My 50 year old Ford truck (302) has sprung a tiny leak in the radiator. At the top, on the front surface. I expect a pebble from the road may have hit it there. It’s such a small leak the coolant doesn’t even reach the bottom of the radiator before it evaporates. At this point it’s just a little seepage problem. The parts guy says (b/c this original radiator has a copper radiator tank), no plastic parts, the best way to address this is to have a radiator shop install a new core. I guess they unsolder the tank from the old core, then solder the tank back to the new core. Do you folks concur re-coring is the best method?
it could be fixed by a radiator shop. no need for a new one. I have solder my own radiators before back in the day.
Here’s how much is wanted for a copper radiator.
Imagine how much it would cost to re-core your radiator.
Buy a new one.
I dont think it needs a total re-core. probably just needs to be soldered. it could just be one of the tubes near the top. a lot cheaper than a re-core.
Do you mean just repair the existing core at the spot it is leaking?
A copper one then? Or is it better to switch to aluminum?
yes. thats what I would try first.
That is what I would do.
Compare the cost of a copper radiator to an aluminum one.
being its such a tiny leak why not drive it to a radiator shop and see how much it will be to repair it. if you want to keep the truck original and that matters to you then see what the repair cost is. if its cheap enough then repair it. if originality does not matter and the repair is close to the price of a new radiator then go with a aluminum one.
I repaired the radiator on my truck 30 years ago (by soldering it), before I owned it (I was friends with the first owner.) It’s still holding.
The radiator being copper makes this an easy DIY repair unless the leak is from the copper having eroded rather than being punctured by debris. Much like finding a small rust spot on the body: there could be a large area where the copper is ready to crumble.
If the area around the leak is somewhat solid and not crumbling I have fixed a number of them over the years with a small plumbing torch and silver solder. Worked every time as long as the area is thoroughly cleaned.
Why not drive by a few radiator shops (there are a number in San Jose) and get their opinion, and some quotes? Me, I’d prefer to repair the original, even if it costs a bit more.
Or try fixing it yourself, as described above.
Why does someone who has an answer for almost every question asked here even need help deciding what to do a bout a radiator problem ?