This is all dependent upon your application. If you have a high-flow cooling system with potentially an upgraded water pump, a multiple-pass radiator will do you good. The coolant moves so quickly, that it doesn't experience sufficient temperature drop from one side to the other on a single-pass radiator.
Dependent upon the speed of the airflow and/or exposure of the core to flowing air would determine how many rows. If you've got a pusher and puller fan and the rad will be mounted between the roll-bars on the back of the Jeep that's typically trailered and is a rock crawler, I'd say go with a 4 or 5 core radiator.
For medium and light duty use, most likely, going thicker (or increasing the rows) will hurt more than hinder, though the difference initially will probably be minimal. Things like shortened coolant life and cooling system component life would be my concern.
Performance Radiator part number 1682CBR for their copper/brass stock replacement is only 200(ish) bucks, with free shipping if you pay with a CC. The standard plastic/aluminum "like-OE" part# is 1682. That's 130ish bucks, same shipping situation.
For 70 bucks more, you're getting a much more rigid radiator with a copper core and brass tanks (not plastic tanks) that will dent and take a good hit under pressure at operating temp, without blowing out. (just for another benefit to CBR rads... )
The all aluminums... not in stock and over 500 bucks...
What's their website? performanceradiator.com is not it, because all they offer is an OE replacement with junk plastic tanks for $203.
Edit: That is their website. I found the 1682CBR that you mentioned, but it's not showing as compatible with a 2006 TJ. It did show up under a 2000 Wrangler radiator search.
I understand the need for a shroud with a mechanical fan but is it really necessary with an electric fan mounted flush on the radiator?
yes. it forces more air to be pulled (or pushed) through the radiator. otherwise the fan blade will be "flinging" air parallel to it's rotation, and not pulling as much through the radiator.
I may be going an alum radiator and electric fan route. If i do, i will most likely get this radiator and the biggest SPAL fan i can fit. SPAL doesn't have shrouds to fit jeeps, so i'll be making my own, most likely out of sheet metal, and use small machine screws (bolts) to hold the fan in place.
Anyway... while the all-aluminum rads look really pretty, I wouldn't suggest them as a way to go when it comes to a Jeep. If you want a rugged upgrade for your rig, go with copper/brass. If you blow a tube on a trail, a pinch with some pliers and small pocket-torch and a piece of solder will seal it up enough to get you home and probably into the next week!
Last I knew, most of us don't carry tig welders on a trailride and as much as I love working on my rig... pulling and replacing my radiator once or twice a summer isn't an idea of fun to me.
My upgraded rad will definitely be copper/brass when the stock one needs to be replaced.
Wow... ok, rant off!
You do know that your STOCK radiator is aluminum, right?
I'm not aware of ANY all-aluminum radiator that uses ANY epoxy anywhere on them. At least not any that are worth the average rate of an aluminum rad! Most plastic-aluminum radiators (typical nowadays and the stock selection for the newer Wranglers) do have epoxy on them holding the header plate to the core.
Griffin and the 1st generation Novak used epoxy to keep the core from leaking at the tanks. it doesn't work very well, as evidenced by the one sitting in my garage.
He who hunts in a pack is still a dog. The lion hunts alone, and so do I. - Napoleon
Conducting an argument by appealing to authority is not using your intelligence; it is just using your memory. - Leonardo Da Vinci
You do know that your STOCK radiator is aluminum, right?
So going with the copper/brass could cause cooling issues.? There are just too many options out there. I am beginning to think I should just buy another stock plastic/aluminum and just know that it will eventually leak at the top, but my engine will stay cool and not too cool.
This is too funny! So you think blowing 235mph air onto a 1"x3" section of the radiator is going to simulate freeway speeds? To simulate 60 mph air across the radiator you need BIG hp. The 5hp 30" fan I'm getting for the dyno only blows at 42 mph.
Whew, ok... It's been a few hours since I've read this thread so, let me go back to clarify some things...
Stock rad for wranglers is PLASTIC tank, aluminum headers and aluminum core.
An upgrade I'd recommend for any weekend warrior jeeper would be a CBR (Copper/Brass) radiator.
Copper/Brass would not cause cooling issues as long as it is the correct radiator for the application. Sure, if you've got an 01 TJ with a 351 windsor in it, the stock radiator probably isn't going to cover your needs.
When I looked up a part for use as an example, I looked up my own rig... since we're in the TJ forum, I looked up my TJ (02). The 06 TJ's radiator is coming up as a different part number, only available as a plastic/aluminum from their online store. I'm certain that you could get a CSF or Nissen part ordered that is CBR. I've not heard great things about CSF, but I know Nissen is pretty good stuff. Same with Behr.
You're right about my wording being off with the shroud! I apologize. Keep the fan shroud ON. BY LOOSING the shroud, you're creating eddies that cause hot spots. There, we go, thats a little better!
Lastly, Purple Pig... to answer your confusion... The stock radiator will do you just fine for what you're doing. If you want an upgrade, go with a copper/brass. It's much easier to repair (The stock ones just need to be thrown away if you bugger them up... think of the stock rad as 'disposable' and it's easier to understand.) The CBR radiators are also much more rigid and will take more abuse than their plastic/aluminum counterparts.
So, yes... ESPECIALLY if your stock radiator is in working shape, replace it with the copper/brass and hang the plastic/aluminum one up on your shop wall. Then, if you DO take a stick through the core of your CBR and you have to get it fixed, you drop in your PAL rad, get your CBR fixed, and swap em back out. Usually something like that could be done in a day. It's even possible for you to fix some of the smaller dings and holes yourself with basic plumbing soldering knowledge.
If you're thinking of doing circle-track or considering having your jeep as a mall-crawler/show rig... oh hells yes, buy the really shiny, all-aluminum radiator! They look MINT and do a good job cooling... but man, they're soft and EXPENSIVE... not only to buy, but to fix as well...
Hope that clears some things up! Sorry, I'm not always concise with my words!
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