Radiator side tanks - steel or brass? - Team Camaro Tech
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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old Mar 25th, 10, 04:54 AM Thread Starter
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Question Radiator side tanks - steel or brass?

The radiator I bought used a long time ago is ready to come out of it's box. The tabs holding the bracket along one side have 'popped'. I couldn't tell right away because of layers of old paint, but can I re-tack those tabs back on to the tank, or is it brass?

I'm going to rent a pressure tester from AutoZone (if they have one) and bench leak-test it. If it checks out OK, I'll fix it myself. Otherwise I guess it's off to the radiator doctor.

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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old Mar 25th, 10, 05:27 AM
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Re: Radiator side tanks - steel or brass?

Brass, you should be able to use a propane torch (last choice), mapp gas (second choice), or acetlyene torch and reheat the present solder.

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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old Mar 25th, 10, 05:58 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Radiator side tanks - steel or brass?

I didn't think of that Everett

Bummer.... I guess I'll clean them up and see if a propane torch will work. I don't have access the acetylene or MAPP. I see that I can get a MAPP setup at Lowes. I'll try it.
Thanks!

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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old Mar 25th, 10, 06:25 AM
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Re: Radiator side tanks - steel or brass?

Joe, the problem with propane is that it takes quite a long time to build up the heat and it may cause failure of nearby solder (worst case is the core!) The hotter gases will allow you to go in quick and get off the heat faster to minimize unwanted heat transfers.

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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old Mar 25th, 10, 08:54 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Radiator side tanks - steel or brass?

Right... that's what I figured.
What's the worst that can happen.... I take it to Radiator-R-Us and they fix it. It'll still be WAY cheaper than $300-400 for a new one.

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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old Mar 25th, 10, 01:06 PM
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Re: Radiator side tanks - steel or brass?

Yeah Joe, a shop is probably the best for you. Mapp gas is just acetylene and those bottles cost a bundle and don't last long. Plus, to solder, the parts have to be spotless or the solder won't bond.

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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old Mar 25th, 10, 01:32 PM
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Re: Radiator side tanks - steel or brass?

Quote:
the problem with propane is that it takes quite a long time to build up the heat and it may cause failure of nearby solder (worst case is the core!)
you stand the raditor on its side, block the outlet, and fill with water up to the header tank seam....which is easier than wrapping wet rages around the seams.
Or you can drop the radiator in a tank of water upto the header tank seams.

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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old Mar 25th, 10, 06:25 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Radiator side tanks - steel or brass?

Well.... a tank of MAP is $8. The radiator cost me something like $60 over 5 years ago (23" 4-row big block). And from the looks of the plugged overflow tube and crap falling out of it, I'm not really losing anything if I blow a hole in it.
I'll just prune the money tree and buy a $600 aluminum setup with $300 worth of fans on it. Or a $180 Chinese made slug from AutoZone.

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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old Apr 21st, 10, 11:45 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Radiator side tanks - steel or brass?

I've been sitting on this radiator untouched.
I have a tank of MAP and want to give repairing the loose tabs a shot.
If the existing solder won't be enough to hold the tabs once I melt it, what kind of solder\brazing will I need?

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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old Apr 21st, 10, 02:10 PM
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Re: Radiator side tanks - steel or brass?

Have a chat to your local plumber TRADESMAN. he will know what alloy you will need and will most prob have a couple sticks, and the flux for a couple 6 packs.

This MAP acetylene you guys talk about what is that
Most home workshops here have a acetylene and Oxygen bottle...we can either 'own ' our bottles or lease long term....real cheap...same with out mig welders....cost $NZ23 to fill and $NZ10 per 3 months to lease (US $ is about 3/4 of that $7 and $18 ....
is MAP a pre mix or something?

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post #11 of 17 (permalink) Old Apr 21st, 10, 02:18 PM
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Re: Radiator side tanks - steel or brass?

First of all, put a magnet on those tabs and make sure they're NOT steel. (I have no idea.) If they are ARE steel, you'll probably need to brass-braze it. I doubt you can get it hot enough with MAPP to braze it. The surrounding brass will conduct the heat away quickly. But it's worth a shot! Your local welding supply store should have very thin sticks of flux-coated brazing rod. Cheap, too!

If everything is brass, you can solder it. If you have an old roll of the plumbers lead solder sitting around, it melts at a lower heat than the new antimone stuff, and should make the job a little easier. Clean clean clean and flux the crap out of it.

FWIW - The old MAPP gas is no longer available. There was only one Canadian company supplying it, and they could get more money selling it to the plastics industry. The replacement is MAPPro, which doesn't burn as hot as the old MAPP, but still hotter than propane. I have about 1/2 bottle of MAPP left, saving it for "special" occasions!


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post #12 of 17 (permalink) Old Apr 21st, 10, 05:57 PM
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Re: Radiator side tanks - steel or brass?

I'd rough it up and JB-Weld the hell out of it and repaint.

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post #13 of 17 (permalink) Old Apr 21st, 10, 06:37 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Radiator side tanks - steel or brass?

LOL!!!!
Ya know Stein... you have a great idea there. It needs stripping a new paint anyway.

I'll throw a magnet on the tabs and see what they are.

This is the MAP gas I'm talking about Step.... http://www.lowes.com/pd_98400-13877-...ategoryDisplay

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post #14 of 17 (permalink) Old Apr 21st, 10, 07:39 PM
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Re: Radiator side tanks - steel or brass?

Joe those are not soldered, they are silver brazed. Some people call it silver soldering but it's incorrect. I have my bike tanks repaired this way sometimes. Our old collision shop had a radiator shop as well. Should not cost much to have it boiled, tested and that bracket repaired properly. Don't let them paint it though. The shop I use now does not charge to pressure test if it shows the radiator does not justify a repair. But they can be recored anyway. If you see the torch tip used for radiator repair it is not like that mapp you want to use.
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post #15 of 17 (permalink) Old Apr 21st, 10, 09:18 PM
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Re: Radiator side tanks - steel or brass?

Quote:
This is the MAP gas I'm talking about Step....
Still dont know what gas it is...sounds like methane/cng.????

My Spelling is not incorrect...it is creative

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