Only a matter of time before these Jeep radiators let go...
Fan and shroud removed.
Stashed temporarily to the side.
Old radiator out.
Overall view of work area - just bought the fan in the background which makes a HUGE diference!
New (left) and old radiators, frontside.
Backsides of both. New radiator equipped for automatic transmission, but will work fine with a manual.
Old crufty seal on top of A/C condenser.
Two layers of self-stick industrial grade rubber seal strips. See text.
New radiator in place.
Might as well hook up the lower hose before putting the shroud back on.
Shroud back on.
Fan back in and hoses connected!
The 16 year old radiator blew - top tank cracked which is pretty typical for these Jeeps. The Jeep forum gurus say you're best off replacing with OEM MOPAR, but such is now unavailable. Many of the aftermarket radiators for the TJ have VERY bad reputations, however the apparent OEM equivalent CSF 3244 was mentioned several times as "no problems yet" and CSF is a reputable brand, so that's what I went with.
Never mind that I changed out the ORIGINAL radiator on the '85 Mercedes last year that was 36 years old and NOT leaking. I thought it was clogged, but it really wasn't. Oh, and NEVER MIND that I was able to get an OEM Behr radiator after 36 years, and I can't even get OEM parts for a Jeep that is only 16! Mercedes has me spoiled...
In any event, the replacement went smoothly enough, and was almost as easy as the radiator replacement I did on the Mercedes. The gasket on top of the A/C evaporator was completely shot, and nobody knows what it was originally, so I used some self-stick industrial grade rubber seal strips that I inherited from my late father in law. Goddess only knows how old it is or where it came from, but the adhesive was still very tacky and it is obviously good stuff, so on it went! We'll see how it holds up over time with the extreme underhood temps a TJ sees.
The bolts that hold the shroud to the radiator take a ⅜" socket, but the bolts that hold the radiator in the Jeep are 10mm. Go figure! All bolts put back on with "Never-Seeze".
Read on for the next part!
Neighbor's daughter across the street just bought this 2001 4 cyl. TJ!
This "lunchbox locker" went back to Amazon...
The replacement had the same exact issue. Long story short: Wrong instructions packed
with this model. Correct instruction manual is #8221003A according to the Jeep forum.