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Old 10-21-2013, 10:48 PM   #1
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TJ Radiator

My 99 TJ radiator is leaking on top, on the crimp where the tank connects to the tubes, across from top hose. Top hose is dry, so I'm assuming it's coming apart. 4.0, 5 spd, 78,000 miles. I've received some great input about replacing it with an OEM radiator. I talked to someone at Moparpartsonline.com today and not only did he sound asleep and disinterested in answering my questions, he couldn't tell me who manufactured the radiator they had for my Jeep. I don't want to buy Chinese. Anyone willing to steer me in a different direction to get a single row aluminum OEM radiator from the good old US of A or a non-Chinese equivalent?

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Old 10-21-2013, 10:57 PM   #2
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Are you saying its leaking from the tube connecting to the recovery reservoir? If the tube connection isn't tight and the hose is dry and rotted, it might seem that the top has a leak and it may be that it is leaking from the reservoir tube.

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Old 10-21-2013, 11:04 PM   #3
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Spend a couple extra bucks and buy an all aluminum radiator with no plastic parts. The Jeep Radiator is built for failure. Installing it yourself is relatively easy. I will just take some time.
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Old 10-21-2013, 11:59 PM   #4
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I would go OEM all the way. I had three 'nice' all aluminum radiators, in a year and a half, and they all leaked.
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Old 10-22-2013, 06:40 AM   #5
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I just replaced the radiator in mine with one from NAPA. I went with that one because it has a lifetime warranty.
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Old 10-22-2013, 06:45 AM   #6
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Same for me. I got mine from Autozone for around $90 with lifetime. Heck, if the first one lasted for 12 yrs/180,000 miles, I'll stick with OEM style too.
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Old 10-22-2013, 08:43 AM   #7
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Sorry about the poor description. It's leaking in the crimp across from the top hose. No leaking under the hose, so I'm thinking it's developed a crack or weak point in the crimp where the small amount of green antifreeze is pooling. I've heard of all aluminum radiators not living up to their high price, and it seems lots of folks go with OEM replacements. Just nit sure where to get one. The Chrysler dealer wanted about $300. + tax. Moparonline parts wanted $195 + shipping. Just want to steer clear of cheap Chinese stuff. I'm going to replace the water pump, etc so don't have the desire to be doing this again soon, or not trust it because of questionable quality. So I'm at a loss of where to go to buy this radiator. Thanks.
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Old 10-22-2013, 10:05 AM   #8
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Get the Mopar which has an all aluminum 1-row core. Its quality became much better/very good after '99, it's not unusual for them to make it past 200k miles. Early TJ radiators did indeed have a problem, they cracked & failed a lot... but they fixed it in late '99. A WF member mentioned his newer OE Mopar radiator made it to 215k miles here about 2 weeks ago. Once I replaced mine in back in 2000 with the new Mopar design, it lasted until that TJ was stolen 3 years ago with around 192k miles on it.

Also keep in mind that the TJ's cooling system works better/cools more efficiently with a 1 row core radiator which has bigger diameter cooling tubes than a 2 or 3 row design core does. More rows does not necessarily mean better cooling ability and in a Wrangler, it definitely does not.

Check the price at www.wermorpar.com too, they are another good source of discounted Mopar parts.

Pay no attention to so-called 'Lifetime' warranties. Yes they will be replaced for free when they fail but most, especially like those from Autozone that are made in China, will fail prematurely enough that their lifetime warranty is more like a lifetime of misery replacing them. I'd take a Mopar radiator with its one year warranty in a heartbeat before I'd take one of the cheap 'lifetime warranty' models that usually come from China.
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Old 10-22-2013, 10:17 AM   #9
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We just replaced our leaky radiator in our 99 Sahara with a OEM part for $85.At the same time I recommend replacing the upper/lower hose too.It took me about half the day...and I am a basic amateur mechanic.
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Old 10-22-2013, 10:26 AM   #10
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Unless it was used, you didn't get an OEM radiator for only $85. What you got was an "OEM replacement" radiator which just means it fits. OEM is Mopar & you won't find a Mopar for only $85.
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Old 10-22-2013, 10:34 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerry Bransford View Post
Unless it was used, you didn't get an OEM radiator for only $85. What you got was an "OEM replacement" radiator which just means it fits. OEM is Mopar & you won't find a Mopar for only $85.
True....thanks

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Old 10-22-2013, 02:39 PM   #12
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Thanks everyone, for weighing in, and once again Jerry you have taken the time to help a Jeep newbie navigate his way. Much appreciated. Mopar, here I come!
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Old 10-22-2013, 07:30 PM   #13
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Let me chime in here. My stock radiator blew up last year, literally. I did not want another plastic one so I got a radiator barn special. It has held up just fine, but it does not cool like the stock radiator. It overheats when it gets really warm out and that is on the highway doing 75. Sure I got a lifetime warranty, but I wish now that I would have gotten an OEM one. Now I do not live in a real warm place, but I do make it to Moab quite often and I always overheat on my way there and back. I just hope one of these days it does not blow something else before I replace it with an OEM radiator.
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Old 10-23-2013, 12:54 AM   #14
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When I brought my 98 TJ in Sept 2010 the radiator was leaking from the bottom tank to fin connection. I ordered a Champion all Aluminum radiator 2 row core EC2101 from Reliable Radiator in Lake Elsinore, CA. for about $180, and had it shipped. Quality welded radiator. Live in the High Desert area in CA with high summer temperatures with no problems, works great! Thought I share my $.02 info.
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Old 10-23-2013, 02:53 AM   #15
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With a new radiator, water pump hoses, thermostat and a flush kit, would it be better to switch now to HOAT antifreeze, or would my 99 be better off with the regular/traditional ethylene/glycol mix? I've read some threads and it appears HOAT is a better choice for longevity, etc if one is careful to fully flush out the old antifreeze from the system, which I suspect includes the heater core. I definitely don't want to install a new heater core as I've heard they're a PIA. I like the idea of not having to change out the coolant every year.
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Old 10-23-2013, 09:28 AM   #16
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If you'll just do a thorough flush first to insure all of the old coolant is gone, switching to a HOAT coolant like Zerex G-05 would be an excellent idea.
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Old 10-23-2013, 09:40 AM   #17
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Will one of those flush n fill kits do the job or is there more to flushing the system than what that would do? My first time and want to do it right. I know there's a drain plug for the block and all. Would I remove that too, or does the flush action, with enough water eventually remove all of the old coolant? Also, thanks for the many times you and others have suggested distilled water. I would have not known that -- always used to use tap water int he old engines. Thanks
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Old 10-23-2013, 12:21 PM   #18
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If you don't pull the drain plug you do not get everything out. I did the flush and still had junk in my new coolant. Pulled the block drain and was amazed at what was left! I believe it's an 8mm square socket, I would have to check at home.
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Old 10-23-2013, 01:28 PM   #19
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Thanks. I'll definitely pull the plug on the block. Hopefully the flush kit will offer some level of instruction and I will do a search on the forum to see if others have sage advice to help prevent this from become more than it should be. I've done a lot of my own work, when it was possible on cars years ago. But it doesn't hurt to learn from the advice of others and that's the great part of WF.
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Old 10-23-2013, 03:09 PM   #20
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It's pretty straight forward. Make sure to spray that drain plug down with PB blaster or equivalent. I even used a wick lighter to heat it up. That's the last place you want a stripped bolt.
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Old 10-23-2013, 03:22 PM   #21
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oh the greatness of plastic radiators, boy do i have a story on that but thats another thread another time. If i were you id steer clear of plastis on a rad its just a poor idea. I recently had an aluminum put in, not really by choice... it was the last one in the state when my plastic one busted on the top and i had to report to duty by 7am the next mourning or awol for my ass, oh and i was in nj going to louisiana yeah loved that trip. Well even though i didnt pick it ive had no problems so far. Honestly i wouldnt get one of the crazy expensive aluminum ones but mine only cost $130 from i believe pepboys. might be your best option to steer clear of plastic, though it might just be the fact that i have to many nightmares from that experience
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Old 01-02-2014, 01:12 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IrateDonnie View Post
I just replaced the radiator in mine with one from NAPA. I went with that one because it has a lifetime warranty.
Just did the same two days ago. Originally replaced it with a no name core from Oreilly's two weeks ago and it failed after 1 week... The upside is I'm getting really good at changing out radiators on TJ's...

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