Buick35

Radiator stop leak

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Has anyone had any luck using radiator stop leak? And if so which brand works best? I used rust remover in my radiator on my old Buick and I think it worked too well. I noticed a small leak by the lower radiator hose connection. I saw that the cross frame has a wet spot but I can't really see it dripping out. It's a 35 Buick which means  I have to pull the grill shell to remove the radiator, what a pain! I'll try the stop leak first. Thanks,Greg.

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Greg,

I'm the guy that recommended Walker Radiator Works in Nashville.   I knpw how hard it is to get the radiator out of your car, I did it on mine.

My 84 year old radiator didn't take to magic radiator sures either.  Walker made a new one, end of problem.1932733093_1935@NSRA.thumb.jpg.198071440fbc55d8e508a7da741ca497.jpg

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I know people who used radiator LEEK.  If it can stop holes it certainly can block tubes and impede water flow.  Fix your radiator properly. Stop Leek is only good if you are in a jam and out far from home. 

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They could also call it stop driving. Plug up the entire cooling system. There is NO free lunch. Fix it right. 

Edited by edinmass (see edit history)
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Is this a pressurized system? Stop leak doesn’t work well in non pressurized systems. Zeke

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I was told by a representative of one of those products (Bars Leaks) that it only crystallizes and blocks holes when it leaks out of a hole and reacts with air.  He claimed that Bars Leaks can be used  permanently as a corrosion inhibitor and will never plug the radiator.  Sounds good and may be true but when faced with a leaky radiator I always replace it .

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I had my 1928 Chrysler radiator cleaned many years ago and it had a pinhole leak around the crankhandle hole that the repair shop tried three times to cure. I needed the car for a 1200 mile run and could not spare the time to take it out again. I had a can of "Indian head radiator sealer, powder" and chucked it in the car and went on the run.

 It stopped the leak within about 10 miles and never leaked again in the 30 plus years I owned the car, no overheating, no blocked core, no problems.

 

 I now have a different problem with a model A that I am restoring for a freind. The rebuild is complete and ready to start, but the engine block has developed 2 small pinhole water leaks, just below the waterpump on the front of the block!! AARGH what to do ?. The rust has corroded through the block from inside. I am going to grind around the holes gently to key the metal and put some plastic steel to close the holes. If I had another can of Indian head, I would chuck it into the cooling system, but have Bars leak and will try that. At least we will be able to use the car whilst we rebuild another motor, but what are the odds of other blocks we rebuild being equally badly rusted. Is there any way of testing how thin the block casting is inside??

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I would be very cautious grinding around those pinholes - you may end up like a guy trying to pinch off a radiator leak with needle nosed pliers - chasing each new leak .

 

This is a non pressurized system and contemporary anecdotal reports suggest temporary repairs (some of which became permanent) could be effected by everything from breaking an egg into the radiator to paper mache. If it were mine I would buy some two part ribbon epoxy (make sure it is water and gasoline proof). I used it to seal an active leak of a small stream of gas from  a gas tank that had "oil canned" due to a plugged fuel cap vent hole and it held for the three years I owned the car.

 

Might I suggest that you purchase it at a regular auto parts store (NAPA, Plus 4, etc) rather than a chain and ask them what would work best - you know - one of those stores that still stocks 6V bulbs and sell them by the each for under half a buck rather than 2 on a card for $5.

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Pure water has been used for a long time in none pressurise system. It has caused a lot of damaged inside where we cannot see them. When the pressurise system  was introduced, I think, the boiling point was increased.  According to the thermostat used. 160   , 180 heat ranges for different H P engines . The rad factory caps had markings from 10 lbs , 13 lbs and 14 lbs to increase the boiling point. The antifreeze was introduced , ostensibly. to handle heat and LUBRICATING  the inside the block , head and radiator. It is recommended to change the antifreeze every 3 years  So VIV W, my friend your motor is from a different era. Use antifreeze now so that you may get a few more miles. I would braze that hole. I have seen brazen manifold. To answer your question  I do not think there is much you can do except take a shot in the dark.

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I broke down and bought a new rad from the Brass Works for the 12 T like on my 15 T to solve my problem. Nothing worse than being on tour with a bad rad.

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I try to avoid disagreeing with people who obviously have much more experience with old cars than myself but, that being said,and FWIW,  one thing I did have a fair amount of  experience with is non-pressure radiator leaks...if our radiators didn't leak when we got them they soon did after pounding over NM semi-roads....

I've used  variety of stop-leak products in my jalopy years, mostly liquids; I've never had a car run hotter afterward,,and most products worked fine on minor leaks. How permanent past a year or two I couldn't say, as our cars seldom lasted that long by the time we got them...

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By disagreeing with others on the forum makes it more exciting because we all have different experiences. This is what the forum is all about and we all learn from each other's experiences.  DO NOT FEEL BAD. 

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Years ago I Used a tube of powered aluminum to treat a small leak on my daily work driver.  Lasted a couple of years and then I traded the car off. No problems noted although I most likely wouldn't do it today.

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9 hours ago, viv w said:

I had my 1928 Chrysler radiator cleaned many years ago and it had a pinhole leak around the crankhandle hole that the repair shop tried three times to cure. I needed the car for a 1200 mile run and could not spare the time to take it out again. I had a can of "Indian head radiator sealer, powder" and chucked it in the car and went on the run.

 It stopped the leak within about 10 miles and never leaked again in the 30 plus years I owned the car, no overheating, no blocked core, no problems.

 

 I now have a different problem with a model A that I am restoring for a freind. The rebuild is complete and ready to start, but the engine block has developed 2 small pinhole water leaks, just below the waterpump on the front of the block!! AARGH what to do ?. The rust has corroded through the block from inside. I am going to grind around the holes gently to key the metal and put some plastic steel to close the holes. If I had another can of Indian head, I would chuck it into the cooling system, but have Bars leak and will try that. At least we will be able to use the car whilst we rebuild another motor, but what are the odds of other blocks we rebuild being equally badly rusted. Is there any way of testing how thin the block casting is inside??

 

Is this the stuff?  You can buy it on eBay for $40.  Not cheap, and it may be slightly past the "best if used by" date.

 https://www.ebay.com/itm/Vintage-Indian-Head-Radiator-Cement-2-oz-Cardboard-Tin-Can-by-Permatex-/133182850332?_trksid=p2385738.m4383.l4275.c10

 

s-l1600.jpg

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16 hours ago, DavidMc said:

I was told by a representative of one of those products (Bars Leaks) that it only crystallizes and blocks holes when it leaks out of a hole and reacts with air.  He claimed that Bars Leaks can be used  permanently as a corrosion inhibitor and will never plug the radiator.  Sounds good and may be true but when faced with a leaky radiator I always replace it .


But while it's leaking out air is filling the top part of your cooling system? I would never use that stuff, too many bad stories and generally it's a band aid for a weak system that will keep getting worse and be more likely to catastrophically fail.

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In 2006, when we blew the honeycomb core at Auburn Cord Duesneberg festival with the 1935 Auburn 851 Sedan, Shawn Miller drove us to AutoZone and we bought the fine copper colored barrs leak and it worked fine - we drove around Auburn, we did the parade, and we drove from Auburn to Cincinnati - then the Labor Day Monday after we tore the front off the car and had the radiator out to take to be repaired and at the radiator shop on Tuesday. 

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Look at the big picture........shipping or hauling a car to a tour, hotel, fuel, tolls, food, vacation time, ect..............I refuse to overheat! EVER! Thus I only fix the car correctly.......I can work extra hours and make more money, I can't get back my time or heartache from a bad tour.

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I had an acquaintance once that did a lot of repowers.

He told me that GM included a can of stop leak of some sort with every Target Master crate that he bought.

Edited by JACK M (see edit history)

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it's been my experience that stop leak won't help at all with radiator or heater core problems. i is however, excellent at stopping leaks between machined surfaces and freeze plugs. we had a lot of problems with aluminum intake manifolds leaking at the front corners on the olds 260 v8. bars leak wouldn't fix it. but when we replaced the manifold, the new one usually leaked a little. added one can of bars leak, and you could actually watch the stream of coolant disappear.

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4 hours ago, JACK M said:

I had an acquaintance once that did a lot of repowers.

He told me that GM included a can of stop leak of some sort with every Target Master crate that he bought.

I worked at a Saturn dealer parts department and we had 'official' GM stop leak that we used in certain situations.  It was a re-labeled name brand product (may have been Aluma-Seal).  If it works for GM that's good enough for me.

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