The whole radiator thing - JeepForum.com
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post #1 of 22 Old 04-03-2018, 08:08 PM Thread Starter
FL 4.0L
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The whole radiator thing

So my rig (97 Wrangler Sport 4.0L stick) has 190K. I bought it at 108 in 2004. In 2005 at 111K the radiator started leaking at the top crimp. Read here how much better an all metal 3 row radiator would be. Fast forward 79K to yesterday. I see an area at the top of the all metal Radiator Barn radiator that the paint has eroded away around a crack in the metal. I come back to the forum to find that the 2 piece OEM radiator lasts longer and cools as well as anything else out there. I have an OEM rad on the way.

As an aside, I still go to the hardware store and come back with the wrong stuff! I went out to replace the radiator mounting bolts, washers, and extruded nuts. A nice guy on this forum said to make sure to get the short extruded nuts. Damned if I didn't come back with 2 longs ones!


'97 TJ Sport, 4.0L, AX-15, D30/35, BFG TA KO 183K
'12 F30, '03 E46, '06 Rabbit, '13 Jetta
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post #2 of 22 Old 04-04-2018, 11:30 AM
bobjp
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That's how internet forums work. We assume something is a bad design because it breaks and then say another design is better because it looks better without any data proving that it is actually better.

I too bought a radiator barn radiator for the same reasons. It lasted 108,000 miles while the OEM lasted 150,000 miles.

IMO, 108,000 miles is poor for an OEM radiator, but I would be happy with that as a second radiator. Hopefully your OEM radiator is actually OEM.

Nice how radiator barn was "bought out" and won't honor their lifetime warranties, huh?

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post #3 of 22 Old 04-04-2018, 03:02 PM
imstillatwork
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The same thing, but with spark plugs happens all the time... "These new spark plugs are the BEST! So much better than the 150k mile OEM ones I never changed in the past!"
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post #4 of 22 Old 04-04-2018, 04:45 PM
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How much more are the OEM radiators compared to the radiator barn ones? Weren't the barn ones like $130.

79k miles but you got 13 years out of it, seems reasonable.

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post #5 of 22 Old 04-04-2018, 06:59 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Varnish View Post
How much more are the OEM radiators compared to the radiator barn ones? Weren't the barn ones like $130.

79k miles but you got 13 years out of it, seems reasonable.
Yeah, if you look at it time wise, the all metal lasted nearly twice as long! I think you are right about the price.

As far as who makes this radiator, I'll have to check when it arrives. The image looks like the original radiator. It's coming from a Myrtle Beach Jeep dealer who does online parts sales.

'97 TJ Sport, 4.0L, AX-15, D30/35, BFG TA KO 183K
'12 F30, '03 E46, '06 Rabbit, '13 Jetta
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post #6 of 22 Old 04-04-2018, 07:45 PM
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OEM radiators have/had upper and lower plastic tanks.
And just for the record radiator barn products suck!... IMO
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post #7 of 22 Old 04-09-2018, 03:53 PM Thread Starter
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Got the rad. Obviously not OEM as I can't get the shroud bolted to the radiator. The radiator barn had a nut welded on the backside to catch the bolt. Headed to the hardware store...

'97 TJ Sport, 4.0L, AX-15, D30/35, BFG TA KO 183K
'12 F30, '03 E46, '06 Rabbit, '13 Jetta
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post #8 of 22 Old 04-09-2018, 04:51 PM
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IIRC Radiator Barn is out of business...
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post #9 of 22 Old 04-09-2018, 05:11 PM Thread Starter
FL 4.0L
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You're right. At least I could bolt it right up. Any suggestions on how to get the fan shroud mounted since this radiator won't accept the old hex head mounting bolts? Sheet metal screws?

'97 TJ Sport, 4.0L, AX-15, D30/35, BFG TA KO 183K
'12 F30, '03 E46, '06 Rabbit, '13 Jetta
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post #10 of 22 Old 04-09-2018, 06:36 PM
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Could you post up pics of what you're dealing with? It might help to figure out a solution for your shroud mounting dilemma.

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post #11 of 22 Old 04-10-2018, 01:20 AM Thread Starter
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Well, I went out there and took a photo, but I'm not going to have to post it. I got it mounted. They just stamped 4 holes for the fan mounting screws, and it was a bear to get them started and turn 'em down. Would have been nice to have a threaded hole or a nut tacked to the backside. Just after 2 am, so I hooked up the hoses, put the new coolant reservoir in, filled as much coolant as it would take without running it, and I'll finish in daylight. Thanks for looking!
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'97 TJ Sport, 4.0L, AX-15, D30/35, BFG TA KO 183K
'12 F30, '03 E46, '06 Rabbit, '13 Jetta
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post #12 of 22 Old 04-10-2018, 10:59 AM
ThisJustin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Varnish View Post
How much more are the OEM radiators compared to the radiator barn ones? Weren't the barn ones like $130.

79k miles but you got 13 years out of it, seems reasonable.
I paid $90 from a company called 1-800-radiator. 2 year warranty.
oem style.

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post #13 of 22 Old 04-10-2018, 12:58 PM Thread Starter
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All done. It is warm in SW FL today, so it is running a smidge above the 210 mark as it always does on a warm day. Thinking I'm good to go, hopefully for at least 100K!

'97 TJ Sport, 4.0L, AX-15, D30/35, BFG TA KO 183K
'12 F30, '03 E46, '06 Rabbit, '13 Jetta
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post #14 of 22 Old 04-10-2018, 01:24 PM Thread Starter
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Here is the photo of the issue. I don't have the shroud in the frame. I was able to eventually get the screw started...
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IMG_3021.jpg  

'97 TJ Sport, 4.0L, AX-15, D30/35, BFG TA KO 183K
'12 F30, '03 E46, '06 Rabbit, '13 Jetta
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post #15 of 22 Old 04-10-2018, 02:22 PM
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If you haven't installed the shroud you do understand that you need it?...
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