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Volvo 940 radiator leaking - what are my options?

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Old Jun 30th, 2020, 21:55   #1
Eyebrows123
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Default Volvo 940 radiator leaking - what are my options?

My Volvo 940 (Manual WITHOUT AC) has just sprung a leak on the side of the radiator plastic meets the metal. It's 25 years old, I guess that's probably the lifespan of these mixed material rads?

I wish I could solder it but you can't with these modern plastic things! So what are my options?

If I replace it with the same plastic and metal one, who makes a good one, are Nissen any good? I suppose I should see if Volvo themselves make them and if they're affordable?

Or should I upgrade it to the AC version which I believe is larger? If I do that, what else needs changing, I'm guessing top radiator hose but intercooler as well?

I see do88 make what looks like a nice all aluminium radiator, quite expensive but I do like the idea of getting rid of the plastic and having a larger radiator, it would future proof it as well when I get round to a larger turbo (although I'm sure the stock ones are fine).

What would you all suggest?
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Old Jun 30th, 2020, 22:07   #2
capt jack
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Why not try some proprietary pour-in radiator sealant first? Our S70 was losing coolant from the rad core, and having just spent significantly on new tyres, brakes and shocks I didn't really want to start hauling out the radiator too.

That was three or four months ago, and a leak that would see the expansion tank empty in a day had remained totally fixed, with absolutely no loss of coolant since.

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Old Jun 30th, 2020, 22:15   #3
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Could do, didn't really want to bung up any other part of the system though or make it worse in the long run. I thought might as well sort it properly rather than delaying the inevitable, but maybe I'm just overthinking it?
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Old Jun 30th, 2020, 22:20   #4
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Don't use leak sealers unless you are desperate. They may stop a leak but they also block water jackets, thermostats, hoses and anywhere else water goes. They are a good get you home fix if stranded but they are not designed for a long term fix. Its like putting a bucket under a leak and calling it fixed.

If you can afford to fix it properly, do that, unless you can afford to upgrade it in which case, do that. I can't help on price or performance unfortunately but I would say that putting a DO88 full cooling system on, chuck a new stat in, replace all pipework with silicone, flush through fully and fill with evans waterless coolant. That way you will hopefully never really have to worry about that system for a long time It is my eventual plan for the 940 minus the performance rad as I don't really care for the performance. I do however believe in investing in long term piece of mind and reliability.
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Old Jun 30th, 2020, 22:41   #5
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I'd rather invest in long term with this otherwise knowing my luck the leak will spring much worse when I really don't need it to, this is my daily car so could do with it being sorted.

I can afford to fix it, but the top end radiators are pushing the budget, if it's worth it, i'll do it, if not I'd rather spend the money elsewhere on the car. Just know of stories of replacement plastic end radiators just bursting leaks and I kind of dislike them so would really rather an all aluminium one.

At which point, if I'm spending money to replace it, is it worth getting the larger size, or would that just lead to a load more large costs like larger intercooler etc?
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Old Jun 30th, 2020, 22:56   #6
volvo always
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I would stick to the original size rad.

When I bought my 940 the rad hose stub was weeping a bit.

The top rad stub had cracked.

4 years ago fitted a Nissens make. Bought exact replacement. Fitted perfectly and no issues since. My 240 also had a Nissens rad.

Also installed a Nissens AC condenser. Again fitted perfectly.

Mine is an auto with AC.

James

Last edited by volvo always; Jun 30th, 2020 at 23:01.
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Old Jun 30th, 2020, 23:01   #7
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If you get a stock radiator of high quality (without plastic if you think it will play on your mind) and silicone hoses, new jubilee clips. You will know youre safe for a while. If I was doing it I would spend my money on replacing things which could fail like the stat rather than a larger rad. Especially on a daily driver.

If you get to so much performance you need a larger radiator, you will already be many thousands deep so upgrading just the radiator alone won't hurt you so bad.
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Old Jun 30th, 2020, 23:01   #8
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Just fit a new Nissens rad for a hundred odd quid
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Old Jun 30th, 2020, 23:08   #9
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If it was fitted with good quality rubber hoses from the factory which are now well over 20 years old if you replace with good quality rubber from Volvo they will also last another 20 odd years.
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Old Jul 1st, 2020, 00:56   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by griston64 View Post
If it was fitted with good quality rubber hoses from the factory which are now well over 20 years old if you replace with good quality rubber from Volvo they will also last another 20 odd years.
What Mark said ^^^^^

DON'T use Waterless coolant in a red block either, it's been shown in the past to cause leaks and overheating. Also don't use OAT coolant, it's not suitable for cast iron engines and not suitable for anything made before 2000 anyway.

Use a good quality ethylene glycol concentrate and mix 50/50 with clean water. Ideally flush the whole system through backwards with clean water, drain it out by removing the bottom hose, refit the bottom hose then add the ~4.5L of EG antifreeze then top up with water.
Run up to temperature and allow to cool overnight, topping up with water if needed.
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