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Old 12-09-2012, 04:37 PM   #1
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Looking for new radiator

The original radiator on my 2001 Wrangler 6 cyl. automatic has been seeping around the top tank for the last 2-3 years now only needing a quart of so added every few months. I changed to a 13# cap to relieve some of the pressure on the tank and this has had no affect on the temperature, it always holds just under the middle mark.

My question is: Has anyone had any long-term good luck with the after market radiators without paying a fortune for it? I mean between the $90 Radiator Barn ones (which I always like to avoid the cheapest of anything I purchase) and the $362 OEM from a Jeep dealer (which I was quoted here in town)? The Wrangler is used mainly as a tow vehicle behind my motor home for a run-about while on vacation with an occasional off road side trip in the Colorado mountains. Have never had any heating problems in all the 12 years of ownership (well other than idling with the air conditioner running while the wife grocery shops and it heats up the number 3 injector causing a rough run for the first few seconds on the next start-up.)

My only criteria is I would like to get away from those crappy plastic tanks. And nothing from China, which I find is hard to tell from some of the Internet ads.

I know a lot of brands have a lifetime warranty but that usually just means you'll have to be replacing the item every couple of years or so. Maybe the Jeep dealer is the best way to go.

Any personal experience will be gratefully appreciated.

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Old 12-09-2012, 05:04 PM   #2
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Old 12-09-2012, 05:10 PM   #3
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Another option:

www.wermopar.com
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Old 12-09-2012, 05:28 PM   #4
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I had the same problem with mine this summer. I ended up getting one from O'Reilly for about $160. Quality looked about the same as the original.
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Old 12-09-2012, 05:32 PM   #5
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My 01 radiator went out not long ago. The oem served me well, but I didn't want plastic either. I went with a champion 2 row all aluminum model. It's not priced near like the Griffin, but overall quality seems above average. It also appears to run a few degrees cooler. Here's the website, but I picked mine up on ebay for about 170.

Champion Radiator, Aluminum radiators, Racing radiator

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Old 12-09-2012, 05:33 PM   #6
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Stick with the OEM, because they are designed for the proper cooling efficiency of your Jeeps engine!
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Old 12-10-2012, 05:38 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Powder Monkey View Post
My 01 radiator went out not long ago. The oem served me well, but I didn't want plastic either. I went with a champion 2 row all aluminum model. It's not priced near like the Griffin, but overall quality seems above average. It also appears to run a few degrees cooler. Here's the website, but I picked mine up on ebay for about 170.

Champion Radiator, Aluminum radiators, Racing radiator

Did the 2-row all aluminum fit without any alterations. Do you know or remember where these radiators are made? Looks good.
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Old 12-10-2012, 05:41 PM   #8
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Keep in mind that the number of rows in a radiator core does not necessarily equate to its cooling ability so don't get excited thinking a 2-row core will cool batter than the OE 1-row core radiator. In fact, Jeep switched from a 2-row to a 1-row radiator 2001 or so for slightly better cooling efficiency in the uses typically seen by Jeeps.
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Old 12-10-2012, 06:50 PM   #9
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In 12/9/06 I put in a Radiator Barn radiator. It has 60,000 + miles on it and is cooling like it should.
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Old 12-11-2012, 03:19 PM   #10
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The Jeep Engineering team is paid a lot of money to design proper engine cooling into our Wranglers. Many of the vehicle manufactures actually test cooling system efficiency here in Arizona, because of our high ambient temperature in mid summer. I have been very fortunate to have been able to work with some of them in the past on efficiency testing.
When you decide to change to a different style radiator, be careful, because you maybe getting out of the limits of the maximum efficiency that has already been designed to properly cool your Jeeps engine the most effectively!
The factors that are looked at in design are square inch of radiator frontal area, square inch of fins used "fin spacing", rows needed, GPM coolant through radiator, radiator core material, coolant mixture, fan size, fan speed, fan pitch, fan protrusion into shroud and of coarse the proper temperature thermostat. With the thermostat removed they test the efficiency of temperature drop from top tank to lower tank to determine proper maximum temperature drop..
The negative to adding additional core rows, or to tight of a fin design is getting the proper CFM air flow through the radiator, plus they have a tendency to plug more re-dally with debris and mud when mudding.
So the bottom line is that the most efficient radiator, providing that there is sufficient frontal area is a one row core as Jerry has stated.
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Old 12-11-2012, 04:54 PM   #11
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I think everyone understands that the OEM radiator is the most efficient at cooling, we just sometimes wish that it wasn't half plastic. The fact that few of them seem to make it past 100,000 miles when most other cars last their entire life on the original radiator is what sends us looking for a better alternative or at least a cheaper version of the OEM. It's hard to spend $300+ on an exact replacement of what just failed when you can get a copy for less than 1/3 of that.
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Old 12-11-2012, 05:29 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UnlimitedLJ04 View Post
X2
just installed OEM radiator, water pump, hoses and thermostat bought from them.

Needed to replace my radiator and opted to replace the water pump at the same time since I had everything out of the way (115,000 miles)
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Old 12-11-2012, 06:02 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Gorving3 View Post
Did the 2-row all aluminum fit without any alterations. Do you know or remember where these radiators are made? Looks good.
2 row fit just fine. I've read all about the different rows & probably would have gotten a single row, but they didn't come in all aluminum.
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Old 12-11-2012, 11:12 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Powder Monkey View Post
2 row fit just fine. I've read all about the different rows & probably would have gotten a single row, but they didn't come in all aluminum.
My exact sentaments. Single row or double, makes me no difference as long as I can get away from those plastic tanks. My 22 year old Honda still has the original radiator. My 8 year old motor home has a pressureized plastic radiator overflow tank and is also on the verge of causing problems since they seem to be having a history of cracking about this time and when they start leaking you are dead at the spot unless you have a good supply of water to start adding every few miles.
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Old 12-11-2012, 11:37 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Gorving3 View Post
Did the 2-row all aluminum fit without any alterations. Do you know or remember where these radiators are made? Looks good.
Champion radiators & American Eagle radiators (sister brands, don't really understand why they are even separate) are designed in the US and made in china.

Champion uses 3/4" tubes on their 2-row model. American Eagle uses 1" tubes on their 2-row model. IIRC, the Champion 3-row model uses 5/8" tubes (or something like that). Personally, I'm looking closely at the American Eagle version, considering my stock radiator hasn't quite done the job in certain circumstances since new...

FWIW, I've measured my stock radiator at 1-row, ~1" tubes. I haven't seen a Champion or AE in person, but based on the pictures online, the row stacking appears slightly less dense than factory, by around 2-5 tubes or so. Nonetheless, maybe I'm missing something, but I don't see how a 2-row 1" tube radiator could be less efficient, even with slightly less tube density across the front face, because the total surface area for heat transfer is still nearly double....all other things being equal of course.
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Old 12-12-2012, 12:09 AM   #16
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FWIW, I used an American Eagle in my '67 CJ5 V6. (it's a for a '65 Mustang application) and the quality seemed to be excellent.



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Old 12-12-2012, 12:25 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Powder Monkey View Post
My 01 radiator went out not long ago. The oem served me well, but I didn't want plastic either. I went with a champion 2 row all aluminum model. It's not priced near like the Griffin, but overall quality seems above average. It also appears to run a few degrees cooler. Here's the website, but I picked mine up on ebay for about 170.

Champion Radiator, Aluminum radiators, Racing radiator

Do you remember who you ordered from on eBay? I noticed two of them show $170, one $172, and one $184, all either including freight or after their freight is added. Your link being Ledfoot Racing is also on eBay but is the highest priced one at $190. I always feel better going with someone else's experience. Thank you
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Old 12-12-2012, 12:39 AM   #18
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I have the same Champion aluminum radiator, off of eBay, that Powder Monkey shows installed in his Jeep. Temps where I live range from below zero degrees to a hundred degrees F, and it had performed extremely well in stop and go traffic to extended highway driving. Installed with zero modifications, and mounted all stock components. I don't regret the purchase one bit...
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Old 12-12-2012, 06:55 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gorving3 View Post
Do you remember who you ordered from on eBay? I noticed two of them show $170, one $172, and one $184, all either including freight or after their freight is added. Your link being Ledfoot Racing is also on eBay but is the highest priced one at $190. I always feel better going with someone else's experience. Thank you
Looks like I ordered mine from The Cooling Pros (thecoolingpros2011).
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Old 12-12-2012, 08:37 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Old Dogger
Stick with the OEM, because they are designed for the proper cooling efficiency of your Jeeps engine!
Until you rock crawl on a 105* day

Quote:
Originally Posted by UnlimitedLJ04
Champion radiators & American Eagle radiators (sister brands, don't really understand why they are even separate) are designed in the US and made in china.

Champion uses 3/4" tubes on their 2-row model. American Eagle uses 1" tubes on their 2-row model. IIRC, the Champion 3-row model uses 5/8" tubes (or something like that). Personally, I'm looking closely at the American Eagle version, considering my stock radiator hasn't quite done the job in certain circumstances since new...

FWIW, I've measured my stock radiator at 1-row, ~1" tubes. I haven't seen a Champion or AE in person, but based on the pictures online, the row stacking appears slightly less dense than factory, by around 2-5 tubes or so. Nonetheless, maybe I'm missing something, but I don't see how a 2-row 1" tube radiator could be less efficient, even with slightly less tube density across the front face, because the total surface area for heat transfer is still nearly double....all other things being equal of course.
Possibly first post with out the word "bumpstops" haha

To the op, I got an all aluminum 2 row from genesis auto for around 170$ and it's been good to me so far
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