I've removed my Radiator twice and had it repaired but i still have a slight annoying drip coming from an out of reach area. I wont be buying a new radiator for some time and this one does a brilliant job with cooling, never looks like running too hot so I dont want to risk effecting its current ability. Winter is coming and I live in the high country and it can drop to -11 deg C (12 F) over night so I need antifreeze as I'll still be driving it.
There's different types of stop leaks available including liquid Aluminium, liquid copper & liquid glass plus the normal range. I realise none of these is ideal but is there any type you suggest that would have the least long term effects?
My friend swears on JB weld.
Donnie Brown swears by black pepper.
Ive read the black pepper stories but will this last for years and does it still work with antifreeze added?
Kevin,I've been using black pepper in my round tube radiator for years. It has been 4 years since I last put pepper in and been running antifreeze for the last 3 years with no problems. Give it a try.
I've got a Honey Comb radiator that was leaking in a hard to get to place, I used Ultra Black sealer and injected it into the fins and it stopped the leak perfectly. Going on 2 years now. I drained the radiator and used brake clean to clean the leaking area and then injected the sealer into the fins. This might work for a flat tube radiator if you used a wire to force the sealer into the fins. Might not work on a round tube radiator?
Just something to consider.
I felt using the sealer on the outside would also let the tube continue to flow coolant.
Roger how much black pepper did you put in? I presume its ground?
Kenny I cant work out exactly where the leak is.
Alumiseal as Bob said. I have used it several times. Put it in and watch the leak stop. It does work even in thermo siphon engines!
Kevin, I can't say for sure how much I put in but yes it was ground. I would just pour some in ,maybe a tea spoon worth at a time and run it, if it didn't stop after a short drive I would add some more. Back then I was running water and drained it in the fall, when I filled it the next spring it would start seeping and I would add some more pepper. Now that I keep antifreeze in it I don"t have the seepage problem.
Kevin, I have used "fine ground" or "pure ground" The larger the hole the larger the grind. I have never used "coarse grind" or that "powder grind" stuff at Chineese restaraunts" Ill attach a link to a post about a leaking radiator I just had on my car hauler. I also used black pepper to fix a radiator on a old Vega I used to drive when I was young and dumb. (younger and dumber) I knocked a hole in the core that was about the size of a 16 penny nail. I took a twig I found and stuck it in the hole. I was near a house so I borrowed some water and black pepper from the lady who lived there. I drove that car for three years and never fixed the radiator or removed the twig. It does not matter if the car has antifreeze or not. Although plain water seems to seal a little better. I think it is the "rusting" from plain water that helps. You will need to have the engine water hot for it to circulate the pepper thru the system and find the hole. You may want to put a piece of cardboard in front of the radiator to get her to "boil a little bit" I would also take her out for a ride on a bumpy road. I would suggest to start with about three to four tablespoons of pepper and work up from there. It always has worked for me, but your mileage may vary. good luck with it...
Has anyone here tried sodium silicate?? I've been told this was how they use to seal radiators years ago. I don't know if it's good or bad.
I mentioned in the link above to leave the radiator cap loose. That only applies to a sealed modern style system. The Ts are a open system and the cap does not matter. I also believe that "alumiseal" or "copper seal" is just a knock off copy of the old "pepper trick" I have had good results with the "alumiseal" and "copper seal". and they may last longer, but 3 years for pepper seems OK to me .. :
I once replaced the bottom header on a brass radiator . To do this I had to unsolder all the tubes from the bottom tank and then solder them back . I all so replace some damaged tubes . To say the leased I had a lot seeps . I used Alumiseal it worked grate . I drove that T for years with that repair .
I put black pepper in my radiator and the carburetor started sneezing. I switched to Alumiseal and everything is fine.
I re-read my post. That will be use, "level" tablespoons not "heaping" tablespoons. My wife told me I should specify the difference ..
I also use Alumiseal but i have the t warn,and mix everything in a pail of hot water then put it in the rad. Bud in Wheeler,Mi.
Roger Hallett, you hit it right. That is the only thing I would put in a radiator. I was on a trip from Colorado to Washington State. I did a round about to California. I had a block that had been welded by a welder who took care of a large fleet
of Semis. When I got to Yuba City, California, I was in a Service Station checking every thing after over 1200 miles. When I got to the welded crack,
it had spread and leaking bad. I saw a pharmacy next to the Service Station, I went in an bought a quart of Sodium Silicate. I pored the entire quart in the radiator and continued on to Washington State with no leaks and then back to Colorado. I can give a couple of other cases that Sodium Silicate worked the same way on cracked blocks with no leaks.
I use a product called Perm-O-Seal made by J B Weld, it works great, I have a crack in a valve galley and it stopped the leak in about 30 min, it is not permanent so you save you water when you drain it and just pour it back in, for a permanent fix sodium silicate or waterglass is best.
Is sodium silicate and waterglass the same thing .?? I have heard of waterglass for years and my Dad and Grandpa always said they used it, to seal leaking head gaskets and cracks in a block or head. Just was never sure where to get it or what it was ...
Yes sodium silicate and waterglass is the same, sounds ideal
Also what type of anti-freeze is best? is there a type I shouldn't put in?
Waterglass sounds like a terrible fix for a head gasket. Cracks might be ok.
Today I drained the tap water out, filled with rainwater and poured 1.5 teaspoons of ground black pepper in slowly as it was running. Went for a 30 min drive and no sign of any drips when I returned...yet.
Funny how opinions change. I once suggested black pepper for a radiator fix and damn near got crucified for my perceived ignorance. I seldom suggest it anymore so I don't have to endure other people's BS. I, however, would swear on a stack of Bible's that I have done it and it worked for the next several years that I owned the vehicle. I would probably guess that most any leak fix would work better on a pressurized system that could try to 'force' the 'fix' into the hole, rather than just counting on it to try to trickle through at atmospheric pressure.
Lol yes Hal it wasn;t going to be my first choice but as people have stated on here is does work. Plus the drip has slowed over time after my second attempt so I thought I might try a small amount and see. I cant see how it would have any long term negative effect and being 2 hrs drive from an auto parts shop its easier to source. I might even add another teaspoon if needed. The next bit is the anti freeze, finding some Propylene type is proving a little hard....so far. i suppose I could finish the seasoning altogether and add salt lol
Bituminous roofing tar?
Slowly pour 3 ounces into a radiator that is up to operating temperature and thermo-syphoning. Then Drive for maybe a half hour before shutting down. Sometimes the leak stops in that half hour, but usually stops after a couple drives. Sodium silicate hardens in the presence of Carbon Dioxide. You will see a white "mineral stain" at the leak area. More is not better unless you were to put a quart or so in and then change the coolant as soon as the leak was sealed because the minerals do build up inside the radiator tubes, block, & cylinder head.
There was some sort of clear liquid with a little fine ground copper in it that was sold for sealing leaky head gaskets several years ago. The stuff was $30 per quart and it was just $0.50 worth of Sodium Silicate with a little fine metal added in to help plug up really big leaks.
My dad always used bars leak, but not sure how much builds up in the system. I'm looking at having mine re-cored and will go from there. I'll see how bad it leaks before I ship it anywhere and maybe try some of these ideas. Thanks for sharing everybody.
I used to work on a cattle ranch years ago. I was driving an ancient IH dump truck that developed a fairly good radiator leak. Being that I was on a cattle ranch, guess what I used to "fix" the radiator. You got it, a little bit of dried out cow pie. Never leaked a drop since. The only drawback was the radiator smelled kind of funny when you took the cap off...
Dennis I havent heard of that one! If it works...
During the late 30s and early 40s, my Dad and his brothers had a Model A Ford with the top cut off, made into a pickup to work around the farm. You can see it on the right in the picture. My grandfather had the better "family" Model A sedan, and that is probably it on the left. The boys used horse manure to stop radiator leaks. After they got the radiator sealed, sometimes their Dad would tell them to swap radiators between the Model As since his was leaking. I don't know how many times they swapped them back and forth, but apparently manure works at least for a while. Dad is sitting on the bike with my aunt Nola.
Cool story Mark.
My drip came back yesterday so another 1.5 teaspoons of black pepper added....good so far