Griffin Replacement Radiator

DeadStang

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Something of apples and oranges, but I have run a Griffin in one of my old Mustangs for over 15 years and have had zero issues with it...it is painted black and looks stock unless one looks closely and sees the beautiful tig welding. So I was surprised to see all hating on them here — lots of guys in the vintage Mustang world use Griffins w/o issue.
 
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PCO6

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Something of apples and oranges, but I have run a Griffin in one of my old Mustangs for over 15 years and have had zero issues with it...it is painted black and looks stock unless one looks closely and sees the beautiful tig welding. So I was surprised to see all hating on them here — lots of guys in the vintage Mustang world use Griffins w/o issue.

This seems to be the case with aluminum rads amongst XJ owners too. They get a much warmer reception on the XJ forums than they do on TJ forums. I have a Mishimoto aluminum rad sitting on a shelf for my LJ should (or when) the MOPAR rad in it goes. It's new in the box and came with a pile of parts I picked up in a package deal so I have very little money into it. If I'm to believe everything I read here it should stay on the shelf or I should peddle it.

Is it that aluminum rads aren't up to off road use while they're perfectly fine for on road use? I've seen plenty of them in hot rods, resto rods, road and street racers, etc.
 

SkylinesSuck

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I have used full aluminum rads in 4 vehicles for years with zero issues (except my TJ). I also used a copper core rad for the TJ for 15+ years when the OEM one died. Still no leaks after that long, but it was having trouble keeping up with the stroker on hot days going up long grades with the a/c on. I "upgraded" to a much beefier all aluminum unit and have had 3 spring leaks on me where the cores meet the tanks. I just kept warranty replacing them until I recently went back to OEM. I'm pretty convinced it has something to do with flexing that area way more than other vehicles. Most XJs don't get wheeled to the same extent TJs do either.
 

mrblaine

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Something of apples and oranges, but I have run a Griffin in one of my old Mustangs for over 15 years and have had zero issues with it...it is painted black and looks stock unless one looks closely and sees the beautiful tig welding. So I was surprised to see all hating on them here — lots of guys in the vintage Mustang world use Griffins w/o issue.

I'll tell you what I hate. I absolutely despise it when folks confuse the sharing of bad experiences with a product as some kind of emotion, it isn't. I certainly don't hate Griffin radiators, you can't pay me to run, use, or install one in anything I own, but only because I have seen enough issues with them shared by folks I know and trust not to have an agenda. That isn't hate. The Mustang monkeys can get 30 years out of them, that does not change how poorly they are for us.

Personally, I wish they were the answer and suitable alternative. That would really make my life easy.
 

mrblaine

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I'm pretty convinced it has something to do with flexing that area way more than other vehicles. Most XJs don't get wheeled to the same extent TJs do either.
Go out to your TJ, lift the hood and prop it open. Carefully examine how the mounting flanges attach to the radiator. Note the small pocket cast into the plastic tank to stop the head of the fastener from turning, a very small fastener at that. Extrapolate that out to understanding if there was enough flex in the grill shell to hurt a full aluminum radiator, it would rip those little bolts right out of the end tanks.
 
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PCO6

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I have used full aluminum rads in 4 vehicles for years with zero issues (except my TJ). I also used a copper core rad for the TJ for 15+ years when the OEM one died. Still no leaks after that long, but it was having trouble keeping up with the stroker on hot days going up long grades with the a/c on. I "upgraded" to a much beefier all aluminum unit and have had 3 spring leaks on me where the cores meet the tanks. I just kept warranty replacing them until I recently went back to OEM. I'm pretty convinced it has something to do with flexing that area way more than other vehicles. Most XJs don't get wheeled to the same extent TJs do either.

While I agree that they flex differently there are plenty of XJs that are built and wheeled just as well and as hard as TJs.
 

BlueC

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Is it that aluminum rads aren't up to off road use while they're perfectly fine for on road use? I've seen plenty of them in hot rods, resto rods, road and street racers, etc.

Coming from the classic car/hot rod world, I can tell you that aluminum radiators have been adopted for two reasons; 1) cost. They are much cheaper to buy than rebuilding an original copper/brass or buying a new copper/brass radiator. 2) years of marketing has lead inexperienced people to believe that the aluminum radiators cool better, which is not the case. In fact, apples-to-apples a copper/brass radiator has 15-20% better cooling efficiency. That's why you see these aluminum radiator companies comparing their 3-row, high fin density to a standard low fin density radiator of the ~60s.

Also, aluminum tends to be shinny....
 
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mrblaine

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Coming from the classic car/hot rod world, I can tell you that aluminum radiators have been adopted for two reasons; 1) cost. They are much cheaper to buy than rebuilding an original copper/brass or buying a new copper/brass radiator. 2) years of marketing has lead inexperienced people to believe that the aluminum radiators cool better, which is not the case. In fact, apples-to-apples a copper/brass radiator has 15-20% better cooling efficiency. That's why you see these aluminum radiator companies comparing their 3-row, high fin density to a standard low fin density radiator of the ~60s.

Also, aluminum tends to be shinny....

You are using way too many generic parameters to support your statements. A single wide row aluminum in the same core size and fin density will absolutely out cool a copper and brass multi-row in a similar core depth for a few reasons. First is the interstice issue between the rows of tubes which lowers fin contact and the second is the glaring Achille's Heel of old school copper and brass radiators which is the very poor heat conductivity of lead solder used to attach the fins to the tubes. Move into the newer technology of brazing or laser welding the fins to the tubes and now we have a far superior product all other things being equal, until then, not so much.
 

mrblaine

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They are hotter slightly than where I live which is not Temecula. The minor difference out on the road of 10 degrees ambient is not the threshold where you can tolerate any deficiency in the cooling system. It is fairly common here to idle through a drive-thru in 115 degree temps with the AC blasting away. Not the hottest by far but if your cooling system can handle that, it will pretty much handle the rest.
 
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PCO6

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Coming from the classic car/hot rod world, I can tell you that aluminum radiators have been adopted for two reasons; 1) cost. They are much cheaper to buy than rebuilding an original copper/brass or buying a new copper/brass radiator. 2) years of marketing has lead inexperienced people to believe that the aluminum radiators cool better, which is not the case. In fact, apples-to-apples a copper/brass radiator has 15-20% better cooling efficiency. That's why you see these aluminum radiator companies comparing their 3-row, high fin density to a standard low fin density radiator of the ~60s.

Also, aluminum tends to be shinny....

I remember back in the 70s and 80s it was common for us to have rads rebuilt. We had a lot of customer cars and trucks done at our shop. Personally, I restored British cars during that time and I was always on the lookout for good undented brass tanks. I wasn't after better cooling and didn't really think about aluminum rads one way or the other. It was all about originality and the price to rebuild was reasonable. I have no idea as to what it the cost to rebuild would be today. Aluminum rads weren't really viable option mostly due to availability but we did see them in race cars, mostly custom work.
 

GPK03X

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I bought my waterpump and radiator thru wermopar in 2016. A year ago the waterpump failed. Looking at it and it showed no signs of mopar anywhere. Just a few months ago my radiator began seeping at the top pinch seam, again, no signs or stamps of mopar anywhere. When I replace the radiator, it will likely be a CSF radiator.

When I bought my Jeep it had a leaking CSF copper/brass radiator. Replaced with Mopar luckily
 

BlueC

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It was all about originality and the price to rebuild was reasonable. I have no idea as to what it the cost to rebuild would be today.

The last one I had re-cored was $500, that was about 10 years ago now. I'd bet that price is closer to $7-800 now. Aluminum replacement radiators on Summit for the same car are currently $3-500.
 

JPHikr

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Your profile say Quail Valley having lived in Sage for a number of years that's Temecula Valley to me.

Well my A/C is on full blast from May to October with the jeep sitting idling in 115+ heat for at times more than an hour went we are in the store.

it never overheats.

Just to get to the county road from our house is a 4 mile offroad drive I would say we tested the Griffin Rad pretty good and it has not failed.
 
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L J

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The Griffin works for me and has lasted.

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mrblaine

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Your profile say Quail Valley having lived in Sage for a number of years that's Temecula Valley to me.

Well my A/C is on full blast from May to October with the jeep sitting idling in 115+ heat for at times more than an hour went we are in the store.

it never overheats.

Just to get to the county road from our house is a 4 mile offroad drive I would say we tested the Griffin Rad pretty good and it has not failed.
No one has said the Griffin doesn't work. All we say is they fail when they shouldn't and that makes them unreliable. The Wizard cooling version also worked, it worked very well right up until it didn't a scant few months after it was installed.

So again, same question, if I install one and it fails, are you comfortable enough in your recommendation to swing by and swap it out? I'll stand behind my recommendation to run OEM Mopar on most rigs, you glad to do the same for Griffin? If you are, I've got a rig that I will install one in and won't even charge the owner for my labor because we know it is covered from here on out. Hell, I'll even buy the radiator.

Geography is a funny thing.