Brass radiator repair tips please- soldering guidance.

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Model T Ford Forum: Forum 2017: Brass radiator repair tips please- soldering guidance.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jake Mayne on Monday, January 30, 2017 - 07:49 am:

Hello all, My '14 T speedster ( the yellow one ) has a drip leak where the top tank attaches to the neck. It appears to have been repaired before. I am going to attempt to solder repair it myself. Seeking soldering advice.

My thought is extremely low heat using flux paste and acid flux solder. Anyone have any experience repairing a brass radiator with solder?

Any advice help appreciated.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Andy Loso St Joseph, MN on Monday, January 30, 2017 - 09:04 am:

The biggest tip is to make sure it is clean, clean, clean. Did I mention it needs to be clean.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Philip thompson on Monday, January 30, 2017 - 09:24 am:

you need a big high watt soldering iron the idea is to heat and solder the area needing repair quickly.
with small low watt irons it takes too long to heat
the metal and the heat travels making areas that are
good pop loose.philip


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Rich Bingham on Monday, January 30, 2017 - 09:39 am:

You need a decent solder - not sold in stores ! Modern crap doesn't work well. I don't know the best alloy proportions.

Hysteria over evil lead has made many items useless.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Chadwick Azevedo on Monday, January 30, 2017 - 09:58 am:

As Andy said, clean. I've done this repair a few times. I've never tried an iron and always used a torch. As far as solder goes yard sales are a must, buy everything anytime you see it. Often I wind up with no label solder and then its just a matter of testing. Having it completly apart get each piece coated nicely with solder then position the neck on top and heat it till it drops down (solder on tank will melt) into place. Voila


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By keith g barrier Savannah Tn. on Monday, January 30, 2017 - 10:21 am:

50 50 or 60 40 lead solder can still be had. as has been said clean, clean and clean some more, can't make solder run up hill so you have to position the radiator to keep it level. A small tipped jewelers torch works well as you can keep the heat where you need it, acid flux/cleaner can be purchased at most welding supply stores. Good luck, a skill worth learning. KGB


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Rich Bingham on Monday, January 30, 2017 - 10:49 am:

Ah ! 60/40 thanks Keith. A torch is best, but tip size and flame control is crucial. Solder won't run uphill, but heat will draw it. Practice first, you don't want stuff coming undone while you fix one spot. Wet rags make a fairly good heat-sink. Good luck !


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mike Garrison - Rice, Minnesota on Monday, January 30, 2017 - 11:00 am:

I'll echo Rich Bingham's advice. I'll add another emphasis on cleaning the surface well. A wire brush or when accessible some emery cloth should work for cleaning. I prefer paste flux. Liquid will work but paste isn't as sloppy. I purchase 50/50 and 60/40 solder at the local stained glass studio where I used to work. The most important thing to learn is to control the heat. I use a torch. Practice on some scrap first. I agree with Keith, it's a good skill to learn. Good luck, have fun.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Stephen, South Texas on Monday, January 30, 2017 - 12:08 pm:

Lacquer thinner followed by an ammonia soap will clean the silicon residue of antifreeze. The silicon MUST be removed BEFORE you shine the area with steel wool or sandpaper. If you don't you'll just drive the silicon into the scratches.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By charley shaver- liberal,mo. on Monday, January 30, 2017 - 01:35 pm:

an old rad man cleaned every thing with sandblasting. it works. charley


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jerry VanOoteghem - SE Michigan on Monday, January 30, 2017 - 04:33 pm:

Jake,

You might want to try one of these soldering irons. Look at at least 200 watts. 300 would be better.

I find that a torch can get way too hot, way too fast. Much better control with a good old fashioned soldering iron.

http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_from=R40&_trksid=p2050601.m570.l1313.TR2.TRC1.A0 .H0.Xamerican+beauty+soldering+iron.TRS0&_nkw=american+beauty+soldering+iron&_sa cat=0


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By HARRY A DAW Troy, Mo. on Monday, January 30, 2017 - 04:48 pm:

The neck on my Brass Works 1911 radiator is split from the top almost to where it attaches to the radiator. I have been weighing what to do with it. I may ship it to Brass Works.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Allan Bennett - Australia on Monday, January 30, 2017 - 07:13 pm:

Jake, my radiator man would remove the outlet from the tank, so the two surfaces can be completely cleaned and re-tinned. This is essential, especially if your outlet is an original cast iron one.

I have replaced an iron one with a brass casting. Both surfaces were tinned and the outlet then bolted in place with 1/8" brass metalthreads. Then more solder was flowed into the joint using a small flame oxy torch.

Hope this helps.
Allan from down under.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Gene Carrothers Huntington Beach on Monday, January 30, 2017 - 07:25 pm:

Here's a different idea.

I found my newer 8yr old brassworks tank had a crack about 1 inch long extending at angle away from the inlet fitting that is soldered to the bottom of the upper tank probably caused from the extremely rough ride down the 605 frwy at speed recently.

I super cleaned all the coating from the area around the crack with a wire wheel on a dremel and then sanded it some. Also cleaned with some Naphta. I cut and carefully fitted a piece of brass shim stock to closely fit around the neck and cover well past the crack under the bottom of the tank.

Using the Permatex Ultra Black I coated the shim stock patch and applied it to the bottom of the tank letting it cure, Then applied another coat over the top of the patch. Applied a coat of paint to area and did a test drive. It's not easily noticeable and will flex without cracking. The shim stock gives the adhesive some strength as well.

I was scared to try to do any soldering cause without experience you can easily get into lots trouble at other joints close by.

I've done this same repair on a freeze crack on the side of the block years ago with continued success.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Chris Landry, Hudson, NH on Monday, January 30, 2017 - 09:54 pm:

On line stained glass suppliers such as Delphi Glass carry both 60/40 and 50/50 solder.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Les Schubert on Tuesday, January 31, 2017 - 11:10 am:

Gene's "lap type" repair certainly has merit. The only other solution that I've had success with for a "butt joint" repair is real silver solder. Unfortunately it is much hotter, so it will melt/loosen any lead solder joints near it. For a exposed item where "cosmetics " matter, it is worth considering, as the joint repair can be virtually invisible.
Still a radiator neck may not be a good practice project,or perhaps it is, as if the results are unacceptable, then a new neck can always be bought and installed !!
Just some thoughts. These things can be good winter projects


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Craig Correll - Carlsbad CA on Tuesday, January 31, 2017 - 01:33 pm:

Jake - I did a repair on my brass radiator 2 years ago and it has held up fine. NOTE however, this was not in a location that was cosmetically important. The thread with photos is at: http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/506218/518895.html

The key for me was CLEAN CLEAN CLEAN, (I bead blasted the area), Johnson's liquid flux, and 40/60 tin to lead solder. I used a plain old propane torch held well back from the work and several practice jobs before the real deal. The solder should wick up into the joint.
40/60 lead & Johnson's liquid flux can be gotten from stained glass suppliers on the internet.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jake Mayne on Wednesday, February 01, 2017 - 09:12 am:

Thank you all for the guidance. Much appreciated.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dallas landers on Wednesday, February 01, 2017 - 11:52 am:

Liquid cleaner can be found where the sell copper for roofinf or gutter. On a restoration of 1844 house I used the red flux to solder all seams on gutter ,valleys and flat roofs and cap. Worked well to clean copper.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jake Mayne on Friday, February 24, 2017 - 10:01 am:

Here is an update. I gave the soldering "pooling" technique a whirl. Special ordered in the Johnson Flux from a stain glass suppler on the east coast. Rad leaked worse in the same spot. Found a rad repair shop in Pine City, MN 25 miles north of me. Stans Radiator- one of the last radiator repair shops around our area where "old school" radiator repair is still a thing. While Stan passed away a few years ago his family still operates the business and his nephew has inherited the skill set. The cast neck was too disintegrated (pin holes) upon his removal to repair so I ordered a new one in. He properly repaired the radiator and performed an air test at 4lbs. Rad is back on the T and hoping to road test tomorrow (Sat).


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Wilf Bradbury on Friday, February 24, 2017 - 10:47 am:

On this line of thought, I assume the stress in this area of the rad is due to the very short piece of rad hose connecting the engine head to the rad.
Has any one tried to use a more flexible piece of hose/and or cutting back the necks to give more space for the hose to flex, thus reducing the stress on the rad neck??
I've run into the same problem and I've found a piece of silicon hose, which is quite flexible, to use which I hope might reduce the vibration to the rad.


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