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Discussion Starter #1
1966 GT - 289 radiator has begun leaking. I'm always resistant to using sealant for things like this because I don't have confidence in their safety and how they may affect the engine. Heck, in the past with another car, I actually used the old trick of pouring black pepper in the radiator to seal the leak (worked perfectly by the way) and I'm hesitant to do that too since this is my first classic.

I know I'll need a new one not too far off but thinking about a short term fix.

Thoughts?
 

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If you’re looking for a short term solution then some of the sealants out there (did you know you can also crack an egg in the radiator?) do work. I wouldn’t trust any of them as a long term fix. For me personally, I’d remove the radiator and take it to a radiator shop to be welded. Fairly inexpensive and much better than sealants.
 

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Short term fix- don’t drive it. Pull it and have it repaired correctly or replace it. AFAIC, using sealant is like running out of TP and using Febreeze..... you just don’t go there
 

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Experienced small leak in radiator after replacing anti-freeze. Added half a bottle of Bar's Leaks Liquid Aluminum and ha stopped the leak going on 5 months now.
That would be my recommendation if he insists on using a sealant, but as I said, it’s ultimately a short-term solution.
 

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The commercial stop leaks main ingredient is sodium silicate. It is a magical chemical with countless uses and properties kind of in the way like Asbestos was but without the issues. It's used from making casting sand to glues to almost everything...

The stop leak products will get you home and maybe last a little while and hopefully long enough for you to get the radiator repaired well replaced as no one repairs radiators anymore...

Don't know where you are but I have a new late 90s vintage Modine radiator that I don't need. It just has the remains of a few dirt dobber nests on the fins. I finally had the throw the box away as it was just falling apart. I need to hose off the remnants of that. $50 in Fort Worth
 

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My take is never, ever use stop leak in a cooling system. Yes, it typically does work, but only temporarily. How long will it last? There's no telling, but it will fail and you just never know when.

What I really hate about that stuff is once it's in a cooling system it's nearly impossible to get it out. You can flush, flush and flush some more and you'll still see that stuff floating around in the coolant. Not only does it clog leaks, it can also clog areas of the cooling system, like coolant passages.

So, no. Just don't go there.
 

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Have I used radiator stop leak in the past? Absolutely, when faced with no other practical solution (or when replacing the head gaskets on a Cadillac....) but wouldn't think of using it in a car that I planned on keeping any more than I'd down a pound of cheese to stop diarrhea.

For the price of an OE replacement radiator it's almost a "no brainer"....
 

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I recently replaced the manual transaxle on a FWD car with a used unit. Despite replacing axle seals it was leaking from somewhere. Thinking it couldn't hurt, I added Bar's Transmission Stop Leak and followed the instructions. At first, it still leaked. But after about 200 miles the smell of transmission fluid burning on the exhaust went away. Just like the label said. I recently checked it and didn't need to add any transmission fluid. The stop leak was $4 and I used just half of the bottle.
 

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I had to use Bar's Stop Leak when wife's Camry decided it thought it was Old Faithful out the front of the radiator. Stopped at a Dollar General and got some, it sealed it right up. When I flushed the radiator though, it look like somebody had filled my entire cooling system up with clay. It took forever to get it all out. So unless you're on the highway and have to get somewhere, use it. If it's sitting safe and sound in your garage, then don't use it, and get the radiator repaired, or replaced.
 

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I used Bars Leak s few times over the years. But the last time I used it, it plugged up the water jackets in my intake. Car started to overheat. I had a mechanic check it out. He found the problem. I haven’t used it since. It’s only a bandaid, stop driving the car until you can get it fixed properly.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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I'll second Dan Allen's suggestion on JB Weld. My previous 351W wound up with a crack in the block, front left core plug area, so it was just a coolant leak, nothing getting into the crank case. I patched the crack with JB weld hoping to get the rest of the summer out of it.
That was 2005. The JB Weld patch held til Labor Day weekend 2015.
When I pulled the radiator out in 2015 the top pipe came loose. I glued it back in with JB Weld. It's still solid, no leaks.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
My take is never, ever use stop leak in a cooling system. Yes, it typically does work, but only temporarily. How long will it last? There's no telling, but it will fail and you just never know when.

What I really hate about that stuff is once it's in a cooling system it's nearly impossible to get it out. You can flush, flush and flush some more and you'll still see that stuff floating around in the coolant. Not only does it clog leaks, it can also clog areas of the cooling system, like coolant passages.

So, no. Just don't go there.
That's exactly my concern but wasn't sure if I was just being paranoid/OCD, etc.
 

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The stop leak stuff will plug a tiny hole but the leftover in the system will go to other crevices and corners of your radiator and can even be abrasive to the inner seals and bearing of your water pump. I recommend a pressure test and solder, or replacement, and if you're gonna put a new one in, let the old one catch all the silt from a real good white vinegar flush whilst your at it.
 

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STop leak is for when a car reaches that "I don't give a crap" point where you need a couple of more months or year before you replace it. It is not for a car you plan to keep. 2 cents from the peanut gallery.

Oh and BTW, its bad juju to sell a nice car that has been patched with stop leak with out disclosing. Be careful or you could end up with a kid with 2 heads - I'm jus say'n...
 

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