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My radiator has seen better days...


I changed a tire once...
So my radiator is pretty messed up. That's one of the great things about buying a car used. I'll post these pictures for your viewing pleasure.

The black spot and the sun-like mark are where the fans pressed into the radiator with enough force to actually push the other side out a few inches. It's a lot worse than it looks.... That last picture shows a hole in the bottom. Not leaking, but a hole nonetheless.

The reason I'm posting this is because I have a dilemma. I went to ECS to buy a new radiator and the Mishimoto radiator there caught my eye. I found it on another site for $255 shipped, which is $25 more than the OEM radiator. I figured $25 for a drop in all aluminum replacement is pretty rad (pun intended). I went ahead and bought it. Well, I found out tonight that it is not, in fact, a drop in replacement.

Firstly, it is like 1.5" to 2" shorter, although it is thicker. I'm not sure how that will impact the fitment and such of the whole setup in the front of my car with the other cooling components. Also, the holes into which the screws that hold the fan shroud on were not tapped. I tapped those. Easy fix. Unfortunately, if I don't put spacers between the holes for the shroud screws and the shroud, the fans will press up against the radiator. So I could put in spacers. Another easy fix. However, I need to take off the "quick disconnect" connectors on the OEM radiator (the plastic things that clip to the radiator and the hose clamps onto). I tried, and I couldn't get them off for the life of me. Any suggestions? I'm pretty sure those will attach to the Mishimoto radiator. If they don't, I can't use the radiator. But I'm pretty sure they do, I just have to figure out how the hell to get them off the OEM radiator!

Your thoughts?


Go Kart Champion
ny tristate
I just have to figure out how the hell to get them off the OEM radiator!

Your thoughts?
Looks like you just make sure the clip is ALL the way in the open postion or if the clip pops off easy just take it off.

Whats prob fighting you is the coolant has swell out the O-rings inside and maybe alittle build up coolant residue.

If you cant get it off I would cut the plastic close to the radiator and take that piece thats sticking out and grab it in the vise so you can work the disconnect side in and out easy untill it come off. The plastic may crush when in the vise find a metal nipple at your local plumbing or home depot that will screw in/ jam in there so it will give some support so that the vise can clamp on .
The new radiator may not come with them your gonna need to p/u new o-rings at your local dealer or match one up at a good local Hardware store.Take some pic's of the install concerns and the new radiator differences when you start reinstalling things. Im sure there plenty people that are going to need to change the radiator soon since the FSI cars are getting older including myself .:thumbsup:


Im sure there plenty people that are going to need to change the radiator soon since the FSI cars are getting older including myself .:thumbsup:
I wouldn't say the damage is caused strictly by age and pressure. It looks more like an impact which would lead me to believe someone suffered from a broken dogbone mount and the dealer only replaced the fan shrowd because the radiator was not leaking.

Just my .02
I'll never buy another used car...
Good luck OP, hopefully you don't find any other surprises.


I changed a tire once...
My belly pan is pretty messed up and parts of my bumper (nothing cosmetic) have some damage. That lead me to believe it was from hitting a cat or dog or maybe rhinoceros.

When I tried taking those pieces off the fittings, I pulled the metal clip off completely and literally stood on my radiator and yanked away at the plastic piece. I was doing this in my dad's garage, so he gave it a shot, too. I was thinking about taking the cutting route. If those plastic fittings don't cost too much, I might just buy some new ones.

For anyone that might find this interesting, in an attempt to bend the radiator straight-ish again (so it would stop pressing up against my shiny new S3 intercooler), my dad put it across some boards, then put a 2x4 over the bent parts, and stood on the radiator. It didn't budge. So he tried sort of jumping on it. Still not much anything. He's like 200lbs. These things are pretty sturdy. Makes me really curious to see what did this kind of damage!


Lake Stevens, WA
2007 Rabbit
I work for a mishimoto distributor... never put one of their radiators on a MKV, though we have used one of their FMICs on a MKV GTI. From what I've seen on installs the radiators do seem to require some work to achieve good fitments but the radiators work amazing.