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Pelican Technical Article:

Radiator Replacement

Steve Vernon

Time:

3 hours3 hrs

Tab:

$460 to $800

Talent:

**

Tools:

10mm socket, extension, flathead screwdriver

Applicable Models:

Porsche 944 Turbo (1986-89)

Parts Required:

New radiator

Hot Tip:

Have patience, there is a lot to move

Performance Gain:

Proper cooling of the engine

Complementary Modification:

Flush cooling system

The radiator on the Porsche 951, like any other car, can wear out with time and age. The unit itself is expensive to replace. Before you buy a new one, pressure test the cooling system first and verify the location of any leaks. It will be easier and cheaper to replace a radiator hose or clamp than replacing the whole radiator.

Replacing the radiator on the 951 is a fairly involved job that requires removing a lot of components on the car. If you take your time and begin by working on a cool car you can do it in a few hours.

A couple of safety precautions/instructions you may want to observe before beginning:

Allow the cooling system to cool down to a coolant temperature of less than 90 degrees C. Open the cap of the cooling system slowly; turn a conventional coolant cap as far as the first detent and turn a screwed coolant cap approx. 1/2 turn and release the pressure. Wear protective gloves, protective clothing and eye protection. NEVER pour coolant into beverage bottles, cups, etc... Someone might accidentally pick that cup up and start to drink.

If the coolant in the car is new there is no reason to replace it as long as you drain it into a clean container. Coolant is expensive and not great for the environment. If the coolant in your car is good, try and save it to reuse.

You will need to safely raise and support the vehicle, remove the under engine tray and drain the coolant. Please see our articles on all of these procedures for additional information.

The radiator on the 951 is going to come out the top of the engine compartment but first the fans need to come out the bottom.
Figure 1

The radiator on the 951 is going to come out the top of the engine compartment but first the fans need to come out the bottom. Begin by removing the air box (red arrow) and assorted air tubes for the turbo. Please see our article on air box removal for additional assistance.

With the air box removed begin removing the fans.
Figure 2

With the air box removed begin removing the fans. This photo illustrates the location of the three 10mm bolts on the top of the shroud you will need to remove (red arrows).

Move under the vehicle and disconnect the plugs (yellow arrows) from both fans and clip the wiring as needed (red arrow).
Figure 3

Move under the vehicle and disconnect the plugs (yellow arrows) from both fans and clip the wiring as needed (red arrow).

The plugs on the fans just pull straight back and off (red arrow).
Figure 4

The plugs on the fans just pull straight back and off (red arrow).

Use a 10mm socket or wrench and remove the three bolts along the bottom of the shroud (red arrows).
Figure 5

Use a 10mm socket or wrench and remove the three bolts along the bottom of the shroud (red arrows).

Use a flathead screwdriver and remove the lower radiator hose (red arrow).
Figure 6

Use a flathead screwdriver and remove the lower radiator hose (red arrow). Even though you have drained the coolant, be prepared for a little to spill out from here.

The hard lines for the oil cooler will interfere with the shroud and fan removal.
Figure 7

The hard lines for the oil cooler will interfere with the shroud and fan removal. You do NOT need to disconnect the lines. Just use a 10mm wrench and remove the two mounting bolts (red arrows).

With the bolts removed let the cooler hang by the lines (red arrow).
Figure 8

With the bolts removed let the cooler hang by the lines (red arrow).

With everything out of the way lift the bottom edge of the fan shroud (red arrow) up and out from the lower radiator tray.
Figure 9

With everything out of the way lift the bottom edge of the fan shroud (red arrow) up and out from the lower radiator tray. The fans and shroud will slip right out the bottom. They are a little heavy so be prepared.

Remove the crossover pipe from the front of the engine (red arrow).
Figure 10

Remove the crossover pipe from the front of the engine (red arrow). Please see our article on crossover pipe removal.

Use a flathead screwdriver and remove the two hoses on the upper left side of the radiator (red arrow).
Figure 11

Use a flathead screwdriver and remove the two hoses on the upper left side of the radiator (red arrow).

Disconnect the thermos fan switch (red arrow).
Figure 12

Disconnect the thermos fan switch (red arrow).

If you did not disconnect the reservoir supply line from the right side of the radiator when removing the crossover pipe, remove it now (yellow arrow).
Figure 13

If you did not disconnect the reservoir supply line from the right side of the radiator when removing the crossover pipe, remove it now (yellow arrow). The lower radiator hose should already be removed (red arrow).

There are two jam nuts on the top of the radiator, one on each side in each corner (red arrow).
Figure 14

There are two jam nuts on the top of the radiator, one on each side in each corner (red arrow). Use a 10mm socket with an extension and fully loosen the nuts on each side.

Tilt the radiator back towards the engine (red arrows).
Figure 15

Tilt the radiator back towards the engine (red arrows). You may need to gently wiggle it around to free it from any debris that may be holding it in place.

You can now lift the radiator straight up and out from the engine compartment.
Figure 16

You can now lift the radiator straight up and out from the engine compartment. Use care. Even though you have drained the cooling system of all the remaining coolant a bit more will spill out as you tilt it back and lift it. Installation is the reverse of removal. Do not forget to bleed the coolant system after refilling.

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