I have a bear of a job ahead of me replacing the heater core in my tbird..
and I was wondering, is there any kind of "stop leak" product I might be
succesful in using to seal it up instead? There can't be much of a leak, I
never got a wet carpet I noticed, just a few wisps of steam on the
windshield (looked like someone was breathing on it) in june at which time I
immediately bypassed it.. I could concievably even use an electric water
pump to circulate it just through the heater core, I have a pretty high flow
pond pump type, but only if the stuff poses a danger to the rest of the
cooling system, as if so, it would likley trash the pump if that's the
case.. Been thinking about replacing it anyway, but still...
I have never ever seen anything that would work. You can buy some
indeterminate amount of time, days or weeks, at most.
The hardest part of a heater core job is getting over the hump of
deciding to get started on the work.
Well, I've had good luck with several products - one of which is
Knights sealer. I have had 7 plus years of no leaks on one vehicle
with this product.Have used it MANY times - always with good mid-long
term results (meaning I have not had a failure in less than 3 years)I
have also used the MotoMaster stopleak cube from Canadian tire MANY
times and am not aware of a leak coming back in less than 2 years on
any leak that was initially sealed by it.
On Radiators the success rate was somewhat less, as the damage is
USUALLY more extensive (external corrosion, loosened fins, etc)
You're only putting it off when you do that.... when I bought an aerostar
whose owner had recently done the same, I found that once that core finally
went, it THEN went out with vengeance and the coolant POURED out in the
middle of a 60 mile interstate trip.
Of course, once I changed the core and replaced the coolant - first the
radiator, then the water pump went out in the next few thousand miles.
Only use such "stop leak" products if you don't mind replacing your radiator
and hot tanking your block and heads. Those products will coat everything
inside your cooling system, reducing it's efficiency. Just fix it right.
Believe it or not, eggs will stop leaks temporarily if you're in a bind!
If you want to patch up the heater core remove it and thoroughly clean and
dry it. Then use an abrasive (sandpaper works fine) on the bad spot and
JB-weld it. If it's not on the tank of the heater core you can pinch tubes.
It's not worth doing such a ghetto fix to a heater core. I've used JB-weld
to avoid buying a new radiator when the hose snout to tank joint failed.
I've done that several times and never had any trouble. Saved me a couple
hundred bucks between two cars, and I've saved froends money that way too.
Crimping tubes works for leaks in the core area, but at that point I would
ahve my radiator re-cored or buy a replacement.
Anyhow, as for your heater core... Just replace it. Remember to seal up the
heater box nice and good with silicon caulk and foam (get new foam if your
original stuff is degraded and disintigrating). I'm in the same boat as you
with my '68. My heater core (new heater core too!) sprung a leak (either
that or a hose did) and to get to it I've got to remove teh passenger side
inner and outer fenders. I did it last winter when it was freezing out and
that was no fun, so as soon as I recover some more from my car accident I'll
be replacing that so I can get through the winter.
How long is temporary?
I know a Rover 2000TC that blew a head gasket, and the bloke that
owned it sealed it up with a couple of eggs and drove it for 2 years
that way. He replaced the head gasket before he sold it to return to
Scotland. He was a teacher in Zambia, and had gone to Bulawayo
Rhodesia for holiday (not allowed in those days) and blew the gasket
there.Had to get back to teach - did NOT want to have to explain why
he wasn't there.
I've also seam coarse ground black pettor work pretty good.
As for coatint the interior of the engine and reducing cooling -
doesn't happen with the good stuff. It only sets up in the presense of
Particularly not when it takes 4 hours and 3 square inches (minimum)
of skin to get it out. You either fix it RIGHT by replacing it once
it's out, or you take your chance with the "labour saving" method.
With todays crappy quality parts, anything that requires ANY amount of
labour to replace should be checked, as much as possible, before
installation. Heater cores, condensers, evaporators, and radiators in
particular have a VERY high "infant mortality rate". Chinese
manufacturers (as well as many others) have absolutely NO concept of
..... With todays crappy quality parts, anything that requires ANY amount of
labour to replace should be checked, as much as possible, before installation.
Heater cores, condensers, evaporators, and radiators in particular have a
VERY high "infant mortality rate". Chinese manufacturers (as well as many
others) have absolutely NO concept of Quality Control.
I recently bought a radiator with an integral engine oil cooler. I had to
grind my engine oil lines shorter because I discovered the cooler was built
too close to the bottoms of the connection ports. If I had not checked
it before installation the collars on the oil lines would have sheared off
when the collar nuts were tightened, and the oil lines ($55 each) would
have been ruined.
This radiator was made in China, but wherever auto parts come from, it's
a good idea to inspect them before installation.
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