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Mercedes Benz Radiator Replacement
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

Mercedes Benz Radiator Replacement

Steve Vernon

Time:

4 hours4 hrs

Tab:

$350

Talent:

***

Tools:

8mm, 10mm and 14mm socket, 19mm wrench, Phillips-head screwdriver

Applicable Models:

Mercedes-Benz 190E (1984-93)

Parts Required:

Radiator, hoses and clamps as needed, coolant

Hot Tip:

Have a friend help

Performance Gain:

Engine runs at the proper temperature

Complementary Modification:

New thermostat

Mercedes-Benz radiators can and do fail. Unfortunately they tend to fail around the plastic hose couplings and tank crimp joint. The failure of the plastic coupling or tank joint means you have to replace the entire radiator. This article will show you how to remove your radiator while leaving your A/C compressor and auxiliary fans in place.

To replace the radiator a few things need to come off the car. While it is possible to remove the radiator without removing the front bumper, I personally like to remove it. It only takes a minute and frees up all kinds of valuable room to work. If you don't want to remove it you will still be able to perform the job it is just a little tighter work space. The bumper is actually very simple to remove, but beware if you are doing this job by yourself, make sure the bumper does not fall on you while loosing it from underneath. While the bumper can easily be lifted by one person, it is always a good idea to have someone help hold the bumper while you are undoing the bolts.

Make sure the car is cool before you begin working on it. You do not need to lift the car or remove the wheels to take perform this job, but it will give you more room to work if you do.

Begin by removing the Phillips-head screw that holds the ambient air temperature sensor located on the bottom of the license plate frame. Pass this sensor through the opening behind the frame and into the bumper.

Next, remove the front fender liner. There are two 8mm bolts and a Phillips-head screw holding it on. With the liner removed you will be able to see the two 14mm nuts holding the bumper to the front of the car, along with a 10mm bolt attaching it to the side support.

Remove the 10mm side bolt and then the two 14mm nuts and washers. Take care not to loose the two large washers behind the nuts. They are important and need to be reinstalled when putting everything back together.

With everything unscrewed the bumper just pulls straight away from the front of the car.

Next, you will need to remove the lower plastic belly pan. It is held in place by six 8mm bolts. Unscrew them, lower and remove the belly pan.

There are two ways to drain the coolant from the radiator. The first is to use the plastic drain knob with a drain hole below it located on the lower front passenger side of the radiator. If you left the bumper on there is an access panel on the lower passenger side that pulls straight out and will give you access to the drain plug. Place your drain bucket under the hole and turn the knob clockwise. Coolant will begin to come out but will not drain rapidly because of the vacuum caused by the sealed system. To get all the fluid out, go up to the coolant reservoir and undo the cap, this will break the vacuum and allow the coolant to flow freely. A word of caution though, this knob can get corroded and stick. If the knob will not turn or you are planning on reusing your radiator and worried about breaking this part, you can just unscrew or cut off the lower hose. If you are planning on buying new hoses it is much easier to just cut the lower hose off.

While the radiator is draining, remove the three 10mm bolts on each side of the cross brace and the three bolts at the latch and center support. With the brace free, flip it over and remove the latch cable. The hood latch cable just slips out of its mount and can be removed from the latching mechanism.

From the passenger side of the radiator disconnect the automatic transmission fluid lines. Use two wrenches, one to hold the mount to the radiator and the other to turn the line. This will help you avoid stripping the line out of the radiator. With the line detached, undo the 10mm nut securing the line to a bracket on the bottom of the radiator.

Moving to the top front of the radiator, unscrew the two 10mm bolts holding the A/C condenser and fans to the radiator. There is one on each side.

If you used the drain knob and your lower passenger side radiator hose is still attach, you need to unscrew the hose clamp and remove it from the radiator.

Next remove the two hoses from the water pump on the upper driver side of the radiator. On the lower part of the radiator there are three 10mm bolts holding the A/C condenser to the radiator. Remove these.

The radiator is now free and can be lifted from the car. The radiator has two rubber mounts that sit on grommets in the lower cross frame. Sometimes you need to wiggle the radiator around to free it from the lower mounts, just take care that you do not damage it against the fan or condenser.

Installation is the reverse of removal. Remember to refill your coolant and top up any lost transmission fluid.

Remove the Phillips-head screw that holds the ambient air sensor to the lower part of the license plate frame.
Figure 1

Remove the Phillips-head screw that holds the ambient air sensor to the lower part of the license plate frame. Once loose, pass the sensor through the opening and into the bumper.

To remove the fender liner you will need to unscrew the two 8mm nuts (green arrow) and the one Phillips-head screw (yellow arrow, not shown).
Figure 2

To remove the fender liner you will need to unscrew the two 8mm nuts (green arrow) and the one Phillips-head screw (yellow arrow, not shown). The liner then just lifts out.

Remove the 10mm bolt that holds bumper to the outside support.
Figure 3

Remove the 10mm bolt that holds bumper to the outside support.

Remove the two 14mm nuts and large washers (red arrows) holding the bumper to the front of the car.
Figure 4

Remove the two 14mm nuts and large washers (red arrows) holding the bumper to the front of the car. With these removed the bumper just pulls straight away from the front of the car.

The plastic belly tray is held on by six 8mm bolts.
Figure 5

The plastic belly tray is held on by six 8mm bolts. Remove these, lower and remove the tray.

There are two ways to drain the coolant from the radiator.
Figure 6

There are two ways to drain the coolant from the radiator. The first is to use the plastic drain knob with a drain hole below it located on the lower front passenger side of the radiator. If you have not removed the bumper there is an access panel on the lower passenger side that just pulls straight out and gives you access to the drain plug.Place your drain bucket under the hole and turn the knob clockwise. Coolant will begin to come out but will not drain rapidly because of the vacuum caused by the sealed system. To get all the fluid out, go up to the coolant reservoir and undo the cap, this will break the vacuum and allow the coolant to flow freely. A word of caution though, this knob can get corroded and stick. If the knob will not turn or you are planning on reusing your radiator and worried about breaking this part, you can just unscrew or cut off the lower hose. If you are planning on buying new hoses it is much easier to just cut the lower hose off.

Remove the coolant tank cap to break the vacuum seal in the system.
Figure 7

Remove the coolant tank cap to break the vacuum seal in the system.

Next, remove the nine 10mm bolts on the cross brace (red arrows).
Figure 8

Next, remove the nine 10mm bolts on the cross brace (red arrows).

On the underside of the cross mount you need to disconnect the hood latch cable (red arrow).
Figure 9

On the underside of the cross mount you need to disconnect the hood latch cable (red arrow). The wire slips out of its mount and then can be removed from the latch. The yellow arrows show where the mounting bolts go.

Remove the automatic transmission lines from the passenger side of the radiator (yellow arrows).
Figure 10

Remove the automatic transmission lines from the passenger side of the radiator (yellow arrows). Use two wrenches so you don't strip the mount out of the radiator. There is a 10mm mount that connects the transmission line to the radiator (green arrow). Unscrew this from underneath.

Unscrew the 10mm bolt holding the A/C condenser and fans to the top of the radiator (green arrow).
Figure 11

Unscrew the 10mm bolt holding the A/C condenser and fans to the top of the radiator (green arrow). There are two, one on each side.

If you drained your radiator from the plug and did not cut the lower passenger side hose, you can disconnect it from the reservoir (yellow arrow).
Figure 12

If you drained your radiator from the plug and did not cut the lower passenger side hose, you can disconnect it from the reservoir (yellow arrow).

Remove the clamps from the two hoses on the upper driver's side and remove (yellow arrows).
Figure 13

Remove the clamps from the two hoses on the upper driver's side and remove (yellow arrows). Take care working around the plastic joiners as they become brittle over time.

Next, remove the three 10mm bolts holding the A/C condenser to the radiator (red arrows).
Figure 14

Next, remove the three 10mm bolts holding the A/C condenser to the radiator (red arrows).

Wiggle the radiator from its lower mounts and pull straight up and out of the car.
Figure 15

Wiggle the radiator from its lower mounts and pull straight up and out of the car.

The green arrows show the grommets the radiator sits in on the lower cross frame.
Figure 16

The green arrows show the grommets the radiator sits in on the lower cross frame. Installation is reversal of removal. Don't forget to replace your coolant and top up your automatic transmission fluid.

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Comments and Suggestions:
suresh Comments: Just like you said in the article, I have a broken plastic hose coupling is broken and I have to change the radiator. It is 1989 190E, 2.6 gasoline. Do you carry the radiator that I can buy?
October 26, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Yes Give The Pelican Parts parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. They can figure out what part or repair kit you need.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
RC Comments: Great article & pictures but it misses how to draining the engine block water jacket. If replacing the radiator or full coolant refresh, the 2.6 & 3.0 engines have a 19 mm drain socket on the side of the block below cylinder #5 on the exhaust manifold side. This makes a full flush & replace coolant much easier. Easier to drain junk from the block that's hard to get rid of if only draining the radiator. I really appreciate the Pelican articles & pictures. Very effective for us DYI folks.
June 22, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the additional info and feedback. We appreciate it.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
old merce malaya Comments: Hello im malaysian guy..why my radiator model w124 e200 1992 cannot find in this portal part..so how i can find up
November 11, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: We may be able to ship one to you. But I am not sure. To be sure, Give our parts specialists a call at 1-310-626-8765
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Ned Comments: Hi I'm from MD ,great work , thank you , following your guide I was able to install a new radiator in my 1990 300e. Really appreciated your help ...thank you.
July 14, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the feedback. Glad we could help.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Rob Comments: Hi guys, I am in Australia and I know you sell parts for left not right hand drive.

I'm wondering if any problems arise if I order a new belt tensioner and water pump, thermo and gasket.

I assuming the engine on the Mercedes 190E 2.3 is standard and the difference in which side you drive on doesn't matter for those parts.

If that correct?..

Regards
R.Spicer
July 30, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Sorry, you need to contact SALES: International customers 1-310-626-8765
Mon-Fri 7:00a-5:00p Pacific time "California"

- whunter
 
Bethuel Oduo Comments: My radiator for 124 Triple 111 engine is leaking. It is ex-UK Petrol and automatic transmission. Where can I buy a replacement radiator?
May 6, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Please contact
SALES SUPPORT
1-888-333-4642
Mon-Fri 7:00a-5:00p Pacific time "California"
International customers 1-310-626-8765
whunter@pelicanparts.com
 

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