Radiator consistently blowing

Discussion in 'KJ General Discussion' started by sebastien7, Jan 10, 2014.

  1. sebastien7

    sebastien7 Full Access Member

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    My 2003 Jeep Liberty 4WD radiator blew again after I had changed it for the same reason about 4 months ago. The first time I thought maybe it was a defective radiator (1st one was in for about 7 months) so I switch brands and now it did it again after a few months. The vehicle didn't say it was overheating or gave any notice. Would there be another reason beside a defective radiator that would be causing this?

    Both times there was a pop and coolant started spewing everywhere. Both times it was while parked and idling for a few minutes after driving to my destination. The pop was the radiator cracking along the side.
     
  2. dude1116

    dude1116 Full Access Member

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    I hear that all aftermarket radiators suck. Get a MOPAR and throw that puppy in there.

    Also change the thermostat while you're in there just in case.
     
  3. streetglideok

    streetglideok Full Access Member

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    Have you visually verified the electric cooling fan is working? This is the primary source of cooling the radiator when the vehicle is not moving. Headgasket issues can cause repeat radiator failures as well. As what dude said, aftermarket radiators have been suspect in quality.
     
  4. tommudd

    tommudd Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I really think that there is a huge factory in China somewhere that makes all aftermarket radiators. Everyone's cracks/splits/busts in the same spot. Its a known weak spot for sure. Buddy has had I think 7 in his so far, all the same spot, some only lasting a couple of months, others 8-10 months. Lifetime warranty is nice but when you have to switch them a couple of times a years it gets to be a bit of a PITA!
    Sure would be nice to find a company that would build a decent radiator for a decent price.
    Best bet for now,....MOPAR
     
  5. sebastien7

    sebastien7 Full Access Member

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    So you think its just another crap radiator - don't remember the brand but bought at Autozone.

    I'll make sure fan is working.

    and yes huge PITA!!! third time now that I will be changing in last year! Not to mention embarrassing - was picking my kid up from school and having it spew coolant all over while I'm waiting in line for her!
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2014
  6. dude1116

    dude1116 Full Access Member

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    I would be willing to bet $275 (to pay for my new radiator and thermostat :D) on it.
     
  7. tommudd

    tommudd Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Autozone...........there ya go
    Once again ,....cheap is expensive
    Don't ya hate it when you try and save a few dollars and then it catches up with you at the most inconvenient time :hunter:
     
  8. streetglideok

    streetglideok Full Access Member

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    Autozone is the first mistake. It is awfully suspicious that you blow them while idling.
     
  9. CactusJacked

    CactusJacked Full Access Member

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    Yes, a blown head gasket pressurizing the cooling system excessively. While you're at AutoZone trying to get your money back for the cheap radiator, you can rent a test kit to check for combustion gases in the coolant. If you're Jeep is running ok and you don't have any symptoms to point to a gasket though, it's likely you have C.C.C. (Cheap China Crap) syndrome, but a little peace of mind can go a long way: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QA7KVQq9vKA
     
  10. dude1116

    dude1116 Full Access Member

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    Would that work if we don't have a radiator cap? I assume so. I just find it strange that the only way to access the cooling system without removing hoses is our overflow bottle. I guess the KJ is probably not the only vehicle like that though.
     
  11. tommudd

    tommudd Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Now come on Autozone is a great place to buy.........................wax and air fresheners
     
  12. sebastien7

    sebastien7 Full Access Member

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    Thanks for all the help guys. Went to Autozone cause it was the closest place the last time it blew and needed to replace asap (couldn't wait to have a good one shipped).

    Anyways lesson learned. Thanks again!
     
  13. CactusJacked

    CactusJacked Full Access Member

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    Ours not having a radiator cap does make it a little more challenging. You could get creative with PVC plumbing fittings and put a temporary T between the radiator and upper hose.
     
  14. dude1116

    dude1116 Full Access Member

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    I still assume it MIGHT work because the overflow bottle is the only place for those gasses to escape (as if you were bleeding the cooling system). Unless they get the chance to escape from somewhere else.
     
  15. CactusJacked

    CactusJacked Full Access Member

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    Well yeah I spose you could. Ours is a combination reservoir/overflow tank. The passenger side section with the radiator cap is basically an extension of the radiator.
     
  16. streetglideok

    streetglideok Full Access Member

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    Funny this thread came up today. Had a KJ with a 5speed come in today with a cracked tank. Without any tranny cooler to fight, I had the whole thing done in maybe 40 minutes? Sadly, I don't always have a say in where they get their parts and they used a china made radiator lol
     
  17. ridenby

    ridenby Gold Supporter

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    Where do yall think Mopar radiators are made?
     
  18. tjkj2002

    tjkj2002 Full Access Member

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    Actual OEM for a '02 KJ is made in Mexico.
     
  19. 02blue

    02blue Full Access Member

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    I think the one I ordered from Moparonlineparts said made in Mexico right on the box.
     
  20. CactusJacked

    CactusJacked Full Access Member

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    The box is made in Mexico, make sure the radiator is too. ;)