View Full Version : Patching a radiator leak... Suggestions??
09-21-2002, 03:43 AM
Well I've got a 95 Lumina LS with the series I/II (something like that) V8 conversion.. Anyway the radiator which is still lumina has a new leak I believe I peirced into it. It is on the passenger side plastic end of the radiator right where the fan bolt bolts on the side.. I think the bolt I installed wasn't the right one and well I think I punctured into it.. Anyhow any ideas on what would be the best material to patch the whole?? I was thinking JB weld but I'm not sure how it will work out on plastic or for use in a sealing application. It's not a big hole but it leaks considerably. Any input or idea is appreciated..
09-21-2002, 09:09 AM
Wal Mart sells plastic epoxy kits. I'm not sure how it stands up to antifreeze. I'm going to Wal Mart today, so I'll look at it and see what it says.
09-21-2002, 12:01 PM
I assume you are talking about a hole in the plastic side tank of the radiator. There are two ways to do this. I have used both.
:idea: The cheap way:
I bought a "radiator repair kit" from Checker. Any auto store should sell these. It is a high-temp epoxy putty that dries black. I used this to patch a radiator tank crack on my dad's van. It's been holding for a year now. The trick to making this work is to make syre the antifreeze is below the hole so that it doesn't seep and to clean with rubbing alcohol the spot you are applying the putty. It dries pretty quick.
:idea: The other way:
On my Cutlass I had a leak in the left tank. It was in a bad spot, just above the lower hose attachment. I pulled the radiator (about a half-hour job) and took it down to radiator repair shop. They put a new side tank on for $70. You can also have them clean it while they are at it. Basically, you get a new radiator. Considering that the cheapest replacement radiator I could find around here was $230, that's a pretty good deal.
If the hole you got is in the core (tubes and fins part), you have to replace the core, repairs on those never hold.
09-22-2002, 01:57 AM
Well I'm going to pull out the radiator and see how bad it is and I guess go from there.. Hopefully it's nothing major and I'll just be able to patch it. If not I know there's a radiator place somewhere around here that could do it for me... The radiator actually got pushed way back on my problems list for right now... The new thing is pulling the motor back out (put in yesterday) and find out why one of the rods is jumping around... I'm sure it'll be fun, but I know it'll work out eventually.
09-22-2002, 02:10 AM
If I had a picture I'd attach it but the leak is directly under the mount for the passenger fan in the middle of the plastic end cap.
Did you happen to see if the plastic repair kit at Walmart is recommended for anything like coolant.
09-22-2002, 11:51 AM
I looked and could not find any of it. They are supposed to be getting more in Monday. If you haven't fixed it by the time I get to look at it I'll let you know what it says.
09-22-2002, 12:01 PM
around here junkyard radiators are $50.
09-22-2002, 12:20 PM
I don't know if Walmart carries the right stuff. I'm sure that Checker, Pep Boys, Auto Zone and the like do. The one I used comes in a little square plastic box, not a bubble pack.
09-23-2002, 09:54 AM
I was at Walmart yesterday, they didn't have the right thing. They have JB Weld and such, but no specifically high-temp plastic putty. Go to a parts store.
09-23-2002, 12:00 PM
Yeah I think I'll just visit my local parts store I'm sure they have something for it.
If not I'll just have to get the side replaced
09-23-2002, 02:21 PM
09-25-2002, 02:27 AM
well just as an update I decide to just throw some jb weld over the hole and see what happens. Primarily cause I have it here and if it doesn't work out I'll get a price on getting the side repaired, if too much to the boneyard I go..
Any ideas on if Gen I W-bodies have the same radiator as say a Gen II lumina?? I have to make sure I still have a lumina radiator and not a cadillac one (cadillac motor) but I wouldn't think so.
Well I'll see what happens tomorrow I plan to have the motor back in by late tomorrow night.
Thanks for the ideas.
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