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Old 08-19-2012, 02:09 PM   #1
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Crack in upper radiator tank - need opinion & ordering info

2004 Ford E350 SMB w/5.4 engine

Sunday: We are in Flagstaff, packed and ready to travel to southern UT for two weeks.

Just found a 3 inch crack on the drivers side of the upper radiator tank.

Any opinions regarding OEM vs aftermarket radiators (Griffin Thermal Products, Vista-Pro Ready Rad,
Spectra Premium, Fluidyne High Performance, ACDelco, NAPA, etc)?

Radiator Barn lists 4 different vans with the 5.4 engine:
E-350
E-350 ECONOLINE
E-350 ECONOLINE CLUB WAGON
E-350 SUPER DUTY

For parts ordering; what is the base model that SMB uses to build our vans?
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Old 08-19-2012, 03:21 PM   #2
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Re: Crack in upper radiator tank - need opinion & ordering i

OEM comes with a warranty
OEM comes with a "permanent", brick'n'mortar (dealership) location vs. ether/net/web/callroom
OEM costs more... for the above reasons
The dealer will sort out your van-type question. Prolly off-the-shelf available vs. ordering/waiting.

If you are cost-conscience, ask the dealer service advisor for a discount, you might be surprised at what they can come up with. Just remember that you can spend the rest of your life wondering "why didn't I just get it done at the dealership?" vs. "wow, I saved $100 ordering from the webnets"

...as you are standing on the side of the road.

Neither choice is perfect, but as my fabsaviour, Ray, always sez... "Wellll, Maaarc, the BEST just costs a litttle-bit moooore"

Caveat: My opinion is worth what you paid for it... I just experienced a rather scary dealership fail, (see "Near Miss and Broken Trust" on the forum) but at least I knew where to find the source of the problem, and I'm thinkin' that particular fail, from that particular mechanic is unlikely to happen for the rest of his career. Or mine. I'll be requesting him, specifically, next time I go in for service.

And there is always Gorilla Tape
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Old 08-20-2012, 12:19 AM   #3
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Re: Crack in upper radiator tank - need opinion & ordering i

Avoid chinese radiators. Very very common in the aftermarket. BUt the big distributors (MAC's, 1-800-Radiator) have domestic radiators available if you ask, and even with the extra cost is still pretty cheap IMO.

I went with 1-800-radiator, who has a local DC and delivered to my house next day. However, I did have the in-tank cooler fail after about 60,000 miles, dumping ATF into the coolant reservoir. But it had a lifetime warranty, and they sent me a replacement at no-cost.

I do think the OEM radiator will last longer, but it is quite a bit more expensive, and does not have a lifetime warranty.

FWIW the shop across the street from mine uses 1-800-Radiator almost exclusively. They have had very few warranty replacements, and the think the few they've done actually had a deeper root cause (like a blown head gasket).
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Old 08-20-2012, 09:00 PM   #4
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Re: Crack in upper radiator tank - need opinion & ordering i

Quote:
Originally Posted by carringb
Avoid chinese radiators. Very very common in the aftermarket. I do think the OEM radiator will last longer, but it is quite a bit more expensive, and does not have a lifetime warranty.
I agree 100% I also have to install aftermarket radiators (at least 2 a week) and in my experience, the cheep Chinese ones DO fail more often and do NOT fit as well in the first place.

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