Northern Radiator

Preventing Radiator Damage During Installation

Installing a new heavy-duty truck radiator into an old radiator frame can sometimes lead to unintended damage to the new radiator. This damage can cost your repair business (as well as your customer) additional time and money, not to mention a lot of frustration for all involved. 

It’s also important to be aware that damage incurred during installation is typically not covered under warranty. Northern Radiator emphasizes the importance of proper installation procedures to protect your warranty. Damage resulting from improper installation can void the warranty, leaving you responsible for any repair or replacement costs.

Let’s review some common causes of radiator damage during installation, as well as some tips to avoid these issues on future replacement jobs.

Common Causes of Radiator Damage during Replacement

  1. Misalignment: One of the primary causes of radiator damage is misalignment between the new radiator and the old frame. Even minor misalignments can cause undue stress on the radiator core or tanks, leading to cracks or leaks. Additionally, the clearance room between the screws or hardware that hold the frame together and the actual radiator itself can be very tight even in the best of circumstances—so tight that even a slight warp of the frame or angling of the radiator can cause the hardware to scrape, dent, or otherwise damage fragile fins.
  2. Improper Mounting: Using old or worn-out mounting hardware can result in insufficient support for the radiator, causing vibrations that may damage the radiator over time.
  3. Physical Force: Forcing a radiator into place can warp the frame or the radiator itself. Heavy-duty radiators are robust but not impervious to physical damage during rough handling.

 Tips to Avoid Radiator Damage

  1. Check Compatibility: Ensure the new radiator is compatible with the existing frame. Consult your radiator's specifications and compare them with the old frame dimensions.
  2. Inspect and Prepare the Frame: Thoroughly inspect the old frame for any signs of wear, rust, or damage. Repair or replace if needed to provide a stable and secure mounting base for the new radiator.
  3. Use Proper Tools and Techniques: Use the appropriate tools and techniques to mount the radiator. Avoid using excessive force and ensure that mounting bolts are evenly tightened to prevent stress on the radiator.
  4. Replace Mounting Hardware: It’s recommended to use new mounting hardware with the new radiator. This ensures a secure fit and reduces the risk of vibrations causing damage.
  5. Follow Manufacturer Instructions: Always follow the installation instructions provided by the manufacturer. These guidelines are designed to ensure proper installation and prevent damage.
  6. Consider Purchasing Replacement Radiators with Frames: To avoid the risk of installation damage entirely, we encourage customers to consider purchasing replacement radiators that include the frame. This ensures perfect alignment and compatibility, simplifying the installation process and safeguarding your investment. Northern offers a wide range of heavy duty truck radiators with frame.

Taking the time to properly prepare and install your new heavy-duty truck radiator can save you from costly damage and downtime. At Northern Radiator, we are committed to providing quality products and support to keep your customers running smoothly. To learn more about Northern’s framed radiator options, contact your Sales Rep or our friendly customer service team today.