Torn on radiator choices - JeepForum.com
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post #1 of 41 Old 08-16-2017, 01:07 PM Thread Starter
Unsteady
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Torn on radiator choices

Could use some advice.

My factory installed MOPAR radiator is finally giving up the ghost after 24 some-odd years of faithful service. It was full of brown and muck (it sat for 9 years or so) and even though I knew what would happen...I flushed it. Yup. Meow it's leaking.

After searching and searching...And finding several answers...I figured I'd just ask.

'94 4.0 with automatic (so I need one with trans cooling). I can't seem to find an actual OEM replacement that's not some garbage brand. I know @Chrisnvegas had some awesomesauce new one he put in, but I don't see a brand or link to what it was.

I'll also be replacing the water pump because I'll be right there, and my experience tells me that those ALWAYS fail right after new radiator installs lol...Along with new upper and lower hoses and whatever else I come across. Most likely do the heater core as well (have to drop all that to fix my AC anyway) fairly soonish.

Soooo...What sayeth the experts? Just get a NAPA aloominium and call it a day, or spend some good money on an aftermarket solution?


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post #2 of 41 Old 08-16-2017, 01:29 PM
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Used these on my last 2 builds... And its on sale now... Worked fine w my Stroker engine OEM replacement

https://www.quadratec.com/products/51210_09_07.htm
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post #3 of 41 Old 08-16-2017, 02:06 PM
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http://www.autozone.com/cooling-heat...22635_107695_0
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post #4 of 41 Old 08-16-2017, 05:49 PM
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My purdy radiator is a one-off hand built prototype.
Then the company decided it was too expensive and wouldn't sell. I called them looking for more last year.

I still have my original Mopar sitting in a box somewhere.
It was rebuilt by Al's Radiator and was about a hundred bucks.
Looks brand new.
Well, Al retired.

Those radiators up there ^^^ will probably work fine as long as everything else is proper (fan clutch/water pump/t-stat)

The original Mopar radiator was contracted to Silla and they supplied the factory.
The fan clutch was contracted to AC/Delco

Are there any old radiator shops still around where you live? (Like Al's Radiator)
If there are, give em' a call and see if they can rebuild yours for a reasonable price.

The original is copper/brass.
I like them because they can be repaired, on trail if necessary with a small torch and solder.
(Years ago, when lead was being removed from solder, I went out and bought all I could of flux core.
It should last for my natural life) new solder sucks.

Anyway, if you wanna get fancy, Champion makes a purdy radiator that will cool a YJ on planet Mercury.
Rated to 350 horsepower.

http://www.championradiators.com/Jee...-Row-1987-2006
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post #5 of 41 Old 08-16-2017, 06:19 PM
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If you want in cheap, RockAuto.com has several choices in the $75-$80 range. Nothing spectacular, and probably all Chinese origin. Definitely all plastic tanks/aluminum core. The Spectra Premium/Cooling Depot one someone posted the AutoZone link to (for $137.xx) is $77.79 before discount and shipping at RockAuto.

I've run the Spectra Premium/Cooling Depot rads on several other applications, and as long as you're not bouncing it too hard off road, they run for several years relatively trouble free for street use.

Their prices are good on the other parts as well. You can get an extra 5% off if you enter 6677731948874231 in the "How Did You Hear About Us? " line at the bottom of your shopping cart.

You mentioned water pump, I'd also recommend:
  • fan clutch (a must replace when replacing the water pump)
  • thermostat, STANT 45359 "SuperStat," stock temp
  • Radiator cap (might be included with the radiator, but I prefer a known quantity Stant cap)
  • heater hoses, actually all the hoses. Not sure if the 4.0 I6 has a bypass hose or any other ancillary coolant hoses, but if it's rubber and carries coolant, replace it.
  • Obviously fresh coolant of the appropriate type
  • It's a good time to put on a new serpentine belt, tensioner and related goodies. You've got it off, if it's old, it's just dumb to put the old worn belt back on.
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I'm not arguing, I'm just explaining why my position is correct.
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post #6 of 41 Old 08-16-2017, 06:52 PM
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I just changed my radiator, pump, and thermostat with Mopar replacements. Basically 195 for the radiator, 145 for the pump and 20 for the thermostat and gasket. At: WeRMopar.com.
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post #7 of 41 Old 08-16-2017, 06:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bbacus View Post
I just changed my radiator, pump, and thermostat with Mopar replacements. Basically 195 for the radiator, 145 for the pump and 20 for the thermostat and gasket. At: WeRMopar.com.
Good prices.
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post #8 of 41 Old 08-16-2017, 10:44 PM
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Had the all brass radiator that was in the Jeep spring a leak within a year of having it rebuilt for $80, 7 miles up a forest road at 1am in the morning in sub freezing temperature spraying the accessory belts in coolant causing the alternator to slip and dim the lights, once I got back to paved road the drive home was fine but the 7 miles of gravel sucked driving by with dim/no head lights. Next day I bought a $138 plastic tanked aluminum radiator from the local autoparts store and it has been trouble free for the last 4 years, even running full throttle up a mountain pass in 3rd at 70mph in 80 degree weather. FWIW most of the aftermarket radiators are for automatics vehicles and you just leave the trans lines unhooked when installing into a manual vehicle.

Good news is the old brass radiator was worth $15 to the tweakers at the scrap metal place.
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post #9 of 41 Old 08-16-2017, 11:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Racer-X View Post
If you want in cheap, RockAuto.com has several choices in the $75-$80 range. Nothing spectacular, and probably all Chinese origin. Definitely all plastic tanks/aluminum core. The Spectra Premium/Cooling Depot one someone posted the AutoZone link to (for $137.xx) is $77.79 before discount and shipping at RockAuto.

I've run the Spectra Premium/Cooling Depot rads on several other applications, and as long as you're not bouncing it too hard off road, they run for several years relatively trouble free for street use.

Their prices are good on the other parts as well. You can get an extra 5% off if you enter 6677731948874231 in the "How Did You Hear About Us? " line at the bottom of your shopping cart.

You mentioned water pump, I'd also recommend:
  • fan clutch (a must replace when replacing the water pump)
  • thermostat, STANT 45359 "SuperStat," stock temp
  • Radiator cap (might be included with the radiator, but I prefer a known quantity Stant cap)
  • heater hoses, actually all the hoses. Not sure if the 4.0 I6 has a bypass hose or any other ancillary coolant hoses, but if it's rubber and carries coolant, replace it.
  • Obviously fresh coolant of the appropriate type
  • It's a good time to put on a new serpentine belt, tensioner and related goodies. You've got it off, if it's old, it's just dumb to put the old worn belt back on.
The Spectra Premium radiator is kinda like blind date IMO. You may hit it off just fine, but if you don't it goes bad pretty fast. What I mean is that I have had one fail within 6 months - admittedly after a Rubicon Trail trip with lots of bouncing and hard drop offs as Racer-X stated - and another one go bad within 1 day, the plastic top failed nearly same day.

Had I saved $50 and bought it from RockAuto, I would have had to have purchased the replacement radiator from them, then mail them the bad radiator on RMA for a refund/credit. All of it taking the Jeep out of commission for at least 3 days and my money even longer. Ask me how I know.

My daughters YJ was a 2.5l. It had a Spectra Premium rad in it for about 5 years. Nothing wrong with it at all. When I did the 4.0 swap, I wanted a new Rad. Wanted, not needed. Michaelgoesrawr stop reading here please.

I drained hers, removed it, walked into AZ with it, they pulled up the purchase on the computer from 4 years ago (no receipt) and handed me a new one in a box, and said Thank you for shopping at AZ.

If you are gonna go cheap, go cheap from a place that will give you the best warranty and service. I put all Mopar parts (except the actual fan) on my LJ, but it was not cheap. I believe for the type of wheeling I do (or used to do - damn bills got me busting as and missing trails) dictated I get a Rad that would hold up. My kid, shes daily driver and less hardcore trails, so the spectra is working out fine. BTW, she is in Idaho. If her rad fails, she can walk into ANY AZ and get it replaced under warranty.

my 2 cents.
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post #10 of 41 Old 08-17-2017, 02:03 PM
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Interesting comments.

For more severe duty, the Champion radiator that @Chrisnvegas linked to is a good choice. I haven't used them in Jeeps, but I have used them in race cars with fairly severe (solid) mounts and suspension bushings. They handle the bumps and vibration much better than any plastic tanks crimped on an aluminum core.

The Champions are pretty widely available as well, Amazon, Jegs, Summit Racing all carry them.
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I'm not arguing, I'm just explaining why my position is correct.
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post #11 of 41 Old 08-18-2017, 10:34 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chrisnvegas View Post
My purdy radiator is a one-off hand built prototype.
Then the company decided it was too expensive and wouldn't sell. I called them looking for more last year.

I still have my original Mopar sitting in a box somewhere.
It was rebuilt by Al's Radiator and was about a hundred bucks.
Looks brand new.
Well, Al retired.

Those radiators up there ^^^ will probably work fine as long as everything else is proper (fan clutch/water pump/t-stat)

The original Mopar radiator was contracted to Silla and they supplied the factory.
The fan clutch was contracted to AC/Delco

Are there any old radiator shops still around where you live? (Like Al's Radiator)
If there are, give em' a call and see if they can rebuild yours for a reasonable price.

The original is copper/brass.
I like them because they can be repaired, on trail if necessary with a small torch and solder.
(Years ago, when lead was being removed from solder, I went out and bought all I could of flux core.
It should last for my natural life) new solder sucks.

Anyway, if you wanna get fancy, Champion makes a purdy radiator that will cool a YJ on planet Mercury.
Rated to 350 horsepower.

http://www.championradiators.com/Jee...-Row-1987-2006
Seems like the Champion should do me good.

The factory radiator is pretty beat up and dented. I don't know that it can be repaired. I'll look closer when I remove it (probably this weekend).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Racer-X View Post
If you want in cheap, RockAuto.com has several choices in the $75-$80 range. Nothing spectacular, and probably all Chinese origin. Definitely all plastic tanks/aluminum core. The Spectra Premium/Cooling Depot one someone posted the AutoZone link to (for $137.xx) is $77.79 before discount and shipping at RockAuto.

I've run the Spectra Premium/Cooling Depot rads on several other applications, and as long as you're not bouncing it too hard off road, they run for several years relatively trouble free for street use.

Their prices are good on the other parts as well. You can get an extra 5% off if you enter 6677731948874231 in the "How Did You Hear About Us? " line at the bottom of your shopping cart.

You mentioned water pump, I'd also recommend:
  • fan clutch (a must replace when replacing the water pump)
  • thermostat, STANT 45359 "SuperStat," stock temp
  • Radiator cap (might be included with the radiator, but I prefer a known quantity Stant cap)
  • heater hoses, actually all the hoses. Not sure if the 4.0 I6 has a bypass hose or any other ancillary coolant hoses, but if it's rubber and carries coolant, replace it.
  • Obviously fresh coolant of the appropriate type
  • It's a good time to put on a new serpentine belt, tensioner and related goodies. You've got it off, if it's old, it's just dumb to put the old worn belt back on.
Was planning on doing most of that anyway. I've never replaced a major component of a cooling system without another part failing shortly thereafter LOL. Hadn't thought of the tensioner though.


Thanks for the replies all. I'll probably go with the Champion
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post #12 of 41 Old 08-18-2017, 02:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Unsteady View Post
Seems like the Champion should do me good.

The factory radiator is pretty beat up and dented. I don't know that it can be repaired. I'll look closer when I remove it (probably this weekend).



Was planning on doing most of that anyway. I've never replaced a major component of a cooling system without another part failing shortly thereafter LOL. Hadn't thought of the tensioner though.


Thanks for the replies all. I'll probably go with the Champion
So funny you mention that. Me too. Whenever I replaced a radiator, The water pump would start dripping within a month.

When I did my YJ radiator, I pretty much replaced the whole cooling system.

My coolant was pretty nasty. I had neglected my cooling system.
My antifreeze was weak, the coolant was pretty rusty.
When I had the water pump out, I cleaned the inside of the block passages with several bottles of CLR (calcium, lime, rust)
The radiator was out, fan out, t-stat and cover off. Pretty much the front of the block was bare.
I poured it in up top. Let it drain into the block. I let it sit about 10 mins.
(The heater core was not connected)
Then I flushed the crap out of the block with the garden hose and air compressor.
Wow.
The crap that came out of the block was nasty. 20+ years of scale and crap.
I flushed the garden hose water with an air compressor.
Don't forget to clean your coolant tank too.
Make a weekend of it.



Now the coolant looks sweet. Block all flushed, nice & green. Kinda like tasty kool-aid! (NO! don't be tempted!)

I also backflushed my heater core. Man, that was nasty too. I didn't use CLR, just the hose.

Now I drain & re-fill every spring. I won't neglect my cooling system again.

The same goes for my auto trans. Drain & refill every spring.
I make one nice weekend a Jeep fluid weekend.

With one difference. I'm lazy and dislike crawling around on the ground like a snake.

So on the axles and trans, I use the Topsider 5o6o vacuum fluid extractor pump.
I suck the fluid out of the trans and axles. All my fluids are nice and clean.
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post #13 of 41 Old 08-18-2017, 03:03 PM Thread Starter
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I've read your posts on that. I wish I could dedicate a weekend to it. It'll be more like dedicate two hours on Saturday, 30 minutes on Sunday, then pick at it for the rest of next week LOL

Do the tensioners go bad? I'd not really seen that until this post.

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post #14 of 41 Old 08-18-2017, 03:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Unsteady View Post
I've read your posts on that. I wish I could dedicate a weekend to it. It'll be more like dedicate two hours on Saturday, 30 minutes on Sunday, then pick at it for the rest of next week LOL

Do the tensioners go bad? I'd not really seen that until this post.
Which tensioner? The pulley by the alternator?
Mine is still original.
Hasn't failed yet and is easy to replace anytime.
So you're a busy guy. I understand that. I work 4-10s so I have lots of time now.
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post #15 of 41 Old 08-18-2017, 03:49 PM
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Since you're building a list of stuff to replace when tearing into a radiator that's been plumbed for 20 something years, go ahead and source/plan your transmission line attachments. Mine were a quick-disconnect retaining-ring type things. I found some kind of GM adapter after searching on here that worked.

The YJ is no longer my DD. I have sacrificed all future retirement plans for jeep parts. I'm depending on social security!
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