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Colorado radiator. Just change the damned thing.

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Mud Obsessed

Joined: 23 Oct 2004
Odometer: 2798
Location: Shropshire mostly, and Mid Wales

PostPosted: Tue Jul 28, 2015 8:20 pm    Post subject: Colorado radiator. Just change the damned thing. Reply with quote

It's a long time since I posted on Difflock, but I'm still in love with my 4x4's and I thought I'd share this precautionary tale. I guess everyone has heard the horror stories of the Colorado auto radiators ? they're all true.

Six years ago I bought a 1998 Colorado VX auto with about 120,000 miles on it, a nice tidy motor. I'd had it about a week and was under it for some reason and touched one of the auto gearbox oil cooler pipes where it entered the radiator bottom tank - and the pipe fitting just fell off the radiator. There was no problem of coolant and tranny fluid mixing as the truck was on a ramp and stationary. So I changed the rad' and drove it for another 60,000 miles. I did however pressure test the old rad' and water did leak from the broken off pipe fitting. the O ring is the seal between the coolant and tranny fluid, and once the bond / glue has broken between the flange of the fitting and the base tank of the radiator coolant will enter the oil cooler pipe.

I just about wore that Colorado out and decided to look for another, and last week I bought a 2000 VX auto with 66,000 miles, one owner and full service history. The truck is just about mint, the last owner lived abroad for most of the year and came back for a month in the summer. It's a nice truck, but the radiator problem bothered me because corrosion is more to do with age than miles, so I bought a new radiator from RoughTrax.
I got underneath to pull the hoses off - and both oil pipe fittings fell off the radiator with very little pressure, just pulling at the rubber pipes. And a quick pressure test proved that coolant was leaking into the oil cooler.

Both of these radiators did not fail while I was driving, the coolant and tranny oil did not mix. but the pipe fittings entering the radiator base tank were on the point of failing. Obviously mileage doesn't matter, it's age and corrosion. If you have a Colorado auto and do not know the age of the radiator - just change the damn thing, it's cheaper than an auto box.


"Roof, doors, wheels. It's the way I drive."
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