Maintaining & Upgrading Your Cooling System
When your cooling system starts to go, you're usually lucky enough to get a few warning signs before it completely craps out. Overheating is typically the first sign and could be caused by many different things. Although the cooling system in our '97 Jeep Cherokee hadn't been too finicky, we could see from the corroded steel fittings and lines on the plastic radiator side tanks, the multiple missing sections of cooling fins in the radiator core, and the quickly spiking thermostat gauge in the dash cluster soon after engine start-up, that it was just about on its last leg. The final blow came on a typical drive home from the office when more than half of the radiator's fluid bubbled over. Thankfully, we were able to limp the rig home and even drove it for another 150 miles after topping off the radiator with some hose water, but the time had finally come to replace and upgrade our cooling system's major components.
Among the the new cooling parts we'll install in this article are an aluminum-core McCulloch Fab radiator, a FlowKooler water pump, a Turbo City high-flow thermostat housing and 180-degree F thermostat, and new hoses and serpentine belt from Summit Racing.