Radiator Problems in Hilux Diesel

Submitted: Wednesday, Aug 20, 2003 at 13:33
ThreadID: 6707 Views:2118 Replies:7 FollowUps:1
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This must be the Fifth time in as many years that the radiator top tank has developed a leak throught the solder. I am sick and tired of the promises of so called tradesman. Does anyone know of a repairer between Blacktown and Katoomba NSW who will put their money where there mouth is and gurantee the repair for at least two years. It cant be pressure related because the cap releases after 15lbs but I have noticed that the radiator is solid mount so maybe there is a vibration factor to it. Or maybe they all use 60/40 solder instead of 50/50 these days. Whatever it is its driving me nuts I could have nearly bought a new one with the money I have spent on this sucker. And please dont suggest Aussie Dessert Cooler because I tried them a few times but they seem to be allergic to replying to their faxes.

Give it to me boys, anyone had similar problems.
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Reply By: Member - DOZER- Wednesday, Aug 20, 2003 at 14:11

Wednesday, Aug 20, 2003 at 14:11
Maybe unrelated but the 60 diesel used to be notorious for cracking top tanks, due to vibration. Upping the idle rpm 100 or so revs made the motor run sooooo much smootherer...might be worth a look.
Andrewwheredayathinkwer mike?
AnswerID: 28532

Follow Up By: howesy - Wednesday, Aug 20, 2003 at 18:22

Wednesday, Aug 20, 2003 at 18:22
That had occured to me and if there was more room I would probably look in to rubber mounting it. I have increased the revs slightly as you say but maybe a crimped down aluminium job might be the go if I can scam one and make it fit.
FollowupID: 19795

Reply By: Member - Wherethehellawi - Wednesday, Aug 20, 2003 at 18:42

Wednesday, Aug 20, 2003 at 18:42
Soft soldering is an art that only a tinsmith knows how to do correctly. I havent heard of one since my father passed away. But I would not have thought that 60/40 would be a problem. Cracking would be due to vibration or not enough solder penetrating the seam. This could be due to dirty material ie has'nt been cleaned properly before soldering. (and of course vibration). A good strong mix of bakers solution should fix that.

A hole would almost definitely be due to dirty materials.Bubles would be that they used a blow torch or similar and got the solder too hot causing it to boil creating air pockets when solidifying. Wow! am I cute
AnswerID: 28553

Reply By: Member - Geoff - Wednesday, Aug 20, 2003 at 21:57

Wednesday, Aug 20, 2003 at 21:57

It is not the solder be it 50/50, 60/40 it is how it's done.
as it has already been said too much heat boils the solder and burns the tin out of it, also it is the vibration that is causing the fatigue in the joints.
the main thing in re-soldering any joint is it must be clinically clean well fluxed, tinned and the gap between the flanges be as small as possible (which is most important as this is what allows fatigue cracking).
A lot of repairers are too lazy to get the top tank and the top plate correctly lined up and rely on the solder to make up the gap differences.
Good Luck

AnswerID: 28569

Reply By: Martyn (WA) - Wednesday, Aug 20, 2003 at 22:37

Wednesday, Aug 20, 2003 at 22:37
Is this definately the solder? The problem is not coming from the inside out is it? Could it be erosion / corrosion caused by a coolant or stray current related issue? Just a thought, check the threads there are topics around these issues, won't hurt to check, make sure you are using at least distilled water and have the right coolant to water mix. Mate of mine has replaced the rad in his commodore as many times as yourself, he found stray currents, still hasn't found the source, still looking.Keep the shiny side up
AnswerID: 28574

Reply By: Andy (S.A.) - Wednesday, Aug 20, 2003 at 23:56

Wednesday, Aug 20, 2003 at 23:56
hi Howesy
I had some problems with my top tank splitting from core in a toyota 80 series mainly after a long trip . tested for head gasket leak - ok ,tested radiator cap with tester - ok then I scratched my head for awhile Radiator chap said it had to be H/gasket. finally I painted some liquid paper on the upper side of the radiator cap seal and fitted the radiator cap I then removed the cap and found that it had been bottoming out with the top seal and not allowing the pressure to release
tried a few different brands of caps till I found one that didn't bind up and haven't had a problem since.

Hope this helps
AnswerID: 28580

Reply By: Old Jack - Thursday, Aug 21, 2003 at 08:39

Thursday, Aug 21, 2003 at 08:39
The best way to repair tanks that are doing something like this is to un sweat the top & bottom tank, clean the cores while apart then replace the ends. what this will do is relieve any stresses that are present in the tank assembly. also the only way to get a good solder joint is to take the tanks apart and clean off the old solder. as for how long it will last, well with the tank solid mounted probably not long, the front end of your hilux will be flexing around( old troop carriers where bad for this too) and being solid mounted it will be twisting the tank. Having originally done my time as a refrigeration mechanic I was trained by a Copper Smith to do pipe & sheetmetal work.

If you can find someone to do it get a brass tank coppper tubes & finnes(read heavy materials) and get the hole lot Silver soldered together!(you can soft solder without melting other joints if damaged in the bush and done correctly silver solder joint is stronger ) made a troopy radiator up this way for a work mate who had a troopy that used to spend a lot of time in the top end, it cracked tanks all the time due to the chassis flexing. when he came down South I made up the new radiator and mounting brakets with bushes, it will if kept clean outlast the truck.
AnswerID: 28586

Reply By: bonehead - Thursday, Aug 21, 2003 at 11:19

Thursday, Aug 21, 2003 at 11:19
Howesy, thats pretty frustrating mate. I've got an old 84 diesel hilux thats still on its second radiator, 200 K odd kms on clock. I recently pulled it out and repainted, now looks like new, haha. Having said that now with my luck it will probably fail this week! Hope you get it sorted,
AnswerID: 28596

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