Radiator & Coolant

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Note: This is for the 5 cylinder engine.  On the 6 cylinder, the top of the radiator just tips forward after removing the 4 top bolts.

For easy access to the engine and for changing the spark plugs on the VR-6 engine, the radiator is a floating design which allows it to tip forward.

  1. Release and Open the Hood.

  2. Remove three Philips head screws directly at top, front, forward position as you gaze down on the top of the radiator.  These screws secure the top of the total grill assembly.

  3. Remove two Philips head screws recessed in each end in the lowest slot in the lower grill vent (just above the front bumper).

  4. Pull each end of the full width body panel contiguous with the lowest grill vent forward.  Be careful not to pull one end out too far without detaching the opposite side.  This body panel has two slots on either side hidden until extracted that clip to 'T' pins on the corresponding side panels cushioned by plastic 'C' grommets.  The entire grill assembly just forward of the radiator comes totally free of the rig.  Find a safe place to lay this as it could be easily damaged.

  5. Directly covering the top of the radiator is a black metal cap secured on either side of the radiator by two 13mm hex head body screws mounted vertically.

  6. Remove these two screws.  Gingerly, pull up on the radiator assembly not by the black metal cap.  This is only fastened to the top of the radiator assembly by two broad flat arrowhead neoprene mounts.  I used the cross bar just above the two cooling fans aft of the radiator.

  7. Work the radiator assembly UP and then FORWARD.  This assembly is attached by four swing arm brackets (two on each side).  Place a buffer (cardboard or such) between this radiator assembly and the bumper where it ultimately comes to rest.  The neoprene feet on each bottom corner of the radiator assembly are probably grimy as they normally reside in two dimples in the lower frame and serve as mounts cushioning the radiator.

  8. Once the assembly has come UP, OUT and DOWN to rest on the bumper (with cardboard), look over the top of the radiator. . . . . TA--DA , in full view with total access are the spark plug high tension leads.

Coolant Reservoir:

This reservoir is designed to show even the smallest amount of coolant loss.  The vehicle MUST be on level ground when the coolant level is observed and compared to the lines marked on the outside of the reservoir.  If the amount of loss is very small, then add additional coolant and/or water.  If there continues to be coolant loss, the source of the leak must be determined.  Check the hose clamp connectors that Winnebago installs when they cut into the hot coolant lines to supply hot coolant to the rear coach heater and water heater.  Also check and tighten the clamps inside the coach where they supply the coach heater and water heater.  If you see any dried pinkish powdery residue around these hose clamps, that probably indicates the area of leakage.


VW specifically recommends the use of "G-12" coolant which is pinkish-red in color.  This "G-12" is not a VW brand name or type of coolant but rather a specification put out by Volkswagen/Audi and describes a coolant that is "nitrite-free, nitrate-free, phosphate-free, silicate-free, borate-free, and amine-free formulation.  A direct replacement is Pentofrost SF for those that have pink/lilac antifreeze or Pentofrost NF for those that use blue/green.  There may be others that have the correct specs.

Do not add or mix the typical Prestone or other common brand name of coolant which is green in color.

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Page Updated: 16 May 2020