I'm looking for a replacement radiator for my 2000 Ford Explorer, 4.0L V6 SOHC. The current aluminum radiator with plastic jugs is leaking from one of the jugs. Past experience has shown that these radiators usually last 7 to 10 years before they begin to leak. I've had good luck in the past replacing them with a brass replacement, but was told this isn't advisable with newer cooling systems. Why?
I once had an aluminum and plastic radiator repaired by replacing just the leaking jug, only to have the other one blow out a few months later. I was able to find a brass replacement radiator for that car, a Mazda Protege, and it outlasted the rest of the life of the car. I also have an '88 Toyota Supra, and it's original radiator also failed, this time at the 8 year mark. It was replaced with a brass one, and I still have that car with no radiator issues.
I know it cannot be an interaction with the newer long-life coolants. I've used these coolants for years in my Supra and Celica with brass radiators and no problems. And these engines have aluminum heads with cast iron blocks, just like my Ford. So, what's the real issue? Why would a brass radiator not hold up on my Ford?