Tranny Cooling Line Fittings Leaking At New Rad

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I bought a new after market radiator at Advanced Auto Parts for my 98 Expedition 5.4 L 4x4 The upper tranny coolant line fitting started leaking quite a bit. I torqued them down a little tighter, but no improvement. I took them apart to inspect and all looks good, however at a glance, it looks as if the flange of the tranny line is not wide enough or deep enough to seat against the o-ring, plus it feels as if I am bottoming the flared end of the line side against the seat of the radiator fitting when tightening and after secondary inspection, I can see a slight polished line where it was metal to metal contact (flared end to fitting seat). My question is, in this instance is there possibly an o-ring sizing issue, incompatable factory line flare to aftermarket fitting, or could it be as simple as the fitting requires a thread sealant like a pipe dope or teflon?
 
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In the old days I have used teflon tape on flare nut fittings on radiators and such. I know it's not what you are supposed to do, but it worked at the time. Not sure what to tell you without pictures though. You should not need pipe dope/sealer of any type.
 

Fitz98

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I have the factory tow package which I believe has an auxillary transmission cooler as well. Other than the cracked plastic reservoir on the radiator, everything has been working well with my towing and daily driving and have had no issues with transmission, so I wanted to keep it as is. More than anything, I wanted to avoid spending too much time, money and effort on reworking the transmission lines.
 

01rangerxl

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AAP radiators aren't very good to be honest. They come from Ready-Rad/Vista Pro, and most are from China. The supplier probably put on fittings that were "close enough," but not really. I like Spectra more, but any non-OE brand can be hit or miss depending on application. A lot of Spectras are made in Canada (mine was). I would try teflon tape. If that doesn't work, this radiator might not work unless you can put up with a leak.
 
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I've bought radiators that come with a little brass adapter doohickey banging around in the box. Literally banging-- not in a bag taped to the rad or otherwise secured. Figure it's to accommodate slightly different styles of line. Maybe yours found its way out?
 
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amazing you can't buy things labelled as good better or best (sears did that many years ago) . the buyers for auto parts houses must have some idea of which products are "junk" or near junk if only by the return rate
 
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Originally Posted By: edwardh1
amazing you can't buy things labelled as good better or best (sears did that many years ago) . the buyers for auto parts houses must have some idea of which products are "junk" or near junk if only by the return rate
Some say direct fit.
 
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Originally Posted By: 01rangerxl
AAP radiators aren't very good to be honest. They come from Ready-Rad/Vista Pro, and most are from China. The supplier probably put on fittings that were "close enough," but not really. I like Spectra more, but any non-OE brand can be hit or miss depending on application. A lot of Spectras are made in Canada (mine was). I would try teflon tape. If that doesn't work, this radiator might not work unless you can put up with a leak.
I agree. The Autozone Spectra premium radiators are much better than tha Advance Auto parts radiators.
 

Fitz98

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There is an obvious build quality difference. It was literally 1/2 the weight of my factory radiator, which was concerning in itself, but at the time, price was an issue, only because of funds I had available at the time, now the extra hours involved and dealing with the leak because the factory to non-factory connection does not mate up properly is costing me the difference in price and aggravation. Also, these lifetime warranties are bogus. That doesn't mean they are good, just don't cost them much to replace. I put in a new heater core, lifetime warranty. Now a fitting connection has failed and it is an 8 hour job to remove dash to get to it to replace. I may just have to stop buying from these places, because of quality control issues.
 
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Fitz98

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It did say direct fit...that was one of the reasons I got it. It is a direct <span style="font-style: italic">close</span> fit...unless again it is standard practice to use a thread sealant, in which case it is my bad, but the concensus is that thread sealant is not standard practice. I am curious if dealers use thread sealant on their connections.
 
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I have seen in the past (long ago) where the flare on the hard line cracks axially after reefing on it in an attempt to stop the connection from weeping. Reefing is more likely to happen if the mating end is incorrect in some way (wrong size, not correctly machined, 45-degree vs. 37-degree, etc.)
 
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You can get adapters and fittings to try to remedy the situation. Dorman and other brands have fittings. I would bring it back and try another radiator. Good luck
 
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