What radiator manufacturer should I choose?

Discussion in 'KJ General Discussion' started by navupmyself, Oct 14, 2019.

  1. navupmyself

    navupmyself New Member

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    2003 Jeep Liberty Renegade 4x4 3.7 V6. I have a leak in my radiator. I have the 42RLE transmission with the external transmission cooler. According to Rock Auto, the OEM model for the one I need is "MOPAR 52080120AE", but I see that there are also other manufacturers like SPECTRA, along with DENSO, Mishimoto, OSC, and ULTRA-POWER.

    Also, I was wondering if there are alternatives to the OEM plastic and aluminum radiator, and if it would be possible to go with an all aluminum radiator, if they even sell those, and if so, if anyone has experiences with them.

    Finally, I know that this system has been rusted before, I changed out the coolant and everything, but it appears that I still sprung a leak somewhere near the bottom of the radiator, I can't see exactly where. What other things should I replace since I'm already going to be in the area?
     
  2. ltd02

    ltd02 Comfortably numb KJ Supporting Member

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    Get the Mopar. I've used Spectra in 3-4 other vehicles and they were fine but tried a Spectra years ago in my 02 and wound up changing it again about 6 months later. I've heard the same from others who have used other aftermarket ones too. There's something about the aftermarket ones that just don't last. They all seem to crack up near the top hose junction.

    I'd do the tstat and hoses while I was at it too.
     
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  3. navupmyself

    navupmyself New Member

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    Alright, thanks for the reply, I looked around the rest of the forums and most seem to agree about going with the Mopar variants as well.

    Another question, did Liberty KJ come with the external transmission cooler, and if so, did your Mopar radiator come with the necessary bolting locations to bolt on the transmission cooler? Because I have seen some videos that state that if you get a radiator with a built in transmission cooler, you won't get the necessary bolting mounts to hold up the transmission cooler, and even though on Rock Auto the Mopar radiator doesn't have the internal transmission cooler built it, based on the pictures I can see, it doesn't have the bolting locations for an external one either, did yours have the bolting location?

    EDIT: It might actually just be the angle of the pictures that are on Rock Auto for the Mopar variant, on further inspection it actually does seem to have the bolting hole, just want to check for sure.

    EDIT: Well, after even further inspection it seems like even the Spectra radiator has the ports for the internal radiator. I'm just gonna go with the Mopar since after looking on Amazon it does appear to have the bolt holes, and doesn't have the ports for the internal transmission cooler, so I just consider one less potential area of failure, in case anyone finds this thread in the future, I am going to be purchasing this model from Rock Auto at $173 : MOPAR 52080120AE
     
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2019
  4. ltd02

    ltd02 Comfortably numb KJ Supporting Member

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    Like you said the mounting points for the 42RLE external cooler are important. That's a good price for the Mopar. Mine was for an 02 with the 45RFE so I needed the internal cooler and had no external one. Even if the MOPAR rad has the internal taps it's okay since you can just leave them plugged OR you can plumb it into your lines as an auxiliary cooler.
     
  5. jeeptorino68

    jeeptorino68 Full Access Member

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  6. adamkrz

    adamkrz Full Access Member

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