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Old 12-30-2010, 10:19 PM   #1
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Replacing radiators on TJs

For those of you who replaced your radiator, where did you find the best price and service? I was all set to order mine from RadiatorBarn but read several comments about their sorry service and bad leaky radiators (had to be replaced in less than a year). Read something about Radiators.com and Drivewire.com but no one had any specific experience with them.

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Old 12-30-2010, 10:25 PM   #2
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I bought my CSF radiator from Radiator Barn and received excellent service. Shipping was very fast as well. No problems with the radiator so far. I like it.

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Old 12-30-2010, 10:42 PM   #3
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I got mine from supporting vendor, Rock Auto. Fast, friendly service... Forum discount, I'll buy from them again...
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Old 12-30-2010, 10:50 PM   #4
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Old 12-30-2010, 11:11 PM   #5
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I ordered from Radiator Barn, but they had gotten bad information from their supplier and sent me a Plastic Radiator. I then found an all Metal Radiator at my local NAPA store for about $10 more than on-line so I bought mine there.
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Old 12-30-2010, 11:13 PM   #6
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I got mine from the dealer. Very expensive but its the only radiotor able to cool down the jeep i kuwaits heat. We get heat upto 59c and the other radiotors we get either dnt cool the jeep well or after a seasom or 2 start leaking. Did the install myslf and 2 days later i have to change the water pump and hoses because theyvare both leaking.
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Old 12-31-2010, 12:09 PM   #7
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We bought an all-metal, 3-row radiator from RadiatorBarn last summer for the wife's XJ and the parts and service were top-drawer. No problems at all, excellent quality, all-copper radiator that was HEAVY and well finished. Highly recommended.
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Old 12-31-2010, 12:25 PM   #8
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Jeep's OE radiators are hard to beat now that they pretty much have the leakage issue where the core is sealed to the top and bottom pieces solved. They have an aluminum core which is an extremely efficient material for cooling and far better than the "all metal" cheapies, and it is now a 1 row core that has huge water channels for more efficient cooling than before when Jeep had 2 row cores. 3 row cores are not all that efficient for cooling in the conditions Jeeps are typically in, which is why Jeep went from the earlier 2 row to a 1 row design around 2003 or so.

While I used to be a fan of www.radiatorbarn.com. for those who needed the cheapest possible radiator, I no longer am since they have had too many complaints over the years of problems.
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Old 12-31-2010, 06:17 PM   #9
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They have an aluminum core which is an extremely efficient material for cooling and far better than the "all metal" cheapies...
The heavy, copper radiator we bought from radiatorbarn.com is a much better unit than any aluminum cheapie I've ever seen. I suspect they source differently than you remember.

And frankly, Jerry, I'm old school; back when quality and durability mattered, a heavy-duty all copper radiator was the only way to go. Hang out with an ASE-certified cooling system specialist for a while (like Larry, my neighbor who has nearly 50 years of shop ownership under his belt) and ask about the durabiliy of aluminum radiators. His shop's trash bin is constantly full of them. He only sells and installs solid copper replacement units because he got sick of returns/redo's a long time ago.

I've learned a LOT from this guy over the years, and he has the credentials to back his advice up. The best suggestion I could offer the OP on this or any Jeep-related subject would be to ignore most of the garbage on internet blogs, and find an actual Jeep specialist in your own community with excellent credentials and education for advice on these matters.
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Old 12-31-2010, 07:22 PM   #10
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I dunno, go look at all the purpose built desert buggies, King of the Hammers vehicles, desert rock crawlers, Baja 500 racers, etc. and you'll find that they are all pretty much running all aluminum single-core radiators. The very best and most expensive custom radiators made for those types of vehicles are tig-welded all aluminum.

Even the OE radiator uses an aluminum core.

There are cheap epoxy lined (because they will leak otherwise because of their poor build quality) aluminum radiators like there are cheap any kind of radiators but I'm not talking about the cheap smaller capacity aluminum core radiators. Look in any of the high-end builder's catalogs or even Quadratec or 4WD's catalogs and you'll see their premium radiators are 100% aluminum.

They both, copper vs. aluminum, have their pros and cons but one thing in aluminum's favor is certainly weight. And while copper itself conducts heat better, how copper radiators are usually soldered together lessens that because solder doesn't conduct heat well at all. Modern aluminum radiator designs don't give up any cooling efficiency to copper any more, the big differences are pretty much a thing of the past.

Here's one good article that shares my views on aluminum radiators. Old school is one thing, modern aluminum radiators are quite another. http://www.stockcarproducts.com/rad2.htm
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Old 12-31-2010, 09:37 PM   #11
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I replaced mine the hard way in 2008 after the plastic tank gave up while in Pritchet canyon at Moab. The Guys a the local car quest sold me a copper radiator with metel tanks. It does the job and I don't have to worry about a plastic tank breaking. The price difference between alum and copper was about 20 bucks.
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Old 01-01-2011, 03:10 PM   #12
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I ordered from Radiator Barn, but they had gotten bad information from their supplier and sent me a Plastic Radiator. I then found an all Metal Radiator at my local NAPA store for about $10 more than on-line so I bought mine there.
My first attempt for a supplier was the local NAPA store and after checking they couldn't even find one listed for my 2001 Wrangler. Maybe I should call them again.
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Old 01-01-2011, 03:15 PM   #13
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I got mine from supporting vendor, Rock Auto. Fast, friendly service... Forum discount, I'll buy from them again...
Checked the Rock Auto web site early on since I had gotten my front bearing hubs from them but couldn't find anything about radiators. I know I'm not very good with computers so guess I'd better try them again.

Sorry, just looked again and now I remember, they only show plastic tanks and I want to get away from that problem.
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Old 01-05-2011, 01:08 PM   #14
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well, I went with the local napa and I hope its an okay one..I haven't installed it yet because im still waiting to get more parts today..but its a cheapy aluminum core/plastic style, so I will update this later on.

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