Ain't She A Beauty? Radiator - JeepForum.com
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post #1 of 13 Old 04-08-2021, 07:18 AM Thread Starter
CJREX
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Ain't She A Beauty? Radiator

Well I was personally absolutely shocked when my factory radiator started leaking.

Seems it's about as inevitable as paying taxes.

So I decided that I was gonna do it "right" and do the all aluminum replacement.

Definitely NOT a "bolt-in" mod.

I'll link the video that MartinBuilt did at the end as I encountered almost the exact same fitment issues that he did.

I replaced radiator, water pump, hoses, and serpentine belt.

So here it is in all its polished glory.



The mounts for the fan shroud were way off so I had to slot them to make them fit. And as mentioned by many others the shroud has to be cut at the top to make it fit. I didn't have the oscillating saw so I used a cutoff wheel on an angle grinder. It cut/melted the shroud with ease.



I went with the 2 core as the single core factory unit worked OK for a long time. Quite a bit thicker core than factory. You can also see that my factory radiator was starting to get that "dip" in the middle that I've seen with others here.



And since I'm the curious sort I cut apart the factory radiator to get a look at the factory transmission cooler. I was a bit underwhelmed. I will likely get an aftermarket cooler soon as I doubt the one in the Chinesium radiator is much better.



While I had everything apart I went ahead and replaced the water pump as well. The factory unit has the plastic impeller so I paid a little more and got one with metal impeller. The mounting bolts are differing lengths so as I removed them I placed them in the correct hole on the new pump. Once the old pump was out I transferred the bolts to the corresponding holes on the old pump and then installed them in order. I was going to replace the thermostat too and paid extra for the Mopar thermostat. When I opened the package it looked nothing like the factory tstat. It was a MotorRad thermostat in a Mopar package. Back to the locke with you Nessie. Easy Amazon return. I reused the factory one but now I'll have to get back under there at some point.



Finally the radiator is in its new home and hopefully I won't have to mess with this again for a while.



Now just gotta check for leaks, drive it a bit, burp it, check again for leaks, drive it, burp it, ad nauseum..

In initial driving the temp gauge never went above the notch before the 210 mark. Only a hot day stuck in traffic will tell the true tale.

I do know that at the very first tiny hint of trouble the hydraulic cooling fan is hitting the scrap pile, and I'm going to start gathering the parts for that swap. German Mercedes "overengineering" at its finest.

And here's the MartinBuilt video I referred to above.




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Powerful Wanderer (wife named it after driving it)
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post #2 of 13 Old 04-08-2021, 07:38 AM
222Doc
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Trans coolers. The one you have from the factory is a stacked plate design just being in rad is not the most efficient use. You want a stacked plate just not inside. Dont get the kind that are tubes and fins. They are cheap for a reason. The best type trans coolers are stacked plated the oil is spread out in plate as it goes through and has more contact withe metals. a tube cools the outer fluid but the inner passes through. Good trans cooler that has say 20-35 plates is over 300$. But they doe the job even if you had a 500hp Cummings with 900 foot pounds pulling 15k up 6%.

Installing them can be a rather bigger job then some can do. One way though if it fits. A stock 6.0 ford cooler is like 20 plates well made, they should last a life time.under 200. I used one for a 6.0 ford desiel on a older truck had to cut the center rad support and re stack the condenser to get it all to fit dropped towing temps from near 210 to 145 never see over 170 on hardest pulls. I have a temp gauge for trans in two places Hot oil out and cool side so i can see the differential. even on AZ 115 degree days i only see those 170s, up hill towing. Cool as a cumber. I have as well installed a Mishimoto 32 plate. though it is China it was made extremely well, at least looked better then the ford unit and do about 10 degree drop from the stock one that is a very good unit as well, even the hoses it came with where braided.

You would have to measure to see how they would Stack up. They are about they size of the rad its self as well, near. If you have an inter cooler it gets more complicated room wise to stack.

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post #3 of 13 Old 04-08-2021, 11:09 AM
mak_v8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CJREX View Post
... You can also see that my factory radiator was starting to get that "dip" in the middle that I've seen with others here.


I am really curios to understand why the radiator gets deformed like that way...; really can't understand the reason...

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post #4 of 13 Old 04-08-2021, 11:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mak_v8 View Post
I am really curios to understand why the radiator gets deformed like that way...; really can't understand the reason...
Gravity is a thing. More technical explanation: The radiator has some heft to it when full of coolant. Is supported on the ends but not in the middle. Years of bouncing with that weight contantly pushing down on it, it gradually sags.
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post #5 of 13 Old 04-08-2021, 01:43 PM
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So you probably discovered by now that you have to notch the header bar to put that back on as well as the aluminum unit is taller than the OEM and the header bar can't go back in place with out being relieved of some metal.

I second the external trans cooler unit. I went the cheap route, it appears, using the Derale unit.
I believe it is this one on Amazon: Derale 13504 Series 8000 Plate and Fin Transmission Oil Cooler.
I might have gone a different route knowing now that the stacked design is understood to be better, but it fits fine and is probably better then the in-radiator setup, or at least equal to it.

For that t-stat, I would have used the one I got from Jeep, no problem, even if they did change the mfgr.
You might need to reuse the original gasket on whatever one you install. The gaskets that come on all the ones I've seen for the WJ don't seem to fit right.

"We have it totally under control. Itís one person coming in from China. We have it under control. Itís going to be just fine." ~D. Trump, Jan 22, 2020.
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post #6 of 13 Old 04-08-2021, 02:16 PM Thread Starter
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Yes, I did have to modify the header bar.

I just forgot to include that detail.

Also flushed the power steering since I had the fan assembly removed.

I'm picking up a Hayden transmission cooler today from O'reilly.

Price was within $3 of Amazon and I get it today instead of Monday.

The cooler in the new radiator leaks from the fittings where they screw into the radiator, despite my use of teflon thread tape.

And today I notice that my rear brake rotor is scored.

So I am fully experiencing the Jeep thing:

Just Empty Every Pocket or Just Expect Every Problem.

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post #7 of 13 Old 04-08-2021, 09:24 PM
anotherheep
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mak_v8 View Post
I am really curios to understand why the radiator gets deformed like that way...; really can't understand the reason...
I'm new to Jeep, but t seems like a pretty flimsy radiator to me to start with. I wonder too if people possibly losing the bushings off of it while wrestling it into place could have it vibrating and settling. idk, just a thought
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post #8 of 13 Old 04-09-2021, 07:51 AM
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I took the radiator trans cooler out of the circuit entirely. You're not the first to wrestle with leaks at those fittings during installation.
I just cut the metal tubes, removed the aluminum nut and used that remaining pipe to join to the hose on the external cooler along with a screw clamp. That system is not under much pressure so I was not concerned with not having a flare on the pipe.
It's held for 10 years.

I've used the OEM trans cooler system once successfully during a reinstall using no tape (long ago) but I had to give one of the fasteners another 1/8th turn to resolve the leak.
Not fun to access them once everything is installed...
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"We have it totally under control. Itís one person coming in from China. We have it under control. Itís going to be just fine." ~D. Trump, Jan 22, 2020.
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post #9 of 13 Old 04-09-2021, 09:26 AM Thread Starter
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Especially the lower one

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post #10 of 13 Old 04-11-2021, 06:11 AM Thread Starter
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So I got my external cooler installed without much weeping and gnashing of teeth. Should have done this in the first place and just skipped messing with the internal cooler.

Also, I neglected to mention one thing about fitment:

I looked closely at the pics of the radiators on eBay and tried to make sure that I got one with the angled lower outlet to prevent interference with the swaybar.

Some appeared to have only a slight angle and some more pronounced. I went for the pronounced angle.

The one I got cleared the swaybar perfectly so I didn't encounter that particular challenge when installing.



THIS is the one I ordered.

2004 GC Overland 4.7 HO
Powerful Wanderer (wife named it after driving it)
265/70/17 MT, 2" BDS lift
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post #11 of 13 Old 04-14-2021, 08:01 AM
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I am waiting for my replacement from Champion. It will be available early March. My 04 sprung a leak on the top diver side corner. Sucks.
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post #12 of 13 Old 04-14-2021, 07:39 PM
anotherheep
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Those radiators belong on the outside of the grill
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post #13 of 13 Old 05-13-2021, 10:05 AM Thread Starter
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UPDATE: Been a month and working great!

Idling with A/C at max and temp never gets to the 210 on the gauge.
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