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Old 01-05-2003, 10:58 PM
JHZR2's Avatar
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Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 4,029
83 300D radiator replacement


I have seen a few drips of some sort of oil in the coolant recovery bottle. It is not really black, like engine oil (although it isnt red like trans fluid either). Not knowing the age of my radiator (it's original for all I know), and same with the hoses, I am thinking to replace both. My father had his radiator fail the other day unexpectedly (94 vehicle), and so I don't want to take any chances, since the radiator has a plastic top, and maybe sole oil leaking in it.
What is involved in changing the radiator? Is it a long, hard process? I know Ill need the upper and lower radiator hoses as well as the two transmission cooler lines. Anything else?
How can I tell what transmission I have? Fastlane specifies hoses for two different transmissions.
How difficult is it to replace the lower hose and trans cooler hoses? Must the pieces below the radiator be removed to gain access?

Any info/tips would be appreciated. Thanks


Current Diesels:
1981 240D (73K)
1982 300CD (162k)
1991 350SD (113k)

Past Diesels:
1983 300D (228K)
1985 300D (233K)
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Old 01-05-2003, 11:29 PM
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Join Date: May 2002
Location: Central Oregon
Posts: 1,004
When the motor cools off pull your radiator cap and look for signs of oil floating on top of the coolant.
I don't know that I would go do a radiator job just because you see signs of oil in the recovery bottle.
If there is oil in there though I would think twice about the radiator being the problem as it could be from other sources like a blown head or cracked block etc...
if you really feel compelled to have it checked, a competent radiator shop can perform a system check for you that will tell you if you are losing pressure in the cooling system. This should signal a failure somewhere and then you can start looking for the cause of the problem.

'99 S420 - Mommies
'72 280SE 4.5 - looking to breathe life into it
'84 300SD Grey - Sold
'85 300SD Silver - Sold
'78 Ski Nautique
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