Leaking Radiator

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Leaking Radiator

Postby LFEngineering » Tue Nov 12, 2013 5:18 am

I went to get a load of firewood yesterday and in the time it too me to fill the carry-all with 2 days of wood I turn around to see a slowly growing puddle of coolant under the tractor. Long story short it looks like there's a pin hole somewhere in the radiator. It had dripped out filling the fins with coolant and when I started it the fan pulled it all over the place. Cold enough to get it to the shop I finished my firewood moving and parked her in the garage. I pulled, drained and cleaned the radiator. I can hear a high pitch whistle when I blow in the radiator but can't find the leak. Think it's time to submerge it in the bath tub this afternoon.

I see these radiators are copper cores, are they solder-able if I find the leak? Anyone try repairing them before?
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Re: Leaking Radiator

Postby Gary Dotson » Tue Nov 12, 2013 7:16 am

Copper/brass radiators solder well, if there's anything left to solder. Old radiators are often too thin to solder reliably. Give it a try, what's the worst that can happen? My rule of thumb is "it's never clean enough" so clean the area to be soldered really well, then clean it some more.
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Re: Leaking Radiator

Postby outdoors4evr » Tue Nov 12, 2013 8:23 am

Sure doesn't hurt to try to solder it. Make sure you are using a non-pressurized radiator cap.
If the soldering doesn't go well, then....
http://www.hamiltonbobs.com/Radiator-New-1108602.htm
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Re: Leaking Radiator

Postby LFEngineering » Tue Nov 12, 2013 9:59 am

I suppose the location and type of leak will determine the fixablity. Unfortunately my radiator is in great shape, there are no dents dings or fins out of place. I say unfortunately because if it's leaking now for no good reason the core is probably shot from the inside out. I hope to pick up a bike tube after work,clamp it on the inlet & outlet hoses and put some air to it. Hard to look for the leak when your the one blowing into the radiator.

I'm no stranger to welding, brazing & soldering it's merely a "let's try it for the fun of it" repair. I've already got a shopping cart full of stuff from Hamilton Bob's if the sheet hits the fan.

I'll get some pix up when I find the leak.
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Re: Leaking Radiator

Postby SONNY » Tue Nov 12, 2013 6:32 pm

I would find an old cap and drill/install a tire air stem into it then put in a little air and dump water on the outer side of the core,!---that way you dont get caught with rad in your tub!!! LOL!!!
if its not a big leak you can go with stop leak or black pepper and get by for years!
My buddy is still using an A JD with a head leak and has run it for 30 years and added more pepper 1 time, pulls it hard and has not had any problems with it!!
good luck on your repair!--- thanks; sonny
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Re: Leaking Radiator

Postby LFEngineering » Tue Nov 12, 2013 6:56 pm

Fixed It!

As you can see from the pictures below the fix went off with out a hitch (which never happens). After inflating the bike tube I could hear the leak, but couldn't find it so it was off to the tub. I marked it with a wax pencil under water and took it back out to the garage. I cut away the fin from the problem area exposing the pinhole. Using a micro wire brush on the Dremel I cleaned the area and prepared it for solder. A quick shot from my 400 watt pistol grip style soldier gun was just what the Dr. ordered.

The hardest part of this repair was deciding whether or not to use the acid free radiator clean-out concoction I got at the store. Didn't want to "clean out" some build-up that was plugging other leaks. I figured what the heck and went ahead and cleaned it out, seemed to work pretty good too got all kinds of scale and build up out. I hooked up the tube again for the final pressure test and put in enough air it started to bypass the cap. All in all it took about an hour or so.

No idea if other areas will start to pop up or if this was an isolated weak spot, the rest of the radiator looked to be pretty solid. Even poking around the pin hole seemed pretty good. Fingers crossed.

BTW, got the tub cleaned up before she got home so we're good!
Attachments
Leak.JPG
Leak.JPG (96.78 KiB) Viewed 80 times
Hole Far.JPG
Hole Far.JPG (203 KiB) Viewed 80 times
Hole Close.JPG
Hole Close.JPG (101.83 KiB) Viewed 80 times
Hole Clean.JPG
Hole Clean.JPG (98.65 KiB) Viewed 80 times
Fixed 2.JPG
Fixed 2.JPG (132.18 KiB) Viewed 80 times
Fixed1.JPG
Fixed1.JPG (114.3 KiB) Viewed 80 times
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