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Unread 04-06-2015, 11:11 AM   #1
Colt44
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Need new radiator: OEM style, or Aluminum?

This is continued fromthis thread.:

As a result of the above, my 30-year-old radiator has been tested and found wanting. Leaks and corrosion, etc.

The decision now comes down to:

A) Have the original radiator re-cored with a new three-row core.

B) Chuck the oem setup and move to a modern style aluminum radiator.

Opinions, suggestions, experiences?

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Unread 04-06-2015, 11:22 AM   #2
Mike Romain
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Aluminium can't be trail fixed. I had mine recored and it worked well. I asked for 3 core, but the shop said the newer style 2 core will perform the same and run 25% cooler.
Be sure your tanks aren't too thin though. I torqued mine up and tore off an end strap and it took a little piece of tank with it. My frame is cracked with no back cross members left so the free standing rad got stressed.
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Unread 04-06-2015, 01:34 PM   #3
Ken4444
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I would get the existing unit re-worked, or buy a new standard copper and brass replacement in order to keep the Jeep closer to stock. One problem you may find is that I think the copper and brass units are becoming more expensive and aluminum becomes the cheaper and more common metal for radiators. This is happening with heater cores. Copper is becoming more expensive, and of course brass is an alloy containing copper.
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Unread 04-06-2015, 02:24 PM   #4
ADDZ71
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I replaced mine with a Autozone version and it was of same general quality as the version I took out. Metal body etc. I think it was under $200.
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Unread 04-06-2015, 03:11 PM   #5
WindKnot
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I would re-core if I could rather than install an aluminum replacement. As mentioned, they CAN be repaired on the trail. Also, note the info you gave about a 30 year old radiator is a pretty good testament in itself.
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Unread 04-06-2015, 04:21 PM   #6
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Decided to go with a re-core. The shop can do a new 3-row core for not much more than I could get an O-A from Q-Tec, etc. so it just makes sense to go that route.
Not really too excited about grafting in the fancy-schmancy aluminum unit, plus sensor, plus fan/shroud, plus wiring.
If this was for a street vehicle where I didn't have to worry about frame/chassis flex, trail damage, etc. I might go for the shiny new tech.
But the price plus complexity leads me back to the KISS principle. And my CJ retains its vintage look by keeping the "original" radiator that came with it from Toledo.

Thanks for the advice!
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Unread 04-06-2015, 04:51 PM   #7
turbogus
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I stuck with copper/brass on account of all the text I've read about this material makes for better heat exchange than aluminum. Granted aluminum radiators are lighter, but for my 360 I prefer copper/brass
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Unread 04-06-2015, 05:43 PM   #8
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While copper and brass are a better heat exchanger than aluminum, the tubes and fins have to be soldered together with lead that has a low heat exchange value. This unfortunately means that the efficiency of the copper/brass is reduced. The aluminum is actually welded using the same material as the core and fins, this allows it to actually be more efficient than the soldered copper/brass. At least that is what I've been told by my brother with 30+ years working at Modine.
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Unread 04-06-2015, 09:26 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by y2k-fxst View Post
While copper and brass are a better heat exchanger than aluminum, the tubes and fins have to be soldered together with lead that has a low heat exchange value. This unfortunately means that the efficiency of the copper/brass is reduced. The aluminum is actually welded using the same material as the core and fins, this allows it to actually be more efficient than the soldered copper/brass. At least that is what I've been told by my brother with 30+ years working at Modine.
X2 ^

If you can't find an OEM quality replacement don't let just anyone recore it. If they aren't a reputable place they will try to pull one over on you... Do not accept a radiator with "fitted" together tanks or plastic tanks. I had a place "recore" mine and picked it up only to find their main method was to use a universal core and fit to match "close" to original plastic tanks. I was pissed!
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Unread 04-06-2015, 10:08 PM   #10
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Aluminum radiators get their efficiency from surface area. There are a LOT more tubes and fins in an aluminum radiator due to the fact that it is lighter. A copper/brass radiator would weight a metric crap ton if one had as many tubes/fins as an aluminum radiator. The more tubes/fins, the greater area there is for heat exchange with the air.
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Unread 04-07-2015, 01:30 AM   #11
EgulAye
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Colt44 View Post
Decided to go with a re-core. The shop can do a new 3-row core for not much more than I could get an O-A from Q-Tec, etc. so it just makes sense to go that route.
Not really too excited about grafting in the fancy-schmancy aluminum unit, plus sensor, plus fan/shroud, plus wiring.
If this was for a street vehicle where I didn't have to worry about frame/chassis flex, trail damage, etc. I might go for the shiny new tech.
But the price plus complexity leads me back to the KISS principle. And my CJ retains its vintage look by keeping the "original" radiator that came with it from Toledo.

Thanks for the advice!
I can't fault your choice either. I blew my old radiator a few months ago and went with a new copper / brass direct replacement from Summit. In my case the radiator was in really bad shape. The direct replacement fits just like the factory original and I didn't have to mess around at all to get things installed. I also agree with the idea of keeping the work local and re-using existing materials. Good luck with the repair!
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Unread 04-07-2015, 04:32 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Colt44 View Post
Decided to go with a re-core. The shop can do a new 3-row core for not much more than I could get an O-A from Q-Tec, etc. so it just makes sense to go that route.
Not really too excited about grafting in the fancy-schmancy aluminum unit, plus sensor, plus fan/shroud, plus wiring.
If this was for a street vehicle where I didn't have to worry about frame/chassis flex, trail damage, etc. I might go for the shiny new tech.
But the price plus complexity leads me back to the KISS principle. And my CJ retains its vintage look by keeping the "original" radiator that came with it from Toledo.

Thanks for the advice!
Just an FYI, and no disrespect on your decision at all, but.. an aluminum radiator isn't just for a "street vehicle". I run an aluminum unit in mine, and I'd bet my Jeep has seen as much or more chassis flex than most (and continues to do so).
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Unread 04-07-2015, 06:59 AM   #13
Matt1981CJ7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Colt44 View Post
Decided to go with a re-core. The shop can do a new 3-row core for not much more than I could get an O-A from Q-Tec, etc. so it just makes sense to go that route.
Not really too excited about grafting in the fancy-schmancy aluminum unit, plus sensor, plus fan/shroud, plus wiring.
If this was for a street vehicle where I didn't have to worry about frame/chassis flex, trail damage, etc. I might go for the shiny new tech.
But the price plus complexity leads me back to the KISS principle.
And my CJ retains its vintage look by keeping the "original" radiator that came with it from Toledo.

Thanks for the advice!
I'm a bit confused over this statement.

There's no difference in the install or functionality of a aluminum radiator. They bolt up just like the original, only they are a lot lighter and easier to work with. No wires or sensors involved.

Matt
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Unread 04-07-2015, 07:54 AM   #14
turbogus
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I did not mean to stir the pot, sorry about my mistaken opinion. That being said, I'll take the word that aluminum radiators are superior. I'm dubious about pulling my fully functional brass copper rad for an aluminum unless there is a failure though.
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The parts shop that stocks part for Skylab II will not have parts for our year/model of Jeep
We cannot accurately judge the trajectory of a speeding critter (cat, dog, sasquatch)
Record heat waves and floods only occur when we visit that area
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Unread 04-07-2015, 07:59 AM   #15
WindKnot
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Copper vs aluminum radiators has been debated here ad nauseum, Each side brings up their own "facts" every time.
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