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Focus Preacher
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Discussion Starter #1
Well...mine is shot for good now...

This morning I saw a river of coolant on my driveway... the bottom of the radiator is rotten.

I am not afraid to replace it but when reading the Ford service manual they say AC as to be disconnected. This is an area which will force me to go to the dealer.

Anyone replaced the darn radiator without disconnecting the AC lines?
 

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Sorry to hear about your radiator.
Question? Did it rust away from the outside (you think?)
Or did it rot from the inside to out?

I always try to run water at good pressure into the radiator area.. when I wash the car. To help keep the salt at bay.
 

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Well...mine is shot for good now...

This morning I saw a river of coolant on my driveway... the bottom of the radiator is rotten.

I am not afraid to replace it but when reading the Ford service manual they say AC as to be disconnected. This is an area which will force me to go to the dealer.

Anyone replaced the darn radiator without disconnecting the AC lines?
I miss the nice repairable brass radiators my older fords had. I hate these soda can thin aluminum with plastic endcaps glued on radiators everything comes with now.
I've replaced a few radiators on the street for some cars, none on a mk3 focus, but I never had to disconnect the a/c lines to get the radiator out.
Lines go to the condenser, which is usually just held on the radiator with clips, hangars(or sometimes nothing) or some crap like that.
 

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Focus Preacher
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Discussion Starter #6
Sorry to hear about your radiator.
Question? Did it rust away from the outside (you think?)
Or did it rot from the inside to out?

I always try to run water at good pressure into the radiator area.. when I wash the car. To help keep the salt at bay.
I said rotten but it looks like its the plastic end that leaks.

I will take picture when it's out.



Thanks tnygigles66 you made my day!

Ford Service Manual remove differently than the ST video ... it's faster the way they show in the manual... IF... you have access to R134a and vacuum pump for the AC.

I will go the youtube way :)
 

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i did mine because it too was leaking at one of the side welds where it meets plastic. and i was also replacing my thermostat to a 180.

all you need todo is take off bumper, remove all the shrouds behind it. remove the fan, disconnect the radiator support, make sure you have a big catch under the entire front of car when you disconnect all the hoses. then slide it all out. reverse for install. never need to touch the AC lines. they will just hang
 

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Focus Preacher
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Discussion Starter #8
i did mine because it too was leaking at one of the side welds where it meets plastic. and i was also replacing my thermostat to a 180.

all you need todo is take off bumper, remove all the shrouds behind it. remove the fan, disconnect the radiator support, make sure you have a big catch under the entire front of car when you disconnect all the hoses. then slide it all out. reverse for install. never need to touch the AC lines. they will just hang
Thanks! Already ordered the radiator ... ~130$ USD
 

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if you are tuning your car go pick up a 180 thermostat from advanceauto for like ~25 and install that while you have your system drained.

also remember to get a few gallons of motorcraft fluid at the dealer


edit: to add part #48728 is what you need from advance auto parts. or what ever is the canadian equivalent

ADVANCE AUTO PARTS SITE

 

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Discussion Starter #10
if you are tuning your car go pick up a 180 thermostat from advanceauto for like ~25 and install that while you have your system drained.

also remember to get a few gallons of motorcraft fluid at the dealer


edit: to add part #48728 is what you need from advance auto parts. or what ever is the canadian equivalent

ADVANCE AUTO PARTS SITE



Thanks I already ordered the same stat...and even almost changed the water pump but then again I have time until the next radiator change in less than 5 years [facepalm]
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
Done!

Result: It was a manufacturing defect between the aluminum and plastic joint.

New Tstat:




New Rad + New lower rad support:




Installed Rad:



Vacuum Filling:






Rep point given to tnygigles66 for the video (hero of the day)... I forgot to search for ST since it's almost the same.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Dealer wanted almost 40$ for the foam piece on top of the condenser/rad/fan shroud.

Did a better job that cost me ~10$.

I use aluminum foil duct tape (rated at least 250F) and door open cell foam.

This will prevent air leaks between the condenser and radiator making the rad fan work more efficiently.








 

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These plastic radiators are junk. Mine just sprung a leak at 75K miles and 5 years. I would pay the $$ to replace it with a nice all-aluminum radiator, but Mishimoto only makes them for the Focus ST.

How long did it take you to replace the radiator? That looks fairly painful, I'm guessing darn near 6 hours.
 

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These plastic radiators are junk. Mine just sprung a leak at 75K miles and 5 years. I would pay the $$ to replace it with a nice all-aluminum radiator, but Mishimoto only makes them for the Focus ST.

How long did it take you to replace the radiator? That looks fairly painful, I'm guessing darn near 6 hours.


Did mine in about 2-3 hours but I also did 180 thermostat too


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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I better pay attention to mine as we just went over 5 years of ownership but only 37,000 mile so hopefully at least a few more years.

My original 4Runner radiator has plastic ends and even tho' it wasn't failing I replaced it at 187,000 miles and 18 years old.
 

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These plastic radiators are junk. Mine just sprung a leak at 75K miles and 5 years. I would pay the $$ to replace it with a nice all-aluminum radiator, but Mishimoto only makes them for the Focus ST.

How long did it take you to replace the radiator? That looks fairly painful, I'm guessing darn near 6 hours.
After further examination, it appears I may have been fooled by the ol' sticking thermostat trick. A brief overheat from a stuck thermostat can blow coolant out. Even though the degas bottle appeared to have a small amount of coolant remaining (causing me to think it was OK to drive), I suspect there was significant air in the rest of the cooling system.

Further confusing the issue was a lot of coolant in the vicinity of the radiator! I'll keep an eye on it now that it has been refilled with distilled water. If there are no further indications of trouble I'll replace the thermostat and refill with non-Dexcool Organic Acid Technology coolant like the new Mopar #68163848AB.

Here is an interesting article about the different types of coolant. And an article about Ford's change over to what is essentially the old GM DexCool. Despite claims to the contrary about DexCool being a "specification", not a coolant, the new orange Ford coolant is DexCool. It is an OAT coolant with 2–ethylhexanoic acid. Anybody who has used this stuff long term knows about the infamous "orange sludge" that can build up in the cooling system, and that 2-EHA is a plasticizer that softens silicone and other gaskets not designed to resist it. It is said the sludge build up only happens when the coolant is allowed to get low, and unprotected metal corrodes, triggering sludge formation. There is some debate about this.

So the Mopar coolant listed above represents one of the first mfg's to use an OAT without 2-EHA and it's detrimental effects.
 

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Focus Preacher
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Discussion Starter #20 (Edited)
These plastic radiators are junk. Mine just sprung a leak at 75K miles and 5 years. I would pay the $$ to replace it with a nice all-aluminum radiator, but Mishimoto only makes them for the Focus ST.

How long did it take you to replace the radiator? That looks fairly painful, I'm guessing darn near 6 hours.
Around that but I cleaned the frame rails, bumper and stuff (also did the 180 thermostat)...took my time ~ 2 days on and off.

The hardest part was to slide back the radiator front shroud (active shutter) without damaging the rad fins...took an easy way and chopped the top of it. It was blocking the air to the now removed snorkel anyway.


I better pay attention to mine as we just went over 5 years of ownership but only 37,000 mile so hopefully at least a few more years.

My original 4Runner radiator has plastic ends and even tho' it wasn't failing I replaced it at 187,000 miles and 18 years old.

We have the same MY and mileage when I noticed coolant level drop & slight smell here and there. But I think very cold winter (hot and cold cycle) didn't help with the weak plastic rad design. You might have a longer life out of it being in CO.



Advice... best way to check if your rad has a tiny leak is to check if the foam underneath the radiator is wet. Don't wait until it drips on the tarmac...it will be too late!
 
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