pull out the washer fluid
tank. Once you get that and the other bolts off you
can lift both the condenser and radiator up.  I just
hit the radiator with a rubber mallet while holding
the two up slightly to get the interlocking clips in
the middle on either side to separate.  Once that was
done the rest was very easy.  I also used the advice
given on this list to unbolt the fan from the shroud
and push it in toward the radiator to ease removing
the fan shroud. The ABS box gets it the way otherwise.
I have to say the job was not very difficult.  If your
bottom mounting bushing is rusted, you may need a new
one.  Mine was fine and I used it again but if I had
known it did rust a bit I would have swapped it too. 
It's also a good time to check your electrical
connectors and put some dielectric compound on them
before re-installing.  Just take your time and you'll
be fine.  

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