Step 1: Materials Needed
Bucket to catch all of the Anitfreeze that will spill out
New AntiFreeze (about 2 gallons or more)
New hose clamps
Upper and lower radiator hoses
Socket set (Standard, this is a early model Chevy)
Flat head and Phillips screwdrivers ( I used a ratcheting style one with multiple screw head attachments)
1 inch Aluminum fan spacer (the 3 inch one I had on my engine would not allow the radiator to be installed so I had to get a smaller one)
New hoses for my recirculating catch can along with new clamps
Gloves (not pictured)
Razor knife to cut hose (not pictured)
Sharpie to mark hose to be cut (not pictured)
Step 2: Before You Proceed....
My engine is a 1978 Chevy 350, not the stock engine. If you have a different engine check with a mechanic or just replace the pump,
Put the bucket underneath the lower radiator hose you are going to remove.
Let all of the antifreeze in your radiator and engine drain into the bucket
After that remove the hose clamps from the bottom hose that is connected to the engine let all of the left over fluid drain in the bucket.
Now remove the top hose by unscrewing the hose clamps.
Now is a good time to check (or just spend the $11 and replace it with a Failsafe thermostat) and buy some hi temp gasket sealer for the edges of the fillerneck and engine along with the gasket ( I made the mistake of not putting any gasket sealer because the gasket I bought said it did not need any and had Antifreeze leak all over my truck when I tightened everything up and added the antifreeze in the radiator which meant that I had to take the hoses off, fillerneck, and thermostat to wait for everything to dry off so I could add the gasket sealer)
Also check (or just replace your water pump, it is cheap insurance that you do not get stranded anywhere)
Now (if you have one) remove the hoses that connect your recirculating catch can to your radiator
I like to start with the bottom bolts of the radiator and leave the top two for last
There should be three bolts on each side. (the nuts with the bolts sticking out of them above the radiator bolts are for my transmission cooler that was bolted to the radiator mounting plate (which made taking out the radiator a nightmare, I fixed this, shown in a later step)
Loosen the top two bolts and grab the radiator with one hand then remove the first top bolt (while still holding the radiator) and then remove the last bolt.
List radiator out of truck
After you take the bolts off remove the engine fan, followed by the fan spacer.
I wanted to just cut the spacer that I had down to the right size but read that if you do this and it is not 100% cut to size the fan will wobble at high speeds , causing the bolts to wiggle off and then you have a fan shaped projectile shooting out in your engine compartment ...... JUST GO TO THE PARTS STORE AND BUY THE RIGHT SIZED SPACER its only $6.00 or more
Next put the fan on make sure that you match the holes from the fan and the fan spacer
LOOSELY put the bolts on using the required hardware, or if you want, go to the hardware store and buy grade 8 hardware
Tighten the bolts down using the same X pattern you used to loosen the bolts with
Torque down with torque wrench I did mine to 25ft lbs
This did two things for me, one it made taking out the radiator to replace it easier, and two it gave the cooler and radiator a inch of space apart form each other allowing both coolers to work without interfering in the cooling capabilities of each other.
Now remember when I said that this radiator was designed in the U.S. but made in China.... many owners of this Radiator have complained that this was not the true "direct fit" that it claims to be, so out comes the hammer, since the Aluminum on the mounting plate of the radiator is softer than the steel in my truck I had to put this radiator in by mounting the top driver side bolt LOOSELY then hammering the mounting plates to fit into the mounting frame.
The hammering was also necessary because of the nuts from mounting the trans cooler to the frame no longer gave the two plates a smooth mounting surfaces.
You can use a torch to soften up the aluminum but just using a hammer ans some restraint worked for me.
LOOSELY put the bolts in the Radiator, using the X pattern.
Once all holes are aligned tighten all bolts on the radiator using the X pattern
Use your sharpie to mark where you will cut the hoses to fit
Do the same thing with the hoses for your recirculating catch can.( even though it looks like it only has one house, there is two on the catch can, the hose that is connected to the overflow or "puke" tube goes on the BOTTOM of the catch can via hose clamps, the top hose is there for Vacuum to take place so when the engine cools down the radiator will suck the fluid back in the unit.
Attach hoses with hose clamps , double checking that all of the clamps on your hoses are tight
Fill up your new Radiator with AntiFreeze ( I used Prestone 50/50 mix for the job, Reason for this is because it is mixed with DISTILLED WATER, if you just put water from a hose or undistilled water in your radiator all of the calcium, chlorine, flourine, lime and God knows what is in our water from that hose will rust and corrode your new radiator faster than you can drive it)