Ouch! Ran T yesterday on an errand to get antifreeze coolant, drained the hot coolant from the radiator. Went to unscrew my motometer wings and the whole neck popped off! Didn't put any torque on it, I promise! I guess repeated heating and cooling together with draining hot coolant stressed the solder.
Now what?!? I know how to solder with a blow torch but haven't tried anything this big or important or exposed to heat. Can it be welded? Modern radiator shops able to deal with this? Gotta make some time before the 4th to git-r-done! JB Weld up to the task, at least temporarily? So sad!
Can be done in the car, remove the shell and use a small propane torch to re-solder, can even still have the coolant in it.
I'd run it to the rad shop ASAP. While it's there, make sure they check out and/or beef up the area under the top tank where the overflow tube passes through...mine is in the shop since the small amount of braze surrounding it decided to let go and spew antifreeze all over the engine compartment. Ruined an otherwise exceptional evening ride late last week in fortunately the last 10 minutes on the way home.
A lot of this going around :-/
A propane torch,and some 50/50 solder will fix it in just a few moments. Try to keep heat toward bottom of neck so it doesn't discolor the plating to much.(removal of shell is recommended.)
Ditto on the resolder. Don't dirty it up with "temporary fix" crap or it will never stick. As Frank says, all you have to do is remove the radiator shell. Clean both joint areas with lacquer thinner then alcohol to remove any silicon remaining from the antifreeze. Heat each area separately until you see the solder smooth-out or turn shinny. Locate the neck on the tank then place a weight on top to hold it in place then solder.
It's a simple fix. There's been a rash of this lately. I don't want to knock a particular supplier of aftermarket radiators. But it's becoming more and more obvious the supplier hasn't designed a method for these necks to withstand the weight of motometers. To solder it back on try using MAPP gas. It'll heat the material a little quicker and it's easier to control solder flow and the heat. Use 50/50 solder and a good paste flux.
Ok, I think I can do this. Of course you guys always make things sound easy! Haha but thanks for the advice and the reassurance.
Oh, do I need to worry about any hot solder going into the radiator itself during this process? Should stuff a heavy rag in the opening? Or it would just catch fire.....
Will, it is not that difficult to solder. I had the neck come of a two year old radiator with a heavy accessory radiator cap. I was able to make the trip back home as I lost very little coolant.
I did the repair with no trouble and the heavy cap is back on the radiator. It looked like very little solder was used on the original radiator, which lead to the failure.
It is holding good now.
Do not use acid core solder! Only rosin core.
Will, cleanliness is very important. The lacquer thinner alcohol clean is important. Wire brushing or sanding the surfaces before soldering will improve chances even more. Just be careful of your "show" surfaces. If you're able to take the solder and "tin" the parts first you'll assure a good seal. The weight on the top of the neck is important. Trying to hold that neck on and keep it still is tough. Remember everything near your hands is hot and will burn you. As I said earlier, controlling the heat when applying it to the solder is critical. Too hot and your solder will find any opportunities possible to run to anywhere it can to get away from you and your repair. Acid core solder is okay, a solid core 50/50 solder and good paste flux is better. Don't shy away from trying a couple practice pieces. You'll do good!
Paul corrected me before I could. Rosin core is hunky dorry. I still prefer solid core and paste flux.
Good stuff, many thanks. Yes I think I'll practice first, got some pipe fittings around here somewhere.
Consider leaving the moto meter on the shelf. They are sometimes too heavy for the new radiator necks, which are soldered on only. The original radiator necks were crimped onto the tank, then soldered. Much stronger.
Make sure you turn the neck until it seats flush in the remnants of the old solder connection or your neck might be slightly cocked or off kilter, especially if the old solder melts at a higher temperature than what you will be using. Jim Patrick
That happened to me back in the spring. I had a rad shop fix it for me. Been good so far.
Will, I think the new radiators do not have the same quality of copper/brass as the older original radiators had. I advised others who tried to use wings and motor meter to eliminate the wings to cut down on weight and wind resistance. I had to do this several years ago and have not had a problem. We also have a local radiator shop (ZAPPS) that has a great slogan, "Zapps is a great place to take a leak"
Haha thanks for the laugh R.S.! Motometer is tucked under the seat for right now, will swap it out when I park at show, but run with the standard issue brass cap.
I have been using a Dog Bone cap and Moto Meter on my '25 coupe for several years, and haven't had any problems with it at all. JMHO. Dave
Probably the most difficult part is obtaining 50/50 solder these days. Unless you have some old stash of it, you can't buy it. Thank the EPA for that.
Had to solder one back on. Danged neck moved or I simply missed my "spot" so I had a "riding condition" on the radiator shell.
Other than that the fix took and it has been about 3 years with a couple of thousand miles (a distance guess at best).
Tim, I just bought a spool of 50/50 solder from Amazon. They sell it for the stained glass folks.. Gene
Gene, you're right on the money. The only thing is some states have the EPA and PCA crawling so far up their ___ they're not able to use it. I just went to our local glass studio to pick up some 50/50 and had no trouble buying it. As always they also had 60/40. They also had 95/5 available but most of the glass artists are passing it up for 50/50.