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Change radiator - 2002 Chevrolet Impala

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  • Chevrolet Master
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I pulled my radiator and condensor on my 2002 Impala with 3.8L.
I did a full write-up at:
http://www.naioa.com/v2/modules.php?name=Forums&file=viewtopic&t=31404
www.naioa.com in the Knowlege Database of the Forum.
You may have to register for free to get access?

Here's the text without the pictures:

2002 Impala LS w/ 3800 V6

Disclaimers:
References to bolt sizes are for the hex head or socket size and not the thread size.
I apologize for any errors or omissions.

Remove the cross braces.
Using a 13mm socket, remove the three bolts from each brace. The braces are located behind each headlight and attached to the fenders.

Remove the radiator over-flow clamp and hose

Remove battery.
It's always a good practice to remove the negative cable. I had to remove the battery later because the radiator wouldn't quite clear. So, while you have the 8mm socket out, take off the positive cable. Grab the 13mm again and remove the battery hold-down, and out with the battery.
Air Deflector
The lower air deflector is held on with five 10mm screws. I took mine off because I was working on the floor and it gave me quite a bit more clearance.

Remove air filter/box
Unplug the sensor in the rubber inlet tube.
Pull the inlet tube off the throttle body.
Unsnap the two clips for the air filter. Remove the filter cover and inlet tube.
Remove the air filter (Does it look OK? Well, at least shake it out a little.)
Remove the two 8mm bolts from the top of the box, and remove the top half of the box and exposing the control module.
Slide the control module out. (I choose to unscrew the two 7mm bolts and remove the ECM, but I don't think you need to.)
Grab the remaining half of the air box and pull it straight up. (There are two plastic pins under the box that are plugged into some rubber grommets in the body.)

Drain the radiator
Remove the radiator cap.
Open the drain plug located on the driver's side of the radiator; facing rewards.
(I chose to pull the lower radiator hose off to drain the radiator.)

Engine Cover
I removed the engine cover in order to have better access to the motor mount bolts..
Unscrew the oil filler cap AND tube from the valve cover.
Pull the engine cover up and forward.
Replace the oil filler tube and cap (to plug the hole).

Motor Mounts
I placed a jack and a piece of wood under the engine oil pan to support the engine before removing the upper motor mounts. (Many people think this is not such a good idea, and recommend using a strap across the top of the engine.)
For maximum clearance, you should remove the entire engine mount.
Using a 13mm socket remove the 4 bolts from each mount at the radiator support.
Use a 15mm(?) socket and wrench to remove the two cross bolts nearest the engine.
Fan Assembly
Remove the upper radiator hose from the radiator.
Remove the spring clip directly above the passenger fan
Remove the two top rubber mounts using a 10mm socket. There is one bolt for each mount.
Using the same 10mm socket, remove the two bolts on the sides, about halfway down the radiator.
Unplug both fans.
Unclip the wire harness for the fans in 3 places. (I hate those things, but try not to break them)
Unclip both transmission lines are from the bottom of the fan assembly.
The hardness part - remove the plastic trim retainer at the bottom of the fan assembly (to radiator), It is straight below the driver's side fan. This retainer can be accessed thru the oval hole of the lower radiator support (uncovered by removing the air deflector).
Two hooks on each side of the radiator are supporting the fan assembly. Lift the assembly up off the hooks and remove.

Radiator
If you have not done so already, you need to drain the radiator.
Unplug the coolant level sensor on the passenger side.
Remove the spring clamps and the upper and lower hoses with pliers or channel locks.
Remove the transmission lines. Twist and slide the plastic covers back from the line fittings. Remove the trans lines. (Watch for the washer-like seals that will fall out). Trans oil will come out. Try not to mix with your coolant.
Remove the radiator.

Installing the Radiator
Important! Remember the rubber upper mounts for the fan assembly? The 10mm bolts were screwed into a couple fold-over nuts that were clipped to the upper rad support. You need to find those nuts now! Mine were loose and one fell inside the rad support and then I managed to drop it between the radiator and the condenser.

Set the radiator in place. The two pins on the bottom of the radiator will fit into the rubber grommets in the lower rad support.
Make sure that the radiator isn't touching the condenser. There should be rubber at all four corners (from the condenser mounts). Use a flashlight and look between the radiator and condensor. I had an issue with the lower driver's side.
Attach the lower radiator hose.
Attach both transmission lines (w/ round seals)
Save the upper radiator hose and coolant overflow for later

Install the other parts in the reverse order of disassembly
Fan assembly
Motor mounts
Engine cover
Air filter box
Air deflector
Battery
Cross braces

Finally...
Attach the upper radiator hose.
Did you plug in the coolant sensor?
Did you attach the coolant overflow hose?
Radiator cap.
Check the transmission fluid level.
And don't forget the coolant...

Good luck!

Posted on Dec 09, 2010

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6ya6ya
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Posted on Jan 02, 2017

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