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This is actually not too difficult.
I recommend replacing the upper, and lower radiator hoses while you are replacing the radiator if they are getting old.
1. Disconnect the battery.
2. Remove radiator fan (Some had two 10mm bolts at the top, and slots at the bottom, others had two more 10mm bolts on the bottom.) - And unplug the electrical connector.
3. Disconnect transmission lines (you will loose a bit of fluid)
You may also have two engine oil cooler lines that need removing (Also may loose some oil)
4. Remove upper and lower radiator hoses, and the overflow jug hose.
5. Unbolt radiator (should have two 8 or 10mm bolts connecting it to the radiator support near the top of the radiator)
6. Pull radiator up and out.
7. Reverse for reassembly
8. Refill radiator, I usually leave the top radiator hose loose while filling to remove air bubbles in the engine. - reconnect upper hose when fluid starts to get close to the radiator inlet. Some of these engines have a small brass air bleeder near the thermostat housing to accomplish this in a different way. Also fill the overflow jug about half way.
9. Check transmission, and engine oil. - Run engine, and watch for any leaks. - Recheck antifreeze just to be sure. Obviously don't open the radiator cap when the engine is hot.
Unplug one battery cable. Locate old air bag sensor near radiator support, which has the easy to locate yellow connector. Unhook yellow connector, remove bolt, then remove. Reverse order to reinstall, but don't forget to reattach batter cable.
With a 4.0-remove the air filter housing and unbolt the ECM (located under the air housing). I did not unbolt the harness connector to the ECM, I just moved to out of the way, but if you do decide to remove it, disconnect the battery first. Remove the rubber cover above the radiator, and unbolt the brackets above the radiator. Remove the headlights (both sides) to gain access to the bolts that hold the AC condenser to the radiator, then remove the lower air dam. Drain the radiator (drain plug is on the lower corner, driver side), it is somewhat easier if you remove the air intake grill on that side which is held in place by two screws. Unbolt the bolts that hold the radiator in place to the radiator frame, then unhook the top and bottom radiator hoses at the clamps. Unhook the harnesses from the fan radiators, and lift out the assemblies as a unit, it is a tight fit. From another user on Fixya.
2. Start by removing the air tube over radiator by pulling off the 2
small plastic clips attached over the radiator. There is also a sensor
connected on the bottom right side near the airbox, so don't just yank
3. Remove the airbox using the 10mm socket with 6" extension - there
are three 10mm bolts holding it down - two behind the airbox and one in
4. Undo the clips holding the wires for the fan and o2 sensor, then disconnect the connector for the fan.
5. Undo the single 10mm bolt holding the fan to the radiator on the
drivers side. Lift up on the left hand side and work the fan housing
out at an angle. Careful of the A/C lines - don't force it. The wire
clips may bind on the A/C lines, I removed the top wire clip and it made
it easier to get out.
6. Remove radiator cap and drain radiator. Simply turn the drain plug
on the passenger side and let it drain - it took about 10 minutes to
fully drain for me.
7. Undo the two 10mm bolts holding the radiator brackets using the deep well socket.
8. Drain block - single 10mm bolt under the lower radiator hose / thermostat housing.
9. Remove upper radiator hose.
10. Remove Lower radiator hose.
10a. If you have an automatic transmission
disconnect the cooler lines at this point, using a flare nut wrench.
If you cannot get them off, you can remove them at the transmission
side, and purchase new ones from the dealer. Plan on these not coming
off, if the car is more than 6 or 7 years old.
11. Remove the two 10mm bolts (one on driver side and one on passenger
side) holding the AC condenser to the front of the radiator. These can
be a pain to get off - lift the radiator and condenser as a unit out of
the rubber mounts to give you enough room to get a ratchet in there from
the front, under the bumper.
12. Lift up on the right side of the radiator to let it drain the rest
of the way (there will still be a little coolant left after you drained
13. Install new radiator. You may need to remove the metal clips for
the bolts off the old radiator and install them on the new one.
Reconnect the two 10mm bolts holding the condenser to the radiator on
the same way you took them off - this is a real pain. Reconnect the two
10mm bolts for the upper brackets of the radiator using the 10mm deep
14. Re-install the upper radiator mounts.
15. Install lower radiator hose. Now is a good time to replace the
hoses. Use hose grease to make it much easier to get them on. It is
also a good time to replace the clamps.
16. Install fan - be sure to re-clip the o2 sensor wire and fan wires,
otherwise they may get caught in the fan. Re-connect the fan connector.
17. Install new upper radiator hose. Before you install this it is a
good time to replace the ECTS if you still have the original plastic
tipped one, it's easier to get to.
17a. Auto Transmission - reconnect the cooler lines.
18. Reinstall airbox, air ducts, re-connect the air temperature sensor.
19. Refill radiator. You will need to check the level periodically over the next few days and add as necessary.
The procedure to replace radiator on 1999 VW Jetta is as follows:---
**Locate and remove the drain plug on the bottom of the radiator, and let the engine coolant drain into a resealable container. Then unplug the electrical connectors from the coolant fan and thermal switch. **Then carefully detach the release lever holding the front bumper, and take off the radiator grille. Remove all bolts holding the front bumper and take off the bumper. Disconnect the temperature sensor connector and if necessary remove the spoiler. **: Unhook the quick release couplings holding the coolant hoses to the radiator. Removing the screws securing the headlights and disconnect the headlights. If your Jetta is equipped with A/C, unfasten the A/C mounting bolts and the condenser bracket bolt on the left of the radiator. **: Remove the radiator mounting bolts and slide the radiator and fan by sliding them downward. Don't disconnect any refrigerant lines, if your Jetta has an air conditioning unit. **: Take the retaining clamps off the refrigerant lines and remove the bolts securing the refrigerant line from the side of the radiator. Be very careful that no hoses or lines are stretched or bent. Swing the radiator down and remove it from the vehicle. **: Replace the radiator and replace and reconnect all engine and electrical components and the fender and bumper in the reverse order. **: Then carefully fill the radiator with a mixture of half distilled water and half engine coolant. Start the vehicle and let it run for few minutes with the radiator cap off, in order to bleed air from the lines. Check the fluid level and top it off if necessary, then put on the radiator cap. ------Its done.
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Start by removing the shroud over the radiator area. There should be little plastic screws in it holding it on. Then drain the coolant from the old radiator. there should be a drain on the lower passenger side of the radiator facing the rear. looks like a white nut, turn that until fluid runs out. Make sure you have something available to catch the coolant. I used a small rubber hose attached to the end of drain to direct it to container. After all fluid has drained, disconnect the overflow hose running to the plastic bottle on right of radiator. Remove the 3 bolts holding the bottle in place, and remove. You will not have to remove fan and shroud from vehicle if you just remove the four bolts holding the blade itself to the pulley you can then slide them back far enough away from radiator to get it out. That will make things much easier. there are two other hoses that attach to the radiator 1 on upper passanger side and 1 on lower driver side, remove those. Then remove the two transmission cooling lines from the radiator and plug the ends to prevent dirt getting in. Once all hoses and lines are detached from radiator remove the two mounting bolts at top of the radiator where it attaches. Those are the only bolts holding it in. it rest inside grooves at bottom so you just pull up the radiator and you have it removed. Installation is the opposite of removal. Try to get your plastic (degas) bottle as clean as you can if your reusing . If radiator will not drain through plug for whatever reason, removing the lower driver side hose will drain very quickly but be ready for a rush of coolant. I hope this helps you out.
Follow the upper radiator hose back to the engine block....it should be attached to a domed-shaped connection that attaches to the engine with two bolts,....the thermostat should be under that flanged connection....Drain coolant out of radiator...then remove the bolts...and pull the metal flange away from the engine........pay attention to the way the thermostat is positioned....usually the side with the spring goes into the engine block...pull the old one out...replace with the new one....use a new gasket or use some calking compound..or RTV to keep it from leaking..replace bolts....refill radiator.
If you are planning to pull the engine, I would strongly suggest purchasing a Repair Manual specific to your car at your local auto parts store. They cost around 20 or so bucks and go into detail on how to perform all kinds of repair tasks... too lengthy to describe here.
I think it's always good to have a manual for your car anyway, if you're a do-it-yourself type person and plan on keeping the car a while.
Hope this helps... Good luck with your project!
First thing, drain your cooling system. Pull the radiator and the hoses. Take your trans. lines loose. There are little horse shoe type clips where they go into your radiator. You need to take the radiator out. Unhook your battery. Unhook all wiring on the top of the engine like alternator, throttle body, all your sensors. Drop your exhaust manifold pipes down. Take your torque convertor bolts out. Take all your bell housing bolts loose, be sure you support the trans. first. Hook a chain to your engine. Unhook your 2 engine mount bolts. You may want to take the fan assembly off of it. Separate the engine from the trans.. Don't pull too far up, but pull the engine up above the mounts, then pull forward toward the front of the truck. It's not too bad a job. Good luck! Phil
Maybe a little late, but you have to pull both fender liners so it is easier to get to the 3 nuts that hold the bumper to the fenders. There are 2 bolts that hold the bumper to the frame, one on each side underneath. There are 5 bolts that support th bumper to the reinforcement bar. It helps if you remove the air filter box. Once you removed the air filter box you need to remove the other 4 bolts from the second hood latch. The bumper should be ready to remove.