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Old 03-06-2016, 07:42 PM
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Replacement Radiator Suggestions

First my apologies if there are other threads on the forum regarding this. I searched but only found one from a few years back.

I have a 2007 JKU with 98K and the radiator started to leak. Decent run. Thinking that I would do the work myself and upgrade the part I researched aftermarket radiators and found very good reviews (at the time) on the Mishimoto (Lifetime warranty, even if damaged from an accident, etc). Problem is it has been six months since the original install and I am on my third replacement, which has just started to leak after a week. If you now look at the reviews of the Mishimoto radiator on Amazon, it appears that I am not the only one experiencing these issues. A Google search turned up that this is happening with other vehicles as well (Civic, BMW, Supra, etc). The Mishimoto seemed like a good choice. It was a perfect fit on my JK, no extraneous mountings to adjust or anything. Simply plug and play... but it seems as though they must be having a big issue within their manufacturing process. All three radiators have leaked down the welds.

Now to my question... should I return to an OEM radiator, or does anyone have any suggestions or experience with other brands.

Any thoughts oh wise ones?

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Old 03-07-2016, 02:48 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by johnsweazen View Post
First my apologies if there are other threads on the forum regarding this. I searched but only found one from a few years back.

I have a 2007 JKU with 98K and the radiator started to leak. Decent run. Thinking that I would do the work myself and upgrade the part I researched aftermarket radiators and found very good reviews (at the time) on the Mishimoto (Lifetime warranty, even if damaged from an accident, etc). Problem is it has been six months since the original install and I am on my third replacement, which has just started to leak after a week. If you now look at the reviews of the Mishimoto radiator on Amazon, it appears that I am not the only one experiencing these issues. A Google search turned up that this is happening with other vehicles as well (Civic, BMW, Supra, etc). The Mishimoto seemed like a good choice. It was a perfect fit on my JK, no extraneous mountings to adjust or anything. Simply plug and play... but it seems as though they must be having a big issue within their manufacturing process. All three radiators have leaked down the welds.

Now to my question... should I return to an OEM radiator, or does anyone have any suggestions or experience with other brands.

Any thoughts oh wise ones?
Hey John,

Chiming in here to apologize for the poor experience you are having with our JK radiators. From numerous years of radiator development and testing, we've found that specific vehicles seem to be more susceptible to chassis flex compared to others. This flex finds its way into the radiator support, resulting in a twisting force of the radiator itself, causing leaks. The E36, YJ/TJ, and Ford 6.4L are our most commonly reported issue regarding this. The JK radiator appears to also see some issues, although not in quite as great numbers as others. For each vehicle, we've worked to enhance our product design to either improve radiator isolation or improve the core strength.

For the JK radiator, we've modified our header plate. This is the panel which the horizontal tubes are brazed to, in order to seal with the end tank. We've redesigned the plate to feature greater contact surface area, which should provide a stronger bond for the tubes.

So far this adjustment has been quite effective for most customers, although we did release this more than 6 months ago so one of your replacements should have been our revised unit.

Sending you a PM shortly to see where you sit in terms of the warranty process. Again, I apologize for the frequent failures you are experiencing.

Thanks
-John

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Old 03-07-2016, 04:50 PM
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Mishimoto... thanks for the response. This is more information than I've received directly from your Customer Support department. I've sent a private message to further this conversation.
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Old 06-22-2016, 10:51 PM   #4
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Don't leave us hanging...how'd this play out? I'm tired of having no heat (and a tiny coolant leak in the plastic radiator) so I'll be replacing my coolant system shortly.
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Old 01-07-2018, 09:02 PM   #5
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So i put one of these radiators in my 2003 TJ and it didn't last 6 months before it started leaking bad from the core. So my stock radiator lasted from 2003 until 2016.... Quadratec sent me a replacement on the day i called them with the problem. So awesome on quadratec for the customer service. They even sent me a label to send the defective one back for free. The problem is the new one has been in only a week and i already see it leaking from the core. This is unacceptable and i am going to call quadratec tomorrow as soon as i verify the problem.
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Old 01-07-2018, 09:26 PM   #6
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So i put one of these radiators in my 2003 TJ and it didn't last 6 months before it started leaking bad from the core. So my stock radiator lasted from 2003 until 2016.... Quadratec sent me a replacement on the day i called them with the problem. So awesome on quadratec for the customer service. They even sent me a label to send the defective one back for free. The problem is the new one has been in only a week and i already see it leaking from the core. This is unacceptable and i am going to call quadratec tomorrow as soon as i verify the problem.
See if you can find an oem one. The first one lasted 13 years. One of the most important things I have learned from this forum is to buy OEM for parts that can strand you. Good luck.
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Old 01-09-2018, 06:59 PM   #7
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I agree with going with OEM. There are several threads about replacing radiators and which one to go with. A common theme with aftermarket radiators was there always seemed to be some type of modification required.

I replaced my '08 JKU radiator last summer with an OEM radiator I got from Quadratec. My jeep had 108,000 mi. at the time and no issues with the new one.
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Old 01-10-2018, 01:06 AM   #8
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Can a OEM one be "made better" by a good radiator shop?
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Old 01-10-2018, 01:30 AM   #9
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Can a OEM one be "made better" by a good radiator shop?
No
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Old 01-10-2018, 01:44 AM   #10
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The problem with the stock radiator is that it can not be fixed then something goes wrong with them. I would recommend and all aluminum version. This way if something does go wrong in can be repaired. This is the one I got:

https://www.amazon.com/Primecooling-...p+wrangler+3.6

One thing I would advise anyone who is going to install a radiator at home is have the new one pressure check before they install it. New ones can and do have leaks sometimes, better to find out before installation than after. Also with this radiator it is big, almost twice the size of the stock one. It fits but it is tight. So far, 9 month now and it as worked great.
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Old 01-10-2018, 08:41 AM   #11
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The problem with the stock radiator is that it can not be fixed then something goes wrong with them. I would recommend and all aluminum version. This way if something does go wrong in can be repaired. This is the one I got:

https://www.amazon.com/Primecooling-...p+wrangler+3.6

One thing I would advise anyone who is going to install a radiator at home is have the new one pressure check before they install it. New ones can and do have leaks sometimes, better to find out before installation than after. Also with this radiator it is big, almost twice the size of the stock one. It fits but it is tight. So far, 9 month now and it as worked great.
I would rather have an OEM radiator that lasts ten years and has to be replaced than an aftermarket unit that has to be fixed regularly.

I am on my 6th rig over the past 25 years and OEM radiators are the only way to go with Jeeps. OEM units are more expensive but will give you a decade of worry free operation.
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Old 01-10-2018, 01:01 PM   #12
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I would rather have an OEM radiator that lasts ten years and has to be replaced than an aftermarket unit that has to be fixed regularly.

I am on my 6th rig over the past 25 years and OEM radiators are the only way to go with Jeeps. OEM units are more expensive but will give you a decade of worry free operation.
Well mine lasted all of 3 years. And many others are in the same boat. This is my first vehicle that has used plastic tanks on a radiator and it will be my last. Plastic is a very poor conductor of heat and the expansion rates between the tank and the core are going to be very different. Everyone one of these radiators are doomed to fail. If it happened to be limited to just a certain batch being bad that would be on thing but it is a multi year problem.

Aluminum on the other hand an excellent conductor of heat and allows the JK to dissipate heat much better than stock. Because all parts of the radiator are the same material expansion rates are identical. And if I do happen to get a leak it can be repaired. 90% of all radiator failures are between the tank and the core.

I expect a radiator to last at least 20 years in a well maintained vehicle. I doubt any 3.6 equipped will make it. Hell I bet most are not making it to 5 years.
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Old 01-10-2018, 01:30 PM   #13
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I respect your oppion Terry, but if every plastic tank radiator fails then it's time to open a radiator shop. I hope that someone builds a better radiator for the JK but hasn't happened yet. Out of the box leaks and fit issues in them. With the known chronic issues with the JK there seems to be very little fix that is a real improvement over OEM.
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Old 01-10-2018, 01:43 PM   #14
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While the days of full metal OEM radiotors are long gone, todays plastic tank radiators seem to be effective for what most regular car buyers (although arguably not us) would consider as lifetime.

As far as the previously mentioned expansion difference between plastic tank and radiator core, there is a thick and soft gasket employed here that deals with it without problems in most applications for a lifetime (^).

Our OEM radiator possibly (?) suffers from the same conditions as addressed by Mishimoto in this thread:
https://www.wranglerforum.com/showthread.php?t=1637233
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mishimoto View Post
...Chiming in here to apologize for the poor experience you are having with our JK radiators. From numerous years of radiator development and testing, we've found that specific vehicles seem to be more susceptible to chassis flex compared to others. This flex finds its way into the radiator support, resulting in a twisting force of the radiator itself, causing leaks. The E36, YJ/TJ, and Ford 6.4L are our most commonly reported issue regarding this. The JK radiator appears to also see some issues, although not in quite as great numbers as others. For each vehicle, we've worked to enhance our product design to either improve radiator isolation or improve the core strength.

For the JK radiator, we've modified our header plate. This is the panel which the horizontal tubes are brazed to, in order to seal with the end tank. We've redesigned the plate to feature greater contact surface area, which should provide a stronger bond for the tubes.

So far this adjustment has been quite effective for most customers, although we did release this more than 6 months ago so one of your replacements should have been our revised unit.

Sending you a PM shortly to see where you sit in terms of the warranty process. Again, I apologize for the frequent failures you are experiencing...
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Old 01-10-2018, 02:10 PM   #15
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I respect your oppion Terry, but if every plastic tank radiator fails then it's time to open a radiator shop. I hope that someone builds a better radiator for the JK but hasn't happened yet. Out of the box leaks and fit issues in them. With the known chronic issues with the JK there seems to be very little fix that is a real improvement over OEM.

Mine is greatly improved over stock. Yes it is a tight fit but it is a bigger radiator, 3 core vs 2. All the standoffs are in the correct position but not tapped which is easy to remedy. Performance wise there is no comparison, mine does a much better job of keeping the engine cool. There really is no comparison between the stock radiator an mine.
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Old 01-10-2018, 02:16 PM   #16
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Just a crazy thought, but what about rubber mounting the radiator?
I would rather have an all aluminum radiator. I have seen too many with plastic tanks fail.
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Old 01-10-2018, 02:22 PM   #17
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Mine is greatly improved over stock. Yes it is a tight fit but it is a bigger radiator, 3 core vs 2. All the standoffs are in the correct position but not tapped which is easy to remedy. Performance wise there is no comparison, mine does a much better job of keeping the engine cool. There really is no comparison between the stock radiator an mine.
LOVE IT. Thanks for sharing. I can't wait for the warranty period to be over and do this mod. I might even just do it even before. Actually my waiting is currently more motivated by checking how the new versions of the Mishimoto (which includes yours) are holding up to time.

I'm running a high capacity radiator in my other GM vehicle as well.
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Old 01-10-2018, 02:23 PM   #18
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Just a crazy thought, but what about rubber mounting the radiator?
I would rather have an all aluminum radiator. I have seen too many with plastic tanks fail.
Actually they are rubber mounted with the use of grommets.
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Old 01-10-2018, 02:32 PM   #19
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Actually they are rubber mounted with the use of grommets.
Then I am surprised that torsional loads are causing the Mishmoto radiator to leak. At least that seems to be what they are saying.
For the record, if ours leaks I would go they way you went, an all aluminum radiator with a thicker core / more cores.
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Old 01-10-2018, 02:44 PM   #20
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LOVE IT. Thanks for sharing. I can't wait for the warranty period to be over and do this mod. I might even just do it even before. Actually my waiting is currently more motivated by checking how the new versions of the Mishimoto (which includes yours) are holding up to time.

I'm running a high capacity radiator in my other GM vehicle as well.
I took a chance with this radiator. They where new to market and much, much cheaper than other aluminum radiators. So far it has been perfect.

But I still would suggest if you are replacing the radiator, stock or not to have it tested before it goes into the vehicle. It really is a pain to swap these things out. If there is going to be a problem better to find out before you do all the work than after.
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Old 01-10-2018, 03:32 PM   #21
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Don't they test them when they build them? If it really is a better unit that would be the way I would go, unless it's a free OEM unit. Is it all set up for the oil coolers? having it rubber mounted with the ability for the body to flex around it would help.
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Old 01-10-2018, 04:05 PM   #22
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Don't they test them when they build them? If it really is a better unit that would be the way I would go, unless it's a free OEM unit. Is it all set up for the oil coolers? having it rubber mounted with the ability for the body to flex around it would help.
The stock one are rubber mounted also, no difference in how they are mounted.
I am assuming it is set up for the tranny cooler as from what I understand the cooler is not part of the radiator like in days of old.

Tested not tested is not the point. Job takes a few hours to do and if someone else does it and there is a issue it is on them. If you do it then you bear all the costs.
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Old 01-10-2018, 07:03 PM   #23
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Luckily the failures are not total loss so the slow leak gives you time. The total repair will be less than 500 so not a deal breaker. I have a 14 with the OE radiator and the OE oil cooler so I am a rare bird for now. 8 months left on the drivetrain warranty but even if I have to pay all costs as long as the fix is good, so am I. Being that the aftermarket rad is all alu, I would think it could be braced and made stronger in the areas known to fail.
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Old 01-10-2018, 07:36 PM   #24
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Luckily the failures are not total loss so the slow leak gives you time. The total repair will be less than 500 so not a deal breaker. I have a 14 with the OE radiator and the OE oil cooler so I am a rare bird for now. 8 months left on the drivetrain warranty but even if I have to pay all costs as long as the fix is good, so am I. Being that the aftermarket rad is all alu, I would think it could be braced and made stronger in the areas known to fail.
All the external parts of the engine and transmission are only covered under the 3 year, 36,000 mile warranty. Mine failed at the 38 month mark and I tried to get a good will fix. No dice and the repair was close to $900 if I remember correctly.
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Old 01-11-2018, 02:30 AM   #25
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OK Terry, if my rad goes it is on me now. I can do the R&R myself so just would have to decide on the best part to use. I would follow your advice.
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Old 01-12-2018, 01:54 AM
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As requested, here's an update. I returned to OEM.

While I can understand that an Aluminum Radiator is at the mercy of any chassis flex, I was not off-roading the vehicle at the times of the leaks... and in some cases the leaks would occur immediately.

After 3 years back with an OEM, no leaks, no problems.

In my research I came across http://thebrassworks.net and spoke with Lee there. Although I don't see the links there now, they had offered a fabricated brass Radiator for the Jeep for around $900, possibly through FlowKooler. Here's what Lee had to say...
John -

We make things in the California and so do not have inflated margins from hiring Chinese children to make our products. If there is a problem with our radiators we stop production and meet about it because it is important to us. If I had three failures with one customer I would have just given them their money back and stopped all production evermore.

We have been making radiators for 40 years in our other company, the Brassworks. You will find them on Pebble Beach, Amelia Island and hanging in the Smithsonian. They have been in Dearborn Award winning cars, America's most beautiful roadsters and raced from Peking to Paris. We have been making Jeep radiators for our other company FlowKooler for the last ~5 years at the suggestion of the Jp Magazine Tech editor. They are a smaller part of our business and we build them the way we would want them and do not build them to achieve a price point. We are ~6-8 weeks out in our production.

Lee
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Old 12-01-2018, 09:22 PM   #27
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@TerryC6 , when you installed your new one, how'd you get it in? Did you have the fan attached to it?

I don't see any way it's going to fit into place without moving the steering box lines out of the way.

Mark
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Old 12-01-2018, 09:40 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by ScaldedDog View Post
@TerryC6 , when you installed your new one, how'd you get it in? Did you have the fan attached to it?

I don't see any way it's going to fit into place without moving the steering box lines out of the way.

Mark
It is really a pain in the ass but it will fit. Work it in place without the fan. Just take it slow and it will slide in. You may need to adjust the cooling lines for the A/C slightly. Check your shroud connections and make sure you are not hanging up on it. Once you get it in and tied down install the fan and then install the overflow.

I would rather install lifts everyday rather than swap radiators. The only job worse on our Jeeps is changing plugs.
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Old 12-01-2018, 10:38 PM   #29
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Thanks man. I got it in place by removing the fan and loosening the power steering line where it's attached on the crossmember. I still need to fool with it some before proceeding.

I'm really underwhelmed with this thing. One of the mounting brackets was bent and had pulled the crappy weld away, it's missing a standoff for the transmission cooler on the passenger's side, and the radiator cap just kisses the hood. Their cap is much deeper than the OEM, so I dont think the OEM one will pressurize correctly if I use it. The weird thing is, as bad as the bracketry is welded, the tank to core welds look really good, and it passed a pressure test.

After all this work, I'm considering returning it and finding an alternative.

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Old 12-01-2018, 10:55 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by ScaldedDog View Post
Thanks man. I got it in place my removing the fan and loosening the power steering line where its attached on the crossmember. I still need to fool with it some before proceeding.

I'm really underwhelmed with this thing. One of the mounting brackets was bent and had pulled the crappy weld away, it's missing a standoff for the transmission cooler on the passenger's side, and the radiator cap just kisses the hood. Their cap is much deeper than the OEM, so I dont think the OEM one will pressurize correctly if I use it. The weird thing is, as bad as the bracketry is welded, the tank to core welds look really good, and it passed a pressure test.

After all this work, I'm considering returning it and finding an alternative.

Sent from my SM-G935V using Tapatalk
I am in the same boat kinda but now I have 2 of these so I will see what the issue was on the first one if in fact the second one is bad. I would just as soon do nothing but keep these going until I do the V8 swap.

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