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Radiator replacement on a '02 Odyssey

16988 Views 12 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  0dyfamily
Hey guys and gals,

I was digging through my vast collection of random documents for my old '02 Ody (yes, I save a copy of parts receipts, DIY articles and other relevant paperwork for previous vehicles of mine. My wife thinks I'm nuts but I'd like to view myself as sentimental :DD) and came across a Do-It-Yourself walk-through I used to replace the radiator on a '02. So naturally I thought it'd be a good idea to transcribe this walk-through into this thread! :)

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.

**diagrams courtesy of; all rights reserved.

To install:

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.

That's the extent of the walk-through. Hope this helps someone out there! :p
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Thanks for this step by step, Any chance you may know where I can find a video of this?
Thanks for this step by step, Any chance you may know where I can find a video of this? I have a 2000 Honda Odyssey so I was wondering if these will still apply?
Here's tip: Cut up the box the new rad came in and use tape to secure cardboard over the rad as you are maneuvering it into place. One in place, slide the carbboard out. Presto! No dents or carnage on the new fins!
Removing the battery box can be a big PITA (bottom screw and wire clamp fasteners) and the space is pretty tight trying to remove the rad fans and shrouds.

Another way is to remove the bumper and headlights and then you have much more room and less chance of dinging up the fins on the radiator.

Removing the bumper and headlights only takes around an extra 15 min.
There are vids on youtube on how to do it.
I now have to replace the radiator on my Gen 2 Honda Odyssey. I was wondering if the $60 ebay aftermarket radiators are OK ? However, Maybe I would be better off getting the Tough One / Ready Rad radiator at the nearby AAP with LLT Warranty for $120 after discounts since it is in stock and easy to return if there is a problem.

another Gen 2 radiator write up -
I would go with the $120. The ebay stuff is a hit & miss. When you have a problem & have to ship it back then it becomes a hassle.
I purchased the Tough One LLT warranty radiator from Advance and started on the project this afternnon . Getting those spring clamps off the cooler lines with the tools at hand was very frustrating and time wasting . I tried to move the fans around and pull the radiator but there was this not enough clearance. I guess I will be pulling the battery box and / or bumper and headlights next.
I pulled the bumper and headlights. I got some help in moving the fans around and got finished the job. Covering the radiator with cardboard (mentioned by manualman ) was a great tip that saved my hands and protected the radiator fins. It took way too long (just for a radiator). It would have been nice to have the right tools (cable spring clamp pliers and a wrench that could access the the back battery tray bolt). I am glad it it is done.
Doing this during an Atlanta summer is a combination of factors that would make any grown man cringe. Tedious job, and in humid "Hot-lanta". Glad you finished it off.

I did get a Koyo radiator for a great price from ebay...but did accidentally order the wrong one first (1997 instead of 1998 Accord). otto888man was right; return shipping was a huge hassle.

I had a very frustrating time changing the radiator on my 03. I tried the battery tray route and couldn't get that damn bolt loose under the battery tray and the mosquitoes were killing me and my 'temper and patience' was at its limits. :ahh:
The spring clamps were not tooooooo bad and I only used pliers, not special ones.
The next day I tried the bumper and headlight removal method and it finally went pretty well. Don't know why Honda made it so damn difficult to remove and install the radiator.
Course, if I had to do it all over again it would be much faster and less trying. :eek:
I used that cardboard trick and it helped a lot. If one of my radiator fans fails, I might try to get that battery tray bolt loose.
I also wish radiators would have their flow rate listed and the OEM flow rate for comparison purposes.
Do double core radiators have an improved flow rate (gpm) or just more surface for cooling. Anyone??

Don't forget to keep checking your overflow tank for the proper level as it is difficult to get all the air out the first time.
If you haven't ever changed your radiator cap, it would be a good preventive maintenance thing to do. I put a Stant cap on my new radiator and later bought a OEM one (Stant was working fine) and it didn't fit my replacement radiator, so I am now using that Stant and it is fine. i may have to file the lip on the radiator or file the tang on the OEM to get it to fit, but that will be later. :D
PS: I was working by myself and running out of beer. :ahh:
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I found the step-by-step instructions for removing and installing a radiator for a '02 Odyssey. I have a 2004 Odyssey EX 3.5 engine. Are the steps the same?
Should be zero differences that I can think of, Bill.

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