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I hit **** with sticks!
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Recently, my 2nd replacement aftermarket radiator developed a crack in the tank, and began leaking. Same spot as the previous one. Left tank (drivers side) between the lower hose outlet, and the lower transmission cooler line fitting.

This makes for 2 cracked radiators in 70K miles, totally unacceptable.

This time, I bought a Mopar replacement, made by Valeo (used to be made by Modine). It was double the cost, plus some change, but so far, looking at it, the construction is much better, and heavier. Here are some pics. First the aftermarket radiator.

Here is the crack/leak. These aftermarket rads have this weird seam that keeps cracking. Not sure why they would mold the tank like this. Whatever the reason, it creates a weak spot in the tank. Also, the tank had bulged out and cracked the reinforcement ribs.



No weird seam on the Mopar rad.


The other major thing I noticed was the thicker "fingers" on the Mopar rad holding the tanks on. The crimp looked better as well. Notice the gaps are much smaller on the Mopar rad as well. They wrap around tight on the webbing on the tank, unlike the aftermarket, which is a good 1/4" wider. If you look close you can see that the aluminum is much thicker overall on the Mopar rad.

Mopar:


Aftermarket:


Also, the plastic webbing on the Mopar rad is thicker, and there is more of it. You can see it in the above pics.

Overall the Mopar rad was better constructed with thicker material. Due to the problems with aftermarket rads (especially Steph), if you are going to keep the car, spend the money and get Mopar. 45K miles on a radiator is bullcrap. Should last at least half the life of the car IMO, or 150K miles 10 years plus.

The only reason I replaced it originally was for the 3.2 conversion, the original rad from 1998 was fine. Just needed to add the oil cooler.

This is yet another reason not to buy aftermarket crap!
 

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I'm on like radiator 6 or 7.....I've killed about 3 Mopar ones....they don't last a lot longer than aftermarket....the oil coolers burst internally and then its green/brown soup in the motor....also they seem to "push out" the bottom fins and start dripping at the bottom of the radiator....the aftermarket is no better...actually worse....my car has 127000 miles on it, 2000 r/t...on my 2nd 3.5HO.....so I hope your's fairs better than mine...
 

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I hit **** with sticks!
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Discussion Starter #3
I'm on like radiator 6 or 7.....I've killed about 3 Mopar ones....they don't last a lot longer than aftermarket....the oil coolers burst internally and then its green/brown soup in the motor....also they seem to "push out" the bottom fins and start dripping at the bottom of the radiator....the aftermarket is no better...actually worse....my car has 127000 miles on it, 2000 r/t...on my 2nd 3.5HO.....so I hope your's fairs better than mine...
Well we shall see. This one certainly looks much better than the aftermarket. Our radiators at work are made by Valeo as well and we have had 1 warranty claim on them in the last 3 years.
 

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Nice write-up Dan. I was getting my rads for $150-$200 so paying just a bit more for the Mopar isn't a half bad idea. Most of my failures came from the crimps letting go and slowly leaking. The last rad I had do this I got re-crimped at a rad shop and it's been okay since.

I'm on like radiator 6 or 7.....I've killed about 3 Mopar ones....they don't last a lot longer than aftermarket....the oil coolers burst internally and then its green/brown soup in the motor....also they seem to "push out" the bottom fins and start dripping at the bottom of the radiator....the aftermarket is no better...actually worse....my car has 127000 miles on it, 2000 r/t...on my 2nd 3.5HO.....so I hope your's fairs better than mine...
There's something else up with your car.
 

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I hit **** with sticks!
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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Well, strike one for this one. It wont even make it out of the driveway. I put it all together and had a transmission fluid leak. It is leaking from the lower oil cooler fitting at the radiator. Going to make sure the fitting just isnt loose and if not order another one tomorrow and file warranty. I have gotten them before with loose fittings, forgot to check this one first.

Not thrilled. I am praying that no ATF got into the coolant, or vice versa. No sign of it yet, so hopefully the leak is only on the outside. If not, that will really be fun to clean up. ****. :banghead:
 

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Wondering if this is where my coolant is going? Replaced my rad bout 4 years ago and lately coolants been disappearing but cant find any signs of it... what would it look like if it was in the tranny? my tranny fluid is still red and clean.

Did notice some white along the rad where the crimping was and my lower rad hose clamp was loose...
 

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I hit **** with sticks!
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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
Might be jinxing myself, but I chose the TYC brand ($71) from RA and it's been fine for the 8 months we've had it in. It looked to be just as well built as the OEM that I removed.
Ive been thru too many aftermarket radiators to try another one. But Mopar doesnt quite have me convinced yet on this one. :lulz:

Wondering if this is where my coolant is going? Replaced my rad bout 4 years ago and lately coolants been disappearing but cant find any signs of it... what would it look like if it was in the tranny? my tranny fluid is still red and clean.

Did notice some white along the rad where the crimping was and my lower rad hose clamp was loose...
If you didnt have an external leak, you would have either ATF in your coolant, or vice versa, and it would make a huge mess.
 

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I replaced mine with Spectra Premium ($165) in November/13.
Their made somewhere in Canada. Its way too early, but so far its good. It also came with lifetime warranty.

2001 Intrepid (170,000 kms)
1994 Eagle Vision (384,000 kms)
 

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On my second Ready-Rad from Advance Auto. Warranty replacement on the first after about 55K miles. PS tank & oil cooler blew up on me. Pulled the oil cooler return line off and pure coolant came shooting out. Thankfully it happened close to home so I was able to get back before any damage from the contaminated oil.

I noticed some slight dripping on the Pass side a few weeks prior. I assumed it was just the o-ring on the drain plug....guess not.
 

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I replaced mine with Spectra Premium ($165) in November/13.
Their made somewhere in Canada. Its way too early, but so far its good. It also came with lifetime warranty.

2001 Intrepid (170,000 kms)
1994 Eagle Vision (384,000 kms)
You are DOOMED.
I went through three of those son of a bitches last year before finally coughing up the cash for an OEM radiator. The OEM radiator has been in for about six months now with zero problems so far. Spectra was bought out by a Chinese company and the quality now sucks.

Watch that sucker carefully when the weather warms up, that was when they were failing every three months.

The first Spectra was installed in cooler weather and held up longer, but when the weather warmed up, I got about 3 months out of each of the replacements.
Where they fail is on the drivers side about halfway down the radiator. To spot the leaks I had to take out the drivers side headlight to see it.
 

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You are DOOMED.
I went through three of those son of a bitches last year before finally coughing up the cash for an OEM radiator. The OEM radiator has been in for about six months now with zero problems so far. Spectra was bought out by a Chinese company and the quality now sucks.

Watch that sucker carefully when the weather warms up, that was when they were failing every three months.

The first Spectra was installed in cooler weather and held up longer, but when the weather warmed up, I got about 3 months out of each of the replacements.
Where they fail is on the drivers side about halfway down the radiator. To spot the leaks I had to take out the drivers side headlight to see it.

I wonder if it has anything to do with the tranny cooler being on that side and possibly running hotter ??
 

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I was able to compare a Spectra premium to Vista Pro and the Spectra is
considerably heavier and appears to be better built.
Comes with lower rubber mounts where the Vista did not. Both made in China.
 

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You are DOOMED.
I went through three of those son of a bitches last year before finally coughing up the cash for an OEM radiator. The OEM radiator has been in for about six months now with zero problems so far. Spectra was bought out by a Chinese company and the quality now sucks.

Watch that sucker carefully when the weather warms up, that was when they were failing every three months.

The first Spectra was installed in cooler weather and held up longer, but when the weather warmed up, I got about 3 months out of each of the replacements.
Where they fail is on the drivers side about halfway down the radiator. To spot the leaks I had to take out the drivers side headlight to see it.
Thanks Bilith for sharing your experience.....i do keep an eye on the coolant every few days. I'll report back if i need to replace it. Changing 3 times is ridiculous. Spectra Premium head office is 20 mins away....i'll pay them a nice visit if i have your unfortunate experience.
 

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I was able to compare a Spectra premium to Vista Pro and the Spectra is
considerably heavier and appears to be better built.
Comes with lower rubber mounts where the Vista did not. Both made in China.
FYI: When i bought the Spectra rad from Canadian Tire, the box said "Made in Canada".
 

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My car has both a trans cooler and an oil cooler mounted in front of the AC condenser, so tranny heat should not be an issue.
I'd plumb it that way but it's too cold here in the north east to run it that way in the winter.

It may sound ridiculous , but the new radiator I'm putting in this weekend I'm reinforcing
with JB weld on the drivers side. Son's car ,, I don't want to deal with this again.
 
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