Stock Radiator vs. CSK (Radiator Barn) radiator - Jeep Wrangler Forum
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Old 03-28-2011, 10:18 PM   #1
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Stock Radiator vs. CSK (Radiator Barn) radiator

Okay let me preface that this post is not about what radiator is better or why one is great and the other one is garbage. It will all be about facts and then you can make the decision of which one is best for you.

The stock radiator has an aluminum core with plastic ends that are crimped on. This particular stock radiator is a single core radiator that has 44 vertical rows from one side to the other. The core is 1" thick and the tubes are also 1" wide inside as shown below.
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There are roughly 18 fins per inch as shown below.
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The CSK radiator has an all metal construction of brass and copper. This particular one is a two row radiator that has 50 vertical rows from one side to the other. The core is 1.25" thick and each tube is .500" wide and are stacked as shown below.
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There are roughly 16 fins per inch as shown below.
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Both radiators fit just like they should and have a 1.25" diameter inlet with a 1.5" bottom outlet. It is common knowledge that aluminum has a better thermal heat transfer than copper or brass, but that is a another story for another day. Once I installed my copper 2 core I have noticed that the temp gauge even with the OEM 195 degree thermostat holds the water temp just below 210 while the stock radiator held it exactly straight up at 210, although it could have been due to the age of the radiator. Hope this helps someone.

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Old 03-29-2011, 01:18 AM   #2
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Nice comparison. If the aluminum 1 row core you removed had the engine running slightly warmer than its replacement radiator does, as you noted it did, odds are very good it had some clogging inside from either hard water deposits or crud from the coolant. A 1-row aluminum core radiator will typically cool better than a 2-row aluminum core radiator which will typically cool better than a 2-row all metal (non-aluminum) core radiator of the same external dimensions.

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Old 04-03-2011, 07:44 PM   #3
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Here is a picture of the inside of the stock radiator.
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Old 04-03-2011, 07:48 PM   #4
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what are the price comparisons on the two?
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Old 04-03-2011, 08:26 PM   #5
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One thing some folks have noticed with the copper rads is they tend to separate at the braze points when flexed during hard wheeling. Something to look out for if your rig sees any good dirt time....
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Old 07-25-2011, 02:39 PM   #6
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So I was not sure where to post this reply so I figured I would post it here.

I replaced my stock radiator in March of this year with a 2 core radiator barn radiator. Here are my applicable vehicle specs. 2000 TJ, 31" tires, 3.73 gearing, 3 speed auto tranny, inline 6, A/C.

I ran around Moab for a couple days in the 100-105 degree weather out in the desert with no problems. Doing only moderate trails & running the A/C some of the time. It never got into the red.

I did get into the red twice on the highway though. (Again all of this is in the 100-105 range.) One time it was flat running with the top down doing around 80. As soon as it beeped at me I turned on the heater and slowed down to like 70 and it cooled right down. The RPMs were around 3200 if I remember correctly.

The other time I was going through hilly areas with my top up (rolling hills between 300-800 feet in elevation) in the same temp, but doing 70. Just like the first time it beeped at me I turned on the heater and slowed down to like 60 and it cooled right down. The RPMs were just under 3000 I think. The rest of the time I decided to run the A/C down the hills and turn it off going up the hills. I do remember that my stock radiator also hit the red in this same area last year and the temp was about the same.

Well I just wanted to post the findings that I was wondering about when I purchased the radiator barn radiator and now I have some findings. I do wonder if a completely new stock radiator would not have hit the red, but as long as it can pull it down out of the red I am okay. If something changes I will post it here again.

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