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Old 04-29-2013, 03:06 AM   #1
zandander
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Default radiator just took a dump.. replacement suggestions?

Well, as the title says my radiator just died on me. Was on the way home from the GFs house and all of a sudden all my lights got really dim. My first though was my Alt belt broke. So I eased on the next 3/4 mile to the house and when I got home the first thing I smelled was coolant. NO GOOD!
Popped the hood and it was steaming like crazy from around the radiator. Took a few minutes for the steam to go away but once it did I noticed that it looked as if the coolant was coming out from the top endtank :/
I also squeezed the upper rad hose and it felt compeltely devoid of fluid, but doing that it made some more coolant splash out around the endtank..

So, long story short, what brands would you guys recommend? I'm looking for OE style (would love all aluminum, but my wallet wont as much) that will last and would LIKE to try and find a good one for under $200
I've been looking at KOYO, Mishimoto, and GMS.

So please, if you guys have had experience with this please let me know ASAP!

Thanks in advance!
Zander
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Old 04-29-2013, 05:40 AM   #2
missmysubie
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I've had good luck with my mishimoto....and had to go this route because the same thing happened to me.....luckily I caught it earlier than you did....but it might cost you a lil over 200...but well worth the piece of mind the crappy plastic endcap won't be a problem anymore.
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Old 04-29-2013, 06:47 AM   #3
wrxlaunch
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I wouldn't go with oem plastic end tanks. Aluminum would be my first choice. Misimoto is a quality piece. Can be picked up for about $300 or so I picked up the mishi x-line for $300.

Last edited by wrxlaunch; 04-29-2013 at 07:10 AM.
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Old 04-29-2013, 01:20 PM   #4
snowmanwithahat
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wrxlaunch View Post
I wouldn't go with oem plastic end tanks. Aluminum would be my first choice. Misimoto is a quality piece. Can be picked up for about $300 or so I picked up the mishi x-line for $300.
I went with the Koyorad aluminum radiator though. I doubt it matters much as long as you stay away from the plastic end-tanks. I had the EXACT same problem with my stock one. Sprung a leak through stress fractured plastic at the top of end-tank.


My exact purchase... been very happy with it. That and some nice red Samco hoses and you have a pretty sexy looking engine bay.

http://www.oakos.com/Merchant2/merch...gory_Code=3230
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Old 04-29-2013, 08:14 AM   #5
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Nearly any aluminum replacement will do. A simple search finds MANY great results with even Ebay ones.
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Old 04-29-2013, 09:28 AM   #6
greenplates
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I purchased a Mishimoto for same ball park price of an OEM plastic radiator.
It has been great for the last 2 years. No issues what so ever. You will also see the running temperature drastically lower [dual core aluminum radiator]
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Old 04-29-2013, 09:38 AM   #7
wrxlaunch
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greenplates View Post
You will also see the running temperature drastically lower [dual core aluminum radiator]
How so? Not trying to be an ass btw. I installed a mishi xline and temp gauge is same position as oem plastic when it reaches operating temp

Last edited by wrxlaunch; 04-29-2013 at 10:08 AM.
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Old 04-29-2013, 12:34 PM   #8
greenplates
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wrxlaunch View Post
How so? Not trying to be an ass btw. I installed a mishi xline and temp gauge is same position as oem plastic when it reaches operating temp

My car runs cooler. I also replaced the thermostat while coolant was drained (thermostat was like $11 bucks).

Rather than a single core, plastic radiator. The Mishimoto is a dual core aluminum radiator with greater airflow for cooling fins and greater cooling capacity.


Also, its not so much about reducing temperature as it is maintaining a proper running temperature on very hot summer day in traffic OR driving hard in mountains. Stock radiators are designed for commuting to work
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Old 04-29-2013, 09:42 AM   #9
zandander
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Thanks for the replies guys. I'll keep looking around for the rest of the day.

Speaking of all aluminium rads, gimmick motorsports has an all Al rad for 195!
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Old 04-29-2013, 11:31 AM   #10
WRXSleeper
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Unless you are racing the car or just want the looks save your money and get a good OEM replacement. Your daily driven street car does not need a larger capacity radiator.
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Old 04-29-2013, 11:45 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WRXSleeper View Post
Unless you are racing the car or just want the looks save your money and get a good OEM replacement. Your daily driven street car does not need a larger capacity radiator.
1. It's not about capacity. It's about getting rid of the POS failure prone plastic end tanks.

2. OP. Search. Then PM Ron.
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Old 04-29-2013, 01:04 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bushflyr View Post
1. It's not about capacity. It's about getting rid of the POS failure prone plastic end tanks.

2. OP. Search. Then PM Ron.
You do realize that basically every car on the road has a radiator with plastics end tanks right?

You then also realize that at this point if you own a 02-05 WRX you have an old car with probably 100k+ mileage. If the stock radiator lasted 8-10 years and 100k+ how much more do you really plan to keep the car that you need to worry about the end tanks failing again?

At this point in my ownership of this car I am not going to spend extra money where it is not necessary when I only plan to keep this car another 2-3 years.

Yes, there were some bad radiators from factory. I had mine replaced around 20k under warranty. It didn't burst, it was a slow leak where the plastic meets the metal.
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Old 04-29-2013, 01:16 PM   #13
mikesh_21
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Default Mishimoto X-line Rad

I just purchased and installed the following:

http://www.mishimoto.com/subaru-wrx-...01-triple.html

Got it off of Amazon for 315, I know out of your price range but definitely worth it. After getting it fully installed and refilling it I turned the car on to run it until the fans kicked on so that I could make sure I had all the air bubbles out. Well, needless to say, after 30 minutes the fans never kicked on (dont worry they have since and I know they work it was just a cooler day and the new Rad was doing an amazing job cooling).

Anyways, I just wanted to say that so far I am extremely pleased with the new Rad and I would definitely recommend it if you can up the extra bill for it.

p.s. make sure your oil filter does not seem to leak a tiny bit because if it does change out your oil cooler o-ring.
There is a great thread for doing this here: http://forums.nasioc.com/forums/show....php?t=1683668
(I know I am not supposed to "cross reference" but I felt like this is a valid reason for doing it.)
Great to do the 2 at the same time since you kinda have to drain your coolant to replace that ring. Just a little bit of hindsight that I missed since I am now on my second batch of coolant and oil filter/oil.

p.p.s. I will be putting some serious miles on the wagon this upcoming month so I will keep in touch with how the radiator holds up.

Last edited by mikesh_21; 04-29-2013 at 04:42 PM.
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Old 04-29-2013, 11:39 AM   #14
Turd Nugget
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I have used sub $100 all aluminum ebay rads on multiple cars, never had a problem with any. I have one thats been going on 6 years on a 400+whp honda of mine.
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Old 04-29-2013, 12:46 PM   #15
wrxlaunch
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greenplates View Post

My car runs cooler. I also replaced the thermostat while coolant was drained (thermostat was like $11 bucks).


Also, its not so much about reducing temperature as it is maintaining a proper running temperature on very hot summer day in traffic OR driving hard in mountains. Stock radiators are designed for commuting to work
Stock temp thermostat?
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Old 04-29-2013, 12:54 PM   #16
zandander
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Not looking for greater capacity, just trying to get rid of the plastic endtank failure. And when you say Ron, you mean unabomber?
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Old 04-29-2013, 08:04 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zandander View Post
Not looking for greater capacity, just trying to get rid of the plastic endtank failure. And when you say Ron, you mean unabomber?
yeah, I PM'ed unabomber and he gots da hook up. Seriously though, he can get you discounts. I got my Mishimoto radiator with his help and saved a bundle. It's shiny
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Old 04-29-2013, 09:54 PM   #18
skirex
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my radiator failed at about 60k, got a mishimoto radiator for $250 ish?, cant remember where, have since put on 40k miles over the last 4 yrs without a single problem.
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Old 04-29-2013, 07:52 PM   #19
Cois32
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I have had good luck with gimmick radiators. I think is was only 190$ thru a vender on this site.
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Old 04-29-2013, 10:36 PM   #20
zandander
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Got a good price on a gimmick rad. Anyone have any issues with them? Talking about on a personal level, not any he said she said stuff.
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Old 04-29-2013, 10:45 PM   #21
HinshawWRX
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Car part reviews, or Google search it.
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Old 04-29-2013, 11:10 PM   #22
SnowBRDGod247
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Just had my oem replaced on my 2002 w a koyo and it is awesome. Very good looking radiator and super well built should literally last forever vs the oem.
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Old 04-30-2013, 12:21 PM   #23
Ravendas
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If you're not racing, Ebay all aluminium is the way to go. Been running mine for 3 years now with occasional light track duty without any issues at all.
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Old 04-30-2013, 02:48 PM   #24
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I bought a CX Racing aluminum rad off ebay when my stock one failed. Cost about $130 but not 2 years later it sprung a leak. I then got a Mishimoto and couldn't be happier.
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Old 05-01-2013, 12:46 AM   #25
zandander
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Just ordered the gms rad. Will update when it comes in and after I install it! Thanks for all the replies guys!
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