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How can I get dents out of a radiator tank?

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  • Colgate Studebaker
    replied
    I've done a couple radiators in the past - it's not anywhere near easy to do. I agree with taking it to a "quality" radiator shop, have them take the tanks off, do your thing on the dents, and reyurn them to the rad shop for re-installation. As for the JB weld, it is some tough stuff. I had a buddy that used in a cylinder bore as a quick fix. Put it on the wall, honed it, and put the piston back in. The engine ran perfectly for another 60,000 miles plus, with no problems from the JB weld. B.V.

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  • buddymander
    replied
    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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  • 55s
    replied
    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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  • buddymander
    replied
    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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  • N8N
    replied
    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

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  • Chucks Stude
    replied
    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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  • jimmijim8
    replied
    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.

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  • gordr
    replied
    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

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  • silverhawk
    replied
    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

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  • rockne10
    replied
    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.

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  • Jeff_H
    replied
    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

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  • Milaca
    replied
    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.

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  • Dick Steinkamp
    replied
    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


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  • silverhawk
    replied
    Cool! Thanks! I'll be doing that then!

    Dylan Wills


    '61 lark deluxe 4 door wagon

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  • rockne10
    replied
    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.

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