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Author Topic:   Aluminum Radiator Repair
wrenchjockey
Member
posted July 05, 2003 10:40 AM
What is the best way to repair a pinhole in one of the tubes of an aluminum radiator?? It's a brand new piece, and I was trimming the top with my cut-off saw so my hold down would fit , and one of my crew thought it would be hilarious to sneak up behind me and holler. The saw nicked one of the tubes when I jumped, and I now have a new vent in the very top tube.

Aside from kicking the jacka-- crewman in the teeth, what can I do to fix this? JB Weld?? That aluminum fix-all solder I see on the infomercials?? Take it to a radiator shop?

I'd hate to have to pitch a brand new piece in the garbage.

AC156
Member
posted July 05, 2003 11:38 AM
Use a hot glue gun on it.


PEDDLER
Member
posted July 05, 2003 01:02 PM
And use a bat on the crew man. LOL.


factory58
Member
posted July 05, 2003 01:28 PM
ive had some big cuts in the tubes went to autozone and got some aluminum epoxy it kept mine together to finish the season still got it as a spare lol



rico 08
Member
posted July 06, 2003 11:44 AM
The trick is getting the surface clean and roughened,use a small sandblaster and some good jb weld type epoxy.


outlawstock17
Member
posted July 06, 2003 02:51 PM
i use a propane torch and solder them.


dreamcatcher
Member
posted July 06, 2003 04:30 PM
you cant solder them, and jb weld wont last, i repair metal and aluminum rads all the time. if you are going to do it your self then get a sand blaster this is the easyest way to clean it, then you may have to go down to the local rad shop and get a peice of aluminum weld and it is done just like soldering but if you havent worked on them before be carefull the aluminum will fall right through.



outlawstock17
Member
posted July 06, 2003 04:42 PM
man, i'm glad i didn't know you couldn't solder them. my soldered radiator has been going strong for 2 seasons, lol.


dreamcatcher
Member
posted July 06, 2003 07:34 PM
it is a shame you didnt know he is talking about an aluminum radiator not a copper/brass radiator. if you used regular solder on an aluminum radiator i would love to see it because you will be the first to ever do it.



outlawstock17
Member
posted July 06, 2003 08:21 PM
it was an aluminum radiator, smart guy. i used 40/60 acid core solder to do it. hasn't leaked a drop in 2 seasons. i just love being the first one to do something, lol.


redneck bubbas racing
Member
posted July 06, 2003 10:11 PM
Outlaw you may be right but I would have to put my money on dreamcatcher. Charlie repairs radiators for a living. I have seen his work and it is top notch. If you did indeed do it I applaud you, I too like to see people do what others say can't be done. Dreamcatcher is in fact doing that right now. Hes running a 3600 lb. Grand Prix(?) of the big car vintage (73-77) and spanking the crap out of the camaros in local street stocks. He's also doing it completely legal and not even using most of the allowed "high dollar gotta have it to be upfront" items.


towmandan
Member
posted July 06, 2003 11:13 PM
I dont know why we cant help people on here without someone trying to jump up and say thats not right Ive personally been a mechanic for yrs and raced dirt cars 10 yrs successfully and am very carefull about what advice I give to people because somewhere somehow by a freak of nature it did or didnt work for someone....And what most of us with more experience try to do is tell people what is a COMMON PRACTICE to make an adjustment or repair....Just had to say my peace.....Towman


dreamcatcher
Member
posted July 07, 2003 12:22 AM
cudos to you smart guy. there is always a first time but in your case i dont believe it. all you have to do is show me, i bet you can weld aluminum to flat plate steel to.. aluminum will not bond with solder. plain and simple. i live in centrall texas and would love to see your work. just pm me or let me know on here where i can come see it. if you are right then i will admit it but i have never seen it done. to the guy that started this thread if you dont have any prior experience with this type of work take it to some one who has. it will be better in the long run and i too am sorry if this went the wrong way . charlie norris bellmead street stock c17
bubba its a 76 monte carlo how are you coming on getting one out there.

by the way if you put any type of acid on aluminum it will do nothing but eat it up and the acid core you talk about will do the same if you dont beleive me do an experement yourself and watch it turn black and melt away

[This message has been edited by dreamcatcher (edited July 07, 2003).]

nw15x
Member
posted July 07, 2003 01:18 AM
I had the same problem and none of the local radiator shops would touch the rad. I did some research and ended up using 3M-4 minute multi-metal epoxy. I have used the radiator in 6 races so far without any problems. Hope this helps.


outlawstock17
Member
posted July 07, 2003 07:15 AM
the little glob in the center is the repair.

not that it really matters, but now do you believe it?

sorry if i stepped on anyones toes, just thought i'd share what has worked for me. i didn't know i was going to get "beat up" for trying to help someone! maybe i should just keep my little tricks MINE!

[This message has been edited by outlawstock17 (edited July 07, 2003).]

dreamcatcher
Member
posted July 07, 2003 07:50 AM
giving opinions is what this forum is about, the only comment i have a problem with was (smart guy). if you did use the solder you said you did , you got lucky im not trying to be a smart guy but this is how i make a very good living. and if i seemed like i was out of line then im sorry too.



rob flugge
Member
posted July 07, 2003 08:30 AM
well i have ran a jb welded hole for 1.5 years on a aluminum radiator it works well and doesn't leak but according to the expert on here it wont work? I had it fixed at a shop cost 35.00 and the plastic weld sh#$ they used leaked after 5 mins of run time I guess you have to love the 5.00 jb weld


rico 08
Member
posted July 07, 2003 12:15 PM
Yep i had a radiator shop fix one the same way,charged me $50,blew out the same day,i used the 4 minute epoxy on it and it never leaked again.Outlaw there has been some big bugs go thru you're radiator!Don't worry 'bout the cores,fix the fins.


dreamcatcher
Member
posted July 07, 2003 12:51 PM
to the last 2 posts, jb weld may hold for a while but will evetualy come loose, and the epoxy stuff is not the way to do it the best way to fix it is to aluminum braze it, if it works for you thats good but i take pride in what i do and dont want to loose a race because my temperary fix came loose. and thanks for the expert comment i have been doing radiators for six years now and i dont have any come backs. i work on every day drivers as well as race car rads. like i said if it works for you thats good but it may not work for everyone.



outlawstock17
Member
posted July 07, 2003 03:25 PM
dreamcatcher....you're impressed, aren't you? lucky? i like to think it was "skillful", lol.

rico....are you raggin' on my radiator? one of those "bugs" is what caused the hole!



dreamcatcher
Member
posted July 07, 2003 05:23 PM
thats mainly what luck is, is skill (right)? lol. good luck the rest of the season. and yes i am very impressed


outlawstock17
Member
posted July 07, 2003 06:17 PM
thanks dreamcatcher, same to you. in racing, i'd rather be lucky than good anyday, lol.


driver27
Member
posted July 08, 2003 01:43 PM
too late driver 27, already happend. lol


sideways
Member
posted July 08, 2003 09:07 PM
They call me the 'instigator' at work. I have a knack, I guess. Anyway, I have seen JB Weld do some amazing things, so I gave that a shot. I dried it out for a day, scuffed her up with a wire brush meant for cleaning paint guns and got to mixin' a hot batch of the gray stuff. I'll let you all know how it worked.

Maybe I'll solder it later...I've heard that can be done, you know...I know this guy...no, forget it.




factory58
Member
posted July 08, 2003 10:41 PM
i still dont believe it think ill go to wes,s house and see it for my self lol.
just raggin on ya buddy see ya friday


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