Jeep Wrangler/Gladiator Cooling System Nightmares
Jeep Diesel owners and enthusiasts take pride in their vehicles and the power they offer. However, one of the biggest nightmares many of the diesel Jeep owners face is the overheating of the cooling system during high-stress situations like towing or hauling heavy loads. This not only reduces their power output but also jeopardizes the engine's longevity. This scenario became very clear when Jeep introduced the EcoDiesel engine in 2020 in the Wrangler.
Owners of diesel Jeeps will typically try to resolve this issue by trying to upgrade their OEM radiators to a larger, more heavy duty option, upgrading their thermostats, or installing electric fans. While these solutions might work for daily driving, they often fall short when pushed to their limits during heavy hauls or off-road expeditions. That is where the Bullet Proof Diesel's Jeep Supplemental Radiator comes into play.
In this blog post, we will dive into the common cooling system issues faced by diesel Jeep owners, how the Bullet Proof Diesel Supplemental Radiator helps to add cooling system capacity, and the benefits this upgrade provides for overall power output and average vehicle speed while towing and pulling grades.
The Problem with OEM Radiators
The cooling system of Jeep Diesels seems to be designed for normal driving and operation, but it falls short when pushed to its limits, such as when towing heavy loads or on off-road adventures. The inadequate coolant capacity cannot keep up with the engine's heat generation, resulting in overheating, power loss, and even the potential for engine damage. The OEM radiator uses plastic tanks that are also known to crack or leak, causing further issues with the cooling system. The suspicion is that the folks over at Jeep made a compromise. The Jeep has a unique look which creates a very specific design envelope/constraints for the cooling system heat exchanger "stack". Simply put, the coolant radiator can only be so big. Specifically in the diesel models the towing capacity can be as high as 6000 pounds and the engine has plenty of power to pull these types of loads. The problem again was the limitation to the cooling system as a result of the tight design constraints in retaining the Jeep look and feel. This means that the manufacturer had to compromise engine cooling, for looks. So what happens is that when the diesel Jeep is used to tow or is outfitted with gear, and while pulling grades in the hotter summer months, the engine will actually "defuel" as a result of computer control or engine temperature management. It is likely that under heavy towing conditions and warmer ambient air temperatures, the engine coolant has been known to reach over 240 degrees and the engine oil of over 270 degrees fahrenheit. The engine computer picks up on this and can/may start to pull fuel from the engine to keep it from overheating, the result of this is that both horsepower and torque are limited and therefore vehicle speed is diminished. Again, this will be most noticeable under loaded, hot conditions. In theory, if engine temps were kept out of the "defuel" range, then you would have maximum power to pull those hills, even under heavy loaded conditions. So it is super cool that the Jeep has a diesel and an awesome tow capacity, not so cool (no pun intended) that you cant use that diesel power when you really need it.
Upgrading the Thermostat and Electric Fans
One of the first items many Jeep owners upgrade is the thermostat and electric fans. Though these upgrades MIGHT help to improve the cooling system's efficiency, they may fail to address the root problem. The thermostat and fans can only help to discharge the heat from the engine but cannot add extra capacity to the coolant system, leaving little room for error if the system is pushed past its limit. The diesel Jeep is quite unique and to date there are little to no options when it comes to upgrading either the thermostat or cooling fans. The engine computer has complete control over the factory cooling fan and once max fan speed is reached, cooling system performance is capped out. In most cases, trying to add an additional aftermarket fan only gets in the way and might create even more restrictions to air flow as designed by the factory. Neither of these options seem to be of any value to the diesel Jeep owners.
The Bullet Proof Diesel Supplemental Radiator - An Improvement To Cooling System Performance
The Bullet Proof Diesel Supplemental Radiator is a durable and reliable radiator add-on that helps diesel Jeeps to handle more heat, improve towing capacity, and increase overall engine performance. The radiator add-on mounts between the frame rails at the front of the heat stack, between the front bumper and front skid plate, providing additional surface area and coolant volume to work alongside the main radiator. With minimal hand tools and a couple hours in the garage, this ad-on radiator package is fairly easy to install and should only take a few hours from start to finish. The radiator add-on is recommended for Jeep Wrangler 3.0L EcoDiesel (2020 to current models) and the Jeep Gladiator 3.0L EcoDiesel (2020-2023).
Benefits of Installing the BulletProof Diesel Supplemental Radiator
Apart from improving the Jeep's towing capacity, the BulletProof Diesel Supplemental Radiator has numerous other benefits. Firstly, it can help to reduce engine coolant temperatures and keeps them stable even under the most extreme loads, improving engine performance and longevity. Secondly, a positive side effect may be that it helps to reduce exhaust gas temperatures (EGT), which can be useful in extending the life of the diesel engine components and the DPF filter.
In conclusion, overheating problems in the cooling systems of diesel Jeeps can stem from inadequate coolant capacity, resulting in reduced performance and engine damage. Upgrades like thermostats, fans, and new radiators can sometimes help improve the situation. Still, they ultimately fall short when it comes to preventing overheating during high-stress situations like towing and hauling. The Bullet Proof Diesel Supplemental Radiator is a reliable and durable solution to overcome these issues and boosts your diesel Jeep's performance to the next level. Whether you're going off-road or pulling a trailer, Bullet Proof Diesel's Jeep Wrangler Cooling System is a must-have for any diesel Jeep owner.