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96 Ram Radiator w/5.9 Gas


Smitty's Buick
10-10-2010, 08:50 PM
Greetings! The old 96 Dodge Ram 2500 with ~203K developed a new problem. The truck is seldom driven, and when it is, it is usually local. Not the best thing for the truck, I know.

The truck sprung a leak in the radiator at the joint where the cooling fins meet the header on the drivers side. I haven't dug in to see how bad the leak really is, but when I squeeze the hose, you can hear it blowing air out. When I tried to fill it with a bucket of water, it leaked out. You can see a steady stream running down the header where the steel is "rolled over".

My questions are -

1) Is there an easy way to fix these radiators, or is it designed to be pitched, much like everything else these days?

2) In contemplating getting one from a boneyard, is there anything to look for to "qualify" that the radiator is in good shape?

Since the truck sits more than it is driven, I don't have an urgent need to fix this right now, but it doesn't need to sit very long either.

Any ideas, direction, or general comments are welcomed! Thanks!

Smitty's Buick
(Yeah, I know this is a Dodge Forum) :)

Chris Stewart
10-11-2010, 07:18 PM
If it has plastic tanks, replace it.
When my '92 Bravada radiator failed, I replaced it with a new piece since I was keeping it.

Smitty's Buick
10-11-2010, 07:59 PM
Chris -
I'm not sure I know what you mean by "Plastic Tanks". Are you referring to the radiator headers?
Smitty's Buick

jd-autotech
10-11-2010, 08:07 PM
if the sides are plastic then there is no way to fix it but if its all metal it can be brazed, look in your phone book there are radiator repair shops all over the place

Chris Stewart
10-13-2010, 06:23 PM
Yes Smitty, I've seen them referred to as header & sides but most often as tanks.
Thanks JD.

Smitty's Buick
10-13-2010, 09:39 PM
Thanks, guys. I've done some more research and understand it a lot better. It kind of scares me that they've changed the way they make these radiators, but I guess if it's lasted 15 years, I'm doing OK.
Smitty's Dodge (Buick)

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