Radiator side tank crack fix.

Discussion in 'How-to Guides' started by Big75, Aug 17, 2010.

  1. Big75

    Big75 Rockstar 4 Years 500 Posts

    After a 6 hour one way trip with my 1996 Chevy 3500 pulling my gooseneck camper, I was alerted to a hairline crack in the Left hand plastic radiator side tank. A new radiator would cost me at least $150 but instead I found a $10 option at my local auto parts store.


    Pictured here is my radiator side tank with the under hood tool box, washer fluid neck, oil cooler line, oil cooler line retainer, and radiator hose removed. you can see the crack extending from the radiator hose neck to the oil cooler line fitting.

    [​IMG]

    The kit included a two part epoxy, sand paper, fiber glass mat, and a brush to apply the epoxy.

    [​IMG]

    I'm sure you can see how this goes but I'll type it out anyway.

    drain the radiator down to below the crack, sand the crack and at least one inch all around it, clean thoroughly (I used brake cleaner), mix the epoxy for 15 seconds and brush onto repair evenly and thick, press the mat into the epoxy over the crack, then apply as much epoxy on over the mat before it sets up. This stuff sets up quick!

    [​IMG]

    After letting the epoxy set up for 20 minutes, the instructions say that I should be able to top off the radiator and run the truck in a couple of hours but i'm going to let it set overnight.


    I will update this thread in a week to let you guys know whether or not this product worked for me, I'm sure I'm not the only one with this issue.




    [​IMG]

    HAPPY WRENCHING!
     
  2. TrailLeadr

    TrailLeadr Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    Nicely done. Let's hope it works flawlessly.:great:
     
  3. murdog94

    murdog94 Epic Member 5+ Years 5000 Posts

    Luckly it didnt completly let loose while you were driving it. And thanks for the write up im very interested to see how it goes since this is a common problem up here when it gets cold...
     
  4. Big75

    Big75 Rockstar 4 Years 500 Posts

    so, I can't see the pictures I posted on this thread. Maybe it's the computer I'm using??? let me know if you guys can see them.
     
  5. murdog94

    murdog94 Epic Member 5+ Years 5000 Posts

    Yep sure can.
     
  6. Mean_Green_95

    Mean_Green_95 Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    My radiator had a small 1 inch or so crack on top of the side tank. I used a propane torch and heated up the flat part of a flat head screw driver. I melted the crack back together. It has worked pretty good so far b\but I missed a small part and need to do it again. If your repair works, I might give it a try instead.
     
  7. phoebeisis

    phoebeisis Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    Hey-thanks that is a great fix.
    I'm going to invest in one of those kits for my "trip kit". My Suburban-98 214,000 miles- is old and when we drive across TX,NM,AZ from New Orleans- I like to carry as many tools and repair items as possible.
    You kit sure makes the cut-small, cheap and radiators do crack.
    Thanks
    Charlie
     
  8. eric 71

    eric 71 New Member

    good job on the fix up
     
  9. Big75

    Big75 Rockstar 4 Years 500 Posts

    The fix has worked so far. I've put about 500 miles on it, mostly highway and no leaks. Given what it cost and the time involved, I would suggest this fix to anyone before looking into replacing a side tank or the whole radiator. Hope this helped someone out there.
     
  10. murdog94

    murdog94 Epic Member 5+ Years 5000 Posts

    Thanks for the update.. and i will for sure give this a try as well. I just wonder how well it will hold up in the extream cold that we get here in MN..
     

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