Hello everybody, it's been a while since I've posted here. I am a broke college student transferring to UC Davis this Fall. School is so damn expensive I am trying to pinch every penny I can. My 95' YJ 4.0L has been leaking anti-freeze for a while, so recently when I was having an exhaust leak fixed I also had the mechanics do a pressure test on my radiator. They said it was completely shot and it would be $400 something to fix it (too much in my opinion).
I contacted an auto wrecking yard about a radiator, and they told me it would be $130 for a refurbished radiator. I don't know much about cars but everything I've ever heard about radiators is just replace it don't try to repair it.
I don't go 4wheeling anymore so I don't need any performance type equipment. I want to replace my radiator with a comparable one and not have to break the bank. Most I find on the internet are over $200 but I came across one on JC Whitney for $96, then 10% off and free shipping. This seems awfully nice but I am doubtful as to why it is so much cheaper. My cheap nature wants me to buy this one, but I feel I am not educated enough to make that decision (worried that I may regret it later).
Could one of you more automotive-wise folk give me some insight on this? Is this deal too good to be true? Is there something I am missing? It says it is a 1-row radiator, and to be honest I don't know how many rows the one in my wrangler right now has.
if your current one is stock, more than likely a 1 row as well.... when it's cool, open the cap and look down inside, you'll probably see one row of tubes.
I've used the cheapies from JCW before... for a street only driver that doesn't tow a trailer, you should be fine, especially with your location telling my nor Cal... if you were SC or desert area I'd say go for a better quality 1-row or more rows... but your current one lasted about 18 years. worse case, your new JCW rad will last 1/4 to 1/3 that, but by then you'll be (probably) out of college and working where it isn't as big of a deal
[FONT="Comic Sans MS"][COLOR="Blue"]Sean B. - Schenectady, NY - 95 YJ, 350/700r4/NP241, JB Shorty SYE, 8.8 rear, 2" BDS, 1" homebrew shackles, Daystar 1" BL, TJ flares, 35x12.50 General Grabber AT2 on 15x10 Bart D-Truckers, Polyshield polycarbonate windshield, HD over/under crossover steering
[/COLOR] [COLOR="Red"]swap/build thread: [url]http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f22/after-almost-4-years-finally-my-own-build-swap-thread-1542284/[/url][/COLOR][/FONT]
When it comes to radiators, I won't take short cuts. If I'm out on a trail or a drive, the last thing that I need is for my Jeep to blow off some steam because my motor has over heated. I understand the college thing, but some parts are just not worth going cheap on. But, if you can get a great deal on a good product, such as at Rock Auto, then by all means go for it.
Also, look on this forum for parts as well. I have purchased many good parts from fellow forum members, including my radiator, from here with much success.
2015 Cherokee Trailhawk V6.
Last edited by remmons; 07-24-2013 at 02:34 PM..
Reason: Additional info added.
I will also give a big thumbs up for RockAuto.com. I have two Jeeps and three antique cars and I buy parts from them at least once a month. :-) Usually the cheapest game in town even after you figure in shipping, as long as you are buying more than just a couple of small parts. My last Jeep radiator came from RA - cheap and worked great.
As for rebuilding a radiator vs buying one- last radiator I had quoted to rebuild was $600 for the rebuild vs $250 for a new replacement.
1994 Jeep YJ off road toy
1981 CJ7 SBC 350
2005 KJ Libertyt 4x4 CRD w/ 2.5" Frankenlift DD
Another vote for Rock Auto. I like being able to select exactly what I want from the options they have to choose from, and they're usually a lot cheaper than the local parts houses. I've only had one issue with them, and it wasn't as much their fault as it was the shippers (ROUGH handling by them). They told me to chuck it in the trash since it was a somewhat inexpensive part at $30, then I had another one on my doorstep two days later.
If I have a non-pressing issue that can wait a few days to be repaired, I always buy from them
There is something to say, however, for buying something large like a radiator at your local parts house. Most of the aftermarket radiators have the stupid plastic tanks that are prone to leaking when the temps drop below freezing. This usually occurs after a couple of years of heating/cooling cycles, and since the plastic & aluminum have different expansion/contraction rates, that joint usually begins to leak. I bought one for my wife's ZJ 5 years ago, and almost like clockwork, I've had to replace it every two years due to the tanks leaking where they are crimped to the radiator core. Mind you it won't leak when it's cooling down, or even warmed up; it ONLY leaks in the engine warm-up cycle when the warm water from the engine hits the plastic tanks. After the engine gets close to operating temperature, the leaks stop, but it's still a leak, so I take it back for a replacement.
I love that lifetime warranty, and it's much easier to take it back to a store to swap out than to have to box it up and ship it out for a replacement. So sometimes paying a little extra now can pay off big in the long run.
There is something to say, however, for buying something large like a radiator at your local parts house. Most of the aftermarket radiators have the stupid plastic tanks that are prone to leaking when the temps drop below freezing.
I have to respectfully disagree with you on this one. The OEM radiator in my first YJ puked after 17 years. I decided to "upgrade" to all metal. The welded mounting tabs broke inside of a year and the radiator was being held in place by the hoses. Went BACK to the OEM style plastic tank and never had a problem.
The second YJ I bought already had its radiator "upgraded" to all metal. Guess what? The mounting tabs on it were broke when I bought it and the PO never wheeled it - ever. Again, I went back to a plastic tank model and haven't had a problem. Oh, and BTW, I live in the upper Midwest. It gets plenty cold up here.
1996 White ZJ
1987 Maroon YJ (sideways build)
1996 Forest Green XJ