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How To: 4th Gen V6 Radiator Replacement/Tranny Cooler Install

Discussion in '4th Gen 4Runners (2003-2009)' started by wnelax04sr5, Sep 30, 2014.

  1. Sep 30, 2014 at 10:38 AM
    #1
    wnelax04sr5

    wnelax04sr5 [OP] New Member

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    This is a how to replace the stock radiator in a 4th gen (2004 specifically) 4runner, V6, and also how to add an external transmission cooler.

    Parts List
    Radiator, I used this;
    Spectra Premium OEM complete radiator- $134.27 as of 9/30/14
    http://www.amazon.com/Spectra-Premi...1-2282-116-1-0&sr=1-8&ymm=2004:toyota:4runner

    Transmission Cooler;
    Hayden Automotive 512 High Performance Transmission Cooler- $38.63 as of 9/30/14
    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000C3DDEA/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o02_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
    NOTE: The supplied hose is not enough, I purchased the Hayden hose, but any similar hose will work
    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000HE6H3S/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o02_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    The process is relatively simple and intuitive, only tools needed are basic metric wrenches, largest i believe is 17mm, pliers for hose clamps, and buckets/catch pans for the fluids

    1. I started by popping the hood, removing the plastic trim from on top of the radiator/ac condenser, its plastic rivets that are very easy to remove
    2. To make it easier to access, i took my from bumper off. this isn't necessary by any means, but made the job FAR easier.
    IMG_20140713_110236_502.jpg
    3. Next, i got underneath the drivers side, at the bottom of the radiator, and put the catch pan underneath and drained the fluid out of the radiator. be patient, it takes some time to all come out
    4. while its draining, you can take off the overflow tank. 3 bolts secure it, and the fluid can stay in it, just keep it upright. the hose that connects it to the radiator will leak fluid out, plug it with a rag and it'll be fine.
    5. take off the radiator cap and put it somewhere you'll remember, you will need it for the new radiator.
    6. on the drivers side of the radiator, for v6 only, are the two transmission lines that run to the radiator for cooling, they can be removed now, it takes some effort as they are on tight.
    Note; if you're debating adding an external tranny cooler, keep this in mind. the transmission fluid temperature before it enters the radiator is actually LESS than the coolant temperature, so by cycling tranny fluid through the side of the radiator, it is actually being partially heated when it is sent back to the transmission
    7. keep the tranny lines upright, it will prevent any fluid loss.
    8. once the radiator is fully drained and the overflow tank and tranny lines are disconnected, you can unbolt it from the front frame. there are 4 bolts with nuts, washers, and rubber washers, if you want to do this with any efficiency, an extra set of hands helps.
    9. if you haven't already, unbolt the fan shroud from the radiator. there are two bolts on the top, and it sits in channels on the bottom. it can't be taken out until the radiator is removed though, so rest it on the fan.
    10. after some wiggling free, the radiator should lift right out. there will still be fluid in it, so have a catch pan or bucket ready, tilt it on its side, and then drain the rest out. you should end up with this;
    IMG_20140713_121509_282.jpg
    note; my radiator leaked from the drivers side bottom, which is apparently common for 4th gen v6's
    11. after removing the fan shroud, my engine bay looked like this
    IMG_20140713_121529_725.jpg
    12. the next step to do is install the tranny cooler, theres lots of room and that makes it easy.
    13. i first mounted the cooler to the condenser, its 4 zip tie like mounts, very easy to use.
    14. i then measured my hose, attached it to the supply and return tranny lines, and made sure my supply line was going to the top of the cooler.
    15. secure everything with the supplied hose clamps, then secure the rest of the hose with zip ties so they aren't moving around.
    16. end product mounted
    IMG_20140713_125541_863.jpg
    17. now you can put in the new radiator, but make sure you put the fan shroud back in first, or you'll have to remove the radiator again. this is how mine was shipped and what it looked like
    IMG_20140713_121514_372.jpg
    18. reattach the 4 bolts that hold the radiator in, and i left the plastic caps that covered the holes for stock tranny lines on to keep crap out, 7k later and they haven't melted or moved, so its fine to do.
    19.put the fan shroud back on, and reattach all the coolant hoses, and the overflow tank.
    20. make sure the plug is in the radiator, then open the cap up and fill the radiator first.
    21. if there is any room in the overflow tank, fill it, that way if the radiator isn't full it will pull from the overflow and you won't run it dry.
    22. add transmission fluid before starting, then once the motor is running. monitor the level for a couple days to make sure it is correct. overfilling/underfilling are both bad
    23. put the plastic trim cover back on the top of the radiator and condenser, monitor the levels, and you're done!
     
  2. Feb 12, 2015 at 5:27 PM
    #2
    nuclearn8

    nuclearn8 New Member

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    This may help others on this topic (at least who choose the B&M products)
     

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    Bob likes this.
  3. Feb 14, 2016 at 3:15 PM
    #3
    Lfazzio

    Lfazzio New Member

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    Hey guys,

    I have a 99 4rnr limited with 280k miles. Im about to install a new radiator, thermostat and came across this post. Is it advised to install a trans cooler since im already in thus far? I dont offroad or tow but trying to hit 500k miles and want to preserve neway possible...


    Also, any tips to completely flush and clean engine before i run a new radiator?
     
    captsolo likes this.
  4. Feb 14, 2016 at 4:23 PM
    #4
    wnelax04sr5

    wnelax04sr5 [OP] New Member

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    if i had it all torn apart, id definitely think about it, it isn't hard and is good preventative maintenance.
     
    Lfazzio likes this.
  5. Feb 14, 2016 at 4:55 PM
    #5
    Lfazzio

    Lfazzio New Member

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    Makes sense!
    Any tips for thorough engine flush?

    After all this is sorted, my next mod will be blacking the rims and painting everything black. Plastidip?
     
  6. Feb 15, 2016 at 8:19 AM
    #6
    wnelax04sr5

    wnelax04sr5 [OP] New Member

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    only way to truly flush it would be to pull the water pump, thermostat, etc. i think you'd be fine letting gravity drain out the radiator and by emptying the hoses and much as possible. plastidip is your best choice for easy blacking out for sure
     
  7. Feb 15, 2016 at 9:08 AM
    #7
    Lfazzio

    Lfazzio New Member

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    Just watched a vid on pulling the water pump and what a PITA. My only concern is I dont want to push anything from the engine into my brand new rad I will be installing along with the external trans cooler.
     
  8. Feb 15, 2016 at 9:16 AM
    #8
    wnelax04sr5

    wnelax04sr5 [OP] New Member

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    i understand the concern, I'm not sure how big an issue it will be. you could always look into a coolant filtration kit
     
  9. Feb 15, 2016 at 9:22 AM
    #9
    Lfazzio

    Lfazzio New Member

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    Awsome will do.

    Also, did you happen to install an inline filter on your ext trans cooler?
     
  10. Feb 15, 2016 at 10:42 AM
    #10
    wnelax04sr5

    wnelax04sr5 [OP] New Member

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    i did not, theres a filter inside the trans
     
  11. Feb 24, 2016 at 3:48 PM
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    Lfazzio

    Lfazzio New Member

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    Just finished my new radiator and thermostat install. Just a quick tip for anyone, I used locking pliers to stop my tranny lines from leaking too much and unfortunately it was too tight and now I have a huge puddle of tranny fluid on my driveway. just fyi. other than that, pretty straight forward install. After 280k miles, things are a little more difficult and fragile but other than that, smooth sailing :D
     
  12. Mar 4, 2019 at 3:14 AM
    #12
    Benny123

    Benny123 Toyota enthusiast

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    LEDs all around, otherwise bone stock.
    Nice write up @wnelax04sr5 My rad leaked on drivers side lower corner which is apparently common, also from the petcock. Got it out fairly easily, now waiting on the rad to arrive. Tranny lines don't leak much, keep it up right which is easy. Maybe lost an ounce or two.
     
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2019
  13. Sep 12, 2019 at 2:28 PM
    #13
    Woland7

    Woland7 New Member

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    Useful stuff. A few notes though.
    1. I installed a large trans cooler a couple of years after I had purchased my '04 SR5 new and immediately upon purchasing 2018 TRD Off Road without removal of anything at all except the top plastic cover in front of the radiator.
    2. Last summer, replaced radiator and AC condenser on 2004 without - again - removal of anything at all except the top panel.
    3. When buying replacement parts, don't buy aftermarket - I got burnt a few times with junk. Instead, go with Denso (http://densoautoparts.com/). This site is NOT Denso but it sells exact same OEM Denso stuff as stealership but MUCH cheaper. I think I paid about $117 for the radiator (stealer wanted over $300).
     
    N6WRV and captsolo like this.
  14. Sep 23, 2019 at 3:52 AM
    #14
    captsolo

    captsolo New Member

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    I'm still on a 15 year old OEM radiator on SR5 2005 4runner with 150,000 miles, and if it ain't broke, don't fix it. My rad coolant is always OTM (full) - no leaks.

    I replaced the AC compressor last year after the OEM quit. Mechanic tested for leak and said replace ACC. Cools great again with just $186 new AC Compressor ordered from Amazon.
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2019
  15. Sep 23, 2019 at 7:39 AM
    #15
    Woland7

    Woland7 New Member

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    I noticed a seep at about 200,000 miles when AC quit and I started looking for a leak (and found it at condenser) so you should be good to go for some time.
     
  16. Mar 22, 2021 at 10:54 AM
    #16
    importman

    importman New Member

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    I know this is old but, just thinking out loud. Wouldn't it be better to route the tranny cooling lines into and out if the radiator and then into and out of the tranny cooler? That way you'd have two coolers in series rather than just one. Might be a little more work but it would definitely keep the fluid cool.
     
  17. Mar 25, 2021 at 7:59 AM
    #17
    Toy Yoda

    Toy Yoda New Member

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    Yes, that is the correct way to route an aux cooler. The rad cooler first to cool the hot fluid (& heat it up when too cold) then the aux cooler to do the final extra cooling. & when at idle or low speeds an aux cooler does almost nothing since it needs air flow to work.

    Transmission-fluid-cooler-routing.jpg
     
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  18. Mar 26, 2021 at 7:28 AM
    #18
    captsolo

    captsolo New Member

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    I have 150,000 miles on my 2005 4runner - purchased from new. It's all OEM tranny and engine. Runs like new still.

    I've had several new cars other than Toyotas.

    IMO fooling around like proposed here could void your warranty and if you are not a good mechanic could ruin your engine/car.

    Just leave it alone until you run into a problem - like overheat or alarm/warning. These 4runners can go to 500,000 miles plus with just oil changes.

    Good luck anyway!
     
  19. Mar 26, 2021 at 8:40 AM
    #19
    Toy Yoda

    Toy Yoda New Member

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    Thanks for letting us know how many miles you have on your 4runner & that you've had several new cars other than toyotas. What does any of that have to do with this thread?? Maybe you can post a pic of a fish too?

    & What warranty does any 4th gen 4runner have? Can't void an expired warranty.

    How is preventative maint "fooling around" or adding a aux trans cooler going to cause any harm to the engine/car? Looks like he did a pretty good job & will avoid an overheat from a failing radiator or trans damage from towing or off roading with an added trans cooler... you know, like toyota uses on the V8's.

    To anyone reading this in the future, DO NOT take captn's advice & just wait until you have a problem, inspect parts on your vehicle & do preventative maint before you have a problem.
     
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2021
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  20. Mar 27, 2021 at 5:20 AM
    #20
    captsolo

    captsolo New Member

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    Toy Yoda garbage. Move along.

    He'll probably have more to blab about here. AH!
     
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2021
  21. Mar 27, 2021 at 8:20 AM
    #21
    Toy Yoda

    Toy Yoda New Member

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    "Garbage"= FACTS! Can't even address the statements huh? That's ok captn aka F150, typical nonsense from you as usual.
     

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