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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys,

I'd like to contribute a write-up on replacing the radiator on a '02 Odyssey. It's a pretty typical radiator replacement job refreshingly devoid of those infuriating little niggles that seem to plague so many seemingly simple Odyssey maintenance jobs :DD

Anyway, here is the write-up:

  1. Note the anti-theft code for the radio and then disconnect the negative battery cable, then disconnect the positive battery cable and remove the battery.
  2. Drain the coolant into a sealable container by loosening the radiator drain plug.
  3. Remove the upper radiator trim cover by carefully prying out the two piece pressed in plastic fasteners.
  4. Remove the wire harness holder next to the stamped Y-shaped support bracket located just behind the grill.
  5. Remove the bolts that secure the stamped Y-shaped support bracket, and remove the bracket.
  6. Disconnect the wire harness guides from the battery tray.
  7. Remove the ground strap and the relay box bracket from the battery tray.
  8. Remove the battery tray mounting bolts and remove the battery tray.
  9. Remove the wire harness holders from the upper radiator support, and detach the electrical connectors for the cooling fan motors and air conditioning compressor clutch.
  10. Remove the upper and lower radiator hoses.
  11. Place a separate sealable drain container under the transaxle Automatic Transmission Fluid (ATF) cooling lines, then disconnect, drain and plug the lines and radiator fittings.
  12. Remove the upper radiator support bracket/cushion and condenser bracket assembly.
  13. Remove the upper cooling fan shroud mounting bolts, and loosen the lower bolts for both cooling fans, and remove the fan assemblies from the battery side of the vehicle.
  14. Disconnect the coolant overflow reservoir hose from the radiator cap fitting.
  15. Carefully lift the radiator upward and away from the vehicle.
  16. If the radiator is being replaced, remove the metal ATF cooler line and transfer parts as needed.


  1. Install the radiator, cooling fans, wires, brackets and battery support in the reverse order of disassembly.
  2. Install the positive battery cable, then connect the negative battery cable.
  3. Set the heater to the full hot position.
  4. Fill the cooling system with a 50/50 mixture of a suitable coolant and water and bleed the air out of the system as necessary. Alternately squeeze the upper and lower radiator hoses to help force out any trapped air pockets. Note: When mixing a 50/50 solution of coolant and water, using distilled water instead of regular tap water may help prevent the cooling system from internal deposit build-up.
  5. With the radiator cap partially installed, start the engine, and allow the engine to run until the cooling fan runs two times. Turn the engine off and top up the cooling system and overflow reservoir as necessary.
  6. Close the radiator cap, restart the engine and check for leaks.
  7. Enter the radio security code.

*diagram courtesy of; all rights reserved

1,712 Posts
A brainstorm I had when installing mine was to place thin cardboard on each side of the radiator taped to it to protect the fins while wrestling it into place. Then slide the cardboard out before securing the rad in place. Without this trick my new rad would have been quite a mess (I'm at least half thumbs).
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After replacing the radiator and starting the engine, how long does it normally take for the engine to heat up enough for the cooling fan to run two times? I just did this job the other day, and the fans kick in if I turn the A/C on, but other than that, I can't seem to get them to turn on.

I've let the van idle for 15 minutes or longer, and the fans still don't kick in. It is rather cold outside now, so it might not be getting hot enough to need the fans though. (The console temperature gauge stays about half-way between cold and hot, so everything appears to be working fine.)

Also, is a new radiator and hoses supposed to smell? I spilled a bit of anti-freeze as I was topping off the radiator, but it doesn't smell like antifreeze - it's more of a faint burned rubber smell. It's not bad though, just enough to make me wonder. (There are no leaks, and no obvious contact points for any rubber.)

Thanks for the writeup!
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