I have an 1999 Subaru Forester with a 2.5 liter and the radiator has a bad tank it seems (the cheap aluminum/plastic kind). I figure a new or good used one should do it but have never done a Subaru radiator and wonder if the front of the engine may need to come apart somewhat. It’s kinda tight so I figure maybe some one knows for sure on here and I should ask. Also it looked like a lot of radiators from other models might fit too, like from an older legacy even. If anyone can tell me what I’m getting into I’d appreciate their advice, thanks!
Answer: It is easier than it looks, start the work on a cold engine to avoid burning yourself. First remove the top radiator hose, then the thermostat fans (should be two 10mm bolts at the top of each fan then they slide up, disconnect the wiring to them also) you may need to move over flow bottle out of the way. Once the fans are out it is much easier and lots more room. Remove drain plug out of the bottom corner of the rad and the bottom hose, undo retainers for the rad and its out. Refit in the opposite order. If it is an auto you may need to disconnect the trans cooler hoses also. When you have it all back in make sure the heater is on and top up with antifreeze/coolant, but you must remove the air bleed plug/screw in the top corner of your new rad whilst refilling, when water is coming out of the plug/screw refit it, start engine and run until water in rad is hot topping up as required, refit rad cap and your done, recheck water level next morning whilst cold top up if required. NOTE never open radiator cap when engine is hot, you may have boiling water spray on you.good luck hope this is helpful.