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Old 12-10-2009, 02:32 PM   #1
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Question Aluminum Radiator - Good or Bad?

The other day, popped the hood on my Jeep to check oil and such and noticed a pretty decent amount of antifreeze on the top of my radiator. Ok, maybe the last time I had it serviced they topped it off or the cap leaked. Checked it again today and the entire top of the radiator is covered in antifreeze (along the seam for the plastic piece on the top of the radiator) along with my fan shroud, hood and a few other spots. So I need a new radiator.

I found a pretty decent deal on a 2 row all aluminum radiator for $165 and I was wondering, would an aluminum radiator be a good thing or a bad thing on my Jeep? I do go offroading quite a bit and I don't know many of the pros on cons for aluminum radiators other than they're lighter, cool better and more durable than the stock (at least I would assume since the stock incorporates plastic).

So, if you have any experiences or whatever with the aluminum radiators, let me know cause I need to get one ordered ASAP!

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Old 12-10-2009, 02:42 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bagged92sdime View Post
The other day, popped the hood on my Jeep to check oil and such and noticed a pretty decent amount of antifreeze on the top of my radiator. Ok, maybe the last time I had it serviced they topped it off or the cap leaked. Checked it again today and the entire top of the radiator is covered in antifreeze (along the seam for the plastic piece on the top of the radiator) along with my fan shroud, hood and a few other spots. So I need a new radiator.

I found a pretty decent deal on a 2 row all aluminum radiator for $165 and I was wondering, would an aluminum radiator be a good thing or a bad thing on my Jeep? I do go offroading quite a bit and I don't know many of the pros on cons for aluminum radiators other than they're lighter, cool better and more durable than the stock (at least I would assume since the stock incorporates plastic).

So, if you have any experiences or whatever with the aluminum radiators, let me know cause I need to get one ordered ASAP!

I'd think anything would be better than the stock plastic one. I could be wrong, but I thought that the aliminum ones were supposed to be really good and used in most performance type situations. The only thing throwing me here is the price you listed as that sounds really low . . . the going price in the Quadratec Catalog for an aliminum radiator is about 500 bucks. Post up some info on the radiator your looking at as if it is a good one, you might save others some coin when they go down the same path.

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Old 12-10-2009, 03:09 PM   #3
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I'm a little sceptical on where I found it (main reason for posting this thread), eBay. I looked through the feedback though and there weren't any real complaints about the radiators failing or anything like that.

Here's the link to the ebay page.

It says:
Vehicle Notes: 4.0 L6 ALL ALUMINUM, Heavy Duty Cooling - All Transmission.
Core Size (in) approx: ALUM (18-1/8 x 19-1/4 x 1-3/4) - 2 Rows.
Tank: ALUMINUM
Weight (lbs) approx: 13
JEEP WRANGLER YJ (pretty sure that the YJ is a typo since it lists 97-04)
1997-2004: L6 Cyl 4.0LL 242
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Old 12-10-2009, 03:14 PM   #4
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The factory radiator has an aluminum core and aluminum is best at conducting heat out of the coolant. But if you have a choice between 1, 2, or 3 row radiator, a 1 row is more efficient where a Jeep is concerned. The factory went from the 2-row that came in my '97 to a 1 row sometime around 2002 or so for slightly better cooling efficiency.
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Old 12-10-2009, 03:54 PM   #5
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that link isn't working.
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Old 12-10-2009, 03:57 PM   #6
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Ok, hold on...trying to get a working link! lol
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Old 12-10-2009, 04:00 PM   #7
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Old 12-10-2009, 04:33 PM   #8
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Be wary, most imported all aluminum radiators like that are usually epoxy lined to stop them from leaking. That reduces their cooling efficiency when compared to a better all aluminum radiator that is put together well enough so it doesn't require the epoxy lining to prevent leakage.
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Old 12-10-2009, 04:37 PM   #9
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Well, my stock one is leaking pretty bad at the moment. So would you say that would be better over a stock replacement or?
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Old 12-10-2009, 04:39 PM   #10
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For the sake of expediency, I'd probably go with that aluminum radiator in the link but I'd try for an OE replacement first if it's not priced out of your range.
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Old 12-10-2009, 04:40 PM   #11
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Old 12-10-2009, 04:43 PM   #12
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Here's my OEM option (all local stuff is really expensive, so I shop online)

Proliance Ready Rad 431512 - Proliance Ready-Rad Radiators - Overview - SummitRacing.com
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Old 12-10-2009, 04:47 PM   #13
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Old 12-10-2009, 04:54 PM   #14
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Keep in mind that so-called lifetime warranties have no direct bearing on the product's quality, such warranties are for the seller a very low-cost marketing tool.

For example, AutoZone sells some extremely shoddily made low-quality water pumps that come with a lifetime warranty. I bought one years ago but it was so obviously a poor quality product that I returned it before installing it. Sure they'll replace them for free but how much is your time worth? They can easily provide a lifetime warranty even on poor quality parts because they end up replacing so few under the warranty. Why? Because few people keep their vehicles long enough to need to replace it, or they move or lose the receipt.

Since we tend to use our Jeeps in remote areas, I for one won't install a key component like a water pump, radiator, alternator, etc. that I depend on to get home with that is of questionable quality.
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Old 12-10-2009, 04:56 PM   #15
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Ok, well, rather than chancing it with a cheapie aluminum radiator that I didn't full trust in the first place, I just ordered and all metal replacement radiator through Radiator express. Still not that bad - $175 shipped. Thanx for the help everybody.
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Old 12-10-2009, 06:55 PM   #16
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im suprised no one through out radiatorbarn.com. That was the first place I went on my radiator search. Best price and selection. Had it installed within 3 days. 2 row aluminum. 172 i believe?
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Old 12-11-2009, 01:06 PM   #17
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Radiator Express wanted to charge me more for shipping after the site had already given me a price for shipping. I canceled my order since it was way more and would have taken alot longer and went with radiator barn.
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Old 12-11-2009, 01:26 PM   #18
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First off, X10 Jerry and thanks for being here ! Second, I just bought one from RADIATORS4LESS on ebay for $127 total. The original bolts didn't work with it and they didn't send their own so I had to make do. Other than that.....it's been radiating.
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Old 12-11-2009, 01:29 PM   #19
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Try NAPA, I replaced mine for around $200. Not sure if it is aluminum or not but it is all metal. maybe worth a call
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Old 01-27-2010, 09:43 AM   #20
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I like the search option My Wrangler is also leaking from the radiator. This thread gave me some good options and good info. Thanks guys. Also, they guy on E-bay I wouldn't trust, one: it's ebay. and two: he has them listed for a 99-00 YJ LOL Those must be the Jeeps with square headlights and coil springs... Anyways just wanted to thank you guys for helpin him, because it also helped me a lot!

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