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Discussion Starter #1
I want to order a new radiator for my 96 9C1 since mine has a leaking drivers side tank. Searching on here indicated the Spectra CU1516 is a quality piece and has the correct tucked in tank to clear the oil cooler lines. But when I went on Amazon to order it it tells me it will not fit my car. The Spectra site says it fits the 94s and 95s, 96 SS and a 96 L99 Caprice but not the LT-1 Caprice. Eyeballing my rad against the picture it looks the same. Has anyone used this radiator in a 96 9C1? Were there any problems? Thanks for any help you can provide.
 

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I can't tell you if it will fit the 9c1, but I do have one in a box if you need actual pics and not just generic Web pics. I thought the only difference was it either had provisions for oil cooler lines, or it doesn't.
 

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I want to order a new radiator for my 96 9C1 since mine has a leaking drivers side tank. Searching on here indicated the Spectra CU1516 is a quality piece and has the correct tucked in tank to clear the oil cooler lines. But when I went on Amazon to order it it tells me it will not fit my car. The Spectra site says it fits the 94s and 95s, 96 SS and a 96 L99 Caprice but not the LT-1 Caprice. Eyeballing my rad against the picture it looks the same. Has anyone used this radiator in a 96 9C1? Were there any problems? Thanks for any help you can provide.
There are 2 seperate radiators, 1 for the Caprice/impala and 1 for the 9c1 cars with the external oil cooler lines. The 9c1 unit side tank is indented I suppose to allow the metal lines to go past the tank.

However, I added the 9c1 cooler setup to my car with all of the factory pieces and was able to use my original rad with the normal side tank. I had plenty of clearance for the lines and see NO reason why you would need to use the 9c1 rad if you add the cooler setup.

This may not answer your specific question but gives you some ideas of what the issues may be. This was brought up a while back and I attached some pics to show what I'm talking about in this thread. As you can see, the metal lines using the factory brackets have plenty of room with the standard rad. HTH

http://www.impalassforum.com/vBulletin/showthread.php?t=272472&highlight=9c1+radiator+oil+cooler
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks, I'm beginning to think Spectra's application list is screwed up. It shows the 1516 as correct for a 96 SS but the SS needs the oil cooler in the drivers side tank which this rad does not have. I'm still hoping someone on the forum has used it on a 96 9C1 which would clear it for me.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Anybody? I'm going to get the dimensions of the 1516 off the Spectra website and compare to mine, we will see.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I received the new radiator and installed it today, it fit perfectly. My old rad was not leaking at the tank gasket, it had a large crack in the drivers side tank - would not have lasted much longer without a blowout. The differences from my old rad: The core is actually about 1/4" to 3/8" thicker - that's good! It also had a nipple on top of the passenger side tank that I think is for a 94, it was plugged.

Pretty easy install but I do have one problem - when I drained the old rad the overflow tank stayed full and would not let me put the fluid back in. I started it and ran it until the thermostat opened thinking it would open up but it never did even after it cooled off - what's the secret? HELP!
 

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The 9C1 Radiator does not have an internal engine oil cooler like the standard Caprice/SS Radiator. It's actually narrower width wise.

To properly bleed the cooling system.
1) Jack up car so front wheels are about 8" or so off the ground, use jackstands to support.
2) Open bleeder screw, brass fitting with spot for screwdriver, on upper radiator hose connection on the water pump.
3) pour coolant into reservoir until you see a stream of coolant coming out of bleeder screw and then close the bleeder screw.
4) start car and let it warm up until the thermostat opens and you see coolant
moving in the reservoir.
5)top off reservoir as needed when the thermostat opens and let car run for a few minutes until its total up to temp and turn on your heater and make sure it gets hot
6) shut car off, take down off stands and let cool and then check the reservoir level when its cold and top off to full cold line.

you should be good to go at that point
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks, I planned to do all that but my problem is that I can't add coolant through the reservoir because it is full and won't let me. When I drained the radiator I opened the bleeder but the reservoir and I assume the block never drained. I plan to pop the lower heater hose and drain which I hope will empty the top of the system and then let me fill it back up and follow the normal steps.
 

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Thanks, I planned to do all that but my problem is that I can't add coolant through the reservoir because it is full and won't let me. When I drained the radiator I opened the bleeder but the reservoir and I assume the block never drained. I plan to pop the lower heater hose and drain which I hope will empty the top of the system and then let me fill it back up and follow the normal steps.
Pulling the heater hose off the pump will drain the tank and should take the coolant level in the block down to a level where the WP bolts to the block. This is what I did when replacing the WP and it kept the spills to a minimum.

You will still have quite a bit left in the block unless you pull the knock sensors. You will also still have coolant in the heater core unless that is blown out.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
OK, I finally got this done today. I wound up pulling off both heater hoses and removing the reservoir which I had never done before. In dumping the coolant I saw a lot of dirt so I flushed it out good with a garden hose then put everything back. When adding new coolant I figured out why I was having so much trouble - you have to add the coolant VERY slowly to allow it to enter the front chamber of the reservoir where it goes into the engine. I had not been doing that and it just overflowed. Once I figured this out it took a little over a gallon. I started it and let it warm up, heard a lot of bubbling and gurgling. The temp gauge went back and forth until the thermostat opened and the fan went on then it stabilized. I put the cap on and did the air bleed about three times before the air was gone. I shut it down, cleaned up, then drove it a short way around to the front of the house, the low coolant warning was on and it was a little hot. Shut it off again, then came back about three hours later and added another half gallon of coolant. No more low light and seems to be fine, last check will be in the morning.

Thanks for all the help, my working experience with these cars was 10 years ago and it is obvious I have forgotten a few things...
 

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The 9C1 Radiator does not have an internal engine oil cooler like the standard Caprice/SS Radiator. It's actually narrower width wise.

To properly bleed the cooling system.
1) Jack up car so front wheels are about 8" or so off the ground, use jackstands to support.
2) Open bleeder screw, brass fitting with spot for screwdriver, on upper radiator hose connection on the water pump.
3) pour coolant into reservoir until you see a stream of coolant coming out of bleeder screw and then close the bleeder screw.
4) start car and let it warm up until the thermostat opens and you see coolant
moving in the reservoir.
5)top off reservoir as needed when the thermostat opens and let car run for a few minutes until its total up to temp and turn on your heater and make sure it gets hot
6) shut car off, take down off stands and let cool and then check the reservoir level when its cold and top off to full cold line.

you should be good to go at that point
I would always open the bleeder after the fill which seemed to work for me but makes sense to open before. Thanks Paul.
 
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