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1996 Ford Explorer Radiator Removal

I can't seem to figure out how to seperate the engine radiator from the air conditining radiator. They are connected by what appears to be a sleeve on the top, right hand side, (facing the engine from the front). There must be a simple way. I'm replacing the water pump and the fan clutch and am going to send the radiator to a shop to be flushed. Please help.

Thank you.

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  • kenm007 Jul 24, 2008

    I am looking for the tabs that disconnect the raditor from the condenser in my 5 letter V8 explorer.



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You don't need to knock out the tabs.
The problem is that the condenser connector is fit through the holding bracket and that locks the two pieces together.
First, remove the bolts holding the shield in place and push it out of the way. Take out the two bolts on each side. The lower one on the RHS (drivers side) is into the lower tab. There is a tab on the lower left that pops out and allows the LHS to separate. Then, move the radiator as far to the right as possible. On the bottom right, there is a small tab that fits into the radiator tank ridges. pry that out and push it to the front of the car. Now, take a long punch, rod or screwdriver and drive the upper tab out toward the center of the radiator. Do the same with the middle tab. This separates the radiator from the AC condenser.
You can put it back together like it was, but I cut about an inch out of the front side of that bracket so that the AC connector can be pushed through it. I had to take it out a second time and was very happy about that modification.
This is a poor design and the slot cut really helps.

Posted on Jul 01, 2008

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Both solutions really helped. However, the tabs are so tight, I'm afraid of breaking them but I guess its the only way. This is rediculous. Anything to make the dealership and mechanics more oney. They wanted $600 to replace what I should be able to do for $180 at the max. Thanks so much. It took me a very long time to find this site.


Posted on Oct 04, 2008


I replaced the radiator in my '97 Explorer and had to break the mounting tabs on the driver's side to separate the two parts. Ford installs both parts as one unit to cut production costs and passes the pain along to the repairman. If you're reinstalling the same radiator then I don't know how to do that without breaking it.

Posted on Dec 02, 2007

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Posted on Jan 02, 2017

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