MGF Tech – Replacing the Radiator

Many of the original specification MGF radiators were made from recycled metals and can be prone to corrosion, especially the cooling fins – if you are replacing the radiator it is well worth getting an aluminium unit as it resists corrosion and helps to keep the temperature of the engine down.

Having already drained the system to replace the coolant pipes the rubber hoses that connect into the radiator to run fluid to and from the engine should have been detached – the bottom hose can only be assessed from underneath the vehicle and is in a very narrow space so long handled pliers and a long handled screwdriver may be needed.

Having freed the hoses you now need to lower the car to a better working height, open the bonnet and, to make life easier, remove the spare wheel. This allows better access to the front panel which covers the top of the radiator.

This is secured using a series of 10mm bolts and self tapping screws – check that you have undone all of them.

Then pull back the panel to expose the radiator – the top bolts also serve to hold the radiator in place so it should now be free allowing you to lift it out. Before completely removing detach the electric wiring that connects to the built in radiator fan.

Once the radiator is out the fan can be released undoing the 8mm bolts that hold it is place.

The fan can then be re-located into the housing on the new radiator – you may need to use new bolts for this as the alignment may not be exactly the same.

Reconnect the fan lead and then carefully lower the new radiator into place. Secure it using the top bolts, replace the front panel then reconnect the top and bottom hoses using spring clips or jubilee clips.

Finally, re-fill the coolant system – this is done through the filler bottle located under the boot lid. As you complete the refilling bleed  the system of air using the three nipples which are located; on the top of the radiator, the hose below the distributor and behind the front bulkhead cover below the windscreen wipers.

Run the engine until it is warm and then check the fluid level and top is necessary.

Replacing the coolant pipes and radiator is a task that will take HAS about two and a half to three hours to complete.

If the coolant pipes are being replaced with stainless steel on their own the cost (with club member 10 per cent discount and labour included) is £155 plus VAT, if undertaken at the same time as the radiator replacement this reduces to £95 plus VAT. A new radiator if replaced on its own costs £240 plus VAT or £179 plus VAT if done along with the coolant pipes. Replacing the antifreeze, bleeding the system and checking for leaks cost £50 plus VAT.