MAX-5 Double Core Radiator #4905

[6/20/2001] Reviewed by: Scott Spike -

Applicable to: '90 - '97 1.6 liter 1.8 liter

Drop-in replacement radiator with two parallel cores. The overall core thickness is almost twice that of the stock radiator, but the rest of the radiator is near stock size.

The radiator arrived quickly and in good shape from Performance Buyer's Club. It lives up to the 'drop-in' claim and is, as advertised, all metal. The top and bottom appear to be copper while the cores are aluminum with copper fins. The various bits are soldered together with lead, so California beware. The metal is of a fairly light gauge, but the only areas that made me tense during the install were the tubes that connect to the upper and lower hoses. When installing the hoses, it would be best to push the hoses straight on and pull them straight off. Serious side loading could crimp the tubes. The overall weight is not much different than the stock unit. The whole thing is sprayed black, which seems odd, as paint doesn't usually transfer heat very quickly. The paint job on the fins is not very complete or very thick, so it should not be a big problem. I expect performance overall will be much improved over stock.

A friend and I took 4 hours to do the replacement, but we were taking our time, and did some other things while we had the car on jack stands. A strict remove/replace could be done in half the time with little trouble. A word of warning: There are four bolts holding on each fan, for a total of eight. The top fan bracket closest to the right headlight is thin metal, while the other seven brackets are thick plastic. The bolt from the metal bracket is slightly shorter than the other seven. If one of the longer bolts is used in place of the short bolt, and tightened all the way, you will PUNCH A HOLE IN THE RADIATOR! I don't know why Mazda chose to do such a thing, but it is subtle, and easy to do.

Over 30 minutes to remove completely

Back to Product Reviews 15 December, 2001