2005 Ram 1500 4.7L radiator replacement

9462 Views 2 Replies 1 Participant Last post by  vonirkinshtine
Backstory: I'm the second owner of my truck. In 2012 I was driving up to the mountains and overheated going up the "Saluda Grade". Got to the hotel and was low on coolant. Put water in it just to get me back home and took it into the dealership (I still had an extended warranty on it at the time). The told me the radiator was plugged so the ordered and installed a new one. Fast forward to late-fall of 2013 I've started to notice that sweet coolant smell coming from under my hood. I open my hood and low-and-behold I have a leak in the radiator somewhere because I'm hissing coolant from the bottom. I look closer and the joint between the plastic tank and aluminum core is leaking. I call the dealership and they start giving me a monumental run-around with regards to a defective part :doh: So, I said "screw it" and just bought a Mopar radiator from our friends here at Mopar Online Parts :smiley_thumbs_up:

Long story short...Friday I will be draining and yanking the radiator myself :SHOCKED:

I am open to advise from those of you who have done this repair before. I have been reading the factory service manual and it seems pretty straight-forward. I read a post here from a member who said that the trans cooler and PS cooler could be unbolted and held in place while the radiator was out, eliminating the need to disconnect and plug the lines? I hope that's true because that's what I'm going to try and do (needing "special tools" usually throws me project-ending curve balls).

Anywho, I will use this thread to post updates and pictures.

Wish me luck!
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Mission accomplished!

Ok...the factory service manual was worth diddly-squat for this task. I will post the FSM steps along with what I actually had to do to complete the install.

FSM said:
1. Disconnect batter nagative cables.
Sure, why not.

FSM said:
2. Drain the cooling system (Refer to 7 - COOLING - STANDARD PROCEDURE).
F%&* THAT! You need to drain the radiator, not the block. The radiators for the 3rd gen 3.7, 4.7, and 5.7 motors have a drain plug on the lower-driver's-side of the tank. I tried (for about 20 minutes) to remove the draincock from the block and it just was not going to happen.
There's plenty of unobstructed space beneith that drain to put a container to catch the coolant.

FSM said:
3. Remove the hose clamps and hoses from radiator.
If you don't already have a pair in your toolbox I HIGHLY recommend a pair of hose clamp pliers! I actually went out and bought a pair after about 10min of fighting with a pesky clamp. Also, be ready to do a lot of swearing. Even with the right tools those clamps can be a b*#&@ to get free. Put a bucket under the lower radiator hose. You'll still get quite a bit of fluid out of that hose even though you drained the radiator. This fluid will end up with junk in it because it splashed on chassis bits on the way down.

ME said:
Remove air box
This only takes a second to do and frees up quite a bit of space in the part of the engine bay you're working in.

FSM said:
4. Remove the coolant reserve/overflow tank hose from the radiator filler neck.
Yup, do that.

FSM said:
5. Remove the coolant reserve/overflow tank from the fan shroud (pull straight up). The tank slips into slots on the fan shroud.
This is pretty straight forward. There's two bolts on the shroud that come out, then the whole thing pulls straight up. Leave the wire pigtails and washer hose connected. There's enough slack that you can put these tanks where the air cleaner was.

FSM said:
6. Unclip the power steering hoses from the fan shroud.
Again, pretty straight forward.

FSM said:
7. Disconnect the electrical connectors at the windshield washer reservoir tank and remove the tank.
First off, you don't need to disconnect anything and you already did that in step 5.

FSM said:
8. Remove the fan shroud mounting bolts and pull up and out of the radiator tank clips. Position shroud rearward over the fan blades towards engine.
Do just like they say.

FSM said:
9. Disconnect the transmission cooler lines from the transmission cooler, then plug the transmission line and cooler to prevent leakage.
HELL NO! After you read step 10 I'll tell you what I did and it will save you a ton of headache.

FSM said:
10. Disconnected the power steering lines from the power steering cooler, then plug the power steering lines and cooler to prevent leakage.
INSTEAD, get some big zip-ties and run them between you trans cooler and radiator support. Pull them tight enough that they take the weight of the cooler BUT NO TIGHTER. Then take a couple more zip-ties and tie the power steering cooler to the trans cooler. Now, remove the one bolt from the trans cooler (passenger-side) and wiggle the ears free of the driver's-side. This is when you should also unclip the lines from the radiator (passenger-side). Next go under the truck and remove the two bolts from the bottom of the radiator that hold the power steering cooler in place. The two auxillary coolers should now happily hang out in front of your radiator.

FSM said:
11. Remove the two radiator upper mounting bolts.
Yup, do that.

FSM said:
12. Life the radiator straight up and out of the engine compartment.
That's all that's left!

I would say getting the coolant drained was the hardest part of this whole operation (mainly fighting with the hose clamps). Other than that it was really straight-forward. I can't think of anything that I need to warn you about during installation. You would have already wrestled through these 12 steps to get the thing out, so you should know what to expect when you put it all back together.

If you didn't already know this, after you fill your radiator back up with coolant, run the engine for a few minutes with the radiator pressure cap removed. Doing this will cycle all the air out of your cooling system (with all those hoses disconnected and a new, empty radiator installed there's A LOT of air in the system). If you don't do this your truck WILL overheat (and the radiator will still be cold and you'll think that your thermostat is bad and you'll change it and it won't fix the problem and you'll really be confused why your truck is overheating).


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Additional photos

For step 2:

For step 3:

Step 3a:

For step 5 and 7:

For step 10:
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