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Discussion Starter #1
A year ago I bought a Denso brand radiator from RockAuto. Installed it as a precaution. Since the original radiator on our 99 was looking real bad. Many missing fins from old age.
A week ago I notice coolant on the garage floor right under the radiator. Get under there and I can not see where it's coming from. Using a bright flashlight and mirror I rule out every part of the radiator except for the plastic bottom tank where it dips into the metal support under the radiator. The metal support is U shaped and the plastic tank sits in the U a bit. Ruled out all the hoses.
I needed the car the next day so had to fix it. Auto zone had one for $150 w/tax and installed it. No leak any longer and system holds pressure.

The one thing I noticed was that the Denso radiator plastic was 1/2 as thick as the Autozone radiator. You could see this in the hose inlet and outlet connections.
Next week I'm going to the radiator shop to p/u a radiator for another car and will have him pressure test it in his water bath. I'm thinking the tank has a hairline crack in it. Cant' see anything just looking at it.
Anyone have any experience with Denso aftermarket radiators?
 

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I replaced my 99 radiator back in 2012 with an american eagle radiator from ebay and has not failed since. At first install I thought it had a pin hole leak at the neck. Was not the case. I got a free replacement sent immediately and its still sitting on top of my fridge in the garage unopened. Twas $67 shipped.

Maybe a rock hit it? Whatever it is at least the car is back in service.
 

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I put a Denso 221-3214 Radiator in my '99 a few years ago. I'm usually pretty slow and careful when I do things.

In this case, it paid off and I was lucky to notice that a couple of the mounting bolts were a little too long. I forget exactly what the situation was, but basically I know that if I had not modified anything and tightened all the mounting bolts they would have bottomed out into the plastic tank material. Easy to fix - I think I may have just used shorter screws, but if I would have missed it, it may have caused problems, either immediately or down the line.

I pulled the following image off Amazon (where I bought the item) just now. I'm talking about the 8 receptor nut things on the top and bottom tanks. For some reason, some of them were off ever so slightly - with the gap between the nut and the tank too small, so that if the original screws were just reused, the screws would bottom out against the tank.

So when inspecting the tank, check to see if any screws bottomed out into the plastic. And on the new one, check for that clearance.

153608
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I was at the radiator shop today. He put the radiator in his water tank pressurized it with air. There was no leak His comment was that it was most likely the bottom tank gasket between the plastic tank and aluminum core. That when it got hot and the system pressurized it leaked. He asid it probably could have been solved by re-crimping the aluminum tabs that hold the plastic tank on.
 

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I was at the radiator shop today. He put the radiator in his water tank pressurized it with air. There was no leak His comment was that it was most likely the bottom tank gasket between the plastic tank and aluminum core. That when it got hot and the system pressurized it leaked. He asid it probably could have been solved by re-crimping the aluminum tabs that hold the plastic tank on.
Great post!!
Thanks,
Buffalo4
 

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I was at the radiator shop today. He put the radiator in his water tank pressurized it with air. There was no leak His comment was that it was most likely the bottom tank gasket between the plastic tank and aluminum core. That when it got hot and the system pressurized it leaked. He asid it probably could have been solved by re-crimping the aluminum tabs that hold the plastic tank on.
It sounds like it might have also been a leak in one of the hoses / hose-barb fittings. The tank test confirms no leak in the radiator at cold temp.

I'd at least save the old radiator, since it may be just fine.

If you had more time before the recent replacement was installed, and a cold pressure test showed no leak, then removing panels for better access and inspection at high temperature would have been a good step to take. I have had (on another car) a similar situation where the system was tight when pressurized at cold temp, but the leak would appear when hot and pressurized.
 
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