Radiator Woes! Any ideas?
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Thread: Radiator Woes! Any ideas?

  1. #1
    Member Lupus's Avatar
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    Craig
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    Radiator Woes! Any ideas?

    Hello all - posting this as I was wondering if any of you had any bright ideas.

    The radiator on my LE has developed a small pinhole leak when it is very hot which is irritating, even though the coolant loss is only a few drops over an hours journey.

    I decided enough was enough and swapped it out with a secondhand spare I had, but unfortunately this had exactly the same problem, although the pinhole was in a different place. A bit frustrating after 4 hours of strip-down and rebuild!

    I examined both radiators using a bright light and eyeglass, but could see no cracks or holes which could be the cause and so took them to a radiator specialist who pressure tested it with air to 15psi in a water bath. Unfortunately it would not leak and was airtight.

    I therefore decided to go for a second opinion at a different radiator specialist with the same result, but he added that this is not unusual as the aluminium nature of the radiator meant the expansion and contraction is large and they have no means to test at a high temperature.
    They also both said that although they can repair the aluminium when a surface issue, they have nothing if there are cracks or holes on the elements between the cooling fins.

    I therefore assume I only have 4 options;
    1. Buy a new radiator - hate to think what this would cost but would not expect much change from £500.
    2. Buy another secondhand radiator - not going this route again!
    3. Get someone to fabricate one - the two radiator firms said getting the curves would be very tricky and beyond their skills.
    4. Use a coolant additive (e.g. Liqui Moly Motorcycle Radiator Sealant) - I used something like this before on a car and could never flush it out of the system or stop it coating rad caps, expansion tanks, etc.

    Any assistance appreciated

    Cheers

  2. #2
    Senior Member Rick67's Avatar
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    A mate of mine had his radiator repaired .. admittedly it was on a new Suzuki vstrom , they used some sort of resin stick / cold weld stuff for the fix .
    It worked perfectly and never leaked afterwards.

  3. #3
    No good with spanners.... fredzedex's Avatar
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    simon stokes
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    Had exactly the same on the MV. Pinhole leak, pressure tested and it was fine. Fitted it back on the bike and it leaked exactly the same.
    At the time I was looking at a company in the midlands that reckoned the could re-core any shaped radiator. But then a used one came up on eBay for a ton. New they are £700!

    Ill see if I can find them......

    fred

    these guys I think.......

    http://www.westmerciaradiators.co.uk...r_repairs.html


    here's to another year of Benelli riding

    TNT 899 (2013)
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  5. #4
    Member Lupus's Avatar
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    Thanks Rick

    I have been having similar thoughts on using some form of 'glue' as there appears to be a number of products out there.
    I will investigate and post what the decision is as the bike is now 18 years old and there could be more perforations on the way.

    Thanks Fred

    I have had a quote of around £450 for a new one which is expensive, but not eye watering compared with the MV.
    There is also a secondhand one on eBay for £250, but I am now a bit nervous of taking this route.

  6. #5
    Senior Member tonydoc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lupus View Post
    Hello all - posting this as I was wondering if any of you had any bright ideas.

    The radiator on my LE has developed a small pinhole leak when it is very hot which is irritating, even though the coolant loss is only a few drops over an hours journey.

    I decided enough was enough and swapped it out with a secondhand spare I had, but unfortunately this had exactly the same problem, although the pinhole was in a different place. A bit frustrating after 4 hours of strip-down and rebuild!

    I examined both radiators using a bright light and eyeglass, but could see no cracks or holes which could be the cause and so took them to a radiator specialist who pressure tested it with air to 15psi in a water bath. Unfortunately it would not leak and was airtight.

    I therefore decided to go for a second opinion at a different radiator specialist with the same result, but he added that this is not unusual as the aluminium nature of the radiator meant the expansion and contraction is large and they have no means to test at a high temperature.
    They also both said that although they can repair the aluminium when a surface issue, they have nothing if there are cracks or holes on the elements between the cooling fins.

    I therefore assume I only have 4 options;
    1. Buy a new radiator - hate to think what this would cost but would not expect much change from £500.
    2. Buy another secondhand radiator - not going this route again!
    3. Get someone to fabricate one - the two radiator firms said getting the curves would be very tricky and beyond their skills.
    4. Use a coolant additive (e.g. Liqui Moly Motorcycle Radiator Sealant) - I used something like this before on a car and could never flush it out of the system or stop it coating rad caps, expansion tanks, etc.

    Any assistance appreciated

    Cheers
    I bought one a couple of years ago brand new from Robinsons of Rochdale paid £350 for it.
    45065 miles .And Replacement Cam ChainNo 4,Replacment clutch plates No 1,New Radiator , 3rd set of coil sticks, 2 nd DNA Filter, L E D rear light upgrade, Battery No 5 lithium. Upgraded battery cables.from 03/06/06 to 25/07/2020.

  7. #6
    Member Lupus's Avatar
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    Hello Tony. Thanks for your post and I am pleased to say that Robinsons have done me proud and hopefully I will be getting my new radiator soon.

    Once I get it swapped out I can then turn to repairing the other two radiators which have both gone in the same way, i.e. pinhole leak on the wall of the cooling element where the fins are bonded, and not on the front face.
    I am still unclear how to do this, but steering towards some sort of external sealant - I will post the conclusion once I have worked it out.

    Appreciate all that offered suggestions - cheers.
    ianh and tonydoc like this.

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    Senior Member Engenia's Avatar
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    Craig, when I had a core plug weeping I used a product that circulated in the coolant which hardened as it dried out. When it found it's way through the pinholes it hardened in air and sealed the weep. As the pin hole got larger, it leaked a bit more and sealed up again.
    Its called Silverseal and its been around for almost a century.
    Name:  SilverSeal.jpg
Views: 35
Size:  45.1 KB
    I wouldn't normally consider it a permanent fix, but if there is no other way, why not?
    (I used half of the 3/4 oz can)
    hooroo, Errol www.engenia.com.au [139,200 km - and counting .....]

  9. #8
    Member Lupus's Avatar
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    Hello Errol.

    I must admit I was sorely tempted to take this route as for around £10 and a 15 minute job it would be fixed, and future proofed.
    However if I ever got round to fixing it properly I found it is virtually impossible to get this sort of substance out of the system.

    When I used similar stuff on my daughter's car it did a great job, but when I eventually changed the rad and used rad flush to clean it all out, a dark greasy film came back inside the expansion chamber, and no matter how many times I flushed it and cleaned out the chamber it would return.
    I'm afraid this experience has put me off it a bit, unless there was some way to coat the inside of the rad while it is off and it stays in place when fitted. Anyway a worthy plan B!

    Cheers
    Craig

  10. #9
    Junior Member Ernie Bamford's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lupus View Post
    Hello all - posting this as I was wondering if any of you had any bright ideas.

    The radiator on my LE has developed a small pinhole leak when it is very hot which is irritating, even though the coolant loss is only a few drops over an hours journey.

    I decided enough was enough and swapped it out with a secondhand spare I had, but unfortunately this had exactly the same problem, although the pinhole was in a different place. A bit frustrating after 4 hours of strip-down and rebuild!

    I examined both radiators using a bright light and eyeglass, but could see no cracks or holes which could be the cause and so took them to a radiator specialist who pressure tested it with air to 15psi in a water bath. Unfortunately it would not leak and was airtight.

    I therefore decided to go for a second opinion at a different radiator specialist with the same result, but he added that this is not unusual as the aluminium nature of the radiator meant the expansion and contraction is large and they have no means to test at a high temperature.
    They also both said that although they can repair the aluminium when a surface issue, they have nothing if there are cracks or holes on the elements between the cooling fins.

    I therefore assume I only have 4 options;
    1. Buy a new radiator - hate to think what this would cost but would not expect much change from £500.
    2. Buy another secondhand radiator - not going this route again!
    3. Get someone to fabricate one - the two radiator firms said getting the curves would be very tricky and beyond their skills.
    4. Use a coolant additive (e.g. Liqui Moly Motorcycle Radiator Sealant) - I used something like this before on a car and could never flush it out of the system or stop it coating rad caps, expansion tanks, etc.

    Any assistance appreciated

    Cheers
    Really cant help as to which course of action you take BUT I will say are you aware of the bleeding problem associated with the TRE as the rad sits on an angle it is impossible to bleed the rad properly.. you will have to fill it up on its side to make sure rad is full of coolant then fit it . Another option is to have the bike on a ramp or hoist with the arse end in the air so the air lock gets cleared .. a great source of info on this is Ged at gcs motorcycles in 3 legged cross just behind double cross bikes as was. 01202 826045 he may be able to help
    2004 BenelliTRE
    1999 Laverda 750S Formula
    2013Suzuki DL 650 VStrom
    2016 Yamaha MT07
    1958 Triumph Tiger Cub 200

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