How to Replace a Radiator in a Lincoln Navigator

by Contributor

It's essential to keep the radiator in your Lincoln Navigator in good condition, as a leaky radiator can cause overheating and engine damage. However, radiators can corrode over time. If you're looking to save money, and have some mechanical skills, try replacing the radiator yourself. Although the process is essentially the same for any year or model, here's how to replace the radiator in the popular 2001 Navigator.

Step 1

Leave the ignition in the "Off" or "Lock" position, and disconnect the negative battery cable. Locate the drain on the bottom of the radiator, unfasten it, and drain the radiator fluids into a resealable container.

Step 2

Remove any plastic sheaths from the radiator. Unhook the fan electrical connectors and bolts, and remove the fan and fan shroud.

Step 3

Use a flat-head screwdriver to loosen the hose clamps, and disconnect the upper and lower radiator hoses. If they are bulged, worn, or cracked, replace them.

Step 4

Disconnect the transmission lines underneath the radiator, using a wrench to loosen the fittings. Be sure not to crimp the transmission lines. Remove the bolts, brackets and clamps that hold the radiator, and carefully remove the radiator, being careful not to damage the fins.

Step 5

Connect the fan, fan shroud, and other connections to the new radiator, and slide it into place, being sure it's snugly fitted on the pads.

Step 6

Reconnect the fan connection and replace any plastic covers. Reconnect the negative battery cable.

Fill the radiator with a mixture of half distilled water and half antifreeze. Leave the radiator cap off, start the engine and let it run for several minutes to bleed the air from the system. Add more antifreeze and water, if necessary.


  • Be sure to drain all engine coolant into sealed containers and dispose of them properly by taking them to a garage or to your neighborhood hazardous waste disposal center.


  • Be sure to keep engine coolant in a sealed container out of the reach of children and pets, and if any is spilled, clean it up immediately. Remember that antifreeze tastes sweet, and can be fatal if ingested.
  • Be sure the engine of your Lincoln Navigator is completely cool before replacing the radiator because the hot liquid and steam can cause serious burns. It's also a good idea to wear gloves and protective clothing.

Items you will need

  • Resealable container
  • Replacement radiator
  • Distilled water
  • Antifreeze

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