What is the best radiator upgrade for a 98 4L? - JeepForum.com
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post #1 of 18 Old 01-05-2015, 01:49 PM Thread Starter
kentlawrence67
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What is the best radiator upgrade for a 98 4L?

I have a Spectra cu1193 that started leaking between the plastic tank
and the aluminum core when I removed it to make room for replacing the
water pump. It was only about a year and a half old, so I'm not happy about that. I drive across Death Valley in the summer from time to time, and I live in Phoenix, so I figure now would be a good time to upgrade to a 3 core radiator. I'm seeing a few as I do research. The all aluminum ones, which are very expensive, the GDI which looks like its coming in around $140, and the CSF AMR 2671, which is going for $200 on Amazon. That's the one I'm leaning towards right now. Does anyone have any recommendations? It must be bolt in compatible.

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post #2 of 18 Old 01-06-2015, 02:03 AM
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An original Mopar copper / brass type material radiator, serviced by a radiator shop.

Aluminium is not a great conductor of heat and difficult to get repaired. They are cheap for a reason.

Overheating in an XJ is an issue but it is not normally radiator related, the clutch on the fans do not last indefinitely.

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post #3 of 18 Old 01-06-2015, 04:33 AM
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CSF, BTR, OEM replacement, Griffon, Novak Conversions by Griffon....

Unless you have a very specific reason to want something "more," an OEM radiator is plenty fine as long as it is a quality one. Lots of companies cut corners on when making them especially when mounting the tanks to the core, so make sure you get one that is built right (which I admit is a little tricky to determine when shopping around). There are plenty of stories of CSF's failing prematurely, and I've had a BTR fail prematurely (fix/replacement free of charge offered by BTR, though). I also now have an OEM rad that is 17 years old; when it goes, it's probably getting replaced by another alum/plastic OEM replacement, and I have done tons of research and have experience with the other options.

The aluminum vs copper thing? BagusJeep isn't quite right. In the end, they're both about equal with aluminum being lighter and copper/brass being a little easier to repair. http://www.cgj.com/2013/06/27/alumin...-great-debate/

Build Thread -- https://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f177/whats-chrokeese-build-thread-2525690/
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post #4 of 18 Old 01-06-2015, 12:30 PM
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I had an all aluminum radiator fail shortly after the warranty expired, and no one wanted to attempt to repair it.
Went back to an OEM style radiator...
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post #5 of 18 Old 01-07-2015, 12:44 PM Thread Starter
kentlawrence67
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choice

I've chosen to go with the Spectra from Autozone. I've heard plenty of people saying an OEM knock off works just fine if the whole system is healthy. Autozone charges 25 bucks more than online, but I don't have to pay shipping, it comes with a lifetime warranty, and I get it now. They are super easy to drop in and I also
like the maneuvering room they give me around the fan. If it leaks again on me, I'll just have them give me another one since they guarantee it. The previous one was put in by a shop, so their limited guarantee was expired.
Radiators clog and corrode and wear out too, so if an OEM knock off works
well and is cheap, there is something to be said for replacing with a new one
occasionally if its not a big job and its cheap. With what I saved I picked up
new upper and lower hoses and clamps too, so everything but the heater core
and the thermostat is brand new. It's easy to see when the thermostat goes
out if you have a good temp gauge. The thermostat is a std replacement one
from Autozone.
I have an UltraGauge plugged into my OBD port. I'll be watching the coolant temp and will follow this post up with some data about the coolant temperature vs outside temperature and driving conditions over the next several months and into the Arizona summer. Should be useful. Thanks in advance for all your inputs.
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post #6 of 18 Old 01-08-2015, 10:51 AM
AZ Jeff
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BagusJeep View Post

Aluminium is not a great conductor of heat and difficult to get repaired.
Bagus,

Just FYI....aluminum is a substantially BETTER conductor of heat than is brass.

But you are right, they are difficult, if not impossible, to repair.

Sorry, my mechanical engineering background forced me to respond your statement.

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I don't own an XJ any longer, but I still think they are the best of all the Jeep products ever made. My XJ was my favorite vehicle in my 50+ years of driving.
So...I stick around and give advice.
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post #7 of 18 Old 01-08-2015, 11:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AZ Jeff View Post
Bagus,

Just FYI....aluminum is a substantially BETTER conductor of heat than is brass.

But you are right, they are difficult, if not impossible, to repair.

Sorry, my mechanical engineering background forced me to respond your statement.
Can you explain what you mean by "better conductor"?

You're saying aluminum alone is a better conductor than copper alone?
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post #8 of 18 Old 01-08-2015, 12:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by muddflow View Post
Can you explain what you mean by "better conductor"?

You're saying aluminum alone is a better conductor than copper alone?
No, I think he is saying that aluminum is a better conductor than brass alone (which is what the tubes are made out of).
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post #9 of 18 Old 01-08-2015, 12:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by muddflow View Post
Can you explain what you mean by "better conductor"?

You're saying aluminum alone is a better conductor than copper alone?
He said aluminum is a better conductor of heat than brass.

Pure copper (which radiators typically aren't made from these days) is a better heat conductor than aluminum.

Aluminum is a better heat conductor than brass...both of which are used in modern radiators.
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post #10 of 18 Old 01-08-2015, 01:05 PM
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Thermal Conductivity - k - W/(m K)

(deg. C) 25, 215, 225

Aluminum = 205, 215, 250

Copper = 401, 400, 398
Brass = 109

So your're right Aluminum the same thickness has better conductive heat transfer than brass.

Aluminum can be stretched to created better and more efficient heat transfer and doesn't require a solder (tin/lead) that inhibits heat transfer. Aluminum radiator cores can be manufactured thinner, whereas a copper/brass/solder cores usually need to be made a little thicker.

Aluminum cores have been used for many years by OEMs to produce a HD version of radiators.

The only problem I find with many of the aftermarket aluminum radiators are classified as a "plastic radiator" because many use plastics and gluing processes, some of which have been improved since the earlier versions. But generally haven't been accepted for extreme environments.

I accept heavy duty aluminum radiators that are constructed well enough to stand up to extreme conditions. Otherwise I would more likely trust a quality HD copper/brass for the Jeep.

Some of the less expensive heavy duty all aluminum radiators, have had problems with quality control. I remember reading one person went through three returns all of which failed and had leaks.

Better copper/brass radiators are brazed and not soldered.

Typically brazed brass tubes are made a .005" in thickness, whereas aluminum is a .016 in thickness.
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post #11 of 18 Old 01-08-2015, 01:19 PM
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What's to not understand? The thermal conductivity comparison you've just posted agrees perfectly with what has been previously stated here.
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post #12 of 18 Old 01-08-2015, 01:43 PM
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Originally Posted by brute66 View Post
What's to not understand? The thermal conductivity comparison you've just posted agrees perfectly with what has been previously stated here.
My replies normally also include the topic for a discussion.

What is the best radiator upgrade for a 98 4L?

Thermal conductivity of metals isn't really the only issues involved with the design and construction of a radiator. There are many other attributes involved besides thermal conductivity of alum. and brass.

I must have originally misread his post. I thought he was comparing alum. to copper.

However, I think when choosing a replacement radiator copper/brass may be a better choice than some of the aftermarket plastic / aluminum.

One problem perhaps is with planned obsolescence ... some types of parts and equipment , are designed and engineered to fail and to last only the length of a warranty.

Less expensive aftermarket radiators target the majority of vehicle on the road and normally go past any warranty period, manufactures and companies don't want to get a bad reputation or statistics.

However, under more extreme conditions and length of time in service, will often fail prematurely. In the long run may prove to be more costly than a more expensive better quality radiator. Radiator manufacturing also requires good quality control.
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post #13 of 18 Old 01-08-2015, 03:03 PM
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All in all, I have found brass radiators with brass tanks to be the most durable and well-made of the types available today. I'm sure a heavy duty, fully welded aluminum radiator is also quite durable, but they are pricey for sure. OEM plastic/aluminum is also a fine choice...if it is truly OEM quality.

Quote:
Originally Posted by muddflow View Post
Typically brazed brass tubes are made a .0005" in thickness, whereas aluminum is a .016 in thickness.
.0005" is extremely thin-walled for a brazed brass tube...perhaps you meant .005"
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post #14 of 18 Old 01-08-2015, 03:07 PM
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Several years ago, while browsing a 2001 XJ parts books, I found a HD Mopar Cherokee radiator, #52080104AC.
http://www.factorymoparparts.com/52080104ac.html
Checking the Mopar site, it was a good number. A friend's XJ needed an better radiator than the CSF three-core he was running so we ordered one .
It's a well built OEM part, with a 1-1/2" aluminum dual-core and a high fin count.

It has worked much better than the CSG three-core and is worth considering.
I also installed one and have enjoyed better cooling than ever before.
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post #15 of 18 Old 01-08-2015, 03:42 PM
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Originally Posted by brute66 View Post
All in all, I have found brass radiators with brass tanks to be the most durable and well-made of the types available today. I'm sure a heavy duty, fully welded aluminum radiator is also quite durable, but they are pricey for sure. OEM plastic/aluminum is also a fine choice...if it is truly OEM quality.



.0005" is extremely thin-walled for a brazed brass tube...perhaps you meant .005"
Yes, you're correct it should read .005 inches .

(I was in the middle of a power problem / outage and didn't proof read ... My typing and vision isn't all that good. I'm always making typographical errors that require correction.)

Here's a link to a website that promotes the use of copper and explains some of the differences between older and newer manufacturing processes used with copper/brass radiators.

Also addresses some of the issues when manufacturing with aluminum vs copper/brass.

http://www.copper.org/applications/a...novations.html

http://www.copper.org/applications/a...ive/radiators/
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