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post #1 of 23 Old 06-16-2021, 08:34 AM Thread Starter
Monastero
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Radiator

Hello,
I have a 1986 CJ7. I like to do all the work on it I can myself. But certain things I can not.

I bought it with a newer radiator (cap centered on top). I believe it is the heavy duty version for my 4.2. I installed a flex fan and shroud myself. The jeep been flawless for an old vehicle.

I took it out in the desert temp was 115 outside it was not over heating. But I had to drive it hard in the soft sand. Finally when I made it to the river I had to drive it in about 3’ deep of water for about ten feet. I drove it hone with no problems. The next day I noticed the radiator leaking from the bottom of the metal core. What can I do to prevent this from happening again? I do not want to replace this radiator for another alike. What is the best damn radiator you would recommend that is bullet proof??

Thank you.

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post #2 of 23 Old 06-16-2021, 09:00 AM
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most are made in China. Best wont be cheep. Griffin has been around a long time. But you are looking at near 800 too

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post #3 of 23 Old 06-16-2021, 11:01 AM
KevinCJ7Jeep
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Check out Holley Frostbite Aluminum Radiators. I installed one of their Chevy V8 conversion radiators. Well built and dropped right into my CJ7.
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post #4 of 23 Old 06-16-2021, 02:03 PM
ADDZ71
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I recently replaced my Autozone replacement with a Champion aluminum. I thought it was a good value for the money. Probably overkill for my engine but was drop in replacement.
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post #5 of 23 Old 06-16-2021, 04:54 PM
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One of the best radiators is a solid brass in my opinion; OEM! The center cap is NOT the HD version. The HD version had its cap on the driver side. I just went through this and opted to have mine recored. The place I took it to did a wonderful job as you can see. Also, being the OEM one, the driver side bracket needed to be brazed again. Came back solid and fit like a glove! If you should ever need to repair an aluminum one, good luck!
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post #6 of 23 Old 06-16-2021, 05:28 PM
gutthans
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Copper/brass radiators are the best. The heat transfer is superior to aluminum; the cost is cheaper; they are easier AND cheaper to repair.

The trick is to find a quality made unit. Because places close or get bought out, and also have Chinese stock, it's hard to recommend a supplier. If possible, buy locally so you can physically take it back. If you buy online, do so with a credit card so you can contest the sale if you get a crappy unit. Try big, good-name dealers who will stand behind product if you have an issue.

Take it out of the box immediately, flush it out and get fluid in it. Pressure test it right away. A quality 3-core brass radiator will run around $200...avoid super sale buying, even though it saves money it means a bulk supplier purchase, design change, old beat-up or poor selling stock, and questionable quality control. It's usually a miracle if you actually get a good deal for the sale cost.
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Last edited by gutthans; 06-16-2021 at 05:52 PM.
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post #7 of 23 Old 06-16-2021, 06:41 PM
StoneTower
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I was always under the impression that aluminum is a better heat conductor than copper.

https://www.griffinrad.com/general_f...copper%20brass.

"1) Does an aluminum radiator cool better than a copper brass radiator?
An aluminum radiator does cool better than a copper brass radiator. For example, an aluminum radiator with 2 rows of 1" tubes is equivalent to a copper brass radiator with 5 rows of 1/2" tubes. Aluminum provides high efficiency, is lightweight, and has a longer life compared to copper brass."

I think the main problem is that it is difficult or impossible to repair.

https://www.griffinrad.com/general_f...copper%20brass.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gutthans View Post
Copper/brass radiators are the best. The heat transfer is superior to aluminum; the cost is cheaper; they are easier AND cheaper to repair.

The trick is to find a quality made unit. Because places close or get bought out, and also have Chinese stock, it's hard to recommend a supplier. If possible, buy locally so you can physically take it back. If you buy online, do so with a credit card so you can contest the sale if you get a crappy unit. Try big, good-name dealers who will stand behind product if you have an issue.

Take it out of the box immediately, flush it out and get fluid in it. Pressure test it right away. A quality 3-core brass radiator will run around $200...avoid super sale buying, even though it saves money it means a bulk supplier purchase, design change, old beat-up or poor selling stock, and questionable quality control. It's usually a miracle if you actually get a good deal for the sale cost.
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post #8 of 23 Old 06-16-2021, 07:03 PM Thread Starter
Monastero
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Man thanks a lot fellas!

I looked up griffin as recommended and some others including brass but I think a quality brass/copper will be hard to find for me as I’m in a very small town with nothing available here. I also learned that I do not have an HD because my cap is in the center so I appreciate that. I assumed mine was HD because I have a large 19” fan but I was wrong. I’m going to get one soon, drain, flush and install. I particularly want a drop in stock fit as well.

I found out the cause. I opted for a flex fan I worked hard to put in last summer when the clutch fan went bad. I had to special order the bolts from bolt depo because I couldn’t get the size I needed in my small town and needed a 1” and 1/2” spacers. After all this including a custom shroud I made. It was running cool. But It was opting for the flex fan that damaged my radiator. When it hit the water it certainly flexed. So damn much it hit my core. And my fan was 1-1/8 from my radiator outer rails! So consider this if you ever drive in deep water and have a flex fan. I had no choice, what a costly mistake.

Thanks again.
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post #9 of 23 Old 06-16-2021, 07:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StoneTower View Post
I was always under the impression that aluminum is a better heat conductor than copper.
Stone ...go and read up on the thermal conductivity of various metals...copper is about 1.6 - 2x as efficient as aluminum. I'll skip all of the formulas, but testing for metal-to-metal transfer, fluid conductivity, and fluid radiation in a free or forced flow setting all demonstrate superior transfer by copper. You can find this in dozens of journal papers from any research facility. The Griffin reference is marketing hype and isn't comparing apples to oranges.

Open up your computer and tell me what the heat exchanger pipes and cooling blocks for the chip are made of??? Aluminum is only used where less critical components reside and there is more space for a LARGE heatsink, as it is often cheaper than pure copper.

OEM copper brass has been a standard for a simple reason...it works. Here's a handy physics chart:

https://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/t...als-d_858.html

Notice aluminum is in the 200+ range while copper is rated above 400. Also note there are temp changes (shown up to around 500 plus degrees) that slightly lessen the difference, BUT COPPER REMAINS THE WINNER. SO MUCH FOR ADVERTISING COPY HUH?

BTW: doesn't mean that a company can't build a good aluminum radiator...but the truth is that if the two were the same weight and design, copper would always be cooler.

Last edited by gutthans; 06-16-2021 at 08:10 PM.
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post #10 of 23 Old 06-16-2021, 08:17 PM
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I will say this again, I bought a Summit copper/brass and it does a good job in this Texas heat and it was a drop-in fit. Off-set cap.
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post #11 of 23 Old 06-16-2021, 08:50 PM
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This is the closest to the original 83' Laredo radiator that I could find. Not a cheap as the china 3 row aluminum and not as expensive as those BE COOL units.

https://www.summitracing.com/parts/sum-382007
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post #12 of 23 Old 06-17-2021, 12:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gutthans View Post
Stone ...go and read up on the thermal conductivity of various metals...copper is about 1.6 - 2x as efficient as aluminum. I......BTW: doesn't mean that a company can't build a good aluminum radiator...but the truth is that if the two were the same weight and design, copper would always be cooler.
Yep, i wrote a piece on JF a few years ago on the benefits and drawbacks.

Yep, copper is more conductive, However aluminium can be extruded in more complex tube shapes which could give a larger surface area. This is the one area where aluminium has an edge.

The copper/brass is more costly to make than the aluminium/plastic that you see in modern cars as copper is a lot more expensive per fin. A fully welded aluminium radiator is about the same cost, the copper/brass is soldered.

They do not have the same possible service life as the OEM brass/copper radiators AMC supplied can be recored at your local rad shop, the aluminium/plastic are not serviceable and you woul db ehard pressed to get a recore of a welded aluminium one.

The cooling capacity of a radiator changes a lot if you increase the header tank capacity, not just the number of rows of tubes. Some of these aftermarket aluminium rads have larger tanks, which give them an edge.

The conclusion, backed by experience, is that an OEM radiator which has been serviced is more than capable of cooling a Jeep in a hot climate. All it needs is proper coolant, a working water pump, a working thermoclutch fan, thermostat and a shroud. And it is cheaper to service them than buy aluminium radiators.

BagusJeep lives in Bali with far too many 4x4s:
1981 CJ7 258ci - Bagusjeep
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1981 J20 258ci - Gladys
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post #13 of 23 Old 06-17-2021, 06:08 AM
Matt1981CJ7
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OP,

I don't usually advocate electric fans, but if you expect to play in the water a lot, an e-fan may be the way to go.

Matt


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post #14 of 23 Old 06-17-2021, 07:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Monastero View Post
Hello,

I bought it with a newer radiator.

The jeep been flawless for an old vehicle.

I took it out in the desert temp was 115 outside it was not over heating

I had to drive it in about 3’ deep of water for about ten feet. I drove it hone with no problems.

The next day I noticed the radiator leaking from the bottom of the metal core.

What is the best damn radiator you would recommend that is bullet proof?
It sounds like the radiator is or was working fine.

Are you sure it is leaking? I believe after going through deep water your radiator might still look wet, but maybe it is residual water from the river fording you did the day before. How long did you drive it after the water crossing? Was it long enough to throughly dry the radiator?… Just a thought.

If it truly is leaking, I would remove it and take it to a reputable repair shop and have it looked at. They may be able to fix & clean it for less than replacing it.

As far as what is the best?

My first choice would be the OEM brass/copper radiator. Even an old one that has been repaired will work fine.

My second choice would be that brass copper one from Summit racing, the one that Weapon has had success with.

My third choice would be an aluminum replacement.

I run an aluminum radiator in my race car with success, but that is a completely different application, so not a good comparison. The only reason I mention it is I believe a well built & fitting aluminum radiator would work fine as well.

Why do I own a CJ? I like to “Balance the wrench and the steering wheel”
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post #15 of 23 Old 06-17-2021, 08:28 AM
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Weapon that is the one I got. It has the same number of cores as my old 3 row one but with only 2 rows. I have the clutch fan with A/C as well. Had it for about 3 years now.
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