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Technical Aluminum radiator leak

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Joe H, Apr 23, 2019.

  1. Joe H
    Joined: Feb 10, 2008
    Posts: 755

    Joe H
    Member

    I have a 10 year old AFCO aluminum radiator in my '37 that has begun to seep where a couple tubes enter the bottom. No one wants to repair it or can repair it. Stop leak is what I am being told to try, just didn't want to add that with a new heater core recently installed.
    Thinking about a pump and hoses to circulate water in radiator only
    with stop leak,
    Does stop leak need heat to work?
    Is one better then the other?
    Does it need pressure to work?

    Not really interested in the brass verses aluminum radiator debate!



    DSCN2076.JPG
     
  2. They are disposable.
    Original Cost divided by 120 months means that radiator doesn’t owe you much. That is unless trying to fix it plugs your new heater core
     
    loudbang likes this.
  3. KJSR
    Joined: Mar 7, 2008
    Posts: 2,136

    KJSR
    Member
    from Utah
    1. Utah HAMBers

    I have had real good luck using epoxy externally on the leak.It has to be very clean and prepped correctly.
     
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  4. 2OLD2FAST
    Joined: Feb 3, 2010
    Posts: 1,663

    2OLD2FAST
    Member
    from illinois

    Mine ( afco) did the same thing after 6 years ,and like you found , no one would repair it , said I'd gotten my moneys worth !? If yours is seeping where the tubes enter the bulkhead , here's what I did . removed the rad and cleaned it/ flushed it , took a small stainless brush and cleaned some more , used acetone , then denatured alcohol multiple times ,then used the high temp JB weld as neatly as possible and made sure it .was all around the tubes . Mines been leak free for .12 years now . Try it .
     
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  5. I have had a Griffin aluminum radiator and I too had problems with it leaking/weeping around a couple of the cooling tubes and the radiator shop tried some epoxy but never cured the problem, I went back to a copper/brass radiator that can be repaired at just about any radiator shop that has been in business for long enough to know what they are doing.

    The Walker radiator in my old beater is now 31 years old and thus far I haven't seen any indication of a leak . HRP
     
    sidevalve8ba likes this.
  6. Tim
    Joined: Mar 2, 2001
    Posts: 9,815

    Tim
    Member
    from Raytown Mo

    I had mine fixed in Kansas City! Give me two seconds I’ll find the shop info
     
  7. Tim
    Joined: Mar 2, 2001
    Posts: 9,815

    Tim
    Member
    from Raytown Mo

    Super fast turn around, cost me less than $100. B6E46896-5C4D-4065-AEF1-DA35B81D9CB0.png C1EB5797-401A-4095-95FB-5B356D411B01.jpeg
     
  8. Now thats service^^^^^.
     
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  9. jimgoetz
    Joined: Sep 6, 2013
    Posts: 299

    jimgoetz
    Member

    Why not just disconnect the heater core and try the stop leak ? you shouldn't be needing the heater anyway for the next 3 or four months or so. If it works good if not what are you out ?
     
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  10. WOODEYE
    Joined: Feb 21, 2010
    Posts: 309

    WOODEYE
    Member

    I had a similar problem and used Bars stop leak with good success. I think jimgoetz has a workable plan thats cheap and has a good chance.
     
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  11. Joe H
    Joined: Feb 10, 2008
    Posts: 755

    Joe H
    Member

    Orr Radiator didn't want to try fixing it, not enough room without really cutting into it. I am going to try the epoxy, I have nothing to loose at this point.
     
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  12. Tim
    Joined: Mar 2, 2001
    Posts: 9,815

    Tim
    Member
    from Raytown Mo

    Bummer, yeah I’d try epoxy that seems to be what everybody’s using to fix them anyways
     
    loudbang likes this.
  13. Is it the core or the tank?

    If it is the tank a welding shop can repair it as long as all antifreeze residue
    has been removed.

    I changed the outlet location on the aluminum Speedway radiator
    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
     
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  14. NAES
    Joined: Dec 24, 2008
    Posts: 434

    NAES
    Member

    Well dont Tim!

    Our home AC unit took a shit and leaked. We brazed it ourselves with MAP gas and filler rod. Very similar to the aluminum "muggy weld" we've probably all bought at the swap meets. Practice on a few beer cans first! Lemme see if I can find the correct filler rod.

    Sent from my SM-N910V using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
     
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  15. NAES
    Joined: Dec 24, 2008
    Posts: 434

    NAES
    Member

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  16. Gman0046
    Joined: Jul 24, 2005
    Posts: 5,567

    Gman0046
    Member

    Won't use Stop Leak. It clogs up heater cores, water passages, and backs up behind freeze plugs and rots them out. Radiators need a proper repair not Stop Leak.
     
  17. gene-koning
    Joined: Oct 28, 2016
    Posts: 1,326

    gene-koning
    Member

    Buy another $200 aluminum radiator and move on. Hope the next one lasts 10 years, or buy a $600 brass/copper radiator and hope there will still be someone around that can fix it in 10 years (no one around here fixes any radiators anymore). Gene
     
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  18. Blues4U
    Joined: Oct 1, 2015
    Posts: 3,722

    Blues4U
    Member
    from So Cal

    If it's just a couple of tubes, pinch them off.
     
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  19. tomic
    Joined: Jan 8, 2008
    Posts: 114

    tomic
    Member

    they're brittle, thin, and very susceptible to electro-chemical corrosion ("dissimilar metals") when retrofitted to iron motors. lucky for us they're great at conducting heat and they're cheap. i too dislike "disposable" car parts, but finding good brass radiators and parts became an increasingly pointless hassle. and i'm great at soldering.

    i mounted mine between 1/2" slices of surplus aircraft silicone/neoprene foam rubber which eliminates a lot of vibration and electrically isolated it (i didn't even think of that until later). only two years old so far.
     
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  20. My PRC leaked from the day I got it! Been running Barr's in it for 13 years. When it gets below freezing it sucks the plug back in and leaks again. Put some more in and go again. Thought about the J-B Weld trick, but never tried it. One of these days I'll fix it right with a brass one and send the old one to the scrap yard. :eek:
     
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  21. Blues4U
    Joined: Oct 1, 2015
    Posts: 3,722

    Blues4U
    Member
    from So Cal

    I tried JB weld on a crack in the top tank of an aluminum radiator, and it lasted about a week before starting to leak again. But it was where the radiator support rods attached, so there was some stress on the area. It might work OK on an unstressed part.
     
  22. Joe H
    Joined: Feb 10, 2008
    Posts: 755

    Joe H
    Member

    If they were $200, I wouldn't be messing around, this truck takes the $650 ones, brass add, $300 more!
     
  23. Gman0046
    Joined: Jul 24, 2005
    Posts: 5,567

    Gman0046
    Member

    A temporary fix always leaves you stuck on the side of the road. I learned a long time ago that when it comes to Cooling, Brakes and Steering to always buy the best. How much quality can you expect out a $200 radiator?
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2019
    da34guy and Montana1 like this.
  24. $ 650 aluminum radiator?
    28FB8632-6D3B-4D68-846A-21AAD37347F2.png

    Maybe you should shop around a bit.
    Took me a minute to find that and post it
     
  25. My support rod brackets broke too, plus both lower radiator brackets (with springs) broke off. I had to reweld and reinforce everything before it was a year old. Just a bad design.
     
  26. Joe H
    Joined: Feb 10, 2008
    Posts: 755

    Joe H
    Member

    Sorry, try '37 Chevrolet truck.
     
  27. tomic
    Joined: Jan 8, 2008
    Posts: 114

    tomic
    Member

    aluminum radiators are different than brass and require new techniques. it's a matter if deciding of the benefits outweigh the hassle. in my case i didn't have much choice, so i got over the hump.

    i installed one of whatever Speedway sells in june 2016. rather than weld brackets on it i made a sheet steel frame that bolts to the stock location, lined it with dense orange neoprene foam, and slid it in. the pusher fan bolts to a frame in front, not touching the radiator. nomex honeycomb, painted red, over the aluminum fins for bug/debris protection. a side effect is that the aluminum is electrically isolated which stops electrochemical corrosion.

    the engine was new 2017, since then annually i flush with purple degreaser (helps the next step work), then phosphoric acid type cleaner, then garden hose, then a rinse with distilled water. then drained and filled with distilled water and water-wetter. no antifreeze. one year i ran Dexcool (OAT type good for mixed metals). so far so good.
     

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