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TJ Radiator Replacement

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TJ Radiator Replacement

Post  NHBill on 9/12/2013, 2:16 pm

So my mechanic says that the fins on the radiator are starting to fall off and recommends that the radiator be replaced. He showed me what he meant and yes I can see that as I run my hand lightly across the back of the radiator that many of the fins simply just fall away. I guess after 153K miles some things just need to be replaced. However, he's estimating that its going to be like $475 for him to replace it, including labor. The thermostat and water pump were replaced within the last couple of weeks and the upper and lower hoses were replaced within the last year so the $475 is just for the radiator and labor. The coolant will be reused as it was just replaced when the thermostat and water pump were replaced within the last couple of weeks.

When I was young still living at home, I remember changing radiator hoses and thermostats on the family cars with my dad. And as I recall it wasn't hard but we never replaced a radiator, just hoses and the thermostat.

So my question is this. As I'm considering doing this job myself (the steps laid on in my trusty Chilton book make it look easy), what are the things that I need to watch for or consider when doing this? What are the issues that I might encounter? I simply don't want to spend $475 when I can prolly do it for much less and give my sone something to learn as well.

Thanks for your input.

NHBill
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Re: TJ Radiator Replacement

Post  Tonellin on 9/12/2013, 3:00 pm

Did you do the water pump? It's a lot of similar work, but way easier

You can get an OEM radiator for $150ish saving you about $300 if you do it yourself. If the factory unit lasted that long there's no real reason to go with anything else unless you have some cash to blow on one of those nice aluminum ones

I wouldn't go reusing the fluid, you have to drain the radiator anyways and a lot will come out when you disconnect the hoses. Might as well add in new coolant once the swap is complete. There will be some crap in the drained coolant even if you just added a whole bunch of new stuff.

How does the serpentine belt look? If it's got 150+K on it too you might as well replace and keep your old one as a spare
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Tonellin
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Re: TJ Radiator Replacement

Post  blue55 on 9/12/2013, 3:30 pm

Radiator,hoses,theremostat and coolant,,, cheap money and very easy to do.
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blue55
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Re: TJ Radiator Replacement

Post  NHBill on 9/12/2013, 3:53 pm

Thanks for the info guys. I've decided that my son and I are going to do it ourselves.

NHBill
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Re: TJ Radiator Replacement

Post  janesy on 9/13/2013, 7:44 am

Very easy to do. One of the first things that I had to swap out myself when I got the Jeep last year. Did it in a couple hours by myself.
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janesy
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Re: TJ Radiator Replacement

Post  NHBill on 10/17/2013, 6:56 pm

Picked up the new radiator, upper and lower hoses and a new cap today all for $184. The shop I use wanted to charge me $400. I now have $200 for more jeep stuff. Very Happy 

That being said, anyone know how much coolant I will need to replace what's in there assuming I go with a 50:50 mix?

NHBill
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Re: TJ Radiator Replacement

Post  Mark on 10/17/2013, 11:01 pm

2 gallons?
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Mark
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