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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi all, I have a 1981 Rabbit Convertible w/ factory A/C and a wet-at-the-bottom radiator. The leaking isn't serious yet but it's coming soon. This is one of the models with the filler neck on the left/driver's side and no expansion tank, 171121253F. It has pins on the bottom and no bolt-down tabs but I think I could make either work, if I could find either. I'm having no luck in finding a replacement; bus depot showed as in stock but not really. Everywhere else is backorder or NLA. There aren't any rabbit part yards around (that I know of, Tampa, FL 33613) so no luck finding a used radiator either.

Does anyone know where I can get another one of these? What approach is being taken for other's in this position? I hate to park the car as a non-op and just wait but I'm unsure about a way forward here. Do I buy a later-year model radiator, get an expansion tank and try to make that work?

Any advice/guidance would be appreciated.

Also, I've noticed that the radiator dimensions are: non-ac 525mm vs with-ac 570mm. The one that I have is 525mm. Is it the same shroud that fits both? The with-ac version is almost 2 inches longer.
 

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One thing for sure is that if it is a bigger radiator, I've always seen them use the same shroud and they add some brackets onto the radiator to line up the screw holes to secure it.

I found two... Heritage, this one is from a widely trusted website. Although this is a 171121253/BD... says 430mm rad.
Another, just by google searching the part number PartsSCA, exact part number, but first time I see this vendor page (also, I don't really order many parts online, so i'm sure you would have time to look into it further if interested)
 

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A later set up would work, but you’d need to get the expansion tank bracket, from a part out or make one.
You can also buy the all AL rads off eBay and get one with a fill neck.

There are definitely options.

-Todd
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
@TimelessBucket Thanks for the reply. Yes, I had noticed the same. I thought that seemed odd but all of the photos I could find showed a pair of brackets used to make the same shroud reach to the anchor points of the wider, A/C radiator. I'll have a look at those two you pointed out.

@ToddA1 There's an expansion tank bracket already on my left-side shock tower but no expansion tank was present since I've owned the vehicle. Maybe that's evidence of what used to be there. I'll have to figure out the correct setup from my Bentley and google now!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I think I'm going to go with the expansion tank approach. Now I have to get all the pieces. I can buy a new radiator, expansion tank and I think I can get all the hoses. The metal return pipe is the unknown part. From what I can tell, part # 055-121-065/M is the one that I need. My current coolant pipe does not have an outlet for the reservoir.
 
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