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  1. #1
    Elite Member Richard's Avatar
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    Apr 2000
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    Knoxville, TN
    Tractor
    Fullsized JCB Loader/Backhoe

    Default Leaking radiator

    The job from H***.

    Brutus is leaking a bit of hydraulic fluid from the front. I fear that the hydraulic pump is heading south. Tell the wife, I HAVE to go in there and check it out before it gets worse (which it has been)

    Take things apart, find out, there is a hydaulic oil RADIATOR in front of the "radiator" that as it turns out...is the culpret!! [img]/w3tcompact/icons/smile.gif[/img] I figure much cheaper and easier to fix than the pump.

    It has been leaking from the top, the fan sucking the oil INSIDE the fins and with dirt and all, it is really CAKED with muck. This also explains why Brutus will overheat sometimes. No airflow!!!

    Take it off so I can get it fixed...figure I'll take "regular" radiator out also & have checked...what???

    I have ANOTHER radiator...seems the transmission radiator is sandwiched between the two.. Ok, well, 7 HOURS later, I finally have the TWO radiators out. The THIRD (and water) radiator just won't come out.

    Take 2 to shop for cleaning/fixing, both had some holes. Take pressure washer to inside of hood area, use some degreaser on "water" radiator and pretty much clean it out. Upon the process of putting the other 2 back IN, the WATER radiator "clicked" and found the right angle it needed to come out. Soo, I take it out and debate if worth another day wait to be SURE it's clean and no holes. Obviously, it is.

    Take it to shop, they clean it...NO holes!!! [img]/w3tcompact/icons/smile.gif[/img]

    Wednesday, I spent 5 hours putting the water radiator back IN. (clearly I was doing something wrong [img]/w3tcompact/icons/blush.gif[/img] )

    Yesterday, I put the rest back together. All in all, this was a MUCH larger job than initially looked.

    After I got everything back together and fired up...

    the WATER radiator LEAKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ARGHHHHHHHHHH [img]/w3tcompact/icons/mad.gif[/img] [img]/w3tcompact/icons/mad.gif[/img] [img]/w3tcompact/icons/mad.gif[/img]

    It IS possible that I have something in the hose as that is where it LOOKS like it might be leaking from. It might also be one of the fins.

    As I have work to do, an outdoor party coming up, I decided to let it leak and I'll monitor it while I'm getting the work done. I MIGHT take it all apart after this big shindig is over.

    My question is... do those "stops it" or what ever they are called, powders you put into radiator really WORK?

    Given the VERY pain in the hiney of taking this thing back apart again, if those really DO work, I might consider it, if they are a bunch of hot air, then I'll just grit it out and take it all apart again.

    (taking apart again, means hydraulic fluid everywhere, transmission fluid everywhere and antifreeze everywhere makes a REAL mess)


    Sigh

  2. #2
    Super Member RobS's Avatar
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    Jun 2000
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    6,240
    Location
    SW Michigan
    Tractor
    John Deere 790

    Default Re: Leaking radiator

    Sorry to hear of your tribulations Richard. On the other hand, you're building that special bond with your machine [img]/w3tcompact/icons/wink.gif[/img]

    Those stop leak products are great... if you are selling the machine. Basically, they work by clogging up the leak with various bits of suspended material. Trouble is, they also clog up things that you don't want clogged like coolant passages and such. I wouldn't use it in anything I intended to keep for long. Best bet is to wrestle the radiator back out and have it fixed properly.

    A couple more times in and out and you'll be a pro [img]/w3tcompact/icons/smile.gif[/img]

  3. #3
    Elite Member
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    Mar 2002
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    3,512

    Default Re: Leaking radiator

    I can't imagine a radiator shop cleaning a radiator without pressure testing it. "It Is possible that I have something in the hose as that is where it LOOKS like it might be leaking from." What does this mean, and is it something you can check out before removing the radiator again?

  4. #4
    Elite Member Richard's Avatar
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    Fullsized JCB Loader/Backhoe

    Default Re: Leaking radiator

    What I intended that to mean, is..maybe the hose isn't fully on, or maybe a bit loose, or maybe there is something caught between the spigot and the hose, such that the clamp can't seal it all the way...

    In reality, I'm grasping for straws. I checked clamp, tight. I loosened it, "pushed it on" and retightened it.

    I would LOVE to presume they pressure checked it... They did after all, do a nice job on radiator for our tractor, and the two first radiators. It seems to be a good shop. None the less, it just seems to be a fate that befalls me. You know, that Mr. Murphy dude? [img]/w3tcompact/icons/laugh.gif[/img]

    I'm pretty sure to do it right, I'll have to take it all out again as I suspected (and didnt' like) the reality on the floating stuff in the stop leak.


  5. #5

    Join Date
    May 2002
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    1,064
    Tractor
    Yanmar 1500D

    Default Re: Leaking radiator

    If it appeared to be leaking where the hose is attached there are a couple of possibilities. One, you might have bent the inlet on the radiator when you put the hose on. This happens occasionally when a hose is in a tough spot to get to and you really have to force it on.

    The other possibility is that you broke the solder joint where the inlet is soldered to the radiator tank. This also happens occasionally when a hose in a difficult location is forced on.

    These are both problems that you can fix. If the inlet is bent out of shape you can reshape it with a large socket and a small hammer.

    If the solder joint is broken you can simply resolder it. It is a sweat joint so heat from the inside of the inlet tube and just flow solder back into the joint.

    If I were a betting man, I would bet on a cracked solder joint between the inlet tube and the tank being the problem. Probably happened during installation so it was good when it was pressure tested.

    Been there, done that..................

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Jun 2002
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    204
    Location
    Aiken, SC
    Tractor
    Kubota 3710, 1970 Leland 384

    Default Re: Leaking radiator

    If you have never soldered before, you could cause more damage. Radiator work requires "hard solder" not the sturff used in electronics. The torch must be watched real close so that you get the metal hot enough to flow the solder, but not so hot that you burn through the thin metal.

    You also need to make sure that the drain petcock is fully closed.

    Good luck,

    Don

  7. #7
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
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    572
    Location
    Jackson County, Michigan
    Tractor
    Bolens HT-20

    Default Re: Leaking radiator

    Rich, if you have a mechanic friend, he may have accccess to a pressure tester. Screws on in place of the radiator cap. Pump it up to 18 psi or so and then you can watch for where the leak is without having to work around a running engine or hot parts. If it appears to be at the hose end, try swabbing the inside of the hose and the outside of the rad nipple with gasket sealer. Let it 'set' a bit and then reinstall. Sure hope it's an easy fix for you. If you have no access to a professional pressure tester, you can disconnect the two hoses (inlet and outlet) and install a good diameter bicycle tire inner tube. One that's just slightly smaller diameter than the rad nipples. Cut the tube so as to fit over the two nipples. Clamp the ends. Fill the rad with water. Put some air pressure to the valve stem (not too much here...just enough to make the tube 'swell') Check the pressure to make sure you're not over 17 psi. Now you should see the leak if it's from any part of the rad.

  8. #8
    Elite Member Richard's Avatar
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    Knoxville, TN
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    Fullsized JCB Loader/Backhoe

    Default Re: Leaking radiator

    Brief update

    Yesterday, I drove to back side of farm to dig up some dirt and bring it to "our' side. This involves driving up a reasonable sized hill which is the exact location the engine used to over heat (when driving up in first gear).

    I made about 15 trips back/forth and on each trip, had a front bucket FULL of dirt, driving up said hill in SECOND gear. Nary a hickup of attitude. Sure is nice when engine is getting nice fresh cool air!

    I looked at hose and noticed no drips, I also checked the water level and it is essentially exactly where I left it when I filled it.

    Upshot?

    Got me! I KNOW I saw it "leaking" near the hose. From the location of it, it is impossible that it was spillage. I think I'll just watch the water level and go about my way. I'd much rather be digging & playing in the dirt than fighting those radiators.

  9. #9
    Platinum Member
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    Mar 2002
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    Jackson County, Michigan
    Tractor
    Bolens HT-20

    Default Re: Leaking radiator

    WOW! Tractor: heal thyself!!!! What a great happening! Don' cha' wish more problems would be that easy?

  10. #10
    Elite Member Richard's Avatar
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    Fullsized JCB Loader/Backhoe

    Default Re: Leaking radiator

    [img]/w3tcompact/icons/grin.gif[/img]

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