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Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Shennandoah Valley, VA
Posts: 320
Radiator is Fixed

The new radiator is in - the old one had developed a crack in the plastic on the driver's side to the right of the overflow hose connection. No more antifreeze loss - runs fine and cool. The fins were fine - is it possible to removed the cracked plastic and put a replacement piece in, or is the old radiation now destined just to be a conversation piece on the wall?


Happy Days are here again!

Forecast is 6-8 inches of snow tonight.
Old 12-04-2002, 06:21 AM
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Location: Evansville,WI
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Oh boy! This is not the right way to fix a plastic radiator but I will share it with you. There is a product sold in marine stores called West Systems Epoxy. It is a marine grade epoxy resin use to build boats. The stuff is stronger than nails and easy to work with. They also sell micro balloons to thicken it up for filling large gaps. You can buy a small kit that includes everything for $15. (resin, hardener, micro balloons, aplication stick, alcohol prep pads, ect) I have a buddy who has built sail boats for many years and he swears buy the stuff. He built a duck hunting boat out of marine plywood and West Systems. The boat has NO fasteners. No nuts, no bolts holding it togeather. just Epoxy. He has used it for 5 years with out failure. 4 years ago I had a cracked plastic radiator and decided to try to repair it. Again this is not the right way! I removed the radiator from the car, dried it off and blew it out. I then sanded the surrounding area with 220 grit sand paper, used alcohol to clean the area and mixed up the epoxy. I first aplied the epoxy straight wiht no filler and then added filler to the resin and applied the thickened resin over it. You have about 15-20 min. to work with the epoxy before it starts to set up. Let it cure for 24 hours the reinstall the radiator and check for leaks. I have done 2 so far this way. The first has lasted 4 years 33,000 miles so far and the second I just did last week while I was on vacation in Florida. My uncle cracked his on a 95 Honda Accord. The repair went smoothly and has worked so far. When working with the epoxy make sure to follow the direction regarding mixing ratios and temperatures. Again this is not the right way to fix a plasic radiator, but I know of no other way. Good luck.
Old 12-05-2002, 08:47 AM
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I just wanted to add that on my uncle's Accord I did not remove the radiator. I drained it past the crack and waited for it to dry. After the repair we just refilled the radiator and Viola! Good luck. Epoxy is a crosslinking thermosetting plastic that will not melt once it is curred.
Old 12-05-2002, 08:58 AM
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Yes!!!! thanks dude, you just saved me a duckboat load of cash... I'm gonna remove my naughty radiator in the spring and repair it.


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Old 12-05-2002, 12:00 PM
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Thanks for the epoxy idea - When I discovered the pinhole leak, I had just assumed that the plastic was brass painted black (I can't help it, we didn't build cars out of plastic in my youth!) and I had considered soldering or brazing the hole closed. But I figured it was due to corrosion, and if one pinhole showed up, another was not far behind, so I bought the new radiator from Pelican (which was promptly delivered in good condition - Thanks Pelican) and installed it. Only when I was going to screw in the fan switch did I notice the brass insert for the switch was molded into a plastic piece. Then when I looked at the original radiator, I saw that it also was plastic.

So at least now I can repair the original radiator and keep it for a spare which, hopefully, I'll never need.

Thanks Again!
Old 12-06-2002, 05:38 AM
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Take another look at the brass insert. Looks like it's pressed in from behind.

West epoxy systems is phenomenal stuff. Bet that's what's used in to build the B-2.
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Hugh - So Cal 83 944 Driver Person
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Old 12-06-2002, 06:00 AM
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Another idea! Paint the newly repaired area with flat black spray paint for a stealthy repair. I have also used the epoxy to repair a rust area near my back license plate. I cut out the rusted area (about 1" in Dia.) cut a new piece of sheet metal to fit perfectly and epoxied it into place. I chose to epoxy instead of welding cause I think too muck heat to the sheet metal can destroy the galvanization which would cause more rust. I finished the area off with a fresh coat of guards red paint. Looks good even after 3 years. Can't even see the repair. Some times i think I have epoxy running through my vanes.
Old 12-06-2002, 08:39 AM
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I use to use a similar product to glue head stocks back onto guitars, especially Gibson Les Pauls. The stuff is extremely strong, but the product that I chose to use was able to be taken apart with steam and alot of heat.. so The radiator repair epoxy must be the B-2 caliber epoxy...

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Old 12-06-2002, 12:41 PM
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Sure you're not thinking of hide glue? Amber in color in large granules and has to be mixed with a bit of water then heated to about 150F ?

There are epoxies that can be separated with heat. But I can't think of any that are water soluble -- steam.
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Hugh - So Cal 83 944 Driver Person
NOT a 'real' Porsche -- Its Better!!!!
When was the last time you changed your timing and balance belts and/or cam chain and tensioner?
New Users please add your car's year and model to your signature line!
Never break more than you fix!
Old 12-06-2002, 04:09 PM
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