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Discussion Starter #1
It's time to replace the old, corroded OEM radiator in my '01 SE. It was going to be a $400+ job at the shop so I decided to do it myself. Thought I'd ask if anyone here has done this, and if so, if you have any tips or pointers for me.

After double-checking over everything carefully and consulting my Honda Factory Service Manual (Helm), here's my parts list. I went with an aftermarket radiator (OEM Toyo is crazy $$$) and hoses, but I did decide on a bunch of OEM replacement parts for the trans, hose clamps, and a couple of replacement bolts due to bad corrosion in the engine bay.

Parts list
Here's the diagram from the FSM (see full itemized assembly at HondaPartsNow.com)

2001_honda_crv_cooling_system_diagram.jpg

Hopefully this is helpful for anyone considering this job, which should be pretty straightforward. The radiator and A/C fan assemblies are working fine so I did not choose to replace them at this time—we'll see if that was a smart move or not.

I will try and document my process—more to come, hopefully I'll get it done this weekend. It's already snowing here in Chicago.
 

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Your number 20 bolt will probably break off on you. Expect to drill that one. I drilled mine through and did a nut on the bottom, but would probably tap it if I was doing it over. You can squeeze your hand through the front grill to get the nut on, but it is a tight fit.

Your number 22 bolt does not need removed, the reserve tank can pull straight up off of the bracket.

I don''t recognize the number 23 bolt unless it is one of the bolts that hold the fan assemblies to the radiator. Expect those bolts to break off as well. The new radiator should come with the nuts molded in to the plastic.

Expect to to loose some ATF in the process. There will be some in the lines that will leak out when they are disconnected as well as a small amount in the radiator. It will be less that a quart total and you might not need to top it off depending on how full the trans is. Could also be a good time for a quick drain and fill.

You could probably get by without replacing all of those hoses, but that is up to you. Nothing worse than having to go back and redo it down the road. The ATF hoses don't seem like anything special and you could probably get away with some bulk hose and worm clamps from a local auto parts store. Is your radiator leaking? Most often they need replaced because the plastic cracks and not just because the metal is corroded.
 

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i did this repair several years ago. did a write-up on a now defunct site. wasn't too bad to do. i also replaced the thermostat and heater hoses. used oem for everything except the radiator.
 

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It probably doesn't matter, but you don't have to use the type 2 coolant in those. They came with the green coolant. When I replaced my radiator I filled it back up with Prestone.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
It probably doesn't matter, but you don't have to use the type 2 coolant in those. They came with the green coolant. When I replaced my radiator I filled it back up with Prestone.
Interesting ... my manual says Type 2 Coolant. Are you saying you bought your CRV new and witnessed green fluid in the radiator?
 

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I know for a fact that that gen 1 CRVs came with type 1 (green) coolant. This is also what the dealership put back in it after doing the timing belt service for me. But in the end it doesn’t really matter. Whatever floats your boat. General rule, if it came with green, put green in it. If it came with blue, put blue in it.
 

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i bought the Honda coolant. that is what Honda told me. I am not going to risk the kind of damage that the wrong coolant can cause.
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
Update: this past weekend I installed the new radiator. It took too long, but only because there were lots of rusted bolts that broke and I had to drill. I hit everything I could think of with PB Blaster an hour or so before I started in, and it helped on a couple bolts but the rest still broke off—more an issue with the state of this engine bay, rather than some problem with the car's design. This is the midwest, after all...

The Denso replacement radiator and hoses I bought from RockAuto fit great. The lower radiator hose was a little tricky to replace just because of its location but I did manage to work around the other lines and components to get it out. I got OEM A/T trans cooler lines and hose clamps and those went on without a hitch.

Like I already mentioned, I did go with the Honda spec Type 2 (blue) coolant. The factory manual calls for it in the '01 but apparently not in the previous years. The fluid that was in the old radiator was green, which I'm sure contributed to the disintegration of the old radiator over time.

There really isn't anything that I wish I hadn't bought, looking back through my original parts list. I do kind of wish I had bought new cooling fans, but the old ones still work and will last for a while longer.

IMG_3186.jpg
 

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I looked at my 2001 CRV radiator which should be replaced. It has a longitudinal crack maybe three inches long below the filler cap. Right now trying to hold it temporarily with Flex Seal spray-- working so far but then I didn't run it real long. Can they radiator be lifted up with the fan motors and shroud on it? The two tubes that go up to the engine are what? They show up in the previous post. The A/C lines look like they will get in the way-- but then again may pose little problem. Can I get to the lower hose from underneath? Didn't look at that yet.
 

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Starclassic, I promise you that the coolant had absolutely nothing to do with your bad radiator. If your owners manual specified type 2, its because they started making the transition right around then.

Jayeffel, the other two lines are for the transmission cooler. I can’t remember if the fans have to come off first or not. I’ll have to check the manual later.
 

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Radiator comes out with fans attached. Swap everything over to your new one and slap it back in.
 

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Starclassic, you are correct about the service manual specifying type 2 coolant. I dug mine out and checked. The only reason you start to see this change for these is because that's when they made the change from type 1 to type 2. The only difference is type 2 is a "long life" coolant. I was under the impression that this change didn't take place until the 2002 models. There were no changes made to anything on the power train between 2000 and 2001 that would suddenly start to require different coolant.

BTW, why were you replacing the radiator? You never said.
 

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Ahh. I remember replacing my radiator back in 2014 when I first purchased my 2001 EX. The most common issue on the first generations with hairline cracks that developed over time with heat/cold expansion of the plastic capping. I use green coolant in my cooling system as even some of the second generations do. I’ve never had any issues with overheating or such for the past four years. I will eventually replace the radiator with an aluminum two row, as I plan to tow little weight with my class 3 hitch. Glad to hear another first gen surviving the daily driving and still going strong!
 
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