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Should I replace water pump when changing radiator?

gusrub

New Member
Joined
Jun 12, 2019
Messages
8
Location
San Diego, CA
Hello all, this is my first post on the forums. I searched the threads but did not find something specific so here I go:

It's starting to feel like summer and I wanted to fix the A/C, though that it needed some freon recharge but when I took it to the shop they measured and told me the reason it was not cold was because of the dryer / accumulator. I took it back after the diagnostic and searched for a replacement and got a spectra one for around $20 bucks and while I was at it I also bought a new condenser, same brand.

One thing that we noticed when they were checking the A/C is that the radiator is actually pretty bad, it looks like its going to start leaking soon, it has parts of the top with some sort of glue patches and it just doesn't look good, they advised to change it. The older owner of the Jeep could't care less about treating it good; the hood latch was forced because this Jeep also has a transmission cooler so the space was tight and it seems that they damaged the top of the radiator and also some fins of the transmission cooler.

So, I'm basically replacing the AC parts (minus the compressor) and I will also be replacing the radiator, I will get new hoses, thermostat, housing and gasket, all mopar, honestly, for the engine and transmission cooling I'd rather spend the premium, for the AC that's not as critical though, plus, where I usually wheel, can get as hot as 125 degrees (Sonoran desert) so cooling is rather critical, so here goes a few questions:

Should I also replace the water pump if I'm going to replace the radiator, hoses, thermostat, etc? I have that motto of "if it works don't try to fix it" and the pump seems fine but I'm not sure...

Do transmission coolers really help? This one I've read a lot of mixed opinions and the reason that I ask is because, like I said, the other owner seems to have effed up part of the fins with the hood latch by using it as a lock, so I'm not sure if I should keep it, remove it (if it really doesn't add up) or replace it

I want to have the work done for both the AC and the cooling but before I get the parts I just want to be sure what really is important to change at this point. All parts seem to be the stock ones, and on a 120k miles 2006 Tj with off-roading I have a hunch that I should go ahead and replace them all for peace of mind. Thoughts?
 

Quigley

TJ Enthusiast
Supporting Member
Joined
Oct 20, 2018
Messages
268
Location
Kingston, WA
FWIW, when I noticed a leaking water pump on my Jeep at 145k miles I just went a head and replaced the whole system. I got a Mopar radiator, water pump, thermostat, and hoses. I also flushed the heater core before reassembling. I figured I have to drain the coolant anyway and with similar miles might as well and I didn’t want to have to come back and drain it again if and when the radiator went out. My original radiator went out under warranty at 75k so I figured I was on borrowed time.
 

Goatman

TJ Addict
Supporting Member
Joined
Apr 23, 2019
Messages
1,853
Location
Upstate NY
I would. You are already paying for the labor to pull everything else. It would suck to have to pay for labor again in say 10K miles more. And yes, trans coolers help. Look at any performance build and you will see a big old cooler on it. Race teams dont sd weight and complexity just for fun.😁
 

tworley

OlllllllO
Supporting Member
Ride of the Month Winner
Joined
May 23, 2018
Messages
3,257
Location
Morrison, CO
X3. When my radiator started showing signs I did an entire overhaul. Radiator, waterpump, hoses, thermostat and housing.
 

pagrey

TJ Addict
Joined
Apr 10, 2018
Messages
1,676
Location
Los Angeles, CA, USA
I just did my radiator at 130k and I didn't do the pump. It was fine, why mess with it? Sometimes replacing good factory parts can cause more headaches than it saves. If you are paying a mechanic I can see why it makes sense to do it but keep in mind the only time savings are removing the shroud and draining the coolant or about five minutes work.
 

duncanator

Member
Supporting Member
Joined
Apr 18, 2019
Messages
37
Location
Sacramento
FWIW, when I noticed a leaking water pump on my Jeep at 145k miles I just went a head and replaced the whole system. I got a Mopar radiator, water pump, thermostat, and hoses. I also flushed the heater core before reassembling. I figured I have to drain the coolant anyway and with similar miles might as well and I didn’t want to have to come back and drain it again if and when the radiator went out. My original radiator went out under warranty at 75k so I figured I was on borrowed time.
I did the same thing a month ago because I didn't want to go back in and repeat the tear down process anytime soon. I replaced most everything cooling related, except for the heater core but like you, I flushed it thoroughly with distilled water.
 
OP
gusrub

gusrub

New Member
Joined
Jun 12, 2019
Messages
8
Location
San Diego, CA
Thanks so much for your input. That is exactly what I thought, why bother to have the pump giving issues soon if I'm already replacing everything.

I had an XJ before the TJ and I did the opposite; only changed the radiator at about 115k miles and the pump went bad at around 135k and it left me literally in the middle of nowhere once and it wasn't fun.

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OP
gusrub

gusrub

New Member
Joined
Jun 12, 2019
Messages
8
Location
San Diego, CA
I just did my radiator at 130k and I didn't do the pump. It was fine, why mess with it? Sometimes replacing good factory parts can cause more headaches than it saves. If you are paying a mechanic I can see why it makes sense to do it but keep in mind the only time savings are removing the shroud and draining the coolant or about five minutes work.
I understand, that's why I mentioned the "if it works..." But consider I'm doing Mopar for all the cooling parts, only the A/C, which is not critical IMO are aftermarket.

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