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How to get at lower radiator bolts 1990 E350?

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How to get at lower radiator bolts 1990 E350?

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Old 06-10-2018, 04:34 PM
Maillemaker
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How to get at lower radiator bolts 1990 E350?

OK, I need to pull the radiator on my 1990 E350.

One bolt is a cinch - you get at it through the front of the grill. That is the top right. The top left I could get at using an extension from behind the radiator.

But how the heck do you get at the bottom two bolts? They come out from the engine side. On the driver side there are a bunch of coiled tubes in the way for the brakes, on the passenger side there are some air hose tubes. I can probably clear out the air tubes but what about the driver side???

Steve
 
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Old 06-10-2018, 05:28 PM
maltondhc
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I share your pain, just having replaced the rad on my 1989 E350 a couple weeks ago. I used an air ratchet to snake down around the coiled brake lines, and loosen the bolts. It was a real PITA, but I found trying to put the bottom 2 screws on the shroud even worse. I never did get either lower screw screw replaced, and ultimately used a Christmas tree fastener on the drivers side Jeff
 
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Old 06-10-2018, 05:47 PM
Maillemaker
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Yeah, I tried sneaking my air ratchet down there, but could not get at the bolt. Do you know what size it is? It appears the top 2 screws are 3/8", but I think the bottom two are bigger?
My shroud was not fastened down below at all, only the top 2 screws. Maybe someone else gave up on them like you did.

So you got to the two bottom screws from above? Not under?

Steve
 
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Old 06-11-2018, 08:50 PM
Maillemaker
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OK, for any other intrepid souls who scour the internet years from now figuring out how to take out the radiator in a 1990 E-350, here you go.

First, leave the fan shroud in place attached to the radiator while trying to get at the screws. Otherwise, it is in the way.

The driver-side top bolt is removable through the front of the grill. The passenger-side top bolt is the same size and removable fairly easily from the engine compartment.

The lower two bolts are 9/16", and do not need to be fully removed to take out the radiator, as the radiator bracket has slots in it that sit down onto the bolt shanks. So in fact you don't want to fully remove them as on re-assembly they will provide a positive stop for the radiator to sit on.

Driver-side bolt:


Passenger-side bolt:


The trick to getting at the bolts is to use a 3", 1/4" drive extension. A normal 3/8" drive extension is too thick and it will be hard to get it through the notch in the rear of the radiator bracket to easily reach the bolt head in the front of the radiator bracket. Any longer than 3" and you will run into clearance problems with the brake coils on the driver side and the air pump hoses on the passenger side.

I actually used a small 1/4" ratchet to loosen the driver-side bolt, but I probably could have used my air ratchet. On the passenger side, I used my air ratchet.



Once you have removed the top bolts and loosened the bottom bolts, remove the bolts holding the fan shroud in place and push it back over the fan. Use caution when trying to pull the radiator up and out as the radiator fittings tend to want to snag on the shroud. Keep the bottom of the radiator pushed towards the front of the vehicle as much as possible.

When you are all done, this is what you are rewarded with:



Steve
 
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