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#1070208 - 04/03/21 08:24 PM Radiator stop leak  
Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 1,175
FinallySS Offline
10+ Year
FinallySS  Offline
10+ Year
Member

Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 1,175
Nice Sunny Hawaii
Aloha guys. It's been a while. How's everyone doing with these COVID? Did you guys get the shot yet?

Anyway, it's been little hard on us too. My wife is semi-unemploy, I still keeping my job but on modified schedule and so on. One of the reason for this post.

My radiator sprang a leak. It's an all Aluminum radiator I bought more than 10 yaers ago. If all possible, I would like to keep them, but guess it's time. can't tell where it's leaking from, but it's from somewhere up top. Leak started small, but it's rather large now. I need to fill the reservoir every time I drive more than 30 minutes or so. Planning to take the radiator out and see if I can spot the leak and try fixing it, but until now, I would like to put one of those stop leak thingy and buy me some time. If all fix fails or can't seems to find the leak, I have no problem buying a new one. Like I mentioned, radiator is more than 10 years old.

Now, you may think why I can buy one or repair as soon as I can, but my current situation prevent me from doing so. What I mean is our budget is very tight, and I recently fell about 3 feet on my left side while at work ( getting old is not fun..............) and out of commission for 6 weeks according to the doctor I saw. I can walk without crutches and can't put any weight on my left feet.

Guys know any good ones?


1986 Silver MCSS - Poly bushing and Hotchkis spring w/Bilstein, Posi w/3.73, MSD 6-AL, E-Brock 600cfm, Aluminum 2-row radiator.
1986 Black MCSS - R.I.P............Finally.
#1070215 - 04/04/21 12:49 AM Re: Radiator stop leak [Re: FinallySS]  
Joined: May 2019
Posts: 221
T5montecarlo Offline
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T5montecarlo  Offline
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Joined: May 2019
Posts: 221
Lederach, PA
Hi Toshi.

The stock replacement aluminum radiators that are aluminum with plastic tanks are not as expensive as they were 10 years ago. Have you checked on their prices to see if they are within your budget?

Marc

#1070216 - 04/04/21 02:23 AM Re: Radiator stop leak [Re: FinallySS]  
Joined: May 2007
Posts: 4,957
Buick Runner Online content
10+ Year
Buick Runner  Online Content
10+ Year
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Joined: May 2007
Posts: 4,957
Dharma station 1 the Hydra
The main ingredient in coolant stop leaks is pepper and they are mainly designed to seal internal leaks like head gaskets.


SBC powered 1987 Regal with TES headers, ZZ4 intake, ZZ4 PROM chip, mini starter, THM2004R, 2500 stall converter, 2040 cam, CCC system, and 3.73 posi rear.

2008 ex NPS P71 Crown Victoria, cop motor, cop shocks, cop brakes, and Jmod.

Never argue with an idiot.
They will just drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.
#1070225 - 04/05/21 02:34 AM Re: Radiator stop leak [Re: Buick Runner]  
Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 1,175
FinallySS Offline
10+ Year
FinallySS  Offline
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Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 1,175
Nice Sunny Hawaii
Originally Posted by T5montecarlo
Hi Toshi.

The stock replacement aluminum radiators that are aluminum with plastic tanks are not as expensive as they were 10 years ago. Have you checked on their prices to see if they are within your budget?

Marc


Yes, I'm thinking about it. But my SS is modified for the thick two row Alum. radiator so to go with stock radiator with plastic side tank, I need to redo my whole set up (when I got the tank, only stock replacement option was Be Cool radiator which costed upwards of $500~$600, so I got myself universal fit).

Originally Posted by Buick Runner
The main ingredient in coolant stop leaks is pepper and they are mainly designed to seal internal leaks like head gaskets.


I've used stop leak when I was in late 20's to seal up the radiator. It worked but it clogged up pretty much everything else too. It was used on mid 80's Japanese 4 cylinder and like many other car around that era, tons of vacuum hoses and all kinds of coolant passage for temp operated vacuum switches and valves, and the stop leak clogged up pretty much all the passages, hence my question for good stop leak.

As of now, I'm away from my work due to my injury at work, so chances of me using the car is slim, but I do need to go to physical therapies and doctor appointment to keep Workmen comp satisfied. So if my car stop, I really doubt I can do roadside repair, so even if it's temp fix, I want to do it rather than wait for it to fail.

According to the doctor, I should heal up in about 6 weeks. Week has gone by, so another 5 to go, but who knows. I'm not that young anymore.....................

Last edited by FinallySS; 04/05/21 02:35 AM.

1986 Silver MCSS - Poly bushing and Hotchkis spring w/Bilstein, Posi w/3.73, MSD 6-AL, E-Brock 600cfm, Aluminum 2-row radiator.
1986 Black MCSS - R.I.P............Finally.
#1070227 - 04/05/21 03:22 AM Re: Radiator stop leak [Re: FinallySS]  
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 165
stew'86MCSS396 Offline
Member
stew'86MCSS396  Offline
Member

Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 165
Honolulu
Take care of yourself buddy!!! Curious if you could use an o'skool brass...guy on CL selling El Camino parts is practically giving them away but also means he may have threw them away since he had to vacate before the end of March. Ahhhh...just exchanged text messages...he doesn't have it anymore.

Last edited by stew'86MCSS396; 04/05/21 06:56 AM.
#1070230 - 04/05/21 12:26 PM Re: Radiator stop leak [Re: FinallySS]  
Joined: May 2019
Posts: 221
T5montecarlo Offline
Member
T5montecarlo  Offline
Member

Joined: May 2019
Posts: 221
Lederach, PA
Originally Posted by FinallySS
But my SS is modified for the thick two row Alum. radiator so to go with stock radiator with plastic side tank, I need to redo my whole set up (when I got the tank, only stock replacement option was Be Cool radiator which costed upwards of $500~$600, so I got myself universal fit).
Since your radiator is all aluminum, with no plastic, it should be repairable. You said your budget is tight. Are you able to pressure test the radiator to find the leak? If so, a low budget repair could be to use aluminum brazing rod.

#1070232 - 04/05/21 02:17 PM Re: Radiator stop leak [Re: FinallySS]  
Joined: Apr 2011
Posts: 1,126
Hunter79764 Offline
Member
Hunter79764  Offline
Member

Joined: Apr 2011
Posts: 1,126
Grand Prairie, Tx
My two thoughts...
If you use any type of sealer, clogging the heater core is always a concern. You might think about disconnecting/bypassing the heater core if you can to avoid turning one bad situation into another.
If you just want to limp a little longer, you might be able to pop the cap loose one notch (so it holds on and covers the opening, but does not hold any pressure). That will lower your boiling point and make it less robust when heavy cooling is needed, but it will also make it where gravity is the only thing pushing water out instead of 15 psi of internal pressure. Since the weather there shouldn't be too taxing on the cooling system, I'd give that a shot next time, keep an eye on the temp gauge, and see if that gets you by.
My grandpa would actually do that on most of his cars for all but the hottest times of year here in Texas. He was the lead mechanic at the Chevy Dealership, and had fixed enough blown hoses, cracked radiators, and leaking heater cores to not want to do it on his own stuff. By and large, it worked, keeping a lot of stress off of components.


Shawn

'85 MC with budget 5.3L swap, TH350 with stock 2.14 rear end
It ain't much off the line, but it's nice on the highway
#1070237 - 04/06/21 01:09 AM Re: Radiator stop leak [Re: FinallySS]  
Joined: Dec 1999
Posts: 11,826
86ttop Offline
20+ Year
86ttop  Offline
20+ Year
Member

Joined: Dec 1999
Posts: 11,826
Brooksville, Fl
I have used Bar's Leak many times in the past. The one with the pellets. When I worked in the Good Humor garage, (yes, the ice cream company) whenever we replaced an engine, we always put in a small jar of Bar's Leak, enough for a 6 cylinder engine.

In the not to distant past, I bought a car that was obviously leaking internally as I had to top of the coolant every couple of days, I added it to the coolant reservoir and topped the coolant again and just drove the car, no more topping off the coolant. I drove that car as my daily driver for over a year for over 100 miles a day. Good luck with your car and do that PT as scheduled!!


Leo Paugh
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POW*MIA
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