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Unread 04-07-2012, 03:24 PM   #1
yoshi280zx
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Radiator Replacement - What WORKED?

Hey, all!

I was out running errands today when my radiator sprung a pretty substantial leak. I'm sure it started as a small hole that eventually got bigger due to heat, pressure, etc. I started to overheat just as I pulled in the driveway. After checking all my gaskets and fluids, it looks like everything is where it should be.

I've searched this forum for hours looking for good radiator replacement options. The topic seems to get a bit controversial - almost as bad as the DW threads!

I would just like to know what people have ACTUALLY put in their rigs and the results. I can start off by saying, I don't have $500+ to spend on some big, bad, 4-core, all-metal radiator. Are the replacements at your local parts-store any good? Is a metal replacement better than the OEM plastic? I hate to say it, but should I just get this from the dealer?

Any help would be greatly appreciated! Happy Easter - especially to those at Moab!

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Unread 04-07-2012, 03:33 PM   #2
MFERNICO
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I'm a big fan of OEM parts. Since you have a 97 and its 2012, why wouldn't you buy OEM again. They're $200 as compared to $140 vs a NAPA or chinese made aluminum rad.
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Unread 04-07-2012, 03:50 PM   #3
yoshi280zx
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MFERNICO View Post
I'm a big fan of OEM parts. Since you have a 97 and its 2012, why wouldn't you buy OEM again. They're $200 as compared to $140 vs a NAPA or chinese made aluminum rad.
That's kinda what I was thinking... This radiator has lasted 15 years (obviously). Just wanted to see what people have been using. Not sure if there is anything "better" than OEM as I'm sure the engineers at Chrysler used this radiator for a REASON...? :-)

Thanks for the feedback! Please keep the replies coming!
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Unread 04-07-2012, 03:54 PM   #4
freeskier93
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There are certainly better radiators than OEM, like Griffin and Mishimoto. But better for the money? No. You can't beat the OEM. You aren't going to find a radiator that last longer, cools best, and is 200$. So far wermopar.com has the best prices on OEM parts.
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Unread 04-07-2012, 04:14 PM   #5
JBTJ
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Your OEM lasted 15 years, so that stands to reason another OEM will last 15 years. How can you get better than that? Mine only lasted 10 years or 110k, still that is very good in my book.
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Unread 04-07-2012, 04:14 PM   #6
yoshi280zx
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Quote:
Originally Posted by freeskier93 View Post
There are certainly better radiators than OEM, like Griffin and Mishimoto. But better for the money? No. You can't beat the OEM. You aren't going to find a radiator that last longer, cools best, and is 200$. So far wermopar.com has the best prices on OEM parts.
Yeah, I would love to have a Griffin, Mishimoto or even a Be-Cool, but simply don't have the dough. With several vehicles in our family (DDs and show-cars), I just can't spend $500 on a rad for the Jeep right now... :-(

I see Champion sells some aluminum units, but seem to have problems...?
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Unread 04-07-2012, 04:21 PM   #7
JBTJ
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yoshi280zx View Post
Yeah, I would love to have a Griffin, Mishimoto or even a Be-Cool, but simply don't have the dough. With several vehicles in our family (DDs and show-cars), I just can't spend $500 on a rad for the Jeep right now... :-(

I see Champion sells some aluminum units, but seem to have problems...?
You can pay more for a radiator but why? For our motors, basically a tractor engine the OEM is the best you can buy. It's been proven time and time again.
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Unread 04-07-2012, 04:28 PM   #8
yoshi280zx
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Originally Posted by JBTJ View Post
You can pay more for a radiator but why? For our motors, basically a tractor engine the OEM is the best you can buy. It's been proven time and time again.
I am leaning towards OEM. I'm willing to pay more if there is something TRULY better in terms of cooling and reliability. However, 15 years is pretty reliable to me and I never overheated due to a radiator issue (well, until today ).
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Unread 04-07-2012, 04:32 PM   #9
yoshi280zx
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I checked wermopar.com, but can't find a radiator for a 6-cyl. TJ w/ auto trans. I'm gonna need those inlets/outlets for the transmission... All it said is that it was for MJs / XJs, not TJs...? No pics, either.
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Unread 04-07-2012, 05:40 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yoshi280zx View Post
I checked wermopar.com, but can't find a radiator for a 6-cyl. TJ w/ auto trans. I'm gonna need those inlets/outlets for the transmission... All it said is that it was for MJs / XJs, not TJs...? No pics, either.
Keep looking. I bought mine (w/auto and 4.0L) from them about 2 weeks ago.
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Unread 04-07-2012, 05:53 PM   #11
gunshw301
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O Reilly's cheap china stock replacement......lifetime warranty. Going on three years no issues.
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Unread 04-07-2012, 06:43 PM   #12
yoshi280zx
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Originally Posted by lope View Post
Keep looking. I bought mine (w/auto and 4.0L) from them about 2 weeks ago.
Good to know! I hope they get one in, soon. I don't want my rig out-of-commission for too long! Do you remember what you paid?
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Unread 04-07-2012, 06:47 PM   #13
lope
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yoshi280zx View Post
Good to know! I hope they get one in, soon. I don't want my rig out-of-commission for too long! Do you remember what you paid?
It was about $230 total, including 2-day shipping.
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Unread 04-07-2012, 06:47 PM   #14
JBTJ
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Originally Posted by yoshi280zx View Post
Good to know! I hope they get one in, soon. I don't want my rig out-of-commission for too long! Do you remember what you paid?
My boy just put one in his JEEP yesterday. $130 from O'Reilly.
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Unread 04-07-2012, 06:56 PM   #15
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I went to wermopar.com and did a search using your year model and saw where it listed mj & xj auto but not tj. Curious. When I bought mine (which is an '05), it was listed for tj. If I were you, I'd give them a call and see if they don't have one for your year model. I don't know what the differences would be between a '97 and '05-maybe the transmission cooler connects? Just don't know.
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