I'm trying to remove the radiator from my 2001 Toyota Corolla in order to provide access to the lower radiator hose (which is to be replaced). At present, the radiator readily rocks forwards and backwards, but will not lift up. If I try, it will budge perhaps 1cm but I feel an increasing force pulling it back down (from both left and right sides). I think that the peg/socket-type arrangement at the bottom has ceased up but I'm not sure.
The radiator is not being renewed as it appears to be in good condition, so solutions should be non-destructive to the radiator.
I have disconnected the lower and upper radiator hoses from the radiator (this was not very hard), I've also removed the two clamps at the top that hold the radiator to the chassis (this was hard due to corrosion). The overflow pipe has been disconnected (trivial).
It has occurred to me also that there might be some further plumbing holding the radiator in place, so I'm nervous to just apply more force. I understand that automatic cars have an extra connection at the bottom to the radiator, but this car has a manual transmission. I have looked along the bottom of the radiator as best as I can and can't see anything holding it back. I have only removed the car's right hand splash guard at this time. Removing the other side to improve visual inspection of the radiator is a possibility, but I sheared three bolts in removing the splash guard from the right side and I anticipate similar on the left side (so favour not doing this).
My questions are:
- Do people think I'm correct in my assessment of what is holding the radiator down?
- If yes, do they have suggestions of how to unstick the radiator? Perhaps more upwards force, or perhaps doing something to the rubber grommets at the bottom?
- Am I being unwise in my entire approach to the original problem of replacing the lower radiator hose?
Some other bits of context: The progression of problems from a symptoms perspective were:
- The coolant system overflow tank was low on coolant
- When I topped it up, it lowered again over a few weeks (repeatedly)
- Inspection of the coolant loop showed a wet lower end of the lower radiator hose, a very corroded clip holding it onto the radiator, coloured liquid on the upper side of the splash guard underneath the lower hose and slow visible dripping from lower radiator hose after a journey.
I concluded that the hose had perished and this had also caused the clip to rust. I have a replacement hose and clip now, but from more detailed inspection, now that I've taken a lot of it apart, the hose actually seems to be in good shape. It may only be the very corroded clip that caused the leakage (it is significantly weaker than an uncorroded one). In any case, I have a replacement hose and may as well swap it if I can, as well as a new clip.
In this car (though not some similar Toyota models that I've seen online), the upper end of the bottom hose is very hard to access to remove the clip on it. I'm removing the radiator to get better access to the hose. It initially looked like it would be trivial to remove the radiator given that the coolant system had already been drained and the lower hose had been disconnected. Maybe given the trouble I'm having, it will be easier to work with the considerable fiddliness of having the radiator in place.
Many thanks for any advice you have to offer!