Radiator troubles

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HarveyCub
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Location: Woodstock, Maryland

Radiator troubles

Postby HarveyCub » Sat Feb 26, 2022 1:46 pm

I recently had some leaking from the radiator, which I believe is the original. Tried a few things recommended here in the forum to try and take care of this, but didn't manage to successfully stop the leak. I decided to replace the radiator figuring it would be quicker than having to keep experimenting with the fix myself (and I wanted to keep the tractor available in case I needed to push some snow around). Luckily, I've not had to put the tractor into service, but the radiator replacement has been giving me problems.

It felt like an absolute fight to get the original radiator off. Not because of the bolts (I managed to not have a single broken bolt with a nice long extension on the ratchet), but just trying to work around the fan shroud. With the original radiator off, I cleaned up the surface (removed old gasket) which was pretty flat, and started to put on the new one. RTV silicone on both sides of a fresh gasket, new radiator on top of that and then back to the fight of working with small pieces in tight spaces with chunky hands. Finally got everything assembled and tightened down, though it took a bit longer than I'd have liked. Let things sit and come back a few days later for the moment of truth - putting some antifreeze in the new radiator...

When I took out the old radiator, I left the antifreeze that was in the reservoir below the radiator, so I only put in about 2 cups of fresh antifreeze at the top of the new radiator. Not sure where, but apparently I have a leak somewhere. It doesn't seem to be coming from anywhere near the gasket connections. I feel like I must be missing something obvious in how I've done this, or is it really a possibility that I just got a bum radiator? FWIW, I got my radiator replacement from Hamilton Bobs and what they sent was a brand named "Pal." Photos below. I'm dreading the possibility of having to take this thing off again, which I've not yet done, but this is mostly because I'm tired of all the green fluid that's hit the garage floor so far...

Would love to have a bit of your wisdom. :headbang

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"In theory there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice there is." Yogi Berra

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Don McCombs
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Re: Radiator troubles

Postby Don McCombs » Sat Feb 26, 2022 2:41 pm

Get out a bright flashlight and inspect the fins and tubes over that area, from top to bottom, front and rear.
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HarveyCub
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Tractors Owned: '66 IH Cub Lo Boy (Harvey)
Location: Woodstock, Maryland

Re: Radiator troubles

Postby HarveyCub » Sun Feb 27, 2022 12:13 pm

Thanks Don,

Blew the antifreeze out of the crevices from the outside and took several looks with a bright flashlight, still keeping the radiator on for the moment.. Didn't manage to spot any pin holes. Poured just a bit of antifreeze in the top and watched carefully at the bottom. Below is the view of the bottom of the radiator (from someone else's old photo) and the second is a picture showing where I believe the leak to be based on that careful observation. It seems to be on one of the front tubes but at the edge nearest the rear side of the radiator. It seems that this is right where the tube meets the bottom plate of the radiator.

Not sure I could even manage to see that hole if the radiator was off the tractor given its apparent location. Other than complete replacement or having to hit a repair shop, the only thing I can think of at the moment would be to try and locate that hole and try to fix from the bottom of the radiator. Any particular thoughts or good options at this point?

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radiatorbottom2.jpg (10.42 KiB) Viewed 295 times
"In theory there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice there is." Yogi Berra

indy61
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Re: Radiator troubles

Postby indy61 » Sun Feb 27, 2022 3:14 pm

I suspect it's the gasket, it may be leaking around the bolt heads. Many have said the cork gasket is best. You might try something other than RTV silicone also.

http://www.tmtractor.com/new/co/453fp.htm

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HarveyCub
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Tractors Owned: '66 IH Cub Lo Boy (Harvey)
Location: Woodstock, Maryland

Re: Radiator troubles

Postby HarveyCub » Sun Feb 27, 2022 9:47 pm

Hi Indy, thanks. When installing the radiator, I did use a fresh cork gasket and I've not seen any leaking coming from around the gasket or bolts as far as I can tell. It seems to be where one of the tubes meets the bottom plate of the unit.
"In theory there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice there is." Yogi Berra

Clemsonfor
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Re: Radiator troubles

Postby Clemsonfor » Sun Feb 27, 2022 10:29 pm

indy61 wrote:I suspect it's the gasket, it may be leaking around the bolt heads. Many have said the cork gasket is best. You might try something other than RTV silicone also.

http://www.tmtractor.com/new/co/453fp.htm

I don't believe a properly installed cork gasket with RTV, installed correctly per RTV application instructions could even leak!!!???

I say properly because of the thing was cranked down with crazy torque and split the crappy cork all up I could see it leaking that way even with RTV on either side.

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Re: Radiator troubles

Postby Gary Dotson » Mon Feb 28, 2022 8:33 am

It sounds, to me, like you have a pin hole in the solder joint at the lower end of the tube. That’s a repair best left to a radiator shop. You really should see if Hamilton Bob won’t give you a replacement, before trying any repair. Either way, you’re going to have to remove it again.

Clemsonfor
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Re: Radiator troubles

Postby Clemsonfor » Mon Feb 28, 2022 6:29 pm

I agree with Gary. I would guess a pin hole at a joint if your sure the base gasket is not leaking. If it were me it would be going back to the seller on his dime for a replacement. If they are a decent merchant , which from what others say I don't have any reason to think there not they will ship a new one with a prepaid return label for free. Anything less and I would call my CC company after discussing with the merchant about a payment reversal.

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HarveyCub
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Posts: 41
Joined: Mon Aug 18, 2014 6:37 pm
Zip Code: 21163
Tractors Owned: '66 IH Cub Lo Boy (Harvey)
Location: Woodstock, Maryland

Re: Radiator troubles

Postby HarveyCub » Tue Mar 01, 2022 7:35 pm

Thanks Gary and Clemsonfor. I'll get in touch with HB and see what they can do for me on this front.
"In theory there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice there is." Yogi Berra


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