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Pelican Technical Article:

Radiator Replacement

Jared Fenton

Time:

3 hours3 hrs

Tab:

$200

Talent:

*****

Tools:

8mm/10mm/13mm sockets, T25 Torx driver, flathead screwdriver

Applicable Models:

Volvo C30 T5 (2008-13)
Volvo C30 T5 R-Design (2008-13)

Parts Required:

Radiator

Hot Tip:

Have a helper around to assist with lowering the radiator out

Performance Gain:

Better engine cooling

Complementary Modification:

Change air filter

Proper maintenance of your cooling system will go a long way towards extending the life of your car. The cooling systems on most cars are often neglected, as most owners don't know much about how it works. The most vulnerable components in the entire system are the radiator and the heater core, as they tend to be damaged by corrosion and electrolysis. Poor maintenance of the system can result in the build-up of corrosion elements in the radiator and heater core, creating clogs and leaks that decrease cooling performance. If the engine overheats, the additional heat from the coolant can also damage sensitive plastic attachments and components. All of this can lead to the tell-tale signs of failure, typically a pinhole leak that progressively gets worse.

When replacing your radiator, you want to make sure that you replace it with one that meets or exceeds the OEM cooling standards. The cooling system in the C30 is prone to overheating due to the design of the coolant expansion tank. Therefore, it may be a wise idea to install a new tank at the same time. The tank is relatively inexpensive and is easily replaced. It's also recommended to replace your water pump and thermostat at the same time. (See our projects on Coolant Expansion Tank Replacement and Water Pump Replacement for more info).

Replacing the radiator also requires you to drain the coolant from the system as well as removing the radiator fans, the air filter housing, the front bumper cover and also the intercooler. See our articles on Coolant Flush and Replacement, Radiator Fan Replacement, Air Filter Housing Removal, Intercooler Removal and Front Bumper Cover Removal for more information.

Locate the radiator drain plug on the right side near the bottom of the radiator (green arrow).
Figure 1

Locate the radiator drain plug on the right side near the bottom of the radiator (green arrow). Unscrew the drain plug and let the coolant completely drain from the radiator.

Now move to the rear of the oil pan and locate the oil cooler.
Figure 2

Now move to the rear of the oil pan and locate the oil cooler. Loosen the hose clamp (green arrow) on the coolant line and pull it off. This will drain all the coolant from the engine block. See our article on Coolant Flush and Replacement for more information.

Follow the lower radiator hose (yellow arrow) down to the connection at the radiator.
Figure 3

Follow the lower radiator hose (yellow arrow) down to the connection at the radiator. Loosen the hose clamp (green arrow) holding the hose to the radiator. Once loose, pull the hose off the radiator.

Follow the hose down to the connection at the radiator on the right side.
Figure 4

Follow the hose down to the connection at the radiator on the right side. Loosen the hose clamp (green arrow) and pull the hose off.

Loosen and remove the two 8mm bolts (green arrows) holding the upper trim panel to the top of the front bulkhead.
Figure 5

Loosen and remove the two 8mm bolts (green arrows) holding the upper trim panel to the top of the front bulkhead. Pull the trim piece up from the rear (yellow arrow) and carefully maneuver it around the hood catch.

Below the trim panel are two plastic retainers (green arrows) that secure the upper portion of the radiator to the front bulkhead.
Figure 6

Below the trim panel are two plastic retainers (green arrows) that secure the upper portion of the radiator to the front bulkhead.

Press the three locking pins (green arrows) inward simultaneously and pull both retainers up and out of the bulkhead.
Figure 7

Press the three locking pins (green arrows) inward simultaneously and pull both retainers up and out of the bulkhead.

Loosen and remove the two 10mm bolts (green arrows) holding the right side of the radiator support frame to the chassis.
Figure 8

Loosen and remove the two 10mm bolts (green arrows) holding the right side of the radiator support frame to the chassis. You'll want to support the front of the support frame in the middle with a few blocks of wood to keep the frame from falling down. Also take note of the rubber grommet (yellow arrow). You'll need to pop this grommet out of the frame. This will free the radiator from the frame. Take care when removing and re-installing it.

Now do the same for the right side of the support frame.
Figure 9

Now do the same for the right side of the support frame. Remove the two 10mm bolts (green arrows) and pop the grommet (yellow arrow) out of the frame. Lower the frame out of the way. You'll now need to lower the whole front radiator/condenser assembly down a couple inches.

Right side of radiator frame: Lowering the radiator down will allow you access to the two T25 Torx screws holding the cover of the upper radiator frame in place.
Figure 10

Right side of radiator frame: Lowering the radiator down will allow you access to the two T25 Torx screws holding the cover of the upper radiator frame in place. Loosen and remove the screws. Also cut the hose clamp (yellow arrow) holding the hose to the radiator. Pull the hose off. When re-installing the hose, use a new hose clamp.

Left side of radiator frame: You'll also need to remove the two T25 Torx screws (green arrows) from the left side of the frame.
Figure 11

Left side of radiator frame: You'll also need to remove the two T25 Torx screws (green arrows) from the left side of the frame. You'll need to go through the hole for the plastic retainer for access.

Now carefully separate the upper radiator frame piece (green arrow) from the sides of the frame.
Figure 12

Now carefully separate the upper radiator frame piece (green arrow) from the sides of the frame. Take care around the lines for the AC condenser (green arrow).

Now comes the tricky part.
Figure 13

Now comes the tricky part. You'll need to slide the radiator frame (green arrow) down and off both the condenser (yellow arrow) in front and off the radiator (purple arrow) in back. I highly recommend getting a helper to assist you in this step.

Once the radiator frame is removed, carefully lower the radiator (green arrow) out from below.
Figure 14

Once the radiator frame is removed, carefully lower the radiator (green arrow) out from below. Installation of the new radiator is the reverse of removal.


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