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1995 Wrangler S / 2.5L / Just Getting Started...
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey y'all. Just bought my first Wrangler and I'm loving it (1995 Wrangler S, 2.5L 4 Cylinder. ). It's been a dream of mine since I was 15 years old (I'm pushing 40 now). Like so many who own Jeeps part of the fun is learning to work on them and make them your own. I'm mechanically inclined and willing to learn, but by no means a mechanic. This forum has been incredibly helpful so thank you!

I'm looking for advice on what else I should be on the lookout for, or what should be next on my to-do / fix it list. It's in pretty good shape from what I can tell. Runs well. The previous owner took pretty good care of it. I want to make sure it's reliable and safe before I start down the path of divorce/spending money on upgrades. This past week I did the following:
  • Changed Oil / Oil Filter
  • Cleaned air box / replaced air filter
  • New water pump (realized this was the cause of a wobbly fan and loud squeak)
  • New thermostat
  • Replaced coolant
  • New idler pulley
  • Tightened belt
  • Replaced all dash/instrument cluster lighting with LEDs
  • Fixed horn and replace center pad/horn button
The previous owner had recently had a new master cylinder, plugs, and distributor installed. I also looked at the fuel filter and it looks shiny and new.

What else should I be aware of/look to fix next? The Jeep has 142k miles. I also noticed that there is coolant pooling in the bottom of the radiator and seeping down to the underside of the radiator (see images). It was there before I did my service but I can see it dripping on the bottom side of the radiator when I crawl under the Jeep. I double checked the tightness on the hose clamps and the radiator plug to make sure, it does look like it's coming from this coolant/water pooling at the bottom, but I don't know what I don't know. Any thoughts? I've taken it out for 10-15 minutes and the temperature and coolant levels all look good.

Appreciate the feedback and expertise!!

Top of the radiator looking down
radiator.jpg


Driver side, bottom of the radiator looking up
IMG-8278.jpg


Passenger side, bottom of the radiator looking up
IMG-8279.jpg


Passenger side, bottom of the radiator looking up
IMG-8280.jpg

IMG_8273.jpeg
IMG_8274.jpg
 

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670 Posts
looks like you have the original plastic capped radiator. if you wipe it clean while it's running, does the coolant show back up? could be small crack(s) seeping fluid. definitely a leak somewhere.
 

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Welcome to the Forum Wheelburr,

I'd hose the radiator off to get rid of whatever coolant residue is there and take the Jeep for a short drive. The short drive should dry the radiator off and any green you see is new. That should give you an idea where the leak or slight seepage is coming from.

You can likely go to your local auto parts store and borrow or rent a radiator tester. It's like a bicycle pump that attaches to the radiator in place of the radiator cap. Simply pump it up tp 15 lbs and look for dripping coolant. That way you're not dealing with hot coolant and a spinning fan that blows the drips all over and makes it difficult to determine the exact location of the leak.

If you need to end up replacing the radiator, IMHO, the most practical replacement will be from Performance Radiator or Eagle Automotive. Some auto parts stores have good radiators at reasonable prices. Post to let us know if you need a radiator and you'll get a lot more ideas.

Good Luck, L.M.
 

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Personally, I like my Mishimoto radiator. a bit pricey, but perfect fit, excellent finish, and flawless performance. and you can't beat the warranty. you can total the Jeep and they'll replace it.
 

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1995 YJ 4.0 5sp
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368 Posts
Yah, I was going to suggest just replacing the radiator. Sounds like you already did thermostat, water pump and hoses. Might as well finish the job and this way you don't have to worry about overheating for a while.
 

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'89 YJ 4.2 with MC-2150 Carb & HEI, 2-1/2" Ex. AX-15, NP231 SYE, Adams shafts, F&R ARB, 3
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3,801 Posts
FWIW...I'd take a closer look at that lower radiator hose. it looks a little bulged and there is some calcium buildup on the outside. could just be from the drip, or the cause of the drip.

Pretty nice looking Rig from the pics though.
 

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Personally that looks like just spilled coolant when you replaced it. Maybe check the clamps are tight.

Radiator is what? 6 bolts? Easy swap if needed. Minus well replace both hoses too and new clamps.

I have a radiator from Advanced Auto in mine. Does the job. Warranty plus Advanced is 5 minutes from my house if I needed to warranty it. But its been 10 years now. If you buy it online and pickup, they give a decent discount.
 

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1995 Wrangler S / 2.5L / Just Getting Started...
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
This is awesome guys, thank you. I'm leaning toward replacing the radiator and hoses, who knows how long they've been on there. Worth the added peace of mind.

Related question: Do y'all recommend doing a flush of the system? When I replaced the coolant I just let the old stuff drain out, I didn't use a garden hose like I've read about. I've seen different opinions out there. If so, what's the best method?

@Dusty Duster nice call on the radio!

And as George Jones said, It's Finally Friday.
 

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88 YJ - mostly stock vintage
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17 Posts
Here is one of the best methods for tracing down leaks for coolant, oil, fuel etc. Buy a can of ‘crack penetrant developer’ (see pic below) used as part of the process to find cracks in metal castings (commonly used in aviation). The developer is a white powder that coats the surface after being sprayed on and drying. Clean the suspected area of a leak really well and then apply the developer and allow it to dry for a few minutes. Then start the vehicle and run it while looking in the area of the developer. The *********** with start to wet-out wherever the leak is emanating from. In some cases of smaller leaks, you may need to drive the car for a short period of time.

4502673
 

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88 YJ - mostly stock vintage
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Not sure what happened here, but the last sentence crossed out some of the text. Here is the corrected text:

The white powder will start to wet-out wherever the leak is emanating from. In some cases of smaller leaks, you may need to drive the car for a short period of time.
 

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1995 Wrangler S / 2.5L / Just Getting Started...
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Not sure what happened here, but the last sentence crossed out some of the text. Here is the corrected text:

The white powder will start to wet-out wherever the leak is emanating from. In some cases of smaller leaks, you may need to drive the car for a short period of time.
Awesome thank you.
 

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1995 Wrangler S / 2.5L / Just Getting Started...
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
FWIW...I'd take a closer look at that lower radiator hose. it looks a little bulged and there is some calcium buildup on the outside. could just be from the drip, or the cause of the drip.

Pretty nice looking Rig from the pics though.
Appreciate it! I don't know a lot but I feel like she's alright.
 

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Los Angeles
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Mine was leaking right under the upper hose where it is convenient to lean on the hose a bit when doing repairs and whatnot.
 
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Flushing is always a good idea when changing coolant. Before you begin, check all 3 of your heater hoses. We assume you're planning on changing both radiator hoses. If you have to change either of the heater hoses attached to the heater core, don't just remove the clamp and twist the hose to loosen it. It's real easy to twist the heater core necks loose from the core itself. Take a razor knife and make a slice along the brass tube so that you can peel the old hose off with very little force on the heater core neck. The newest YJ is 26 years old. That's probably a hundred in dog years. Even tucked up in the heater box, the core can wear due to corrosion if any PO let the ratio of coolant/water get way less than 50/50.

In your case, I'd drain the current coolant and save it aside. Then, fill the system with plain water and a couple cans of cooling system flush from your local auto parts store. Then drive the Jeep until it's totally warmed up (10 miles or so. More won't hurt at all) and allow it to cool. Do this at least twice. Then remove the radiator and radiator hoses. Remove the thermostat housing and thermostat. Cram your garden hose into the thermostat housing and turn the water on full force. Once the water comes out clear, disconnect the heater hose from the water pump and cram the garden hose nozzle in the hose and turn the water on full force. This does a reverse flush of the heater core. Let the water run until it comes out clear and then button everything up. I assume you're going to replace the radiator. If not, put the garden hose nozzle in the bottom hose opening and use a rag to fill up the space around the nozzle. Let the water run till it comes out clear.
Put your new coolant back and top off the radiator and overflow bottle.
If I overlooked anything hopefully another poster will chime in with more suggestions.

With all that, your cooling system should be good to go for years.

Good Luck, L.M.
 
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1995 YJ 4.0 5sp
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I have to agree with LM. My other vehicle is an old BMW, and their cooling systems are all made of plastic, so you replace the whole system every 60k miles or so. I have done twice radiator, upper hose, lower hose, thermostat, water pump, expansion tank (on those it's under pressure).

Personally, I have not changed the heater core on either vehicle, or the heater core pipes, but my Jeep (95 6 cylinder) has a new water pump, thermostat and radiator. I will get around to the hoses and maybe one day even the heater core, but as it stands it is very unlikely I will overheat, and nothing is leaking so I'm not inspired to fully "refresh" my cooling system on the YJ at the moment.

My opinion, for what it's worth, is that as long as the radiator doesn't leak and your water pump has been replaced within the last year or so, as long as nothing's leaking and nothing funny is happening with temperature, you're fine, but if you want to restore your vehicle, or have it close to mint condition, I go from the inside out, so I'd do the whole thing including heater core and pipes, if that were my goal. With the Jeep, I'm just about back to "mostly everything is working" and have other stuff to address prior to getting preventative :)
 

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1995 YJ 4.0 5sp
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As I think about it, I guess I'd ask how is the frame on your Jeep? Really with the Jeeps that can be a killer. Is the frame solid all around? If it isn't, that will kill you before anything.

My must haves when buying jeeps:

Intact frame
Solid frame
Intact frame
6 cylinder motor
manual transmission

Like to haves are:

Everything else.
 

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1995 Wrangler S / 2.5L / Just Getting Started...
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Flushing is always a good idea when changing coolant. Before you begin, check all 3 of your heater hoses. We assume you're planning on changing both radiator hoses. If you have to change either of the heater hoses attached to the heater core, don't just remove the clamp and twist the hose to loosen it. It's real easy to twist the heater core necks loose from the core itself. Take a razor knife and make a slice along the brass tube so that you can peel the old hose off with very little force on the heater core neck. The newest YJ is 26 years old. That's probably a hundred in dog years. Even tucked up in the heater box, the core can wear due to corrosion if any PO let the ratio of coolant/water get way less than 50/50.

In your case, I'd drain the current coolant and save it aside. Then, fill the system with plain water and a couple cans of cooling system flush from your local auto parts store. Then drive the Jeep until it's totally warmed up (10 miles or so. More won't hurt at all) and allow it to cool. Do this at least twice. Then remove the radiator and radiator hoses. Remove the thermostat housing and thermostat. Cram your garden hose into the thermostat housing and turn the water on full force. Once the water comes out clear, disconnect the heater hose from the water pump and cram the garden hose nozzle in the hose and turn the water on full force. This does a reverse flush of the heater core. Let the water run until it comes out clear and then button everything up. I assume you're going to replace the radiator. If not, put the garden hose nozzle in the bottom hose opening and use a rag to fill up the space around the nozzle. Let the water run till it comes out clear.
Put your new coolant back and top off the radiator and overflow bottle.
If I overlooked anything hopefully another poster will chime in with more suggestions.

With all that, your cooling system should be good to go for years.

Good Luck, L.M.
Thank you, L.M.! This is exactly what I was looking for today. I just ordered a new radiator and top/bottom hoses and clamps. I'm looking for the correct hoses that run to/from the heater core. Any tips? Again, thank you!
 

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1995 Wrangler S / 2.5L / Just Getting Started...
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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
As I think about it, I guess I'd ask how is the frame on your Jeep? Really with the Jeeps that can be a killer. Is the frame solid all around? If it isn't, that will kill you before anything.

My must haves when buying jeeps:

Intact frame
Solid frame
Intact frame
6 cylinder motor
manual transmission

Like to haves are:

Everything else.
Ha! Frame looks good, just surface rust underneath. I hear you on the 6 cylinder...the 4 is good for cruising around town but man, I avoid 55mph+ if I can.
 

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'89 YJ 4.2 with MC-2150 Carb & HEI, 2-1/2" Ex. AX-15, NP231 SYE, Adams shafts, F&R ARB, 3
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3,801 Posts
Thank you, L.M.! This is exactly what I was looking for today. I just ordered a new radiator and top/bottom hoses and clamps. I'm looking for the correct hoses that run to/from the heater core. Any tips? Again, thank you!
Lower Radiator hose
Upper Radiator hose

Quadratec is the first place to look for parts. Sometimes a little less expensive off Amazon
 
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