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Old 04-26-2019, 12:48 AM   #1
blahcomp222
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how is my radiator even holding any fluid at all??

2000 ford ranger.

hopefully the only leak is the pic with the red circle I made around where the black tank has a small crack. I put some standard JB weld on it (said ok for plastic) but it's still leaking the next day. Maybe I didn't allow 24 hrs before driving it a youtuber mentioned, anyway I'm searching for a specific radiator patch kit now, the truck is a real POS about to basically be scrapped, soon so I'm not trying to replace anything.


a couple days ago I took off and left off the big plastic shield that protects the radiator from road debris in order to try and find the leak. Next day drove about 2 hours highway. Then I noticed as shown in pic, the radiator grill fins, the bottom tube/line has all these little holes in it and completely a hole through it. I don't think this happened from 2 hours of highway driving without the plastic shield on, the truck is extremely rusty but this seems like stainless but still I don't think these holes just happened.

It still holds antifreeze somewhat decently though even with the hole right through it. how is that possible?
Some days I can drive an hour and not really need to top off the expansion tank, other days the expansion tank is almost empty. I keep antifreeze in truck w/ me.



Hoping to get a patch that actually works (sand off previous) and not have any leaks besides that one, but if does then I guess I'll get a used radiator from junk yard but afraid flair nuts on trans lines will cause a nightmare from corrosion. getting rid of truck within 2 months anyway.
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Old 04-26-2019, 03:17 PM   #2
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Re: how is my radiator even holding any fluid at all??

Because the hole is just damage to the fins, not the channel tubes that actually carries the antifreeze.
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Old 04-26-2019, 08:42 PM   #3
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Re: how is my radiator even holding any fluid at all??

No, you missed the point, the hole IS through the channel tube. sorry couldn't get better pic with new camera was giving me problems.

Also that the bottom channel tube has lots of little holes in it, not sure if from road pebbles or what. But it still holds fluid decently somehow.

Where the fins are bent I did that to try and show the hole goes all the way through.

Seem smy trans flair nut lines might not be rusty so I'm ok with getting a used radiator for like $50 from junk yard if I can. The jb weld stuff might not work and/or can't drive it for 24 hours but need to. I haven't looked into quicker patches though because I was hoping someone here could explain how there's holes but can still drive 2 hours without loosing all fluid.
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Old 04-27-2019, 08:17 AM   #4
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Re: how is my radiator even holding any fluid at all??

You may want to check the price of a radiator (plus shipping) from your local parts store or a place like Rockauto.com. You may be able to get a brand new radiator for around the $50 you're willing to spend. It will be very difficult to get your current radiator dry and clean enough to get some sort of adhesive to stick well enough to seal the small crack that experiences quite a temperature differential. You'd almost need to drain the radiator to atleast below the level of the crack, grind a channel/chamfer in to the crack, clean thoroughly with IPA, then seal and allow the adhesive to fully cure.



The fins of the radiator are made from aluminum, not stainless, and aluminum will corrode. I'm not seeing a hole through the coolant carrying tube in the photo, but it's not a real close up either. If there really is a hole in the tube, since that's the bottom of the radiator maybe that tube is mostly plugged with debris. Considering the radiator hose appears to be original, there's a good chance the insides of that radiator has corrosion and possibly enough debris to seal one or more of the cross tubes.


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Old 04-28-2019, 02:34 AM   #5
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Re: how is my radiator even holding any fluid at all??

yea I just ordered a new radiator for like $65 shipped. better than spending $15 on some epoxy that might not work.

Yes it certainly appears there's a hole right through the channel tube of the radiator where I bent the fins, plus you should be able to see to the right of that there's tons of tiny holes (I was wondering if driving it 2 hours without the shield cover caused this with road debris but I don't think so, the POS is so rusty I wouldn't be surprised if rust grime carried over onto the aluminum and rusted it, or rust in the fluid system or something).

pretty easy to change the radiator watching a youtube video. I was already half way there when I took the fan cover etc the other day.


yea it seems maybe it's clogged is preventing the fluid from just pouring out that hole in 1 minute of driving, or maybe for some reason the bottom-most channel isn't used or something.

Now I'm just curious why it isn't leaking since I'm replacing the radiator anyway should solve the leak. I'll show more pics of the holes when I take the old one out.
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Old 05-01-2019, 11:11 PM   #6
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Re: how is my radiator even holding any fluid at all??

Repairing this by yourself is risky as it can damage your car that might risk your safety. I suggest you can visit your trusted car shop to have it checked for possible repair. This is to avoid damaging your car completely. It also ensures that your car is on its best condition on the road. Hope this helps!
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Old 05-02-2019, 08:37 PM   #7
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Re: how is my radiator even holding any fluid at all??

Make sure you do a good flush. Previous owner could have put some stop leak in it.
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Old 05-08-2019, 07:15 PM   #8
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Re: how is my radiator even holding any fluid at all??

it was actually another grill with fins type thing in FRONT of the radiator that has the holes all the way through the tubes. Not sure what that grill is. edit, probably the AC condesor - AC does work though but not great, truck being scrapped soon anyway.
The radiator didn't have any holes I just replaced it, but now the friggin transmission lines are leaking where they connect to radiator but I made them super tight, will check some youtube fixes, hopefully can just Teflon tape them or something. there ARE o rings inside the new radiator so I dunno how the heck it's leaking.
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Old 05-08-2019, 08:08 PM   #9
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Re: how is my radiator even holding any fluid at all??

We had similar issues when we replaced the rad in my brother's G5. We tried teflon tape and it still leaked so ended up using a dab of pipe dope.
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Old 05-08-2019, 10:56 PM   #10
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Re: how is my radiator even holding any fluid at all??

leaking trans fluid caused by the aftermarket radiator should have had Teflon tape or similar on the fitting threaded into the radiator (Wasn't leaking on the flare nut o ring). Originally I DID tighten their fitting very well but it still leaked. Now it's all good.

I was worried worst case scenario basically would be the OEM flare size on my trans fluid line not matching up with the o ring and/or fitting provided by the aftermarket radiator which would need me to re-flare the line and do some trial and error with sizes and possibly end up with not enough slack in the metal line anymore. I don't even have a flaring tool either. but it's all good now.
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