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Old 03-07-2014, 07:56 PM   #1
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Question The Leaky Radiator

Just purchased my first Wrangler two weeks ago. It's a 99 with the 4.0, and its leaking on the top of the radiator. I have been digging through all the posts on here and it seems to be a pretty common issue. So I'm looking to replace it, but the threads on the subject are pretty old. Most users said go with radiator barn, but they have been bought out and don't exist anymore. I live in Phoenix so it will be getting hotter then heck soon, any recs on where to buy and what would work best out here? I've noticed a lot of support for oem single tubes. Also is it something most people can install themselves? Any feedback is appreciated, thanks!!

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Old 03-07-2014, 08:19 PM   #2
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Easy to install your self. I lived in Alaska and had a griffen and drake fail in months. My OEM started leaking with less than 30,000 but it was slow and stood like that till I replaced it was at top too. Tried to use a punch on folded metal to increase seal and stop leak. That cracked it The best radiator I got over the past 14 years is my napa. It's aluminum with clamped on plastic tanks. If you have a manual it will have auto ports too but not to worry nothing flows there.

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Old 03-07-2014, 10:10 PM   #3
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Napa

Awesome, thanks for the reply. Checked out the local Napa store and they have it in stock for around 130 bucks. Glad you had mentioned the auto ports, the description says IMPORTANT INFO: w/ Automatic Transmission. Might give it a go this weekend. Thanks again!
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Old 03-07-2014, 10:13 PM   #4
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No problem. Good luck to you.
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Old 03-08-2014, 12:40 AM   #5
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Don't forget to change out your thermostat, buy RVT for the gasket material and also a new gasket for the thermostat housing. Give yourself a good day to get everything together just right.
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Old 03-08-2014, 01:09 AM   #6
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Appreciate the tips and feedback. I've heard people saying to change the fan while you're at it, but it's only got 58k miles. Would imagine it should still be good. Thanks again.
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Old 03-08-2014, 06:48 AM   #7
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All good advice here. Also, always keep an eye on your temp gauge. With a 195 degree thermostat, it should run just barely below the 210 mark. On the TJs, if it starts creeping much past 210, start looking for the cause. Its a fine line between a little past 210 and oh sh*t on these things and if they overheat bad enough, you'll be looking at a blown head gasket and/or cracked head. Not trying to scare you, just letting you know if it starts getting hot, shut her down! Also, if you notice temp creeping up but radiator, coolant and t-stat are in good shape, replace the fan clutch. Welcome to Jeeping!
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Old 03-08-2014, 10:51 AM   #8
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Fortunately for him he doesn't have the 0331 head. Something that always sits in the back of my mind....it didn't blow when my radiator and water pump crapped out at the same time so maybe i'm one of the lucky ones! ( hopefully )
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Old 03-14-2014, 09:30 PM   #9
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Working on replacing this radiator, having trouble removing the bottom bolts of the fan and getting this top nut off of the radiator. The whole thing just spins, trying to use vise grips at the moment with no success. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
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Old 03-14-2014, 10:00 PM   #10
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Seems like the one I put in my son's 97 had the brackets but was about a year and a half ago so i dont remember. Have you got access to a dremel tool with a cut off wheel or a die grinder with cut off wheel? You will have to by new nuts but that's probably the easiest way to cut the screws, just behind the nut against the bracket. At least it's on top where you can get to it.
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Old 03-14-2014, 10:40 PM   #11
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Idk if anyone put this because I'm too lazy to read through all the replies, but did you try radiator stop leak? Worth a shot to fix it as opposed to replacing it and spending all the money, the stop leaks only like 5 bucks.
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Old 03-15-2014, 08:54 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikebillek View Post
Idk if anyone put this because I'm too lazy to read through all the replies, but did you try radiator stop leak? Worth a shot to fix it as opposed to replacing it and spending all the money, the stop leaks only like 5 bucks.
Case and point... replace it. I've heard nothing but bad about stop leak. It's temporary but when it fails it fails fast. Just food for thought
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Old 03-15-2014, 03:55 PM   #13
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Stu Olsen's site has a great DIY write-up on a radiator swap and many, many other DIY's with a lot of pictures and tips.
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Old 03-17-2014, 03:27 AM   #14
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Final update. Nut that was spinning was on the bracket and didn't need to be taken out. The whole piece pulled out anyways. 1/4 ratchet worked like a charm, loosened bottom drivers side fan bolt from above, went underneath for the passenger side bottom bolt. Bolts didn't need to be taken out as radiator has a slit there and pulls right up. Thanks.

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