Monday, July 24, 2017

Rad, Dude

It was cool enough to be out in the garage on Sunday (only 95!), so I tackled a project I'd been itching to finish: cleaning up my radiator.

I have a radiator with a newer core that works ok but leaks and could be easily repaired.  But I also bought an original 'perfect' radiator that allegedly works better than the newer cores, because the spacing between cores is a bit larger and therefore has better flow through the radiator.  I figured, what the heck; if I ruin it, I lost some money but I've got a backup.  So I took it apart.

Here's where I started...

And where I finished.  I didn't take disassembly-reassembly pictures because I forgot, and it was still pretty hot out.

I removed the fan shroud and mounting brackets first.  Then, I desoldered the top tank (fun!), and found a ton of crap in it.  Apparently, 50 years of buildup were dislodged while I was banging on it.  I left the bottom tank alone and just cleaned it up.  It does look like the radiator was serviced at least once as not everything was actually soldered in place.

I tapped out some dents in the top tank and fixed what looked to me to be small leaks (though they could have been caused by me while removing everything).  I ran everything except the core through Master Blaster to get rid of multiple layers of paint.

I also found a couple of pinhole leaks (so much for 'it's perfect!') and fixed those, I think.

It wasn't that hard to put everything back together.  The tank was easy, just taking diligence and a lot of solder.  The mounting brackets were not too tough once I got everything lined up.  The fan shroud was a pain since the parts that attach to the mounting brackets have no holes for the solder to flow through.  But, I got it all buttoned back up.  It only took me 7 hours.

Tip for next time: Don't do this when it's 95 degrees because you need to use a blowtorch, which is also rather hot, and having a fan running puts out the torch.

I think it's good to go, but I'll run it through a pressure test by someone that can fix whatever I messed up.  I have to install the captive nuts that are used to mount the radiator to the car.  I will probably paint it, but who knows--maybe I'll leave the tank all shiny since it's cool.  Hopefully, all is well and I didn't just spend a hot, humid day for nothing.

EDIT: I had a pressure test done, and found one tube was damaged and needed to be sealed off.  Otherwise, it's good to go.  I did it right.
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Wednesday, July 12, 2017

I Haven't Forgotten...

I haven't done anything on the Midget lately because it's just too darn hot!  I'm down to filler work, and I can't get my garage cool enough for the filler to last more than 30 seconds of working time.  It's 95 degrees even at 4am.  So, I'm offline until the fall, or thereabouts.

Once I get the filler work done, and prime and paint the body shell, I'm ready to start assembly.  I'm itching to get started.  I'm starting to dream about it and what "first start" will sound like.

I can't wait.
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