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Radiator options

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My radiator has sprung a small intermittent leak. I'm going to be putting a re-built engine (300TDi) into the vehicle in the next 6 - 8 weeks, so it makes sense to replace the radiator at the same time. 

What are my options?

Any recommendations? Anything to avoid?

Is it worth changing the intercooler at the same time?

All advice / comments / stories of experience welcome!


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I bought an aluminium one off eBay(200tdi), the radiator itself is fine and work well. However after fitting it I started having low oil pressure issues,  it turned out where the spigot's for the oil cooler were welded on they had only drilled 5mm holes into the tank. I've since opened them up to 9.5mm and all issues have gone away. So worth checking before you fit it.


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I have a brass one, had it re-cored with a 4 core at B and J radiators at Little Hulton. It has a full width Alisport intercooler in front of it, the  300tdi engine has the Bell/Alisport VNT . Last Friday it was mighty hot and we towed the horse and trailer pretty much as fast as it would all go, but usually near 60, across the M62 and back. I was expecting maybe a hint of overheating on the climb to Saddleworth but was pleased to say there were absolutely no issues. The transmission tunnel you couldn't touch even for a moment, so that is maybe another thing, but it shows how hot it all was. 

I have noticed some water pumps have smaller impellers than others, if you are swapping the pump I'd make sure it at least matches what you have (I once bought a Quinton Hazell water pump with a smaller impeller than stock which my Mini took exception to if worked hard, so I am conscious of that)

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I have had mine re-cored with a pressure washable core which the place (Kempston Radiators in Bedford) keep for JCBs and similar

seemed like a good idea especially when you go wading and your radiator clogs up with sand 😠. they did the calculations to make sure the cooling would be sufficient

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Depends really - that's a car core so quite efficient but it's going to clog up in the mud. I'd take that over a plastic-ended one any day, although I still reckon brass is more easily repaired in the field if that's an issue (EG overlanding).

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