This is really the conclusion to a post I started
replacing oil cooler hose
but deviated enough to deserve a new post. Somehow I feel it is only fair to follow up with "what happened" after having pumped some of you for info.
My radiator was original from 1972, it has never been recored (just boiled out in 1986). I brought the radiator, oil cooler and overflow tank to Jerry, the owner of Reseda Radiator in Reseda, CA. He did a great job recoring this 31 year old radiator. I finally got to see what you get done when recoring a radiator. It really makes your metal radiator as good as new and saves a bundle of cash.
He also replaced the brass fill nozzle on the copper (brass?) overflow tank. For the last few years the top of the overflow tank was a mess because of a minor coolant leak. I had replaced the pressure cap a few times in the past thinking that was the problem. It was only after boiling/cleaning the overflow tank that we could see the barely visible hairline crack in the fill nozzle. Also boiled out the oil cooler which was still in excellent mechanical shape, although somewhat sludged up. He even painted all three parts to the original black. All this for just under $300 ($250 for the recore). I highly recommend him as he is an expert on MB radiators (plastic too). I believe he does shipping if you're not in the area. Just google Reseda Radiator if you want to get his web page and phone #.
It's important to unscrew the two (I have a V-8) engine block coolant drain pugs to completely empty the coolant. There is a lot that stays in the block after draining the radiator. I also decided to replace the thermostat for cheap insurance. Before putting in the new one I shoved a hose in the thermostat opening and trickled water for 30 minutes. I used a rag to stuff close the thermostat opening around the hose so that the water actually fills up the passages in the block before exiting out the two drains. The rag does the job supprisingly well. Jerry advised me to stay away from an acid chemical flush since my engine is over 30 years old. He felt a clean water flush would be good enough.
Under 1/2 qt of oil lost from disconnecting the oil cooler lines. About 4 qts of trans fluid is lost from the transmission cooler line when they are disconnected from the radiator.
Used MB coolant for the first time in decades for this engine. Was using any coolant I could get on sale up to now (Prestone, Texaco...). After reading the posts here on coolant I decided to get religious and buy MB stuff. 50-50 mix with water. Car is back on the road as my daily driver.