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Old 02-06-2011, 07:58 PM   #1
!kid
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small leak in radiator

so i bought a 318 radiator with a side mount expansion tank but it has a small crack where something impacted one of the cooling bars that go's across. i want to fix it myself but i am not sure how the "pro's" do it. i have a TIG welder but its so thin, i am afraid to even try to weld it. the crack is like say the thickness of your E30 key, thats about how long the crack is.

i have a small propane torch should i get some brazing rod and have at it?
are there any other methods that are easy and will hold strong?
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Old 02-07-2011, 07:40 AM   #2
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There are still radiator repair shops around (at least around Atlanta). I doubt you could tig it (unless you are AMAZINGLY good). As you said, that stuff is so thin...

A crack from what you stated is pretty wide for a radiator. I doubt any sealant type method would work.

Good luck
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Old 02-07-2011, 08:08 AM   #3
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Radiator shops generally would solder stuff like that back in the old days
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Old 02-07-2011, 08:10 AM   #4
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If this was a heavier part, I'd say that you have a boat anchor. But it isn't heavy enough for that. So what you have is fodder for the aluminum recycle bin.

The only fix that has a chance of working would be JBWeld or similar, if you can get it to bond. But even that is iffy and if it does seal it could fail at any time. The cost of a new radiator is far less that the cost to repair the engine if it suffers an overheat into the red. A single serious overheat can take out the head gasket and warp the head, or even result in a cracked head.
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Old 02-07-2011, 09:27 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dillsnick View Post
A crack from what you stated is pretty wide for a radiator. I doubt any sealant type method would work.
Good luck
the crack where fluid would come out is open about the thinkness of 4 hairs and thats consistent over the length or width of a key, its very small.

i am thinking about buying some alu brazing rod and doing it that way. i seen a vid last night where some dude brazed over a hole in the bottom of a soda can and it became stronger hahah

Quote:
Originally Posted by StereoInstaller1 View Post
Radiator shops generally would solder stuff like that back in the old days
yeah thats what i am going to do. seems like the strongest option. but i'll be using alu and not solder. i looked up the workable temps for soldering.... its kinda low for a radiator that can get very hot. brazing is for alloys with melting point above 840 F according to wiki.
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Old 02-07-2011, 10:08 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by !kid View Post
the crack where fluid would come out is open about the thinkness of 4 hairs and thats consistent over the length or width of a key, its very small.

i am thinking about buying some alu brazing rod and doing it that way. i seen a vid last night where some dude brazed over a hole in the bottom of a soda can and it became stronger hahah
FYI, aluminum welding is very tricky and only really experienced guys I've seen have success with this. Welding a pop can and welding a head or rad is apples and oranges. they don't compare. JB weld is your best shot, if not then you're gonna have to break down and buy another.
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Old 02-07-2011, 10:41 AM   #7
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FYI, aluminum welding is very tricky and only really experienced guys I've seen have success with this. Welding a pop can and welding a head or rad is apples and oranges. they don't compare. JB weld is your best shot, if not then you're gonna have to break down and buy another.
i am familiar with the difficulty of welding ALU, being a welder myself. i have a bit of thin gauge scrap ALU in my garage that i plan to practice brazing on till i am happy i can not fudge up the radiator. now its just a matter of finding ALU brazing rod local Air Gas cant even order it. i might just try and use some 1/16 4043 rod i have
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Old 02-07-2011, 04:58 PM   #8
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i am familiar with the difficulty of welding ALU, being a welder myself. i have a bit of thin gauge scrap ALU in my garage that i plan to practice brazing on till i am happy i can not fudge up the radiator. now its just a matter of finding ALU brazing rod local Air Gas cant even order it. i might just try and use some 1/16 4043 rod i have
the aggravation and cost of the alum rod is probably more then the JB weld..lol.
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