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Radiator exploded!

Car in question: VW Corrado SLC 2.8L VR6.



So I just finished up a motor swap in this car, and everything was going swimmingly (save a couple minor setbacks) I was test driving the car around my neighborhood to work it up to operating temperature to make sure everything was ok. The car seems a bit lethargic and has a bit of valve tap around 2.5k. It does feel a bit bogged down though. As soon as the radiator fans came on, I hear a loud bang. Coolant was spraying out of the actual radiator, somewhere behind the radiator fans (I couldn’t see exactly where it was spewing from) Anyway, I towed her home with no coolant anywhere as it left it’s mark all over the street. My question is this: Could this be simply a bad radiatior, or should I look at the entire system to see if a thermostat or something is faulty? Could this possibly be the work of a bad head gasket?

Make model and year please.

JEM, it’s a '92 VW Corrado with the VR6. While it might just be a bad radiator, it could also be a blown head gasket. Was this a new, rebuilt, or used engine? Any known history on it?

Did anything plug up or block off the passage to the overflow reservoir, or for the overflow drain from the reservoir? Is sounds like the radiator overpressurized.

Given the info is it possible the fans shredded the radiator?

Over-pressurization will blow a hose before it will blow the radiator…

Point.