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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Folks,

I'm looking to upgrade/replace my stock radiator in a D110 with a 3.5L V8. It seems to be a hot head with normal coolant temps in the 198-200F range. With AC running, they creep up to about 206F. The water pumps is new and coolant has been recently flushed, burped, etc.

I have read older posts and many people have theirs recored. I have looked at factory OEM radiators ($$$) and aftermarket stuff from RN, Rimmer Bros, Lucky 8, etc. but can't tell what is my best option.

Any recommendations? Many thanks!
 

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I got an Alisport for my 94 3.9l. Great quality and the temp gauge never moves even in the heat and traffic. I remounted the original shroud and use the stock fan.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I got an Alisport for my 94 3.9l. Great quality and the temp gauge never moves even in the heat and traffic. I remounted the original shroud and use the stock fan.
Thanks @Angus for the recommendation. I checked into Allisport but their website says the one that seems like my best option is out of stock and to call them for approx availability. I will call them tomorrow and see what they can do. Any thoughts on just getting mine recored ?
Thanks again!
 

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'97 D90 SW NAS #0032
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I have the alisport rad in my '97 and a couple rows at both ends started leaking after just a year. Contacted Alisport and told I was out of warranty (1yr) but can ship it back for them to look at it. It would cost about $350 to ship it to UK. So, i tried epoxy the leak and held for about a year.. now it's leaking again. Oh,... most radiator repair shops do not repair aluminum radiators... jfyi.
At this point, I may bring my factory rad to a shop and pay to add another core. Knowing what I know now, this is the route I would have taken.

There is also a custom rad shop in US making alu radiators for defenders. Similar price and warranty terms. But maybe less expensive to ship within lower 48?
 

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I took my original radiator to a radiator shop to clean and inspect. It was not leaking, but with new motor I wanted to ensure the cooling was up to snuff. After cleaning an pressure check it seemed good. Started to weep from a couple of rows a couple of months later, then drip. Hence the Alisport. When I installed the Allisport, I ensured there were rubber pads at the bottom were it attaches, and the top grommets were new. No issues to date.
 

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I had a shot radiator for my engine when I was installing. I asked my radiator guy, who pressure tested the rad, what I should do. He said he could build be a better than new one for around $500 but recommended an aftermarket aluminum one because they actually cool better and are less than half the price. I bought a bearmach one for around $200 (200tdi) and I've had zero issues with it. I don't even run a fan on my truck unless I were to go very long distances or be at altitude.
 

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I am running a Ron Davis in my LS conversion. Well made, and you pay for it...

I regards to aluminum degradation, most is caused by a galvanic reaction due to poor grounding. They give very specific directions on checking the voltage leak at the radiator fluid (one lead in fluid, one back to ground) and you are checking the voltage--and if you see any, then you have an issue. That precipitates the galvanic reaction. It is a big deal.

Edit: Found instructions:
Testing for electrolysis in cooling systems
An electrical current passing through the coolant can cause engine and cooling system components failures, due to problems in the cooling system from electrical ground problems and the generation of static electricity elsewhere in the vehicle. This can destroy an engine and other cooling system components regardless of the quality of cooling system maintenance. The only way it can be stopped is to correct the electrical problem causing the current. Damage resulting from an electrical current can be pitted liners, oil coolers, radiators, extreme aluminum corrosion, and abnormal water pump and head gasket failure. A multimeter or voltmeter capable of reading both AC and DC currents is required to test cooling systems. The meter needs to read zero to the maximum voltage of the system being tested in tenths of a volt. The meter leads must be long enough to reach between the coolant and the groundside of the battery. An ohm function of a multimeter is very helpful to pinpoint areas of resistance in as electrical system that will cause an electrical current to ground through the coolant rather than the engineered electrical circuit.
1. Attach the proper meter lead to the groundside of the battery, negative-to-negative or positive-to-positive.
2. Install the second lead in the coolant touching the coolant only.
3. Read the DC and AC voltage with all systems off. If a block heater is present, also take a reading with the heater turned on. If an automatic battery charger is present as a standby system, also take a reading with this system running.
4. Read the DC and AC voltage with the electrical starter engaged.
5. Read the DC and the AC voltage with the engine running and all systems turned on: lights, coolers, fans, heaters, air conditioning, cell phone, two-way radio, including the phone and radio on both standby and transmit.
The above procedure will test a complete system except for an electrical current, which can be generated by the rear end transmission. This is particularly true with air bag suspensions, rubber pad suspensions and rubber-mounted transmissions. Any current generated will travel up to the drive shaft to ground through the engine coolant. Grounding rear ends and transmissions is strongly recommended.
Voltage of zero to .3 is normal in a coolant of cast iron engine. Such an engine will be destroyed with time by .5 volts, and engine manufacturers are reporting .15 volts will destroy an aluminum engine.
The current will be AC if the problem is due to static electricity.
If the coolant shows an electrical problem with all the equipment turned on, turn off one system at a time until you finally turn off the system that stops the electrical current. When the current stops, this will indicate the electrical system causing the problem.
Be particularly careful of starters. They can cause as much damage to an engine as a direct connection to an arc welder due to the amperage present.
4130 is a poor conductor for a chassis ground, wire to the battery.
Always change the coolant if a current is detected. The electrical current will destroy the protecting chemicals in a properly inhibited coolant.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks for all of the great input. I was not aware of the risks of poor grounding in the coolant and the procedure is very helpful. That’s good to know before I install a new radiator. Thanks again!
 

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'97 D90 SW NAS #0032
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Yes, I made sure the rubber damper pads were all installed back.
When I pulled it to fix the leak/seepage, I noticed the bottom pins were pushed/dented in a bit causing bottom couple rows to be out of square.
The truck is mainly used for trails but also not bouncing of boulders either.

463531



I took my original radiator to a radiator shop to clean and inspect. It was not leaking, but with new motor I wanted to ensure the cooling was up to snuff. After cleaning an pressure check it seemed good. Started to weep from a couple of rows a couple of months later, then drip. Hence the Alisport. When I installed the Allisport, I ensured there were rubber pads at the bottom were it attaches, and the top grommets were new. No issues to date.
 

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I just installed an Allisport in a 3.9, so far I really like it. It says at 180, and doesnt move much...
 

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I'd go with putting a new larger core in your original radiator. You just need to find an old school radiator shop. -- Find the guy with grey hair. It far out performed a new "high quality" aftermarket.
 
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Thanks guys for all of the help and suggestions. I looking into finding a local radiator shop that can recore my radiator as I also explore replacement options.

I got a quote from Allisport. Their aluminum radiator is very nice but it is significantly more money (about 1g) and they quoted a 20 week lead time. Any idea how difficult it is to integrate their thermostat control electrical fan into the truck and removal of the viscous fan from the motor?

Bearmach sells conventional replacement radiators. They sell aluminum for $225 and copper for $385. Any thoughts on advantages/disadvantages between these options in terms of cooling efficiency, durability, longevity, etc.? The higher weight of the copper unit should not be a problem especially if it helps keep my engine from running hot.

Thanks again!
 

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I bought a RN Proline from my NAS 90 probably 5+ years ago. It seems to be holding up nicely. I installed one for a tdi 110 I have and it too is doing fine.

Very curious now re grounding. That would be interesting to check. My 90 have rubber mounts and rubber spring isolators for almost 20 years. I go through WPs probably every 7-8 years.
 

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'97 D90 SW NAS #0032
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You’ll want to ask about adding another core for radiator. Not sure if that’s what you meant by recore.
Also, you can add something like a revotec fan kit that uses an temp sender inline with the rad hose. this is setup I have.
i maybe selling my revotec v8 fan kit in near future. Lmk if you’re planning to go that route.


Any idea how difficult it is to integrate their thermostat control electrical fan into the truck and removal of the viscous fan from the motor?
 

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You’ll want to ask about adding another core for radiator. Not sure if that’s what you meant by recore.
Also, you can add something like a revotec fan kit that uses an temp sender inline with the rad hose. this is setup I have.
i maybe selling my revotec v8 fan kit in near future. Lmk if you’re planning to go that route.

yes, ask for a 4-core replacement.
 
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