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Old 06-25-2009, 08:20 AM   #1
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cleaning radiators

wow...

just watched a video walkthrough of how to remove the bumper and get to the radiators to clean them. definitely something i'm going to do this weekend, but wanted to post the link to the video.

i never would have thought "hey you should clean the radiators because of all the gunk that gets in there" but yeah. he even has a nice little collection of rocks...





is that a cigarette butt up there!?

video walkthrough is at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Um-h2aUJHY4&feature=channel_page


Last edited by tonycarreon; 06-25-2009 at 08:29 AM.
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Old 06-25-2009, 08:26 AM   #2
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Wow has he hit some curbs. ouch
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Old 06-25-2009, 08:46 AM   #3
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Good find. He had a difficult time reaching behind the liner for a screw but maybe that is still easier than what I did -- jack up the car and remove the entire liner. I have also seen a variation where the the liner is detached and pulled back at the front but left in place behind the shock.
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Old 06-25-2009, 08:57 AM   #4
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Tony,

Thanks for posting this link. It is something that I have been meaning to do. Now that I see how easy it is, I will definitely do it soon.

Mark
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Old 06-27-2009, 04:22 PM   #5
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i did it...

well i just took my bumper off and cleaned the radiators. still have to put it all back together. ( taking a short break for now ).

all told, took an hour and a half to get it apart and 15-20 minutes to actually clean the radiators. letting them ( and the ground ) dry before putting it back together.

i'll post pictures soon, but here's what i've learned:

1. never put your fingers anywhere near the inside of the pliers *OUCH*
2. go slowly. if you think you've got all the bolts / screws off, check again. did you check again? do it again. if it doesn't just slide / pop off, you've missed one. i told you so. ( this actually took up a good 15 minutes of my time looking for that one hidden screw i missed.)
3. for god's sake remember where the screws went. i hope i can put it all back together from memory. there are an assload of them, and no i guess german's don't like even numbers. ( 9, 7, 5, 6.... )
4. go slowly, you'll thank yourself later.
5. if you're working alone, put something under the bumper so it doesn't just *PLOP* to the driveway concrete. i used styrofoam sheets i had laying around. i'm REALLY glad i did because when i found that last screw and gently tugged on the bumper, it did just slide right off.
6. go slowly, take a break. go have a beer ( or soda since i don't drink beer ), you earned it.
7. the guy in the video mentioned there's a hidden hex bolt at the top of the air boot that's hard to get to. if you take the headlight off, it's very easy to get to because then you don't have to come from down under, you can get right to it.
8. the driver's side radiator was easy to get separated. however the passenger side required a little more gumption.


pics soon. and MAN it was dirty. i'd say 25-30% of each radiator was blocked with gunk.

Last edited by tonycarreon; 06-27-2009 at 04:28 PM.
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Old 06-27-2009, 04:49 PM   #6
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I clean my radiators, 2 times, with every car wash. With my leaf blower.

1) Leaf blower when everything is dry
2) Leaf blower after everything is wet.

Lots of stuff comes flying out each time.
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Old 06-27-2009, 07:29 PM   #7
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done!

ok. it's done. everything is zipped back up, everything is finished. i drove the car for a short trip and the bumper didn't fall off - i call it a success.

i even put it on the dyno and i got an extra 10hp!! ok, that's a lie. just had to add it in.

so what'd i learn putting things back together?

1. no that hole isn't for a screw, it's for a plastic expandy thingy ( sorry i don't know what they're called ). took me 20 minutes to figure that out. you should have made diagram or at least a list of what went where.

2. stop taking so many breaks. it's not brain surgery. you'll be sorry when the sun is gone and you're trying to put the car back together by the light of that flashlight on your keychain! ( or the shop light that every bug in the neighborhood is attracted to. )

3. yes, your car does want to hurt you. yes, the license plate is sharp and will cut you.

4. ouch, my back. screw it, just sit and lay down on the ground instead of squatting.

ok, so looking back - 25-30% "blockage" was probably more than truthful. my excitement of getting them off and seeing the stuff fall out colored my ability to estimate. still, i don't think it can be said they were anywhere near "clean" and this is something i'm certainly glad i did.

bmussatti: a leaf blower is only going to get the stuff on the outside of the radiator. they're actually two radiators sandwiched together, and most of the gunk was in-between them. i would highly recommend taking them out and cleaning them with a hose. if you do and they're clean after your leaf blower technique, feel free to make fun of me for doing more than was required and i will take it completely. keep in mind, this is an '01 and having purchased it used, i have no idea if this was ever done. so if not, for 8 years of driving it wasn't bad at all. might check it next year or so and see how far it's come.

forgot to add, total time.
1.5 hrs to get the bumper off, remove the air scoops, seperate the radiators. spray them out with the hose and use my hands to get the last bits of twigs, leaves and candy wrappers out ( yes, there really was a candy wrapper up there ).

30 minutes to let dry.

1 hr to get the car put back together.

anyway, as promised, here are the photos:
http://web.me.com/tonycarreon/boxster/Cleaning_Radiators.html

Last edited by tonycarreon; 06-27-2009 at 07:42 PM.
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Old 06-28-2009, 03:24 AM   #8
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When I cleaned mine, besides the usually candy wrappers, cig butts and leaves was a $2 bill. I was being rewarded by the Porsche gods for being good. Ed
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Old 06-28-2009, 04:37 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tonycarreon
bmussatti: a leaf blower is only going to get the stuff on the outside of the radiator. they're actually two radiators sandwiched together, and most of the gunk was in-between them. i would highly recommend taking them out and cleaning them with a hose. if you do and they're clean after your leaf blower technique, feel free to make fun of me for doing more than was required and i will take it completely. keep in mind, this is an '01 and having purchased it used, i have no idea if this was ever done. so if not, for 8 years of driving it wasn't bad at all. might check it next year or so and see how far it's come.
Tony, please, I am not making fun of you. You did a great job. I have been using the leaf blower method since my car was new. So, I think they are pretty clean. Plus, I steer around cigarette butts and dry leaves.

Like you said, your car is 8 years-young, so a good cleaning is necessary. I think if a new owner used the leaf blower method, they would be fine for a long-long time.
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Old 06-28-2009, 05:25 AM   #10
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Bill, I'm willing to bet you have a lot more crap between your radiator panels than you think. Of course, your car is only 3 years old and I don't think it's your DD, is it?

It would be a great Saturday project for a white collar professional like yourself. Your kids could watch and ask you a million questions and drive you nuts. Quality family time I say!

If there's little to nothing in there, you will be triumphant in your assumption. If not, you can enjoy the fact that you kept your motor from running hotter than it needed to run.
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Old 06-28-2009, 09:07 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bmussatti
Tony, please, I am not making fun of you.


j/k

no i didn't think that was what you were saying. i meant if it isn't dirty, feel free to make fun of me.

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my recollection of family time, when i helped my dad do some project on his 1967 ford galaxie:
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Old 06-28-2009, 10:51 AM   #12
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Tony, is your car running any cooler?

Randall, the neddle on my temp gauge is always in the exact same spot (when up to temp) since brand new.
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Old 06-28-2009, 12:10 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bmussatti
Tony, is your car running any cooler?
honestly i'm not sure. i only drove it a few miles last night to make sure the bumper wouldn't fall off. i would be surprised if it ran any cooler simply because it wasn't ever really running hot. even in 2 hours of 0-5 mph traffic in 90 degree heat, it only got up to slightly above the 180 mark, which is where it usually sits anyway.

as soon as i do any distance i'll let you know.
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Old 06-29-2009, 01:28 PM   #14
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Thanks for the video, thought I'd take advantage of this day off to try cleaning my rads.

This is what I found:











I'll be putting "cleaning rads." on my annual maintenance list!
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Old 06-29-2009, 01:58 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by tonycarreon
honestly i'm not sure. i only drove it a few miles last night to make sure the bumper wouldn't fall off. i would be surprised if it ran any cooler simply because it wasn't ever really running hot. even in 2 hours of 0-5 mph traffic in 90 degree heat, it only got up to slightly above the 180 mark, which is where it usually sits anyway.

as soon as i do any distance i'll let you know.
You probably won't see any change on your gauge. It was running normal. Don't forget, more than 50% of our cooling comes from our large oil capacity. And Dr. Porsche knew how to do that pretty well.
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Old 06-29-2009, 02:04 PM   #16
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i totally agree with bmusatti, i really don't expect any change in temp. however, it's nice knowing that crud isn't there anymore, that's for sure.

941MXVET did you have any problems with any hidden nuts / screws? any missing pieces? what MY do you have? i assume you've never done it before? 1st owner?
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Old 06-29-2009, 02:32 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tonycarreon
i totally agree with bmusatti, i really don't expect any change in temp. however, it's nice knowing that crud isn't there anymore, that's for sure.

941MXVET did you have any problems with any hidden nuts / screws? any missing pieces? what MY do you have? i assume you've never done it before? 1st owner?

Mine is a '98 MY base model, I purchased the car in Dec '08, with very complete service records. I had most of my problems with those plastic rivits, broke a couple even using WD-40. I also had an issue with the center screw under the bumper, it had seen a few curbs, and had very little to get the screwdriver to grip on, needles to say I didn't reinstall it. I'll be looking for a fastener to replace it which should stand up to the inevitable curb!

As summer has come to northern NV, I've noticed a slight increase in where my temp needle sits ( from the center of the 180 to the 0 in the 180)


Again thanks for the vid, it went easer then I thought!
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Old 06-29-2009, 06:11 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bmussatti
I clean my radiators, 2 times, with every car wash. With my leaf blower.

1) Leaf blower when everything is dry
2) Leaf blower after everything is wet.

Lots of stuff comes flying out each time.

Course you know better, esp. for the 987, but here's a pic of the crud between the condenser and the rad on a car w/ only 27k mi.

Maybe the 987 system is different, or the road debris in IL is different than the rest of the country.

If not, suggest cleaning between them.

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Old 06-30-2009, 09:02 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by bmussatti
Randall, the neddle on my temp gauge is always in the exact same spot (when up to temp) since brand new.
That explains a lot. Bill, the 987's no longer have a real temp gauge. It will rise to the right spot before the motor is truly up to temp and only climb when the computer says it should so you will pull over and get the motor looked at. It's now like the crappy ones found in American cars. If the car's not overheating, that needle in your 987 will not show any fluctuation at all.

Mark and I have checked this out on his 987 at the track when he's been absolutely brutal to the motor on the track and that needle should have moved a little and it does not move past the operating temp reading it is programmed to display.

The 986's have a temp gauge that moves around when you drive the car, hence all the guys freaking out because they've never owned a car with a fully operational temp gauge before.
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Old 06-30-2009, 11:35 AM   #20
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That explains a lot. Bill, the 987's no longer have a real temp gauge. It will rise to the right spot before the motor is truly up to temp and only climb when the computer says it should so you will pull over and get the motor looked at. It's now like the crappy ones found in American cars. If the car's not overheating, that needle in your 987 will not show any fluctuation at all.

Mark and I have checked this out on his 987 at the track when he's been absolutely brutal to the motor on the track and that needle should have moved a little and it does not move past the operating temp reading it is programmed to display.

The 986's have a temp gauge that moves around when you drive the car, hence all the guys freaking out because they've never owned a car with a fully operational temp gauge before.

Randall, how is Mark doing?

My needle moves for sure, just not much once the engine warms up. And the engine bay fan will cycle on or off as needed, as does the multi speed fans up front.

I am surprised dealerships don't recommend this service to pry an extra $1,000 out of our pockets at say a 60K service.

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