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Radiator repair

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NCtoy View Drop Down
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    Posted: 13 Jan. 2018 at 9:46am
Anybody tried their own radiator repair? Mine started weeping a little antifreeze in two spots along the front of the radiator where the tank crimps at the bottom. I was think of taking it out and trying to heat the radiator and re solder the seam in those spots. Any chance that would seal the leak or will the tank have to be removed and resealed? 

Thanks to cheap Chinese radiators nobody repairs their radiator anymore and my local radiator repair shop has closed. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Joe DeYoung Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Jan. 2018 at 10:20am
I think someone on the page did an in-depth post of radiator disassembly, repair, and reassembly. Do an advanced search for it and I'm pretty sure you'll find it. It's an interesting and informative read. In your case, it sounds like you could just solder it shut without disassembly but if not, the post will help guide you.
Joe DeYoung
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote willysreunion Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Jan. 2018 at 10:32am
Art C

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http://willysreunion.com/
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Joe DeYoung Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Jan. 2018 at 10:55am
That's the article that I was thinking about... Thanks Art.
Joe DeYoung
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote rocnroll Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Jan. 2018 at 11:40am
That's a good article !

One precaution I'd like to mention..(you can figure how I know)

NCtoy, be careful, if you plan to proceed with a repair, to take your time and don't get everything TOO hot. At that point you will just start chasing solder and have more leaks than you started with.


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'48 CJ2A Lefty

"Common sense is not that common"
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NCtoy View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote NCtoy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Jan. 2018 at 9:01pm
That was a good article. Wish it had a little more detail but at least I know it's possible. 

Roc- my biggest concern is whether I can get the solder melted and into the seam without melting the rest of it and having a mess. I figure if I do it with the radiator upright so the joint is level then hopefully whatever extra I melt won't try and run somewhere else. 
I'll plan on giving it a try in a couple weeks. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Lew Ladwig Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Jan. 2018 at 9:09pm
Hi guys, I wrote the radiator repair guide.  If you have questions let me know.
Lew 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote NCtoy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Jan. 2018 at 9:46pm
what kind of solder did you use?
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Lew Ladwig View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Lew Ladwig Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Jan. 2018 at 10:07pm
I used lead based plumbing solder.  When I ran out I used the new stuff.  I prefer the solid solder.  I don't like the rosin core much.  Key is Super bright shiny metal!   Once it gets heated and turns dull, shine it back up before trying to solder.  Don't be lazy.  Always bright metal!   Good trick is body work tinning paste.  Eastwood sells it for lead body work.  Spread over bright metal and heat until it flows.  Now you can solder without worry of dull metal.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rick G Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Jan. 2018 at 11:00pm
Lew, that’s the best home DIY’er clean, rod, and repair as I’ve ever seen.  Where did you learn that?  I grew up in the radiator business and my family had 5 shops in Texas and New Mexico, so I’ve done this procedure a thousand times.  The only thing I’d recommend is to silver solder or preferably sil-phos tank cracks and baffles.  The tanks take a lot of expansion and contraction stresses that cause solder repairs to fail quicker than sil-phos repairs.  Also, take extreme care to keep heat off the tubes near the header.  You can quickly make more leaks at the tube/header connection than you can fix.

NCtoy, we used 60/40 solid solder, but we had really good tinning compound (zinc chloride powder that we made into a paste) and bead blasted the tanks and other parts.  Good luck!

Rick
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Lew Ladwig Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Jan. 2018 at 9:39am
Thanks Rick,
Good to know I was doing it close to right!  I knew how to solder copper plumbing as my dad taught me that when we built his house when I was in highschool.  I figured it was something like that.  I only used materials I had in my shop so knowing about your zinc chloride is cool.  I think I do have some as I have a zinc plating set up I made myself.  Other than that, I just followed a logical path.  No experience with my first one.  Just the school of hard knocks!
Lew
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote NCtoy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 May 2018 at 10:18pm
I have finally completed this repair. I ended up resealing the top tank seam, which wasn’t all that hard. There was a definate learning curve though, and it took 2 tries to get it all right, but I’m ok with that for a first try at radiator repair. As Lew said, the trick is to make sure it’s clean, then work small sections until it flows good, and move on. With a little practice the seam looked like a pro job. 

Where my trouble came from was after repairing the seam and testing it, I noticed I had a small leak at the water neck where tit attaches to the tank. Now that I was a pro at radiator repair (yeah right), I didn’t think it would be any big deal to reseal that seam. Next thing I knew the whole thing was off the tank. A little cleaning up and a few more tries and I finally got it all sealed up. It was a little frustrating because you would get one side sealed and start working on the other, only to melt the seal on the first side.  Eventually I remembered I had a very small torch head in my pile of stuff, which helped limit the area I was heating. 

Overall, it was more intimidating than hard, I wouldn’t be scared to do it again. If I can do it anybody can. I used a regular solid core lead free solder as I couldn’t find any with lead in it. I did order and use tinning flux, although I have no idea what the difference is between that and the kind they sell at Lowe’s. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rick G Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 May 2018 at 11:31pm
pictures of the repairs?
1947 CJ2a #119929    "Gus"
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote NCtoy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 May 2018 at 12:41pm
I did take a couple pictures but I still haven’t set anything up in place of photobucket. If I get time this afternoon I’ll try to upload them to the server here. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Jeff_Davis Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 May 2018 at 10:17pm
Just a RADIATOR Repair FYI:  I found a good classic radiator shop that has all the right equipment to do original repairs.  It is located in NE GA, about an hours drive from the South Carolina border off I-85.
Highly recommended and reasonable.  He's done 2 jeep radiators, a '54 Ford pickup, and a 40 Ford - all original and still holding water!
 
Roger Brock
Brock's Radiator
11310  GA Hwy 17 South
Lavonia GA  30533
706-356-4114
 
I don't think Roger has a website or a Facebook page, if you get my drift, and don't know if shipping radiators is economical, but if you're within driving range, he'll fix it.
He also is a wiz at gas tank cleaning and rebuilding.
 
Jeff
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote NCtoy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 May 2018 at 9:38pm
Not very good pics but it’s what I’ve got...

You can see the wet spots where the leak was:


Cleaned up:



The end of my first try. I wire wheeled the globs off, to clean it up. This try ended up leaking a little still, so I cleaned it up and redid it again. The second try came out much better looking, and is holding water. 




I didn’t get any pictures with the water neck off. It got sealed back up and is working. The inside came out pretty good looking where the solder went around the seam. The outside is a little globby looking but if you don’t look close you wouldn’t notice. Got to start somewhere I guess, the next time should look better,maybe even good looking. 


Edited by NCtoy - 13 May 2018 at 9:51pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote eestes1 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 May 2018 at 6:37am
Great! Id be very happy with that😁
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Lew Ladwig Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 May 2018 at 10:57am
Nice!  Glad to see it worked out. 
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