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 Post subject: reasonable mechanic near Denver/Ft Collins
PostPosted: Wed Sep 06, 2017 8:00 pm 
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I want to replace my radiator, hoses, and thermostat on my 05 CRD. I don't have a good place to handle the fluid so I would like to find a reasonable mechanic. Or just a shade tree mechanic that could complete the work in one day. I would be willing to help and clean the shop area while they completed the job, or I can drop it off it they prefer. All of the shops I have contacted want too much to do it. I'd rather sell it than pay that much for 5 hours labor.


Last edited by npkdm on Wed Sep 06, 2017 10:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: reasonable mechanic near Denver/Ft Collins
PostPosted: Wed Sep 06, 2017 8:08 pm 
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 Post subject: Re: reasonable mechanic near Denver/Ft Collins
PostPosted: Wed Sep 06, 2017 8:30 pm 
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npkdm wrote:
All of the shops I have contacted want too much to do it. I'd rather sell it than pay that much for 5 hours labor.



Well the average labor rate is $125 per hour in CO for the most part,so 5 hours is $625 for just labor and most shops will not install customer parts.


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 Post subject: Re: reasonable mechanic near Denver/Ft Collins
PostPosted: Wed Sep 06, 2017 8:48 pm 
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npkdm wrote:
I want to replace my radiator, hoses.


Why, are they leaking?

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 Post subject: Re: reasonable mechanic near Denver/Ft Collins
PostPosted: Wed Sep 06, 2017 9:57 pm 
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racertracer wrote:
npkdm wrote:
I want to replace my radiator, hoses.


Why, are they leaking?


I replaced the radiator pressure cap last weekend and confirmed the old one wasn't sealing. After adding the extra pressure to the system I developed a steady stream leak. I switched the cap back to the old one to drop the pressure and the leak sealed itself by the time I made it to the parts store. So yes, I do have a leak. And I have had overheating issues all year and I'm hoping a new rad will help.

the hoses are relatively cheap on rock auto - $60. If I have to drain the system anyway I'm gonna replace them. It would be better than one bursting later and loosing the coolant.

My thermostat is stuck open and fails to heat up in the winter. If I'm traveling down hill on I70 it will almost bottom out the temp gauge.


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 Post subject: Re: reasonable mechanic near Denver/Ft Collins
PostPosted: Wed Sep 06, 2017 10:06 pm 
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tjkj2002 wrote:
npkdm wrote:
All of the shops I have contacted want too much to do it. I'd rather sell it than pay that much for 5 hours labor.



Well the average labor rate is $125 per hour in CO for the most part,so 5 hours is $625 for just labor and most shops will not install customer parts.



Yep. I did find a local shop that will let me supply my own cheap parts but they want $600 labor to do it. That's too much. I understand charging $125/hr for small jobs that will take an hour or less because there is a lot of slippage on jobs like that. But on a 5-6 hour job that rate is too high. I have access to a shop 2 hours from here but it's inconvenient to make the drive and it is likely full of other vehicles right now.

For $600 I think I'll leave the faulty cap on it and drive.


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 Post subject: Re: reasonable mechanic near Denver/Ft Collins
PostPosted: Thu Sep 07, 2017 7:13 am 
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npkdm wrote:
racertracer wrote:
npkdm wrote:
I want to replace my radiator, hoses.


Why, are they leaking?


I replaced the radiator pressure cap last weekend and confirmed the old one wasn't sealing. After adding the extra pressure to the system I developed a steady stream leak. I switched the cap back to the old one to drop the pressure and the leak sealed itself by the time I made it to the parts store. So yes, I do have a leak. And I have had overheating issues all year and I'm hoping a new rad will help.

the hoses are relatively cheap on rock auto - $60. If I have to drain the system anyway I'm gonna replace them. It would be better than one bursting later and loosing the coolant.

My thermostat is stuck open and fails to heat up in the winter. If I'm traveling down hill on I70 it will almost bottom out the temp gauge.


Pressure, loosing coolant, and overheating? Sounds like you have a bad head gasket

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 Post subject: Re: reasonable mechanic near Denver/Ft Collins
PostPosted: Thu Sep 07, 2017 9:02 am 
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Losing coolant - It's visibly coming from a hole in the radiator. Before that leak appeared I didn't lose any coolant. Now that that leak stopped I am no longer losing coolant.

Pressure - cooling systems develop pressure. That's why the cap is rated at 16 psi

Overheating - I believe that the previous owner developed a radiator leak and solved it with stop leak and a no pressure cap.....then failed to tell me when I purchased it. I believe the radiator is partially clogged from stop leak and having 230000 miles of build up and old coolant.


..... it could be the head gasket, but all of the symptoms currently have other explanations. The Radiator definitely has a hole and needs replaced. I'm just hoping that a new clean rad helps with the overheating. If it doesn't I'll have dig deeper and check the head. My rig is worth $6000 at the most when everything is working. Right now it isn't worth much and I can't throw my whole bank account at it. So I'm going with the simple obvious things first. God knows how much one of these mechanics would charge for changing head gaskets.


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 Post subject: Re: reasonable mechanic near Denver/Ft Collins
PostPosted: Thu Sep 07, 2017 9:41 am 
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changing out the radiator and hoses is actually a pretty easy job. I am sure you could manage it.

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 Post subject: Re: reasonable mechanic near Denver/Ft Collins
PostPosted: Thu Sep 07, 2017 9:42 am 
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 Post subject: Re: reasonable mechanic near Denver/Ft Collins
PostPosted: Thu Sep 07, 2017 10:57 am 
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I might be able to help you in a week or two, but my weekends are typically pretty consumed and my garage currently has two non running cars in it, but I'm hoping to get one sent to the scrapyard soon. I just did the headgasket on mine, getting the intercooler/radiator stack out is not hard. I'm in south denver.

Honestly what you do is grab a homer bucket from home depot, jack up the truck just an inch or two to get the bucket under, crack the drain valve at the bottom, drain it out. The front assembly is probably about 12 bolts that hold on bumper, grill, headlight assembly and intercooler stack. The thermostat is not hard if you have extensions. Before installing my radiator, I took my grinder and ground off the little nubs that make it so you can't get a wrench on the drain valve, because it is in a really crappy spot if its not cracking loose for you. I'd say it's a 3 hour job if you're being fairly methodical. Probably 2 hours if you're fast.


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 Post subject: Re: reasonable mechanic near Denver/Ft Collins
PostPosted: Thu Sep 07, 2017 1:04 pm 
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If you are ditching old radiator hoses be sure to not reuse OEM tension hose clamps. Invest a bit in some good "T" bolt clamps.

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 Post subject: Re: reasonable mechanic near Denver/Ft Collins
PostPosted: Thu Sep 07, 2017 6:09 pm 
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It sort of sounds like when the proper cap is installed you can see the actual leak point.

If that is true, there is a redneck solution if you don't have the dough for a proper radiator at this point.

use some Brakleen and clean the business end of some appropriate sized pliers and pinch the leak point of the offending tube flat.

use the Brakleen again to thoroughly clean the tube you just flattened.

Mix up some JB-Quick when the rad tube is dry, and put the epoxy all around the flattened tube point.

It will reduce the cooling capacity of the radiator, but not enough to make a difference, and not as much as Stop-Leak or the like.

If you have correctly identified the offending tube, the fix will hold until you can budget a proper new radiator.

The advantage of this over a solder fix, is JB epoxy doesn't care if the tube is copper, brass, cardboard or aluminum alloy. It sticks to everything.

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 Post subject: Re: reasonable mechanic near Denver/Ft Collins
PostPosted: Thu Sep 07, 2017 7:08 pm 
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cerich wrote:
changing out the radiator and hoses is actually a pretty easy job. I am sure you could manage it.


Yes I can manage it if I have a proper place to work on it. I live in a jam packed apartment complex where parking lot space is limited and repairing vehicles in the parking area is frowned upon......so I thought ask about a cheap mechanic to avoid driving two hours to the shop I have access to.


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 Post subject: Re: reasonable mechanic near Denver/Ft Collins
PostPosted: Thu Sep 07, 2017 7:10 pm 
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krautastic wrote:
I might be able to help you in a week or two, but my weekends are typically pretty consumed and my garage currently has two non running cars in it, but I'm hoping to get one sent to the scrapyard soon. I just did the headgasket on mine, getting the intercooler/radiator stack out is not hard. I'm in south denver.

Honestly what you do is grab a homer bucket from home depot, jack up the truck just an inch or two to get the bucket under, crack the drain valve at the bottom, drain it out. The front assembly is probably about 12 bolts that hold on bumper, grill, headlight assembly and intercooler stack. The thermostat is not hard if you have extensions. Before installing my radiator, I took my grinder and ground off the little nubs that make it so you can't get a wrench on the drain valve, because it is in a really crappy spot if its not cracking loose for you. I'd say it's a 3 hour job if you're being fairly methodical. Probably 2 hours if you're fast.


Thanks for the offer but I'm gonna find a professional mechanic that charges less than the ones around here.


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 Post subject: Re: reasonable mechanic near Denver/Ft Collins
PostPosted: Thu Sep 07, 2017 7:11 pm 
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GordnadoCRD wrote:
It sort of sounds like when the proper cap is installed you can see the actual leak point.

If that is true, there is a redneck solution if you don't have the dough for a proper radiator at this point.

use some Brakleen and clean the business end of some appropriate sized pliers and pinch the leak point of the offending tube flat.

use the Brakleen again to thoroughly clean the tube you just flattened.

Mix up some JB-Quick when the rad tube is dry, and put the epoxy all around the flattened tube point.

It will reduce the cooling capacity of the radiator, but not enough to make a difference, and not as much as Stop-Leak or the like.

If you have correctly identified the offending tube, the fix will hold until you can budget a proper new radiator.

The advantage of this over a solder fix, is JB epoxy doesn't care if the tube is copper, brass, cardboard or aluminum alloy. It sticks to everything.



I'll keep that in mind if it starts leaking again before the new rad arrives


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 Post subject: Re: reasonable mechanic near Denver/Ft Collins
PostPosted: Thu Sep 07, 2017 7:18 pm 
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I'm from a rural area and I've always known a cheap mechanic. The dealerships and large garages charged just as much as they do here, but I always knew a few mechanics working out of a cinder block building behind their house that charged 20-30 dollars/hour. I posted here in hopes of finding someone like that. Or just someone looking to make an extra buck.


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 Post subject: Re: reasonable mechanic near Denver/Ft Collins
PostPosted: Thu Sep 07, 2017 7:21 pm 
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npkdm wrote:
cerich wrote:
changing out the radiator and hoses is actually a pretty easy job. I am sure you could manage it.


Yes I can manage it if I have a proper place to work on it. I live in a jam packed apartment complex where parking lot space is limited and repairing vehicles in the parking area is frowned upon......so I thought ask about a cheap mechanic to avoid driving two hours to the shop I have access to.


That sucks, I'd offer ya my driveway but GA is a pretty far haul and it looks like it may be a bit windy here soon.

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 Post subject: Re: reasonable mechanic near Denver/Ft Collins
PostPosted: Sat Sep 09, 2017 11:51 pm 
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I bought a radiator from a salvage yard and installed it today. When I removed the drain plug from the old radiator nothing came out. I had to take a dipstick and run it up through the hole. Once it started flowing I got about a cup of copper powder in the drain bucket. I decided to replace the plug and flushed it with water three times before installing the new radiator. After installing the "new" radiator I filled it with 2 gallons of HOAT, a bottle of diesel engine coolant booster, and distilled water. I had it put back together by noon (started at 8:00) so It was a 4 hour job for a yahoo like myself.

I spent the rest of the day testing. No matter how much I tried I couldn't get the gauge to reach straight up. Steep grades in OD pulling hard barely made it heat up. Going downhill the gauge would drop below the quarter mark. My thermostat is indeed stuck open and the old radiator was indeed plugged up with stop-leak. I spent $75 on the radiator, $60 on coolant and supplies, and four hours round trip driving. Much better than the $1500 the dealer quoted and the $1000 the local auto repair shop quoted. But now I need to definitely replace the t-stat.


My current setup:
flex fan (no clutch) with 2.25 in spacer
no fan shroud


She runs cooool now. I'm considering continuing without a shroud. As long as she keep cooling this good it would be nice to have the extra room in the engine compartment.


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