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Old 11-26-2018, 01:27 AM
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Replacing OEM Radiator With All Aluminum

A while back, I asked about replacing my OEM radiator (aluminum with upper and lower plastics) with an all aluminum radiator. The majority of the opinions here were saying to stay with an aluminum & plastic radiator.

I'm not trying to start a flame war with anyone, but I followed that advice two times now. In the 5 years that I have owned my TJ, I have replaced the radiator 2 times. Each time, the radiator eventually starts to leak where the aluminum & the plastic meets.

Two times in 5 years.

Believe it or not, I will be needing another radiator. This time, I find that I am getting little pin holes in the upper plastic, to where I am seeing little, tiny streams of water shooting upward.

I am tired of replacing the radiator, in such a short amount of time.

I have been applying JB Weld on top of the tiny holes. And, so far, it's been holding up.

I think that my next replacement will be with an "all aluminum" radiator.

Probably a 1 or 2 core radiator.

All of my previous radiators failed somewhere in the plastic area. Either on the seam, where the plastic meets the aluminum, or only in the plastic. The aluminum was never the problem.

I believe that I can make my radiator last a little bit longer, but it will eventually have to go.

I'll keep you posted.

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Old 11-26-2018, 01:56 AM   #2
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I don't have a TJ but the JK using a similar type of radiator, but plastic tanks on the size. And I don't care how good the glue they use is with dissimilar expansion rates it will fail soon or later. I swap to aluminium as soon as mine failed but I am now on my second all aluminium radiator and will soon be installing a 3rd.

You should look at this is going all aluminium. I only found after my second one started to leak.

https://shop.championcooling.com/art...Color-Do-I-Use

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Old 11-26-2018, 09:58 AM   #3
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Interesting link. I don't know if this is why they fail or are replacement radiators (even Mooar) just not as good as the original? Friend of mine with a '99 TJ and 250,000 is on about radiator #4. I think they were all Mopar.
I'm at 104,000 on my 2004 and with the original radiator always full of the recommended orange coolant. It seems that once you replace that original radiator you are doing it again and again.
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Old 11-26-2018, 10:13 AM   #4
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Are you installing Mopar radiators or generic brand radiators?
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Old 11-26-2018, 10:58 AM   #5
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I bought a aluminum radiator & it failed in 4 months.
My guess is, your not buying OEM Mopar radiators...
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Old 11-26-2018, 11:11 AM   #6
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Have you completely flushed your system ? Sounds like there has to be some other issue going on causing these to fail (given that you are, in fact, putting genuine mopar radiators in.)

Also, what fluids have you been using? I know out jeeps can be picky about what gets thrown in there. I've had great luck with Zerex G-05 https://www.amazon.com/Valvoline-Zer.../dp/B0033QNZZ0 . And you know not to mix coolants right?
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Old 11-26-2018, 01:34 PM   #7
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Yeah, I've replaced two all aluminum radiators in around 5 yrs. To each their own. I've had better luck with the two piece with plastic tanks. OEM
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Old 11-26-2018, 08:32 PM   #8
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Stick with the OE Mopar which has an all aluminum core which is where it counts for cooling. Lots and lots of cooling problems have been fixed by doing nothing more than replacing an aftermarket radiator, even all-aluminum, with the Mopar.

Not to mention if it's not an expensive all-aluminum radiator, odds are its construction is so shoddy that they have to seal it internally with epoxy which takes up volume and means the radiator's coolant volume is reduced by that amount which reduces its cooling capacity.

My '04 is still running on its OE Mopar radiator, that's what I'll use again when it finally goes bad.
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Old 11-26-2018, 09:37 PM   #9
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Want a real radiator... find a 20-30 yr old yj copper/brass radiator.
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Old 11-26-2018, 09:49 PM
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Are you installing Mopar radiators or generic brand radiators?
That could be the problem.
The replacements were not Mopar.
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Old 11-26-2018, 10:37 PM
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... Friend of mine with a '99 TJ and 250,000 is on about radiator #4. I think they were all Mopar.
I'm at 104,000 on my 2004 ...
I don't know if this makes a difference, but my 2003 TJ has almost 230,000 miles on it.
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Old 11-26-2018, 10:48 PM
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... always full of the recommended orange coolant...
Maybe the problem is a combination of 2 things ...
Not using a Mopar radiator, & using the green antifreeze stuff, instead of the orange stuff.

I have never used the orange antifreeze. It had green antifreeze in it when I bought it.

To be honest, I don't know the difference between the two, or what vehicle or year uses which antifreeze.
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Old 11-26-2018, 10:49 PM   #13
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All aluminum radiators are only good if they are 100% welded. The all aluminum radiators that are epoxied will not hold up. Pricey yes, but will last and can be repaired at any radiator shop. The aluminum plastic and the aluminum epoxied are considered through always as they are not repairable.
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Old 11-26-2018, 10:55 PM   #14
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All aluminum radiators are only good if they are 100% welded. The all aluminum radiators that are epoxied will not hold up. Pricey yes, but will last and can be repaired at any radiator shop. The aluminum plastic and the aluminum epoxied are considered through always as they are not repairable.
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Old 11-27-2018, 01:44 AM   #15
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That could be the problem.
The replacements were not Mopar.
Where are you buying them from? (Curious).
2 in 5 years is pretty bad.
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Old 11-27-2018, 07:53 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vertical horizons View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolarColumbia View Post
... always full of the recommended orange coolant...
Maybe the problem is a combination of 2 things ...
Not using a Mopar radiator, & using the green antifreeze stuff, instead of the orange stuff.

I have never used the orange antifreeze. It had green antifreeze in it when I bought it.

To be honest, I don't know the difference between the two, or what vehicle or year uses which antifreeze.
It's not a antifreeze problem....
The cooling system could care less if it's extended life or non as long as the are not mixed and whichever one is used is good.
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Old 11-27-2018, 09:59 AM   #17
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All aluminum radiators are only good if they are 100% welded. The all aluminum radiators that are epoxied will not hold up. Pricey yes, but will last and can be repaired at any radiator shop. The aluminum plastic and the aluminum epoxied are considered through always as they are not repairable.
Both mine were fully welded..... ask me were they both cracked
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Old 11-27-2018, 06:50 PM   #18
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Maybe the problem is a combination of 2 things ...
Not using a Mopar radiator, & using the green antifreeze stuff, instead of the orange stuff.
I mean think of it this way... My TJ radiator is original, 15 years old, no leaks at all.

My YJ radiator was replaced when it was 20 years old after a few fins got broken out.

Seems to me the OEM radiator is the best option.
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Old 03-02-2019, 08:36 PM   #19
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Alum Radiator

Did you finally replace your radiator with an aluminum type? I have a leak in my 1999 TJ straight 6 cyl, 5 speed manual. I am also considering paying for a full aluminum type as the deep arctic cold up here really effects any type of plastic / metal connections.

If you have made the replacement where did you finally buy it, and cost?
Was it easy to install or did you have to modify anything?

Thank you for your time and effort to reply.

Mike
North Pole, Alaska
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Old 03-02-2019, 10:06 PM   #20
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All aluminum radiators are only good if they are 100% welded. The all aluminum radiators that are epoxied will not hold up. Pricey yes, but will last and can be repaired at any radiator shop. The aluminum plastic and the aluminum epoxied are considered through always as they are not repairable.


But repair cost will be so high that u can get lifetime replacement for that price
That is what I did. 2 years in it was corroded in few places. (Full aluminum)
Radiator shop asked $600 to repair it
I got lifetime aluminum/plastic one for less that $400


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Old 03-03-2019, 11:10 AM   #21
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Did you finally replace your radiator with an aluminum type? I have a leak in my 1999 TJ straight 6 cyl, 5 speed manual. I am also considering paying for a full aluminum type as the deep arctic cold up here really effects any type of plastic / metal connections.

If you have made the replacement where did you finally buy it, and cost?
Was it easy to install or did you have to modify anything?

Thank you for your time and effort to reply.

Mike
North Pole, Alaska
Your OE Mopar radiator has given 20 years of service, I wouldn't switch from Mopar. Unless you pay BIG bucks for a high-end all aluminum radiator you're going to get nothing but problems with a less costly "all aluminum" which does sound good but rarely results in a good long-term experience.

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But repair cost will be so high that u can get lifetime replacement for that price
That is what I did. 2 years in it was corroded in few places. (Full aluminum)
Radiator shop asked $600 to repair it
I got lifetime aluminum/plastic one for less that $400
Whenever I read about a radiator with a "lifetime" warranty I right away think cheap online or store brand like Autozone's cheap/shoddy Duralast radiators. Lifetime warranties don't necessarily mean good quality and in the case of store brands or online brands, they're definite low quality.

I'll take a Mopar radiator with its 12 month warranty over a store brand with a lifetime warranty any day. Lifetime doesn't mean what it sounds like. It just means they'll give you a replacement when it fails and fail prematurely it will. Lifetime of problems is more like it with store brand or online brand radiators. The dealer cost associated with replacing radiators with lifetime warranties that fail is nil and they know it. Few people keep their vehicles long enough after they start replacing things like radiators for them to come back for another replacement. Shrewd marketing with very little cost exposure for sure.
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Old 03-03-2019, 05:43 PM   #22
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Nothing to add other than that my Chinese replacement radiator failed in 3 years. Definitely going with a Mopar radiator this time around.
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Old 03-03-2019, 08:46 PM   #23
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Jerry, thank you sir. i hadn't thought about the age of the radiator. I just bought this TJ with 47,000 original miles on it however it was used by the original owner in the summer when he towed it behind his motorhome. I had to rebuild the front transfer case as it went tango uniform; I suspect the original owner did not place the case in neutral when towing so it may have had well over 100,000 miles on it from that ... I am going to stick with an OEM radiator from the local dealership from where it was originally sold ...
Mike
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Old 03-03-2019, 10:32 PM   #24
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Don't forget to use distilled water, not tap water, when diluting the Zerex G-05 antifreeze.
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Old 03-04-2019, 12:23 AM   #25
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don't forget to use distilled water, not tap water, when diluting the zerex g-05 antifreeze.
x2.
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Old 03-08-2019, 12:48 AM   #26
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Whenever I read about a radiator with a "lifetime" warranty I right away think cheap online or store brand like Autozone's cheap/shoddy Duralast radiators. Lifetime warranties don't necessarily mean good quality and in the case of store brands or online brands, they're definite low quality.

Well I owned auto shop at that time and to me it was lifetime warranty, for everyone else it was 12 months


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Old 03-08-2019, 05:34 AM   #27
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I installed a Mishimoto one, life time warranty, lasted 6 months. Changed on warranty. Let's see how this new one fares.
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Old 03-08-2019, 05:26 PM   #28
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Don't forget to use distilled water, not tap water, when diluting the Zerex G-05 antifreeze.
+3
Any way to prevent electrolysis eating aluminum radiators!
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Old 03-08-2019, 08:18 PM   #29
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I installed a Mishimoto one, life time warranty, lasted 6 months. Changed on warranty. Let's see how this new one fares.
I wouldn't give the new one a better prognosis than what you already saw. That brand has as many failures as any I've seen discussed on the forums.

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+3
Any way to prevent electrolysis eating aluminum radiators!
It's a non-issue, the OE Mopar radiator has an all aluminum core.
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Old 03-09-2019, 04:02 PM   #30
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Rock Auto has MOPAR that is not too expensive (I believe less than $300). My original radiator does need replacement this spring. Since it made it 14 years, I expect another MOPAR will go quite a while.

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