Chrysler Pacifica Luxury meets versatility in this mid-sized sport utility vehicle

Can it really be that hard to replace the radiator?

  #1  
Old 11-11-2018, 12:38 PM
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Default Can it really be that hard to replace the radiator?

My 2004 AWD Pacifica is dripping coolant from the center front. The car has been needing coolant topping off for a month or so. Now I know why.

I opened the service manual and was shocked to see that removing the radiator requires removal of the entire front bumper, then emptying the A/C so that the condenser can be removed. This is nuts. I have changed radiators on 4 or 5 cars over the years and I've never seen anything like this.

I can only imagine how much a shop would charge to disassemble and reassemble the front bumper and recharge the A/C. The car has 140k miles and it's just not worth a huge effort or expense to repair this problem. With this car who knows what other expenses lurk in the near future?

Is there an easier way to replace the radiator? If not I'll probably go quick and dirty and use Bars Leaks HG-1. That did stop a leak on a 1990 car I own with no ill effects.
 
  #2  
Old 11-11-2018, 01:52 PM
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Very often, service manuals list steps that can be skipped, with a little more effort.
Vans are normally a huge pain in the butt to work on, as the engine bays are less open than passenger cars.

It does appear that the outer skin of the front end, will need to be removed.
Here is a video.
 
  #3  
Old 11-11-2018, 02:13 PM
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Its easy i did it without taking any of the front pieces off i took off the support above the radiator and it came Right out the top just pull the fans and ac condenser out of the slots on the radiator and wiggle the radiator out also i would replace the thermostat as well
 
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Old 11-11-2018, 02:49 PM
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Originally Posted by stitch3484 View Post
Its easy i did it without taking any of the front pieces off i took off the support above the radiator and it came Right out the top just pull the fans and ac condenser out of the slots on the radiator and wiggle the radiator out also i would replace the thermostat as well
This is encouraging! I removed the cross beam on top. The transmission radiator and the condenser are still attached to the radiator. How did you handle that?
 
  #5  
Old 11-11-2018, 04:08 PM
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There are 2 bolts on the condenser and 2 on the fans remove those and the bottom are just slotted in no bolts
 
  #6  
Old 11-11-2018, 04:31 PM
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Thanks so much, stich3484. I removed it!!

Edit: The hardest part turned out to be removing the lower radiator hose. The factory installed the ears of the clamp facing the edge of the car. There was no way to get pliers on it. Finally I used a screwdriver to rotate the clamp (and hose) to where I could squeeze it.
 

Last edited by myf16; 11-11-2018 at 06:40 PM.
  #7  
Old 11-11-2018, 04:36 PM
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Originally Posted by stitch3484 View Post
There are 2 bolts on the condenser and 2 on the fans remove those and the bottom are just slotted in no bolts
Stitch3484 is correct. No need to take the nose off or remove the AC condenser to R&R your Pac radiator. You will need to remove fasteners from the condenser, then throw them far away. I have R&R'd the radiator on my Pac several times, not too bad a job at all.
 
  #8  
Old 11-11-2018, 10:33 PM
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They should not allow anyone who has not done the actual procedure to write up a procedure for a service manual. Sometimes it's hard to imagine where those procedures come from.
 
  #9  
Old 11-11-2018, 11:12 PM
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I was told in Automotive class there is the right way and the easy way of doing things. Its up to you to blend them in and what works for you.
As a tech the advantage is the book time for such a job is 3 hours. So if you find a way to get it done sooner then thats how you make money.
Take jeep dashes they pay 7.5 hours to r and r dash and hvac housing. After my 4th one I was doing them in 2.5 hours I had my tool setups and short cuts down to a science.
SO the book time or procedure is the correct way of doing the items from the engineers standpoints and having a tech do it for the first time .
 
  #10  
Old 11-12-2018, 07:47 PM
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And I've had jobs on my car where there was absolutely no way the job could be actually done following the shop manual. Sometimes you just have to figure it out for yourself. Cars are designed to be easy and quick to assemble in the final assembly plant. It seems like taking it apart for service is way down the list of priorities of the designer. Maybe not on the list at all.
 

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