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Unread 08-14-2009, 12:06 PM   #1
ghcoe
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1977 FSJ Cherokee 
 
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Radiator Blow Out

Just a question.

I bought and installed a radiator off of ebay 14 months ago and this last week my wife drove the jeep to work. When she got out of the vehicle she heard a loud "POP" and then water gushed out from under the jeep and out the grill. Of course it had to happen to the wife and not me. I drove down to see what happened and the radiator had blown a hole on the driver side cap near where the upper hose attaches. I have had no overheating problems or leaks so I am a bit miffed about the incident. I replaced the original radiator because it had cracked where the upper hose connected to the radiator and after 14 years I figured it was time to replace. I felt that it was a faulty radiator and sent a note to the ebayer to see if they would reimburse some of the replacement costs and he told me that their radiators are fine and that I had some other cooling system problem. I informed that I have replaced the hoses, cap, thermostat, and pump all near the same timeframe as well as replaced the fan belt 6 months ago. I would not have had a problem of replacing the radiator if I had some other symptom before the failure, but all was fine. Coolant level was still full in the bottle and I smelled to see if any unusual oder in the radiator and bottle and could not smell anything. No coolant in oil or oil in coolant. Can not do a pressure test until I get another radiator. Anything else cause the end cap to blow out like that? I just find it hard to believe a head gasket could cause that and not be noticeable anywhere else. Especially once the engine was turned off.



Well any info or suggestions would be good. Thanks.

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George.

1977 Jeep Cherokee Chief, 1972 360cid., Turbo 400 , Quadra Trac with Low Range reduction, 3:31 Gears, 31x10.5-15 GT Radial Adventuro AT II. Factory Brush Guard/Spare Tire Carrier/Safari Kit/Tow Package.
http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f57/1...chief-1749666/
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Unread 08-14-2009, 12:14 PM   #2
elmer_fud
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I would buy your next radiator from somewhere other than ebay. My bet is that it is/was poorly made.

I would also do a cooling system flush to remove any junk you may have in there once you remove the radiator and install a new one
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Unread 08-14-2009, 12:37 PM   #3
ghcoe
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Did a full flush with the last radiator. System was fine then, but went ahead and did it because it was all apart. I can see the inside of the new radiator through the hole and it looks supper clean.

I have witnessed overpressured radiators before and it sounds like a Chinese rocket trying to take off from under the hood. Water spouts from the cap, but I have never witnessed a end cap blow out! This obviously was not happening when she got to work. Thanks,
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George.

1977 Jeep Cherokee Chief, 1972 360cid., Turbo 400 , Quadra Trac with Low Range reduction, 3:31 Gears, 31x10.5-15 GT Radial Adventuro AT II. Factory Brush Guard/Spare Tire Carrier/Safari Kit/Tow Package.
http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f57/1...chief-1749666/
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Unread 08-14-2009, 12:43 PM   #4
brsmzz4
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i bought a radiator off of ebay. brand new and SUPER cheap. GREAT right?....not really. installed it and there was a blowout at the petcock. it had a hair line crack. returned it and went to the parts store and forked up 150for a product i could trust. 50 bucks for a good radiator sounded good. I will never buy stuff like a radiator off of ebay again.
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Unread 08-14-2009, 01:30 PM   #5
WiCkeDuDe
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Ya get what you pay for. I wouldnt risk going to ebay for a radiator.
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Unread 08-15-2009, 05:57 AM   #6
ratmonkey
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had one of those cheap chinese ones from a parts store(same as ebay) do exactly that about 5 months after a swap. driver's side jug warped and separated. put in an american made one and it's been fine for about a year now.
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Unread 08-15-2009, 07:06 AM   #7
cmonson
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for future reference, I bought a rad at NAPA about 3 years ago and over 100K miles ago (I travel around Ohio for work) and all is good.

Also buy your hoses at the dealer. They are about the same price as the parts supply house.
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Unread 08-15-2009, 08:55 AM   #8
ghcoe
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Thanks for the input guys. Keep them coming if you have any other ebay radiator stories.
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George.

1977 Jeep Cherokee Chief, 1972 360cid., Turbo 400 , Quadra Trac with Low Range reduction, 3:31 Gears, 31x10.5-15 GT Radial Adventuro AT II. Factory Brush Guard/Spare Tire Carrier/Safari Kit/Tow Package.
http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f57/1...chief-1749666/
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Unread 08-15-2009, 09:01 AM   #9
little_Jeep
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Make sure you have a good / working radiator cap. Your radiator cap is a pressure relief valve. Was your blown radiator made from plastic like most OEM style radiators are?
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Unread 08-15-2009, 09:10 AM   #10
vosevichs
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I assume you put a new radiator cap in when you replaced the radiator. The radiator cap should of released the presure. I've seen the core swell up much that no air will flow through the radiator because of a bad cap. Check your cap.
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Unread 08-15-2009, 09:16 AM   #11
cmonson
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as above said, your rad cap should be replaced everytime you change the spark plugs. My rule of thumb anyway.
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Unread 08-16-2009, 12:03 AM   #12
ratmonkey
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mine didn't even overheat, it just exploded about 2-3 mins after shutting the vehicle off. new rad cap of course.
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Unread 08-16-2009, 09:16 AM   #13
JrMechanic
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I put an Ebay radiator in mine because I was tight on cash at the time and it was $70 shipped verses $150 at the parts store. Been about 9 months now and no problems (knock on wood.)
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Unread 08-16-2009, 09:41 AM   #14
ghcoe
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Yes, the cap was new as well as most everything else in the cooling system. This one popped shortly after engine turn off. No overflow from the cap area or the overflow bottle.



On inspecting the blown out area it looks like the reinforcement that you see going through the blown out piece was cracked for awhile on each side. Hard to see here, but there was a green discolor on each corner showing that they had been clearly cracked internally for some time. As you can see the cooling core is very clean showing no sign of cooling system distress.
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George.

1977 Jeep Cherokee Chief, 1972 360cid., Turbo 400 , Quadra Trac with Low Range reduction, 3:31 Gears, 31x10.5-15 GT Radial Adventuro AT II. Factory Brush Guard/Spare Tire Carrier/Safari Kit/Tow Package.
http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f57/1...chief-1749666/
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