So which is the preferred (replacement) radiator brand: Spectra, or Denso? Other than the radiator, are we supposed to replace the trans. cooler lines as well?
I'm at 105k miles on my 07 and want to do a little preventative. I'm assuming the parts list is as follows:
Is there anything else?
Denso is the OEM Radiator, I wouldn't replace the OEM with another OEM, on Price and Piss Poor design either one. YMMV
KOYO, has had direct comparisons to the Spectra and was considered better a few years back. RockAuto is selling the OSC and if you go to RockAuto they have a video from OSC where they compare, their Rad to OEM and other Aftermarket. Specifically they compare the Honda Civic, and although not the Ridgeline Rad, several feel it's a close enough comparison so that seems to be the "flavor of the month". Other Brands are CSF, TYC, PBI, Imperial, Sunbelt, and others. A Sunbelt can be found one on Ebay or Amazon for $68, and aftermarket Radiator are found with prices ranging from $68 to $200 and up.
Sunbelt Radiator on Amazon
Sunbelt Radiator on Ebay
Some, including myself have installed the CSF Radiator, which I picked up locally for only a small amount more than the Spectra was had I replaced it with a second one from Amazon. With this local purchase I have an unlimited miles/3 year replacement warranty, and I saw it pressure tested in front of me. All I need to do is bring in the Radiator & Receipt and a Receipt for the coolant I used at the time of install for full replacement.
This was after a Spectra Radiator failed after approximately 16 months. I had ordered my first Spectra from Amazon and it was shipped in the Spectra "back warehouse" box and was severely damaged, I returned it to Amazon and they shipped a second in a two layer box setup. This had limited bent fins but as I was on a time crunch I accepted it. In hindsight I shouldn't have accepted it. At the time I thought it was a good deal as it had a 2 year limited lifetime warranty, I've already posted the attempts to claim it, and return it to Spectra or Amazon. Amazon said no it was past the point of return with them and Spectra said return it to where it was purchased.
So, Let the Buyer Be Where - Caveat Emptor, sometimes shopping locally is worth it.
In addition to the parts you listed above, You may want to Consider Upper and Lower Radiator Hoses, Hose Clamps, and possibly ATF Hoses, The OEM Hose is a thicker wall thickness compared to aftermarket hoses I found locally at AutoZone, so if your planning on reusing the OEM hose Clamps, your better off sticking with the OEM Hose. I found a precut length of ATF Hose and it's wall thickness was identical to the OEM, and I just had to cut to length, easy enough with a razor blade, if I remember it was 54" for $7.99 at either AutoZone or O'Reilly