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Carlsjeep
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Installing a Champion aluminum radiator in a CJ3A
08/14/13 at 01:00:33
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Installing Champion Cooling System radiator in a side mount CJ3A

After a lot of searching a friend and I decided to order aluminum radiators for our Jeeps. He has a 1949 CJ3A with a bottom mount radiator and I have a 1951 CJ3A side mount radiator. We ended up ordering a bottom mount CC5241 Champion radiator for him and a side mount CC4964 Champion radiator for me from Stay Cool Corp. and to be honest they were selling a Champion radiator listed to fit by Champion and it's no fault of theirs it didn't fit.

The bottom mount radiator fit into my friends Jeep with no trouble at all. and it does an excellent job of cooling. Here are two photo's of his installation job. We could not use his shroud because it is soldered to his radiator and in fact we didn't need it after all as it cooled fine without it. My only suggestion is they should use 7/16" coarse thread studs rather than the 3/8" fine thread studs on the bottom of the radiator now. You should never use fine threads on aluminum studs or bolts or holes.

Now for why the side mount did not fit without modifications. I have talked to Jeff at Champion several times and he assured me this is the only radiator they have listed to fit the side mount CJ3A and are very interested in what I had to modify to make it fit.

I pulled my radiator and then pulled the Champion radiator out of the box and started to insert it into my jeep. It would not go in place against the mounting flanges because the radiator flanges were too wide. To be honest I never expected the radiator to be a drop in fit but I was a little disappointed it was too wide to fit. I am an optimistic pessimist because of the many things I have been involved in over the years.   

We were at Blanding Airport with Calvin Hunt, an aeronautical engineer and fellow Jeeper, and we went to their shear and cut 3/8" off each side mount flange after some measuring. I also had to cut away the bottom of the driver's side of the mounting flange to clear the frame. Then we inserted the radiator into the opening against the mounting flanges and now the radiator stuck up about an inch higher than the original radiator did and it was resting on the round front cross member. After some measuring we determined we needed to move the radiator toward the engine 1" to clear the round cross member and lower the radiator.  We bought some 1" square steel tubing and riveted a piece to each of the side flanges even with the outside edge and even with the top and bottom of the flanges.

Now we had to determine where to position the radiator on the mounting flanges so it would clear the hood.  With the radiator spaced back 1" we had to be careful that it would still clear the axle housing where the ring gear and pinion are. We determined  if we mounted the top of the side flanges even with the top of the grill mounting flanges everything would clear the axle as it went to full rebound with or without the bounce pad on the frame. At that point the radiator cap still would not allow the hood to close fully.  We held the radiator in place and marked the top holes on each side. Then we drilled the holes in the square tubing and radiator flange accordingly, bolted it in place, and then marked the lower radiator mount holes through the lower mounting flange holes. Then we drilled those holes as marked.

While riveting the square tubing on the flanges we discovered the radiator has about 3/8" twist in it. I shimmed the lower passenger side with three body washers and the top driver's side with three body washers. I did not want to stress the radiator to try to remove the twist.

With the radiator in place we measured how much the hood was above closing and found it to be the same distance as the rib sticking down in the center of the hood. I then welded the hood on the top of the hood seam for 8" back from the leading edge of the hood. Then I ground off the flange under the hood for 8" back from the front edge of the hood then the hood just cleared the top of the radiator cap.

Then we put the cooling fan on the water pump and saw that the fan interfered with the center outlet by about 3/8" at which point we pulled the radiator and headed for the welding shop down the road. He is an excellent heliarc welder and cut the outlet off and put it on the driver's side of the radiator where we had marked it to be and welded a cover over the old location. With that done we returned to the airport and installed the radiator, put the hoses on and filled it with antifreeze and distilled water and I test drove it around the airport. I found no leaks and the temp was below 170 deg.

At first I was a little upset that the radiator didn't even come close to fitting.  I knew it was going to be or assumed it was going to be a problematic installation but not as much as it turned out to be. Why so say you? Well say I, it was an intuitive feeling I had when ordering the radiator. I have contacted Champion Radiator Cooling System and talked to one of their engineers and he is very interested in what I did to install the radiator. In conversations with Jeff he said they only have one radiator part number that is supposed to be a fit for the side mount CJ3A Jeeps and it is the CC4964. I personally know and can tell you that part number WILL  NOT FIT AS SENT FROM THEM. You will be making many changes as listed above and if you're a purist that has a show room Jeep you won't use this radiator. There are too many changes you will not do.
« Last Edit: 08/14/13 at 01:28:35 by Carlsjeep »  
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Carlsjeep
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Re: Installing a Champion aluminum radiator in a CJ3A
Reply #1 - 08/14/13 at 01:12:36
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I have a beater Jeep for rough trails and don't care a whit about perfection or show room condition. It's a damn Jeep made for the roughest trails I want to travel.

Mac and I have traveled many trails over several days and have found the radiators to keep the temp at or below 190 deg F. One day Mac said his did get up toward 200 deg F but mine did not as I led him on the trail. It was an arduous steep hill we climbed but mine stayed below 190 deg F. I am completely satisfied with the performance of the Champion radiator in my Jeep even though the installation was difficult.

If anyone has had a different experience with a Champion side mount radiator I would like to hear about it. I would like to know how you got the CC4964 in without modifications. I am also curious if some other manufacturer makes an aluminum radiator that is an exact bolt it replacement.    









« Last Edit: 08/14/13 at 01:30:09 by Carlsjeep »  
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Carlsjeep
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Re: Installing a Champion aluminum radiator in a CJ3A
Reply #2 - 08/14/13 at 01:15:12
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It only allows three photo's per post. That is real stupid.





  
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Carlsjeep
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Re: Installing a Champion aluminum radiator in a CJ3A
Reply #3 - 08/14/13 at 01:38:51
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This drawing is what you need to install the Champion CC4964 radiator in a side mount CJ3A Jeep.

« Last Edit: 08/14/13 at 01:40:19 by Carlsjeep »  
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Re: Installing a Champion aluminum radiator in a CJ3A
Reply #4 - 08/14/13 at 08:59:29
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Very interesting post Carl. Do you have picture as well of your friend radiator?

Also, you are not limited of three pictures picture per post. You can add as many you want. I already shown this before. It's related with photobucket and not our forum.
  

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Carlsjeep
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Re: Installing a Champion aluminum radiator in a CJ3A
Reply #5 - 08/14/13 at 10:28:26
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Yes I have photo's of Mac's installation and will post them in this post. When I tried to put over three photo's in a post I got a message that I was not allowed access to the site. Maybe some of us can post more and some of us are limited. Anyway, I can only post three photo's per post and I doubt it's Photobucket's fault.



  
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Carlsjeep
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Re: Installing a Champion aluminum radiator in a CJ3A
Reply #6 - 08/14/13 at 10:39:15
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I was going to put this thread in CJ2A and G503 sites but with the difficulty and time consuming of posting this thread I will not do it. Another reason is, they are not really interested in CJ3A issues. Few CJ2A Jeeps use a side mount and no military Jeeps do and Champion's bottom mount is a drop in installation with no modifications needed.

I doubt the Chinese that are making the Champion radiators will be interested in making a drop in fit for the side mount radiator because of the limited sales and changes needed. I suggested to Jeff that they just quit listing the CC4964 and a radiator for the CJ3A and list it only for what it will fit.
« Last Edit: 08/14/13 at 10:43:36 by Carlsjeep »  
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Re: Installing a Champion aluminum radiator in a CJ3A
Reply #7 - 08/14/13 at 10:49:31
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Very interesting article Carl.  It is weird why they would put the top spout in the center of the radiator on the side mount and off to the side on the bottom mount.  I would think they would try to copy the original a little closer.

Did this radiator appear to be a "one size fits all" that they said would "fit with slight modification"?  With it being a center inlet, I get the feeling like it was intended to be used with an electric fan..  The construction of the part looks good, but I think they may need to update their application charts.

With three top Jeep experts/mechanics working on the problem that radiator never had a chance!
  
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Re: Installing a Champion aluminum radiator in a CJ3A
Reply #8 - 08/14/13 at 12:16:01
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Hi Carl,

The 3 photo limit appears to be as a result of some new coding that has shown up on the front side of our photos stored at Photobucket.  This new coding showed up a few months back when they changed to the new format.  See the below post from Ryan...


Ryan_M wrote on 07/22/13 at 05:51:15:
calvinhunt wrote on 07/22/13 at 00:56:52:
Well, I must add that we'll compete if we can post as many pics at one time as you do.  A few others and myself have expressed our inability to post more than 3 pics at a time using Photobucket.  What's your secret?


I think it was Tim and/or Pascal that figured it out. Use the photobucket "IMG" link but remove the URL junk. Remove what is in bold font below and you can include as many photobucket pics as you want.

URL=http://s1188.photobucket.com/user/rmurdock2121/media/Owls%20Head%20Truck%20an20Tractor%20Show%2007_21_2013/owls_zps2a55da52.jpg.html]
[IMG]http://i1188.photobucket.com/albums/z403/rmurdock2121/Owls%20Head%20Truck%20and%20Tractor%20Show%2007_21_2013/owls_zps2a55da52.jpg/IMG]
[/URL]


As mentioned, just copy and paste your photo as before, then delete the [URL] stuff before you post. Don't forget to delete the [URL] at the very end of the code.

Tim
  

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1-1946 CJ2A
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Carlsjeep
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Re: Installing a Champion aluminum radiator in a CJ3A
Reply #9 - 08/14/13 at 21:40:33
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I am still waiting for a reply from Jeff at Champion Cooling. I will give him a week for he and his engineer to look at what I sent.

Calvin and I will get together tonight for him to show me how to post more than three but what you posted does the job. I'll still meet with him.

Tomorrow I will weld up my exhaust pipe and maybe start making the fan shroud for the radiator. Calvin said he would help me fabricate it.
« Last Edit: 08/14/13 at 21:42:05 by Carlsjeep »  
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Re: Installing a Champion aluminum radiator in a CJ3A
Reply #10 - 08/14/13 at 23:52:12
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It's been fun to assist Carl and Mac install their aluminum radiators in their Jeeps.  They seem to be working well and doing a good job.  The thing I miss about the installation, however, is the "whirrrr" or rush of air through the radiator and across the fan at higher RPMs which I have enjoyed as a personality trait of Jeeps since I was a kid.  It seems to be missing from Carl and Mac's Jeep.  I think it's because the shroud is missing. 
That sound is something heard more by a by-stander or someone driving in front of a moving Jeep rather than by the driver.
  

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Re: Installing a Champion aluminum radiator in a CJ3A
Reply #11 - 08/17/13 at 01:14:11
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Calvin wanted to help me install the shroud so after I replaced my broken exhaust header pipe with a used one of Calvins we started on the shroud. After a few hours we had it modified and installed. On the drive home that night it got hotter than I thought it should and thought we had wasted out time. Today I took it on a long hill climb and it stayed cooler than usual and then tonight we went on a trail with a dugway they hadn't been on before. We found it during a plane ride looking for trails. I believe the shroud has helped keep the engine cool and was worth the effort.

« Last Edit: 08/17/13 at 10:07:49 by Carlsjeep »  
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Re: Installing a Champion aluminum radiator in a CJ3A
Reply #12 - 08/17/13 at 01:37:48
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And now the Jeep "tell tale" sound of the air interacting between the fan and the shroud is back, as well.
  

Calvin
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Carlsjeep
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Re: Installing a Champion aluminum radiator in a CJ3A
Reply #13 - 08/28/13 at 21:14:03
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It's been 14 days of trail riding in mid 90 deg days and intentionally lugging the engine on steep hills to try to over heat it. I have not been able to make it get over 190 deg. It will get up to 200 deg when shut off on a hot day but that is just saturation heat.

Other than the issues installing the side mount radiator as a replacement it does a good job of cooling.
  
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Re: Installing a Champion aluminum radiator in a CJ3A
Reply #14 - 08/28/13 at 21:23:30
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In hindsight do you think it would be easier to install a bottom mount CC5241 radiator in the side mount CJ-3A application - or modify a CC4964 to fit?
  

Bob W
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