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How to Remove the Radiator in a Suburban

by John Stevens J.D.

A Suburban's radiator is responsible for storing and cooling the antifreeze which flows throughout the engine. With the passage of time, a radiator's internal components begin to corrode, most commonly from rust. When this occurs, the radiator's ability to cool the antifreeze is significantly impaired. Where damage is not significant, a radiator can often be repaired, but in extreme cases the radiator must be replaced. Whether the radiator is to be repaired or replaced, the first step is to first remove the radiator.

Allow the Suburban's engine to cool, as a hot radiator and hot antifreeze can cause serious injury.

Remove the radiator's cap. The cap is located on the top of the radiator and can be removed by turning it in a counterclockwise direction.

Drain the radiator by turning the drain cock located at the bottom of the radiator in a counterclockwise direction with a wrench.

Remove the overflow tank's hose, if so equipped. Modern Suburban's utilize an antifreeze overflow tank, which sits to the side of the radiator. At the bottom of this tank is a rubber hose. Trace the hose from the tank to the radiator, then loosen the clamp which secures the hose to the radiator. The clamp is held in place with a screw. Turn the screw on the clamp with a screwdriver, then pull the hose away from the radiator to remove it.

Disconnect the upper and lower radiator hoses from the radiator. Both hoses are held in place with a hose clamp, which can be loosened in the same manner described in step 4. Once the hose clamps have been loosened, pull the radiator hoses away from the radiator.

Disconnect the electric fan, if so equipped. Modern Suburban's use an electric fan which attaches directly to the radiator. Locate the wires which extend from the fan, then trace those wires to the wiring loom. Press the clips on either side of the wiring loom and simultaneously pull the fan's wires away from the wiring loom.

Remove the radiator's mounting bolts. The mounting bolts are used to attach the radiator to the engine bay. There are typically four mounting bolts, one at each corner of the radiator. Remove the bolts with a wrench, then lift the radiator up and away from the engine bay to complete the removal process.

Items you will need

About the Author

John Stevens has been a writer for various websites since 2008. He holds an Associate of Science in administration of justice from Riverside Community College, a Bachelor of Arts in criminal justice from California State University, San Bernardino, and a Juris Doctor from Whittier Law School. Stevens is a lawyer and licensed real-estate broker.

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