Replacing Radiator - Any tips - Off-Road Forums & Discussion Groups
Jeep-Short Wheelbase All discussion of short wheelbase Jeeps: CJ, TJ, YJ and JK

LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of (permalink) Old 11-05-2002, 08:34 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2001
Posts: 227
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Replacing Radiator - Any tips

So my leaky rad I had last winter, which then fixed itself over the summer (my guess is the heat caused the seals to expand and reseal) has started leaking again now that the cold is here. It's leaking between the aluminum core and the plastic end tanks.

So I'm going to replace it this weekend and just wondering if there are any tips or tricks or things I should do while am replacing it that you guys know of and would like to share with me.

I know it's an easy procedure, but anything to make it easier sure would be nice.

Two questions I have right now:

1. Should I replace the hoses while I'm at it (preventative maintenance) - they are still in pretty good shape.

2. Should I flush the engine block before installing the new rad?

The Jeep is a 98 TJ, with roughly 60,000 miles on it, the cooling system has never been flushed.

Thanks for your help.

FatBoyRob is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #2 of (permalink) Old 11-05-2002, 10:34 AM
Can't Get Enough
RickB's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Erie, Pa
Posts: 1,125
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Re: Replacing Radiator - Any tips

1) I would replace the hoses and keep the old ones for spares if they are still in good shape.

2) I'm not a big believer in flushing the engine/radiator, but go ahead if you want to. I just haven't seen much difference from doing it.

Also, make sure you add the right mixture of antifreeze/water to the new radiator.
RickB is offline  
post #3 of (permalink) Old 11-05-2002, 10:40 AM
Keyboard Implanted
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Vermont
Posts: 2,348
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Re: Replacing Radiator - Any tips

When you fill your new rad with H20 and Antifreeze make sure that you go to the effert of getting distilled water. If you have hard water DO NOT put that into your rad. It will foul very quickly and you will get build up. IF you are spending the money on a new Rad, you mise well take the extra time to put clean water in it.
Olin18 is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #4 of (permalink) Old 11-05-2002, 11:01 AM
Carpal \'Tunnel
knifeboy2's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Macomb, IL
Posts: 2,571
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Re: Replacing Radiator - Any tips

Or you can just buy the pre-mixed stuff. Its more common around me than the concentrated stuff. All you gotta do is open the bottle and pour. You should change your hoses too. You'll already have one side of them off, you might as well take the time and do the other. Just good 'ole preventative maintanence.
knifeboy2 is offline  
post #5 of (permalink) Old 11-05-2002, 11:28 AM
Join Date: Apr 2002
Posts: 193
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Re: Replacing Radiator - Any tips

Are you replacing the radiator or are you going to have it recored. Just from personal expereince, about every 6 months I have to have mine recored and repaired. I've price new radiators and the local shop here charges me $60.00 for the repair of my old one. Just a thought if you are trying to save some cash.
Like everyone else said...replace the hoses and save them for the trail box of spare parts.
Just sharing thoughts.
CJ_More is offline  
post #6 of (permalink) Old 11-05-2002, 12:29 PM
Way Outta Control
Join Date: Sep 1999
Location: The Palouse
Posts: 13,432
Thanks: 1
Thanked 3 Times in 3 Posts
Re: Replacing Radiator - Any tips

Before reading any farther bear in mind I don't know anything about TJ's... so that said:

1. When I do this job:
a. I remove the thermostat.
b. Leave the thermostat housing open.
c. Fill the engine with coolant from the housing.
d. Replace the thermostat with a new one (I favor the NAPA style with the little burp hole in the housing ring).

I find this avoids overheat problems as I start up the engine and start filling everything.

2. Work the heater controls to make sure you get coolat flowing in, and out of, the heater core. This avoids a bubble from forming inside the core and leaving the Jeep without heat.
LEVE is offline  
post #7 of (permalink) Old 11-05-2002, 01:34 PM
Posts: n/a
Re: Replacing Radiator - Any tips

Make sure you dispose of the old coolant properly...dogs and cats will drink the stuff if it is on the ground....and kill them in a short period of time.

It's a lot easier to replace the hose now than when the engine is hot and your in a not so comfortable spot. Rememeber the ole phrase "We learn by our mistakes". How do you think Leve got to be so smart?......

Remember...50/50 on the water/antifreeze. One trick I use is take a full gallon of antifreeze and pour half into an empty gallon jug. Then add water to both of them. You now have 2 gallons of 50/50 mixture. Takes the guess work out of it.

Another option is to buy Dexcool. This is the stuff that GM uses now instead of antifreeze and water. Basically, it's antifreeze and distilled water and some other minor chemicles. 0 wifes convertible has over 73K miles on it and everything looks like new inside.
post #8 of (permalink) Old 11-05-2002, 01:38 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2001
Posts: 227
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Re: Replacing Radiator - Any tips

Olin - that's a good tip, something I should have, but never would have thought of.

CJMore - I am replacing - it's the aluminum/plastic type so it's basically throw away once it starts leaking at the seals.

LEVE - thanks for the tips, I might try that, although I won't replace the thermostat it was just replaced less than a year ago.

Just for fun I phone the dealer to find how much it would cost to have it done there (and to show my wife that it really is worth my while to do it myself). I'm saving over CDN$200 and I'm getting a better rad and new hoses.

Gotta love this site for giving me the confidence and the know-how to do this.

FatBoyRob is offline  
Sponsored Links

Quick Reply

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Off-Road Forums & Discussion Groups forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:


Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome