Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  

Repairing Damaged Radiators

Recommended Posts

If you're like me you've ridden enough to tweak your radiator a time of two.

When I first got into this sport I would just simply replace it if it started leaking. Over time I learned a few tricks to save a few $$$.

Sometimes it can be straightened if left secured to the bike. The mounting bolts can act as a vise. Next get yourself a pair of channel-locks or large vise-grips and attempt to pull out the area bent. Sometimes if it's just twisted, you can (easier when still hot), using a pair of gloves, twist it back straight.

The leaking will usually occur at the junction of the core and tanks. I have found that using JB weld will usually stop any and all leaks the first time. It takes some patience, to allow to fully cure. But it's worth saving $75-$100 each radiator. The JB weld is self-leveling and should be used on one side then turned upside down after a few hours or drying if the other side needs attention.

Oh, I almost forgot to mention. I test the radiator for leaks by filling with water, plugging the holes with rubber plugs, and taping with duct tape. I use one plug drilled through with a small hole for which to insert the nozzle of my compressor valve. I will test it at around 40PSI cold. That's usually enough to mimic operating stress under extreme heat. Look for the water and proceed accordingly.

However, I have found it easier to simply use JB weld to cover the entire base area, top and bottom, where the core enters the tanks. Not too much, just enough to cover the base area and extend slightly up the fins of the core to get a good seal.

Good luck. Hope this helps.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A small amount of alumaseal mix with coolent in bottle shake well fill bike and ride till leak stops work great on small cracks i always keep some in the gear bag

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
A small amount of alumaseal mix with coolent in bottle shake well fill bike and ride till leak stops work great on small cracks i always keep some in the gear bag

Thanks. That's good to know.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
A small amount of alumaseal mix with coolent in bottle shake well fill bike and ride till leak stops work great on small cracks i always keep some in the gear bag

Only bad part about that stuff is it gets everywhere else in your cooling system....impeller, bearings, hose junctions, etc. It's great for a quick fix, but in the long haul, it can create a lot more work.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have been using it in my cr500 thrasher bike for ten years and have many engine rebuilds with no problems with system empty mix a teaspoon alumaseal with coolent before adding to bike ang u will be fine and repeat every few years when it leaks again pepper also will keep u riding in a pinch

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Pepper also will keep u riding in a pinch

How does that work exactly?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
How does that work exactly?

When it gets hot, it turns to a sludge in the coolant, and plugs the leak.

It also plugs your cooling system passages, your radiators, and leaves a slime on the inside of the cooling system.

Anything that "fixes" a leak by merely pouring something into it is going to put crud into your cooling system. That's how they work.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Alumaseal and pepper just clot lte leak never seen any sludge in bike trucks or trators just dont use to much

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Alumaseal and pepper just clot lte leak never seen any sludge in bike trucks or trators just dont use to much

I've seen some nasty crap in rads where pepper was used...and if the inside of the rad looks like that, you know that the inside of the engine looks just the same.

It's OK to use in a pinch, but for me, I'll take the time to repair it correctly and flush the system first opportunity.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I can agree with the jb weld. Ive saved two rads that way. I recommend you dont try and bend it back into place though. That usually pulls the brazing apart and can cause the aluminum to tear. Just pull some of the fins out, sand and throw some jb in there.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I prefer to use money. Money can fix just about anything on a bike.

I know... sometimes its hard to come by. And, sometimes you just don't have it on hand. But if you just stop riding and wait for the dough - you can fix your bike right.

I just sent my radiators to Myler's (sp?) in Utah. Mihylo sent me there.

They straightened them, reinforced all the welds and repaired the leak for $75 each. To make it easy send them the leaky one and then in a few months spend another $75 to get the other side done. WELL WORTH IT! And, much better than the risk of buying a used one on Ebay.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I prefer to use money. Money can fix just about anything on a bike.

I know... sometimes its hard to come by. And, sometimes you just don't have it on hand. But if you just stop riding and wait for the dough - you can fix your bike right.

I just sent my radiators to Myler's (sp?) in Utah. Mihylo sent me there.

They straightened them, reinforced all the welds and repaired the leak for $75 each. To make it easy send them the leaky one and then in a few months spend another $75 to get the other side done. WELL WORTH IT! And, much better than the risk of buying a used one on Ebay.

BLASPHEMER, SILENCE HERETIC!

J/K, on a serious note, I've used Mylers a time or two, and have been very happy and impressed with their workmanship and price!:smirk:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Reply with:

Sign in to follow this  

×