Questions about the cooling system on an '87 Wagovan

Hi all, first post. Here's my situation. My friend has a 1987 Civic Wagovan 1.5 with AC that overheated in the city. Luckily she turned it off quickly. The car is several hours away and as the mechanically inclined friend I've been tasked with fixing it. I've never touched a Wagovan in my life (officer, I swear).


A local mechanic diagnosed it as a bad fan motor before giving my friend an "I don't want to do it" price quote. Since the car has high miles and is totally original I suggested to replace the radiator, fan, thermostat, fan switch, and any hoses we can reach and pay me the difference. Woo hoo.


Since I'm not in front of the car I have a few questions. I tried searching.


  • What aftermarket radiator options are there? I've read that if the car has AC the radiator is wider?
  • Kinda tied to the first question, what size / how many slim electric fans will I need?
  • I've seen two different fan switch sensors, which one is right?
  • Is there anything else I should replace like a separate temp sensor?
  • Do I need anything beyond basic hand tools to do all this? Any reason I would need jack stands etc?


Thanks for helping a brother out in a pinch.

Comments

  • arries289arries289 Wagonist
    I doubt the fan motor is bad. They very rarely go bad. I would bet on a relay or a thermostat, especially if it happened all of the sudden. I don't know the options for radiators if you go that route, but I would check Rockauto and Napa. If it has A/C, it has 2 motors and they are different. Again, check Rockauto or Napa. The car is metric with 10mm and 12mm through the engine compartment.
  • DakeDake Band Wagon
    arries289 wrote: »
    I doubt the fan motor is bad. They very rarely go bad. I would bet on a relay or a thermostat, especially if it happened all of the sudden. I don't know the options for radiators if you go that route, but I would check Rockauto and Napa. If it has A/C, it has 2 motors and they are different. Again, check Rockauto or Napa. The car is metric with 10mm and 12mm through the engine compartment.

    Thanks for that. Seems like this forum isn't very active or nobody wants to answer my rookie questions!

    I was more hoping for an aftermarket aluminum radiator or something along those lines.
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