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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I recently picked up a 2005 Dakota SLT Club Cab equipped with an automatic transmission, 2WD, and the 4.7L V8. When I purchased it I had noted a small coolant leak from the passenger side transmission cooler line connection to the radiator. I thought it would be a simple fitting/o-ring replacement, no big deal. While I found that the issue was in fact a disintegrated o-ring, the female aluminum threads on the radiator gave out as I was removing the male fitting, putting me in the market for a new radiator.

The OEM build sheet from Dodge states that my truck is equipped with the Heavy Duty Service, Heavy Duty Cooling, and Trailer Tow options/groups. However, I do not have a separate auxiliary transmission oil cooler, but the "Aux In-Tank Transmission Oil Cooler". Since I plan on towing with the truck, I'd like to ensure that the replacement radiator is indeed the "HD Cooling" style. However, I'm having trouble identifying the technical differences between the OEM standard and HD Cooling radiators.

I know that on the '99-'04 previous-gen trucks, the standard duty radiator was a single-row design with a 1" thick core, whereas the HD Cooling radiator was a dual-row unit with 1 1/2" thick core and 55 rows. But I can't seem to find any information on the newer generation of Dakotas starting in 2005. I measured my current radiator, and to my surprise found that the core is only 1" thick. I don't know if the 2005+ "HD Cooling" radiators were only a 1" core, or if this is a cheap replacement radiator from what the truck was originally equipped with.

Rock Auto's online catalog lists two Mopar P/N's for a 2005 Dakota, but no technical specs for either for sake of comparison. Most of the aftermarket versions available seem to be of the single-row design with only a 1" core. Does anybody know the difference between the Mopar P/N 55056506AC / AD / AE and P/N 52029262AB / AC / AD / AE?

I would be much obliged for anyone with information on the technical differences between the standard and HD Cooling radiators on the 2005+ Dakota / Durangos.
 

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I had the leaky trans cooler line too, brand new truck and always left a drop everywhere I went. I just cut the stupid fitting off and simply used a couple hose clamps. It’s worked fine for the last 10 years. And I have the same tow package as you do and I have regularly towed a 5,500 lb camper through mountains loaded with a ton of gear and I’ve NEVER seen the temperature gauge go past 1/2. Never even broke a sweat. Trans temp never got too hot either... trans fluid still looks brand new today. Don’t sweat it,
the cooling system on this truck is more than adequate you can rest assured.




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You want # 55056506AE. I recently put a new one in, and that's the one for Heavy Duty Service and Tow Package. It will have the connectors for the transmission lines to cool the trans fluid.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I had the leaky trans cooler line too, brand new truck and always left a drop everywhere I went. I just cut the stupid fitting off and simply used a couple hose clamps. It’s worked fine for the last 10 years. And I have the same tow package as you do and I have regularly towed a 5,500 lb camper through mountains loaded with a ton of gear and I’ve NEVER seen the temperature gauge go past 1/2. Never even broke a sweat. Trans temp never got too hot either... trans fluid still looks brand new today. Don’t sweat it,
the cooling system on this truck is more than adequate you can rest assured.
Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Thanks for the feedback, @g48572! It's good to know the 'ole hose clamp fix is viable if it comes to it. Unfortunately, I'm not talking about the crimped fittings on the transmission lines themselves, but the quick disconnect fittings for the transmission cooler lines that thread into the radiator itself. I wish there was an easy fix, but it looks like a replacement radiator is the only option at this point.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
You want # 55056506AE. I recently put a new one in, and that's the one for Heavy Duty Service and Tow Package. It will have the connectors for the transmission lines to cool the trans fluid.
Thanks for that! I pulled the old radiator yesterday, and found that it is in fact a Mopar unit, stamped as such on the bottom. Core measures only 1 1/16" thick, single row, with 16 fins per inch. Do you remember what the specs were on the 55056506AE you installed?
 

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I agree with Dakotaff for the correct part number. Also if you plan to tow, there is
plenty of room to add an external cooler for the transmission, adding extra cooling.
Good Luck, daddyododge.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Alright, the plot has somewhat thickened. I located a used radiator out of a wrecked 2008 Dakota equipped with the HD Cooling option for $55. Unfortunately, when I arrived at the local pick-a-part to pick it up I found that their wrench monkeys had snapped off all of the AC condenser mounting bolts in the radiator-mounted retaining nuts, broke one of the top two plastic ears, and creased a couple of rows of fins on the fan pretty good during the removal. It also looked like one of the transmission cooler fittings was leaking.

In case anyone is curious, the Mopar P/N off of that unit was 52029238AD, which I found virtually no references to online whatsoever. It certainly doesn't match either of Rock Auto's available offerings from Mopar. Strange. At any rate, I'm back to square one. Not really interested in paying the $250-300 for an OEM unit from Rock Auto, so I'm looking into aftermarket alternatives.

The below two options in the Rock Auto catalog caught my eye:
  1. CSF 3454 — $80.79 + shipping (1.25" thick core, 2 year warranty)
  2. UAC RA2883C — $97.79 + shipping (1" thick core, 1 year warranty)
Not really concerned about the price difference between these two, but am trying to ascertain the technical differences. The UAC unit is advertised as w/HD Cooling while the CSF is not, but the CSF has a thicker core and a better warranty.

Anybody have any experience with the above two units? I can't see how the OEM radiator holds much of a technical advantage since the core is only 1 1/16" thick, unless it has radically more fins per inch.

Overall I have been very unimpressed with the build quality of my 3rd-gen 2005 Dakota compared to my 2nd-gen 2002 Dakota equipped with all of the same options. For the 2nd-gen, the HD Cooling group consisted of 2-row radiator with a 1.5" thick core, a separate oil-to-air transmission oil cooler in addition to the in-tank radiator oil-to-water cooler, and an additional electric fan. My 3rd-gen 2005 Dakota has a radiator that appears capable of much less cooling (.5" thinner core, one less row), no auxiliary transmission cooler, and no electric fan.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I recently picked up a 2005 Dakota SLT Club Cab equipped with an automatic transmission, 2WD, and the 4.7L V8. When I purchased it I had noted a small coolant leak from the passenger side transmission cooler line connection to the radiator. I thought it would be a simple fitting/o-ring replacement, no big deal. While I found that the issue was in fact a disintegrated o-ring, the female aluminum threads on the radiator gave out as I was removing the male fitting, putting me in the market for a new radiator.

The OEM build sheet from Dodge states that my truck is equipped with the Heavy Duty Service, Heavy Duty Cooling, and Trailer Tow options/groups. However, I do not have a separate auxiliary transmission oil cooler, but the "Aux In-Tank Transmission Oil Cooler". Since I plan on towing with the truck, I'd like to ensure that the replacement radiator is indeed the "HD Cooling" style. However, I'm having trouble identifying the technical differences between the OEM standard and HD Cooling radiators.

I know that on the '99-'04 previous-gen trucks, the standard duty radiator was a single-row design with a 1" thick core, whereas the HD Cooling radiator was a dual-row unit with 1 1/2" thick core and 55 rows. But I can't seem to find any information on the newer generation of Dakotas starting in 2005. I measured my current radiator, and to my surprise found that the core is only 1" thick. I don't know if the 2005+ "HD Cooling" radiators were only a 1" core, or if this is a cheap replacement radiator from what the truck was originally equipped with.

Rock Auto's online catalog lists two Mopar P/N's for a 2005 Dakota, but no technical specs for either for sake of comparison. Most of the aftermarket versions available seem to be of the single-row design with only a 1" core. Does anybody know the difference between the Mopar P/N 55056506AC / AD / AE and P/N 52029262AB / AC / AD / AE?

I would be much obliged for anyone with information on the technical differences between the standard and HD Cooling radiators on the 2005+ Dakota / Durangos.
Update for sake of anyone who has this same question in future and finds this thread. I finally received a response from Dodge Customer Care, who I had messaged originally regarding the differences between the two Mopar part numbers before posting here and which was a correct fit for my vehicle. I also asked for specifics regarding core thickness, number of rows, and fins per inch, but that information was not provided. Below is their response:

"Our records indicate this vehicle was equipped from the factory with the following:
EVA 4.7L V8 MPI Engine
DGQ 5-Spd Automatic 545RFE Transmission
NMC Heavy Duty Engine Cooling

Mopar P/N 55056506AE and 52029262AE Radiator Specifications

Unfortunately, the parts specifications you are seeking are either unavailable or considered proprietary; therefore, we are unable to assist you with your radiator parts specifications request.

According to available information, the correct replacement radiator for this vehicle and how it was equipped from the factory is P/N 55056506AE.

According to available information, radiator P/N 52029262AE is for a 3.7L, automatic transmission equipped vehicle without heavy duty engine cooling.

We recommend verifying part information with the parts department at your authorized Dodge dealership.

If replacement parts are needed, we recommend contacting the parts department at your authorized Dodge dealership."


So Dodge has confirmed the input from other posters on this thread, that Mopar P/N 55056506AC / AD / AE is the correct radiator on the third-gen 4.7L V8's equipped with automatic transmissions and the HD Cooling option. Interestingly, Rock Auto is now listing only this part number as compatible for my truck, whereas previously they were listing both it and the 52029262AE for the 4.7L V8, with no discernible differences between them.

I have ordered both the aftermarket CSF 3454 and UAC RA2883C radiators for sake of comparison to each other and the original I pulled from the truck. I will update this post with technical data and photos when they arrive.
 

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The radiator with # 52029262AE is for an AT Dakota without the heavy duty cooling option. And when it comes to a radiator, I don't like going with the 'cheap' options.
 
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