205 Gti Radiator conundrum
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  1. #1
    Fellow Frogger! craigos's Avatar
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    Default 205 Gti Radiator conundrum

    I'm about to buy a new radiator for a '93 205 Gti.

    The Valeo has the copper tanks but the overflow return sticks out the side. If I had this on my '89 there would be no room for the small pipe and the hose would have to do a 180 on itself.

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    The Magnetti Marelli has plastic tanks but the overflow inlet points towards the firewall which is my preference. Only thing is I'm not a fan of the plastic tanks. Last time I wiggled the joint too much getting the hose off and broke the solder. No big deal, rad out, down to the shop and $20 later it's fixed.

    If the tank was plastic would that have been a bin job or are they as easy to fix? They seem like a throw away item or am I just being precious?

    Any advice or experience with this?

    Cheers,205 Gti Radiator conundrum-img_0012.jpg
    White 1989 205 Gti-RS.
    Sorrento 1993 205 Gti.

  2. #2
    Contented Peugeot Driver addo's Avatar
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    The plastics are repairable within a few years of manufacture. Embrittlement seems to kick in after a bit longer; I reckon chlorination has a big effect there.

    Also, being a 205 I think you'll have no trouble getting new radiators for a good while yet.

  3. #3
    1000+ Posts jo proffi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by craigos View Post
    If the tank was plastic would that have been a bin job or are they as easy to fix? They seem like a throw away item or am I just being precious?
    Yes, they are a throw away item, but I believe any radiator after 10 years or so is a throw away item so dont see any profound difference between designs.

    You can polish the proverbial turd by having them repaired or rodded or whatever, but at the end of the day alloy OE radiators with plastic tanks are so cheap and so good that I see it as false economy to even consider repairing them unless you are a klutz like me who keeps physically piercing the tubes with sharp objects, in which case a dab of epoxy seals it up just fine.
    If the plastic end tanks give up, I'll just buy another radiator for a few hundred dollars and enjoy the thermal security a new radiator offers.

    You'll find opinion polarised one way or another in regards to copper vs alloy.
    All I know is a new radiator is better than an old radiator regardless of what they are made from.



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    Last edited by jo proffi; 10th October 2012 at 12:30 PM.

  4. #4
    Fellow Frogger!
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    Mine has a Magnetti Marelli in it with the plastic end tanks. It's about 18 months old and has had the pipes wrenched off multiple times with no probs. Still looks new and I can't fault it's cooling performance.

  5. #5
    Fellow Frogger! craigos's Avatar
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    Plastic could be the go. My current one looks to be full copper but I'm not sure of the age. Funny how the manufacturer claims to copy exact specs for the original part and uses plastic tanks.
    White 1989 205 Gti-RS.
    Sorrento 1993 205 Gti.

  6. #6
    1000+ Posts Andrew Ch's Avatar
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    Default 205 Gti Radiator conundrum

    I have used the Valeo replacement on my car with no problems. It has the side pipe as described but I just tilted the radiator back a little so pipe would not rub on metal opening. You will also find filler cap not central in slam panel opening but causes no issue filling tank.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew Ch View Post
    I have used the Valeo replacement on my car with no problems. It has the side pipe as described but I just tilted the radiator back a little so pipe would not rub on metal opening. You will also find filler cap not central in slam panel opening but causes no issue filling tank.
    The MM has the same issue. Filler cap doesn't line up perfectly but can still get it on/off without much fuss.

  8. #8
    Fellow Frogger! craigos's Avatar
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    Thanks for the info. I'm going Valeo for the copper tanks and if the pipe out the side affects me I'll have it shifted 90 degrees at the shop as it should be a 10 minute job. Best of both worlds, sorted!
    White 1989 205 Gti-RS.
    Sorrento 1993 205 Gti.

  9. #9
    1000+ Posts Andrew Ch's Avatar
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    Default 205 Gti Radiator conundrum

    FWIW nothing is a 10 minute job.. : )

  10. #10
    Fellow Frogger! craigos's Avatar
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    Generally not on a Pug, no.

    The rad shop charged me $20 cash to silver solder, flush & test it last time so to drill a hole and add a plug it shouldn't be too excessive.

    They seemed happy to come across something made from copper last time I was in there.
    White 1989 205 Gti-RS.
    Sorrento 1993 205 Gti.

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