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Old 01-28-2011, 07:48 PM   #1
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TJ radiator leak

hi, just joined this is my first post.
i just traded my 90 yj and got a 97 tj has a few problems. i noticed it had antifreeze leaking and it seemed to me that it was coming from the radiator hose so i changed it but after driving around a bit it is still leaking. i know that tjs are infamous for stock radiator leaks but the guy i got it from changed it and put in an all alluminum radiator. any help? thanks

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Old 01-28-2011, 07:51 PM   #2
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Welcome to WF but I think you'll have a better chance of being able to spot the leak's source than any of us looking at our computer monitors here will.

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Old 01-28-2011, 07:54 PM   #3
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haha i know, i was just wondering if anyone knew of anything similiar or certain spots. kind of odd that the guy just replaced it and now this one is leaking also. im gonna pressure test it tommorow
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Old 01-28-2011, 09:05 PM   #4
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mine had a leak and i just changed the whole radiator, its been fine ever since
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Old 01-28-2011, 10:02 PM   #5
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Mine is leaking under the upper hose behind the shroud right in the corner! Just got an all metal two core from radiatorbarn, it will be installed tomorrow along wuth a fail safe stat and new hoses.
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Old 01-28-2011, 11:11 PM   #6
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Mine is leaking under the upper hose behind the shroud right in the corner! Just got an all metal two core from radiatorbarn, it will be installed tomorrow along wuth a fail safe stat and new hoses.
I would stay away from the fail safe thermostats. I have heard from quite a few people that have had problems with them within a week after installation....just my 2 cents.
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Old 01-29-2011, 12:09 AM   #7
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98tj thanks for that heads up looks like i should look into it some more. Sounded like a good idea!

Looked into it and found that they fail in the open position permanently, and the high heat of a 4.0 can cause that to happen. So thanks for saving me the trouble.
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Old 01-30-2011, 12:07 AM   #8
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yea the radiators leak, my 97 started leaking around the top of it when it had 30k mi on it,and would get worse when i would top the resvoir off,changed the rad about 2yrs ago,and amen to the comment on the thermostat i had one of them to come apart!
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Old 01-30-2011, 12:19 AM   #9
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yea the radiators leak, my 97 started leaking around the top of it when it had 30k mi on it,and would get worse when i would top the resvoir off,changed the rad about 2yrs ago,and amen to the comment on the thermostat i had one of them to come apart!
Same here with my 99... Why do they leak worse just by filling the reservoir?? Strange! My 00 has been leaking for 4 years now. It should blow out any day now and I won't have a smile. I'll be going to the radiator barn soon.
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Old 01-30-2011, 09:11 AM   #10
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Just had to replace my OEM one... it leaked around the top.
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Old 01-30-2011, 03:44 PM   #11
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ive ran into alot of people with leaking rads around the top when when adding fluid to resovoir,it must be some sort of defect from the factory,i dont know the pressure must increase or something when circulating the fluid in and out of the bottle.
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Old 01-30-2011, 04:40 PM   #12
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ive ran into alot of people with leaking rads around the top when when adding fluid to resovoir,it must be some sort of defect from the factory,i dont know the pressure must increase or something when circulating the fluid in and out of the bottle.
The weird thing about mine is that I added just enough coolant to reach the ADD mark on the tank, and noticed it leaking from the top of the radiator a few minutes later. Even weirder... It was cool and I hadn't even started the engine?! It was
fine before adding to the tank and has since stopped leaking after driving it last week. I did get a compliment though, someone said "ummm, your jeep smells like pancake syrup.".
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Old 02-01-2011, 07:52 PM   #13
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yea TJ stock radiators just leak period no matter what it seems, everyone ive talked has said the same thing
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Old 02-02-2011, 01:08 AM   #14
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What ever you do stay away from ReadyRad Radiators. My 5th one just started leaking after only 3 weeks...I think the company that makes them is proliance....not sure. All the aftermarket ones i have got leak around the bottom instead of the top where the factory one started leaking...they have warrantied everyone but im tired of it...im looking around for a different brand but have to consider the warranty on another one since i am now incredibly gun shy about any radiator!
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Old 02-02-2011, 12:19 PM   #15
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My all alluminum replacement is leaking from the core bad. It seems that alot of replacements are shitty too.
What is the best replacement radiator you guys have found???
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Old 02-02-2011, 07:04 PM   #16
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yea TJ stock radiators just leak period no matter what it seems, everyone ive talked has said the same thing
The factory replacement radiators are now much better about that well known early leakage problem than they initially were. The dealer replaced my '97 TJ's OE radiator three times back in '97 and '98 and they all leaked within a short period of time. They pretty well got that problem fixed so factory replacements, which are very good because they have an all auminum core, are actually now very good.

Cheap aluminum radiators tend to leak due to shoddy welding and those that don't have been lined with an epoxy coating to prevent leakage but that just reduces flow and how much they hold.

If I couldn't afford a high-zoot premium all aluminum radiator, I'd go for the current replacement factory radiators that cool well and are very good quality. I used to think Radiator Barn had decent stuff but that's pretty much all imported from China now and the quality is too variable to be able to recommend.
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Old 02-02-2011, 08:44 PM   #17
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The factory replacement radiators are now much better about that well known early leakage problem than they initially were. The dealer replaced my '97 TJ's OE radiator three times back in '97 and '98 and they all leaked within a short period of time. They pretty well got that problem fixed so factory replacements, which are very good because they have an all auminum core, are actually now very good.

Cheap aluminum radiators tend to leak due to shoddy welding and those that don't have been lined with an epoxy coating to prevent leakage but that just reduces flow and how much they hold.

If I couldn't afford a high-zoot premium all aluminum radiator, I'd go for the current replacement factory radiators that cool well and are very good quality. I used to think Radiator Barn had decent stuff but that's pretty much all imported from China now and the quality is too variable to be able to recommend.
Jerry, have you heard any reports from the rads from RockAuto made by Vista Pro? They have a replacement plastic tank/aluminum core priced from $121-$132. Looks like it has a 1 year warranty, but these companies sometimes have ways to weasel out of complying, probably made in China also . I hate to spend upwards of $400+ on a radiator but I also hate to think that I could be in the middle of nowhere when the plastic tank explodes. Peeing in that won't get you home!
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Old 02-02-2011, 10:50 PM   #18
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My son ordered a radiator last week and it came in today. He too is short on funds and found one at autopartstomorrow.com for under $90 delivered. Will see how it does.
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Old 02-02-2011, 11:36 PM   #19
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My radiator also leaks on top. Ordered Vista-Pro from Autorock.
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Old 02-05-2011, 10:28 AM   #20
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Just changed mine - thanks to comments on the forum, ordered from radiatorbarn.

Those doggone screws at the bottom are going to make me ask for some new tools for my birthday...
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Old 02-05-2011, 11:33 AM   #21
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Just changed mine - thanks to some comments on the forum, ordered from radiatorbarn.
Corrected.
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Old 02-05-2011, 11:42 AM   #22
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mine exploded and I went to a all aluminum setup from champion radiators. all alum, all welded, 200 bucks. been in for well over a year and no problems at all. OEM rads may have an alum core but they still have plastic tanks and plastic just doesnt hold up. no one complains of core leaks on a stock rad its the lame plastic tanks that leak at the seams and tend to go BOOM when theres a pressure build.
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Old 02-05-2011, 05:50 PM   #23
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Jerry! "some" comments, indeed. I guess some of the customers were "mostly" happy with their purchase.

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