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Discussion Starter · #21 ·
It took me about 2-1/2 hours to remove all the top and bottom shields, grille and front bumper. Following schirmich's DIY and the other video on how to remove bumper to diagnose headlight issues. Now everything is wide open! I hope this can make the main job easier.



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Discussion Starter · #22 ·
It's a luxury to replace the bulb right in front of the eyes


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Discussion Starter · #23 ·
Counter clock wise to remove ignitor, unplug the ignitor wire, and push the two metal tabs down and toward the gap to release the bulb. Now you can see the biggest danger when doing this by feel or blindfold. That stupid tab is connected to the housing only via a quarter of the edge of the tiny screw! For a clumsy guy with fat fingers, he might poke the metal tab off that tiny screw cap and it will fall somewhere in the belly pan or front bumper. That would be a nightmare for an unprepared fellow.



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Discussion Starter · #24 ·
Also pay attention to this stupid ignitor plug. It tends to move around inside the plastic cover, making it hard to go on. If manhandled, I can see the tab might get pinched or squeezed.


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NICE PICTURES qqzj!!!!!!!!!!!!! Specially handy for doing the headlight bulb replacement without removing the bumper.

Good luck on the radiator replacement! have patience and a six pack on the hand.
 

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Discussion Starter · #26 ·
I am basically following your steps? After some easy steps like remove hood latch, radiator and condenser top brackets, ATF cooler holding brackets, there's a difficult one. Remove the bottom radiator holding screw in the middle. It is hard to locate. But I found an interesting trick. Just look for notches on the frame. See the picture. The big notch is for petcock and the small one is for this screw. The other bottom bolt near driver side is even hard to locate. But follow the notch, you will.



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Was your pressure clamp for the lower radiator hose looking to an accesible way? mine was installed backwards so the clamping ends would look at the headlight :S
 

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Discussion Starter · #28 ·
Man, I have a set of fancy cable operated clamp pliers. See the picture. So I don't think this is a problem for me. But I do have a few questions.

1 did you remove battery and battery tray?
2 there are no small bolts on the bottom of driver's side fan?
3 when I want to lift radiator straight up, what is the limiting factor?

I am done for today. Will finish it up tomorrow. The car is in the garage and barely drive-able. Will drive it up ramps tomorrow. Surprisingly, I am fine so far just lying on the ground with the car flat on the ground.

Also the condenser is limited by AC metal lines on the passenger side. But on the driver's side, I have opened a big gap here.


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Discussion Starter · #29 ·
I also marked each end of every ATF hose. The 1st picture should be viewed with the biggest coolant lower hose on the right side. The hose on the foreground is irrelevant here. Hose 1 is from transmission. Hose 6 is from exterior cooler back to transmission. 2nd picture can be viewed as is. Hot coolant from 1 to 2 to 3 to ATF heat exchanger inside radiator. Picture 3 should be viewed with the big metal surface at bottom. Coolant exits radiator from 4, goes to external cooler and comes back from 5. Finally 5 is connected to 6 via the long metal ATF tube.


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1.- No I didn´t remove the battery either..
2.- Yes both fans have upper and lower bolts, See your new radiator for locations as the fans bolt into it.
3.- Once you removed every hose the limiting factor are going to be the stupid HARD LINES from the ATF Lines coming out of the radiator, They will hit the fan and the upper chassis frame… This is why I recommend to have 2 people remove the radiator and install it.. One can move the fan out of the way so the other can pull the rad out.

As for the gap between the rad and condenser, Trust me.. IT ISNT ENOUGH..
You will see once you start pulling it out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #31 ·
It took me another 2 hours plus to get the passenger fan out. Now taking a break. First take out the two top small bolts. Easy. Next the bottom two or one bolts. Not super sure now. Even there are holes for two.

Next use the curved jaw pliers to take off the sensor on the fan and squeeze the anchor feet of the sensor holding pin. I managed not to damage either.

Next use a big screw driver or a pry bar as I used to pry off the top ATF hose holder. Do it gentlely and you won't break it. Don't worry about the lower one. The angle is not right.

Next go to the bottom and undo ATF connection 5. Then you can move the hose around and use a small flat head screwdriver to undo the lower ATF hose.

Then the fun begins. ATF connection 3 and 4 are both in strange angles. I used a combination of cable hose pliers, needle nose vise grip pliers and 10 inch channel lock pliers to remove them. The process ain't pretty, but you know you will prevail in the end all the time.

I can them pull the passenger fan straight out, with the driver's fan still there. So taking out the headlight definitely bought me some extra space.




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Discussion Starter · #32 ·
Taking out the drive fan is even easier. Use the curved jaw pliers to take out the big sensor on top. Use a normal straight jaw needle nose pliers to take out the smaller sensor. Now there is a fun little prick that's holding the smaller sensor to the fan. It has 4 feet. So it didn't work when I squeeze it with curved jaw pliers. Now my hobby of watching YouTube car repair helped I put a 7mm 1/4 socket on a ujoint, the on an extension bar. I poked the anchor with the socket and it squeeze the 4 feet at the same time and I pulled the anchor out. Easy and fun. This might be the best part of the adventure. First time using a 7mm socket, Bro!

Next just go to bottom and undo another sensor with bare hand and you can remove the driver's fan. It took me another 30 minutes.


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Discussion Starter · #33 ·
Taking out the radiator is even easier. The radiator clamp for me is also facing the impossible direction. However, now everything is open and I simply dropped my cable hose pliers and finished it off. Now all the difficult job is over. Just need to be patient. I shall refill the coolant and idle a few times in several days to make sure nothing is leaking before I put it back. The only tool I am missing in the whole process is a smaller vise grip pliers. Otherwise, the 2hrs spent in removing passenger fan could be easier. All and all, about 2hrs of suffering. The rest is easy stuff. I had no helper. I also did not jack up the car or on a ramp. Neighborhood crime is going up. I was afraid that my vehicle might be vandalized if I cannot finish it before nightfall.



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Discussion Starter · #34 ·
Now compare the radiator ATF inlet/outlet. The old one is on the left. The rusty middle washer, sandwiched between the big nut and bottom stainless steel (?) washer is actually not a simple washer. It is called a cup spring or bevel spring. The top big nut squeezes on this cup spring to keep tension and prevent ATF/coolant mix. Mine is rusty, but not super rusty. So I might go for another 10 years, or next month. Who knows. The new Denso one is much beefier. There are two big nuts now to secure this junction. To be honest, I am not super sure about the construction. But skirmich said it is fail-safe. So I shall take his word for it :) I believe in this case, buying a new Acura radiator really doesn't give you anything. It still can fail after several years. For guys in cold areas, the failure starts to show up after a mere 4/5 years. This is what I see on 1st gen MDX forum. Not sure about 2nd gen. So just buy a Denso or Spectra.



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Discussion Starter · #36 ·
@qqzj This is a GREAT post! The pics are fantastic, and the details provide insight.

It's cool how you're keeping us posted as you go. Way to go, man.

Are you using OEM parts or a mix of oem / non-oem?

Thanks again to @skirmich for earlier DIY post to provide some direction.

https://www.mdxers.org/forums/74-se...7897-diy-replace-radiator-flush-f-2g-mdx.html
Thanks. For radiator I used Denso. See my previous post, sent slightly earlier than yours. For the rest, I used all 100% OEM because I did not change anything else.
 

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Discussion Starter · #37 ·
I also found a foreign object on the frame near the radiator. I don't remember I ever took it off. Any ideas? Thanks!


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Discussion Starter · #40 ·
I really don't know. Will check tomorrow. Tired today. I bolted everything back on and it is just like what I started with this morning. After putting in coolant it is drive-able. The job is largely finished. But I must confess that I made two crucial mistakes.

First I should not have attacked ATF hose connection 3. Instead I should have attacked connection 2, which is a lot easier. This is simply dumb. Second, I should not have tried to disconnection ATF connection 4 first. I should be able to take it out with radiator after disconnected the hose from passenger side fan. As it turned out, disconnecting/re-connecting these two points are the biggest obstacle I came across, the job would actually be very easy if both my conjectures are true. It would just be a long and tedious process for a whole day, but without too much suffering. I hope my experience can make you guys life easier in the future. Replacing radiaor on 2nd MDX should be a moderate job, not one that scares people away.
 
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