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zKars

Aluminum Rad Repair. Alternative method

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So you put that big shiny Ebay Aluminum rad in your Z, and you go out to test it on a really hot day. You’ve been having problems keeping the beast cool and you’re sure this massive shiny 3 core magical heat exchanger will solve all your problems. 

Everything is fine, until a gravel truck in front of you starts spewing loads of nice sharp little rocks at you and your nice new shiny rad. Soon you start smelling the telltale odor of sickly sweet anti freeze and the soon to follow cloud of steam ensues. Oh crap....

You get it home, rip that POS out and put your old brass stocker rad back in until you get this thing fixed. Now who fixes aluminum rads these days? You call around, you find a couple of shops, quotes are in the hundreds of dollars. You remind yourself that you could have soldered up a brass rad yourself for $1.50. Oh crap.

Out comes the browsing device and a torrent of googling ensues. You see many links for aluminum brazing rods that make it seem like a child’s game. Heat it up, dab on some the magic alloy and your rad is sealed. You spend $50 bucks, wait a couple of days for it to show, then get to work. You clean, you prep, you heat, you apply, ooooohhh it flows so nice, you let it cool, you Put some water in it and pressurize it, (oh you bought a rad pressure test kit too, another $75) and.....

You get squirted in the face with a fine stream of high pressure water from around the lovely dollop of shiny aluminum rod. And two other holes nearby show up too. Try again, clean better, add more heat, more rod, more mess. Guess what happens. Yup, wet shirt this time. 

Then you go back to google. And you find an innovative product. You buy some it and it works like a charm. You are amazed. It cost $17 CAD. You are happy and fulfilled. I suppose I should share what it is.. 

 

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I’ll let the pictures do the talking. 

Note: The story of how the hole happened is fictitious, but thought representative of the situation. I will never reveal how these holes were created in my customer’s rad....

36090A65-6399-49FA-93C2-B246E3D6424C.jpeg

The one hole is obvious, the one to the left also has a tiny hole in the bend in the tube. Found that during the wet pressure test.

7D94C4F5-BC3D-4612-8CEF-757044FC7111.jpeg

Here is the repair all done. Took literally 4 minutes until I was ready to pressure test.

F6DE60C6-B746-4189-969E-49803506C585.jpeg

And here is the magic product. STIC-TITE hot melt plastic aluminum repair rod. 

Edited by zKars

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Now clearly I have nothing to say about lifetime of the repair. That will be seen.

I have another aluminum rad from my 510 that was damaged by galvanic action. I had the electric fans grounded to the rad body, which I assumed lead to the problem. I think we discussed this before.

A small portion of the bottom tank right beside the base of a few fins, like 2 inches long, 1/4 wide now leaks right through the fabric of the aluminum. You could put some water in,  pressure it up with air and watch the water seep through the “solid” tank. Pretty cool if it weren’t so sad.

Didn’t know how to repair that before, but now I do. Coat it with a thin film of this stuff. 

As with most things, if you are brave enough to try this, the repair area must be surgically clean before application.  Their instructions to lightly sandblast is a great way to accomplish this. At the very least degrease then scrub with a stainless steel brush.

Edited by zKars
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I enjoyed reading your "story" of how it all happened. My new copper rad ate a seagull last year at 100 mph. That was sad and messy, he went in right under where the front grill ends.

I believe some aluminum rad cores are glued into the tanks, not sure though, maybe the same stuff ? 

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