No one could be more surprised than me…

…to report that that went well!

This is easily the nicest day we’ve seen since Christmas. Full sun, temperature tickling the low fifties, light breeze. I thought I was going to regret not diving into this project yesterday, but that would have been an ordeal. Except for some hard-to-get-at bolts, this was actually kind of pleasant.

The radiator had shaken loose from both its side brackets, held on with tiny little bolts not at all suitable for holding heavy important things solid on a rock-climbing vehicle. Once it was loose it was probably a matter of days or at most weeks before it beat its solder joints open and started squirting coolant. The leak problem was definitely in the core.

I was never a very fast mechanic, and I gave up wrenching for a living more than 30 years ago so the whole thing took just shy of two hours but there are no drips and no parts left over. So I’m pleased with myself.

About Joel

You shouldn't ask these questions of a paranoid recluse, you know.
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9 Responses to No one could be more surprised than me…

  1. Mike says:

    You should be very pleased with yourself, Joel. Considering that when you were a wrench turner, you had access to a heated indoor garage with everything you needed. Now have to work outside, prey to the whim of uncle Murphy which, no mater the weather, is a challenge.

  2. Ben says:

    Miller Time! (or you could always just have a beer.)

  3. Mark Matis says:

    Two hours means it’s time to give TB some attention. Or pay the price…


    Congratulations! I hope this holds up well for a long time. I presume you put enough antifreeze into the system?

  4. Joel says:

    Yeah, I was almost out of antifreeze when this started so I bought two gallons expecting to lose more than I did through leakage before I could make the repair. So I filled the radiator with new 50/50 mix and let the engine run long enough to open the thermostat and fill the system. As soon as I finish getting dressed from my bath I’ll top it off.

  5. coloradohermit says:

    Based on mechanic work that DH and I did in the past, I’d say that 2 hours is record time. Congratulations. Don’t you love scratching things off the to-do list?

  6. Mark Matis says:

    By the way, did you Loctite those “tiny little bolts not at all suitable for holding heavy important things solid on a rock-climbing vehicle” so their loosification will be delayed to the extent practical?

  7. Terrapod says:

    Oh yes, the famous “no parts left over” test. Good thing too seeing the TJ’s are dirt basic bog standard easy to work on vehicles compared to virtually anything modern. I have grown familiar with front wheel drive with independent suspension out of necessity but they are a PITA to deal with. Give me 1970’s and older tech any day.

  8. Norman says:

    RE: Parts left over – way back when, Pat Goodman, the first on-site manager of Summit Point Raceway when it opened in the ’70s outside Charlestown, WVA, advocated that “the parts you leave off save you weight and cause you no trouble.” Pat never divulged if he followed such philosophy on his own race car, but frequently seen offering the advice to his competitors.

    I suspect radiator bolts will become one of the many frequently-checked maintenance points on the Jeep. Which reminds me: is there a periodic lubrication requirement for the Jeep’s drive shaft universal and front axle CV joints?

  9. Waependmann says:

    It was disappointing to me to discover the reason the radiator in my bearer F150 has fallen into the fan and been damaged was due to the radiator being secured to the mounting fram with plastic cable ties.
    You get what you inspect, not what you expect.
    The cable ties did last several years before failing.

To the stake with the heretic!