Road salt and Heat VS Aluminum and Copper/brass radiators -
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post #1 of 4 Old 01-26-2020, 07:02 PM Thread Starter
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1999 XJ Cherokee 
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Xj Road salt and Heat VS Aluminum and Copper/brass radiators

What holds up better to the winters and road salt of the north?

Your standard radiator has plastic sides and aluminum core. We all know how those are. I guess the Mopar heavy duty version is pretty good and obviously with the salt no harm to the plastic but aluminum..?

Most guys on here will probably be upgrading as they call it to some sort of all aluminum for the supposed better cooling but how does that do with the salt?

Then you have CSF type that are brass and copper which I have now but I'm noticing that some areas of cooling fins are turning to dust and flaking off after about 6 years of owning it. The radiator has seen several overheatings though and never leaked or giving me a problem can all the Aluminums radiators hold up to the stresses of potentially overheating or will that literally crack under pressure like I've seen? I know you aren't suppose to overheat but the point is the quality of the radiator.

So whats say you................

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post #2 of 4 Old 02-02-2020, 10:15 AM
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From my personal experience, plastic tank/aluminum core radiators are junk. Every vehicle I've ever driven with one of those, one of the tanks has cracked and started leaking, or the tank to core seal failed, without ever even being overheated. Before people start bashing me about how I'm talking about older vehicles, or have abused them, or neglected maintenance, or what not, I'm talking about vehicles 3 years old or less, that have had regular maintenance performed, were never overheated, or abused in any other way. All of my experiences with this have been with properly maintained vehicles, that were driven "normally" (no extreme heavy-duty use). I have usually experienced the "crack" type of failure on the outside surface (meaning the surface that is facing towards the left or right side of the vehicle) of one tank or the other. They just split. The few I've dealt with that the tank didn't split, the tank to core seal, which is rubber, shrinks over time, and starts leaking. I don't recall ever being to get more than 100,000 miles out of one of those. Brass/copper radiators, on the other hand, usually, if treated properly, can last upward of 200,000 miles. Unfortunately, I can't help you with the salt issue, as I live in south Georgia, and we don't have any need to salt the roads. I don't see where either would be better in that application, unless kept VERY clean on all outside surfaces, including the fins, at all times.

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post #3 of 4 Old 02-02-2020, 03:19 PM
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Nothing cools any better or lasts any longer than a oem Mopar radiator. Jeeps run at 210. If yours runs any hotter, you need to find out why and fix it. My Mopar radiators have all lasted 15-20+ years with no issues. If salt is a concern, wash it off religiously.

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post #4 of 4 Old 02-19-2020, 11:16 PM
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Salt will corrode both copper and aluminum radiators over time, it doesn't discriminate. Salt is just one reason why I'm glad I no longer live in the Chicagoland area. For many many years car/truck radiators were made out of copper and there used to be radiator repair shops all over the place because they could actually be repaired when they started to leak. It was probably in the 70s or 80s when aluminum with plastic tanks started appearing first on Japanese imports. Today it is really unusual to find a copper radiator and these aluminum/plastic radiators have become the norm. Now days radiators are non-repairable and disposable which is why it is very difficult to find a radiator repair shop today. Aluminum is a great conductor of heat which makes it good for use in cooling systems the problem is the plastic tanks make them throw away items once they start leaking. These days a good quality welded all aluminum radiator is the best aftermarket cooling solution available.

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