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Sometimes car repairs beat you down #5372484 03/10/20 01:12 PM
Joined: Mar 2012
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E150GT Offline OP
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So my Buick was leaking a bit of coolant at the radiator when the metal and plastic meet. No big deal. I'll order up a new radiator. Debated a bit about aftermarket and OEM and decided to save the $100 based on reviews. Well the job sucked pretty bad. Did it over the weekend. Got it all back together and filled it up with new coolant. Bled the system and let the car cool down so I could go check the level in the radiator before I call the repair good after a few hours of cooling I went to remove the radiator cap and it broke. The cap is a screw down and the part that screws down came off but the cap internals stayed stuck in the fill spout of the radiator. Not good. I tried and tried to get it out and when I finally did I must have damaged the radiator enough because it won't seal with a new cap. It leaks. That's a real bummer. I know I could do the job again in a lot less time but I really don't want to. I'm sure this all happened because the aftermarket radiator spout is just a hair smaller on the inside than the OE and my OE cap got stuck. I tried to save $100 and now I'm screwed and have to buy another radiator.


1984 Mercedes-Benz 300SD - 100k
1995 F150 XL 4.9 reg cab 5MT - 251k 5w30
2016 Mazda6 Touring 6MT - 68k 5w30
2006 Buick Lucerne CXL 3.8 40k 5w30
Re: Sometimes car repairs beat you down [Re: E150GT] #5372487 03/10/20 01:16 PM
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Ws6 Offline
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Early in my career, I tried to do the "buy a solid car and keep it" thing. I bought a 2002 Infiniti G20. It actually suited its purpose quite well at the time, but due to sheer age and some flawed design features, it would have been cheaper for me to buy a new model and make the payments than to keep it on t he road, and I sold it about a year and a half later.


2019 CX5 Grand Touring Reserve
Re: Sometimes car repairs beat you down [Re: E150GT] #5372497 03/10/20 01:31 PM
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benjy Offline
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girlfriends oil burning 2.5L malibu took a radiator as well + a water pump, traded the GM junk with just over 60 thou!! vehicles today are a crap shoot for sure + simpler is better IMO!

Re: Sometimes car repairs beat you down [Re: E150GT] #5372503 03/10/20 01:37 PM
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samven Offline
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If you do your own wrenching its just a matter of time. I hate it when I am doing a voluntary repair that really isnt necessary and end up damaging an expensive part or breaking a bolt head off. A $10 1 hour repair turns into a $100 all day, break your knuckles swear fest.

Re: Sometimes car repairs beat you down [Re: samven] #5372550 03/10/20 02:17 PM
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Lolvoguy Offline
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Originally Posted by samven
A $10 1 hour repair turns into a $100 all day, break your knuckles swear fest.

LOL
Amen to that!


06 Lexus IS350- Wife
88 BMW 325is- Mistress
Say "no" to Turbo!
Re: Sometimes car repairs beat you down [Re: E150GT] #5372584 03/10/20 02:59 PM
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skyactiv Offline
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I had the fun once of putting in a used transmission from a salvage yard in which the salvage yard unit was also shot. So I had to do it twice.


Wife: 15' Audi A4 quattro 6 speed manual
Me: 18' Elantra Sport 6 speed manual
The rude guy that points out reality


Re: Sometimes car repairs beat you down [Re: E150GT] #5372610 03/10/20 03:32 PM
Joined: Aug 2009
Posts: 2,584
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Gasbuggy Online Content
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I had to do the Ford 4.6 intake manifold job 4x on my Crown Vic, which is regarded as not fun.

First R&R intake for new Ford Performance unit. Leaked at the rear.

R&R again, follow torque procedure ultra closely after double checking everything else. Leaks.

Remove new manifold again, check mating surfaces, the manifold mating surface is out of spec, Ford wanted it shipped back to them to test and decide on if they will replace it. (This takes weeks) My car needs to move, I JB weld the old manifold and install it, drive the car somewhere it can sit for a while.

Manifold comes back, Ford Racing says it was fine, use Motorcraft gaskets not FelPro(I bought the most expensive FP gaskets that everyone on the forum says to use), I notice that the gasket surface looks slightly resurfaced now... (thanks Ford)

R&R 4th time now.

Finally, no more leaks.


Cadillac CTS-V 6.2L 10w30PP
Volvo P1800 Euro L
76 Mercedes 300D Rotella T4
Series III Land Rover VWB
02 Yukon 10w30 PP
01 P71 M1 EP-HM 0W20
95 Accord - 386k. Mobil 2 RIP
Re: Sometimes car repairs beat you down [Re: E150GT] #5372627 03/10/20 03:43 PM
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Eddie Offline
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I would try to seal the cap on permanently with a glue or sealant that is good for 250 F. Worth a try before getting another new radiator. . Ed

Last edited by Eddie; 03/10/20 03:44 PM. Reason: Add information

2014 CX5 Touring 2.5L :-)
Re: Sometimes car repairs beat you down [Re: E150GT] #5372671 03/10/20 04:22 PM
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Cujet Offline
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In years past, I used aftermarket parts religiously. Believing that many of them were better than OEM, parts such as Moog ball joints and so on. It was not difficult to find the quality stuff and weed out the junk.

However, there is no question that the quality aftermarket parts industry has been overtaken by imported low quality copies.

I've learned to simply purchase OEM parts from an online retailer, often a Ford, Mazda or Honda dealership, that offers a discount.

Interestingly, I've had OEM replacement parts far outlast the original installation, as some OEM parts are improved to solve problems.


People who count on their fingers should maintain a discreet silence.
Re: Sometimes car repairs beat you down [Re: skyactiv] #5372678 03/10/20 04:30 PM
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HyundaiAbuser Online Content
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Originally Posted by skyactiv
I had the fun once of putting in a used transmission from a salvage yard in which the salvage yard unit was also shot. So I had to do it twice.

Very first wrenching job I did was this on my B4k. Took my even less experienced friend and I 2 months to fully complete. Next thing I did was thermostat and guess what. Stripped the aluminum, now the thermostat is held in with self drilling roofing screws but have had no problems in the two years. Had to initially redo the job 4x due to string of bad thermostats. What made it especially bad was the fan clutch refused to come off and I had to angle a u joint in there. I’d replace the transmission again before I went about it that way for a 5th time.


03 Hyundai Tiburon:
PP High Mileage 5w30
Amsoil MTG
94 Mazda B4000
Supertech 10w40 High Mileage
Valvoline Dex/Merc
Re: Sometimes car repairs beat you down [Re: E150GT] #5372722 03/10/20 05:24 PM
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slacktide_bitog Online Content
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At least you can easily get an OEM radiator at a fair price smile

Re: Sometimes car repairs beat you down [Re: E150GT] #5372799 03/10/20 06:40 PM
Joined: Jun 2014
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Vern_in_IL Offline
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On today's cars. Not much can go wrong other than:

Fuel pump fail
Water pump leak/locked-locked up
Alternator/Regulator fail
transmission fail/slip

I've never had a engine fail before the above list. and it's probably the fuel pump that will leave you stranded, all the others have "warning signs" so just set aside $4,000 for the largest expense(transmission replace w/ new unit)

About the only time I've seen a radiator start leaking, is after some collision impact.

Last edited by Vern_in_IL; 03/10/20 06:42 PM.
Re: Sometimes car repairs beat you down [Re: Vern_in_IL] #5372809 03/10/20 06:49 PM
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caprice_2nv Offline
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Originally Posted by Vern_in_IL
On today's cars. Not much can go wrong other than:

Fuel pump fail
Water pump leak/locked-locked up
Alternator/Regulator fail
transmission fail/slip

I've never had a engine fail before the above list. and it's probably the fuel pump that will leave you stranded, all the others have "warning signs" so just set aside $4,000 for the largest expense(transmission replace w/ new unit)

About the only time I've seen a radiator start leaking, is after some collision impact.


How about electrical problems, key fobs, expensive radios that the car requires to run, power window motors, starters (some inside the intake manifold like my girlfriend's Hyundai), alternator, thermostat, head gaskets, air conditioning, electric power steering (that has sent a few late model cars to the junkyard), I could keep coming up with more if I think about it.


84 Olds Cutlass - 350 Olds
83 Chevy Caprice - 305 Sbc
05 Silverado 1500 4wd - 4.8/4L60E
79 Honda CX500
Re: Sometimes car repairs beat you down [Re: Cujet] #5372816 03/10/20 06:56 PM
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caprice_2nv Offline
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Originally Posted by Cujet
In years past, I used aftermarket parts religiously. Believing that many of them were better than OEM, parts such as Moog ball joints and so on. It was not difficult to find the quality stuff and weed out the junk.

However, there is no question that the quality aftermarket parts industry has been overtaken by imported low quality copies.

I've learned to simply purchase OEM parts from an online retailer, often a Ford, Mazda or Honda dealership, that offers a discount.

Interestingly, I've had OEM replacement parts far outlast the original installation, as some OEM parts are improved to solve problems.


Definitely the quality of everything has taken a [email protected] I am about to replace the starter drive in the third lifetime warranty ac Delco starter. I already replaced the solenoid. I gave up on the lifetime warranty and starter replacing the parts with stuff from the local rebuilder as they fail. Eventually it will stop failing. I had them rebuild my 1980s original Oldsmobile starter in the Cutlass a few years back and it's been flawless.

Also I replaced one upper ball joint (the original) in my 83 Caprice about 5 years ago. The other original upper wore out last year finally and the replacement Moog problem solver also has play again. The lowers are still original. I'll leave them until they actually wear out. Still good at 240k miles. The Cutlass has original lowers at around 220k.

Last edited by caprice_2nv; 03/10/20 06:59 PM.

84 Olds Cutlass - 350 Olds
83 Chevy Caprice - 305 Sbc
05 Silverado 1500 4wd - 4.8/4L60E
79 Honda CX500
Re: Sometimes car repairs beat you down [Re: E150GT] #5376576 03/15/20 01:04 AM
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HangFire Offline
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Originally Posted by E150GT
So my Buick was leaking a bit of coolant at the radiator when the metal and plastic meet. No big deal. I'll order up a new radiator. Debated a bit about aftermarket and OEM and decided to save the $100 based on reviews. Well the job sucked pretty bad. Did it over the weekend. Got it all back together and filled it up with new coolant. Bled the system and let the car cool down so I could go check the level in the radiator before I call the repair good after a few hours of cooling I went to remove the radiator cap and it broke. The cap is a screw down and the part that screws down came off but the cap internals stayed stuck in the fill spout of the radiator. Not good. I tried and tried to get it out and when I finally did I must have damaged the radiator enough because it won't seal with a new cap. It leaks. That's a real bummer. I know I could do the job again in a lot less time but I really don't want to. I'm sure this all happened because the aftermarket radiator spout is just a hair smaller on the inside than the OE and my OE cap got stuck. I tried to save $100 and now I'm screwed and have to buy another radiator.

Please tell us the brand of radiator you bought.


Various musings: http://hangfire.net
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