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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi guys,

New member here who just inherited a 1998 4DR 2WD and it's such an honest car .. 115000 miles and still kicks pretty strong.

Went to do a tune up and when I got to the cooling system .. I just found rust ... everywhere. In the overflow bottle and on the cap and filler neck of the radiator itself. Best guess is this system wasn't well looked after. I found this forum and have been perusing for a week now for some info.

Some questions:

1) Too much rust in the radiator .. ordered a new rad just to be safe. I literally found 1 video with some Aussie who managed to take the rad out without discharging the AC. Any other success stories like this? Video did not show him actually putting a new rad back .. just removal. Another tutorial showed a guy actually cutting off the cross member support to make room. Probably won't do that.

2) In the meantime, I wanted to flush and fill, flush and fill, flush and fill with a rad cleaner. which heater hose is the inlet/outlet when looking towards the firewall? left or right? Saw the sticky where it pointed the heater hoses, but didnt denote which was inlet or outlet.

3) thermostat! 50/50 says you dont need to remove the alternator to get at it, but I see where problems aros with the lower housing bolt because of the oil filter and AC onnection. I think I can get it without alternator removal (but obviously oil filter neds to be removed), but what kind of tool did you guys use? The open end on my wrench seems like it'll round it off and i have those nifty ratchet end on the other side so the wall is too thick to fit around the nut.


I like searching for the info and no stranger to forums, but ive been at it for days with not a conclusive answer to these things.
 

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Registered
Joined
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162 Posts
Hi guys,

New member here who just inherited a 1998 4DR 2WD and it's such an honest car .. 115000 miles and still kicks pretty strong.

Went to do a tune up and when I got to the cooling system .. I just found rust ... everywhere. In the overflow bottle and on the cap and filler neck of the radiator itself. Best guess is this system wasn't well looked after. I found this forum and have been perusing for a week now for some info.

Some questions:

1) Too much rust in the radiator .. ordered a new rad just to be safe. I literally found 1 video with some Aussie who managed to take the rad out without discharging the AC. Any other success stories like this? Video did not show him actually putting a new rad back .. just removal. Another tutorial showed a guy actually cutting off the cross member support to make room. Probably won't do that.

2) In the meantime, I wanted to flush and fill, flush and fill, flush and fill with a rad cleaner. which heater hose is the inlet/outlet when looking towards the firewall? left or right? Saw the sticky where it pointed the heater hoses, but didnt denote which was inlet or outlet.

3) thermostat! 50/50 says you dont need to remove the alternator to get at it, but I see where problems aros with the lower housing bolt because of the oil filter and AC onnection. I think I can get it without alternator removal (but obviously oil filter neds to be removed), but what kind of tool did you guys use? The open end on my wrench seems like it'll round it off and i have those nifty ratchet end on the other side so the wall is too thick to fit around the nut.


I like searching for the info and no stranger to forums, but ive been at it for days with not a conclusive answer to these things.


I recently had my Toyota dealer replace my radiator, due to MULTIPLE areas of seepage and cracks in the plastic upper tank ALL the way across. They told me they had to discharge the air con system and remove the condenser to gain access. Shortly after, my condenser fan motor failed and I decided to tackle that myself. I soon discovered that the radiator CAN be removed without having to discharge the condenser. Here is the link to my post about removing both cooling fans mounted on the radiator:
http://www.rav4world.com/forums/94-4-1-d-i-y-modifications/194778-easy-way-remove-cooling-fans.html
Once you have the fans removed, all you would need to do is disconnect the radiator hoses and the radiator can then be removed. I remember looking at it and it seems that if you lift the radiator up to the lower plastic tank, in front of the upper radiator support, tilt the driver's side of radiator up and away from the car, then slide the passenger side with the lower/outlet hose connection the opening on the driver's side, and it should be able to be maneuvered out. I'm not sure on the thermostat, the dealer did mine when they replaced my rad. On the heater hoses, you can figure out the inlet/outlet by starting the engine from cold and monitoring the temperature of both hoses. Whichever feels warm first is the inlet. Hope this helps!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks. I ended up taking it to a local mechanic to get the thermostat housing off. My Craftsman box end 10mm 6pt. wasn't cutting it. I'm sure an extreme offset stubby would work, but couldn't trust the angle and risk rounding off the nut.

I also ended up getting the timing belt and waterpump done at the same time since I wasn't sure when it was done last. Radiator doesn't leak so i'm sure my 9x flush and fill effectively removed most of the rust in the radiator.
 
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