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Radiator change

Discussion in '3rd Gen 4Runners (1996-2002)' started by Ahdofu, Mar 27, 2021.

  1. Mar 27, 2021 at 6:44 PM
    #1
    Ahdofu

    Ahdofu [OP] New Member

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    My 97 4Runner has 217K miles. In all these year I have replaced the radiator fluid three times but the radiator itself is original. I am curious on whether others may have found it necessary to replace theirs and at what age. On my 4Runner the temp gauge stabilizes at half-way. Is this consistent what you are seeing?
     
  2. Mar 27, 2021 at 7:30 PM
    #2
    SR5 Limited

    SR5 Limited New Member

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    Yes ur due. And the upper coolant hose gets weak...
     
    SlvrSlug likes this.
  3. Mar 28, 2021 at 7:52 AM
    #3
    SlvrSlug

    SlvrSlug New Member

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    I agree with SR5, the radiator may look fine, but the plastic parts crack or fail.
     
  4. Mar 28, 2021 at 11:02 AM
    #4
    Kwikvette

    Kwikvette New Member

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    Stock
    That gauge is somewhat of a dummy gauge; running a dedicated temp sensor will give you accurate results.

    As for the radiator, I would've replaced it long ago as those in the 4Runner came from a different manufacturer than those for a Tacoma.

    They are more susceptible to getting a 'pink milkshake' where the inside of the radiator fails and transmission fluid and coolant mix.

    Even then, over time, the plastic tank up top tends to split like it did in my Tacoma -

    1.jpg

    2.jpg

    3.jpg
     
  5. Mar 28, 2021 at 11:11 AM
    #5
    Ahdofu

    Ahdofu [OP] New Member

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    Thanks for all the replies. Do you have a favorite aftermarket provider or do you go to Toyota? I Typically grab Denso parts and I see one at RockAuto for $100.
     
  6. Mar 28, 2021 at 11:33 AM
    #6
    PhantomTweak

    PhantomTweak New Member

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    None. Bone Stock. EXCEPT: Brushguard, tow hitch, both welded to the frame. It's good to have friends and a fully equipped garage!
    Check with the CSF. They are a great radiator company, and make all metal radiators. Rock Auto doesn't have an all-metal listed for the 97, but I wager if you check CSF's website, you'll find the one that's for your truck. Toyota used the same radiator for a lot of different years, so maybe...
    I like the all-metal radiators much better than the ones with the plastic tanks. They seem to last pretty well. I have one on my pickup I got 25 years ago, a 3-core I bought in Yuma, a VERY hot place, and it's still working fine. I had one on my 87 4Runner for the same reason, but the top tank blew off one day, after I had moved up here to Oregon. Really spectacular :D
    I still like the all metal. Blowing off the tank after 25 years isn't bad at all!

    I change all 3 hoses once a year, and flush every 3-4 years. ONLY use the Toyota Red coolant. The green stuff tends to rust the engine a lot worse than the red. The green seems to encourage, or at least not slow, differential metal corrosion between the iron block, and the aluminum head(s)

    Obviously, just my personal experience. Good luck!
    Pat☺
     
  7. Mar 28, 2021 at 11:53 AM
    #7
    Ahdofu

    Ahdofu [OP] New Member

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    Hi Pat,
    I just tried CSF. I don't see one listed for my 4Runner. Did send an email though.
     
  8. Mar 28, 2021 at 12:34 PM
    #8
    SR5 Limited

    SR5 Limited New Member

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    That’s exactly where mine split....,Rather there instead of the trans cooler.:)
     
  9. Mar 29, 2021 at 12:24 PM
    #9
    negusm

    negusm New Member

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    I replaced mine at 125k as it went bad from the top somewhere. I got a Advance Auto one with lifetime warranty. The lifetime Advance one went bad at 250k. Got another for free. No pink milkshake either time.

    I'd love an all metal one for a replacement.
     
  10. Mar 29, 2021 at 12:37 PM
    #10
    PhantomTweak

    PhantomTweak New Member

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    None. Bone Stock. EXCEPT: Brushguard, tow hitch, both welded to the frame. It's good to have friends and a fully equipped garage!
    Toyota did use the same radiator for a lot of different years. CSF might well say something like "Oh, the one for the 87s will fit your trick fine!"
    That's just an example, BTW :D

    I wish you all the best!
    Pat☺
     
  11. Mar 29, 2021 at 3:58 PM
    #11
    Ahdofu

    Ahdofu [OP] New Member

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    Thanks for the suggestion. Buying things mail order especially something as bulky as a radiator, is a risk. Grabbing one locally helps mitigate that.
    Matt
     
  12. Mar 30, 2021 at 12:07 PM
    #12
    PhantomTweak

    PhantomTweak New Member

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    None. Bone Stock. EXCEPT: Brushguard, tow hitch, both welded to the frame. It's good to have friends and a fully equipped garage!
    I went to a local radiator shop in Yuma when I put the 3-core, all metal ones into my trucks. I told them what I wanted, exactly. 3-core, all metal, 1987 Toyota Pickup, 22R engine, and a 4Runner, 22RE engine. They went in back, and came out with the perfect fit and function radiators. Same radiator goes in either truck, which is handy.

    Even if the shop doesn't have the exact radiator you need, they probably have sources you can't find. Some shops will even make one custom for you, for a bit of cash, if they can't get one any other way.

    Good luck!
    Pat☺
     
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  13. Apr 2, 2021 at 7:07 PM
    #13
    Ahdofu

    Ahdofu [OP] New Member

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    Last edited: Apr 3, 2021
  14. Apr 5, 2021 at 7:56 AM
    #14
    negusm

    negusm New Member

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    Oh baby. It has the transmission cooler too! I know what I'm getting for the next 375k mile T-Belt change.

    My current one only has 10k miles on it. I might need to buy it now and store it for 10 years.
     
  15. Apr 5, 2021 at 8:17 AM
    #15
    SR5 Limited

    SR5 Limited New Member

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    Don’t do it. Wait five years after Ahdofu reports back how it’s holding up...,...,. Not as good as original Denso!!!
     
  16. Apr 5, 2021 at 11:21 AM
    #16
    negusm

    negusm New Member

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    My anecdotal experience disagrees. My original Denso leaked at 125k miles.

    I can't see that plastic is ever going to be as good as an all-metal rad.
     
    PhantomTweak likes this.
  17. Apr 12, 2021 at 7:42 AM
    #17
    PIG20

    PIG20 New Member

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    Do it now. Very easy job for the most part. I had mine swapped out and installed in around a hour and a half. Inexpensive and very much worth it to make sure you don't end up with the dreaded "pink milkshake".
     
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  18. May 3, 2021 at 6:07 PM
    #18
    t4rino

    t4rino New Member

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    Did you end up getting the champion ? I'm installing the denso plastic radiator tonight
     
  19. May 3, 2021 at 8:49 PM
    #19
    Ahdofu

    Ahdofu [OP] New Member

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    No I bought one from Advanced Auto. It comes with a lifetime warranty but my primary reason for buying from Advanced Auto was that they are local and this allowed me to examine the radiator before I left the store.
     
  20. May 5, 2021 at 2:20 PM
    #20
    treyus30

    treyus30 New Member

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    ~In restoration mode~
    I don't know why you'd be replacing fluid and not finding a leak somewhere if it was your radiator.
    On my Tacoma it was obvious because a white residue was all over the place and you could smell it when the fan turned on (engine on). You could have a head gasket failure.
     

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