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How can I get dents out of a radiator tank?

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  • How can I get dents out of a radiator tank?

    Hi all,

    I want to smooth out a '58 commander upper radiator tank, but don't know how to go about doing this. Any of you guys done this before? How do it do it?

    Thanks!

    Dylan Wills


    '61 lark deluxe 4 door wagon
    Dylan Wills
    Everett, Wa.


    1961 Lark 4 door wagon
    1961 Lark 4 door wagon #2 (Wife's car!)
    1955 VW Beetle (Went to the dark side)
    1914 Ford Model T

  • #2
    Never done it myself. I suppose the only best way would be to de-solder the tank from the core, tap it out from the inside and solder it back in place. I suppose you could solder something to it to pull it out but you'll still end up with a lot more labor, a product that won't satisfy you and possibly look worse than what you've got.
    "All attempts to 'rise above the issue' are simply an excuse to avoid it profitably." --Dick Gregory

    Brad Johnson, SDC since 1975, ASC since 1990
    Pine Grove Mills, Pa.
    '33 Rockne 10,
    '51 Commander Starlight,
    '53 Commander Starlight "Désirée",
    '56 Sky Hawk

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    • #3
      Cool! Thanks! I'll be doing that then!

      Dylan Wills


      '61 lark deluxe 4 door wagon
      Dylan Wills
      Everett, Wa.


      1961 Lark 4 door wagon
      1961 Lark 4 door wagon #2 (Wife's car!)
      1955 VW Beetle (Went to the dark side)
      1914 Ford Model T

      Comment


      • #4
        Desoldering the tank from the core is tough...but could probably be done.

        Resoldering the tank to the core is next to impossible. If you have ever seen those radiator guys work a radiator is is magic [:0].

        Dick Steinkamp
        Bellingham, WA


        Dick Steinkamp
        Bellingham, WA

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        • #5
          This may not be a proper technique, but probably easier than taking the radiator apart....scuf the dents and fill it with body filler and then paint it black again.


          Brent's rootbeer racer.
          MN iron ore...it does your body good.
          sigpic
          In the middle of MinneSTUDEa.

          Comment


          • #6
            This topic rang a bell....

            I dug out my copy of Modern Techniques for Auto Restoration by Ken Wickham. According to the author, body filler is a no-no. Filler will crack with the thermal expansion. His recommendation is to tap out the worst of the dents from the inside after un-soldering the tanks. Then, recore and re-solder the now de-dented tank. Final finish achieved by light sandblasting, then a couple coats of epoxy primer. Then, fill any remaining dings with JB weld, block sand, more primer, and then a final finish coat.

            Having read this book cover to cover a few times, I will say that its geared to the "over restored" end of the field. The goal being a radiator that looks better than new. Depending on how bad those dents are, maybe you can leave out the desoldering part and just do the JB weld bit and paint.

            Having used some JB weld on stuff, it takes a few days to fully cure before you can grind or sand it.

            Jeff in ND

            '53 Champion Hardtop

            Jeff in ND

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            • #7
              JB Weld's not a bad idea!

              I have a friend who's engine came apart at the drag strip. He put it back together with JB Weld. Once it was cured, he ran a bore through the cylinders and continued to win with that engine. He still has it as a spare, just in case it's needed.
              "All attempts to 'rise above the issue' are simply an excuse to avoid it profitably." --Dick Gregory

              Brad Johnson, SDC since 1975, ASC since 1990
              Pine Grove Mills, Pa.
              '33 Rockne 10,
              '51 Commander Starlight,
              '53 Commander Starlight "Désirée",
              '56 Sky Hawk

              Comment


              • #8
                Wow, tough stuff! Now I'm a little leary of taking that tank apart, I'll look into both options though,lol. Thanks guys!

                Dylan Wills


                '61 lark deluxe 4 door wagon
                Dylan Wills
                Everett, Wa.


                1961 Lark 4 door wagon
                1961 Lark 4 door wagon #2 (Wife's car!)
                1955 VW Beetle (Went to the dark side)
                1914 Ford Model T

                Comment


                • #9
                  Radiator shops have a fixture with a whole bunch of little gas flames to apply heat evenly around the perimeter of the tank being soldered or unsoldered.

                  I'd suggest taking the rad to a radiator shop, have them unsolder the tanks, (and rod it out or recore it if necessary). You then take the tanks home, hammer out the dents, and shine them up, and then let the rad shop re-solder them.

                  It's really tough to unsolder a radiator tank with only one or two torches, believe me.

                  Gord Richmond, within Weasel range of the Alberta Badlands
                  Gord Richmond, within Weasel range of the Alberta Badlands

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Sounds like a good plan to me. jimmijim

                    Stude Junkie+++++++Do it right the f$$$$ Time. Never mind. Just do it right. When youre done your done. You'll know it.
                    sigpicAnything worth doing deserves your best shot. Do it right the first time. When you're done you will know it. { I'm just the guy who thinks he knows everything, my buddy is the guy who knows everything.} cheers jimmijim*****SDC***** member

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                    • #11
                      Some pics of the radiator shop taking my top tank off. They were very gentle with it, as replacement tanks are hard to obtain. He ran the torch over the seams several time, melting the solder out, untill the tank kinda fell out.



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                      • #12
                        I've patched a leaky rad tank (IH Scout) by JB Welding a piece if sheet brass over a crack after soldering the repair failed.

                        nate

                        --
                        55 Commander Starlight
                        http://members.cox.net/njnagel
                        --
                        55 Commander Starlight
                        http://members.cox.net/njnagel

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          They're so thin that it would be tuff to get it straight without filler, even if you did take the tank off. Solder some heavy copper wire to the dents to pull them out most of the way. Heat to remove. JB the dents--sand prime and paint.

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                          • #14
                            My rad horror story:

                            I take in a nice rare PH rad for a recore. Big bucks (>$500)

                            They solder the rad cap opening on so the rad cap is crooked. Its also now too wide for the opening (about 1/8 inch)

                            I take it back. They fix the width, resolder the rad cap hole, but now the tank is all banged up. Looks like ^^*&. They were oblivious to my complaints. So much for a nice engine compartment. For some reason, I still haven't cleaned up and detailed the engine compartment.

                            I would never go to these guys again. (Rad shop was in Bolton, ON. Customers beware)

                            Paul

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                            • #15
                              Go back in there with your radiator. The trick is to not allow your feet to point towards the door until you are completely satisfied.

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