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Aghee

Radiator Choices

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Hi Everyone,

Let me start by saying that yes, I am new to this forum and that I did search past posts and did not find anything exactly on topic so I am going to ask. I had to replace the passenger side radiator 2 years ago (which I did with OEM part) and now the drivers side is leaking.  Does anyone have experience with aftermarket companies such as CSF (more expensive than OEM) or AKG (less expensive than OEM), both of which are listed on Pelican.  I live in north TX and while my car is stock (X50), I am very seriously considering a tune and full exhaust.  So the CSF is appealing because they state a significant increase in cooling capacity.  Any thoughts or input on  brands that others have used would be appreciated.  Car is a 2003 X50.

Thanks,

John

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I am getting the CSF radiators installed soon,  better cooling.

 

AKG is the same as the OEM. They just does not come in an OEM box and no marking on the radiator.

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Slightly off topic, I wonder what causes these to fail?  I'm pretty sure mine are original and I have 90K miles on the car.  It lived in San Diego, then here in MI for 2 years.  Wonder if it was a bad batch from the mfg, or excess heat (e.g. TX, AZ, etc.)??

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They often fail because folks do not clean out the muck that gets forced between the rad and air con evaporater. Depending on where you live and if you drive year round they should be cleaned every 2 years at least.

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By far, most radiator failures we have seen happen when the molded plastic mounts snap off, either from prolonged vibrations or when some drives the nose of one of these cars up onto a parking curb. 

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JFP,

Have you any experence with the CSF aluminum radiators? Are they as fragile as the stock units?

F

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As they are relatively new, experience is rather limited, but as they are all metal construction (rather than the composite end tanks and mounts on the OEM units), I would expect they should be stronger long term.  Unfortunately, only time will tell.

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Revisiting this topic due to my radiators failing.

Quick background, I just bought this turbo Nov 2015. The car has only 18k miles over 12 years of service

This spring I pulled the bumper to clean the radiators. The back 1/4 was packed with what looked like cement that I could not wash out from either side with garden hose pressure. An added bonus was many pin holes.

I bought and mounted set of 3 CSF radiators. (~$1,600 plus 8 hoses ~$318 and 3 gallons of VW/Audi coolant $78) The CSF fit was excellent and so far no more leaks.

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