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I dunno.......I have 330K miles on my truck, I am the original owner. and it's still on the original radiator and most of the hoses. I do all the maintenance on it and it only gets Toyota parts and fluids. Just sayin'......so far---------so GOOD!!!!!!!


Agree. Have 95k miles on my 2006 Tundra with factory towing package. All looks well. Will leave as is.

Would like to see the TECH SERVICE BULLETIN on this issue. At least the number as reference. Maybe only effects early Tundra years in first generation.


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Mine was made 12/99 and I'm the original owner. I changed it because of this thread. Checked the fittings on the old one and there was absolutely nothing wrong with them. I still had the original ATF and had only replaced about 1 gallon of the coolant since new. Replaced the radiator this spring at 139K. Pictures of my fittings are shown a page or so back.
 

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Mine was made 12/99 and I'm the original owner. I changed it because of this thread. Checked the fittings on the old one and there was absolutely nothing wrong with them. I still had the original ATF and had only replaced about 1 gallon of the coolant since new. Replaced the radiator this spring at 139K. Pictures of my fittings are shown a page or so back.


Agree that stuff can happen. But think using a testing service like BLACKSTONELABS that can look at the ATF and doing pressure testing on the radiator should catch most issues early enough. Maybe a detailed inspection is warranted at 150000 miles.


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Agree that stuff can happen. But think using a testing service like BLACKSTONELABS that can look at the ATF and doing pressure testing on the radiator should catch most issues early enough. Maybe a detailed inspection is warranted at 150000 miles.
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At this point, with over 300K on it and "just a few dents and dings" if the motor takes a ****, I'll buy a used one, put that in and continue on.
It's a good truck! Even with all of the squeaks and rattles, etc. >:)
 

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No doubt things will fail after a decade or more. But the fact that many of us have gone over a decade with no hint of a problem (17 years in my case) proves it's not "just a matter of time" before all radiators fail.

It's not clear that this problem has affected even 5% of gen-1 Tundra owners, let alone the 100% implied by the thread title.

About all that can be said with confidence is that there is clearly some chemically-induced deterioration of the tranny cooler fitting that has happened to SOME BUT NOT ALL gen-1 tundra owners. The fact that it hasn't happened to all shows that its not inevitable. Something is different between the trucks with failures and those without failures.

There is too little information to figure out how much is related to less-than-ideal maintenance of the cooling system (which may include adding or flushing with tap water with unknown minerals, not just using alternative coolants or flush chemicals), or exposure of the connector to road salt splash, or other environmental/maintenance factors over the years.

So owners should just periodically inspect the cooling system, radiator cap, overflow reservoir, fittings. hoses, and fluid condition looking for films or crusty buildup. Once or twice a year should be fine (e.g. inspect it during an oil change). Should take maybe 5 minutes. If you do get a failure, it deteriorates over a fairly long time before the catastrophic point so there will be signs in advance. Apparently the best sign is to inspect the tranny cooler hose on the underside of the radiator (on the driver's side of the radiator) for any crusty build-up or looseness in the connector.
 

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Just a heads up. I was researching radiators for my 2002 Tundra, and ran across the Sunbelt brand. Sold at Amazon and Walmart, possibly at other retailers. They have a grade of F through BBB. They're in Florida. They never settled any complaints, refused to communicate with BBB. I tried to post this on Amazon and they refused.
 

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Well. I wish I would have found this thread before because yesterday I got the strawberry milkshake in my 03 tundra. Does anyone know if I can get by with using the cheapest atf I can find till I get most of the coolant out of the transmission by flushing or should I stay with a recommended atf fluid?
 

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Well. I wish I would have found this thread before because yesterday I got the strawberry milkshake in my 03 tundra. Does anyone know if I can get by with using the cheapest atf I can find till I get most of the coolant out of the transmission by flushing or should I stay with a recommended atf fluid?
I would tend to think it's even more important to go with the recommended atf as you proceed with multiple flushes since you'd want the fluid that is in there to provide as much protection in its diluted state as possible. Plus if you went with cheap atf you'd still have some residual in there when you finally get all the coolant out and put in the recommended stuff. So there are 2 reasons, if it were me, that I'd go with the recommended stuff for the full process.
 

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Well. I wish I would have found this thread before because yesterday I got the strawberry milkshake in my 03 tundra. Does anyone know if I can get by with using the cheapest atf I can find till I get most of the coolant out of the transmission by flushing or should I stay with a recommended atf fluid?
I would tend to think it's even more important to go with the recommended atf as you proceed with multiple flushes since you'd want the fluid that is in there to provide as much protection in its diluted state as possible. Plus if you went with cheap atf you'd still have some residual in there when you finally get all the coolant out and put in the recommended stuff. So there are 2 reasons, if it were me, that I'd go with the recommended stuff for the full process.
Thank you. You bring up a very good point. I was thinking to go cheap because if I run 200 dollars worth of fluid thru it and the tranny is scrap then that's 200 I could of put towards another transmission.
 

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Agree. Have 95k miles on my 2006 Tundra with factory towing package. All looks well. Will leave as is.

Would like to see the TECH SERVICE BULLETIN on this issue. At least the number as reference. Maybe only effects early Tundra years in first generation.


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My 2006 Ltd 4x4 has 97K, am going to do Rad Flush by ~100k even though it still has good(pink) color/no burned smell/ leaks. Hoses also like almost new but have new rad, thermostat, cap(2nd one) & hoses so will put on while there if any doubts.
Also doing ~6+qt atf flush every 2-3k for next few years with a filter change after two or three more double Drain & Fills.
Pandemo job loss has limited me to about 2k miles last 12 or so months.
Took advantage, only O2 sensors left, knock on wood.
No better time to get ahead on everything one can!
The old girl just keeps purring along as well as could pray for.
 

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To chime in with my perspective, within the last three years I started driving the i-5 with my 01 from central Ca. to central OR. It's about a 550 mile haul with a run over Siskiyou pass and some other moderate grades. On one trip my lady friend followed me in her 2000 Chevy Blazer with 100k+ miles. Next day she had a coolant drip, O-ring had blown out of the end cap.(Long gone are the days of soldered radiator manifolds.) It got me to thinking about my 01 with 150k and 19 years of service so I had my local mechanic replace it with an OEM and do a tranny flush and filter change for peace of mind. He was a bit perplexed that I wanted OEM because the aftermarket he uses comes with a replacement labor warranty. My reasoning may be off but I figured 19 years on an OEM outweighed the labor warranty. After reading this thread I feel a bit more justified in replacing a functioning radiator just to dodge the possibility of having the issue that the original poster experienced.
 

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My 2000 Tundra radiator started weeping at the crimps on the end caps so I replaced it before failure. 20 years and over 220k is not a bad run. Since I have a 5speed manual I wasn't worried about the internal failure that happens on the Automatics. You can purchase Denso replacements and they are the maker of the OEM for under $150 so it is not worth the risk. I don't believe a Toyota branded vs the Denso are different.
 

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My 2002 V8 is still equipped with it's original radiator.
It's been flushed at the dealership, & pressure tested a few times.
No problems.
In Sept of 2018 the original radiator cracked, it was replaced with OEM @159,755.
 

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My 2006 Ltd 4x4 has 97K, am going to do Rad Flush by ~100k even though it still has good(pink) color/no burned smell/ leaks. Hoses also like almost new but have new rad, thermostat, cap(2nd one) & hoses so will put on while there if any doubts.
Also doing ~6+qt atf flush every 2-3k for next few years with a filter change after two or three more double Drain & Fills.
Pandemo job loss has limited me to about 2k miles last 12 or so months.
Took advantage, only O2 sensors left, knock on wood.
No better time to get ahead on everything one can!
The old girl just keeps purring along as well as could pray for.
155003



Radiator looks like new still, 14.5A charging at idle, smooth as the day I got her off the delivery truck at dealer.
 

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I'm only adding to this thread to share my recent experience...('02 SR5 TRD w/195K for reference) I dropped my beloved truck off at my Toyota guy yesterday after smelling antifreeze recently and after opening the hood, immediately checked the top seam on the radiator as he was familiar with the higher-mileage fail. Aside from regular maintenance, and replacing the OEM tiny brake calipers, this truck is having it's first issue, and i was wondering what was going to fail first. Great forum...thanks, All!
 

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I thought I would add to this post. I was doing the timing belt /water pump last year and I removed the rad when I did the job to avoid damaging the original rad. I figured it was in pretty good shape. I found the water pump had been weeping a little bit of coolant and a large build up of dried up coolant that looked like cotten candy was caked under the cover of the T-belts. 147K miles on the orig T-belt, my bad:oops:. Anyways I also noticed that under the fan shroud the rad was also weeping in about 5 different spots. It looked brand new everywhere else so I had no idea. I assume at some point it would have just blown up and pissed coolant. I was surprised to find that at a local auto parts place here in Vancouver Canada an aftermarket rad was $325 CAD and a OEM Toyota rad from the dealer was $300!! Pretty cheap for factory part IMO. So before you go aftermarket check the dealer, and check and replace your old rad. Just because it looks good doesn't mean its not starting to fail. It is a wear item
 
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