Cooling System Prep

As a part of the A/C installation I needed to remove the heater hoses, radiator hoses, and radiator. A visual inspection showed that everything appeared to be in good shape. The only minor issue I saw was that one of the radiator hose clamps didn’t match the other clamps. It was a more modern worm gear style rather than the Witek tower style. I don’t remember ever replacing it, so my best guess is that when the body shop removed the radiator to patch a rust hole in the frame that they replaced the clamp. I ordered a new clamp along with a couple of extra heater hose clamps since I knew I needed then for the heater control valve that comes with the A/C kit.

In keeping with my habit of overthinking things while I waited for the A/C kit to arrive, I decided to replace the heater and radiator hoses since I had them removed from the car anyway. I went ahead and ordered new hoses online. Then I turned my attention to the radiator. I had it re-cored a number of years ago and it really didn’t have that many miles on it since then, so I hoped it was in good shape. But I wanted to avoid having to drain the cooling system and remove the radiator more times than I needed to. I decided it was time to have the radiator cleaned out and pressure tested while it was out of the car.

In the past (since 1974 or so) I had always used one shop for my radiator work. It was called Looper’s and had the slogan “A great place to take a leak”. A quick search online revealed that they were no longer in business. I did some more Web searching and discovered that there aren’t that many radiator shops near me anymore. I eventually found one called Smitty’s about 35 miles away from me. I gave them a call and they said they could service my radiator. Just drop it off and it would be ready in a couple of days.

I dropped off my radiator on a Wednesday afternoon. I asked them to clean it out, pressure test it, solder a bracket that was loose, and replace the petcock which was pretty bent up. I received a call the following Friday morning that my radiator was finished and ready to be picked up.

One more item handled. I’m still anxiously awaiting the arrival of my A/C kit so I can get to work on the install. It’s getting a bit colder outside so my progress on installing the kit might be delayed. That depends on the weather and how much I mind the cold.