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Thread: Recommend me a radiator

  1. #1
    Angry Ginger txapacheguy's Avatar
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    Default Recommend me a radiator

    Its official. My jeep has just consumed its fourth radiator.

    I replaced the factory radiator (plastic tanks), "upgrading" to an all metal radiator purchased online from www.1aauto.com in 2006 . The first one had a leak up top where the upper tank was soldered on. It began leaking within a week or so of installation. The company replaced it under warranty.

    The replacement lasted until 2008, and then developed a leak in the core. I replaced it in 2009 with another all-metal radiator purchased from a shop local to my folks in Texas.

    I have been smelling anti-freeze after shutting the jeep down for months and noticing a slow drop in my coolant tank level, but have been unable to ascertain its origin. Today I found the leak. Again, the coolant is coming from the core it seems.

    I will be replacing the radiator once again, and I would really like to find a decent one that will last more than two years. Cost is not a major issue. It does not have to be a direct bolt-in replacement, but I would prefer to avoid having to chop my core support and re-route my a/c lines. The plan is to eliminate my mechanical clutch fan with an electric one soon. I already have a '92 Taurus fan standing by for this mod, and intend to fabricate a bracket to accommodate my coolant overflow tank.

    Any recommendations for a good aftermarket replacement radiator will will be greatly appreciated.

    Vehicle Specs: 2001 Jeep Wrangler. 4.0L engine, manual transmission, with A/C

    Thanks in advance!!!
    "Mankind has a perfect record in aviation safety if you consider we have never left one up there"

    2001 TJ 4" lift, 35" Goodyear Wrangler MT/R's, HP D30/D44 with 4.88's, ARBs and chromolys, AA SYE, TW rear driveshaft, too much other junk to list here...

  2. #2
    Senior Member SavageSun4x4's Avatar
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    4th radiator? WOW! Bad luck or??????

    Spent a lot of time looking at radiators when I mounted a supercharger atop my 4.0L and was warned of the heating issues. Then I moved out to Scottsdale AZ with summer temps in the 1teens on mild days and in the 120's to 130's out off roading.

    But thru it all my OEM plastic tank radiator with 80k miles never faltered.

    As I concurrently researched radiators I learned a lot. FACT your best radiator is a OEM. The plastic top works for 99.9% of all folks, but OK you don't like it, then get on of the OEM that has a metal top.

    I would not do anything else. In fact in talking to a Jeep engineer who worked at the testing grounds in AZ, the OEM TJ/JK system is so over engineered there is not need for additional cooling at all under any circumstances.

    So there I would sit, waiting on a group of jeeps to get over a waterfall, its Aug, temp in the washes is over 130, I have on my AC and engine is idling the Supercharger is spinning and I can idle my Jeep all afternoon with no issues at all.

    NOTE that is also being done with a Warn Powerplant winch sitting in from of the radiator.

    NOTE: I did have the OEM 7 blade fan and HD clutch.
    Don

    '15 Jeep Unlimited Rubicon Hard Rock...OLD SCHOOL 6 Spd Manual Trans
    17 Oaks Ranch Companies LLC

    www.savagesun4x4.com

  3. #3
    Angry Ginger txapacheguy's Avatar
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    Yeah... The first radiator was replaced at 80K or so with only a small seep around the upper tank. The second and third were cheap China made garbage, and the fourth... Who knows. It was USA made and bought from a decent shop I have dealt with before.

    I was kinda thinking about going back with an OEM plastic replacement, or buying a 2 or 3 row aluminum replacement from Ebay. I have never experienced cooling problems with any of the radiators, but I like the metal tanks because previous experience with other vehicles has shown me more failures from plastic tanks and less from metal. Dealing with this jeep has led me to question my stance on the subject though.
    "Mankind has a perfect record in aviation safety if you consider we have never left one up there"

    2001 TJ 4" lift, 35" Goodyear Wrangler MT/R's, HP D30/D44 with 4.88's, ARBs and chromolys, AA SYE, TW rear driveshaft, too much other junk to list here...

  4. #4
    Senior Member SavageSun4x4's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by txapacheguy View Post
    Yeah... buying a 2 or 3 row aluminum replacement from Ebay. .
    1 row Vs 2 row Vs 3 row etc:
    Simple question, complex answer.
    Multiple rows bring with them their own bag of worms. The more rows the more turbulence in the air flow across them. This turbulence reduces the ability of the air to flow and:
    1) extract heat from the rows
    2) flow across the rows at a predetermined rate that makes calculating heat transfer and the resulting cooling predictable
    3) it takes more fan "pull" [aka CFM]to drag the air across multiple rows
    Cooling systems are very codependent on each individual component.
    It is my suggestion that you examine your current system design and base your purchase upon that. That said your Jeep currently uses a single row rad design. And, you have modded it by adding the 7-blade fan/clutch setup.
    What the 7-blade fan does is increase the CFM of air the fan will pull thus improving its cooling ability. [NOTE: This is NOT always the case. All too often more CFM leads to less cooling rather than more/better cooling. Why? In order for cooling to take place the air must have a degree of "latency" as it travels across the row(s). This latency is when the heat transfer takes place. Move the air too fast and it does not cool. Same as removing a thermostat. Take it out and most likely you will overheat, due to the fluid moving too quick thru the system.]
    Like air slowing down as it passes thru the multiple rows, so does the coolant. As it slows down or increases it latency then the air needs to speed up in order to extract the additional heat that this latency generates. More rows, slower coolant flow, more air CFM required to cool.
    In all likelihood you could go multiple rows if you have a fan that will pull more CFMs and probably overcome the turbulence factor.
    On the other hand I see no reason to do so. The OEM rad works fine and with the addition of the fan/clutch upgrade will cool your rig with AC on rock crawling up a wash.
    Point:
    The cooling system is codependent and must ALWAYS remain in balance with itself or it fails to work. Understanding this is why I chose to stay with a OEM cooling system.
    Don

    '15 Jeep Unlimited Rubicon Hard Rock...OLD SCHOOL 6 Spd Manual Trans
    17 Oaks Ranch Companies LLC

    www.savagesun4x4.com

  5. #5
    Senior Member HillBillE's Avatar
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    I would check everything over, the rods holding the grill, and the grill mount bushing.

    Seems like an awful lot of rad's to go through.

    My buddy Matt's CJ kept popping cores on his all metal rad. Turned out the grill mount bushing was shot, and when he flexed, the entire grill flexed, and was tweaking the rad. The bottom corners were catching the frame, becuase of the worn bushing.

    I had to solder the top mounts also (both sides, but at different times)

    He replaced the mount, and we set the grill rods so the hood lined up good. After that, no more problems....until he put a stick through the rad!


    As long as the people remain armed,
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    do so out of duty, honor, oath and love of country.


    "Certified Jeep Junky!"


  6. #6
    Senior Member jeepdreamer's Avatar
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    Give Charlie at Superior Radiator a call and chat him up. They are good guys, make good stuff for reasonable prices. 586-463-8722.

  7. #7
    Angry Ginger txapacheguy's Avatar
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    Good advice all around. Thanks for sharing!!! Alot of pros for sticking to single core for sure.

    It would not surprise me to determine that something on the front end was tweaked a bit, or that the jeep was able to flex enough off-road to cause the premature failure.

    I will definitely do a good inspection of the mounting area, and a good post-mortem of the old radiator. I left Superior Radiator a message, so we'll see what they can do.

    Thanks again for all the ideas!!!
    "Mankind has a perfect record in aviation safety if you consider we have never left one up there"

    2001 TJ 4" lift, 35" Goodyear Wrangler MT/R's, HP D30/D44 with 4.88's, ARBs and chromolys, AA SYE, TW rear driveshaft, too much other junk to list here...

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