1991 Oldsmobile Cutlass right replacement radiator?

Engine Cooling problem
1991 Oldsmobile Cutlass 6 cyl Automatic

I purchased a replacement radiator for a 1991 Oldsmobile Cutlass Ciera, and when I took it out of the box, it looked a little bit different from the one that's in the car (don't know if one in car is original or replacement). I'm pretty sure it's right, but I want to be sure before I install it, so I can exchange it if I need. (Trying to replace before Monday, so I can't just call to ask) It's got plastic reservoirs on either end, and those have rubber stoppers in them. I know different radiators for this car have oil and transmission outlets, but mine is without either of those. Is that maybe what those stoppers are for, and I've got the wrong radiator, or is it ok to just leave them in and install it?
Do you
have the same problem?
Sunday, April 4th, 2010 AT 2:40 PM

1 Reply

Hi diametrica.

What's important is the mounting ears, inlet and outlet locations, and the number of rows of tubes, from front to back. You might have to look in by the radiator cap to count the rows. There will be one, two, or three rows. The new radiator can have more rows, but it shouldn't have fewer.

If you are seeing two small hose connections on the new radiator in one tank, and your old radiator doesn't have them, just leave them plugged. Those are for the transmission cooler. Some cars use a separate small cooler bolted in front of the radiator. That can be used WITH the cooler in the radiator or INSTEAD of it. The tubes are generally included in new radiators so it will fit more applications. If it's the other way around and your old radiator has the cooling tubes and your new one doesn't, you will either have to add a transmission cooler and run new hoses to it, or find a different radiator with the cooler built in.

There can be a lot of little differences between radiators. At the assembly line, they will not install a radiator that is any larger than necessary, to keep costs down. In the replacement world, it is less expensive to manufacture fewer versions, so they will make one to replace one size radiator as well as a few smaller ones. You could very likely end up with a new radiator that has a slightly higher cooling capacity than the original one. That doesn't mean the engine will run cooler than designed, just that in the event of some problem, there is a slightly smaller chance of engine overheating.

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Sunday, April 4th, 2010 AT 6:09 PM

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