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Broke a stud on new aluminum radiator

Discussion in 'Workshop Forum' started by Huey, Aug 13, 2017.

  1. Huey

    Huey True Classic

    Location:
    Quakertown, PA
    I broke one of the two bottom studs off the brand new aluminum radiator. The studs are apparently very brittle because I wasn't even really tightening it and was using a very small wrench. Since it only has two studs, I guess I can't ignore it. :oops:

    Other than finding someone who can weld aluminum, what are my options?
     
  2. rocco79/138

    rocco79/138 True Classic

    Location:
    Fairview nc
    If you could not find someone to weld it a work around would be to fashion a little bracket. Sort of like a goal post when viewed from the end and an inch wide. This could be through bolted to the bracket. I would glue a thin piece of rubber in to keep the radiator snug in the "saddle bracket"
    You really just need something to keep it from flopping forward and aft. The stud on the top keeps the radiator centered. If you are concerned with symmetry you could slide another bracket over the other stud and it would look and function the same. This may take a little more space so you could add a couple spacers on the long studs that hold the big radiator bracket in place.
    Good luck! Hope this makes sense...
    Regards
     
  3. Huey

    Huey True Classic

    Location:
    Quakertown, PA
    I like the idea of a saddle bracket. I could weld something to the radiator support cross member. Metal I can weld, aluminum I cannot.
     
  4. rocco79/138

    rocco79/138 True Classic

    Location:
    Fairview nc
    That would do the trick! Just fashion the saddle so you can line it with rubber and everything should work well! You could probably find some channel rubber profile that would be held in place when everything bolts together. If I am remembering correctly it would be the stuff used to clamp pipes in place with bands... and they said riding submarines was never gonna pay off...
    Good luck!
     
  5. carl

    carl True Classic

    Location:
    Virginia
    The politically correct answer is to send it back to the folks you bought it from to get one better made but that can be a pain and a homegrown mod as above might be a better solution.
     
  6. Huey

    Huey True Classic

    Location:
    Quakertown, PA
    If I broke the weld on the stud then I would definitely send it back because that would be a workmanship issue. But I sheered the stud at the base. The studs are aluminum so obviously very soft...much softer than I expected. I will contact the vendor, maybe they will let me send it back since I haven't run any coolant through it yet.
     
  7. Huey

    Huey True Classic

    Location:
    Quakertown, PA
  8. lookforjoe

    lookforjoe True Classic

    Location:
    New York
    Braizing aluminum is a royal PITA - especially when you are dealing with what amounts to a massive heat sink. The stud also should be counter sunk or recessed into whatever plate it's on, not flush mounted. If you are determined to try it, heat the whole rad in the oven to at least 450, that will reduce the amount of time it will take to heat the joint area.
     
  9. Huey

    Huey True Classic

    Location:
    Quakertown, PA
    Turns out, it won't work anyway because the stud is stainless and not aluminum. This really stinks. The radiator is very well designed and fits perfectly. But a better design would be a welded-in raised bracket on the bottom where a carriage bolt can slide in rather than an integrated stud. Or, perhaps even better, an integrated rubber bushing that fits into the holes on the cross member.
     
  10. Dan Sarandrea (Phila)

    Dan Sarandrea (Phila) Waitin' On Parts...

    Location:
    Philadelphia, PA
    I'd contact the vendor and ask for a replacement, maybe the welding process made the stud overly brittle...?
     
  11. Huey

    Huey True Classic

    Location:
    Quakertown, PA
    I think I fixed it with JB-Weld. I used a bolt and ground the head flat and then ground the broken stud down flat with the bottom of the radiator. Then used JB-Weld and rigged up a clamping system to hold it in place for 24 hours. It seems solid and I was able to tighten the nut and then used a nylon locking nut as backup. Since the head of the bolt is the same thickness (give or take a hair) as the thick spacer, it worked out splendidly. The only problem was I didn't have a metric bolt so I used a 5/16 American stainless bolt but only I will know...until years down the road someone has to remove the radiator and will curse my name.

    The only reason it worked is because I ordered another radiator this morning. If I hadn't done that, it would have failed. I figure I will have a backup in case it breaks putting it in. Or I can find someone here that has a pair of nice mirrors to trade for it ;)

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