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NicaDave Profile
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Date Registered: 05-2014
Location: Nicaragua
TOTAL POSTS: 6
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Radiator suggestions?


A few months back I noticed a small amount of green stuff dripping out from under the front of the car. Yes, my radiator was oozing out coolant. Upon inspection, it was a small hairline fracture in the top plastic portion of the rad. A mechanic here warned me that there was probably a pressure problem inside. He fixed the crack with a little epoxy mil, and I was on my way. Well, several months later the problem has resurfaced. This time, there were several more similar fractures across the top of the radiator. Thankfully there were never signs of high engine temps on the dashboard, but now I'm wondering what to do.

I thinkthe first step is to make sure my radiator cap is releasing the pressure on time. Best way is probably buy a new one. Next, I need to figure out if I can just patch the radiator. That's where I'd like some advice. Is it stupid to try to use some more epoxy mil on those hairline fractures? Or is it a good way to patch them up?

I have done some investigation here and have found that a new radiator is going to set me back between $1000-1400. No way! That's nuts. Doesn't seem out of line with this experience, though.

An alternative is to get something off ebay from Australia and have it shipped here. Seems like there are lots of options for between AU$150-250. Does anyone have experience with those aftermarket radiators? Are they any good? Even if I pay $250 shipping (I have no idea what it might cost) and another $250 in import taxes, I'd still be saving more than $250. But not necesarily if they are low quality replacements

Any suggestions out there?

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2006 Xtrail, 2.5L Petrol, Manual Transmission, AWD
8/May/2014, 3:59 pm Link to this post Send Email PM   Send Private Message Blog
 
jalalski Profile
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Date Registered: 02-2004
Location: SUTHERLAND, SYDNEY
TOTAL POSTS: 29094
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Re:


Hi Dave,

Unless you start using genuine Nissan coolant, you will keep blowing the radiator, as that is exactly what caused the cracks in your radiator in the first place.

I strongly recommend getting the genuine Nissan radiator even if that means you have to get it 2nd hand from a wrecking yard.

The repair bill due to a blown head gasket or head damage is far more sever when it comes to problems relating to overheating as am sure you already read on our forum.

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8/May/2014, 9:00 pm Link to this post Send Private Message MSN Blog
 
DogTrail Profile
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Date Registered: 05-2012
Location: Sunshine Coast
TOTAL POSTS: 481
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Re: Re:


Odd.
The pressure cap should be venting long before the radiator shroud cracks...

A wrecker is probably your best bet if an aftermarket job is not available.

There may have been too much pressure through that radiator to allow any trust in repairs to it.

Edit: throw away that pressure cap.

Last edited by DogTrail, 9/May/2014, 1:20 am


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2011/12 Australia:- 2.5 litre petrol 4WD, Series IV ST, CVT : + some gadgets and cosmetic add-on's. Dirt, (it protects the paintwork) X-2429(c).
9/May/2014, 1:09 am Link to this post Send Email PM   Send Private Message
 
NicaDave Profile
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Date Registered: 05-2014
Location: Nicaragua
TOTAL POSTS: 6
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Re: Re:


Thanks for the quick responses, Jalaski and DogTrail! Responses below.

quote:

jalalski wrote:
Unless you start using genuine Nissan coolant, you will keep blowing the radiator, as that is exactly what caused the cracks in your radiator in the first place.

I strongly recommend getting the genuine Nissan radiator even if that means you have to get it 2nd hand from a wrecking yard.

The repair bill due to a blown head gasket or head damage is far more sever when it comes to problems relating to overheating as am sure you already read on our forum.



I'll look around, but the Xtrail isn't super common here so a used one will be harder to find. What exactly makes Nissan coolant different?

Not sure if this will make you laugh or cry, but when I bought it....it was running straight water in the rad. It's so common here I didn't expect to find a vehicle that wasn't running water. Not a good sign, I know! But that's Nicaragua.


quote:

DogTrail wrote:

Odd.
The pressure cap should be venting long before the radiator shroud cracks...

A wrecker is probably your best bet if an aftermarket job is not available.

There may have been too much pressure through that radiator to allow any trust in repairs to it.

Edit: throw away that pressure cap.



Yes!! Time for a new cap! The more I think about it, the more I think it might just be that simple. I really, really hope it is. Thankfully I've never seen the temp guage go anything over normal. I think you also may be right about the radiator having been through too much pressure to trust it with repairs. It will hurt the wallet, but replacing the radiator is probably the smart thing to do.

DogTrail, you seemed to indicate you thought that an aftermarket radiator might not be all that bad. Did I read you right?

---
2006 Xtrail, 2.5L Petrol, Manual Transmission, AWD
9/May/2014, 1:40 pm Link to this post Send Email PM   Send Private Message Blog
 
evorock Profile
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Date Registered: 12-2010
Location: Rockingham,Perth WA
TOTAL POSTS: 146
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Re: Radiator suggestions?


Nationwideautoparts.com.au


Good for xtrail stuff.

---
2002 T30 Xtrail Ti , White 5Sp
Full engine rebuild, Single Mass flywheel upgrade,
Scott, Rockingham, Perth WA
9/May/2014, 5:22 pm Link to this post Send Email PM   Send Private Message Blog
 
jalalski Profile
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Date Registered: 02-2004
Location: SUTHERLAND, SYDNEY
TOTAL POSTS: 29094
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Re: Re:


quote:

NicaDave wrote:
Not sure if this will make you laugh or cry, but when I bought it....it was running straight water in the rad. It's so common here I didn't expect to find a vehicle that wasn't running water. Not a good sign, I know! But that's Nicaragua.



Not a good sign at all, as water is what damages the radiator due to casting sand and other crap it leaves behind.

I guess you should seriously consider opening a shop selling radiators in Nicaragua, as it'll be very busy by the sounds of it emoticon

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9/May/2014, 5:48 pm Link to this post Send Private Message MSN Blog
 
DogTrail Profile
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Date Registered: 05-2012
Location: Sunshine Coast
TOTAL POSTS: 481
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Re: Re:


quote:

DogTrail, you seemed to indicate you thought that an aftermarket radiator might not be all that bad. Did I read you right?



Yes.

I've used replacement aftermarket radiators for decades. They have all worked as well as - if not better than the originals.

Naturally, there is some 'buyer beware' but my replacements have come from radiator specialists who gave warranty to the aftermarket jobs (which on average were 1/3 the cost of Original Brand and outlasted the cars they were fitted to.)

Everything is situation specific, but with the last blown radiator - in a similar situation as yours I put on the nearest cap which fitted.

Different pressure release point. That was more than that 20 year old radiator could handle.
The generic replacement runs cooler than the original did when it was a new car.

The problems with running water in an aluminium motor are many. The liquid they are designed to use is very different.

1. Water allows galvanic reaction with the aluminium, copper, iron and everything else, so they corrode faster with water.
Coolant does not allow that reaction so there is no corrosion.

2. Water freezes and boils within a tiny range compared to coolant. Water at 100 C at STP wants to change its volume 1000 times into steam. Exploiting that expansion caused the Industrial Revolution
Coolant should be passive. Its boiling point is much higher than that of water so it is not giving off vapour to blow out your tank.

3. Coolant lubricates the working parts of the pumps within the system. Water doesn't.

If anyone tries to sell you an Aluminium motor which they have been dosing with water as the coolant, then walk away. It will be a basket case.



Last edited by DogTrail, 13/May/2014, 1:37 am


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2011/12 Australia:- 2.5 litre petrol 4WD, Series IV ST, CVT : + some gadgets and cosmetic add-on's. Dirt, (it protects the paintwork) X-2429(c).
12/May/2014, 8:03 pm Link to this post Send Email PM   Send Private Message
 
NicaDave Profile
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Date Registered: 05-2014
Location: Nicaragua
TOTAL POSTS: 6
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Re: Radiator suggestions?


Great! I'll let you know what happens. At this point I have purchased a new radiator cap, and investigated a few options for rebuilding. Looks like I have a few local suggestions from trusted friends who work with cars (the kind of friends that don't run water in the radiator!) that say it should be rebuildable. It's not uncommon for them to replace the plastic top and bottom of the radiator with a copper top and bottom. They'll actually clean out the tubes really well, too before they seal it back up. Comes out to like $60 for each side. I'm still looking for a new after-market option, but I haven't been able to get into the capital city to check on the prices. Thankfully I have a KLR650 to get around on!

Thanks again for your input! Great stuff.

Dave

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2006 Xtrail, 2.5L Petrol, Manual Transmission, AWD
14/May/2014, 12:44 am Link to this post Send Email PM   Send Private Message Blog
 
NicaDave Profile
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Date Registered: 05-2014
Location: Nicaragua
TOTAL POSTS: 6
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Re: Radiator suggestions?


So, a few months later, and I'm finally getting to the update. It's a bit of a pet peeve when I see posts where people indicate they're going to update at a later point and then never do. Better late than never, right?

First, thanks again to all those who responded. It's awesome to be able to pick the brains of so many knowledgable (and opinionated! Haha.) people. Seriously.

I ended up having a Nicaraguan experience with all of this. I left my radiator with the radiator repair guy, who was going to investigate options for repairing my radiador and let me know about the possibility of getting an aftermarket one. The repair options were to fabricate and replace the top plastic with Bronze (I mistakenly mentioned copper in a previous post) or aluminum, but he would have to check with the aluminum welder to see if that could be done and for how much. When I arrived the next day to find out what he had learned, the radiator had already been repaired and the bill was ready. emoticon He never called me to make sure. He had gone the bronze route.

So we installed the radiator and soon after realized that there was still lots of pressure in the radiator. We quickly realized that the tube at the top of the radiator (from the engine to the rad) was very hot and very hard, while at the same time, the lower tube was cold. You can probably guess what the problem was. The thermostat was never opening, or at least was opening way too late. So....drain the radiator fluid, pull the thermostat, put it back together, and...it's been working great ever since.

I've been keeping an eye on the temp, and it never seems to be anywhere other than normal. I'm tempted to not replace the thermostat. Temperatures here run from about 15C to 35C. So I'm not too worried about running it cold, as I think it will heat up quickly enough without the thermostat just fine.

Hope everyone's having a great week.

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2006 Xtrail, 2.5L Petrol, Manual Transmission, AWD
17/Sep/2014, 2:57 am Link to this post Send Email PM   Send Private Message Blog
 
Charlie250 Profile
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Date Registered: 08-2012
TOTAL POSTS: 193
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Re:


Replace the thermostat! The engine management computer will run the engine rich until operating temp is reached, which will be delayed if you run it without one and your fuel economy will be horrendous.

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X-2634 2012 Series IV TS Man, Kings Springs, Bridgestone D697's, High Tech Exhaust, Turbo Timer, DBA Slotted Rotors, QFM HPX Pads, Tow Bar, Cargo Barrier, UHF, HID Dr Lights, LED Light Bar, K&N Filter, Bonnet Struts, & Premium Tint
19/Sep/2014, 12:37 am Link to this post Send Email PM   Send Private Message Blog
 


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