Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Shenandoah Valley
These radiators have plastic tanks with a seal and they are secured to the core by a crimp.
My '92 leaked a few years ago, I bought a new one from a big radiator specialty place and replaced it and all was good, then the next year it leaked so I called them, replaced no problem. Lifetime warranty.
Well, somehow during that period of time, I also aquired a 2003 Forester and it wad some minor damage and I got it cheap with a plan to fiox. It was minor crash damage, RF and twisted the radiator a hair and so I ordered al;l my parts, most from Subaru, and I ended up with an aftermarket radiator but from a competing supplier .... with "lifetime" warranty I was told. .... and after two years, it started leaking.
I called them, and called them again, and everytime I gott a ruinnaround. Wanted me to prove I had changed AF every year. No body does that! Finally, they said would sell me one 1/2 price, then told me the price.
I called the people whom I had dealt with before, they sent me one $7 cheaper.
Few days layter I got a call from the first company wanting to know what I decided, was a new guy. I told him what I found. I got the radiator from the good people and it was same exact make, just different people.
Well, I pulled the leaking one and decided since it wasn't being replaced, I'ld try tightening the crimp. I used small vice grips and set them so they closed just enough to tighten the fingers of the crimp just a hair. I snugged each finger the same, took a little while, then put that radiator back on fully expecting it to leak .... that was Fall of 2009. No leaks yet. Just had it out today. Still have a good new warrantied radiator in the box for backup.
I tell you this as maybe worth a shot, just do not get too crazy with the crimps. Just a little at each finger. Set a pair of vice grips and leave them set same so pressure of crimps is equal all around.
What''s it gonna do .... leak?
A fine pair ... ... and whatever you do, Have a Safe Trip!