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Rad tanks

Discussion in 'Trucks' started by 92U 3406, Jul 31, 2017.

  1. 92U 3406

    92U 3406 Senior Member

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    I've got a copper rad that came out of my old W900. Core looks mint and isn't leaking but both tanks are pretty much toast. Looking online seems like I'm looking at a minimum of $600 to replace the tanks. I figure I can build new ones cheaper. The only real snag I'm running into is what material to build them out of and what to coat the inside of the tank with. Thinking maybe I'll use 1/8" mild steel plate. Not sure if that's a good plan or not.
     
  2. Shimmy1

    Shimmy1 Senior Member

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    Bolted tanks? Might be expensive, but stainless ones would probably outlast the truck. Have to brush up on your TIG welding skills c'mon.......
     
  3. 92U 3406

    92U 3406 Senior Member

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    Yep bolted on tanks. I wish I knew how to TIG. I'd be doing them in polished checkerplate aluminum if I did lol.
     
  4. Scrub Puller

    Scrub Puller Senior Member

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    Yair . . .

    316 stainless would obviously be best but I have made tanks from brass and/or copper sheet.

    You need to make patterns and plan tabs and overlaps and they can be assembled with just soft solder.

    Depending on hole spacing on the core you may need heavier clamp or backing strips.

    A mate built a radiator for a big Dorman in a drag-line and had mild steel tanks hot dip galvanized which seemed to work okay.

    Generally speaking copper and aluminum do not go together.

    Cheers.
     
  5. Birken Vogt

    Birken Vogt Charter Member

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    Lots of trucks and equipment have mild steel elbows in the middle of the upper and lower hoses so they don't have to make a really long and convoluted rubber hose. They seem to hold up fine. I think mild steel would be fine so long as you keep up on the corrosion protection of the coolant.
     
    Delmer likes this.
  6. 92U 3406

    92U 3406 Senior Member

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    Do they react when placed together?

    I was thinking about getting the tanks powder coated but I don't know how well that stuff would hold up to coolant. I can see that turning into a big mess in the cooling system. When a guy thinks about it, all the coolant passages in the engine are bare cast or aluminum and it doesn't hurt them.


    I do like Scrub's idea of galvanizing the tanks though.
     
  7. Birken Vogt

    Birken Vogt Charter Member

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    I wouldn't coat them other than galvanized, if you really want to. I agree I can see paint/powder coat falling off and making a mess. Coolant is a little like brake fluid in how it affects paint. Just think of the engine block, freeze plugs, water pump, etc. They are all bare iron/steel and exposed to the same coolant.
     
  8. Scrub Puller

    Scrub Puller Senior Member

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    Yair . . .

    Yes mate, Aluminum and copper at dissimilar metals and in a moist environment can (and do) react.

    Cheers.
     
  9. Hobbytime

    Hobbytime Senior Member

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    he could use a thick rubber gasket between dissimilar metals to prevent a reaction, so they dont touch each other..if hes building bolt on tanks...
     
  10. DMiller

    DMiller Senior Member

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    The old IHC radiators were steel bolt on tanks, had reinforcing strips for the bolts as well Nitrile gaskets, were a true SOB to get to set in place (We glued ours) and then bolt them with 5/16" SAE bolts/nuts. They only torqued to 16 foot pounds if went much more over squeezed the gasket as well deformed the flanges. Most shops hated them. As to corrosion and dissimilar, so long as keep coolant and a coolant filter on is not so much an issue as you neutralize the electrolysis.
     
  11. Junkyard

    Junkyard Senior Member

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    Stainless wouldn't be bad. You could tig, stick or wire weld them. I bought some stainless parts for a W900. I had issues with exterior corrosion worse than I did from the inside.....

    If/when I stick the V8 or V12 in my W900L I will most likely be building my radiator although I did steal the top tank from the donor truck so I have the dual hose connections.

    Even solder or brazing wouldn't be terrible.
     
  12. Birken Vogt

    Birken Vogt Charter Member

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    I would be concerned about anything homemade of stainless or aluminum cracking and falling apart over time.

    Just my experience with truck tool boxes and the like, materials other than mild steel seem to crack a lot over the years.

    A radiator tank would be especially bad because it is getting engine vibrations directly and not just bumps from the road.

    Radiator tanks are the kind of thing that it seems like the best solution is the one some manufacturer came up with after years of abuse and subtle redesign to address actual observed issues.
     
    wornout wrench likes this.
  13. 92U 3406

    92U 3406 Senior Member

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    The issue I have with my tanks is the lower one is corroded up pretty bad and the flange the lower rad pipe bolts onto has a couple stripped holes. Plus the lower tank I believe supports the entire assembly so I would definitely need to go with steel for the lower tank.
     
  14. RZucker

    RZucker Senior Member

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    FWIW... a few years back my local rad shop had an Autocar top tank reproed in steel from some Mexican outfit... It fit perfectly and looked just fine on an old farm truck.