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How to Replace the Radiator on a Dodge 1500

by Carl Pruit

Replacing the radiator in your Dodge 1500 pickup is a job that you can complete in about 2 or 3 hours, saving you time and money. Because of the extreme temperatures of the fluid running through the radiator, it can occasionally develop cracks or get clogged up and require that the tank be replaced. The Dodge 1500 tank is attached with just a few parts, making it easier to replace when needed.

Remove the Radiator

Unfasten the negative battery cable of the Dodge 1500 from the battery post with an open-end wrench to avoid electric shock while replacing the radiator. Set a drain pan on the ground, underneath the drain valve on the passenger side of the radiator.

Take the cap off the radiator, and detach the rubber coolant overflow hose from the top of the radiator. Remove the cap from the coolant overflow reservoir on the passenger side of the engine compartment.

Open the drain valve at the bottom of the radiator with a pair of pliers, and let the radiator drain completely. Unfasten the screw clamps on the radiator hoses at the top and bottom of the radiator with a screwdriver.

Pull the hoses off the metal radiator flanges, and let any excess fluid drain into the pan. Remove the cooling fan shroud from the radiator with a screwdriver, and move the fan shroud back away from the radiator.

Detach the radiator mounting bolts from the vehicle frame at the top of the radiator tank with a socket wrench. Lift the radiator out of the Dodge engine compartment, and set it out of the way.

Replace the Radiator

Set the new radiator inside the engine compartment, behind the front grill, and secure the tank with bolts to the vehicle frame. Connect the cooling fan shroud to the back of the radiator with a screwdriver.

Attach the top and bottom radiator hoses to the radiator flanges, and tighten the screw clamps with a screwdriver. Verify that the drain valve on the bottom of the radiator is closed.

Fill the radiator with a mixture of half coolant and half water, and place the cap back on the top of the radiator. Attach the rubber coolant overflow hose to the top of the radiator, put the cap back on the coolant overflow reservoir.

Fasten the negative battery cable of the Dodge 1500 to the battery with the open-end wrench. Dispose of the drained coolant at your local recycling center or automotive supply center.

Warning

  • Avoid getting burned by letting the Dodge 1500 engine cool down before attempting to replace the radiator.

Items you will need

About the Author

Carl Pruit has been a freelance writer since 2005, specializing in service journalism and travel. His work has appeared on various websites. Born and raised in California, Pruit attended Contra Costa Community College in San Pablo, Calif. and received an associate degree in the administration of justice.

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