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View Full Version : I know nothing about fixing cars- ghetto radiator fix edition



Evergrey
5/17/2011 2:28pm,
Okay so I admit, I know very little about cars. Not something I've studied, but my Saturn SL-1 (1995) has over 227,000 miles on her, so I should probably start.

Anyway, I have a problem. I have a cracked radiator. It's getting replaced, but in the meantime, it leaks fluid like crazy.

See, here's the cheap piece of crap plastic part that cracked:

http://www.niceboots.org/~evergrey/misc/Car/crack.jpg

Now what I was thinking was hey, as a stopgap, why don't I try to seal that ****?

So I have some

http://www.niceboots.org/~evergrey/misc/Car/plastidip.jpg

And some

http://www.niceboots.org/~evergrey/misc/Car/gauze.jpg

and I was thinking, maybe plastic will bond to plastic. Maybe gauze will strengthen the layers of plasti-dip. Maybe MAYBE it'll stand up to 15-30 pounds of pressure, though I really have no idea. Probably it won't stop the thing from eventually cracking more, but maybe it'll work for a few weeks?

So, what do you think... possibly effective, or fucktarded?

Kintanon
5/17/2011 2:39pm,
Uh, why not just replace your radiator? Costs like 80$ (http://www.autopartswarehouse.com/sku/Saturn/SL1/CSF/Radiator/1995/Base/4_Cyl_1-dot-9L/CSF3352.html?intcmpid=Product+Listings+Best+Seller ) and takes like 45 minutes (http://wiki.answers.com/Q/How_do_you_replace_a_saturn_radiator_for_a_saturn_ SL1).


I did my first radiator replacement knowing ZERO about car repair in the parking lot of an Autozone.

Evergrey
5/17/2011 2:48pm,
I have one coming in the mail, yeah. Found it for like $57. Thank you very much for the link!

The part prolly won't get here for a couple weeks though, so. Figured I'd maybe try this. :}

ermghoti
5/17/2011 3:26pm,
Some of that infomercial epoxy would hold it well enough. Just massage a little bit into the crack (ZOMGLAFFORAMA!!!) and let it cure overnight.

Kintanon
5/17/2011 3:26pm,
Hot steam coming out of your radiator is notoriously hard to stop, and the chances of your patch staying in place is pretty slim IMO. I've never been able to pull off a successful radiator patch without welding and that's a nightmare. If you have access to an alternate vehicle until your new radiator arrives I recommend using that. If the leak is slow you can just carry a few gallons of water around with you all the time and learn how to remove the radiator cap from a hot radiator (Dangerous!) and keep it full of water all the time.

Kintanon
5/17/2011 3:27pm,
I've tried that stuff, it held up for about 3 days....

Evergrey
5/17/2011 3:36pm,
Thanks guys, good point about the heat.

I carry around jugs of water and keep refilling the coolant tank. Seems to work okay that way, but the leak has steadily gotten worse. Yeah, I'll probably just let Sensei drive my ass around until it's fixed. Yay for him! <3

ermghoti
5/17/2011 4:17pm,
I've tried that stuff, it held up for about 3 days....

Right up until the UPS guy brings the new radiator.

Kintanon
5/17/2011 5:15pm,
True, you could just keep reapplying it.
Where the heck did you order your radiator that it's taking 2 weeks anyways? I ordered a Radiator, a CV Axle, a Brake Booster and a Master cylinder from the site I linked you to yesterday and they will be here on thursday, and they are coming FROM california. I would think you could get next day ground for free out there.

Evergrey
5/17/2011 6:57pm,
Because this one was $57 and I'm poor as hell. That "what martial art should I choose" flowchart that asks "got money?" The one where the answer to "no" is "Kyokushin?" Accurate in my case.

It might only take a week... the site said 5-7 business days." But for me, when I am shipped a package I either get it the next day (which is kind of impressive when I placed the order the night before) or I get it in 2-3 weeks.

Kintanon
5/18/2011 9:01am,
That's insane. I live 2500 miles away from where my parts shipped from. I ordered them monday, they will arrive tomorrow. Tracking them they are in North Carolina already.

hungryjoe
5/18/2011 9:27am,
Evergrey,

You're best off to keep fluid in the radiator and not attempt to patch from the outside other than to perhaps try to slow the leak.

The heat, humidity and pressure will not allow any permanent patch (for the benefit of those reading this thread). You can try to slow it. The plastic type used is also not conducive to a good bond of patch material.

Do not try any of the 'add to radiator' liquids advertised as a quick fix.

You also need to know that water itself, without antifreeze, will not lubricate your water pump. If you're only going a week, you should be OK.

I'd recommend an oil change after you've fixed the radiator. If you've got the engine hot, chances are the oil's broken down. Yeah, it's additional cost, but you're old enough to remember the old oil change commercial with the line "Pay me now or pay me later" (-:

Evergrey
5/18/2011 3:28pm,
Thank you very much. Yay, learnin' stuffs!

battusai
5/26/2011 12:43am,
Because this one was $57 and I'm poor as hell. That "what martial art should I choose" flowchart that asks "got money?" The one where the answer to "no" is "Kyokushin?" Accurate in my case.

It might only take a week... the site said 5-7 business days." But for me, when I am shipped a package I either get it the next day (which is kind of impressive when I placed the order the night before) or I get it in 2-3 weeks.

Been looking for that flowchart. Can anybody paste it here?

Evergrey
5/27/2011 2:01pm,
http://www.niceboots.org/~evergrey/Kyokushin/whichstyle.jpg