Sick of replacing the radiator - JeepForum.com
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post #1 of 11 Old 04-14-2021, 07:43 AM Thread Starter
arbakken
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Sick of replacing the radiator

I'm getting really sick of replacing radiators.

I bought my 2015 JK new in august of that year, and in late 2019 the stock radiator started leaking between the plastic tank and the aluminum fins. I replaced that radiator with an AFE aluminum one, because I never wanted to replace it again. That one had a huge leak right out of the box, and they were out of stock for 4 months, so Quadratec swapped me for a Griffin. In December of 2020 that one started leaking too, so I warrantied it for another Griffin. Here we are 4 months later, and there is coolant on the garage floor again. I was too frustrated to look at it last night, but I have no reason to think I won't be installing the 5th radiator in this stupid thing.

What's going on? Do I just have horrible luck? I'm pretty nice to my JK (don't wheel it hard, no accidents) and I've got less than 70k miles on it.

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post #2 of 11 Old 04-14-2021, 08:12 AM
cranbiz
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Sounds like horrible luck.

My 12 is at 110K, still on the original radiator and I wheel it hard, primarily in rocks.

02 WJ Laredo, heavily optioned but stock
12 JK, 3.5" Teraflex/Franken lift, Bilstein 5100's, BFG KM3's 37x12.5/R17
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post #3 of 11 Old 04-14-2021, 02:16 PM
Prot
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Maybe check how it mounts? Something broken or loose?

I am still on the stock radiator.

I replaced the water pump and thermostat housing a few years ago.

2014 JKU Copperhead Pearl
Too many mods to list. Too awesome to sell.
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post #4 of 11 Old 04-14-2021, 02:21 PM
Kev M
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2016, still stock radiator, only 45k miles though.

Current Jeep: 2016 JKUS - My Mall/Beach/Dunes/Forest crawler - lightly modded
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post #5 of 11 Old 04-14-2021, 02:29 PM Thread Starter
arbakken
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I did a bit of research, and it sort of seems like it's a flexing/mounting issue, and the all aluminum radiators (which should be more reliable!) fail all the time. I'm going to try this on the next warranty radiator:

https://www.jkowners.com/threads/sti.../#post-4442272

An expensive replacement part should come with whatever it needs to perform better than OE, but if this keeps me from having to replace yet ANOTHER radiator I'm all for it.
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post #6 of 11 Old 04-14-2021, 07:22 PM
LittleFootZJ
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I had one customer with an AFE radiator in his JK I installed and it was leaking at the welds to the tank right out of the box. Warrantied it and all good now. The flexing issue is interesting, never heard of that one before.


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post #7 of 11 Old 04-15-2021, 07:34 AM Thread Starter
arbakken
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Yeah, I don't know about the flexing issue either, but... I have to try something! I bought an all aluminum radiator because I wanted something that would last a lifetime, which is obviously not close to what I got. I'm 3/4 tempted to get an OE radiator and do the spring mod up top. I just have trouble believing plastic can be better than metal.
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post #8 of 11 Old 04-16-2021, 05:48 AM
LittleFootZJ
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Its definitely not better. Id stick with the aluminum. You can do the spring thing on your aluminum radiator too if you want.


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post #9 of 11 Old 04-16-2021, 06:23 AM
Kev M
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So for the uninitiated, what's the spring mod?

Current Jeep: 2016 JKUS - My Mall/Beach/Dunes/Forest crawler - lightly modded
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post #10 of 11 Old 04-16-2021, 03:34 PM
Geoskier9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kev M View Post
So for the uninitiated, what's the spring mod?
I had the same question, but if you look at the link they are adding a spring to the radiator mounts to allow for some flex that isn’t being put on the radiator itself
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Last edited by Geoskier9; 04-17-2021 at 10:41 AM.
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post #11 of 11 Old 04-21-2021, 05:17 PM Thread Starter
arbakken
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Yeah, I wanted to use a SS shoulder bolt since alloy steel shoulder bolts are mostly unplated, and the sleeve bearings he bought were too rich for my blood. This is what I bought:

90265A157 18-8 Stainless Steel Shoulder Screw 8 mm Shoulder Diameter, 50 mm Shoulder Length, M6 x 1 mm Thread: qty 2
6294K437 Dry-Running MDS-Filled Nylon Sleeve Bearing Light Duty, Flanged, for 5/16" Shaft Diameter, 1/2" Long: qty 2
9435K132 302 Stainless Steel Corrosion-Resistant Compression Springs 1.5" Long, 0.6" OD, 0.474" ID: qty 2

I think I'm going cut down those springs I have, because I think they're too stiff and there will be quite a bit of preload once installed. You just knock the sleeve out of the bushing that's on there now and install these in their place.

My new replacement radiator came from Quadratec today, but I won't be installing it because it's used!! Very used, and there's sticks and stuff in it! I've had good luck with Quadratec in the past, but this is really frustrating, especially since my Jeep has been off the road since then. I'll probably have to drive it tomorrow
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