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radiator stop leak

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by mrspeedyt, Apr 29, 2010.

  1. what's your take on radiator stop leak?:confused: and if yes what type do you prefer?
  2. If at all possible, just pull it out and have it repaired.

    I've used Bars leaks, which looks like pickled rat shit, and alumaseal.

    Mc Gyver used eggs...some use pepper.

    All those sealers work OK, and may last for a long time, but its best to do it right. Some will plug up your heater core.

    What costs more? Having a rad shop fix it for a $100 or so, or Towing and repairs after that, possibly toasting the engine?

    If its leaking around the tank seams, sealers seem to not be very effective there.
    If its a spontaneous leak from the core (nothing hit it) the core is probably rotten. Time for another. That will cost more, but still less than a new engine.
  3. The new silver/aluminum looking stuff seems to work better than the older brown/black bars leak. Bars sells both
  4. SpeedAddict001
    Joined: Mar 25, 2010
    Posts: 105

    from Alaska

    General Motors used the Bars stop leak type pellets in every new radiator for years, this was their way of insuring that they would hold. I was told this by a retired engineer who worked for GM for over 35 years and he said that was the normal way of sealing new radiators. I have used it very successfully several times.

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  5. The GM stuff was pellets if am remembering correctly..looked like rolaids.

    We called them Cadillac pills because they put them in all the new caddys.
  6. dave lewis
    Joined: Dec 12, 2006
    Posts: 1,337

    dave lewis

    Bars leak "dry tabs" are used on the new car engine assembly lines.
    The wet type you buy @ the auto parts store has water soluable oil as the "carrier"..
    Water soluable oil helps lube the water pump and also is a chemical surfectant, helping the cooling system transfer heat. (anti freeze / coolant is a chemical surfectant )
    Not too much bad in bars leak, as long as you use it properly !
  7. used barrs in my '41 for small leak. held for a while that leaked again. went to change the coolant and the radiator was plugged up. never use it again
  8. scrap metal 48
    Joined: Sep 6, 2009
    Posts: 5,425

    scrap metal 48

    SpeedAddict is correct.. I too worked at Moraine S10 plant and every new truck got 2 pellets of stop leak just before filling.........
  9. hotrodtom
    Joined: Apr 14, 2005
    Posts: 232


    Way, wa-a-a-ay back in the day, Model T guys used to say put a handful of oatmeal in the radiator.
    Now, think for a minute what oatmeal does when it is cooked...and I don't think I want that in my radiator core.
    Malt-o-Meal maybe? (Jest kiddin!)
  10. Stop leak is an INTERIM STOP LEAK MEASURE, ie; Should only be used to get the car, home or to the repair shop. Not used as the repair itself, long term it will fuck up more than it fixes.
  11. tiredford
    Joined: Apr 6, 2009
    Posts: 423



    Same at Ford plant, I was there.
  12. oj
    Joined: Jul 27, 2008
    Posts: 5,932


    The Justice Bros radiator stop leak is absolute best, i don't know how it works but i've seen it work and it dosn't stay in the motor/radiator like bars or ceramic seal. All my circle track guys swear by it. It stays in there active, if you drain the radiator you'll have to add more. I've used the gm pellets too, but the justice bros stuff is better. Dump a can in and forget about it.
  13. tommy
    Joined: Mar 3, 2001
    Posts: 14,758

    Member Emeritus

    When I was first year apprentice we ran 4" galvanized screw pipe up to a small cooling tower on the roof. We found a leak half way up the side of the building. To fix it we would have to unscrew all the joints back to leak and start over again. The journeyman mechanic sent me to the grocery store for "Mother's oats" in the round cardboard box. He was very specific. 2 handfuls in the suction line and about an hour later it stopped leaking. I was soooo happy that we didn't have to do all that work over again. 4" screw pipe will make you old before your time.:D

    I have had good luck with the old Bars leaks for small pinholes back in my youth. It fixed a leaky heater core in my 63 Corvette.
  14. hotrod56cars
    Joined: Apr 3, 2007
    Posts: 466


    The silver stuff has never failed me and it's never given additional problems to any of the cars I've used it on while I owned the cars.
  15. brad chevy
    Joined: Nov 22, 2009
    Posts: 2,627

    brad chevy

    I noticed you are a retired truck driver,you wouldn"t put a recap on the steer axle would you? pull the thing out ,get it fixed,if you want to just put off repairs,alumaseal works the best.most reputable radiator shops will give you an estimate over the phone for rodding or replacment unit.
  16. Goozgaz
    Joined: Jan 11, 2005
    Posts: 2,558


    Had a leaking freeze plug and I was about 200 miles from home. Dropped some of the silver pepper stop-leak in it and made it home.

    Part of my emergency road kit for sure.
  17. a way late 'thank you' for your tips.:)
    Joined: Nov 10, 2005
    Posts: 846

    from Holly

    Bars Leaks is still very alive and well. A long time business in Holly, Mich. They just moved to larger production building.

    They produce stop leak products for MOST of the retail brands as well as the Bars Leak brand.. If you buy a stop leak product, it probably came from here.

    The auto producers are still their best customers..
  19. Think about it... These fixes "Clog up your leak". While its at it they will clog up everything else as well. Personally I like heat in my cars in the wintertime.

    If you do want a cheap fix, one old one is to dump pepper in your radiator.
    This works too.
  20. JB Justice Bros if you can find it
  21. I like the silver-powder stuff. Think Solder Seal makes one that comes in a small tube. I've had it work as a permanent fix in many cases. The Barrs type just clogs things up, almost a sure-fire cure for a bigger leak in an emergency situation, but it tends to settle in heater cores rendering them less effective.

  22. 325w
    Joined: Feb 18, 2008
    Posts: 5,045

    from texas

    In the GM factory years ago we put two of the AC Delco tablets in every system. I do the same if I buld a new system.
  23. worken2much
    Joined: Jan 11, 2009
    Posts: 67


    Have used the bars leaks pellets / liquid product a number of times over the years. Works just dandy. Make certain to run the engine a good long while. It MUST get up to temp. and dissolve those pellets. The only time I had a residual issue I didn't get the engine hot enough, long enough.

    I rebuilt an Olds 400 years ago for a 67 442. The damn frost plugs leaked right off the bat. Dumped in a can of bars leak and all was well. We owned that car for eight years there after and NEVER had any radiator or heater core issues from it.

  24. gofaster
    Joined: Oct 6, 2005
    Posts: 172

    from georgia

    GM is still using the pellets on the LS engines today. When you buy a new LS3 crate engine from the general and take off the water pump you will find two round "stop leak" tablets in the block.

    The pellets look like very fine, small granulars that have been pressed to form a tablet. My guess is that out of all the stop leak products, these items will cause the LEAST amount of potential stoppage to items like heater cores and cooling passages. They can still be purchased at a GM dealer at the parts counter.
  25. mrforddude
    Joined: May 30, 2010
    Posts: 134


    My old junk yard man swore by ginger...yes the stuff you cook with. He always has a box of it in his junk hauler...what it does to the cooling system...yeah I have no idea. His trucks usually dont last very long...
  26. Bobert
    Joined: Feb 21, 2005
    Posts: 820

    Member Emeritus

    Place that did my machine work on my elderly Olds recommended stop leak in the first fill. Not for the radiator but for the block and heads. Old blocks corrode from the water jacket in. Went 60 over instead of 1/8 to be on the safe side.

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