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Old 10-04-2012, 08:59 PM   #21
manyolcars
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Default Re: DIY radiator repair?

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Originally Posted by porknbeaner View Post
I use ruby red flux .
Thank you. Is your ruby red liquid or paste?
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Old 10-04-2012, 09:02 PM   #22
manyolcars
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Default Re: DIY radiator repair?

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Originally Posted by Rusty O'Toole View Post
I know but I can't teach you in 2 minutes. You have to learn to solder. The metal has to be clean and bright, you have to tin it. Then put the parts together as tight as possible, get the right amount of heat and flow the solder in. Getting the heat just right is more important than the solder. And it has to be clean and tinned or it won't take the way it should.

It takes quite a bit of practice to be any good. Once you have the knack you can flow the solder like water and fix a leak in minutes.
I know how to solder. I have also spent many hours watching experts and may have learned something there. Notice that my previous post asks for type of flux, solder and acetylene tip size.
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Old 10-04-2012, 09:06 PM   #23
Drunk Man
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Default Re: DIY radiator repair?

Horsehair brush for the flux.
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Old 10-04-2012, 09:59 PM   #24
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Default Re: DIY radiator repair?

I have fixed them successfully...and I have also F'ed them up so bad nobody else could fix them either.
Use the smallest tip you have, dont pull the flame down all the way till the cones meet, leave it soft, with just a little feather on the end.
Muriatic acid is good for cleaning.
I use 50/50 tin/lead acid core solder. I dont like the 95/5 for this work.
If its rolling up in balls, you might try some paste silver solder flux if you have any.
Good Luck!
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Old 10-04-2012, 10:18 PM   #25
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Default Re: DIY radiator repair?

Tell ya what, if you really want to do this grab your self an old Falcon or Mustang radiator and practice taking the top tank off and putting it back on. The upper tank is part of the top header on those radiators, and when I started that is what they put me on to learn the skills. With the top seem being so far away from the header itself it makes it easy to keep the heat away from the header as the solder is melted out. The Biggest problem guys get them selves into trying to do this stuff is heating the tank too much to remove and melting the solder holding the tubes into the header. if you can get this down and pass a pressure test, then your on your way. I seriously doubt I could do it correctly these days the first time out of the box after nearly thirty years away.
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Old 10-04-2012, 10:22 PM   #26
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Default Re: DIY radiator repair?

I worked in a rad shop many years ago. Rad repair can be tricky even for the experienced. It has a lot to do with the condition of the core...if you put heat to rotted header you'll just cause more leaks. We used to pinch off the tubes that were too bad to fix and then solder up the header, but every tube you remove just gives you less cooling. I definitely would not recommend using acetylene until you have been repairing rads full time for about 5 years...a propane torch is all you need, it may take a bit longer but way safer. Lets say we are fixing a leaky seam, the secret is getting it clean so the solder will stick...heat the problem area just enough for the old solder to start to flow then hit it with compressed air(pointed away from you...hot solder in the face sucks) then put the heat back on just a bit. Now dip you solder brush in muriatic acid and brush the area...repeat till clean...little more heat then flux. When re soldering up the hole, heat the hole a little bit...(if you go to much you'll just be knocking out more old solder and making more work for yourself. If you watch a rad guy you'll see how he puts heat down and then just keeps brushing the torch over the area to maintain than perfect temp) and then put more heat to the spot on the tank just above the hole. Remove heat and touch solder to that area and it should just flow into the hole, which should be slightly cooler and stop...use your brush with some water and cool the hot spot first then the solder and you should be done. This takes a lot of practice so if you have an old rad kickin around you might want put a torch to it and see what happens.
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Old 10-04-2012, 10:30 PM   #27
manyolcars
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Default Re: DIY radiator repair?

Thank you!
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Old 10-04-2012, 11:20 PM   #28
Rusty O'Toole
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Default Re: DIY radiator repair?

60/40 tin/lead solder. Acid flux. Wire brush, wet rag. Sandpaper.

I can't believe there are any rads left worth fixing, they went to aluminum rads so long ago. All the rad shops around here closed up years ago. This strikes me as a skill not worth learning because it will never be needed again. Like most of the things I know.
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Old 10-05-2012, 12:02 AM   #29
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Default Re: DIY radiator repair?

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Originally Posted by Rusty O'Toole View Post
60/40 tin/lead solder. Acid flux. Wire brush, wet rag. Sandpaper.

I can't believe there are any rads left worth fixing, they went to aluminum rads so long ago. All the rad shops around here closed up years ago. This strikes me as a skill not worth learning because it will never be needed again. Like most of the things I know.
Our local specialist is very busy. Last week I was in and saw him working on a 1930 Rolls Royce.....wait for it.....$2500 dollar recore....
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Old 10-05-2012, 07:22 AM   #30
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Default Re: DIY radiator repair?

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Originally Posted by manyolcars View Post
Thank you. Is your ruby red liquid or paste?
Paste.

Warm it first to chase the moisture out, then brush the flux on, the solder will follow the flux so where ever there is flux you will get solder. Also if you ad solder behind your flame the folder will flow toward the flame.
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Old 10-05-2012, 10:15 AM   #31
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Default Re: DIY radiator repair?

i have fixed a few and like others messed a few up. i have used the sticks of silver solder a few times too. i have even soldered in a brass strip when a large hole was punched in the bottom. half the time more leaks spring up when your done. can be very frustrating.
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