How to Replace a Radiator in a Ford Taurus

by ContributorUpdated November 07, 2017

Items you will need

  • Ramps and jack stands

  • Phillips and flat head screwdrivers

  • Container for used coolant

  • Crescent wrenches or Ford disconnect tool T82L-9500-AH

  • Hex nut screwdrivers

  • New radiator

  • Flush treatment

  • Coolant

How to Replace a Radiator in a Ford Taurus. Originally introduced for production in 1986, the Ford Taurus introduced the concept of a mid-sized sedan to the American public. However, it was around this time that most car manufacturers switched to a lightweight plastic and aluminum design in their radiators. Eventually you may need to replace a cracked or leaky radiator in your Taurus. The good news is that you can do this yourself in a few hours.

Drive your Ford Taurus up a set of ramps onto a pair of jack stands, if it is a 1996 model or newer. Remove the lower splash shields. For 1986 through 1995 models, you can remove all necessary components from above.

Begin by disconnecting the negative battery terminal and draining the radiator into a transportable container. Open the plastic draincock on the lower rear of the radiator and crack the radiator cap.

Remove the overflow tube from the coolant recovery bottle and disconnect it from the radiator. On SHO model engines, remove the recovery bottle as well. Next unscrew the shroud and remove it from the retaining clips. Disconnect the wires to the fan motor, and remove the fan assembly and shroud in one piece.

Squeeze the hose clamp ends together on the radiator side, and remove the upper and lower hoses. For automatic transaxle models, use either the custom Ford disconnect tool T82L-9500-AH or two crescent wrenches to remove the transmission coolant lines.

Disconnect the radiator supports. 1986 through 1992 models will have two upper retaining screws for 3.0 liter and SHO engines. 3.8 liter engines will have two driver's side hex nuts and two passenger side screws. All other models have either the upper screws or the combination of right hand hex nuts and left hand screws.

Tilt the radiator backwards toward the engine and lift it out. Fit the new radiator into the support and replace the support screws and nuts. Reattach the hoses and wires in reverse order.

Flush the new radiator with either water or a commercial flush treatment. Connect your battery terminals and replace the coolant and let the engine idle for 5 to 10 minutes with the heater on and the radiator cap removed. Top off the coolant as necessary.

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