Home > Fix your ride > How to: Change out the radiator for a Nissan Frontier.

How to: Change out the radiator for a Nissan Frontier.

Hello and welcome to another exciting episode of: fix your ride. Today we are going to cover how you’d go about replacing a radiator for a 1998 Nissan Frontier. Although you may not own a Nissan Frontier, the lessons presented in reference to radiator replacement is universally applicable to most cars. This issue was selected because I drive a Nissan Frontier, and it just so happens that my radiator decided to explode after just 200,000 miles of use, causing me to have to go out and replace the damn thing. I’ve enclosed a bunch of pictures taken during repair that will be arranged in chronological order. The level of difficulty involved with this process is just slightly harder than that of changing the oil. If you have any mechanical inclination whatsoever, you will do just fine.

Before delving into pictures, make a mental note of the few items listed below for a safer and more enjoyable repair experience: Firstly, before heading out to your favorite store, call to make sure that the radiator that fits your model car is available and in stock.  Secondly, pick up a radiator flush kit to rid any residual coolant in the system and pick up a gallon of coolant for after the installation. Thirdly, be sure that the vehicle has been off for awhile and that all engine components are cool to the touch.

Reverse the disassemble process to make whole your vehicle. Once everything is replaced, fill the new radiator with 50/50 water and antifreeze coolant. The aftermarket radiator that I purchased had a minor defect where the fan box was seated to the ledge. The distance of the rounded-rectangular cut out in the ledge where the pegs from the fan box were to have been inserted were off by 2mm. The 2 mm caused me an extra 20 minutes of improvised sawing to make the thing work. Best of luck with your radiator repair adventures. Feel free to drop a comment with further questions or concerns.

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  1. esteban reyna
    December 19th, 2011 at 20:45 | #1

    good job. great picks. no master mech. needed.

  2. April 24th, 2015 at 21:23 | #2

    Do you have any video of that? I’d love to find out some additional information.

    • Whizy
      May 2nd, 2015 at 12:24 | #3

      Unfortunately, I’ve not forayed into the field of video DIYing. All the best with your repair attempts, Friend.

  3. May 1st, 2015 at 16:01 | #4

    Thanks for the information! The radiator in my car badly needs to be changed out for a new one, so these instructions will help me to remove it without damaging my car. It’s a good thing that you posted information about what to do before picking up a new radiator. Calling an auto store to see if they have the right radiator for your car in stock seems like a good way to make sure that the process of swapping car parts goes more smoothly. I haven’t picked up my new radiator yet, so I’ll be sure to call and make sure that the radiator for my car is in stock and ready to be picked up before I do any work on my car.

    • Whizy
      May 2nd, 2015 at 12:22 | #5

      All the best with the radiator replacement, Deanna.

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