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Toyota Tundra Radiator Replacement

Updated on June 3, 2014

Wanting information on how to replace the radiator in a Toyota Tundra V8? This guide details a replacement on a 2004 Tundra V8 Limited Double Cab but should work well as a guide for 2000 - 2006 V8 Tundras. Just make sure to get the right replacement radiator part and the rest is pretty easy.

Included here is a schematic, photos and instructions to help you see the process.

Schematic

Source
Brand new radiator ready to go ... I used a Denso part# 221-0518.  Quality and fit was good.
Brand new radiator ready to go ... I used a Denso part# 221-0518. Quality and fit was good.
Slow leak that was never dripping to the ground, I just noticed the residue and coolant level slowly dropping.
Slow leak that was never dripping to the ground, I just noticed the residue and coolant level slowly dropping.
With a catch pan underneath drain the radiator fluid.
With a catch pan underneath drain the radiator fluid.
Disconnect the 1) Upper radiator hose and 2) Radiator reservoir hose
Disconnect the 1) Upper radiator hose and 2) Radiator reservoir hose
Disconnect the 1) Lower radiator hose and 2) both of the Automatic Transmission (A/T) cooler hoses
Disconnect the 1) Lower radiator hose and 2) both of the Automatic Transmission (A/T) cooler hoses
Remove the bolts holding the radiator in, there are 4 total with 2 on each side (only 2 are visible in this photo).  The Tabs will hold the radiator in place even when the bolts are removed.
Remove the bolts holding the radiator in, there are 4 total with 2 on each side (only 2 are visible in this photo). The Tabs will hold the radiator in place even when the bolts are removed.
The engine compartment after lifting the radiator and fan shroud out together.
The engine compartment after lifting the radiator and fan shroud out together.
The old radiator and fan shroud, remove the shroud and re-install on the new radiator
The old radiator and fan shroud, remove the shroud and re-install on the new radiator
Close up of the slow leak in the old radiator
Close up of the slow leak in the old radiator
New radiator installed!
New radiator installed!

Alternative Tundra Replacement Radiator

Tools Needed

  • Catch pan
  • Pliers
  • 10mm and 12mm sockets with ratchet and (optionally) extensions
  • Phillips screwdriver

Precautions

Perform a radiator replacement ONLY when the engine is completely cool and not running. For safety wait several hours (or overnight) for the engine to cool.

Inspect your hoses carefully and replace them if needed. Depending on the age of your vehicle this might be a prudent step.

Removal

1) REMOVE THE ENGINE UNDER COVER/SKID PLATE

Remove the 4 or 5 bolts holding the skid plate on and remove the skid plate.

2) DRAIN THE ENGINE COOLANT

Loosen the radiator cap and place a catch pan below the radiator drain plug and loosen the plug to drain the radiator.

3) DISCONNECT THE RADIATOR RESERVOIR HOSE FROM THE RADIATOR

This is the small hose at the top of the radiator connecting to the white overflow/fill tank.

4) DISCONNECT THE UPPER AND LOWER RADIATOR HOSES FROM THE RADIATOR

Using pliers, squeeze the pinch clamps on the upper and lower radiator hoses and remove the hoses.

5) DISCONNECT THE AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION (A/T) OIL COOLER HOSES FROM THE RADIATOR

On the bottom of the radiator disconnect the 2 smaller lines which are the automatic transmission cooler lines. Keep in mind the fluid in these is AT fluid, not coolant so you may want to use a separate catch pan for any dripping. There should only be a few drops of fluid that leak out of these.

6) REMOVE THE LOWER FAN SHROUD

There are 2 small clips that hold a semi-circular piece on the fan shroud, removing these allows you to pull the radiator straight up and out of the engine compartment. Save the clips for re-install later.

7) REMOVE THE RADIATOR ASSEMBLY

There are 4 bolts holding the radiator in place which need to be removed. There are also 2 tabs that hold the radiator in place so you can remove the 4 bolts without the radiator dropping out. Once the bolts are removed you can lift the entire radiator assembly straight up and out of the engine compartment, being careful to not hit the fan or snag any of the loose hoses.

8) REMOVE THE MAIN FAN SHROUD

Once the radiator assembly is removed you can remove the fan shroud by removing the 4 bolts holding it on to the radiator. These will be reused for installing on the new radiator.

Reinstallation And Refill

1) INSTALL THE MAIN FAN SHROUD ON NEW RADIATOR

Using the 4 bolts, install the main shroud on the new radiator.

2) INSTALL RADIATOR ASSEMBLY BACK INTO VEHICLE

Carefully lower the new radiator into the engine compartment and set the bracket tabs back into the support holes. Be careful not hit the new radiator surface on anything.

Install the 4 bolts, torque to 9 ft lbs.

3) INSTALL THE LOWER FAN SHROUD

Replace the lower shroud with the clips.

4) CONNECT AUTOMATIC TRANS (A/T) COOLER HOSES

5) CONNECT LOWER AND UPPER RADIATOR HOSES

6) CONNECT RADIATOR RESERVOIR HOSE

7) FILL ENGINE WITH COOLANT

Toyota recommends using only Toyota Super Long Life 50/50 Coolant (red stuff) which can be found at your dealership or online (see Amazon links here). At about $25/gallon it's not cheap but should last a long time. My new radiator took just a little over 1 gallon to refill it (if your old coolant is in decent shape and you're careful about catching it in your drain pan you can reuse a small amount of it to top off the radiator and thus do not have to buy 2 gallons).

8) START ENGINE AND CHECK FOR LEAKS

Re-check the coolant level and adjust if necessary

9) INSTALL THE ENGINE UNDER COVER/SKID PLATE



Video

Here is a nice video tutorial to see how it's done, but just FYI in this video they remove the air intake and remove the fan shroud while in the engine compartment. I did NOT have to remove the air intake and removed the radiator and shroud together as per the Toyota intstructions.

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