Leaking Radiator Saga.... - Page 2 - JKowners.com : Jeep Wrangler JK Forum
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post #26 of 47 Old 04-07-2018, 04:50 PM
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I'm curious to see how well that works. Are you still securing the top of the radiator using the stock rubber isolators? If you look at post #3 from Jon at RPM, he seems to think the top mount is more problematic than the bottom (if I understood his post correctly).
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post #27 of 47 Old 04-07-2018, 05:07 PM
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Originally Posted by rgeorge33 View Post
I'm curious to see how well that works. Are you still securing the top of the radiator using the stock rubber isolators? If you look at post #3 from Jon at RPM, he seems to think the top mount is more problematic than the bottom (if I understood his post correctly).
I've ran this mount for 18 months on the first radiator. I had issues with the core separating so this new unit has the steel insert ( as per RPMs post) removed, but will look at other ways to keep top top of unit against the radiator support. I have something in mind and will share later.
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post #28 of 47 Old 04-07-2018, 05:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rgeorge33 View Post
I'm curious to see how well that works. Are you still securing the top of the radiator using the stock rubber isolators? If you look at post #3 from Jon at RPM, he seems to think the top mount is more problematic than the bottom (if I understood his post correctly).
Yes, that is what I am going to do. I have got some shoulder bolts where as the shoulder just goes past the rubber isolator.

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post #29 of 47 Old 04-13-2018, 10:04 AM
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I received my C&R on Wednesday and started working on it last night. Got the old CSF pulled out and just like the two before it, it is leaking on the driver side where the tubes meet the tank. I got the C&R set into place and put the hoses together. I'll finish getting everything put back tonight and see how it does. I still have to figure out if I'm going to try something different with the upper mounts. I may get a shouldered bolt and modify the rubber like Jon discussed in his post, or I may just see if the beefier C&R will hold up without it. I have a year warranty, so we'll see.

Just looking at the C&R, it seems like it's more reinforced than the CSF. However, it's only 42mm vs the 52mm I had with the CSF. I'll see if it makes much difference in cooling. After installing the Pentastar PWM fan, I never saw temperatures abover 200 with the CSF. It always stayed between 188 and 200, so I'll watch to see if it gets much higher with the thinner C&R. Hopefully this is the last radiator I buy for a while.
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post #30 of 47 Old 04-15-2018, 03:21 AM
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The idea to keep the radiator located but allow some room to move, had me come up this idea. Whilst my radiator has a different lower mount, I can't see why this idea can't be used on the OEM mount.
I have removed the factory steel insert as well. The spring pictured was cut in half and trimmed to allow me to tailer it to suit the bolt length.


Last edited by Rodjk; 04-15-2018 at 03:26 AM.
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post #31 of 47 Old 04-15-2018, 09:12 AM
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Excellent, Sir. Thanks for sharing.
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post #32 of 47 Old 04-15-2018, 10:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rodjk View Post
That's what I ended up doing. The big arsed unit I had made weighed a bomb and slowly ripped the lower mounts off.
I now run a C type channel where the radiator sits in it and the upper mount's only job is to locate, not carry any weight.
I'll get some pics up soon.

That's a nice setup and smart to leave the upper mounts for positioning only. I like the added spring idea you used for the shoulder bolts also. Allows the upper to "float" in a more controlled manner.

I actually think the stock radiator is decent for what it is but as it has been mentioned, it's the mounting / twisting that's causing the issues regardless if you're using a stock or aftermarket radiator.
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post #33 of 47 Old 05-16-2018, 01:03 PM
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I have a JKU with 40K on an LS3 swap and I am in the process of installing my fourth radiator. They all have leaked near the end tank close to the bottom spigot. I too believe that there is an issue with uncontrolled flexing and vibration of the radiators. Jon at RPM Extreme has been great working with me to replace the radiators that go bad but so far I have not solved the problem of why they go bad. My conversion runs the Camaro accessory drive and water pump. Knowing something about metal fatigue and stress (Civil Engineer) I have started looking at the close proximity of the water pump spigot to the lower radiator hose spigot since the leaks all seem to occur very near this location and all have involved cracked welds where the end tank meets the core. In each failure the leak started very small and grew pretty rapidly in roughly the same location. The natural conclusion in my case at least is that there is some amount of stress or vibration inducements near the lower radiator spigot that is causing the problems. The lower radiator hose is very short, approximately 8-9 inches in total length and mostly just a 90 degree bend, and I have come to believe that this close proximity may be the problem. The engine has hydraulic mounts and it moves or torques over a pretty fair amount (relatively) every time the throttle is moved. Because the hose is so short and relatively stiff because of its length and the pressure it contains, there may be enough stress being applied to the lower corner of the radiator to cause the welds to fatigue and fail. I have decided to change the way the hose is routed between the engine and radiator by making it longer and giving it enough length that it can absorb more of the engine movement/vibration. This involves routing it toward the side of the car from the water pump and then reversing the direction back to the short 90 degree bend where it attaches to the radiator. It should be long enough to absorb the engine movement and vibration after doing so. I will get back to you if it seems to work. Most of the radiators have failed within about 6mos of primarily highway use which tells me this isn't a random flexing issue but one more specially located or isolated to one area. I am also going to try to change the way the top radiator mount attaches to allow more flexing to occur. Will get back to you down the road. Thanks for the great posts here.
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post #34 of 47 Old 05-16-2018, 03:15 PM
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Reddog,

You are not alone, I am on my fourth radiator in 30k.
One of the four was a dual pass with a different hose mounting location. It had several more inches of hose. I have had leaks on both sides.
Motech has been great about replacing them under warranty. The radiator manufacturer sends an 18 or 20 lb. cap with them, I've been thinking maybe it is building to much pressure.
I have gotten really quick at swapping them out.
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post #35 of 47 Old 05-18-2018, 03:26 PM
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C&R has a great rep. Im still up in the air between them and Ron Davis.
C&R is the way to GO, we have used it seems like every Radiator manufacture with no luck. C&R seems to over build their radiators. Just my 2 cents! They are very expensive.

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post #36 of 47 Old 05-25-2018, 01:14 PM
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Originally Posted by mud2moab View Post
Reddog,

You are not alone, I am on my fourth radiator in 30k.
One of the four was a dual pass with a different hose mounting location. It had several more inches of hose. I have had leaks on both sides.
Motech has been great about replacing them under warranty. The radiator manufacturer sends an 18 or 20 lb. cap with them, I've been thinking maybe it is building to much pressure.
I have gotten really quick at swapping them out.
I'm getting tired of swapping the radiators out. Bothers me that high quality and expensive radiators are being destroyed so easily. Just installed the latest 52mm HD from RPM Extreme. Very nice and well made unit. I agree with everything Jon @rpm said on the issue in this thread. The flexing is mostly being exerted diagonally (I believe) on the radiator as opposed to front and rear but it is flexing both ways for sure. Tried to rig up something to measure the deflection but got very crude results but the frame and body are flexing for sure. I didn't cut the alignment pins off the bottom pad mounts this time but did take a larger drill and reamed the holes out so the pins could move sideways some. Then I carefully ground the upper rubber mounts so that when the bolt is tightened up the radiator can move some from side to side if it wants too. Now I am fabricating two new upper connections that will hold the radiator in position but allow it to "rack" which is what is happening when the frame twists. Seems like diagonal bracing on the radiators would help some but not sure. Basically, the new upper mounts will be similar to the stock but there will be a much larger hole thru the middle of the rubber grommet and I'm going to drill out the welded-in nut in the cross member and run a longer bolt thru the cross member and install an a/c nut on the backside. The two bolts will be left slightly loose. That way, if the radiator wants to move sideways the bolts can freely move within the larger holes in the rubber grommets and not transfer the stress to the radiator, or at least reduce it significantly. Will let you know if it works as designed. The ideal solution would be to have the radiator entirely free floating in its mounts but that may not be feasible. Good luck to all and keep us posted on what works for you all.
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post #37 of 47 Old 05-25-2018, 09:04 PM
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Something we use quite a bit in my line of work are ShockMount cases for the really expensive gear. Anybody hauling delicate gear via air and/or land will probably know what I'm talking about....

---> https://duckduckgo.com/?q=skb+ata+fl..._open_ends.jpg

---> https://www.skbcases.com/industrial/...=f9&id=701&s=s

The idea would be to take the theory behind these types of flight cases and use it to rig up a "floating C frame" within another larger C frame. The inner floating frame channel holds the radiator which is slid in place and further held in place on top by retainers. It is spring/elastomer shock mounted to the outer frame.

Don't worry, I have a patent pending...
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post #38 of 47 Old 05-28-2018, 11:46 AM
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Why do there seem to be such fewer problems with the stock radiators?
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post #39 of 47 Old 05-28-2018, 12:08 PM
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They donít have solid welded end tanks
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post #40 of 47 Old 05-28-2018, 01:29 PM
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Originally Posted by cjindna View Post
They donít have solid welded end tanks
So it seems like the solid end tanks (which were supposed to be an upgrade in durability over stock) tend to fail at delivering that one big selling point.

Maybe someone should make a stock-like radiator (plastic tanks) but with additional cooling capacity.
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post #41 of 47 Old 05-29-2018, 10:23 AM
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We built a few extreme duty radiators, those things were solid. They were built using Caterpillar Tractor components. Dual headers on each side, steel tanks soldered to a HD copper core it was a brick. None of them leaked even after extreme off-roading/flexing.

Problem was the cost, about $2k. Just the core cost almost $800 bare.

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post #42 of 47 Old 05-30-2018, 04:41 AM
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I'm getting tired of swapping the radiators out. Bothers me that high quality and expensive radiators are being destroyed so easily. Just installed the latest 52mm HD from RPM Extreme. Very nice and well made unit. I agree with everything Jon @rpm said on the issue in this thread. The flexing is mostly being exerted diagonally (I believe) on the radiator as opposed to front and rear but it is flexing both ways for sure. Tried to rig up something to measure the deflection but got very crude results but the frame and body are flexing for sure. I didn't cut the alignment pins off the bottom pad mounts this time but did take a larger drill and reamed the holes out so the pins could move sideways some. Then I carefully ground the upper rubber mounts so that when the bolt is tightened up the radiator can move some from side to side if it wants too. Now I am fabricating two new upper connections that will hold the radiator in position but allow it to "rack" which is what is happening when the frame twists. Seems like diagonal bracing on the radiators would help some but not sure. Basically, the new upper mounts will be similar to the stock but there will be a much larger hole thru the middle of the rubber grommet and I'm going to drill out the welded-in nut in the cross member and run a longer bolt thru the cross member and install an a/c nut on the backside. The two bolts will be left slightly loose. That way, if the radiator wants to move sideways the bolts can freely move within the larger holes in the rubber grommets and not transfer the stress to the radiator, or at least reduce it significantly. Will let you know if it works as designed. The ideal solution would be to have the radiator entirely free floating in its mounts but that may not be feasible. Good luck to all and keep us posted on what works for you all.
We have continued to tweak the design of the radiators and have incorporated a lot of improvements over the years. I think our biggest issue at this point is the flexing-twisting of the radiator thru the upper mounts. We are designing a new upper mount system that should help eliminate a lot of the stress and flexing.

The funny thing is we have seen multiple failures on the same Jeeps and then we have 100+ jeeps with no issues reported. I think we are very close to having this thing figured out once and for all..... in the mean time REDDOG is correct. Try and run the upper bolts loose so the radiator can move separate of the upper core support.

The reason the factory units don't leak near as much is they are plastic tanks and are glued and crimped to the core. They can move a lot more without stressing the core tubes. The aluminum radiator is welded to the core tubes so all the force is transferred to the very thin tube and it will eventually crack if flexed enough. Its not build quality or welding is just metal fatigue..... if you flex anything enough it will break.


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post #43 of 47 Old 05-30-2018, 04:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mud2moab View Post
Reddog,

You are not alone, I am on my fourth radiator in 30k.
One of the four was a dual pass with a different hose mounting location. It had several more inches of hose. I have had leaks on both sides.
Motech has been great about replacing them under warranty. The radiator manufacturer sends an 18 or 20 lb. cap with them, I've been thinking maybe it is building to much pressure.
I have gotten really quick at swapping them out.
I wouldn't think the pressure on the cap would be causing these failures.
We usually try and stay with the factory JK rated cap, I would worry more about blowing out a heater core or something with too high of a pressure cap........ you really don't want to have to replace a heater core in a JK.

The failures seem to be more tube failures cracking due to flexing. The tubes are very thin and can only take so much flexing and twisting before they crack.


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post #44 of 47 Old 05-12-2019, 09:18 AM
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Reviving this old thread. I have a JKU with an AEV Hemi swap done in 2010 and I'm on my AEV 3rd radiator and it's pretty much leaked since day one. I'd like to get this next one right so this is a done issue. Is the C&R the way to go? Do you need to the bracket modification with the C&R? With my current AEV radiator and factory fan set up I have almost zero clearance to the pulley on the front of the engine so I'm also worried if a thicker radiator is going to effect this distance. Any feedback would be appreciated.
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post #45 of 47 Old 05-12-2019, 09:47 AM
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Reviving this old thread. I have a JKU with an AEV Hemi swap done in 2010 and I'm on my AEV 3rd radiator and it's pretty much leaked since day one. I'd like to get this next one right so this is a done issue. Is the C&R the way to go? Do you need to the bracket modification with the C&R? With my current AEV radiator and factory fan set up I have almost zero clearance to the pulley on the front of the engine so I'm also worried if a thicker radiator is going to effect this distance. Any feedback would be appreciated.
Any pics of your setup? I thought AEV uses the C&R. Also thought the car timing cover doesn't stick out as far as the truck's. You may want to also swap to the 2012+ (3.6) fan - it's more powerful and is about 3/4" shallower than the 3.8 fan.

Another potential problem is that the newer coolants work great in the long term, but they need about 5-6,000 miles to build up the protective corrosion barrier from what I've read out there. I suspect those coolants may not protect very well in those first miles; and when the radiator is the shiniest, newest chunk of metal in a system that's been seasoned over many thousands of miles and many years, I think the radiator gets beat up early and often. I'm going to be running Amsoil heavy duty coolant. For now my strategy is to never complete the swap - it's lasted perfectly fine so far

Others have used the GM tablets that dissolve into the coolant, or a sacrificial anode on the fill cap or drain petcock. I'm also running a diode wire from the radiator to ground (helps prevent corrosion by allowing stray potential to go to chassis ground but only when it does not promote corrosion). Hope I didn't repeat a bunch of stuff already on this thread - didn't re-read lol.

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post #46 of 47 Old 05-13-2019, 05:47 AM
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My current AEV radiator is from 2015 so I'm not sure if this is the new "AEV" style radiator. They offered me a slight discount toward a new one however I did not want to buy the same radiator again. If someone knows the new AEV radiators are C&R I will buy it from them.
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post #47 of 47 Old 05-13-2019, 07:20 AM
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When I was looking for a radiator for my 6.4 Hemi swap I personally talked to the owner of C&R and he had a Jeep just like my that they designed the radiator for. I believe it was 2015 when AEV made the switch to C&&R. The older ones were made by Michigan Brazing, I was told. So I bought one and it never leaked a drop! The C&R also cooled better. I still have my AEV radiator,2014 model & it never leaked but I always err on the side of better performance. I'll sell my old one for a $100. to anyone who wants it. I'm in Northern Colorado. I think it would cost a fair amount to ship it though. I paid $1100. for the C&R radiator and I think it was worth the price.

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