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So I'm now on my 3rd radiator in my 03 Focus and I'm tired of replacing these things. I think these OE replacements are just junk. They all keep leaking in the core. So I'm looking for another option. Wanting to know what and where people are running. Thanks for the help
 

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C2H5OH
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I'm on my factory radiator so I can't say.
I only wanted to comment on the aftermarket radiators. Recently at work we've had a few comebacks. Last a few months to a year and then starts to leak. As a parts store all we'll do is replace with same/similar (outsource at customers added expense). But odds are even the outsource will be the same part from the same MFG. Nowdays there's a lot of MFG's being a packaging house and not a manufacturing facility.


But my thought as to why the aftermarkets replacements leak,
I'm thinking that it has something to do with the coolant used, or more correctly the epoxy used and it's reaction to coolant; in a degradation capacity. It'd take a chemical engineer to confirm, but that's my feeling.
Had the last customer thinking it had something to do with thermal diffusivity and time. But I just don't think that's the end of the story or even the cause.



AAAAnnnnyy ways,
If I were buying one, something Mishumoto or whatever else with metal endtanks you can find. IIRC CFM had something for around the $300 range.
 

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I haven't had any trouble out of cheap crap Chinese radiators at all other than you know to be very careful around the low quality plastic especially around any projecting fittings that break if you hit them.

The O'Reilly rad is Chinese as well, no exceptional quality there, I sold (and took back) many of them. If you mount them correctly and heed the plastic warning then they usually fail by cracking in one of the side tanks. Not before a lot of use though.

Lifetime warranty? A joke there as with all auto parts. It does absolutely nothing but guarantee you get a new part when you take off the old one, sometimes SEVERAL times. You're paying easily twice what the rad would cost if you got same exact part but no lifetime warranty, or too much.

No epoxy there I know of, they are generally aluminum brazed cores, why they can't be repaired hardly at all in the field.
 

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w/ my magic bag
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Luck of the draw on those chineese rad's.
 
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