Radiator repair

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  #1  
Old 01-01-11, 08:42 AM
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Radiator repair

folks, have another cooling related question.

my son has 95 Eclipse. about a month ago, it developed coolant leak. upper radiator hose, radiator side. when i was replacing hose, i found that - plastic, what else, cheapskates - hose attachment on radiator had edge flange crumbled completely off.

you know, how they have narrow ridge on those tubes, to hold hose better... for some reason, it decided to break off. it was a minor damage, i had plenty of tube length left to scoot hose deeper onto the pipe and lock it with 2 clamps.

well, apparently, without that flange, hose keeps slowly creeping off the tube. seriously, i do not feel like replacing radiator because of this. :NO NO NO:

i have some design idea how to fix this. should be my daytime project for today.

question is - have anyone of you ever fixed this? just to share your ideas. i have access to fiberglass, resins, carbon braid tape.
 
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Old 01-01-11, 09:21 AM
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what i have used is 'permatex-3' / it comes in a can with a brush.
clean both neck & inside of hose/coat / let set for 15 in/ reassemble.
 
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Old 01-01-11, 10:21 AM
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Old 01-01-11, 06:17 PM
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well, good i took care of this.

when i had hose removed, found that radiator neck was all marked with spider cracks and, basically, looked burnt. plastic is all black, 3/4 of the neck looked brown.

pretty sure, if would have kept crumbling down in large chunks.

it's too cold outside to replace radiators. and i do not want to do it inside. too messy.

anyhow, original plan was to simply make a flange out of something. but after i saw those spider cracks, that change the whole design. suddenly, the whole neck needed to be re-enforced.

neck's inner diameter is 30mm.

went to home depot, ended with 29mm copper pipe and one inch to 1 1/4 inch copper fitting. plan was to solder both together, use 1 1/4 end of fitting as flange, and JB weld pipe inside the neck; re-enforce from the outside with fiberglass and JB weld again.

29mm copper pipe was sort of loose fitting inside the neck.

went to work to pick up pipe cutter. same time, realized that i have 30mm carbon composite tubes.

final result was:
- cut a length of carbon composite tube to fit into the neck; left about 1/4 inch sticking out
- reduced outside diameter just so that tube fits just right inside the neck; JB welded it into the neck
- i picked some carbon/Kevlar tape from work; taped tube exposed end to the neck edge, using composite tape and quick set resin
- using same tape, taped over the neck, resined with same resin; basically, this bonded inner tube to the outside carbon/Kevlar re-enforcement
- let it cure; using same tape, taped all over the radiator, around the neck; now, that re-enforcement is bonded to the upper radiator plastic section.
- run about 3 layers of same tape, over where the original flange was; resined it; that created a decent flange.

put hose back on. it's not pretty, as i had no way to apply vacuum over this, to make true lamination, but should hold. as a result, the whole entire neck and its radiator attachment, are encased into carbon now. plus, that tube inside. should be pretty solid.

it's original radiator. made in Japan. car has not a whole lot of mileage on it, maybe 80K miles. that plastic just did not stand to time.

 
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Old 01-01-11, 06:20 PM
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Originally Posted by chandler View Post
chandler, that is a good price. doubt it's a good radiator, 40 bucks is 40 bucks, they usually run much more than that. like i said - it's too cold to do it all outside now. spring time. thank you.
 
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Old 01-01-11, 09:11 PM
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For what it's worth - I tried the commercially available version of this fix on the front side of the hot/upper hose tank (left side) on an '02 Jeep Liberty. It lasted about long enough for the water to get warm. Plastic radiators just suck! There is/was a discussion going earlier about turning brake rotors - think the conclusion is about the same: automaker corporate execs want to keep selling crappy parts to put on the crappy cars they sell in the first place. Guarantees a continuing revenue stream. Don't get me wrong; there's nothing wrong with capitalism. But there's also nothing wrong with selling a quality product that will actually outlive the warranty period. Just my two cents' worth - Chris
 
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Old 01-01-11, 10:06 PM
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there's a lot wrong with capitalism, but this is not a philosophy forum. Timothy 6:10.

resin i am using, siegelharz, is not pliable below 300 degrees. carbon is carbon. inner tube i put in is prepregnated composite, it's autoclaved at over 600 degrees. it'll hold.

i am, by trade, a prosthetist. my materials are very well rated, as we have professional liability behind them. even jb weld withstands 200 degrees easy. coolant never gets that hot.
 
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Old 01-02-11, 09:01 AM
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even jb weld withstands 200 degrees easy. coolant never gets that hot.
The thermostat opens at 195 degrees so the coolant could reach 200 degrees. Regardless, I am interested if your fix works and for how long.
 
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Old 01-02-11, 09:17 AM
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ukrbyk....mind if I PM you a question about your trade?
 
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Old 01-30-11, 01:11 PM
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Sounds like an exercise in "I'm an engineer and I can fix this".

Keep in mind that both tanks of the radiator are made out of that plastic that has hardened and crumbled. Even if your repair holds...there's no telling where the next leak will come from. Good luck!!
 
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Old 01-30-11, 04:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Gunguy45 View Post
ukrbyk....mind if I PM you a question about your trade?
not a secret at all. i am a certified prosthetist-orthotist. we deal with all kinds of resins, composites, and plastics.

as of now, it is still holding. i think, the inner composite tube that i bonded inside the crumbling radiator neck, made it very solid. basically, that neck does not carry any structural torque on it anymore, as it is incased between 2 layers of composites plus, heavily overlapped with composite expansion onto radiator itself.

siegeharz starts being pliable at well over 300 degrees. we have to take at least 400 degree heatgun to our laminations to strip them.
 
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Old 01-30-11, 04:59 PM
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New radiators are too cheap to fool around. I have epoxied Rad. hose nipple cracks before and its a temp band aid but will only give a limited amount of extending the life of the problem. Its $90 to $110 dollars for a new radiator. Its a no brainer.
 
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Old 01-30-11, 05:43 PM
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wiillix,

You're right the price of a new radiator is too cheap to attempt a repair like this.

The new radiator will come with a lifetime warranty and free delivery if you buy it at a reputable supplier.

I've never seen a band-aid repair last long either.
 
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Old 01-31-11, 05:35 AM
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Well, I would grant the sometimes temp repair holds up as well as original construction. The problem is you're then driving a car with an unknown quantity, i.e. will it fail and if so, when. As long as the owner is comfortable with the knowledge that it could go south anytime anywhere [and he keeps the number of a good tow guy handy ], go for it.

I do tend to agree that aftermarket radiators have become dirt cheap lately and this looks like a lot of work and uncertainty for a hundred bucks.
 
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