I have an '02 sport, I6 with manual trans. Just about to roll over 109,000 miles with original radiator. No problems with it at all, now for the TPS, oil pressure sending unit, blower motor resistor, etc...
There has been a lot of conversation in this Forum regarding a need to install a different Radiator.
I run with a group of about 35 all wranglers out of the hot Phoenix area. Some of them have 150000 plus miles with no need to change the Radiator. Just change your coolant every five (5) years and keep the fins washed out with a garden hose.
My TJ has about 50000 miles with no Radiator issues. I don't think that the OEM Radiators are all that bad. I have a Radiator on my $65000 Escalade that looks very similar with tanks that are not made of metal.
HOW MANY OF YOU ARE STILL RUNNING YOUR ORIGINAL RADIATOR AND HOW MANY MILES ON YOUR WRANGLER AT THIS TIME???
Bought my sons with a blown radiator 139k the top blew off. PO did not have the money to fix it.Trailer-ed it home and replaced with OEM flushed entire system and did water pump,thermostat fan clutch ,belt, idler and tension-er and all hoses at same time.
98 original radiator, 100k. Had little heat last winter, almost no heat this winter. Flushed the heater core, imagine that I have heat again. Radiator is looking shady, figuring on doing a motor swap soon, will let that resolve the radiator issue.