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How do you replace the radiator located on a 1993 Buick Skylark 3.3L V6?


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2015-07-16 18:15:09
2015-07-16 18:15:09

Just had to do a rad replacement on my own 93 Skylark 3.3, and it's a tricky and long process. First you'll need to remove the cooling fan, which is accomplished by undoing one bolt at the top of the mount, unplugging it, and lifting it out; it's a tight squeeze with the exhaust manifold in the way, so take your time. The coolant radiator is bolted to the AC radiator in the front, and there should be two bolts holding them together facing the front of the car; they're behind your headlight mountings, and are tricky to get at if you don't remove the lights first. There is also an AC line that runs directly over the top of the radiator; you WILL have to disconnect the pressure-bolt for it (located on the passenger's side) and relieve the freon from the AC system to remove your radiator (this is *the* catch of doing a rad replacement in a '93 Skylark). Back off the bolt very, very slowly until it begins to hiss; you'll have to let the AC system bleed off until there is absolutely no hissing at all, perhaps backing off the pressure very very slightly if the hissing stops to allow more space for the freon to escape. When working with freon, be very, VERY careful, wear gloves, safety glasses and a breathing mask (or at least a rag or shirt over your nose and mouth) because it is highly toxic and very cold when it contacts air. You WILL have to get the AC system recharged at an auto shop (which these days is no small amount of cash, since you can't buy freon/R-12 recharging kits in the store the same way that you can get R-134a). After the AC line is disconnected, you can move it out of the way (it is connected to a flexible hose on the driver's side) so that you can drain your radiator if you haven't already. Be sure that you've let the engine cool for a good hour or two so that you aren't burned by the coolant; the stopcock is a small, hand-turnable valve located on the driver's side at the very bottom of the radiator that will allow you to drain most of the coolant from the rad. Disconnect the hoses from the engine block-to-radiator (located on top-driver's side) and overflow tank-engine block-radiator (should be an odd-looking 3-way hose at bottom-passenger's side). After all this, unbolt the two radiator retaining bolts--will be just above the radiator, facing the engine--and pull the radiator toward the engine and out of the car; be careful not to jostle or bump your coils or spark-plug wires, the clearance there is very tight. Putting another rad in is basically a reverse of the process--good luck!

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