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tdskip
10-29-2006, 03:04 PM
It is leaking enough to get the engine compartment damp after a 15 minute, so it clearly needs attention.

Do I have any options but pulling it? Should I bring it to a repair shop or replace it?

RomanH
10-29-2006, 03:07 PM
Depends on where it is leakig from. I would pull it and take it to a radiator shop. They should tell you what is wrong with it for free and then you can decide if it is worth repairing or should replace it.

TR6oldtimer
10-29-2006, 03:18 PM
New ones run about $240-260 plus shipping, and tax if from a California firm. My bet is that a replacement core will be less then a new one because the tax is only on the core, not labor, and there is no shipping. Also be sure the replacement core is equal to or better then the old one in heat transfer capability.

Of course, you and take this opportunity to purchase a larger or aluminum radiator.

Keoke
10-29-2006, 03:52 PM
[ QUOTE ]
It is leaking enough to get the engine compartment damp after a 15 minute, so it clearly needs attention.

Do I have any options but pulling it? Should I bring it to a repair shop or replace it?

[/ QUOTE ]

Take it out and take it to a good radiator repair shop and have it "Repaired"!.---Keoke- /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/hammer.gif

Don Elliott
10-29-2006, 05:52 PM
The rad in my TR3A is leaking a bit but it's along the joint where the filler duct is soldered to the top header. When I take it out this winter, I plan to just re-solder the joint. Maybe that's all you have too. Maybe it's leaking from a bad hose. Or maybe it's just a loose hose clamp.

10-29-2006, 05:59 PM
[ QUOTE ]
It is leaking enough to get the engine compartment damp after a 15 minute, so it clearly needs attention.

Do I have any options but pulling it? Should I bring it to a repair shop or replace it?

[/ QUOTE ]

A good radiator shop will charge you the cost of a new radiator for a total rebuild. They will replace the core and re-solder the whole thing up first class. They will also charge you about the cost of a new aftermarket radiator. I cannot attest to the quality of the new radiators on the market, but a guess is they all come from the same manufacturer. Would they be made in the UK or Taiwan, anyone know? I had mine redone for the first time 5 years ago and the price was $165. Had it redone last year for $265. Ouch! Went with an aluminum radiator from Ron Davis. Best investment I have made, but not cheap. $560.

Many rad shops will for some reason paint the cores black. The last rebuild I chose to leave the core a natural copper, looked good and I think transferred heat better. The new owner likes it alot.


Bill

Andrew Mace
10-29-2006, 06:16 PM
Original radiators were pretty good quality, something I can't say as I've heard about "new" ones. (NOTE: I've no personal experience with new ones.) Bill is correct that a shop might charge you up to the cost of a "new" one, depending on what's needed. But a really good shop will know just what really NEEDS to be done -- rod out, clean, resolder as needed; quality recore; or pitch the whole thing -- and you're likely as not to have a better radiator that will last another 20-40 years.

LastDeadLast
10-29-2006, 06:16 PM
Bill is right, a good radiator shop will charge some serious cash to do it right. I had a local shop quote me to upgrade my original to 4-core. It was around $250 if I remember.

If I ever have any problems with my old radiator, I'm not sure what I'd do, but I'm sure an aluminum job would look really cool tucked down in the engine bay. I'm sure I would get some props from the import crowd.

-s

TheAssociate
10-29-2006, 10:11 PM
A month or two ago I had my radiator done at a local radiator shop. I took it in, told them what to look for(it was leaking from the bottom seam)and I got it back a couple of days later.

They dipped the radiator in solution, found all weakpoints, braised with brass, tested and repainted black.

I'm super happy with the way it turned out. They removed both top and bottom caps, and resealed like new.
My 1500 is cool, for under $100.00


Adam H.
__________________________________________________ __________
1972 Triumph Spitfire.

Keoke
10-29-2006, 10:17 PM
Hi Don, That is a rather trickey spot to "Repair". I would suggest that you take the radiator to a reputable shop and have them do the repair for you.The cost will be very reasonable.-Fwiw---Keoke

Keoke
10-29-2006, 10:21 PM
Hi Adam, That is just the about the average price I would expect to have a radiator "Repaired". I do not know why these other folks end up paying over the top for theirs?-- /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/cheers.gif---Keoke

LastDeadLast
10-29-2006, 10:44 PM
My post above was to have my radiator converted to a 4-core. It was only $75 to have mine refurbed.

YankeeTR
10-29-2006, 10:46 PM
You guys are getting away cheap...the last two non-TR radiators I had recored were over $400.00...BEFORE copper went thru the roof!

tdskip
10-30-2006, 02:37 PM
Hi guys - as usual THANKS for all of the good info.

Unfortunately it doesn't appear to be the hose connections - it is wet in the middle of the fins.

Bad idea to try the sealant products???

Tinster
10-30-2006, 04:14 PM
tdskip:

Radiator Sealant Products, you ask?

That sounds like a half assed stunt a Previous Owner
might try.

The Crypt Car's radiator burst the second day we
owned the car. A local radiator shop said it was way
beyond repair.

After installing a new radiator, I busted open the
old one. It was filled with gook as was the entire
cooling system. I think gook probably makes one
lousy heat transfer medium. It might make your engine run hotter than normal.

my 2 cents- buy a new rad.

Tinster

10-30-2006, 06:26 PM
[ QUOTE ]



Bad idea to try the sealant products???

[/ QUOTE ]

Bad idea, you ask? Try Death Knell! Unless you are in the middle of the Mojave Desert and happen to have a raw egg white.

Find a good radiator shop and inquire about a complete rebuild. Never have been impressed with some of the aftermarket products out there. The originals seem to be so much better.


Bill

tdskip
10-30-2006, 07:39 PM
You guys crack me up! I got the message guys - LOL.

TheAssociate
10-31-2006, 08:51 PM
Do not put sealand in your radiator. I've tried years ago with an old BMW - it doesn't work.

Not only that, every mechanic out there could give you a different reason why NOT to put it in there. There are rumours about it ruining water pumps, causing overheating, eating seals, coating everything - the list goes on.

What is wrong with your radiator is NOT a big deal. Take it out, and get it fixed. Happens all the time. Then you can forget about it when it's hot, instead of worrying about when it's going to blow!

Adam H.
__________________________________________________ __________
1972 Triumph Spitfire.

Jim Lee
11-01-2006, 12:24 AM
I just got over the sticker shock of a recored TR3 radiator. Never had overheating problems but I had the front apron off to replace the motor mounts and the original fan that was hanging by a string. $525. Which is $125 more than I bought my daily driver for. The more I think about it though the more I am reassured that it was worth doing. It did not leak until I cleaned it out. Took it down to a radiator shop that likes to work on classic cars and they were very straight forward in telling me that they could fix the two leaks that my cleaning had created but it would be a
never ending battle with other leaks in short time as it had
just deteriorated too far. The idea of pulling that radiator in and out more did not excite me all that much. It was not nearly as bad as I had thought, I put it off for a few years, but I'd rather not have to do it for a while.

Being a terrible cheapskate I have used stop leak stuff before I found it to be only frustrating because if it does work it is not long until either you have another leak or the original one leaks again. It also makes me shudder to think about all that glop sitting in the narrower passages of my engine on top of 47 years of previous flotsam and jetsam. Now I have a cooling system that I can feel pretty confident about and not have to further hone my part removing skills...though if I had to do it again it would probably take half the time. I like to dwell on the fact that the radiator worked fine for 47 years and except for the core it is still in its original home. I don't think I have had a car that I haven't had to replace the radiator on and they were a fraction of the age of this car. I like to think that I am paying tribute in part to the toughness of the original car by rebuilding the radiator and not just patching it up for the next few weeks. It would have been almost exactly the same money for a new radiator after shipping and by having it recored by people who care I was also able to customize it to some extent giving my new 8 blade fan that should actually move some air a little more breathing room. I was very reassured when the guy at the radiator place showed me a Morgan radiator they had just recored. He said they make much more money on the big rig and construction radiators but they enjoy working on the old
time car radiators much more.

I would second the members advice about at least bringing it to a radiator shop that has an interest in old car radiators just to get all the information that you can on exactly what
shape yours is in. It might be in better shape than you think or it might save you alot of time and anxiety, which at some point balances off the money, by getting it recored and ready for another 47 years. It isn't cheap but it is kind of nice to know that you have something mechanical that
has been around that long and is not just another piece of disposable plastic.

Jim Lee

Tomster
11-01-2006, 10:17 AM
"they could fix the two leaks that my cleaning had created but it would be a never ending battle with other leaks in short time as it had just deteriorated too far."
This is why I keep banging the drum about chemical flushing.
If you do decide to do chem. flushing, at least the smell of A.F. leaking all over your carpets from your heater core will be detected long before the mold and rust set in...
Jim Lee, this is same type of shop that does my rad work. They do enjoy working on something that doesn't require a crane to move about the shop (Caterpillar rads)
Now do the math, $525.00 divided into 47 years (17,166.75 days) is only $0.031 cents per day.
A slight aside;
Most rads in cars now have the tanks glued or epoxied in place instead of braised or soldered. Also some tanks are made of plastic instead of metal.