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I'm sure this has been covered before but my experience this weekend was interesting & thought it may help others facing this task for the first time. In my 40 years of working on cars the second time is always much faster! Please note that the vehicle was a 1999 Grand Caravan with a 3.8L & HD cooling (outlet hose on driver's side)

Armed with the Chrysler NS shop manual & tips from previous posts removed the radiator & fans as an assembly. As noted access to the passengers' side 10mm head bolt holding the A/C condenser was difficult & required use of a ratcheting box wrench with limited access through the lower grill slots. Removed the rest of the good hardware from the failed radiator, cleaned all the parts for reuse & began assembly of the radiator & fans. Dropped the radiator/fan assembly into position and noticed two problems: 1) passengers side upper mounting bracket on the plastic tank was not drilled correctly at the Chinese factory & required elongation, 2) there was no way the lower passenger side bolt holding the A/C condenser was going to be accessible, even tilting forward & to the driver's side. Removed radiator/fan assembly & took the fans off. Now able to bolt up the A/C condenser easily to the radiator as there was much more room to maneuver. Used a Torx screwdriver to start the 10 mm bolt though the grill slots & followed with the Geardrive box wrench on all of the bolts. Access through the lower grill slots was tight but doable. Put a piece of plywood between the radiator & engine just to avoid any damage to the radiator while attaching the A/C condenser. Then lowered the fans in place and attached the five(5) 10mm head bolts with the ratcheting box wrench.

This procedure did not require removal of the front fasia/bumper and worked well on this application. Having the ratcheting box wrenches is essential to doing the job.

FWIW, pricing from the local auto parts for the radiator was as follows in the far NW suburbs of Philadelphia:

Autozone $189
NAPA $196
Pep Boys $260
Advance $246
Carquest $188
 

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Did you take off the front top cross-member and drop the front bumper wrap and grille? I found it a lot easier to access stuff by doing this.

When I have prices that close I go to NAPA. They've got both AARP and AAA discounts. The Discounts vary per part, but I find average about 10%. This give me a lower cost part, a national warranty and pays for my AAA membership each year.

I've also gotten quotes over the phone from NAPA and the other parts stores will match the discount and price from NAPA if I'm inclined to buy from them. I'll usually still buy the part from NAPA, as I feel they're quality is better. As an example, several years ago I had two '91 Caravans, one with a 3.0L and one with a 3.3L engine. The fuel pumps failed within 2 days of each other. Shucks wanted $204 and NAPA wanted $225. My daughter bought the part at Shucks and we had to take it back as it failed out of the box. Two days later when I paid NAPA for the same part... with the discount it was $195 and worked flawlessly for another 100,000 miles till I sold the Caravan.
 
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Did you take off the front top cross-member and drop the front bumper wrap and grille? I found it a lot easier to access stuff by doing this.

When I have prices that close I go to NAPA. They've got both AARP and AAA discounts. The Discounts vary per part, but I find average about 10%. This give me a lower cost part, a national warranty and pays for my AAA membership each year.

I've also gotten quotes over the phone from NAPA and the other parts stores will match the discount and price from NAPA if I'm inclined to buy from them. I'll usually still buy the part from NAPA, as I feel they're quality is better. As an example, several years ago I had two '91 Caravans, one with a 3.0L and one with a 3.3L engine. The fuel pumps failed within 2 days of each other. Shucks wanted $204 and NAPA wanted $225. My daughter bought the part at Shucks and we had to take it back as it failed out of the box. Two days later when I paid NAPA for the same part... with the discount it was $195 and worked flawlessly for another 100,000 miles till I sold the Caravan.
 
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Of course the top cross-member was removed as the upper radiator mounts are attached to it. No the grill or front valance was left on as removing them would not gain much if any more accessibility on this model.

NAPA does price match depending on the store management and is the preferred parts supplier in my book with Carquest a close second.
 

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When I replaced the radiator in my 98 GV, 3,3, about 8 years ago, I had to remove the front bumper/facia. Guess I didn't try hard enough on that one condensor mounting bolt.
 

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Those lower condenser bolts are just CRAZY. They are behind the steel bumper-box that resides behind the facia. I can see where they are through the opening in the facia and the slot in the bumper but the slot need to be at least 2" longer to line up so you can reach through with a socket. I may modify mine once I get the radiator out. U think I can get a smaller hole saw through the opening in the facia. The only other option is to have the AC evacuated and remove everything at once. BTW, my vehicle is a 2000 Plymouth Grand Voyager. I have the factory auxillary trans cooler. The factory manual is pitifully wanting about the details of radiator and condenser removal. It does say, only in regard to the aux trans cooler, that you have to remove the facia to get to it.

BTW, I have done several searches a variety of ways on this topic and this is the only post I can find relating to the lower condenser mounting bolts. If someone can post a link to some other place that addresses better, pls do so. I appreciate the advice about the racheting box-end wrench. I will go tomorow and see if Sears has one.
 

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I went through this earlier in the year when I replaced the radiator on my son's 98 Caravan, 2.4. I was able to do it without removing the grill, but it was tough. I had the fans off and had to slide the radiator condenser (held together by one of the bolts), first to the right and then to the left as far as possible to get at the remaining 3 bolts, and then it was only possible to use a flat gear box wrench. What a painful process since you can only get a few clicks at a time to loosen/tighten those bolts.

While I had everything out of the way, I replaced both crimped water hoses that connect to those tubes on the 2.4 engine between the fans and block. That was no joy either. I think replacement of this mini-van radiator took the longest amount of time I have ever spent on any vehicle radiator replacement job and I had a few knuckle scrapes from the condenser, R&Ring those bolts.

I too installed a rather poor fitting Chinese radiator that I got off of E-Bay for under $100. I think I modified the rubber cushions to make the top clamps fit properly. All is good now, but I can sure relate to your experience.
 

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After reading this thread I'm glad I never had to replace the radiator in our previous '00 T&C Ltd AWD minivan. Just looking at what was involved made my knuckles wince.......
 

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BTW, complaints above about the price of radiator don't apply to me. I got an (apparently) American-made radiator from Advance Auto for $124 and got a fat discount on that due to an on-line promo that brought the price under $100, sales tax included. Happy with the radiator. Unhappy with the installation. I have found everything else on this car to be pretty easy to work on "if you know how". In that regard, I have got all kinds of help on this forum to make the jobs easier. This is the first one that I am coming up against a brick wall as to a simple technique.
 

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I finally got radiator replaced. I refused to take off the facia, -didn't really think it would help that much anyway. I reached through it with a 1-1/2" hole saw and cut access holes through the bumper trough to get to the lower condensor bolts. Yes, the hole saw scuffed the inside of the facia opening but I doubt anybody is going to notice. Looks like you have to pay a subscription fee to post pictures here. If you want to see what I did, I can send you pictures if you get me your direct email address some way.
 

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I think you can put your pictures on a hosting site such as Photobucket and then post the link here to either direct the reader to your pictures or have them open automatically using the IMG tags. Photobucket has a feature that automatically puts the IMG tags on the link. It is a bit of work to do the first time, but once you are set up, it is pretty easy.

Glad to hear you were able to get the radiator replaced yourself.
 

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Last weekend I did the radiator in my '96 GC. I removed the complete fascia and bumper. The steel bumper was bent in to almost touching the bottom bolt holding the condensor on. With those parts off, I had an easy job of it. I pull these parts at work a lot as we install base plates on cars & SUV's for people to pull them behind motor homes.

As with vwds, I got a radiator from AA and it was literally exact fit. It also included new mounting hardware, bushings, etc. It was $124.95 and I got a 15% discount for some reason. Tax and all, just over $113.00.
 

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Real time report here.

I just got the radiator out of my wife's 1999 Grand Caravan. We ordered the towing package so I have the aux. oil cooler. I removed the air filter box so I could push the whole unit back and get a little better access to the two bolts on the front of the condenser; I sued standard combination wrench , not gearbox. I took the oil hose from the top of the rafiator to the cooler off at the radiator. I took the hose from the bottom of the radiator to the trans off at the trans. I pulled the radiator up to get to the crappy hose clam p on the bottom radiator hose (driver's side).

really could use two people: one at each end of the radiator to make sure it is not getting hung up in everything you cannot remove. Will see what happens when I put it all back....
 

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The reason for this job is the upper hose neck is loose. I traced a persistent dribble to the upper hose fitting. It probably would fail completely before long. I'm almost halfway through the job. All the fasteners are out but something's hanging on the passenger side so I'm calling it a day. I removed the hood latch support frame since the upper hose neck and trans cooler fittings won't clear. Maybe with the fascia out of the way the condenser can tilt forward enough for the radiator to clear. I removed the lower condenser bolts the painful way with a ratcheting box wrench and the fascia in place. The hole saw comes out in the morning. The fans are held on the radiator by bolts *AND* clips. The clips also serve as the nuts. I opened clips on the driver side which allowed me to slide the fan assembly out of the way without removing from the van. The replacement radiator is a $114 Spectra (outlet on passenger side) from Autozone. I'm the first one to hit the pick-n-pull for parts but not for a plastic radiator.

Sixto
97 GC SE 3.3 236K miles
 
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