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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi guys :wavey:

Just looking for a little feedback on how realistic (or unrealistic) it is for me to replace a leaky radiator on my 2003 Sahara. I'm a complete novice, but kind of smart (lol) and would have help from my dad. I have a small leak and my mechanic is telling me I MUST replace with a brand spankin' new one ($450 later :() Any tips/advice? Thanks!!
 

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Should be doable for sure, especially with some help. I was a novice when I replaced my first radiator way back when. A shop will charge somewhere between 1 to 2 hours depending, allowing 0.1 hour for automatic transmission. Good luck with your project.

The following Threads may be of some help. Dodgeparts.com has OE parts. Might want to price a radiator out there (Go to "OEM Catalog").

1. Recent Thread re leak.
2. Recent Thread re coolant strength
3. Sources of DIY information.
 

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Hi guys :wavey:

Just looking for a little feedback on how realistic (or unrealistic) it is for me to replace a leaky radiator on my 2003 Sahara. I'm a complete novice, but kind of smart (lol) and would have help from my dad. I have a small leak and my mechanic is telling me I MUST replace with a brand spankin' new one ($450 later :() Any tips/advice? Thanks!!
Everybody is losing their radiator lately. ;) I just replaced mine recently with the one Tim recommended above. (The CSF 2 row from Rdiator Barn) and I am very happy with it so far. Basic hand tools is all you'll need. :cool:
 

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I just did mine a couple days ago. Go for it, it is do-able for a novice. Plus, you will have a lot of cool cuts on your hands to show your friends!
 

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This is why mechanics wear gloves..... :) Gotta order mine this week and fortunately I have a buddy who owes me a favor, so I just gotta buy parts. What parts other than the radiator would you guys replace at the same time?
 

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Don't forget to burp the system to get all the air out. Usually just compress and release the upper hose. ALso getting new upper and lower hoses is a good idea. don't forget to get the coil spring out of the lower hose.
 

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This is why mechanics wear gloves..... :) Gotta order mine this week and fortunately I have a buddy who owes me a favor, so I just gotta buy parts. What parts other than the radiator would you guys replace at the same time?
OEM 195* thermostat and gasket too Linda. :)

Don't forget to burp the system to get all the air out. Usually just compress and release the upper hose. ALso getting new upper and lower hoses is a good idea. don't forget to get the coil spring out of the lower hose.
Hmm. I didn't burp mine. I've been driving it for a couple of weeks with no issues. Should I do it anyway or is it too late to matter?
 

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OEM 195* thermostat and gasket too Linda. :)



Hmm. I didn't burp mine. I've been driving it for a couple of weeks with no issues. Should I do it anyway or is it too late to matter?
If your temp is good, not an issue.
 

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I haven't had a problem with air entrapment as long as the vehicle is level when filling it / running it / topping it up.
 

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Tip: Avoid losing blood and bending the fins.

Tape cardboard to the finned area before dropping the new one in to protect you and the radiator.

Don't forget to remove it afterward.
 

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I agree; DIY is indicated here for your Wrangler. If you have a Cherokee, forget it! I spent 8+ hours changing that thing out.

Go for the 3-row copper unit! Radiator Barn is an excellent source and the equipment is top-drawer.

Be sure to change out the thermostat and all hoses with OEM quality or better. Flush everything out well with water, drain, and use only G-05 HOAT coolant and distilled water if spec'd. (AFAIK, everything 2001+ uses G-05.) And have friends on the standby. And stock up on cold beer....
 

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Everyone always changes the upper and lower hoses and forget the heater hoses and guess what pops a hole with the cell phone at 0 bars lol
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
You guys are awesome. Much thanks :) ....

this may be a stupid :/ question, but is repairing a minor leak with a stop-leak additive a thing of the past? Recommended, not recommended??
 

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You guys are awesome. Much thanks :) ....

this may be a stupid :/ question, but is repairing a minor leak with a stop-leak additive a thing of the past? Recommended, not recommended??
I would use it only one time. Your heater lines are constantly flowing (no shut off valve in the lines like in yesteryear) so there's no concern for summer time shut down (plugging) there. Here's how they work, including pepper.
 

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Just different forms of Cholesterol.
Maybe we can add eggs to the list of stop leaks. :D

The "original green" / "conventional green" antifreeze contained lots of silicates that are beneficial to coating the inards of the cooling system and stopping small leaks.

Years ago, the heater system had a control valve in a heater line meaning the flow was stopped during the summer. Then when winter rolled around, the system would be plugged. Now days the heater systems are continuously flowing so lot less chance of plugging up.

No matter what antifreeze is used, there is a coating applied to the cooling/heater system by it, some coating later than sooner.

So, a little cholesterol is good.

Conventional green antifreeze formulations usually contain a number of inorganic corrosion inhibitors that provide immediate corrosion protection because they maintain the pH of the solution (buffer it), but are consumed or transformed chemically as they perform their functions. As the coolant is heated and cooled, and exposed to air, the components of the conventional antifreeze additive package are depleted over time. This causes the pH to drop, and is why the coolant should be changed out every two years or 24,000 miles.

Dexcool-type extended life coolants use organic acid technology to inhibit corrosion, and are referred to as OAT based coolants. OAT antifreezes are touted as having longer potential service life than conventional antifreezes because of the fact that the components in the additive package are not chemically consumed as they perform their function of inhibiting corrosion. The chemicals used in the OAT type formulas protect metals from corrosion by forming a thin, molecular coating on them, and because of this, are not as fast acting as conventional inorganic formulas. However, as long as the cooling system is kept sufficiently full and coolant is not lost due to leakage nor diluted by top-off with water or conventional antifreeze, it will continue to function properly. Unfortunately, if the cooling system is not properly maintained, a “red muck” is likely to form and could cause serious cooling system problems.

The third type of antifreeze on the market today is the hybrid OAT, known as HOAT (or G O-5). One of the primary problems with OAT formulations is that they are not compatible with conventional antifreezes. The chemicals used in OAT antifreeze react to some extent with some of the inorganic salts and other components in conventional antifreeze. The result of this interaction is the generation of cloudiness and precipitates. HOAT formulations are called hybrid because the additive package contains ingredients from both OAT and conventional formulas and is compatible with both.
Hybrid OAT antifreezes provide both fast acting and extended life corrosion protection, eliminate the problem of anti- freeze compatibility, and therefore are compatible with all types and colors of antifreeze.

Unfortunately, many automotive professionals consider all extended life antifreeze to be “Dexcool” and associate all the problems related to “Dexcool” with both OAT and HOAT formulas. The result of this misconception is often replacing the extended life coolant with conventional green. Industry experts say that this can be done safely if all of the green antifreeze is removed from the system. However, auto manufacturers recommend specific formulations and replacing the factory fill coolant with a different type that doesn’t meet the manufacturer’s specifications could cause liability issues down the road. A much safer solution is to replace OAT systems with HOAT coolant which meets OAT specifications.
 
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