[x300] 96 XJ6 radiator replacement. why do prices vary so?

I need to replace my radiator in my 96 XJ^ because it has a clear
leak. well. some days it leaks like a river and others not a drop.
i noted one of the two fibre bushings/mounts on the top wore out
and the right side of the radiator dropped down a bit, which I
suppose created the problem. but obviously I am playing it safe and
will just replace it since it is a plastic and aluminum unit it
can’t be repaired. my question is when you look on the net for
replacement radiators. why are they priced anywhere from $210 to
$1600 for this car. I understand that obvious quality issues
dictate price but after all, if you are getting a lifetime warranty
on a $210 radiator, why buy the 1600$ vesrion? since most
aluminum and plastic radiators are throw away after so many miles
anyway… if I am content getting 50k miles out of a radiator then
is there a reason I still shouldn’t go with the cheaper unit? I
appreciate any input.–
patrick427
–Posted using Jag-lovers JagFORUM [forums.jag-lovers.org]–

In reply to a message from patrick427 sent Sat 26 Jul 2003:

There are four ‘cooling module’ bushes - (MNA4241AB). Not
expensive, foam with an alloy backing. They have a finite life like
all foam / rubber bushes. Foam eventually crumbles under the weight
of a radiator but this always happens to the bottom ones first -
which is when radiator drops to a slant and and the top ones get
ruined by the side loads - not the other way around. Ask for new
ones every 60K service when they remove the radiator to back-flush
it and blow the fins clean.

Top ones have little to do so if they have gone so loose the bottom
ones will almost certainly be scrap and if the rad rests on metal
instead of foam it can wear through - hence the leak. Note the
drain is inside the right hand stubby radiator lug, so maybe this
accounts for the on/off leakage.–
Peter Crespin X300 Daimler Six
Buxton, United Kingdom
–Posted using Jag-lovers JagFORUM [forums.jag-lovers.org]–

In reply to a message from patrick427 sent Sat 26 Jul 2003:

Plastic/aluminuim radiators are repairable. Contact any shop and
they should be able to help you. These are designed to simplify
repair not make them impossible to fix. Perhaps, due to your
mounts slipping, your end tank (plastic part) may only need to be
re-set. Ask around.

If this is not workable, or if the assembly is too far gone, I have
seen new units available from a couple of the vendors publicised on
this list for about $325.00.–
The original message included these comments:

I need to replace my radiator in my 96 XJ^ because it has a clear
leak. well. some days it leaks like a river and others not a drop.
I noted one of the two fibre bushings/mounts on the top wore out
and the right side of the radiator dropped down a bit, which I
suppose created the problem. but obviously I am playing it safe and
will just replace it since it is a plastic and aluminum unit it
can’t be repaired. my question is when you look on the net for


uncle
–Posted using Jag-lovers JagFORUM [forums.jag-lovers.org]–

In reply to a message from Peter Crespin sent Sun 27 Jul 2003:

Does anyone know if these bushes can be replaced without complete
removal of the radiator. The upper ones on my car look fairly bad,
so I assume the lower ones will be worse.

I need to understand if I’m planning a ‘‘remove the top retaining
plate and lift the rad a little’’ type job, or a ‘‘rad out’’ one.

Thanks,

Chris.–
Chris Berry
–Posted using Jag-lovers JagFORUM [forums.jag-lovers.org]–

In reply to a message from Chris Berry sent Mon 28 Jul 2003:

Theory is easy: Lift bonnet, undo 8 Torx button heads and take the
long black cross piece from over the top of the rad. Replace top
bushes and refit. For bottom ones lift rad slightly (checking all
hoses / brackets etc. are loose enough or free to move) and after
removing undertray for access, spit the bottom bushes out and pop
the new ones round each mounting spigot before dropping rad back
into sockets. For the bottom ones alone, you could work from below
and hang rads from crossmember with wire or string while removing
two screws holding each side of the bottom cross piece. Remove it
and refit with new bottom bushes. Take it slow and triple check for
things catching or straining on their mounts or fixing brackets,
but you can usually get away with this kind of method.

In practice, at least one of the top screws is usually seized. The
star bit is comparatively small and the shank diameter of these
screws is pretty big. Since they screw right through the threaded
inserts, corrosion can start from below as well as above. Spray
everything copiously with penetrating oil several times over a few
days before starting work - same for the bottom fasteners.

Sod’s Law says the stiff or seized ones will be the ones where you
can’t get a decent vertical downforce to stop the bit jumping out
because of the proximity of the bonnet. If the bit jumps and the
socket in the screw head becomes chewed you’ll have to drill 'em
out, which is again difficult because of access. If you do the
underneath approach it is if anything more likely that these lower
screws will be seized in countries with salty winter roads,
especially if the car has been run without an undertray.

The car I did it on had no air con so there was only a the single
main radiator and taking the lower bracket off was OK, although it
was pretty rusted. Budget some time to clean these parts and body
area and rustproof them. Most of all, since radiator removal is
pretty likely for maintenance if you own one of these for a few
years, then I would strongly advise you to go out now and remove
these screws and put anti-seize on them to make life easier for
when you need to do this job. I dream of owning a Jag where the
screws are all free and life is as simple in practice as it is
supposed to be in theory…

One tip is to buy air wrench rated torx bits and kiss the end
against a grinding wheel to take off the slight radius to make them
quite flat at the end so the corners of each flute dig into the
socket of the screw when you tap the bit home with a hammer to seat
it solidly. Ultimately you may need to remove the bonnet lid if
things go badly, in order to get access for drills or impact
driver, but see a concurrent thread for realignment difficulties if
you don’t mark or drill the hinges beforehand to get everything
back in exactly the same place. Removing and replacing the bonnet
is definitely a two-person job. I’ve simplified rad removal
slightly too but it’s OK if you take care–
The original message included these comments:

Does anyone know if these bushes can be replaced without complete
removal of the radiator. The upper ones on my car look fairly bad,
so I assume the lower ones will be worse.
I need to understand if I’m planning a ‘‘remove the top retaining
plate and lift the rad a little’’ type job, or a ‘‘rad out’’ one.


Peter Crespin X300 Daimler Six
Buxton, United Kingdom
–Posted using Jag-lovers JagFORUM [forums.jag-lovers.org]–

Theory is easy: Lift bonnet, undo 8 Torx button heads and take the
long black cross piece from over the top of the rad.

Good theory :slight_smile:

In practice, at least one of the top screws is usually seized.

And the rest…

Sod’s Law says the stiff or seized ones will be the ones where you
can’t get a decent vertical downforce to stop the bit jumping out
because of the proximity of the bonnet. If the bit jumps and the
socket in the screw head becomes chewed you’ll have to drill 'em
out, which is again difficult because of access.

As an alternative, you can take the view that 8 screws is a bit much for
holding this panel in place. This then allows you to take an angle grinder
to any chewed heads, such that you can then remove the panel without
removing the bonnet etc. It’s not a pretty solution, but it’s quick and does
the job. I have 5 working screws left and so far nothing has fallen apart in
the last couple of years or so…

Cheers - Jez