Soldering Radiator Tank

Submitted: Monday, Jan 10, 2005 at 11:57
ThreadID: 19223 Views:4048 Replies:9 FollowUps:13
This Thread has been Archived
I have just purchased a Low Water Alarm from Ashdown and it requires the little tank sensor to be "soldered" in to the top of the tank. The tank is a brass one, my question is can you use normal "tin alloy solder" that you use for wires or does it need to be a special "brass solder"?? Mmmm my Shop B days are coming back to me but its very vague. If it is a special solder what do I need to do different for it to work properly?? Any help would be great.

Cheers,
Hughesy
Back Expand Un-Read 0 Moderator

Reply By: Truckster (Vic) - Monday, Jan 10, 2005 at 12:03

Monday, Jan 10, 2005 at 12:03
Talk to your local radiator place.. is it the OEM Rad? or.... ? Some tanks dont take well to it when I mentioned one of these to my local place, could have been the salesman in him though.
AnswerID: 92171

Reply By: Member - Sand Man (SA) - Monday, Jan 10, 2005 at 12:06

Monday, Jan 10, 2005 at 12:06
bundy,

The brass tank should take normal "tin alloy" solder OK.
The main task is in being able to apply sufficient heat to allow the flux/solder to "stick" to the surface. (tinning)

Try "tinning" the surface of the tank first where the sensor is to be placed.
Bill


I'm diagonally parked in a parallel Universe!

Member
My Profile  My Blog  My Position  Send Message

AnswerID: 92172

Reply By: Member - Davoe (WA) - Monday, Jan 10, 2005 at 12:58

Monday, Jan 10, 2005 at 12:58
I put a hole in my l/c brass radiator and had it soldered up in Alice over a year ago - no worries. BTW I reckon thse low fluid alarms are a waste and a pain as they often go off when there is no problem. You would have to lose all your fluid very quickly to get the mythical situation of no fluid so gauge doesnt overheat. If this was to occur I think you would notice you had just lost 10l of coolant. otherwise your gauge rises. I have holed my radiator once and new coz the gauge started going up and you could smell the coolant
AnswerID: 92181

Follow Up By: bundyman - Monday, Jan 10, 2005 at 15:35

Monday, Jan 10, 2005 at 15:35
Davoe,

I still find them good piece of mind. I had one on my old cruiser (before it got stolen). As much as I look at the temp gauge if you lose water quickly (blown hose) then damage will probably already be done before you notice the hot smell and the lack of power (had it happen in a work vehicle and the motor stopped).

Cheers,
Hughesy
0
FollowupID: 351007

Follow Up By: Member - Davoe (WA) - Monday, Jan 10, 2005 at 15:43

Monday, Jan 10, 2005 at 15:43
yea I have maybe been a bit harsh on them I just get a bit p$#@ off when people borrow my work ute or passengers try and tell me "oh no your vehicle about to overheat" and I have to try and explain I do my vehicle checks itds just the light (buzzers can be more annoying)
0
FollowupID: 351010

Follow Up By: bundyman - Monday, Jan 10, 2005 at 15:58

Monday, Jan 10, 2005 at 15:58
Davoe,

My old one used to go off out of the blue and I'd pull over and check and find nothing wrong (yes it does get very annoying). I ended up pulling the sensor out and found the probe was covered in a film that was probably nearly at the stage of insulating it from the water. Cleaned it off and didn't have a problem after that. Worth a try mate. And tell ya passengers to shut up and admire the view :)

Cheers,
Hughesy
0
FollowupID: 351015

Follow Up By: Member - Davoe (WA) - Monday, Jan 10, 2005 at 16:06

Monday, Jan 10, 2005 at 16:06
yea considered it might be something like that - but its a work vehicle couldnt be bothered putting a spanner on it less I have to
0
FollowupID: 351020

Reply By: Top Cat - Monday, Jan 10, 2005 at 13:43

Monday, Jan 10, 2005 at 13:43
I would not recomend using the solder your talking about for that application.

It will be under pressure and also heat..........I have huge doubts that it would last.

My credentials?...........I have spent some years as a mechanical plumber........which means I spent time welding copper and brass.

I suggest u get a plumber.......any plumber to do the job for u..........it wont cost much.

The job needs to be done with ......... flux, silver solder......... 2% will be fine.........and an oxy acetelene welding kit..

Will take maybe 10 minutes or less........and will be nice and clean.

Wet rags can be used to protect anything that may not like the heat.

If you were thinking of using a soldering iron..........forget it.........u will never get enough heat into the job.

AnswerID: 92191

Follow Up By: Member - Davoe (WA) - Monday, Jan 10, 2005 at 14:33

Monday, Jan 10, 2005 at 14:33
actually that is pretty much how my radiator was done (oxy)
0
FollowupID: 350993

Follow Up By: Well 55 - Monday, Jan 10, 2005 at 15:33

Monday, Jan 10, 2005 at 15:33
I've repaired the bottom of a radiator when the drain bung was broken off, using a soldering iron, gas stove, and the lid off a fruit tin and solder with flux in the middle. Cleaned up the area with steel wool and done the job.

Vehicle was sold 2 years latter with the repair still there and no leaks.
0
FollowupID: 351006

Follow Up By: bundyman - Monday, Jan 10, 2005 at 15:38

Monday, Jan 10, 2005 at 15:38
Topcat that's what I thought of later when I thought long and hard back to school - using the oxy/act and flux and a brass rod of some description. So a plumber (and his crack :)) should be able to do the job. Thanks for the help.

Cheers,
Hughesy
0
FollowupID: 351009

Reply By: fourstall2000 - Monday, Jan 10, 2005 at 14:07

Monday, Jan 10, 2005 at 14:07
Why must it be soldered?
Most of these units use a bulhead fitting,for which a hole is drilled and the fitting sealed by a washer each side tightened by a nut.
If yours is a soldered only unit, solder it into a bulhead fitting and bolt it in as desribed above.
Regards
AnswerID: 92197

Follow Up By: bundyman - Monday, Jan 10, 2005 at 15:43

Monday, Jan 10, 2005 at 15:43
If it had a plastic top tank like my old cruiser I'd be laughing (Iactually bought the kit for a plastic tank without looking that the radiator in my new one which has been changed) but you need to drill a 12mm hole into the top and then insert a "plug" which has thread on the inside for which the sensor screws into. Without pulling the top tank off the radiator there would be no way of getting to the inside to do a nut up as you suggested - correct me if I'm wrong?? Thanks for the help.

Cheers,
Hughesy
0
FollowupID: 351011

Reply By: Top Cat - Monday, Jan 10, 2005 at 14:50

Monday, Jan 10, 2005 at 14:50
Actually the post just above has just reminded me of something I should have said before..........

If u drill any holes then be very careful not to allow the bits to get in the radiator.........probably wont be good for it.

Maybe a big blob of plasticine under the area to be drilled which can then carefully be removed complete with any bits of metal afterwards?

Or if its to hard to get in.......... use a vacuum cleaner with a straw taped to it to suck any crap out.
AnswerID: 92207

Follow Up By: bundyman - Monday, Jan 10, 2005 at 15:50

Monday, Jan 10, 2005 at 15:50
Arrr Topcat great minds think alike. I was trying to think of a way to catch the drill cuttings myself with out having to pull the radiator out and drilling it from upside down and then washing the cuttings back out the cap. Your ideas sound alright. All I could think of was putting the sensor straight above the inlet hose. That way I could take the inlet hose off and put a dinner spoon full of honey thru the inlet and under where the hole will come thru to catch anybleepe. Then I shouldn't even have to drop the coolant out - just top it up when finished.

Cheers,
Hughesy
0
FollowupID: 351012

Follow Up By: Top Cat - Monday, Jan 10, 2005 at 17:27

Monday, Jan 10, 2005 at 17:27
haha, I love the honey idea........will remember that one.

You need to get it close to the hole though to ensure you dont miss any.
0
FollowupID: 351044

Reply By: Nudenut - Monday, Jan 10, 2005 at 17:42

Monday, Jan 10, 2005 at 17:42
yep but you should try and tin the brass first....makes it a lot easier to solder the fitting on
AnswerID: 92232

Follow Up By: bundyman - Tuesday, Jan 11, 2005 at 12:04

Tuesday, Jan 11, 2005 at 12:04
Thanks nudenut - I think I'll leave it to the experts.
0
FollowupID: 351223

Reply By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Monday, Jan 10, 2005 at 21:23

Monday, Jan 10, 2005 at 21:23
My neighbour repairs radiators and reckons the secret to soldering radiators is the flux and not too much heat. Normal Bakers soldering fluid isn't good enough. They use some other stuff that we can't get. Having repaired few I tend to agree. If you hit the top tank with too much heat, you can unsolder it, and possibly unsolder some of the tubes inside.

Not worth the risk. Get it done at the radiator shop.

Cheers
Phil
AnswerID: 92261

Follow Up By: bundyman - Tuesday, Jan 11, 2005 at 12:13

Tuesday, Jan 11, 2005 at 12:13
Yep I think you might be right Phil - "not worth the risk". Lucky, I had the drill out and ready to go on Sunday arvo - then had another beer and thought hmmmm this might not be as easy as I first thought...

Cheers,
Hughesy
0
FollowupID: 351232

Follow Up By: Nudenut - Tuesday, Jan 11, 2005 at 12:19

Tuesday, Jan 11, 2005 at 12:19
bakers may just need to be "strengthend" a little.....

my old man who was a tinsmith made his own flux called "killed spirits"...
If I recall correctly you just add zinc to hydrochloric and when no more action takes between zinc and acid it is ready to use.......but add new fresh zinc to prove... If he needed a little more cleaning action he added a bit if fresh acid

beware it produces hydrogen so make sure container is not sealed. We often used a beaker and inflated baloons to let them sail away....we also used a full face mask and always did this under dads supervision
0
FollowupID: 351235

Reply By: David Au - Monday, Jan 10, 2005 at 21:34

Monday, Jan 10, 2005 at 21:34
If you want protection don't waste your time and money on Ashdown rubbish get the proper full VDO shut down kit which works.
The VDO kit requires no soldering or messing around.
AnswerID: 92264

Sponsored Links

Popular Products (13)