Let's talk about aftermarket XJ Radiators - JeepForum.com
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post #1 of 14 Old 11-23-2019, 12:17 AM Thread Starter
grt
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Let's talk about aftermarket XJ Radiators

Hi:

My name is George. I am retired and live in the mountains of Central Cali and have had a 1998 Jeep Cherokee since it was new. Since I was always on top of the maintenance my XJ has not given me much trouble. However after 132,000 miles my mechanic informs me that under a pressure test my radiator has a non-repairable leak. We have an agreement, my mechanic and I: that he will supply the labor and I will supply the parts. So with that in mind I started looking at new radiators and they range in price from $60.00 to well over $300 for the Mopar units, when you can find them. My leak is not so bad that I have to get a new radiator right now so I thought this would be a good time to ask my fellow XJ owners to reflect on their experiences with new radiators and see if it's possible to come to a consensus on which radiator delivers the best bang for your buck.

After hours on the computer and phone it appears there are may choices and types of radiators for my Jeep. There are single row, double row and triple row. They come with plastic ends with aluminum fins, all aluminum and all steel with copper tubes. I have searched the forums looking for some definitive article on radiators and have found nothing to satisfy my craving for radiator knowledge. Yet, I know this is a question that has plagued many forum member over the years.

I suppose the safe bet is to go to Mopar and fork over 350.00 for and OEM unit that came with the car originally, but I'm a retired engineer living on a pension and would like to determine if that is the only choice open to me. Certainly some of these aftermarket units are well made or is that merely wishful thinking?

So let me know your experiences radiator-wise and such information could benefit us all.

I look forward to hearing from all XJ owners...

GRT

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post #2 of 14 Old 11-23-2019, 10:53 AM
S8NNG8
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I tend to do a lot of research before I do any modification. From what I've read over the years oversized radiators don't seem to solve much, and in most cases cause more issues.

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post #3 of 14 Old 11-25-2019, 01:05 AM
CherokeeTamer
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Here's how I replied to a similar post recently...

1-800 radiator (radiator.com) has a “high performance” 3 row radiator available that has brass tanks and copper core all soldered/brazed.

I ended up going through 3 all aluminum welded radiators (under warranty thankfully) in about a 2 year period. This radiator is a bit pricey but the thing is SOLID. Been about 6 years on it now, never had a problem. Cools my 4.7 stroker just fine.

PRODUCT DETAILS

Part Number: 1193-3
Warranty: Limited Lifetime

Give them a call, they may have a warehouse near you.
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post #4 of 14 Old 11-25-2019, 03:24 AM
Ralph77
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CherokeeTamer View Post
Here's how I replied to a similar post recently...

1-800 radiator (radiator.com) has a “high performance” 3 row radiator available that has brass tanks and copper core all soldered/brazed.

I ended up going through 3 all aluminum welded radiators (under warranty thankfully) in about a 2 year period. This radiator is a bit pricey but the thing is SOLID. Been about 6 years on it now, never had a problem. Cools my 4.7 stroker just fine.

PRODUCT DETAILS

Part Number: 1193-3
Warranty: Limited Lifetime

Give them a call, they may have a warehouse near you.
I know those guys. They are an outside vendor that we sometimes use at the auto parts store I work at.
Saw the price online $348.
Wonder what it would cost me.
What did you pay for yours?
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post #5 of 14 Old 11-25-2019, 12:30 PM
PhilipJ
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I replaced my exploded OEM with a CSF 3-row. I think it was around $200 at the time. Been going strong for 9 years now with zero issues. Fits and looks just like the factory one, with the exception of having metal tanks instead of plastic. I flush the coolant every couple of years to keep it from getting too gunky and corroded, but it still comes out clean every time.

There's been other threads with just about every other model under the sun having been reviewed. A $90 one might work just fine, so long as QC was done properly and it wasn't beaten to hell during shipping, which seems to be the biggest issue when it comes to model failure. So it's not necessarily a given that a cheap one will be 'cheap', but you can certainly overpay for one and get no real guarantee on life expectancy out of it.
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post #6 of 14 Old 11-26-2019, 12:36 AM
TheBoogieman
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Nothing lasts longer or cools any better than a oem Mopar radiator ($300). That's all I ever use in any of my Jeeps and I never have to replace them twice.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jeepinmichguy_ View Post
TheBoogieman is a jerk.
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post #7 of 14 Old 11-26-2019, 04:41 PM
CherokeeTamer
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@Ralph77 I was working in commercial sales at autozone at the time, I think I got mine for around $280

Mopar would be my second choice but for ~$50 more it's a no-brainer to say goodbye to the plastic tanks that are prone to cracking and get all brass and copper, 3 row, with a lifetime warranty.
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post #8 of 14 Old 11-27-2019, 01:15 AM
Ralph77
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CherokeeTamer View Post
@Ralph77 I was working in commercial sales at autozone at the time, I think I got mine for around $280

Mopar would be my second choice but for ~$50 more it's a no-brainer to say goodbye to the plastic tanks that are prone to cracking and get all brass and copper, 3 row, with a lifetime warranty.
Thanks for the info.
I work at a Napa.
My '00 was bought kinda of running and not really driveable.
One of the things she needed was a new radiator. Bought the Napa radiator which is just a rebranded Spectra.
Plastic tanks and all. LOL.
Been over 6 years now and all is good but.........
Think I will give them a call one of these days just out of curiosity and see what the going rate is these days.
Oh and thanks for the part number.
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post #9 of 14 Old 11-27-2019, 07:59 AM
SmashDN
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I have the CSF 3 row in mine. Liked it for the all metal construction. I don't know how many years it has been in there but I am thinking at least four. No issues with it. Looks like the factory one and no fitment issues as I recall. It was a very straight forward install.
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post #10 of 14 Old 11-28-2019, 09:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CherokeeTamer View Post
Mopar would be my second choice but for ~$50 more it's a no-brainer to say goodbye to the plastic tanks that are prone to cracking and get all brass and copper, 3 row, with a lifetime warranty.
Almost 17 years on the stock radiator in my Rubicon. It's a no-brainer. A lifetime warranty means nothing if you have to keep replacing it. You can buy a $20 Chinese made, no name water pump with a lifetime warranty too. Do you really want to take that chance to save a buck? It's your Jeep.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jeepinmichguy_ View Post
TheBoogieman is a jerk.
03' Rubicon/Zone 4" coils with 1" spacers up front/Rancho shocks/5.13 gears-35" MTZs/BM brakes
99' XJ / 5" lift / Rancho shocks/33" DC Extreme country MTs. Jeep #18
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post #11 of 14 Old 11-28-2019, 10:07 AM
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But is the the OEM you buy today as well built as the one you have had for 17 years? My 96f250 truck has the stock rad still after 23 years, so is the A/c and everything but the trans. Jeep rads tend to fail very early with todays parts. Considering the issues with newer ones compared to older. Jk rads have been known to leak as well on the 12 ups. plastic tanks get very small micro cracks right at the pinch seem to the alloy. hard to say if its just the rads or is it a flex issue? Jk has smell at the rad but good luck finding it with out taking alot apart to see. only 37k on that one.

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post #12 of 14 Old 11-28-2019, 03:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 222Doc View Post
But is the the OEM you buy today as well built as the one you have had for 17 years?
They (Mopar) were probably made in the US back then. Now everything is outsourced to Mexico and China. I was looking at upgraded tie rods and couldn't believe the Currie one was made in China and Rusty's is made in the USA.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jeepinmichguy_ View Post
TheBoogieman is a jerk.
03' Rubicon/Zone 4" coils with 1" spacers up front/Rancho shocks/5.13 gears-35" MTZs/BM brakes
99' XJ / 5" lift / Rancho shocks/33" DC Extreme country MTs. Jeep #18
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post #13 of 14 Old 11-29-2019, 07:35 PM
01XJ97GTS
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When I was reviving my XJ I changed water pump, Tstat and housing, all hoses and radiator. I went with 3 core aluminum $90 radiator and was surprised with the quality, only issues with it was trans line fitting was to long easy fix. No issues yet and jeep stayed nice and cool in Texas summer with ac on.

2001 XJ rusted beyond repair
2001 XJ 2wd being restored and converting to 4wd
1997 Viper GTS
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post #14 of 14 Old Yesterday, 05:40 PM
mg2000xj
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I was surfing NAXJA yesterday and came across a thread started by Mishimoto, they were asking for feedback on a 3 row e fan system they're developing and after taking a look I found a radiator produced by them as well. Don't know anything about it but they're a well known company from what I know. Might be worth a look.

https://www.mishimoto.com/engineerin...diator-part-1/

https://www.mishimoto.com/jeep-chero...1989-2001.html
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