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Old 03-07-2013, 10:27 AM
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Radiator Electrolysis with Grand Cherokee

I have a '00 Grand Cherokee Laredo 4.0L that's had 10+ radiators and needs another. It fails every 10-12mo. with a pine hole in the core and the coolant has a charge of approximently .6-1.0 VDC. I would really like to solve this problem and keep the Jeep for another 250k miles. Weird thing is it's never gone through a heater core or as many water pumps.

I'm religious about new coolant yearly. I've tried grounding the radiator and flushing the system. Nothing seems to help minimize the existing charge. Even new fluid has a charge of .3 VDC and quickly climbs to .6-1.0 VDC.

Any advice on how to minimize the charge in the system so I can better troubleshoot?

There doesn't seem to be any service bulletins regarding the issue, but I can see a lot of people are talking about it.

I've checked the obvious grounds with an OHM meter. What am I missing?
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Old 03-07-2013, 10:33 AM
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Re: Radiator Electrolysis with Grand Cherokee

What kinds of mods do you have? How can this be a problem with your jeep, and no others?

Have you looked into the rest of your cooling system? Maybe something else causing the radiator to fail?

what exactly makes you replace the radiator 10+ times? pin holes? clogging?
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Old 03-07-2013, 11:16 AM
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Re: Radiator Electrolysis with Grand Cherokee

Stock vehicle and radiator electrolysis is a common issue. All though there's no service bulletin there's a lot of people talking about it with there Jeep, truck, and boat.

They recommend flushing the system, a new thermostat, and check your grounds but nothing seems to eliminate the existing charge of .6 VDC. The current in the system is moving the metal around and within 10-12mo. creating a leak in the core of the radiator.

Some say there's a bad ground somewhere that's allowing the electricity to leak into the coolant versus the ground. Finding it is a different story....

Has anyone fixed their electrolysis issue?
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Old 03-07-2013, 11:49 AM
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Re: Radiator Electrolysis with Grand Cherokee

I havent even heard of it. But sounds like a pain in the butt!!

I'd start looking at the biggest sources of a ground problem, then work down hill. Make sure all the ground contacts are nice and clean.
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Old 03-07-2013, 12:28 PM
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Re: Radiator Electrolysis with Grand Cherokee

have you tried mounting the rad with isolater bushings so there is no direct metal to metal contact, is there some sort of anode rod that can be installed as they do on boats? thats all i got...

and im sure it has nothing to do with it but unless youre racking up shitloads of miles a year id say most people flush like every 3 years (im more like every 7) of course if youre replacing rads every year it stands to reason new coolant also. have you tried differant brands of coolant? or evans waterless coolant, maybe try a all aluminum rad next, whatever rad u get make sure its got a decent warranty
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Old 03-07-2013, 01:17 PM
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Re: Radiator Electrolysis with Grand Cherokee

With repeat flushes I've been able to get the voltage down to .35-.40 VDC. Time to drive it and see if it holds.

I've added 2 ground wires from the radiator core to frame.

Kennzzz - I've read about the sacrificial magnesium anodes. I'm working on getting one. The radiator is mounted on two rubber posts from factory.

Thank you everyone for the advice. I will continue to post my progress and results as we solve this issue.
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Old 03-07-2013, 05:32 PM
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Re: Radiator Electrolysis with Grand Cherokee

Have a look at this site for anti electrolysis products: Products
By grounding the radiator, you created a path for currents to run easier. This eventually could make the things worse (remember that for electrolysis to occur the following three must be true: 1: Electrochemically dissimilar metals must be present 2:These metals must be in electrical contact, and 3: The metals must be exposed to an electrolyte. By using the grounding wires, you made the electrical contact needed for item 2).
Only in case of stray currents, caused by bad grounds from electrical components, a ground wire to the radiator would help. But it would not solve the real problem, a bad ground from one of the components.
But your problem most probably has nothing to do with return currents from other components, but with the acidic environment in the cooling system. Maybe that you always flushed the cooling system every year, but did the previous owner do it (unless you are the first owner still) Once the flush and new coolant was not done for a long time, its very difficult to stop the electrolysis.
Maybe with special flushing fluid (as menioned in above site) it will get better.
Also the sacrificial anode will probably help you out, it will be eaten away instead of the Aluminum. Regular flushing will still be needed.
A voltage of 0.1 V in the cooling system is ok, above the 0.3 V electolysis will start and the higher the voltage, the quicker the electolysis will do its devastating job.
On the next page you will find several flush methods and when to use them: http://www.sancarlosradiator.com/VoltageDrop/flush.htm
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Old 03-07-2013, 06:36 PM
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Possibly run additives?

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