eBay Aluminum Radiators....OK ? - JeepForum.com
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post #1 of 43 Old 01-30-2018, 05:59 AM Thread Starter
leadsled jeep
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eBay Aluminum Radiators....OK ?

Hey All,


I installed my last plastic radiator at 155k miles. I now have 209k miles and it's leaking again. I don't want to do this job a THIRD time. How are these $180 aluminum radiators on eBay? They all look alike and I assume are all made in the same plant in China. I don't have money or time for a Griffin OUCH they aren't made of platinum are they? LOL....


These look at least as good likely better than the $150 plastic model I installed last time.


Need to order one soon. Any tips before I bite the bullet.

Thanks.


'02 4.7HO ~222k ml. 2.5" BDS Springs, All new control arms and Addco Sways. 245-70-17.
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post #2 of 43 Old 01-30-2018, 06:39 AM
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My 2c on chinese aluminum rads: They can be hit or miss, BUT if they fail, it's usually because of a manufacturing defect and not because they are weak in general. I use them and have multiple friends that use them in lots of different applications and this has always seemed to hold true. If it fails, it usually does so within a year of purchase, otherwise they last basically forever. So the solution is to buy with a warranty. We started ordering them from Amazon now because there are a bunch of good dealers who honor their warranty claims, and of course it's also backed by amazon.

1999 WJ 4.0/2006 LJ 4.0

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post #3 of 43 Old 01-30-2018, 06:52 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Topher11 View Post
My 2c on chinese aluminum rads: They can be hit or miss, BUT if they fail, it's usually because of a manufacturing defect and not because they are weak in general. I use them and have multiple friends that use them in lots of different applications and this has always seemed to hold true. If it fails, it usually does so within a year of purchase, otherwise they last basically forever. So the solution is to buy with a warranty. We started ordering them from Amazon now because there are a bunch of good dealers who honor their warranty claims, and of course it's also backed by amazon.

Thanks for sharing your experience. Do you have an Amazon seller you recommend for the WJ by chance? I am not typing the right words apparently to get any WJ Tig welded radiators to pop up.

'02 4.7HO ~222k ml. 2.5" BDS Springs, All new control arms and Addco Sways. 245-70-17.
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post #4 of 43 Old 01-30-2018, 08:08 AM Thread Starter
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Amazon has an $800+ racing option. Looks like eBay here I come.

'02 4.7HO ~222k ml. 2.5" BDS Springs, All new control arms and Addco Sways. 245-70-17.
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post #5 of 43 Old 01-30-2018, 09:03 AM
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I replied back to your PM.

For the sake of forum knowledge here's the response I sent:

I don't have any direct experience with the ebay all aluminum radiators, but I have read throughout the forum that folks have had overall success with them. I really wanted to install one but when the time came for me to replace the radiator in my WJ I was working with time constraints and had to source one locally.

Anyway, a couple of things to watch out for:

- Folks seem to have issues with hooking up the stock trans cooler lines to the ebay radiator. It sounds like it's an issue with the fittings not matching, most just go to an external cooler, but some have sourced the correct adapters.

-There is a difference between the '99-'00 V8 radiators and the '01-'04 radiators. The '01-'04 radiators are shorter in height and I believe the upper hose fitting on the radiator is slightly smaller. This is the reason why you see a lot of the ebay aluminum radiators say they fit '99-'00 only. You will need to trim your fan shroud to fit, however the fan shroud mounting bolts are in the same place on both radiators.

His: '00 WJ 4.7 Limited- Some stuff

Hers: '03 WJ 4.7 Laredo- Some more stuff


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This is easily the worst post, and thread, I have ever seen in 7 years of being on JF.
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post #6 of 43 Old 01-30-2018, 09:09 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks Jeeples, that’s very helpful.

'02 4.7HO ~222k ml. 2.5" BDS Springs, All new control arms and Addco Sways. 245-70-17.
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post #7 of 43 Old 01-30-2018, 09:22 AM Thread Starter
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I assume the guys with 01-04 WJs trying to fit the older ‘99-00 radiator versions were still able to fit them inspire of being off sized/ larger?

I’ll order from a manufacturer which allows a year specification but it sounds like maybe they build them assuming “one size fits all.”

'02 4.7HO ~222k ml. 2.5" BDS Springs, All new control arms and Addco Sways. 245-70-17.
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post #8 of 43 Old 01-30-2018, 10:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leadsled jeep View Post
I assume the guys with 01-04 WJs trying to fit the older ‘99-00 radiator versions were still able to fit them inspire of being off sized/ larger?

I’ll order from a manufacturer which allows a year specification but it sounds like maybe they build them assuming “one size fits all.”
Yeah, I've see a few photos where the upper part of the shroud that comes over the top of the radiator is trimmed off to allow fitment. Since the shroud mounting holes are in the same spot the fan mounts up without issue, it just doesn't look as 'clean' depending on how steady you are with a cutoff wheel.

FWIW, I have the '01-'04 radiator installed in my '00 as (unknown to me at the time) CSF only makes the later spec radiator, so I have a rather large gap between the top of my shroud and the top of my radiator.

You may contact a couple of sellers and ask for the core dimensions and see what spec they're building their radiator to which you use to determine what modifications you may need to make to have it fit.

His: '00 WJ 4.7 Limited- Some stuff

Hers: '03 WJ 4.7 Laredo- Some more stuff


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This is easily the worst post, and thread, I have ever seen in 7 years of being on JF.
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post #9 of 43 Old 01-30-2018, 10:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leadsled jeep View Post
Thanks for sharing your experience. Do you have an Amazon seller you recommend for the WJ by chance? I am not typing the right words apparently to get any WJ Tig welded radiators to pop up.
I don't have a specific vendor, I've used 3 personally, but couldn't name them if i tried. I just looked in the description to see if they had a warranty. The one that i have had fail, the vendor didn't have one in stock to replace it, so he refunded the full amount and i bought the same one from another vendor.

Which leads my to my other point, the stock available on amazon always varies. I've seen WJ ones on there in the past but they may not be available at the moment. Nor can i speak to them specifically as the radiator i run in my WJ is a triple core ZJ radiator.

Also Jeeples is correct in saying that the trans fittings are useless. Save yourself the hassle and bypass it all together with an external.

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post #10 of 43 Old 01-30-2018, 11:16 AM Thread Starter
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Dimensions seem a tad over an inch taller for the aluminum Chinese version.


Chinese Aluminum eBay ........ 21.5" x 23.2" x 1.5"
'99 OEM Plastic Tank Type .... 21.5" x 23.4" x 1"
'02 OEM Plastic Tank Type .... 20.3" x 23.2" x 1"


Topher11- why did you use a ZJ radiator? I wonder if I should consider that instead. I am all ears.
Also, I don't care to invent the wheel if someone else has already done the work. What size tranny cooler do you recommend?

'02 4.7HO ~222k ml. 2.5" BDS Springs, All new control arms and Addco Sways. 245-70-17.

Last edited by leadsled jeep; 01-30-2018 at 11:50 AM. Reason: '99 data
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post #11 of 43 Old 01-30-2018, 01:07 PM
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Another +1 for the eBay all aluminum. I put one in after going through the OEM style every 3 years. It went in back in '13 and I sold it with it still in there and working great. it always ran a little cooler afterwards too.
Fitting it was not a big deal on my 2000, a little adjustment here and there. I have yet to put on either of my 04s but that day is coming in the next 2 years.
Likewise, I bypassed the trans cooler for an external unit. Do that, no question.

'04 Freedom Edition HO & '04 Overland HO (previous '00 Laredo 4.7)
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post #12 of 43 Old 01-30-2018, 01:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leadsled jeep View Post
Dimensions seem a tad over an inch taller for the aluminum Chinese version.


Chinese Aluminum eBay ....... 21.5" x 23.2" x 1.5"
'99 OEM Plastic Tank Type ........ 21.5" x 23.4" x 1"
'02 OEM Plastic Tank Type 20.3" x 23.2" x 1"






Topher11- why did you use a ZJ radiator? I wonder if I should consider that instead. I am all ears.
Also, I don't care to invent the wheel if someone else has already done the work. What size tranny cooler do you recommend?
Sounds like that Vendor is building them to '99-'00 spec, I could have sworn that I saw someone selling the '01-'04 spec all aluminum radiators but that was a little while back when I was searching for them.

I'll dig around a little and see what I can find.

I can't speak to why Topher did the ZJ swap, but most folks do it so they can get rid of the radiator core support that hangs down in the front on WJ's for improved approach angles when off road.

His: '00 WJ 4.7 Limited- Some stuff

Hers: '03 WJ 4.7 Laredo- Some more stuff


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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeeples
This is easily the worst post, and thread, I have ever seen in 7 years of being on JF.
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post #13 of 43 Old 01-30-2018, 02:34 PM Thread Starter
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Ah, thanks Jeeples. I'll assume that's the reason for the ZJ radiator as well. I don't have the need for extra clearance there. When I get home in a few hours I'll be checking the top of my existing top of the radiator area to get a feel for what would be involved in making this '99 sized radiator fit.


This has been a VERY helpful discussion.

'02 4.7HO ~222k ml. 2.5" BDS Springs, All new control arms and Addco Sways. 245-70-17.
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post #14 of 43 Old 01-30-2018, 03:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeeples View Post
but most folks do it so they can get rid of the radiator core support that hangs down in the front on WJ's for improved approach angles when off road.
Yupp^ did it in conjunction with removing my front crossmember as well for a recessed winch mount.

Also on trans coolers, i went with an 11x9 fin cooler from Hayden (45$, not made in china, very good product). This is on the large size for a WJ, but they make 5 or 6 different sizes. They work great.

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post #15 of 43 Old 01-30-2018, 05:42 PM
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leadsled jeep, Heres some pics of ebay alum rad i just did 2wks ago. Had to wholler out the fan shroud mounting bolt holes along with the mounting holes on the rad, a little on both.
When fitting the medal strip that has the rubber seal, the curves around the rad were touching the corners, i'am sure
u could just reshape it with a hammer to get clearance, but i cut a wedge out of it and rewelded it .
Next was the bottom of the condenser has small clips, didn't seem to strudy, so i used a tap for a small screw.
Also u might have to turn the mounting rubbers around to keep enough room to clear the steering box.
It came with some cheap alum fittings for trans lines, but i used the ones that were on the old rad , they were brass with a notch for a wrench so it made it easy to
tighten.

If u have more questions just ask.....Mike
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