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Discussion Starter #1
I have a '49 Chevy Pickup with a 350/350 and the original factory radiator. Ive had a new, larger core put in about 18 months ago. Now I'm finding some pinhole leaks in the tank on top, not on the seam. I'll probably replace it before next summer. Until then, is there any way that I can patch these holes to hold me over?
 

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THERE IS THAT ALUMAWELD STUFF.

or my personal favorite, JB Weld.

(insert roscoe p coletrain laugh here X)


no really, i've used jb weld on a radiator in front of an olds 455. it ran as long as i had it. :thumbup:
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Larry- Is there any secret for preparing the surface for JB Weld? I tried it once before and it held for about a week and started leaking again.
 

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The proper way to fix your rad is to solder it. You need a propane torch, solder and soldering acid (flux). Make sure the spot to be soldered is real clean.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Does one kind of solder work better than any other? Suppose I use the same solder that I use to sweat copper pipes, will that work?
 

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hiimed said:
Does one kind of solder work better than any other? Suppose I use the same solder that I use to sweat copper pipes, will that work?

Yep....same solder

killerformula said:
buy a two dollar thing of barsleaks and dump it in.

Done.

K

Been there, done that......never works, for long.
 

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i sanded it clean, then hit it with alcohol or some solvent that'll evaporate....

but if you can solder it, do that, it will last longer.:thumbup:
 

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killerformula said:
its working on mine right now! You have to put it in when you change the fluid too, it doesn't hold forever

K
Put too much of that bars leak in and you will be replacing your heater core. Been there done that. The stuff is great to carry in the car in case of emergency, but I wouldn't use it for any other reason.


hiimed, you should clean the area(s) properly and solder as suggested. If you are unsure how to do it correctly, a radiator shop shouldn't charge too much to do it for you.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
OK, this morning I got out and drained the radiator and chucked the wire wheel in my drill and cleaned the areas where the leaks are. The solder that I use for copper pipes didn't want to flow, It just balled up and slid off, so I switched to electrical solder and it balled up but it stuck to the original leak. I freshened up 3 other leaks that had been soldered already by just passing the torch over the solder to let it flow into the leak...not a good idea. One that was just seeping is now spewing pretty good. I think I'll get out the JB Weld for now and take the radiator to a shop where they know what they are doing.
 

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On these types of repairs, I usually take a propane torch and gently heat the area in question. Then I take the solder to it. The solder seems to adhere better with the area pre-heated.

Just a thought, but if your having troubles...take it to a shop and have it done. Just ask questions so you can learn to do it for yourself in the future.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I ran the torch all over the area for quite a while. I'm not a welder or a solderer but I've done enough of either to understand the concept. Either my torch wasn't hot enough to heat the whole area or the solder melting point was too high. I'm going to take your advice and go to a pro this time and see what he/she's doing different than me.
 

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hiimed said:
I ran the torch all over the area for quite a while. I'm not a welder or a solderer but I've done enough of either to understand the concept. Either my torch wasn't hot enough to heat the whole area or the solder melting point was too high. I'm going to take your advice and go to a pro this time and see what he/she's doing different than me.
I have solderd copper pipes with silver solder and soft but i did find that when soldering ,,, tinning and or fluxing helps it flow
 

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If you ever need to resort to using Bars Leak,make that the last thing you can do.Voodoo repair,If you can not get the solder to hold,which is the correct method of repair.Try JB Weld.I am not knocking on Bars Leak,or anyone who may use it.I just cringe at the thought of dumping stuuf inside anything that gums up leaks,mainly cause it will gum up other things as well.
 

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To get the solder to stick, you need to apply soldering acid,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,as I said in my origianl post.
 

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hiimed said:
Does one kind of solder work better than any other? Suppose I use the same solder that I use to sweat copper pipes, will that work?
are you soldering thick wall copper pipes with silver solder ?/
Or, are you wanting to repair your thin wall radiator "
""
 

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Solder technics

Doc here:pimp:

To solder a radiator, first you need to determine what you are dealing with...

Brass or Aluminum?

If it's aluminum it won't solder...Take it to a shop and have it done...or just replace it.

If it is Brass...Burnish off all the old paint about 2 inches or better in diameter from around the leak. Make sure it's clean and bright and grease free.

Next get your torch and get it fired up, put a dab of Solder Resin around the hole area, and dip your Solder in the resin.

Get a good sized FLAT screw driver with a tip about the size of a tire iron to use as a heat sink and a hot tool for working the solder in (like leading a body).

Heat the area around the hole moving the flame in circles holding the screw driver in the heat range also, so both heat at the same time...

Holding the screwdriver next to the hole, apply solder after the resin melts good and the heat is hot enough (don't over heat, other seams will UNSOLDER in the near area if you use too much heat!)

keeping heat on the radiator, and screwdriver (you'll have to grow an extra hand for this application!) The solder should FLOW around the area if the heat is correct...like water on glass..

Work it in with the hot screw driver, and while applying the solder be sure you keep dipping it in the RESIN..else it WON'T stick!

If the solder balls up and rolls off, you either don't have enough resin, or the heat is too cold...or both. Or the area is dirty..

Once you have the area filled in, hit it again with the flame until the solder melts and flows smooth, then remove the heat and let it cool..

You should have a good fix. Pressure test it and paint it and your set!

If your doing a HOSE fitting neck, these are a PAIN in the ***...As soon as you have one hole (crack) filled, you'll see the next area has had the solder run out of it, so it's best to prep and solder the whole diameter of the neck to avoid new leaks..and use lots of resin and solder to flow in the whole neck at the same time.

If you have a BUD that's a plumber...ask him to do it, it's the same as sweating copper pipe...should be second nature for him..Also if you master this..you can do your own plumbing (Oh..Joy...)

Hope it helps!
Doc :pimp:
 
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