OK, We all know that the Rover radiator is made from bio-degradable metal and as such rots as soon as it has contact with water (not good when its a radiator). Mine was rotten so I decided to replace it with an Aluminium one and at the same time I upgraded to twin fans (looks impressive and shifts heat very quickly, shame you cant see it though!).
So here goes a how to:
Time: Allow 3-4 hours including adding the additional fan and bleeding the system.
10 litres 50/50 mix water/antifreeze.
If adding additional Fan:
Fan with electrical connections/wire (MGF possibly other Rover models)
2 Scotchloks or soldering iron/solder and heatshrink.
Additional 8mm nuts and bolts.
20amp blade fuse.
1: First remove the bolts holding on the slam panel (9 in total including the front stay bar). Sorry about the picture it was too sunny! The two front bolts hold on the stay bar to the slam panel, mine were held on with 10mm nut and bolts that meant I had to undo the top screws on the front spoiler and ease it out in order to get a spanner underneath. This will involve crushing your fingers/hand! I have now modified this bracket to make life easier (see pic 9).
2: Undo the five screws holding the front bumper panel to the slam panel. Now you can take out the slam panel. The radiator has two lugs that push into rubber mounts (can be seen just above my hand in the pic), these will come away as you lift the slam panel out. Also you will find it easier if you undo the spare wheel so its not leaning against the slam panel.
3: Now you can move the Slam panel out of the way for a bit (the bonnet release cable can stay attached). The next step is to undo the expansion cap on the header tank (to release pressure), then undo the awful spring clamp on the top offside hose (I used a pair of mulgrips rather than pliers to undo and replaced the spring clips with jubilee clips).
4: Next is the fan connector and the nearside bottom hose. The fan connector is located at the back of the motor and comes off by pulling up on the small plastic clip. The bottom hose is another springy job. I moved the radiator up and tilted it from the offside to give me better access to this clip.
5: The radiator can now be eased out and pulled clear.
6: The two radiators together (guess which one is the new one!)
7: Remove the Fan from the old radiator (3 x 8mm nuts, these are probably rusty!) and fix to the new rad. I was disappointed with the fixings included with the new rad. The original has studs that the fan slots over but the new one has screws and spire speednuts. The speednuts did not line up with the holes and the screws were next to useless. I decided to use the old fashioned nut, bolt, spring washer and flat washer for the fixings (good old Aldi again)!
8: I decided to use dual fans on the new radiator to improve cooling. This meant bolting another fan onto the rad (from another MGF or possibly another Rover, remember to remove the electric connector and a foot of cable if your down the scrap yard). If you want to test the fan just touch the two ends of the wires onto a battery - Black wire to negative Blue wire to the positive. Be careful the fan will 'jump' when you first connect it to the battery. I then spliced the new connector inline with the existing one using soldering and some heatshrink (this is easy,only two wires and could be done using scotchloks)
9: At this point, before installing the new rad I decided to modify the front stay bar using a captive nut system called Nutsert. This will mean no more scraped hands and fiddling with two spanners. They install in a similar manner to a rivet gun and they are another miracle time saver.
10: Next is to install the radiator and put the Electrical connectors on (two in my case) and attach the two hoses. Then its a case of bleeding the system through BEFORE refitting the slam panel. This is just in case of leaks etc. The bleed screw on the new rad is much better than the Rover version, its still plastic but doesn't have a nut so it's almost impossible to over tighten.
11: I used the Rover Technical Manual method for bleeding the system and it works very well for me. If anyone would like to know this method then I'll type it up and post it.
12: If using twin fans, you may have to upgrade the fuse from a 15amp to a 20amp. I found that when the fans first kick in the 15amp struggled and would blow. The 20amp works fine so I'm sticking with that one. The fan fuse is in the engine compartment fusebox on the nearside of the engine bay, I think it's the third one up.