Leaking top radiator

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Leaking top radiator

Postby m.red » Tue Jun 28, 2016 4:25 pm

Hey guys,

First post on this forum, just brought myself a 2004 GT Liberty with a few mods. Coming from European cars all my life, it was one of the best choices i've made haha. Anyway, after a few weeks of owning it, I noticed a loss of coolant in a short period of time. Was beside myself as i thought it'd done a head gasket and being a uni student my bank account wouldn't be too fond of this. However i found a leak coming from the top of my radiator (pics attached), coolant has soaked into the foam above the radiator and you can see where it has spilled out from the plastic surround. Did some research and apparently this is a common problem? Does anyone have any advice or am i looking at a new radiator? Or is it just a leak from a reservoir? Sorry if this is a stupid question but i've worked on BMW's and Saab's all my life and this engine is just so foreign to me! :?

Cheers in advance!

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Re: Leaking top radiator

Postby tom_kauf » Fri Jul 01, 2016 2:10 pm


Yeah, the leaking radiators is fairly common. You basically have 3 options:
- Buy good used one from a wrecker (either local or posted to you from a wrecker if none are nearby). That'll be the cheapest option, especially since you are a Uni student. And while all stock radiators will probably fail eventually, some do a few 100,00kms so you will get good use out of even a used one.

- Buy new genuine Subaru replacement part, either from the dealer or an overseas parts supplier. Let me know if you want that a Part#. I don't know how much they are new, but if you're not in a hurry then an overseas genuine parts supplier like Partsouq.com will be cheaper (and freight usually arrives in 1 week).

- Buy an aftermarket full aluminum radiator that won't leak along the plastic end tanks. They are more expensive, and ones like Mishimoto can be $$$s at the moment because of the exchange rate. High quality ones like Mishimoto are a direct fit like the stock ones, but cheaper brands require some adjustments (eg to the hoses).
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Re: Leaking top radiator

Postby 04GTLIB » Mon Jul 04, 2016 7:35 pm

Welcome buddy.

Just had our 2.0ltr GT's radiator replaced through Lube Mobile, was $529 fitted with a 12 month warranty, I supplied new top and bottom hoses though.

Decent price I thought and I couldn't fault the guy he did a great job.

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Re: Leaking top radiator

Postby unabletoconnect » Tue Jul 05, 2016 8:42 am

Replaced mine via red devil radiators - they supplied & I fitted. Was like 275 from memory
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Re: Leaking top radiator

Postby Mr Bagus » Wed Aug 17, 2016 4:13 pm

Just had same problem on my MY04 2.5i. Got an exact matching stock radiator with 2 years warranty on Ebay for $135 delivered next day!. Fitted it about 2-3 hours with help from a great Youtube video.

Am selling the car so didn't want to invest in an alloy one, and the original lasted 12 years so was happy with this one - looks like original one.

The company which I used and recommend: http://www.ebay.com.au/usr/csssradiators

They originally had the wrong radiator listed for my car but when I received it and rang them, they sent me info to check exact radiator and sent correct one same day and organised pickup of wrong one. Great service from Daniel and they have now listed the correct model for my car.
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Re: Leaking top radiator

Postby ICE_BM » Mon Mar 27, 2017 11:37 am

You sure this post above ^^ isn't a promotion for that company css?
I looked there and the price is $300 plus freight, bit of a price jump in six months?

I have gone for the cheapest ebay one, will update once it arrives and write-up how the quality and fitment looks. Varying 'standard' alum/plastic ones from $130 to $400, not even bothered to enquire at dealer...
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Re: Leaking top radiator

Postby tkdbboy » Thu Mar 30, 2017 3:04 pm

Had the same issue on mine a year ago and got it replaced with an OEM style one for $400 fitted.
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Re: Leaking top radiator

Postby ICE_BM » Mon Nov 27, 2017 12:48 am

More than six months on, the cheap ebay one is good, I would do the same again.
I bought from "gpi_racing_manufactory", at the time it was $130 plus post, now looks like $150+.
Straightforward job to change this radiator yourself with any cheap socket set and a screwdriver, maybe some pliers to unclip the fan connectors.

Warnings and tips:
Be careful not to damage the aircond condenser core while pulling and pushing, that part is more expensive and not so easy to change yourself!
Do not ever mix coolants of different brand/type. If you don't know what you have in there, best do a full flush (including heater core) and replace with known product.
Regardless of what the coolant bottle says, only ever makeup coolant concentrate with distilled/demineralised water, just $1 per litre from the supermarket, cheapest car liquid you will ever buy, and worth every cent for the peace of mind. Makeup to correct ratios _outside_ the car before filling, (don't be tempted to tip concentrate direct into car).

Fill checking:
Initial fill to top, close cap, pump top hose with hand a few times, this will help remove some air (not all), check refill to top. Repeat until level stops falling.
Start/Run car with heater on hot until temp gauge reads 1/4, recheck levels after cool down. Do all this in driveway.
Only after all the above and you know cooling system is properly full should you road-drive the car.
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Re: Leaking top radiator

Postby 04_LibertyGT » Tue Nov 28, 2017 10:47 am

I had the same issue with mine when I bought it. First thing I did was to change it, the plastic tanks deteriorate with time by the looks of it. I used Natrad in Moorabin (for VIC folks). Cost me approx. $150 from memory. Straight and easy swap took probably 1-2 hours at the most.

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