How to Change the Radiator in a 3.8L Town and Countryby Don Bowman
The 3.8L Town and Country van uses a radiator with a transmission cooler on the side of the radiator. The radiator on this vehicle is constructed of plastic and is known to have more problems with leaking than its older counterpart, the metal radiator. The most common leaks are cracking in the plastic tank and the less common leaks originate in the core area where the core is crimped to the tank.
Drain the radiator by opening the petcock on the bottom using the pliers to start the screw. Remove the upper and lower radiator hoses, using a screwdriver to loosen the clamps.
Remove the radiator overflow hose by pulling it off. Loosen and remove the two transmission cooler lines, using a wrench. Allow the transmission cooler lines to drain into the drain pan with the antifreeze.
Disconnect the electrical connector on the radiator fan. Remove the bolts in the radiator fan, using a 10mm socket and ratchet. Lift the radiator out of the engine compartment. Remove the bolts on the top and bottom of the radiator, using the appropriate socket and ratchet. Lift the radiator out of the engine compartment.
Replace the radiator in reverse order of removal.
Things You'll Need
- Drain pan
- ¼-inch drive ratchet
- Set of ¼-inch drive sockets
- Common screwdriver
- Set of wrenches
Don Bowman has been writing for various websites and several online magazines since 2008. He has owned an auto service facility since 1982 and has over 45 years of technical experience as a master ASE tech. Bowman has a business degree from Pennsylvania State University and was an officer in the U.S. Army (aircraft maintenance officer, pilot, six Air Medal awards, two tours Vietnam).