Close



Results 1 to 19 of 19
  1. #1

    Default Do Aluminum Radiators Fail? Coolant Leak

    Hey, just wondering if anyone's experienced this happening.

    I had my car warming up today and found that it was leaking coolant rather enthusiastically from where the upper hose clamps on to the radiator.



    I'm wondering about whether these radiators fail because the first time running my new engine about a month ago, the engine overheated. Can that cause an aluminum radiator to crack or whatever? I've also noticed mysterious smoking coming from under my upper radiator mount with no visible damage, dust or cause of any kind.

    Another possibility brought up to me for the overheating was maybe the thermostat is bad or somehow the cause. It's a Stant Superstat (a pretty good one, I thought) that does not have the silicone valve I'm used to seeing on the Motorcrafts. I installed it with the spring cage thing towards the engine. I found a few sources that said that was right, but for whatever reason it just didn't look right to me, and I couldn't remember.

    So, like this
    Name:  4.jpg
Views: 221
Size:  177.4 KB

    Just covering my bases. The cause I found for the overheating was something I'd done wrong with my fan controller. Doesn't rule out the thermostat thing though. And, I was thinking maybe something wrong with the thermostat whether it be backwards or not operating properly for whatever reason allowing too much pressure in the upper hose causing this leak at the radiator.

    Maybe the leak is as simple as a worn out spring clamp. I didn't have this problem with it before, but I also just replaced my hoses and the old ones were pretty swollen. I wanted to stick with the spring clamps because I've heard the worm gear clamps have uneven pressure and can cause problems because of that. I've looked all over for new spring clamps in the past and pretty much came up empty handed.

    Or maybe the new upper hose failed somehow.
    Brad

    '79 Mercury Zephyr ES 5.0L GT40 EFI, T-5
    '17 Ford Transit Connect Titanium LWB
    '14 Ford Fusion SE Manual

  2. #2
    FEP Supporter 4-barrel Mike's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Portland, Oregon
    Posts
    1,662

    Default

    Put a new screw-type clamp on it.

    Mike
    1985 ascMcLaren 5.0 SC Roadster
    My '78 Fairmont build - http://vb.foureyedpride.com/showthre...539-78-Big-Red

  3. #3

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by 4-barrel Mike View Post
    Put a new screw-type clamp on it.

    Mike
    Thanks, I might as well. I'd hate to think an expensive radiator would fail like that.
    Brad

    '79 Mercury Zephyr ES 5.0L GT40 EFI, T-5
    '17 Ford Transit Connect Titanium LWB
    '14 Ford Fusion SE Manual

  4. #4
    FEP Super Member
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Roseburg Oregon
    Posts
    3,237

    Default

    Spring clamps do a better job clamping , as they hold tension a full 360 *
    Work clamps only clamp at the work mostly .
    clowns to the left of me , Jokers to the right

  5. #5
    FEP Super Member gr79's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    SE Michigan
    Posts
    3,957

    Default

    Hose should first fit tightly on necks before clamping.
    Could temp use worm type to see if it stops leak/seep.
    I use the pictured spring clamps wherever possible.
    Worm clamps look too universal, screw rusts, and seem to dig in never know how tight they are.

    If the smoke smells like hot coolant, may be the hose leak trickle evaporating or a pinhole leak somewhere.
    My Ranger does that. Advance Auto house brand alum radiator 2012. Seeping for a couple years now.
    Still looking for receipt to warranty (lifetime). Adv does not go back more than couple years in their database.

  6. #6
    FEP Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
    Location
    Grand Rapids, MI
    Posts
    413

    Default

    I've used this style of worm hose clamp from Advance on the last few cars I've worked on that needed new hose clamps. I like spring clamps too, but there are plenty of times when trying to get them to release with the area I had to work with just wasn't worth the pain.
    https://shop.advanceautoparts.com/p/...rm=hose+clamps

    Good point on the Advance lifetime warranty parts. I always save my paper receipt. They only keep computer records going back four years. They're usually pissed when I dig out my ancient paper receipt to redeem my lifetime warranty part from 8 years ago.

    I also agree with the comment in the other thread that the clamp might be a little close to the end of the hose nipple on the radiator.

    And to answer your original question. Yes, aluminum radiators can fail.
    '89 XR-7 5 Speed
    '95 SC 5 Speed
    '91 Crown Vic P72 351W
    '97 Thunderbird
    '85 Ford LTD Squire

  7. #7

    Default

    From what I have read the spring clamps should be one use only. I had an old one fail on my daughter's Honda, and she cooked the engine.
    Mike
    85 GT - owned since 87

  8. #8

    Default

    FWIW I had a stock copper rad that leaked at the top hose. It was not evident until the system was pressured but it was an almost invisible hairline crack on the base of the nozzle. I remembered that the hose was stuck on pretty good when it was removed so I chalked it up to cracking when the hose was wrestled off etc.

    It was very hard to see until the system built up some pressure. At first I thought the hose/clamp was leaking but that would have been too easy. Hopefully this is not the case on yours.

  9. #9

    Default

    Thanks for this input so far, all! Kevin, that clamp is pretty cool. I'd been thinking maybe I could put something between the worm gear clamp and hose so it doesn't get torn up, but that solve that issue with its design.

    Spring clamps are 1 use only, huh? I could see that being true, given that I heard elsewhere that spring clamps are used by OEMs because they are cheaper than worm gear clamps and require fewer steps on the assembly line.

    Yeah though, I really hope my radiator hasn't cracked. It's only about a year old at most.
    Brad

    '79 Mercury Zephyr ES 5.0L GT40 EFI, T-5
    '17 Ford Transit Connect Titanium LWB
    '14 Ford Fusion SE Manual

  10. #10

    Default

    The thermostat can't be installed backwards. This is by design.

    If you look at the cast aluminum elbow, it has a divot in the outside of it. This divot requires that the wall bend inwards towards the center of the coolant path. If you try to install the thermostat backwards, the end of the thermostat will hit the wall on the inside of the elbow.
    Jack Hidley
    Maximum Motorsports Tech Support

  11. #11

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Hidley View Post
    The thermostat can't be installed backwards. This is by design.

    If you look at the cast aluminum elbow, it has a divot in the outside of it. This divot requires that the wall bend inwards towards the center of the coolant path. If you try to install the thermostat backwards, the end of the thermostat will hit the wall on the inside of the elbow.
    Okay cool, thanks. One mistake definitely not made.

    Sent from my SM-G960U using Tapatalk
    Brad

    '79 Mercury Zephyr ES 5.0L GT40 EFI, T-5
    '17 Ford Transit Connect Titanium LWB
    '14 Ford Fusion SE Manual

  12. #12

    Default

    I don't think it was that close to the lip on the hose flange.





    I did move the clamp farther away from it though, and swap it for a worm gear one. The hose flange was a little bent up too, but i was able to get back to round. The leak was still there when I first started the car back up, but tightening the clamp further seems to have solved it. We'll see how it goes. I couldn't see any damage to the radiator itself, but I'll defer judgement for now. Maybe I'll get a couple of good drive in before it's too snowy.
    Brad

    '79 Mercury Zephyr ES 5.0L GT40 EFI, T-5
    '17 Ford Transit Connect Titanium LWB
    '14 Ford Fusion SE Manual

  13. #13

    Default

    Here's with the SmartSeal clamp installed.



    I had to cut like a good inch off both parts of it so I didn't have a big strap hanging off the end. I probably should have spent more time looking at what sizes there were. "Size 28" doesn't exactly tell you much. Oh well. Anyway, we're still at "so far so good". I ran the engine again today and no problems.
    Brad

    '79 Mercury Zephyr ES 5.0L GT40 EFI, T-5
    '17 Ford Transit Connect Titanium LWB
    '14 Ford Fusion SE Manual

  14. #14
    FEP Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
    Location
    Grand Rapids, MI
    Posts
    413

    Default

    The 28 is the SAE size of the clamp. Here is a chart with the ranges for the associated sizes.

    https://static1.squarespace.com/stat...hart+Opt+P.pdf
    '89 XR-7 5 Speed
    '95 SC 5 Speed
    '91 Crown Vic P72 351W
    '97 Thunderbird
    '85 Ford LTD Squire

  15. #15
    FEP Power Member mcb82gt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Olathe, KS
    Posts
    1,720

    Default

    That clamp looks badass. You could always double clamp it, but I bet that holds it.

    Where did you buy the clamp?
    Mike

    Now stang-less.

    88 Cougar 5.0

  16. #16
    FEP Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
    Location
    Grand Rapids, MI
    Posts
    413

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by mcb82gt View Post
    That clamp looks badass. You could always double clamp it, but I bet that holds it.

    Where did you buy the clamp?
    Check up in Post #6. I put a link in there. I got mine at Advance. They are actually pretty inexpensive.
    '89 XR-7 5 Speed
    '95 SC 5 Speed
    '91 Crown Vic P72 351W
    '97 Thunderbird
    '85 Ford LTD Squire

  17. #17

    Default

    Yep, found it at Advance.

    Sent from my SM-G960U using Tapatalk
    Brad

    '79 Mercury Zephyr ES 5.0L GT40 EFI, T-5
    '17 Ford Transit Connect Titanium LWB
    '14 Ford Fusion SE Manual

  18. #18
    FEP Super Member gr79's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    SE Michigan
    Posts
    3,957

    Default

    Good idea to trim the clamp so it wont snag something plus looks great.
    Good to know it solved the leak!
    All good.

  19. #19

    Default

    Yep, they do fail and the core is not repairable when they do. Went down this road before and went back and had the brass radiator recored. An engineering friend did several tests and he concluded that the Brass radiator cooled just as well as the Aluminum radiator. Only difference is the weight.
    Bleed Ford Blue! '84 Grabber Orange SVO, '88 Saleen 1 of 4 w/Automatic, '89 Steeda, '71 DeTomaso Pantera GT5 Wide Body EFI 4.6 DOHC and some Old Ford Muscle w/ BB power. 1.21 Jigawatts!!?? PETRO EXPRESS=CITGO=BOYCOTT!
    State of Illinois - Taxation without Representation!

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •