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Champion Radiator Aluminum 3 core swap

Discussion in '1st Gen. Tacomas (1995-2004)' started by 1997tacomav6, Apr 12, 2018.

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HAS YOUR CHAMPION RADIATOR CORE FAILED?

  1. Radiator core failed 5k

    4 vote(s)
    10.8%
  2. Radiator core failed 10k

    3 vote(s)
    8.1%
  3. Radiator core failed 15k

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  4. Happy with radiator?

    20 vote(s)
    54.1%
  5. Radiator defect when new?

    5 vote(s)
    13.5%
  6. Radiator failed after 25k

    5 vote(s)
    13.5%
  1. Aug 16, 2021 at 5:57 AM
    #741
    slander

    slander Well-Known Member

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    Yea OEM single row, I want to say it's the 18 3/4" one. Whatever is the smallest size listed, it frees up a ton of room.
     
  2. Aug 26, 2021 at 8:34 PM
    #742
    Oceanside Patrick

    Oceanside Patrick New Member

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    So my neighbor builds all these desert trucks with roll cages and crazy custom suspension, they have aluminum radiators (his current truck has it mounted in the bed area behind the cab). He's been building trucks for a long time, and I asked him about the radiators and he says they've all been champion. His Franken-truck right now is a Ford ranger with a chevy 350.

    I told him that people say they crack and he gave me a surprised look and said he's never had one fail, and that he's put them in 4 different trucks, but not a tacoma. We live an hour away and he gets a discount on them.

    Have all the people who had them crack been running the same, wrong coolant or something? This guy runs these vehicles like a maniac out in ocotillo wells. They're not rock crawlers, they're like trophy trucks, as in hitting big ass jumps at high speeds, etc. They're holding up for him for years, is there just something wrong with the mounts for tacomas or something?


    I really don't want to buy a plastic one again.
     
    1997tacomav6 [OP] likes this.
  3. Aug 26, 2021 at 9:24 PM
    #743
    1997tacomav6

    1997tacomav6 [OP] V6 5sp,RegCab,TRD Supercharger,Haltech,meth, 700k

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    97 reg cab, v6 5sp 300hp supercharged, Methonal Injection, 700,001 plus miles, Original Owner
    V6 5sp,RegCab,TRD Supercharger, 1.9” pulley, methanol injected Haltech ECU, AC TRD supercharger,(MUST DO) TRD supercharger ported, rebuilt 3 times over 500,000 miles, every 125,000- 150,000 needs rebuild Projector headlights HID 5 speed manual Amsoil for all drive train Smaller 2” pulley,(300hp) (MUST DO) 2004 DESNO fuel injectors, zero ping ping, 2004 side door mirrors Dick Cepek Rims, Michelin tires LTX, ( that last 100,000 miles) Now running Dynopro ATM mud and snow tires KN cold air intake Cat back exhaust with ss exhaust tip, Raised exhaust tail pipe to 2" below body line Optima*dry cell battery,red top Alpine sirius radio, 200 watt amp, focal is165 split door pod speakers Focal door speakers Subwoffer behind seat Viper alarm, Electric Locks Dark tinted windows, 4runner bucket seats, Tacoma Rubber floor mats TRD fender extenders, Bilstien shocks chrome push bar, chrome nerf bars, add a leaf for rear springs trailer iv hitch, electric brake control, Drilled slotted brakes, High carbon steel (MUST DO) EBS green stuff 7000 series pads(MUST DO) TRD engine oil cap TRD stick shift, Rear sliding window 2002 4Runner functional hood scoop cut into Tacoma hood, 4Runner dual overhead map light Gentex Auto dim + Compass + Temp, garage,rearview mirror Corbeau bucket seats Snow Methonal kit stage 2 Champion 3 core aluminum radiator Linex bed liner Haltech stand alone ECU
    I ran the Toyota red antifreeze in it and it died at 30,000 miles.

    I didn’t see any cracks just leaking at the tank and vertical core joints.

    Champion did update the antifreeze info and red toyota antifreeze was not an option.


    If there was any glue used to assemble these radiators that would make sense that the red antifreeze would eat away at the glue but I think they claim no glue is used. So I don’t know. Maybe glue is used.

    If it’s all welded together it should not make a difference.

    My custom radiator is all welded at every joint and I run the red stuff with no issues
     
  4. Jun 30, 2022 at 12:05 AM
    #744
    glitchmaster0001

    glitchmaster0001 Member

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    Bone stock
    I’m surprised that these champion radiators are failing. I have a 24in 1969 big block mustang champion radiator in my 1966 Mustang that I modified and cut the front core support to fit in. It works fine and cools the built street/strip 408w engine that’s in the car. I beat on that car like there’s no tomorrow and never have I had the radiator fail. Once the original radiator in my truck starts failing, I will be putting in a champion one.
     
  5. Jun 30, 2022 at 6:21 AM
    #745
    BYJOSHCOOK

    BYJOSHCOOK Mr. Mojo Risin

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    It's mostly because we take these things offroad and put it through abuse and the radiator flexes. I bet $100 for somebody who just drives around on the road and uses it as a normal truck it would be fine.
     
  6. Jun 30, 2022 at 8:39 AM
    #746
    1997tacomav6

    1997tacomav6 [OP] V6 5sp,RegCab,TRD Supercharger,Haltech,meth, 700k

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    Vehicle:
    97 reg cab, v6 5sp 300hp supercharged, Methonal Injection, 700,001 plus miles, Original Owner
    V6 5sp,RegCab,TRD Supercharger, 1.9” pulley, methanol injected Haltech ECU, AC TRD supercharger,(MUST DO) TRD supercharger ported, rebuilt 3 times over 500,000 miles, every 125,000- 150,000 needs rebuild Projector headlights HID 5 speed manual Amsoil for all drive train Smaller 2” pulley,(300hp) (MUST DO) 2004 DESNO fuel injectors, zero ping ping, 2004 side door mirrors Dick Cepek Rims, Michelin tires LTX, ( that last 100,000 miles) Now running Dynopro ATM mud and snow tires KN cold air intake Cat back exhaust with ss exhaust tip, Raised exhaust tail pipe to 2" below body line Optima*dry cell battery,red top Alpine sirius radio, 200 watt amp, focal is165 split door pod speakers Focal door speakers Subwoffer behind seat Viper alarm, Electric Locks Dark tinted windows, 4runner bucket seats, Tacoma Rubber floor mats TRD fender extenders, Bilstien shocks chrome push bar, chrome nerf bars, add a leaf for rear springs trailer iv hitch, electric brake control, Drilled slotted brakes, High carbon steel (MUST DO) EBS green stuff 7000 series pads(MUST DO) TRD engine oil cap TRD stick shift, Rear sliding window 2002 4Runner functional hood scoop cut into Tacoma hood, 4Runner dual overhead map light Gentex Auto dim + Compass + Temp, garage,rearview mirror Corbeau bucket seats Snow Methonal kit stage 2 Champion 3 core aluminum radiator Linex bed liner Haltech stand alone ECU
    My money is that they use glue to assemble these radiators and the red Toyota antifreeze that is recommended because of the aluminum heads breaks down the radiator glue joints.
    Champion posted an update somewhere to use the green antifreeze if I remember
     
  7. Jun 30, 2022 at 8:49 AM
    #747
    cynicalrider

    cynicalrider #NFG

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    This. The flex and vibrations from offroading are far worse than anything a street car sees.
     
    BYJOSHCOOK likes this.
  8. Jun 30, 2022 at 9:08 AM
    #748
    BYJOSHCOOK

    BYJOSHCOOK Mr. Mojo Risin

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    That could aid it but I still think it's related to flexing and just not quality assembly. But I'm not going from red Toyota to a green because of a radiator that maybe saves 10* of temps....I'll keep my cheaper plastic radiator and red Toyota haha
     
    otis24, opteron and Digiratus like this.
  9. Jun 30, 2022 at 11:48 AM
    #749
    glitchmaster0001

    glitchmaster0001 Member

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    I am running green Prestone antifreeze from Walmart in my 66 Mustang, perhaps if I were to do the champion radiator swap on my truck, I should drain and flush the block then refill with green Prestone antifreeze?
     
    1997tacomav6 [OP] likes this.
  10. Jun 30, 2022 at 12:18 PM
    #750
    XPOTRPR

    XPOTRPR CNC Programmer/Machinist

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    Probably right. The Champion Rad in my 86 Minitruck has been flawless, with running Red.
     
    glitchmaster0001 and BYJOSHCOOK like this.
  11. Jul 1, 2022 at 11:19 AM
    #751
    O'Silver_Taco

    O'Silver_Taco Well-Known Member

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    Well I went champion, I'll scream bloody murder if there's a problem.....
    muscle cars nuts have been using these for awhile....they wouldnt stay in business if what say here is true.

    Mounted mine on floating bushings, and thoroughly flushed the red stuff out......
    and dont do off road......learned/tipped off from these guys here.....

    5K and so far so good......couldnt be happier, takes 1 and half as much coolant as the denso one...

    You know one day I'll say......I warned you about the red......
    Red is more enviro friendly, its the only reason why they're using it......wont kill your cat.
    Honda wont even use it...they use the blue.
    Kinda like water based Kilz,.....yeah right...absolute junk.....

    IF toyota starts selling bridges.....or turbos.....
     
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2022
    BYJOSHCOOK likes this.
  12. Jul 1, 2022 at 11:24 AM
    #752
    BYJOSHCOOK

    BYJOSHCOOK Mr. Mojo Risin

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    Guarantee you'll be fine mainly because of this point. If I had a strictly street truck I'd still be running it
     
  13. Jul 1, 2022 at 1:48 PM
    #753
    1997tacomav6

    1997tacomav6 [OP] V6 5sp,RegCab,TRD Supercharger,Haltech,meth, 700k

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    My radiator started leaking 30k miles with red antifreeze and zero off road miles and supercharged, yes it definitely did a great job except for the leaking issues
     
  14. Jul 1, 2022 at 1:55 PM
    #754
    El Taco Diablo

    El Taco Diablo Professional Pinstriper

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    I run green antifreeze. My Champion still shit the bed.

    It's not the antifreeze.
     
    opteron, otis24 and 1997tacomav6 [OP] like this.
  15. Jul 24, 2022 at 12:14 AM
    #755
    pullingin

    pullingin Active Member

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    It is extremely frustrating trying to find a solid radiator to replace the OEM Harrison that was well made. I have been following this thread for years looking for a good replacement as I know my OEM Harrison would fail soon and the day has come... I ordered the champion a couple years ago and sent it back because of the build quality and reports of leaks... I called my Toyota dealer and had them look at their inventory all over the country and no one has the OEM Harrison... It is sad that the aftermarket radiators are made so poorly... So what is the verdict on the best "OEM" replacement? Any help would benefit the many looking for a solution. Cheers.
     
    04Pre_Runner likes this.
  16. Jul 24, 2022 at 12:39 AM
    #756
    Laxtoy

    Laxtoy Dog is my backseat driver

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  17. Jul 24, 2022 at 12:55 PM
    #757
    pullingin

    pullingin Active Member

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    @Laxtoy I am not aware that the Koyo has been proven to last over time.

    @RattleTractor Had his first Koyo fail. How many miles did it last? How many miles have you been using the second one?

    Also I believe @04Pre_Runner installed a Koyo and it started leaking. How many miles did you have it installed before it leaked?
     
  18. Jul 24, 2022 at 1:08 PM
    #758
    04Pre_Runner

    04Pre_Runner Well-Known Member

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    I apologize for never updating anyone in this thread on my Koyorad. My head gasket started leaking at 139K and I sort of stopped worrying about my radiator. So far it looks like mine is fine and I just had a faulty Koyorad radiator cap. I see multiple people on Amazon reviews complaining about bad caps.

    What's strange is I didn't see any Toyota SSL pink residue around the cap that would've tipped me off about it's failure. The residue was mostly allover the fins and lower section of the radiator.
     
  19. Jul 24, 2022 at 1:43 PM
    #759
    pullingin

    pullingin Active Member

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    @04Pre_Runner Sorry to hear about your head gasket.

    How many miles do you have on your Koyo? Did Koyo replace the faulty cap easily? Who did you buy the Koyo from? Thanks!
     
  20. Jul 24, 2022 at 1:52 PM
    #760
    04Pre_Runner

    04Pre_Runner Well-Known Member

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    I bought mine from "Options Auto Salon" in California. They refuse to add packaging for the radiator and the way Koyorad packages it isn't enough. So I wouldn't recommend them. The radiator comes without a cap and I didn't dispute the cap failure with Amazon. I meant to but life got in the way and now it's been well over a year.

    I have about 5,000 miles on the Koyorad so I'm not a good test case.
     

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