radiator repair

Joined
Sep 2, 2007
Messages
4,435
Location
Longmont, CO
Visit site
My fancy new radiator cap is great... at raising the pressure enough to spray coolant into my fan. (mess)

I have a leak in one of the seams at the top of my radiator; right at the seam in the tank beneath the neck to the cap. The plan is to wire brush it, hit it with some muriatic acid, and the solder with acid-core.

Any comments/concerns? Is this a common place for a leak?

Pics, leak location circled.
IMG_1521-800.jpg
 
Joined
Sep 3, 2007
Messages
8,871
Location
New Zealand
Visit site
It's very common and often the cracks are in the brass header tank itself (not in the seam as one might expect).

The diesel vibtrations seem to do it. (But my latest header tank is holding up well. - Perhaps it has thicker brass than the original).

That's my experience anyway Amaurer.

I'd take it to a reputable radiator repair shop because I wasted lots of time trying to repair my first radiator myself. (I even soldered brass shim on top of the cracks - just to find more - and more - and more.........)

The shop will be able to replace the header tank with another one if need be. (Probably best to recore it at the same time though. I know. - More hard earned dosh! But it's only money!)

:cheers:

PS. What are the fins like on the other side? I bet there are patches of finless tubes near the top! And what's the story with the far-right tube in the photo? Is it sealed off due to a leak?
 
Last edited:
Joined
Sep 2, 2007
Messages
4,435
Location
Longmont, CO
Visit site
I did some searching before I posted so I knew there was going to be a lot of wisdom that said "replace it!". For the moment, I'd like to avoid the expense, things are tight; I just want something to keep me going for a while.

Marbles, as for the tube at the corner; theres a tube sealed off like that at eevery corner. Dunno why.

Also, yes, there are some finless patches. How'd you know?
 

Cruiserdrew

On the way there
SILVER Star
Joined
Mar 15, 2003
Messages
15,927
Location
Sacramento, CA
Visit site
That radiator looks to be in very poor shape. If the tanks are good, take it to an old time radiator shop and have them work it. Thay may be able to re-core it if you are lucky. Otherwise, it's new radiator time.

I had one rodded and the tanks re-soldered for about $45 a few years ago. The place that did the wark was like something from the Inferno, with dirty guys, huge vats of boiling chemicals, and flaming torches in everyone's hands. Actually cool to see what they did.
 
Joined
Jan 11, 2006
Messages
2,380
Location
Melbourne
Visit site
I did some searching before I posted so I knew there was going to be a lot of wisdom that said "replace it!". For the moment, I'd like to avoid the expense, things are tight; I just want something to keep me going for a while.

I have been down this road money spent on repairs is wasted price a new or at worst a second hand radiator.
If you do repair, always carry sufficent water, bar off solder tin of flux and a blow torch. Wish I had :mad:
 

Pighead

Stop calling it an FJ
Joined
Aug 31, 2004
Messages
8,365
Location
Denverish
Visit site
Yes, very common on both 40s and 55s...and very difficult to repair without pulling the top off and re-soldering the whole thing. But a good radiator shop can fix it up better than new. I've had mine re-cored 2 or 3 times over the last 20 years...(Pig radiators are hard to find). Find the best shop in your area, maybe spring for a new core, you'll be good to go.
 
Joined
Sep 2, 2007
Messages
4,435
Location
Longmont, CO
Visit site
Well I called some shops and went to visit one that sounded like they knew what they were talking about...

They wanted "$198" to just pull the top tank off, clean it, and resolder. I laughed at him and he said he'd just solder where I thought the leak was for "$98". I hate the Bay Area. (Naturally I told him to go :censor: himself)

In any case, I'm going to try to repair it myself until I have the disposable income to buy a new one... so any tips?
 
Last edited:

fjwagon

SILVER Star
Joined
Dec 7, 2004
Messages
1,851
Visit site
I say go for it but it seems this rad. has been repaired once before. Usually rad shops will charge a 1/3.....1/4 of the value of a new one or their abouts for a repair. Since it's already been fix before save your money and get a new one instead. Also don't forget to replace your thermostat.
 
Joined
Sep 2, 2007
Messages
4,435
Location
Longmont, CO
Visit site
looking at radiatorbarn...

is a 3B radiator the same as a 2F radiator? radiatorbarn only has one type for landcruisers, and I'm assuming its the gasser. for one, my 3B radiator has the inlet and outlet on the same side, so I'd have to make a new lower hose for the bottom fitting...
 
Joined
Apr 4, 2006
Messages
13,966
Location
NorCal
Visit site
They wanted "$198" to just pull the top tank off, clean it, and resolder. I laughed at him and he said he'd just solder where I thought the leak was for "$98". I hate the Bay Area.

... so any tips?

The place I went, in Morgan Hill, removed both tanks, rodded out the core and put it all back together for under $100. On my truck radiator they told me it was too far gone to repair, so they seem pretty honest. You won't find another one with that much brass. I'd try to get it fixed. You could get a used one from SOR for $150 and have them go through it if yours is too far gone. I'd rather have a newly repaired original than a cheapo radiator barn 4 core.

Superior Automotive & Radiator - Google Maps
 
Joined
Jun 22, 2006
Messages
120
Location
Southern Utah
Visit site
RadiatorBarn.com - 4 row is about $200 to your door.

Agreed, think of all the places you go in your pig, then think about walking from them to get to a place that your cell can pick up service, or worse yet, cracking your head due to overheating..

You wont be sorry if you replace it, you can be sorry, and spending a whole lot more if it is not repaired properly, plus you need to remember that all of the heating up and cooling down that happens to your radiator, those tanks get more and more brittle over time due to constant heating and cooling, and that makes them a whole lot more liable to crack under pressure.

DO right once, and be done with it.
 

Pighead

Stop calling it an FJ
Joined
Aug 31, 2004
Messages
8,365
Location
Denverish
Visit site
I have to disagree here. I would rather have my radiator rehabbed by a local craftsman than send away for a new unit from BFE. I know the good shops in the area and they know me. Just about every stock radiator I've seen gets that seam leak. I had mine locally repaired, with a 4 row core and and never a leak since.
And just like I think that a re-built engine can be better than new, I hold to the notion that a re-built radiator can be just as good as, if not better than, a brand new one. Plus you know it fits.



Agreed, think of all the places you go in your pig, then think about walking from them to get to a place that your cell can pick up service, or worse yet, cracking your head due to overheating..

You wont be sorry if you replace it, you can be sorry, and spending a whole lot more if it is not repaired properly, plus you need to remember that all of the heating up and cooling down that happens to your radiator, those tanks get more and more brittle over time due to constant heating and cooling, and that makes them a whole lot more liable to crack under pressure.

DO right once, and be done with it.
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Top Bottom