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Pelican Technical Article:

Radiator Replacement

Steve Vernon

Time:

6 hours6 hrs

Tab:

$1000

Talent:

***

Tools:

T30, T27, T25, T20 Torx, 16mm, 8mm wrench

Applicable Models:

VW GTI (2006-09)

Parts Required:

New radiator

Hot Tip:

Save and reuse your coolant if it's new

Performance Gain:

Proper engine temperature

Complementary Modification:

New hoses

The radiators on the Volkswagen GTI MkV like any other car can wear out with time and age. The unit itself is expensive to replace, so 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 GTI MkV is a fairly involved job that requires removing a lot of components on the car including basically the entire front section. If you take your time and begin by working on a cool car you will be fine.

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

Allow cooling system to cool down to a coolant temperature of less than 90°C. Open the cap of 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 too great for the environment, so if the coolant in your car is good, try and save it to reuse.

While you may be able to crawl under the car to complete this job I recommend that you safely jack up and support the vehicle. Please see our article on safely jacking up and supporting your car.

Disconnect the ground strap from the battery terminal (red arrow) and place the cable (yellow arrow) where it can not accidentally come in contact with the battery while working.
Figure 1

Disconnect the ground strap from the battery terminal (red arrow) and place the cable (yellow arrow) where it can not accidentally come in contact with the battery while working. For more information please see our article on battery replacement.

You will need to remove the charged air pipe.
Figure 2

You will need to remove the charged air pipe. The charged air pipe and hoses run from the induction system and divert air before it reaches the throttle body (red arrow). This charged air runs through a pipe that is secured by an 8mm bolt (blue arrow) and T30 Torx (green arrow) and enters the interior by a quick release fitting (yellow arrow). Please see our article on removing the charged air pipe for further assistance.

At the front left side of the engine compartment is the air intake.
Figure 3

At the front left side of the engine compartment is the air intake. There are two T20 Torx screws holding this to the airbox cover, (red arrow, one shown) remove these. Note our project car was missing the upper part of the housing.

Remove the two T27 Torx screws from the air diverter (red arrows).
Figure 4

Remove the two T27 Torx screws from the air diverter (red arrows). Note: You do not need to remove the engine cover to perform this job, just get the intake hose to lock carrier out of the way.

Remove the air diverter (red arrow) from the lock carrier.
Figure 5

Remove the air diverter (red arrow) from the lock carrier.

A great many of these cars have had the engine trays and front side shields removed over the years and not replaced.
Figure 6

A great many of these cars have had the engine trays and front side shields removed over the years and not replaced. If you happen to have a car that still has all the under trays and original hardware here is what you need to do. There are four T25 Torx screws (red arrows) on each side holding the tray on, remove them and slide the tray back out of the friction clips (yellow arrows) on the front air dam.

Once the screws are removed slide the tray (red arrow) back and down.
Figure 7

Once the screws are removed slide the tray (red arrow) back and down.

Unclip the wiring connection for the fans on the lower left corner (red arrow).
Figure 8

Unclip the wiring connection for the fans on the lower left corner (red arrow).

You can disconnect the quick release connection (red arrow) on the lower right radiator hose and separate the hose from the radiator.
Figure 9

You can disconnect the quick release connection (red arrow) on the lower right radiator hose and separate the hose from the radiator. Coolant will spill out from both the hose and radiator so be prepared to catch them. Note: the intercooler hose is directly below the radiator and will cause a large mess when the coolant pours out.

If you are planning on reusing your coolant or just want top avoid a mess I recommend you remove the standard hose clamp (red arrow) and remove the hose that way.
Figure 10

If you are planning on reusing your coolant or just want top avoid a mess I recommend you remove the standard hose clamp (red arrow) and remove the hose that way.

With the hose disconnected the coolant will drain out of both the radiator (red arrow) and the hose.
Figure 11

With the hose disconnected the coolant will drain out of both the radiator (red arrow) and the hose. The Turbo hose is directly in the way of the draining coolant (yellow arrow) so I used the two quick disconnects and removed the hose. You might want to do this as it really helps avoid a mess. Note; you will need to remove the quick disconnect after the coolant has drained.

Use the quick release clamp (red arrow) on the upper left hose and separate it from the radiator (yellow arrow).
Figure 12

Use the quick release clamp (red arrow) on the upper left hose and separate it from the radiator (yellow arrow). This will help break any remaining vacuum in the system so be prepared for additional coolant to spill out of the lower hose.

You will need to remove the bumper cover (red arrows) please see our article on bumper cover removal for assistance.
Figure 13

You will need to remove the bumper cover (red arrows) please see our article on bumper cover removal for assistance.

Unclip the two clips (yellow arrows) that hold the Bowden cable connection (red arrow) to the cross member above the left headlight (green arrows).
Figure 14

Unclip the two clips (yellow arrows) that hold the Bowden cable connection (red arrow) to the cross member above the left headlight (green arrows).

Open the connection housing lid (yellow arrow) and separate the lock Bowden cable (green arrow) from the cup (red arrow).
Figure 15

Open the connection housing lid (yellow arrow) and separate the lock Bowden cable (green arrow) from the cup (red arrow).

On the front right side close to the radiator unclip the wiring connection (red arrow) and separate it from the connection for the sensor (yellow arrow).
Figure 16

On the front right side close to the radiator unclip the wiring connection (red arrow) and separate it from the connection for the sensor (yellow arrow).

There are two T30 Torx screws (yellow arrow, one on each side) holding the radiator, intercooler and A/C condenser to the lock carrier.
Figure 17

There are two T30 Torx screws (yellow arrow, one on each side) holding the radiator, intercooler and A/C condenser to the lock carrier. You will need to remove the T25 Torx screw (red arrow) that holds the plastic bumper and light support to give you access to the T30 screws.

Lift the plastic support out of the way and then remove the Torx screws on both sides (yellow arrow, one shown).
Figure 18

Lift the plastic support out of the way and then remove the Torx screws on both sides (yellow arrow, one shown).

Remove the two T25 Torx screws that hold the level sensor to each headlight frame (red arrows, one side shown).
Figure 19

Remove the two T25 Torx screws that hold the level sensor to each headlight frame (red arrows, one side shown).

On the lower left side disconnect the large wiring harness (red arrow).
Figure 20

On the lower left side disconnect the large wiring harness (red arrow).

Disconnect the quick release from the lower left turbo pipe (red arrow) and separate the pipe from the intercooler.
Figure 21

Disconnect the quick release from the lower left turbo pipe (red arrow) and separate the pipe from the intercooler.

Disconnect the quick release from the lower right turbo pipe (red arrow) and separate the pipe from the intercooler.
Figure 22

Disconnect the quick release from the lower right turbo pipe (red arrow) and separate the pipe from the intercooler.

Remove the two T30 Torx screws (red arrows) holding the upper lock carrier to the fenders on each side.
Figure 23

Remove the two T30 Torx screws (red arrows) holding the upper lock carrier to the fenders on each side.

You will need to support the lock carrier before removing the final bolts as once these bolts are removed there is nothing supporting the lock carrier.
Figure 24

You will need to support the lock carrier before removing the final bolts as once these bolts are removed there is nothing supporting the lock carrier. Have friend help or use a floor jack to support the weight of the carrier then remove the four 16mm bolts on each side of the lock carrier (red arrows).

The A/C lines are still connected so you need to remove the lock carrier forward then tilt the radiator, intercooler, condenser back towards the engine up pull it up out of the two rubber grommets it sits in (red arrows) and support it.
Figure 25

The A/C lines are still connected so you need to remove the lock carrier forward then tilt the radiator, intercooler, condenser back towards the engine up pull it up out of the two rubber grommets it sits in (red arrows) and support it.

With the lock carrier removed you can see the fan, shroud, radiator, intercooler and condenser still attached to the A/C lines (red arrow).
Figure 26

With the lock carrier removed you can see the fan, shroud, radiator, intercooler and condenser still attached to the A/C lines (red arrow).

Remove the fan shroud by removing the four T27 Torx screws holding the fans and shroud to the radiator (red arrows).
Figure 27

Remove the fan shroud by removing the four T27 Torx screws holding the fans and shroud to the radiator (red arrows).

Separate the radiator from the intercooler by removing the four T30 Torx screws (red arrows).
Figure 28

Separate the radiator from the intercooler by removing the four T30 Torx screws (red arrows).

You can now separate the radiator (red arrow) from the intercooler (yellow arrow).
Figure 29

You can now separate the radiator (red arrow) from the intercooler (yellow arrow). Installation is the reverse of removal. Get some help putting the lock carrier back on and don't forget to refill the coolant system.

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