Anyone done cooling system upgrades? (2.0 specific)

Jim1964

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One performance area of my Jeep concerns me, and that’s the cooling system. It’s perfectly adequate for grocery getting in low elevations. Runs 19x - 20x in those condition.

However at elevation and especially trail crawling in the mountains the cooling capability is maxed out and requires the cooling fan on high every couple of minutes. 22x all the time.

I’d like to increase the cooling capacity, perhaps with a better radiator (I see Cold Case makes a JL radiator). Or possibly a higher volume fan?

I have read that all the JL engine options use the same radiator, but the fans differ- is that accurate? And if so, how do the fans compare?

My thinking at this early stage of investigation is perhaps a CC radiator, 392 fan, and use HP Tuners to access the fan operating parameters and tune the fan speed.

Any knowledge or experience modifying the cooling on the 2.0 you can share is appreciated.

 

Remorseless

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One performance area of my Jeep concerns me, and that’s the cooling system. It’s perfectly adequate for grocery getting in low elevations. Runs 19x - 20x in those condition.

However at elevation and especially trail crawling in the mountains the cooling capability is maxed out and requires the cooling fan on high every couple of minutes. 22x all the time.

I’d like to increase the cooling capacity, perhaps with a better radiator (I see Cold Case makes a JL radiator). Or possibly a higher volume fan?

I have read that all the JL engine options use the same radiator, but the fans differ- is that accurate? And if so, how do the fans compare?

My thinking at this early stage of investigation is perhaps a CC radiator, 392 fan, and use HP Tuners to access the fan operating parameters and tune the fan speed.

Any knowledge or experience modifying the cooling on the 2.0 you can share is appreciated.
Personally, I'd start with something like a hood vent before I'd chase the route of modifying the fan or radiator - cheaper and less invasive, should be effective enough for trail use. There are many ways to either open up the stock Rubicon vents or things like the Poison Spyder louvers: JT/JL Rubicon Hood Louver - Black PC | JT Hood Louver | JL Hood Louver | Poison Spyder Customs
 

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I have read on here in other threads that using a Gladiator grill has provided satisfactory cooling increases. Might be worth a look.
 

roaniecowpony

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I have read on here in other threads that using a Gladiator grill has provided satisfactory cooling increases. Might be worth a look.
I read an article about how the engineers at FCA were able to get the 7k tow capability in the Gladiator. They had to open the grill grates by making the slots slightly wider and the grate "screen" with larger openings. The basic grill panel is the same, but the slot inserts don't intrude as much into the slot. So all that is needed to go to the Gladiator grill setup, is the slot inserts and the grating/screen. They also increased the fan cfm capability. IIRC, the radiator stayed the same as the Wrangler. So, just the grill mod and replacing the fan with a Gladiator fan should get you a good improvement in cooling.

These mods should also help avoid some overheating issues reported about the power steering.

I haven't read anything about what the 392 grill, radiator or fan configuration differences are. But a 392 radiator is a different part number than my 3.6L and it's about $20 less than the Poison Spider louvers, when purchased from an online Mopar retailer.
 
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Also watch what you place in Front of the grill-I’ve seen some high mounted winch’s that just have to be blocking some air flow.
Then get the Gladiator grille. There’s your surface area back.
 

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I recently read the 2.0 has the higher cfm fan due to it’s, higher than the 3.6, cooling needs. I think the Gladiator with the higher towing GVWR has the same fan as the 2.0 but does, of course, have the 3.6. So that fan is an upgrade to get the tow rating up.

I wonder if the 392 fan is a higher cfm making that 3 part numbers that are available. As to settings, I’d leave the temp settings/fan on settings alone. The cars these days don’t take to change well very easily.
 
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Jim1964

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Great info guys, I appreciate it. For some reason the idea of JT parts hadn’t occurred to me and that sounds like reasonable opportunities may exist to bolt on some better cooling.

I don’t have any obstructions, my winch is low mounted below the grille.

Playing around with the AC controls yesterday I will say the trail speed issue could be corrected with some tweaks to the fan speed settings. Ambient 98 in the high desert, AC off it’s into the 22x range regularly. Cycling the fan between low and high.

Turn the AC on, same conditions and the fan speed is higher -in the midrange- and the engine is maintained constantly in the 19x range. Completely counterintuitive that running the AC keeps the engine cooler, but there we are.

Thanks again, when I get back to home base in a few months I’ll update this with what more I discover in the parts system and what results. I’m not gonna do these sorts of mods on the road.
 

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We have hood louvers (valkyrie off road) and aftermarket front fender liners with vent and it still runs hotter than I'd like to see. Ordered a cold case radiator in may...estimated shipping date keeps pushing back. Hoping to see it early August if the latest date holds. I'll report back once we finally get it in on the results. Granted our jeep is heavy, 38's, 3.5" lift, 5.38 gears, winch (low mounted on factory steel bumper), etc and running a performance tune, but I can push it into the 230's accelerating up a grade hard on the freeway. The cooling system just isn't good enough.
 
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Jim1964

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My thoughts on venting the engine compartment is it’s minimally effective. While it makes sense intuitively, the engine cooling is happening at the radiator. Vents may redirect radiator exhaust out the top vs bottom of the engine compartment, however any effect on fan back pressure or CFM delivered is nil. The open area below the engine is huge by comparison.

I see two opportunities for significant improvement.

First, the radiator just can’t shed enough BTU; when you’re running 70 mph and seeing 23x uphill the fan isn’t really a factor.

Second is tuning the fan to ramp up to midrange around 210 rather than remaining slow till ~225 and then going to 100% without AC operating.
 


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My thoughts on venting the engine compartment is it’s minimally effective. While it makes sense intuitively, the engine cooling is happening at the radiator. Vents may redirect radiator exhaust out the top vs bottom of the engine compartment, however any effect on fan back pressure or CFM delivered is nil. The open area below the engine is huge by comparison.

I see two opportunities for significant improvement.

First, the radiator just can’t shed enough BTU; when you’re running 70 mph and seeing 23x uphill the fan isn’t really a factor.

Second is tuning the fan to ramp up to midrange around 210 rather than remaining slow till ~225 and then going to 100% without AC operating.
The louvers aren't to help increase radiator exhaust, they're merely to reduce trapped heat under the hood that's working against the cooling system and making it less effective. Don't know if you've ever run a Jeep with the 4.0, but back in the day heat soak causing vapor lock was a pretty common issue. Hood louvers and the like were a very common fix for this issue for trail Jeeps, because while the radiator and cooling system was doing its thing, the trapped heat in the engine bay was soaking into the fuel system and causing the fuel to vaporize prior to injection and causing vapor lock. In the case of JKs and JLs, what the louvers are doing is letting hot air out of the cramped engine bay so it's not trapped there fighting to soak back into the engine. So it's not about moving more air through the radiator, it's about making the cooling system's job easier by trying to ensure it's only working against the heat the engine produces while it's running instead of both the current heat of running plus old heat.
 
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Jim1964

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Seems like this topic arose years ago and has been forgotten.

Better Gladiator cooling alleged in 2019

Unfortunately I don’t find anyone reporting measurements to support or refute gladiator parts will make a difference. Allegedly the grille inserts have larger openings and the fan is higher wattage. Which begs the question whether a JL fan controller circuit can handle the JT fan.
 

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Here's a summary of some cooling options and information based on my own research.

The new 2021+ JL 2.0s already use the gladiator style grill with wider openings.
The 2.0s already use the more powerful cooling fan shared with the gladiator. See the part here

Aftermarket parts.

1. Radiators
- Coldcase Radiator
- Mishimoto performance transmission cooler/radiator

2. Larger Fluid Capacities (which helps cooling)
- PPE Larger engine oil pan
- PPE Larger transmission pan

Would love to get feedback from folks who has installed some/all of these aftermarket parts and if it made a difference.
 

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I'm also interested in this - living in Texas, it doesn't take much during the summer to have that fan kick on high and just stay on for the whole drive. It seems to drop down a bit if I hit the freeway at speed, but driving around town and on the trail sounds like my 2021 is a 1973 that's fending off death.
 
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Jim1964

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Thanks @cs2k for all those parts citations.

My JLUR built January 22 does have the exact fan you referred.
513BA488-E38F-4403-B088-BBFEEDB32721.jpeg


The grille inserts appear to me to be JL not JT (compared to the images in the Jalopnik article).
B067C1CC-86F2-417E-BD18-7D53376AD954.jpeg

This Jeep was built with the optional black grille; I wouldn’t be surprised if they were using old stock or whatever parts they could source considering all the supply problems.

 

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