BenzWorld Junior Member
Date registered: Aug 2012
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2001 ML430 radiator removal and installation
Last summer had a radiator leak and had to replace the radiator, thought I share this with you. It was not too difficult but it was frustrating. The attached procedure looks too complicated but it is really not that hard. It is just a lot of parts that need be removed to get to the radiator. The Mercedes dealer wanted $1500.00 and the local mechanic wanted $900.00 and I did it for $160.00 for the radiator that I purchased online and aboout 10 hours of my time. It may not take you that long if you have all the right tools. I hope this canbe of some help.
Need to point out why my radiator started leaking. Last July while picking up my kids and wife at the airport left the car running with the airconditioning on and after about 30 minutes I noticed I had lost most of the coolant. Later I discovered that there is a fuse for the electric fan that had blown and I did not know that at the time. I think that is what caused the overhaeting and consequently busting the radiator.
Please see the attached PDF file for the procedure.
A few things that I need to point out:
1. I was not able to remove the viscous fan, it would make it easier to remove the radiator but you don't have to do it.
2. Took me some time to figure out how to remove the rubber screw that goes through the AC condenser and the radiator items # 20 and 21 in the sketch in the attched PDF file, It doesn't unscrew, have to cut it.
3. Please note that the air conditioning system stays connected and do not need to loosen any connections, the only thing that is a little difficult is item #14 (air conditioning system fluid reservor) on the skecth in the attached pdf file. The space is very limited for removing the two screws attaching item 14 to the side of the radiator. I got a special low profile ratchet set from Lowes and it worked great.
4. It would be nice if you have a second person for the last step when the transmission fluid line and the power steering line is disconnected and the radiator can be removed and new one put in.
5. The bottom of the radiator has two pins that fit into rubber mounts and had a hard time pushing the radiator up to free from the rubber boots, had to remove the bumper and use a jack to push them out. My ML has the sport bumper with round fog lights which is not very common, but it was in the way. If you decide to remove the bumper which I don't recommend, it is not that hard, you may need a second person to help hold one end up while you are loosening the other end and very careful not to force anything which may crack your cheaply made plastic bumper.