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Thread: Radiator welding

  1. #1
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    Radiator welding

    Ok guys I got one for you. I have been doing a couple custom radiators for some motor swaps. When using all new parts they weld awesome. On the other hand if anything as had coolant in it it weld ok until the very end and it develops a pin hole that will not close. I clean all the parts with Scotch Brite and wipe them down with acetone before welding, but that last little bit won't close up. The only way I have been able to finish the jobs is to drill out the pin hole with a 1/16" bit and weld it then.
    Am I missing anything or is this my best method?
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  2. #2
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    Re: Radiator welding

    what welding process are you using? pertinent information maybe?
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  3. #3
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    Re: Radiator welding

    It's called "OUT GASSING" caused by pressure build up from oil or some other combustible.....Clean it out better
    and vent it......Race car and bike frames are bad about this and that's why you see 1/8" vent holes in roll cages
    You can vent the tank and come back after it cools and weld up the vent hole.I would think just leaving the cap off would be enough, probably not clean inside.....
    Last edited by B_C; 04-28-2013 at 11:22 PM.



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  4. #4
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    Re: Radiator welding

    Quote Originally Posted by B_C View Post
    It's called "OUT GASSING" caused by pressure build up from oil or some other combustible.....Clean it out better
    and vent it......Race car and bike frames are bad about this and that's why you see 1/8" vent holes in roll cages
    You can vent the tank and come back after it cools and weld up the vent hole.I would think just leaving the cap off would be enough, probably not clean inside.....
    Why would a radiator without the cap or the hoses on it need a vent hole??

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  5. #5
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    Re: Radiator welding

    A friend of mine used to have a radiator repair shop and he used an acid of some kind to clean the places he was ready to solder up first. He even wore a special respirator when doing the cleaning. I do not know what the acid was but I am guessing with some Web searching you will find out. I did a small search and came up with Castrol Super Clean that they use today to clean brass & copper radiators before soldering them up. Clean it down 1" to bare metal all around the soldering area before soldering it up.

    Last edited by Inkydoggy; 04-29-2013 at 05:54 AM.

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    Re: Radiator welding

    Quote Originally Posted by zapster View Post
    Why would a radiator without the cap or the hoses on it need a vent hole??

    ...zap!
    as usual you didnt read my whole reply......it said it was probably not clean

    Originally Posted by B_C View Post
    It's called "OUT GASSING" caused by pressure build up from oil or some other combustible.....Clean it out better
    and vent it......Race car and bike frames are bad about this and that's why you see 1/8" vent holes in roll cages
    You can vent the tank and come back after it cools and weld up the vent hole.I would think just leaving the cap off would be enough, probably not clean inside.....
    Last edited by B_C; 04-29-2013 at 01:17 PM.



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  7. #7
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    Re: Radiator welding

    Quote Originally Posted by B_C View Post


    It's called "OUT GASSING" caused by pressure build up from oil or some other combustible.....

    I have that what you call out gassing and boy does it piss the wife off.


  8. #8
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    Re: Radiator welding

    Quote Originally Posted by B_C View Post

    as usual you didnt read my whole reply......it said it was probably not clean

    Oh I read the whole reply but @ 5 AM the brain was not functioning in sync with the engagement of the typing fingers...

    My mistake.
    Carry on.

    ...zap!


    I am not completely insane..
    Some parts are missing

    Professional Driver on a closed course....
    Do not attempt.

    Just because I'm a dumbass don't mean that you can be too.
    So DON'T try any of this **** l do at home.

  9. #9
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    Re: Radiator welding

    Quote Originally Posted by zapster View Post
    Oh I read the whole reply but @ 5 AM the brain was not functioning in sync with the engagement of the typing fingers...

    My mistake.
    Carry on.

    ...zap!
    Sounds like someone needed their coffee.
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  10. #10
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    Re: Radiator welding

    Quote Originally Posted by smilexelectric View Post
    Sounds like someone needed their coffee.
    I had just got it and it was WAY too hot to drink..

    ...zap!


    I am not completely insane..
    Some parts are missing

    Professional Driver on a closed course....
    Do not attempt.

    Just because I'm a dumbass don't mean that you can be too.
    So DON'T try any of this **** l do at home.

  11. #11
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    Re: Radiator welding

    Quote Originally Posted by zapster View Post
    I had just got it and it was WAY too hot to drink..

    ...zap!



    You need some of this stuff, it rocks. Though it does have a fair bit of sugar and I like my coffee dark. Ill take any type of coffee I have had some pretty nasty stuff before so it doesn't bother me.
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  12. #12
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    Re: Radiator welding

    Quote Originally Posted by zapster View Post
    Oh I read the whole reply but @ 5 AM the brain was not functioning in sync with the engagement of the typing fingers...

    My mistake.
    Carry on.

    ...zap!
    I still like you .........:{



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  13. #13
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    Re: Radiator welding

    Quote Originally Posted by Inkydoggy View Post
    A friend of mine used to have a radiator repair shop and he used an acid of some kind to clean the places he was ready to solder up first. He even wore a special respirator when doing the cleaning. I do not know what the acid was but I am guessing with some Web searching you will find out. I did a small search and came up with Castrol Super Clean that they use today to clean brass & copper radiators before soldering them up. Clean it down 1" to bare metal all around the soldering area before soldering it up.

    Muriatic Acid?
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  14. #14
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    Re: Radiator welding

    On alum tanks if we run into this we take a center punch and hit the pin hole and close it , then finish the weld off. Might be worth giving it a try .

  15. #15
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    Re: Radiator welding

    Or wait till it cools.....



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  16. #16
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    Re: Radiator welding

    soldered up a radiator last week it was wirewheel clean flux heat wirewheel clean add more flux wirewheel clean till all the crap was gone then flux it up and lay in the solder and call it a day
    Last edited by WeldorWes; 04-30-2013 at 08:28 PM.
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  17. #17
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    Re: Radiator welding

    Quote Originally Posted by WookieWelding View Post
    soldered up a radiator last week it was wirewheel clean flux heat wirewheel clean add more flux wirewheel clean till all the crap was gone then flux it up and lay in the solder and call it a day
    Aluminum Tig..........



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  18. #18
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    Re: Radiator welding

    Quote Originally Posted by B_C View Post
    Aluminum Tig..........
    Did not see where material was specified

    but now rereading the OP
    I would assume it was aluminum cause most do not weld up copper
    but still does not state the Material being welding in the OPs post
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  19. #19
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    Re: Radiator welding

    Yeah I noticed that also but the largest majority of Custom radiators are Aluminum
    not saying that ALL custom radiators are but the issue he described was typical of
    an aluminum radiator that is out gassing ......



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  20. #20
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    Re: Radiator welding

    Sorry guys. It is a brand new Griffin aluminum radiator. Tig process, Miller Dynasty. I believe I was running about 80 amps with 3/32" Lanthanated Tungsten, AC set at 70.
    The caps and hoses were off. Mostly it welded perfect, until the last little hole opened up and just would not fill. It was tiny, only single drops would come out under pressure. I drilled it with a 1/16" and welded it up one shot.
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