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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-07-2017, 01:54 PM Thread Starter
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Bad news

Hello, I come with bad news:
After replacing timing belt, water pump and thermostat in my 2000 Intrepid 3.2, now coolant is mixed with oil, a mechanic told me that he thinks that radiator surely was in bad status, and with new new water pump with more presion, it must be broken and mixing oil with coolant. He thinks radiator in these cars refrigerates both oil and coolant.
What do you think about this? Can I fix this replacing radiator? Is it important to use an original Mopar radiator or can I use aftermaket? Would you recommend any particular radiator model?
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-07-2017, 02:52 PM
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Replacing the radiator should fix the problem as long as the diagnosis of the oil and coolant getting mixed at the radiator is correct. There has been a lot of debate on both this forum as well as others that cater to LH cars about which radiator is the best replacement. None of them are really good as the all seem to use the plastic ends and aluminum fins. You can search the board for "replace radiator" and make your mind up for yourself on which one to get. If you check out RockAuto, they have half a dozen listed.
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-07-2017, 02:57 PM
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Originally Posted by EagleScreen View Post
Hello, I come with bad news:
After replacing timing belt, water pump and thermostat in my 2000 Intrepid 3.2, now coolant is mixed with oil, a mechanic told me that he thinks that radiator surely was in bad status, and with new new water pump with more presion, it must be broken and mixing oil with coolant. He thinks radiator in these cars refrigerates both oil and coolant.
What do you think about this? Can I fix this replacing radiator? Is it important to use an original Mopar radiator or can I use aftermaket? Would you recommend any particular radiator model?
The 3.2 and 3.5 did have an oil cooler built into the radiator. I forget what year they removed that oil cooling system, but pretty sure that 2000 still had it. Look for two hoses (probably 13 to 15mm in outside diameter) running to the radiator on the passenger side (very similar to the transmission cooling connections on the driver's side of the radiator). If you have those hoses, then it has the oil cooling in the radiator. A leak internal to the radiator between the oil and the water (antifreeze) must have developed. I do not think that a new water pump would have caused the problem - it would not have added much pressure difference between the water (antifreeze) and the oil.

The best replacement radiator would be the OEM one from a dealer, but they would cost more than aftermarket (I don't know how much more, especially on the EU market). Aftermarket radiators for these cars had lots of problems with quality and durability a few years ago, but I think some brands have fixed the problems over the years. I replaced the radiators in both of my Concordes - one was bad right out of the box, and the other one failed after exactly one year. They were of the Readi-Rad brand (not sure they are still around). Both were replaced under the guarantee, and I didn't have any problems since then with the replacements - that was probably around 7 or 8 years ago. Still using one of them with no problems (the other car got scrapped).

Recommendations on many aftermarket brands on parts like this are almost meaningless because in a particular brand, one month you might get a radiator made by one company, and 6 months later, you would get one made by a different company, but both would be under the same brand name when sold to you. It all depends on which manufacturer they got the best price from that month, with quality being of little or no consideration for many common brands.

Antifreeze is very damaging to the bearing inserts on the lower part of the engine (crankshaft bearings and lower connecting rod bearings). You could try just replacing the radiator, but there is a risk that the engine will fail very soon due to bearing damage. The safest way would be to check the bearings for condition and replace if there is any question. Whatever you do, you need to flush the engine out thoroughly to get rid of all antifreeze in the oil. You should do several oil changes within about 150 km of each other to get any antifreeze out. There may be special flush chemicals to help with that, but I don't know much about that.

You might find two versions of the radiator for our cars in OEM or aftermarket brand - one with the oil cooler, the other without. There are no other options. Some brands might only offer the one with the cooler because it can be used for both applications, and when both are offered, the one with cooler is cheaper anyway.

EDIT: Didn't see In-trepid's post - was still composing my post when he posted.


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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-07-2017, 05:19 PM Thread Starter
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Mopar radiator here in Europe has a cost of $321 (US Dolars) more or less, I think it is Mopar 5010359AB.
Aftermarket radiators, like NRF 53954 (or other brands) has a cost of $115 (US Dolars) more or less.
Mopar 5010359AB includes: water-oil radiator, air conditioner radiator, and automatic transmission oil radiator, while NRF 53954 includes water-oil radiator only.
Still in process of taking the decision... Any help? xD
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-07-2017, 07:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EagleScreen View Post
Mopar radiator here in Europe has a cost of $321 (US Dolars) more or less, I think it is Mopar 5010359AB.
Aftermarket radiators, like NRF 53954 (or other brands) has a cost of $115 (US Dolars) more or less.
Mopar 5010359AB includes: water-oil radiator, air conditioner radiator, and automatic transmission oil radiator, while NRF 53954 includes water-oil radiator only.
Still in process of taking the decision... Any help? xD
All radiators for our cars *must* have radiator cooling. My guess is that the NRF part description is incomplete, that it has both engine oil and transmission fluid cooling.
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-09-2017, 08:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EagleScreen View Post
Mopar radiator here in Europe has a cost of $321 (US Dolars) more or less, I think it is Mopar 5010359AB.
Aftermarket radiators, like NRF 53954 (or other brands) has a cost of $115 (US Dolars) more or less.
Mopar 5010359AB includes: water-oil radiator, air conditioner radiator, and automatic transmission oil radiator, while NRF 53954 includes water-oil radiator only.
Still in process of taking the decision... Any help? xD
the a/c has a radiator behind the coolant radiator. however, you would have to both decompress the ac system and refill it. id venture to say that might be more expensive than the radiator itself. there not physically attached, more like clipped together. if your a/c works id get the aftermarket radiator.

the external oil cooler was removed in 2002.
however with my 2002 the radiator has a trans cooler inside the radiator.

and *****NO OIL COOLER ATALL.*****

so you may have a head gasket leak, or it could be trans fluid. its red and might look like oil when mixed with coolant.
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-09-2017, 08:42 PM
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after looking at your profile I see you have a 2000 trep'

the oil cooler is going to be an entirely separate loop than the antifreeze and trans. (I know I added it to my 2002)

its the biggest of the smaller radiators in front of the main unit.

assuming EU cars are spec'd the same as north American cars ...
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-18-2017, 08:02 AM Thread Starter
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Mopar radiator finally had a cost of $370 against $140 for NRF 53954, so I choose NRF 53954, it is at simple view identical to Mopar one, and is working very good for now.
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-18-2017, 01:21 PM
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Change the oil a few times in a short period of time to keep those main bearings happy. Hopefully you dodged a bullet on this one.
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-18-2017, 01:28 PM Thread Starter
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Change the oil a few times in a short period of time to keep those main bearings happy. Hopefully you dodged a bullet on this one.
I don't see rests of water for now in the oil, but anyway, I will follow the advice of changing oil a few times.
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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-20-2017, 01:40 PM
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There are also some threads on this site about bypassing the oil cooler completely. I think it was eliminated in 2001. If I remember correctly, it is simply a matter of eliminating the "T" fitting on the block and inserting the Oil Pressure Sensor directly into the block, and then getting a plug for the return on the oil pan. The thread has the required plug size.
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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-20-2017, 02:06 PM
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There are also some threads on this site about bypassing the oil cooler completely. I think it was eliminated in 2001. If I remember correctly, it is simply a matter of eliminating the "T" fitting on the block and inserting the Oil Pressure Sensor directly into the block, and then getting a plug for the return on the oil pan. The thread has the required plug size.
3/8" NPT (National Pipe Thread - which is U.S. standard tapered pipe thread). Not sure if that is commonly available in Spain/Europe. If not, could probably plug it with something close and RTV it against leaking - it wouldn't be under pressure.

Just leave the oil inlet and outlet ports on the radiator unconnected (open).
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