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Old 02-27-2024, 11:31 AM   #1
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Default Radiator Leak

In mid-2017, I bought a replacement heavy duty radiator (For 1930 -31, 8 Fins per inch) from Brattonís. Since then, I have put no more that 1,000 miles on my car. The radiator is filled with Sierra Safer-Formula antifreeze. Approximately 100 miles ago, I started to notice a mineral-type deposit developing beneath my radiator cap, and subsequently a leak at the junction of the overflow tube. I repaired this with a patch of metal putty, but now see that it has developed again. Brattonís has told me this is the first theyíve ever heard of this problem (they sell over 100 radiators a year), and told me to contact the maker with my questions. A call to them left on a vague answering machine has been unreturned. My question is Ö has anyone else encountered this problem? Since I donít put many miles on the car, would anyone suggest an additive that might stop this leak? I know it can be a temporary fix, with issues, but would like to hear any pros and cons. In my case, Iím not so concerned about the radiator itself, but instead, the cooling channels in engine block. I think I remember a member here mentioning a solder failure they once had, and itís been in my mind that if that is the case here, what is to guarantee that it will not continue happening elsewhere? The cost of having it recored vs. a new replacement is not an issue for me. What is, is the annoying fact that I may have to go through the double-work of replacing it. Please give me your thoughts ..
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Old 02-27-2024, 12:01 PM   #2
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Question Re: Radiator Leak

The corrosion on the locking cap I can't help you with? I've used the Sierra
brand anti-freeze (half distilled water/half Sierra) for years with no problems.
The leak I would have used JB Weld. It has worked on a small leak on my cast iron "B" block.


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Old 02-27-2024, 12:27 PM   #3
Ernie Vitucci
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Default Re: Radiator Leak

Agree...Drain some coolent out of the radiator and use a dremell tool or some such to slightly expand and clean out the crack. Use JB Weld and let it sit for a couple of days, then put the coolent back in and fire her up and see what happens. Some of these sorts of problems come from not driving the A more often...stuff sits in the same place and tends to do damage that would not be done if the car is driven more and all of the systems exercised. Good Luck...Ernie in Arizona
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Old 02-27-2024, 12:31 PM   #4
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Default Re: Radiator Leak

I would contend that the Sierra Safer-Formula antifreeze may be at fault. How often do you change it? I think it may only last a couple years. I also agree that driving the car more may help.

I am going to go with the suggestion to use JB Weld to fix the leak. Meticulously clean the area down to metal and rough it up. A small stainless wire wheel on a Dremel might be best. Then do a final clean with acetone.

Alternately, re solder the area with radiator solder.
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Old 02-27-2024, 01:50 PM   #5
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Default Re: Radiator Leak

Is there still a radiator shop near you? if so drive it over and ask them about it. Tell them you will pull it, and bring it to them for repair. If you start messing with it no one is gonna wanna help you fix it later. Sorry to be so blunt, but that is just a fact.

Also, either drive it more, or lose the anti-freeze.
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Old 02-27-2024, 04:32 PM   #6
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Default Re: Radiator Leak

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Radiator Leak 1930 Ford Model A - TPR1930
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Old 02-27-2024, 04:51 PM   #7
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Default Re: Radiator Leak

doesnt look too great. maybe consider a diff rad cap?
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Old 02-27-2024, 09:02 PM   #8
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Default Re: Radiator Leak

I don't know. If it were me, I would pull the radiator and send it to a good radiator shop to check it out, flush it, and make any necessary repairs. I would then completely flush out the block. I would use a can of Barr's Stop Leak, and then fill it with a 50-50 mixture of anti-freeze and drive it. I have done this to all my Model A's and diesel engines for over fifty years and have not had a problem. It appears that you have some type of mineral precipitate on the cap. Could be the cap's material.
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Old 02-28-2024, 06:40 AM   #9
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Default Re: Radiator Leak

That’s nothing, if anything dissimilar metal corrosion from the cap.

Drain it out, flush good with plain water. Fill with a quart of Blue Devil Radiator flush. Do a run to temp at least 3 times over a 10 hour period. Directions say not to leave in more than 4 hours, but that’s based on modern aluminum.

Once Done, Drain and fill with a good quality 50/50 mix.

Last edited by WRA; 03-01-2024 at 05:52 AM.
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