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Thread: Radiator needs replacement

  1. #1
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    Radiator needs replacement

    Radiator on my 57 truck is leaking.....anyone had experience with the inexpensive aluminum replacements?

  2. #2
    Super Moderator gmwillys's Avatar
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    I haven't tried one as of yet. I see them advertised on the ePay, and wondered myself if they were worth the low cost. t is getting harder to find a good radiator shop around due to the craftsman retiring and nobody is taking up the trade. The chemicals that they used to use is now banned due to the environmental hazards involved, and the new improved chemicals do not cut through the crud.

  3. #3
    Super Moderator bmorgil's Avatar
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    gmwillys, I am facing a similar dilemma. I have a nice looking original radiator. I am sure it needs to be gone through. Back in the day the local shop "rod'ed out" the core, "boiled it" and re-soldered etc. As you noted, I am having a tough time finding a shop now in this millennium. Are their any good trusted "mail order" shops? I see that KW does offer a new retro. Wow it is expensive. I hate to buy one when I appear to have such a nice rebuild-able one. Like jeffjeep, I wonder if you just put in the aluminum and call it an upgrade. Kind of kills the "original" concept.

    On a positive note, the aluminum is a much better material for a radiator however. Much quicker heat transfer. Very easy to repair. Hope someone has experience with the aluminum's to share.

  4. #4
    Super Moderator gmwillys's Avatar
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    The best advice would be to ask around at your local professional parts dealers, (not Autozone or one of the chain stores). NAPA or any store that performs machining services would be my first go to. They typically have an older guy that knows how to get things done. You can also check with your local body shops that deal in restorations rather than collision repair as well. They would know who you have locally that can do the job right the first time. Just taking a stab in the dark, I put into Google radiator shops in Northwestern Ohio, and came up with one place that may be close to your general location;

    https://www.archboldradiator.com/

    I would be uneasy about sending out my original radiator through the mail, and hope that it would come back in one piece.

    I have used aluminum radiators in the past for some high horse power race engines, and was happy with the performance, as long as we ran race fuel. If we ran alcohol, the radiator was too efficient, and would have to cover portions of the front nose to limit air flow to keep the temp warm enough to run consistently. We used Griffin Radiators, but they were rather expensive. They handled the abuse rather well, with little to no issues. With that being said, I looked into the reviews for the radiators being sold on eBay, and they are mixed. The side mounting brackets do not tend to line up with you existing mounts seems to be the biggest issue, followed by the lower nipple being not angled correctly to use your stock size hose. Other than that, nobody claimed they had issues with the actual construction of the rad.

  5. #5
    Super Moderator bmorgil's Avatar
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    Thanks gmwillys, I found a local shop here in Toledo. He only does big industrial anymore. He is old enough to remember how to do an old radiator however. His advice was to clean it and pressure check it first. If the core is not repairable... all bets are off! $500 for a new repro isn't so bad at all.

  6. #6
    Super Moderator gmwillys's Avatar
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    You may check with Willys Overland in Toledo as well. They used to stock OEM parts, but have since sold off a lot of their stock. They have focused more on the Repli-Tub Jeep bodies, but may be worth a look if yours is too far gone.

    https://www.willysoverland.com/

  7. #7
    Member Nemo von Klepper's Avatar
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    So...
    On a similar thread, I need a new radiator. A local shop says they can re-core my original for about $550 --estimated before pressure checking to see if it's a more minor problem. KW has one for $565 new. Is there any sound reason for me to have my original radiator repaired over getting a replica? Also regarding aluminum: I've been trying to keep my jeep looking as original as possible. Would substituting a cheaper aluminum radiator be too big a compromise in anyone's opinion? I imagine there could be a lot of pluses going to an aluminum radiator.

    For anyone in the Pacific NW that needs radiator repair, Macs Radiator, https://www.macsradiator.com, is three generation family owned, reputable, will seemingly re-core or fabricate anything and they have multiple locations from Boise, ID to Portland or Eugene, OR.

  8. #8
    Member Nemo von Klepper's Avatar
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    So...

    In a similar vein, I sent my radiator in to see about getting an estimate for rebuilding. It turns out that rebuilding it will cost me about the same as buying a new one from KW. I'd like to keep my jeep as original looking as possible. Any thoughts as to whether rebuilding my radiator or replacing it is preferable?
    Also, what are the thoughts on an aluminum radiator?

  9. #9
    Super Moderator gmwillys's Avatar
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    If your tanks are good, as per their inspection, then I would have it re-cored. I personally like the original radiator in my 2A, and have even gone as far as to strip the lifetime of black paint off to expose the copper underneath, (of the top tank). If the time comes where I have an issue with it leaking, I will have it repaired and acid dipped to remove all the paint. The look would suit the rest of the Heep.
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  10. #10
    Super Moderator LarrBeard's Avatar
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    Aluminum Radiator

    "When I did the truck" ...

    My old radiator was so far gone I decided to go with a new aluminum radiator. I was able to find a bottom mount, probably CJ-2A radiator, at Willys Overland in Toledo just as he was going out of the Jeep parts business. Of course, the radiator wasn't exactly like the truck radiator, so we took what was left of the old fan shroud, made some parts and pieces to fit around them and it looks almost like it belongs in there.

    I worried about a "little Jeep" radiator cooling the truck until I had a flash that told me "Duhhh, it's the same engine - dummy!" Yep, it keeps it right at 165-degrees with no issues and no leaks. I don't like the plastic drain cock on the bottom though.

    Having said that .... after all of the work it took to make it fit, I'd have been better off taking the radiator to the guy over in Warsaw and have him build a new core. I like the brass tanks too. I think the old radiator is still in the bullpen over at the shop and I may salvage it ....
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