Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
radiator leak
Old 05-31-2011, 12:25 PM   #1
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
ronin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 1,191
radiator leak

I found a horizontal hairline crack about 2-3" long in the top of my radiator and can see it leaking very slightly. This is on a '93 Toyota Landcruiser. Looking at factory parts, it runs about $520 for a new one. I'm wondering about the possibility of cleaning it up really well and applying an epoxy patch to the spot. It is easily accessible and wouldn't require any disassembly. The epoxy hardens to cement and would be stronger than the plastic assembly it would be bonded to. The only thing I wonder is if the heat and pressure would mess it up. What do you think? I can't see it hurting anything for a least a short test period. Can always take it in for replacement if it doesn't hold. Wouldn't mind saving several hundred $$.
__________________

__________________
We are, as I have said, one equation short. Keynes
ronin is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that Early-Retirement.org is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 05-31-2011, 12:27 PM   #2
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
travelover's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 9,889
If it is plastic, I would try some JB Weld. If it is brass, I'd solder it.

It might help to use some mesh like window screen to reinforce the patch.
__________________

__________________
Yes, I have achieved work / life balance.
travelover is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 05-31-2011, 12:53 PM   #3
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Telly's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 1,448
If it were me, I would replace it myself with a decent after market radiator. You can look it up at rockauto.com to get some ideas, their e-catalog is fast and has additional info like measurements available on many items. A good auto parts place in your area should have choices too.

I tried JB weld on a plastic tanked radiator once. I did all sorts of prep work to really try to make sure it would hold. Within a week of hot driving, it let go. So with plastic, I always replace now. Don't want to cook an engine.
__________________
-- Telly, the D-I-Y guy --
Two fools dancing on the hands of time
Telly is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-31-2011, 01:14 PM   #4
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Northern IL
Posts: 18,281
Quote:
Originally Posted by travelover View Post
If it is plastic, I would try some JB Weld. If it is brass, I'd solder it.

It might help to use some mesh like window screen to reinforce the patch.
I just did this exact thing. It's our old van that I plan on selling in a few months, once another family car becomes available. So I figured it was worth a shot at holding it together for a while. It been holding for a few weeks now, so we will see. I expect it will be fine.

The crack was on a flat spot at the top. It's a plastic 'tank' part of the radiator. Some sites suggested taking a nylon tie-wrap, and melting/welding it into the crack with a soldering iron. My repair looked pretty good, but didn't hold up to pressure.

Stories of success with JB_Weld were varied, but since this was a flat spot, I was able to put some heavy window-screen like material on it (some scrap of perforated metal that was in my scrap bin - I'm a pack-rat), and then another flat piece of sheet metal that I cut to fit over that.

Cleaned it all with acetone, scratched out the crack a little in an attempt to get some bonding there, sanded to roughen it up, and acetone clean again. Got a thick layer of the JB-Weld in there, pushed the perf metal into that with the JB squeezing through, layered the metal plate over that. One edge of the metal plate squeezed right under some clips that held the tank to the core, so it had some mechanical backing also. Smoothed the JB around the edges.

A new radiator on-line was maybe $200? And I don't think it is too hard to replace (I replaced one on our older van, and that was simple), but I figured this was worth a shot, will replace it if needed.

I'll disclose the repair if I sell it, may just donate it (I guess you don't get much now, and I'm in a low bracket anyhow). If you plan on keeping it a while, I'd figure that if the plastic cracked in one spot, it's probably weak all over and it will go somewhere else. I just use this for occasional short trips until I sell it, so the risk is OK for me.

-ERD50
__________________
ERD50 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-31-2011, 02:06 PM   #5
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
calmloki's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Independence
Posts: 5,459
BMW crowd has lots of experience with failed plastic cooling parts. The thought is that when components of cars were made to be "greener" and with more recyclable components in the early 90s there was a spate of issues. Newer plastic/antifreeze formulations are more compatible and longer lived. maybe. What is the engine worth if you cook it? I'm cheap, but cooling system fixes I've attempted have been short lived.
__________________
calmloki is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-01-2011, 08:02 PM   #6
Full time employment: Posting here.
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 702
I think there are repair shops out there that fix radiators. They would probably weld the crack.
__________________
FreeAtLast is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-02-2011, 06:19 AM   #7
Full time employment: Posting here.
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: dubuque
Posts: 618
in my experience repairs on radiators by amateurs are seldom long lived. call 1-800-radiator for a price and install it yourself. they have a lifetime warranty and are reasonably priced.
__________________
frank is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-02-2011, 03:43 PM   #8
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
ronin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 1,191
I used the JB epoxy, cleaned it up, sanded it good and cleaned again with thinner. The crack is horizontal but on the side rather than the top, so the stuff kind of migrated down before it set up, had to move it around a bit with my applicator. Seems to have bonded and no leaks so far, but from you guys' experience, I better keep an eye on it and probably better replace the radiator. I suspect that the plastic is fatigued all over and it's a matter of time before it cracks again. Need the waves to back off for a few days so I can afford the down time with no surfmobile.
__________________
We are, as I have said, one equation short. Keynes
ronin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-02-2011, 09:29 PM   #9
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Ed_The_Gypsy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: the City of Subdued Excitement
Posts: 5,293
Plastics do not hold up well above 180F. Some better than others, but do not rely on it. Some engineered plastics will take higher temps for extended times but you won't be able to apply them as a patch.

Sorry.
__________________
my bumpersticker:
"I am not in a hurry.
I am retired.
And I don't care how big your truck is."
Ed_The_Gypsy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-02-2011, 09:59 PM   #10
Moderator Emeritus
Nords's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Oahu
Posts: 26,617
Quote:
Originally Posted by ronin View Post
Need the waves to back off for a few days so I can afford the down time with no surfmobile.
Gotta have priorities!
__________________
*
*

The book written on E-R.org, "The Military Guide to Financial Independence and Retirement", on sale now! For more info see "About Me" in my profile.
I don't spend much time here anymore, so please send me a PM. Thanks.
Nords is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-03-2011, 11:55 AM   #11
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
ronin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 1,191
I looked at the temp ratings for a few different ones, ranging from a low of 200 to the JB Weld listed at 600. Don't know what those #s are really worth as I guess they could say anything on the package.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nords View Post
Gotta have priorities!
I plowed the savings back into a new board order. My friends are ripping the local beach break with it.

the flare
__________________
We are, as I have said, one equation short. Keynes
ronin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-03-2011, 12:25 PM   #12
Recycles dryer sheets
check6's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 383
Quote:
Originally Posted by Telly View Post
If it were me, I would replace it myself with a decent after market radiator. You can look it up at rockauto.com to get some ideas, their e-catalog is fast and has additional info like measurements available on many items. A good auto parts place in your area should have choices too.
I have a '92 Toyota PU that I replaced the radiator thru a Toyota dealership last year. They offered me a choice and installed a radiator from a local supplier at a much lower price.
__________________
check6 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-03-2011, 06:48 PM   #13
Moderator Emeritus
Nords's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Oahu
Posts: 26,617
Quote:
Originally Posted by ronin View Post
I plowed the savings back into a new board order. My friends are ripping the local beach break with it.
the flare
Nice. Looks a lot like my daughter's custom 7'9", and it's a beauty.

I'm rediscovering the joys of a 10'0" that will get up in almost anything that I bother to paddle into...
__________________
*
*

The book written on E-R.org, "The Military Guide to Financial Independence and Retirement", on sale now! For more info see "About Me" in my profile.
I don't spend much time here anymore, so please send me a PM. Thanks.
Nords is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-05-2011, 05:04 PM   #14
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 113
Send a message via AIM to vvsonikvv
I would replace the radiator with an aftermarket part. the oem part is still plastic and would still break after a while. An aluminum aftermarket radiator shouldn't cost more than $250, more likely $150-200? Maybe more since it's a bigger "truck." They are usually pretty easy to replace yourself. Unhook the hoses, unscrew the bolts holding the radiator, replace radiator, re-hook the hoses. You'll have to drain the coolant and put new coolant back in and bleed it.

You can get a pressure tester for free at advanced auto (you borrow it with $ deposit but get it back when you return it). If it's not worth your time or too technical, I bet most local mechanics would charge 1 to 1.5 hrs to replace ($95/hr?)

When my radiator started leaking, I started to think about "repairing it" but the risk wasn't worth it. Make sure the drain plug on the radiator isn't on too tight, or else you'll crack the rubber gasket prematurely and it'll start leaking (happened to me. simple fix with a new rubber gasket though).

One thing against the stuff you pour in to "seal up radiator leaks"... what if some of that doesn't stick to the radiator and flows through the engine and decides to stick inside the engine or heater core somewhere... that probably wouldn't be a good idea.
__________________

__________________
vvsonikvv is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Trunk Leak Mystery TromboneAl Other topics 21 01-04-2011 08:07 PM
Leak from kitchen sink kaneohe Other topics 13 12-26-2010 11:25 AM
Uh Oh, plumbing leak travelover Other topics 8 07-29-2009 12:26 PM
radiator - car repair vvsonikvv Other topics 20 06-15-2009 10:59 AM
water leak mystery Khan Other topics 22 11-22-2008 10:21 PM

 

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 01:03 AM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.