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Unread 08-22-2013, 08:37 PM   #1
Corripe Cervisiam
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1985 CJ7 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Houston, Texas
Posts: 4,421
Radiator reccomendations for the 258

I am planning to replace my radiator because my current one is leaky. I have an '85 with the 258 in it. I've never installed a radiator before.

I know I want a brass radiator, probably a 2 row. What confuses me is the various dimensions: All radiators I can find for my Jeep seem to vary slightly in their listed sizes. How can I be sure that a given radiator will fit?

Right now this is my first choice:

Murray® Heat Transfer - Radiator - part 433063

It's $230 and I can get it locally at O'Reilly Auto Parts. According to their website, it has a "limited lifetime warranty" which sounds appealing. The part number also looks up as a "Vista Pro" brand over at Rockauto and a Spectrum CU583 at other places. So I don't know if it's the same part or not, or if it even matters.

If anyone can recommend a brass 3 row for under $300 that will fit correctly, I would consider that if would likely provide better cooling than a 2 row.

Anyhow, my main concern is how do I know this thing's going to fit? Or should I expect to have to make some adjustments when installing it?


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Unread 08-22-2013, 08:51 PM   #2
Corripe Cervisiam
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After a bit more searching, I found this at Summit Racing for $241.99:


It's Vista-Pro # 433583, 3 row, brass. It has a 1 year warranty but ships free and would also be tax-free which is nice.

Outlet Size: 1 1/2 in.
Core Height (in): 15.625 in.
Core Thickness (in): 2.000 in.
Core Width (in): 24.250 in.

The one in my first post has these size specs:

Core Width (In): 24-3/8 Inch
Core Height (In): 16-7/8 Inch
Core Thickness (In): 1-1/4 Inch

So the dimensions are all different which is my main concern. How do I know either one will fit correctly? Will a .75" extra thickness mean the thing is more likely to hit the fan?
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Unread 08-22-2013, 08:52 PM   #3
Web Wheeler
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The radiator fits into a hole in the body and for a 258 the critical factors are that the flange be level with the back face of the radiator to give clearance to the fan blades and the holes in the flange match up to the holes in the body and radiator cowl (if you have one). Obviously the inlet and outlet need to be in the same position as before but the radiator cap, and hence the connection to the overflow bottle, can vary so be prepared to buy a new length of small diameter hose, a few bucks.

If you are in any doubt measure the spacing of the mounting holes on your old radiator. The other measurements for core size etc will vary between radiators.
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Unread 08-22-2013, 09:30 PM   #4
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1981 CJ8 
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You may remember my post a while back when I was searching for a radiator. I bought into that aluminum 3 row BS and it was a nightmare - nothing fit, the eBay seller suggested I mod my grill, the cap was in the wrong place and the outlet hose pointed the wrong direction. I somehow crammed it in, and my fan tore it a new outlet. I wound up getting a two row brass radiator from radiator.com, it fits PERFECTLY. I have an 8274 on the front, no fan cowl, and a 195* thermostat and it's been in the high 90s here all summer, and she barely gets a tick above "C."

If I had it to do over again, I'd probably listen to some of the older and wiser members here and get the original one cored.
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Unread 08-22-2013, 10:13 PM   #5
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There are two main versions, HD with a shroud (offset cap) and the Center cap/ no shroud.
They are cored at different depths depending on your fan and spacer OR your fan and clutch.
Top two HERE:

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Unread 08-22-2013, 10:24 PM   #6
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I'm thinking getting your original repaired. My experience is that it costs less and it comes back to you painted, looking fresh and new. It has always been worthwhile for me.
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