This evening Scott Rademacher brought over the leaking radiator from his 1926 roadster and I attempted repairs. I managed to stop a couple of leaks, but with my lack of experience I didn't dare try to get to the third one that was in a hard-to-reach spot. I referred him to a local radiator guy who can probably do it.
A problem I had was that a soldering iron like this wasn't hot enough for the job, and a propane torch was too hot and spread the heat beyond where I wanted it, loosening up the overflow tube so I had to resolder it too. Is there a heat source I could use that isn't too cool or too hot, but just right?
These are a handy way to pinpoint heat when you need a lot of stored energy:
Here is what you need on Ebay: http://www.ebay.com/itm/like/281979894895?item=281979894895&lgeo=1&vectorid=229466&rmvSB=true
This is a blow torch with a bracket to hold the soldering copper.
Goldilocks probably uses... Wait for it! Solder!
If you don't have an acetylene torch with a broad tip you need a Map hand torch for heat and you need a good copper iron. I have a couple big old copper electric irons I bought years ago and it is still hard to get enough heat to get the solder to run and fill a seam.
Why is it called a soldering iron when it is made of copper?
Why is it called a C clamp when clearly it looks like a G clamp?
Allan from down under.
It's not unusual to see the irons for sale at auctions. I'll keep an eye out for one.
A presto-lite torch w/a small tip works well.
Although new ones are pricey, you can't beat an American Beauty soldering iron for radiator and sheet metal soldering. Used ones can be had fairly cheap however since they've been made since the days of the Model T and there's a lot of them out there.
I bought a huge box of solder at an auction a couple years ago, highgraded the acid core Kester solder out of it and the rest is just setting there and will probably be in my auction some day. You need good, old acid core to work on radiators, partly due to the new lead free that won't stick and partly because you can't get all the old lead based solder off so the new crap will stick.
There is usually some acid core on ebay, buy a pound of it and it will make a lot of difference in how your soldering goes. Other brands are fine if they have high Tin content, tin is what costs the money for the maker so 60/40 - which used to be called radiator special - is the best. There is some 70/30 available but it is hard to find anymore.
Heat, clean, prep with soldering paste, heat and flow the solder in the joint and it will stick forever.
This is the iron you need if you want an electric. There are some used ones around, I have one of these and a few others but this definitely is the hot one. I had no idea what it was until Jerry posted the link.
That's the one I've got Stan. Paid $20 for an old one in a junk shop. Cleaned it up and it works great! If it broke I'd send it to the factory for a rebuild, (which they'll do), or buy a new one.
To do good soldering it take practice and patience and a good soldering iron. I have two torches and several irons, plus one small electric iron for real small jobs, or small wiring.
I have an American Beauty that was my fathers. I use to let it beat up, then climb a scaffold 3 stories and solder 70V comm wires in a future ceiling. I'd get a good ten minutes out of it tinning and joining 16 ga twin lead.
The American Electrical Heater Company factory was on Woodward Avenue in Detroit, across Woodward from Piquette Avenue. The original Cadillac Motor Company was across the side street to the north.
I've got my Dads' too, but until now, didn't know what it was! Something else learned from this great forum; my Dad was smart enough to know a good soldering iron!
While I'm typing, it occurs to me that I could probably learn something else too. I hate to admit this, but I just don't "get" the "Goldilocks" thing,...and I'm hoping that I'm not the only one that doesn't "get it",.....but I might just be the only one dumb enough to admit it! ...... ( ;^)
Harold, think of the story. Why didn't most of the porridge suit her?
Boy! Yer' really make'n me look stupid here Steve! I know about Goldilocks, I know about the porridge and the three bears, but,.....???
(I'm not really too much up on Little red Riding Hood either!) In fact,....not even too sure how to spell it!
These just aren't the kinds of things that usually came up in 34 years of police reports that I had to write,....ha ha,.....harold
Oh, okay,.....the temperature! My wife had to explain it to me,....I guess she was a better G'ma than I was a G'pa when our kids and grand kids were little!
No my wife thinks I'm pretty stupid too,....thanks Steve! Ha ha,....harold
This is the kind of thing you recognize instantly when you taught grade school for 15+ years Harold. I did that back 50+ years ago when teachers read to kids and kids read the classic stories. The porridge was either too hot, too cold or just right. And she ate it all up when it was just right. Just like Steve's soldering job.
See, stick around and you'll be smarter than you were. Steve will give you something to think about every time.
Now! not No! Sheesh! Sorry I ever got into this!
Thanks Unca' Stan,.....simultaneous typing!
Stan - to defend myself just a bit, I guess the kinda' kids I usually had to deal with were not the "Goldilocks and the Three Bears" type! You can believe this or not, but I caught a little 7-year-old thief in a Milwaukee freight house in Chicago, that actually advised ME of his rights! Little street-wise bugger knew 'em word for word too!
I used a Harbor Freight heat gun with a home made cone nozzle made from sheet metal. The cone tapers down to a 3/8" to 1/2" opening and directs a very small, very hot stream of air which incredibly will heat the metal in the radiator enough to solder. I discovered that the heat gun could melt solder one day when I left it running on high and laid it on the bench for "just a second" accidently pointing at a roll of solder I forgot to put away. It melted through two layers in rapid fashion. I've repaired two Model T radiators and a Farmall A radiator using the hot air gun with nozzle method.
I still have probably 50 pounds or more of 60-40 solid wire solder. I make my flux the old way by feeding zinc scrap to muriatic acid until it will take no more, this is stored in a stone ware jug. It has the advantage of tinning the metal as you work, wash off with baking soda and water to neutralize and rinse with water, simple. KGB
Geez we used to have some fantastic flux at work and then it got outlawed ... but you could solder anything to anything, and quick! Can't remember what the stuff was called but it looked like water.
Ruby Red ,works good on Galvanized.I also like C-flux
So why is a Crescent wrench called as such, as it does not resemble crescent.
2 more, why are pliers referred to as a "pair of pliers" and why are they called diagonal pliers???
And the most important of all why are they referred to as a pair of underwear, I only wear one at a time not a pair. ???????????????
Inquiring minds want to know,
Hmm, I've heard of diagonal cutter pliers, but not diagonal pliers. Crescent is the name of the guy who invented it, or the company that bought the patent (I didn't look it up).
Why is it a Toothbrush when you use it to brush teeth?
And I wear a PAIR of eyeglasses,but it's just one set (if I lost a lens would it then be an eyeglass?
And to get back to cars, why do we drive on parkways and park on driveways??