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Old October 3rd, 2018, 06:37
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XJ radiators, a review.

The radiator in my 2000 blew on my last week in a fairly spectacular fashion (to be covered in the unicorn thread).

Obvs I don't want to put the same thing back in, but I wasn't really sure what to replace it with. The Mishimoto seems to be the new hotness, but they have a very bad reputation. CSF is always classic, but is copper on brass an outdated technology? Lots of performance and chinesium aluminum options. Its so hard to choose without putting your hands on them.

So in true 'nothing in moderation' fashion, I ordered them all. Or close enough to count, at least.

Ordered up a CSF, a Mishimoto, already had a Griffin and Mopar HD. Mark brought me his Novak. Dallas has a new in box Champion at SFR, Bricker has an FF Dynamics, and Filar has a CBR that I can put my hands on. Representing all of the $100 china aluminum ones, I ordered the Auto Dynasty which was $98 to my door. I'll pick up a Spectra which is what every parts house carries as well.




I'll start with what I have at home, but keep adding to this as I get around town and put hands on all of them. I had intended to gather everything up at SFR and do it all at once, but I really want to pick one and fix my jeep.
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Old October 3rd, 2018, 06:56
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Re: XJ radiators, a review.

I started off under the assumption I'm going to keep and run the CSF, and send the rest of these back. So we'll start there.

CSF 2671, their 3 core performance unit, purchased from Rock Auto for $235 to my door after a discount code. Copper core with brass bowls, brazed, with a 2 year manufacturer warranty.


Unboxing.




Well, this is a mess.





Very poorly packed, and the packing material is beat to hell.



Once we get the unit out, this is the same radiator I remember buying 15 years ago.





Lets look a little closer though.

Neither hose fitting is round.



There's what looks like what speckled paint over everything, and the black paint is flaking off.

It does have the trans cooler fittings, brazed in. Not removable or replaceable.





It has accomodations for the AC condenser.






Does not come with a radiator cap.



Plastic drain plug, no nipple, has to be removed all the way to drain. Very messy.



3 1/2" cores with some space in between. Almost 2" thick, but the cores were closer to 1.8" or so.



I should have rotated this photo but forgot. Oh well.




I have to admit at this point I'm a little underwhelmed.
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Old October 3rd, 2018, 07:11
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Re: XJ radiators, a review.

Next we'll look at the Auto Dynasty. $108 to my door via amazon. I picked this particular unit because Poor Boys Racing is running it in their 4600 XJ with a Russ Pottenger engine, and it is *getting the job done*. They are on their second unit in 5 years, the first taking impact damage.

I cannot find any warranty info on this unit, but at $98 who cares?

http://a.co/d/fxfpfi6


Unboxing.



Well this isn't pretty. But better than CSF I guess.



Maybe they could have used some more foam in here.




Once I have it out of the box, this looks like a fairly well built, no frills, aluminum radiator. Sharp edges, strait lines, and rough cuts.



There are accommodations for a trans cooler, but it did not come with the fittings.




Now this is fancy, even though its an open style radiator, it has the fitting for a renix era coolant temp sensor! I remember when I did my CSF swap ages ago, Mike Rollins had to cut the fitting out of my old radiator and braze it into my CSF. On big bird we just wired the fan on full time instead.



Interesting that there is a smaller bowl with the hose fitting hanging off, but I'm willing to bet if we did the math this would not be impeding flow at all, and the shorter bowl will make it a lot easier to get trans and steering cooler hoses past it.



Weld quality looks good, and it comes with a radiator cap, albeit a really cheap one.







Accomodations for the AC condenser. I did mention sharp edges didnt i?




About the same thickness as the CSF. 3 1/2" aluminium cores with some space between them.





Again with a crappy plastic drain plug, but I don't feel as bad about it on this less expensive unit.








All in all, I'm fairly impressed with what you get for the price. Given what I see here and the glowing recommendation from the guys at Poor Boys Racing, I think that this is a solid budget choice for anyone.


As with any aluminum radiator, you want to make sure to run only distilled water and coolant. Something about minerals reacting with aluminum and upsetting the PH level blah blah blah, the smart guys keep telling me if you run tap water they will leak in 2 years.
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Old October 3rd, 2018, 07:22
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Re: XJ radiators, a review.

Next up we have the Mopar 5191929AA, which Rock Auto had listed as the "maximum cooling package" radiator, although they no longer list it at all.

$171 to my door last year, I purchased and ran this in the Unicorn.

Aluminum core on plastic tanks. 2 3/4" cores.






Came with no radiator cap. Has trans cooler fittings. No provisions for renix temp sensor.



Came with funky slots for the mounting studs, and spare hardware.




Plastic drain plug with a nipple. If you had room to get a hose in there you could make draining much more tidy.




No accomodations for AC condenser mount. Had to add my own.




I can never say this radiator performed well. I still got warm on climbs and my aux fan came on a lot even when I wouldn't expect it to.

And then there's the whole thing where the end of the fill neck exploded off of the radiator on the freeway and pumped all of the coolant into my air box.

Not a feature I'm fond of?




Would not buy again. Will warranty this one out and toss it in the garage for an emergency spare.
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Old October 3rd, 2018, 07:36
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Re: XJ radiators, a review.

Now on to my favorite. The Griffin 591-LB. I seem to recall these were around $795. The first one failed after 5 years of hard racing and about 8 rolls, while no longer under warranty Griffin gave us a 2nd unit for $400 shipped under the racer program.

This is the radiator out of 4643. It performed most excellently there. I did try and install it on the unicorn before starting down this road; if I didn't have AC it would have bolted in and been perfect; but its so big that it would not fit with the AC condenser, nor would the lines fit around it.


Ignore this looking a little beat, we have been hard on it..

2 1.5" aluminium cores with extra large bowls.





Good quality welds.




I don't remember what it came with for a drain plug, but we ditched it so that it was easier to fit hoses past it in the racecar.




It had accomodations for a trans cooler, but came with plugs installed and stayed that way.




No accomodations for an AC condenser.



Cores are tig welded, and then coated with epoxy to help protect against cracks in severe use.




If you want to go full retard and don't want AC, this is a very good option. I think this one is going into Big Bird.
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Old October 3rd, 2018, 07:45
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Re: XJ radiators, a review.

Now we have the Novak KryoFlow.

This is an expensive unit, and I can't get it on amazon with an easy return. They sell it in a standard XJ config, but I borrowed one from Mark that is setup for an LS swap. Quality and size is the same, but its double pass and both hoses are on one side. This one is also setup with electric fans and a stainless overflow, its about a $900 package.



Well packaged.





I'm not sure if these are accommodations for a trans cooler or not. If it weren't a borrowed unit I'd pull the plugs and find out.



Does not use the rubber isolators at the top, comes with a stud instead. Interesting.



3 1" cores. This suckers big.



Giant bowls. No drain plug at all.



All of them come with a remote fill neck.



And this has the stainless expansion bottle.







No AC condenser accommodations, and I don't see how you could fit one with this beast. We'll find out, as Mark intends to make that work..



Thanks for letting me borrow this thing Mark.
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Old October 22nd, 2018, 22:23
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Re: XJ radiators, a review.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cal View Post
Next up we have the Mopar 5191929AA, which Rock Auto had listed as the "maximum cooling package" radiator, although they no longer list it at all.

$171 to my door last year, I purchased and ran this in the Unicorn.

Aluminum core on plastic tanks. 2 3/4" cores.






Came with no radiator cap. Has trans cooler fittings. No provisions for renix temp sensor.



Came with funky slots for the mounting studs, and spare hardware.




Plastic drain plug with a nipple. If you had room to get a hose in there you could make draining much more tidy.




No accomodations for AC condenser mount. Had to add my own.




I can never say this radiator performed well. I still got warm on climbs and my aux fan came on a lot even when I wouldn't expect it to.

And then there's the whole thing where the end of the fill neck exploded off of the radiator on the freeway and pumped all of the coolant into my air box.

Not a feature I'm fond of?




Would not buy again. Will warranty this one out and toss it in the garage for an emergency spare.
Has anybody on here tried this radiator? My '98 needs a new one as well as an aux fan and that sub $100 price point is tempting.
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Old October 23rd, 2018, 06:27
anthrax323 anthrax323 is offline
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Re: XJ radiators, a review.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cal View Post
Next up we have the Mopar 5191929AA, which Rock Auto had listed as the "maximum cooling package" radiator, although they no longer list it at all.

$171 to my door last year, I purchased and ran this in the Unicorn.

Aluminum core on plastic tanks. 2 3/4" cores.






Came with no radiator cap. Has trans cooler fittings. No provisions for renix temp sensor.



Came with funky slots for the mounting studs, and spare hardware.




Plastic drain plug with a nipple. If you had room to get a hose in there you could make draining much more tidy.




No accomodations for AC condenser mount. Had to add my own.




I can never say this radiator performed well. I still got warm on climbs and my aux fan came on a lot even when I wouldn't expect it to.

And then there's the whole thing where the end of the fill neck exploded off of the radiator on the freeway and pumped all of the coolant into my air box.

Not a feature I'm fond of?




Would not buy again. Will warranty this one out and toss it in the garage for an emergency spare.
Hey Cal,


Are you sure that's actually a Mopar? I picked up an HD radiator from the dealership a couple years ago (due to lack of availability elsewhere) after my original ruptured an tank at ~220,000 miles (PN 52080104AC), and it's remarkably different:

















It performed remarkably well until I broke a piston skirt at ~240k last December. Finally wrapping up my mini-stroker build (~4.2L, 10.2:1) so I can report back my experiences with a hotter engine in the not-too-distant future.


But mine has the bottom studs, fan shroud brackets, the proper top studs for the isolators (although the pic above shows the original ones, I'll be replacing them), and the plastic molding quality is way, way better. I think it even came with a cap but I'm not 100% sure at this point.
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Old October 22nd, 2018, 22:26
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Re: XJ radiators, a review.

Sorry, can't seem to edit the above post, this is the one I intended to ask about.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cal View Post
Next we'll look at the Auto Dynasty. $108 to my door via amazon. I picked this particular unit because Poor Boys Racing is running it in their 4600 XJ with a Russ Pottenger engine, and it is *getting the job done*. They are on their second unit in 5 years, the first taking impact damage.

I cannot find any warranty info on this unit, but at $98 who cares?

http://a.co/d/fxfpfi6


Unboxing.



Well this isn't pretty. But better than CSF I guess.



Maybe they could have used some more foam in here.




Once I have it out of the box, this looks like a fairly well built, no frills, aluminum radiator. Sharp edges, strait lines, and rough cuts.



There are accommodations for a trans cooler, but it did not come with the fittings.




Now this is fancy, even though its an open style radiator, it has the fitting for a renix era coolant temp sensor! I remember when I did my CSF swap ages ago, Mike Rollins had to cut the fitting out of my old radiator and braze it into my CSF. On big bird we just wired the fan on full time instead.



Interesting that there is a smaller bowl with the hose fitting hanging off, but I'm willing to bet if we did the math this would not be impeding flow at all, and the shorter bowl will make it a lot easier to get trans and steering cooler hoses past it.



Weld quality looks good, and it comes with a radiator cap, albeit a really cheap one.







Accomodations for the AC condenser. I did mention sharp edges didnt i?




About the same thickness as the CSF. 3 1/2" aluminium cores with some space between them.





Again with a crappy plastic drain plug, but I don't feel as bad about it on this less expensive unit.








All in all, I'm fairly impressed with what you get for the price. Given what I see here and the glowing recommendation from the guys at Poor Boys Racing, I think that this is a solid budget choice for anyone.


As with any aluminum radiator, you want to make sure to run only distilled water and coolant. Something about minerals reacting with aluminum and upsetting the PH level blah blah blah, the smart guys keep telling me if you run tap water they will leak in 2 years.
Has anybody on here tried this radiator? My '98 needs a new one as well as an aux fan and that sub $100 price point is tempting.
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Old October 3rd, 2018, 08:04
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Re: XJ radiators, a review.

I'll review Champion, Spectra, FF Dynamics, CBR and maybe Modine as I get my hands on them.

For now I need to pick from the chinesium, Mishimoto and CSF above so I can install one.
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Old October 3rd, 2018, 08:12
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Re: XJ radiators, a review.

did you happen to get closer pics of the fans and their labels?
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Old October 3rd, 2018, 08:12
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Re: XJ radiators, a review.

the novak one
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Old October 3rd, 2018, 08:13
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Re: XJ radiators, a review.

I did. I did not post them because electric fans are for people who want to overheat. This is not the thread for that discussion though.

Pics here. FWIW, those fan's won't fit with a 4.0, the V8 is shorter.

http://cal.advlifestyle.com/index.php?/category/7
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Old October 3rd, 2018, 08:29
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Re: XJ radiators, a review.

Are you going to do any testing of the radiators?
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Old October 3rd, 2018, 08:34
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Re: XJ radiators, a review.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RCP Phx View Post
Are you going to do any testing of the radiators?


No. I just ordered $1,000 in radiators so I can look at them. I really want to send most of them back.

That said, I haven't decided what I'm running. Opinions are welcome.
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