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Use of Water Glass to seal radiator

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by patooti1, Nov 22, 2009.

  1. patooti1
    Joined: Nov 22, 2009
    Posts: 1

    from Loomis, CA

    Can any of you fellows give me a How-To for using water glass to seal my radiator? I stopped using the car after the radiator leaked terribly...and now it's been sitting for about a year and a half. I want to try the water glass, and I'm off to get a new battery...but should I allow the engine to run and add water to the radiator first??? Should the engine be hot, or is it OK to pour the water glass in when it's cold? Do I need to be actively driving the car after I put the jar of water glass in the radiator or can I just take it for a drive then let it sit? If you wouldn't mind answering these questions and giving me a step by step How-To on this procedure I'd really appreciate it!!
    Thanks for letting me invade your "guy" message board to get some help with this!!
    Patooti #1
  2. 61TBird
    Joined: Mar 16, 2008
    Posts: 2,641


    That stuff was used to "seize" engines in cars turned in for the cfc program.......

    Where is the radiator leaking?
    How bad is it leaking?
    I'd have the Radiator rebuilt instead of trying that.
    I did a quick search and there's a Radiator shop in Roseville.

    Roseville Radiator
    832 Atlantic St, Roseville, CA
    <nobr>(916) 773-0413</nobr>&#8206;

    I'll be back in Rocklin tomorrow and can stop by and help if you need it.
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2009
  3. noboD
    Joined: Jan 29, 2004
    Posts: 6,087


    Go to a real radiator shop and get it fixed. A freind experimented with water glass in a single cylinder engine. He turned it over with an impact wrench and it got so tight it sheared off the teeth on the camshaft. Do you want the water pump to seize up like that??
  4. hotrod40coupe
    Joined: Apr 8, 2007
    Posts: 2,559


    Water glass is sodium silicate, it is prepared by fusing sodium or potassium carbonate with sand. Are you sure you want to put that in your engine/radiator? Just take it to a radiator shop to have it fixed.
    Register now to get rid of these ads!

    Joined: Jun 3, 2005
    Posts: 6,930


  6. 'Never heard of anybody using it to fix a RADIATOR-after all, a radiator is fairly simple to remove and have repaired. Leaky or cracked blocks are another matter-lotsa work to remove and have repaired thus fixes like water glass. It was known to seal up cracks but you had to keep it wet. If you allowed the water level to fall below the top of the core in the radiator, the stuff would seal off the tubes.
  7. 29nash
    Joined: Nov 6, 2008
    Posts: 4,544

    from colorado

    Best way to repair a radiator, if it don't have plastic tanks, it to solder it.
  8. holeshot
    Joined: Sep 18, 2009
    Posts: 1,520

    from Waxahachie

    SAY WHAT?...patoot pour that crap in your radiator, and kiss your engine good by.what dimention are you from, because i know your not from this REALITY. man you just screwed up my mind for weeks. heaven help a fool, and i'am not talking about you...POP.
  9. R Pope
    Joined: Jan 23, 2006
    Posts: 3,209

    R Pope

    I've used it many times. Usually in an engine that isn't worth a lot of work, just to get a leaker back on the road for a summer or so. One Y block had a leaking head gasket, tore it down a year or so later, and the head wouldn't come off! We tried everything but dynamite! Even put the starter back on and spun it over, the compression didn't budge it. That stuff sticks!
  10. gonmad
    Joined: May 17, 2007
    Posts: 1,608


    Never used it but my dad said that it works if you do not mix it with antifreeze. Then it supposidly turns into a solid chunk of goo that don't move.

    But don't take my word, try it yourself!!! Lol! Naaaa, go to a rad shop!
  11. LYNN49
    Joined: May 3, 2009
    Posts: 51


    The used to use water glass to seal and preserve eggs back in the way olden days.
  12. Brad54
    Joined: Apr 15, 2004
    Posts: 6,004

    from Atl Ga

    I've heard of guys using it on race engines when they have a porosity problem on aluminum cylinder heads from getting the ports too big.

    But in the wrong hands (YOURS!) it's death to an engine.

  13. pecker head
    Joined: Nov 8, 2006
    Posts: 3,157

    pecker head

    I can't believe he aint catching shit for not doing a intro !
  14. I used it back a LONG time ago to seal a leaky rad..that shit worked..
    Not the real cure ,but got me home..

  15. J&JHotrods
    Joined: Oct 22, 2008
    Posts: 536


    If it was a slight drip, or even something close, you MAY have a few alternative solutions, but I take your words as a BIG ASS LEAK. Gotta pull that rad. and have it repaired. At a radiator shop. You know how murphy's law works......
  16. 41woodie
    Joined: Mar 3, 2004
    Posts: 930


    I have this weird feeling that this "he" is a she.
  17. deucemac
    Joined: Aug 31, 2008
    Posts: 597


    Water glass is also known as "egg keep". It's used to seal egg shells before shipping. We used it very often in the dark ages of the early '60's when we could barely afford gas let alone rad repairs. Bought the stuff at drug stores, started the car, poured it in by the quart and off we would go. It would seal pretty quick and if not, we scrounged up the bucks to fix the radiator. I thought it was funny that, I believe, Prestone came out years later with a commercial where they punched holes in an antifreeze can and the leaks would stop about 2 holes behind the one they were punching at the time. They claimed that there was a special "sodium silicate" formula in the antifreeze. We just laighed and said that egg keep strikes again only with a fancy name now.
  18. J&JHotrods
    Joined: Oct 22, 2008
    Posts: 536


    Ding ding ding!!
    Either way, you could do more harm than good if you don't go for the correct repair, patootie #1.
  19. first off, what kind of ride you roll'in, second I took the radiator out of the 50 wayfarer I bought in salt lake was going to drive home with wife and truck in tow, road testing car about a half hour, got back counted out the cash, and started for home a mile away the front top of the radiator blew..the tool had a 18 lb car on a radiator that should of had a 4lb, ok so I tow dolly that moose home. But after looking all over, ebay, craigs list, all the custom guys AFTER I went to roseville radiator who said..oh that can't be fixed, a kat at napa and a friend who owner operates long haul told me of Mark at Servicecenter Radiator in Auburn (a couple of miles north of you) boogyed over Mark looked at it, and said no problem, had it repaired sweet in 2 days, and could had hosed me , cause I was quoted 5 bills plus on a market for dodge stuff.. I paid 140.00 cash.. it worked and looked awsume. The first hotrod guy I met 4 months ago moving up here, and he runs the auburn hot rod cruz nights. You give him a call, and tell him the dude in rocklin with the dodge sent ya, my buddy has him do his petebuilts radiators and thats good enough for me. Mark is a hotrod kat and friend. 530 885 2282
    110 Borland Ave, Auburn.. good luck..see ya at a show. dave
  20. hey, maybe they saw the McGriver show, where he was trying to get away, and there was this old army jeep with bullet holes in the radiator, and there were some chicken, he got their eggs, after he filled the radiator with what water he could, stated the engine with like the sparks from two rocks or something, then as it started to heat up, he cracked the eggs, put them in the radiator, they began to get hard, plug the radiator holes and he was away and safe as always.. yea..thats the ticket..
  21. If you just have a couple or even a lot of leakes in the tubes. Slit the offending tube take a tooth pick and cram cotton both directions in to the tube. Then chew up super bubble bubble gum and seal over the outside. Ever see bubble gum on a school desk?When that gum hardens It wont ever come out without a chisel. Once when we where hunting way out in the middle of nowhere. The battery came out and into the fan bending it into the radiator cutting a large circle in the radiator. and breaking the side of the battery. We used cotton from the seat removed the bent fan. And broke part of the top of the battery away to get to the connecter bar that attaches the cells. visegripped the battery cable to that connecter (we now had a 10 volt battery) Started it up and came home. My son Chris when he was 10 got a BF Avery tractor with a rotten radiator he cleaned it up and tried to solder it several times. Finally he glued it with liquid nails glue that fix held antifreeze been 25 years still holding.:cool: OldWolf
  22. frisco
    Joined: Feb 7, 2006
    Posts: 66

    from Canton, NC

    I would not suggest using water glass for a radiator repair. Get the radiator fixed correctly or replace it. Water glass will work for cracks.

    Water Glass (sodium silicate) has many uses. It used to be used in museum displays where water (streams, rivers and lakes) were being simulated. It dries rock hard but still looks liquid. Folks who build model train displays still use it for the same thing.

    Before refrigeration, water glass was also used to preserve eggs. The egg shell was sealed by the water glass preventing air getting thru the shells. The eggs were submerged in a wooden barrel filled with water glass and then a covering of straw was placed on top of the liquid.

    The recent use of water glass to "lock up" engines was done by introducing the water glass thru the intake of the engine and thus into the cylinders. The engine would sieze up because the water glass is non combustible and once hardened would prevent the rotating assembly from turning.

    Prestone brand anti freeze (the green colored product) still has sodium silicate in it to help prevent minor leaks in automotive coolant systems.

    It is used in automotive cooling systems to "seal" cracked heads and blocks and can work well.

    My personal experience with water glass occured in 1960. I lived in Reno, Nevada and had purchased a 1936 Ford 3 window coupe from the original owner. While driving down to visit my parents in San Mateo, California, the car overheated in Vallejo. I pulled into a service staion and ran water into the radiator with the engine running and the drain petcock open until the engine cooled back down. I closed the petcock and continued on. I had to repeat this about every 10-15 miles. I just made it across the Oakland Bay bridge before overheating. When I finally got to my folks house, I figured I had a blown head gasket. I pulled the passenger side head and discovered a crack. I called around to local junk yards and found a replacement head. This did not solve the problem. The neighbor mentioned using water glass to fix the problem. He said it could be bought in the drug store. I went to the local drugstore and not believing what I was told, sheepishly asked the pharmacist if he sold water glass. He asked me "Are you preserving eggs or do you have a cracked block?" He then proceeded to tell me some history about water glass. I bought a quart. It is a colorless and odorless clear liquid. It was less than $1.00 for a quart at the time. With the engine running, I partially filled the radiator with water, poured in the quart of water glass, then topped off the radiator with water. The engine did not overheat. I didn't believe it would last and had to get back to Reno to my job, so I sold the car and took the Greyhound bus back. I saw the car two years later. The owner had gotten the car painted and swapped out the wide five rims for '40-'48 rims and drums. I asked him how it was running. I figured he probably had swapped out the engine. He said it ran great and had not had any problems with the engine or drivetrain.

    There are several products available to "seal" cracked heads and/or blocks. Most, if not all contain sodium silicate. All state that the product should be added to plain water with NO anti freeze in the mix. Puzzling because water glass (sodium silicate) is in some brands of anti freeze.

    Lesson learned. Knowledge gained.

    Would I use it again? Maybe. Depends on the circumstances. At best, I believe, it is a temporary fix.
  23. frisco
    Joined: Feb 7, 2006
    Posts: 66

    from Canton, NC

    Just some additional info.

    For your application, I would replace or have the radiator repaired.

    For older cast iron blocks and heads, water glass does seem to be a viable "fix" for minor cracks. It did work for me on the one occasion where I tried it. However, I really had no faith or trust in the repair and sold the vehicle without really testing the repair for any extended period of time.

    Most newer engines are aluminum and the heads will crack easily if the engine overheats. Due to the expansion rate of aluminum, I don't think that water glass would work for more than an "emergency" repair.

    I know that product is in many brands of anti freeze and remember the old TV commercials where the anti freeze container would be punctured and the leak would seal itself.

    I do not trust it for radiator leaks. Older brass radiators will expand and contract too much if cracked and should be soldered or brazed to repair. Aluminum radiators will expand and contract even more and should be TIG or Heli-arc welded to repair. The newer plastic radiators would have to be replaced.

    Epoxy repairs or JB Weld should only be considered in the event of an emergency repair only and NOT for a permanent "fix".

    This is my opinion and hope it is useful.

  24. Servicenter in Auburn is the best!
  25. a friend told me about this stuff its not cheep i saw it for 25 bucks at rite aid
  26. PegLegStrick
    Joined: Aug 8, 2007
    Posts: 1,883


    If you value your car don't use the quick fix additives.............usually a waste of money & time. Take it to a radiator shop & have it fixed.
  27. 61TBird
    Joined: Mar 16, 2008
    Posts: 2,641


    I'm back in Rocklin now,pm me if you need any help.
  28. Bigjake
    Joined: Jan 21, 2009
    Posts: 266


    When I was about 16 I had a leaking radiator and no money. An old timer who ran a local radiator shop told me to pour a little black pepper in the radiator and go get it hot. Crazy as it sounds it has sealed and never leaked since and only cost me a few sneezes.
  29. kirby1374
    Joined: Dec 16, 2008
    Posts: 427


    pepper has always worked for me :)
  30. czuch
    Joined: Sep 23, 2008
    Posts: 2,404

    from vail az

    Fix it right and be cool.

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