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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My 2000 Wrangler SE, after 12 years with mostly everything intact, is starting to fall apart. From the soft top that wont zip at the rear window anymore, to rust on the front fender and gas tank, and the 4wd lights no longer working on my dash, it is succumbing to all of the common jeep problems. It is pretty well maintained, and i recently just changed my oil pressure sending unit.

My current problem involves the apparently quite common radiator leak from the top of the radiator. After reading a bunch of forum posts it seems that because the top of the radiator is plastic it starts to leak at the seams where it is held into place with little metal tabs. Rather than replace it with the same radiator, and possibly having to do it again, i was going to move to an aluminum radiator. I dont want to have to deal with drilling new holes or adding mounts, so i found two that look to be OEM spec. One from Champion and one from Genesis, both of which seem to have been recommended in past posts. Can anyone recommend one over the other? I am looking at a 2 row because (sadly) my jeep is now used primarily as a commuter car and i don't get offroad or even off pavement very much any more. Any help would really be appreciated, as time is probably not on my side.

Wrangler (87-06)
2000 Jeep wrangler All Aluminum Radiator 2.5L L4 150 | All Aluminum Radiator | Jeep Auto Parts
 

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You got 12 years out of your OE radiator which is good life for any radiator. The OE radiator has an all aluminum core and is actually very good quality. Jeep switched from a 2-row to a 1 row core around 2001 for better cooling efficiency, that's what I'd stick with. Not to mention that many aftermarket radiators are shoddily constructed and a big percentage of them come from China. Personally I'd go with a known good quality OE. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
where would you recommend getting a stock oem radiator then? Mopar no longer carries 2000 models on their website catalog. thanks
 

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Any TJ radiator for the 2.5L will work, get a 2001-2006 if they no longer show one for your 2000.
 

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x2 on getting an OE radiator. Checkout one of the many online mopar websites, they should have them as Jerry has already said. I can't remember the name, but there are a handful of threads over on JeepForum where people have been getting them from somewhere in particular for a good price; I think it was something along the lines of wermopar. Search a bit and you should find plenty of info.
 

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You got 12 years out of your OE radiator which is good life for any radiator.
The vast majority of failed radiators that I see are the victims of cheap, unreinforced plastic tanks which have cracked. That problem is almost completely preventable, through the use of better tank material. There is no reason that a decently designed and properly maintained radiator should not last as long as the vehicle.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
mopar-wholesale.com

ok, i am going to try for an OEM. I saw on other threads people have had luck with wermopar.com for actual mopar OEM parts. I also came across mopar-wholesale.com. Does anyone have any experience with them and know whether they are actual mopar parts? about a 20 buck or so difference, but always looking to save a penny if it's the same product.
 

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I like the Drake:



...because it has aluminum end tanks instead of plastic, and they are fully welded seams, with no crimps or epoxy to fail and leak. This is a two-core unit with about 25% extra cooling capacity over OEM. It bolts in and costs $299, as compared to about $270 for the OEM unit. (A unit with an automatic tranny cooler is $329.)
 

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aadepa what direction did you end up going in for your new radiator? My junk aftermarket plastic piece of garbage rad lasted 5 years and is leaking like a banshee from the top plastic tank cap. I am going to put a new one in soon and it sounds like solid aluminum is the way to go but wanted to hear from others how they fared. All the best.
 

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I have asked the guy at the parts desk at two different dealerships what the construction of these older model OE radiators is like (such add the one that would bolt onto a 1998 TJ, 4.0, 5-SPD). They have been unable to provide me with this. Apparently, there is an aluminum OE option ($284) and a copper/brass ($324) - but are these parts 100% aluminum/copper/brass? I am unable to compare the construction of the OE part vs. aftermarket parts described in this thread. Our options are to buy a cheap-o plastic tank radiator from Auto Zone, buy a welded aluminum part from an aftermarket site such as Quadratec, or go OE (Mopar). Still, though, I am finding it difficult to compare these options since the specs for the OE part are not available seemingly anywhere.

So forgetting about cost for just a second which of these three options would be the best choice as far as quality goes?

And is the OE part really plastic/aluminum similar to the cheap-o replacements sold at the auto parts stores?

Thanks for all the help.
 

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All OE radiators installed into TJs came with aluminum cores with plastic top & bottom tanks. Early TJs had 2-row aluminum cores but they went to a 1-row aluminum core around 2001 or so for slightly better cooling (it has bigger water channels).

I wouldn't put the cheap radiators into the same league as the OE radiator which while it did have early premature leakage problems, has been fine since around 1999.
 

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Thanks Jerry. That makes me feel better shelling out for what might have appeared to be the same thing.

I am going to beat this subject to death though that is for sure. So about a month before the top of the radiator began spewing coolant everywhere, I flushed out the heater core because my heat doesn't work either. We stuck a garden hose into the upper heater inlet and blasted out a whole mess of rusty muck. I couldn't believe it. Heat still doesn't work but my FIL seems to believe it has something to do with the temp cable. But that's another post...

Now knowing the core has GOT to be original and obviously rusty and corroded, how can I in my right mind bolt on a new radiator without replacing the core too, right? I mean, I am thinking that if I get my brand new radiator in, and DON'T replace the core, then that clean 50/50 intermingles with that core coil and poisons the new radiator from day one. That is no bueno in my view.

Trying to gauge if I am completely insane or not.

Thanks as always.
 
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