There’s no way you’re going to buy a ‘thing’ that you got damaged if you can get it fixed. Who wants to spend the extra cash, right? The same theory works for plastic radiator side tanks as well. After all, who’d like to make their wallet thinner with an expensive option, when they’ve got a cheaper one?
Having a radiator side tank leaked or cracked is nothing that happens too often. But knowing how to repair a plastic radiator side tank may keep you calm once you get it damaged.
Take a wild guess. Yep, I’ll be telling you how to fix it up all by yourself when there are any cracks or leaks over the side tank.
What You Need to Know Before Fixing It Up
Most of us don’t even know whether it’s possible to fix a plastic radiator that has a leak on it. And some of us may think of applying epoxy adhesives to cover that crack or leak.
But the unfortunate truth is, it has a lower chance of success in the long run. For a while, it might keep things together, but sooner or later, it’ll just come off.
In most repair shops, you’ll see people are mostly repairing the metal radiator side tanks. But they do nothing like that for the plastic ones.
Some repair shops will suggest you to replace the whole radiator, but trust me, that’s going to cost you a fortune.
So, if you think from a financial perspective, getting the side tank repaired is a far better option than getting a new one. I'm saying this in terms of minor damages like leaks or cracks, as it’s quite easy to fix it up.
Things to Keep in Mind for the Repair
Fixing cracked radiators is a lot easier than you think. All you need to do is keep some simple things in your brain. It’s important for the repair to be able to withstand the operating temperatures of 200°F and more.
Secondly, it’s essential for the repair to contain hot and pressurized coolant. You need to do the welding job perfectly, though.
Basically, radiator tanks are built from glass-reinforced nylon, with a view to sustaining rough operating conditions. As we know, high temperatures and pressures are involved in the operation of a radiator, and this material makes it tolerant of that.
How to Repair a Plastic Radiator Side Tank?
Now let's come to the main part of our discussion – the process of fixing a radiator side tank. Nothing scattered can end up in a good built. This is why having a certain and organized pattern of work is required to fix a radiator tank as well.
Step – 1: Draining the Antifreeze
The first thing you need to do while fixing a leaking radiator tank is draining the antifreeze. But that doesn’t mean you’ll have to get it all out. Just drain it to an extent where it’ll come below the crack or leak line.
This way, it will not seep out through the leak or crack. Otherwise, it can spoil the repair. Now clean the crack or leak with liquid plastic cleaner.
Step 2: Heating Up the Crack
Take a heat gun for softening the plastic. It’s important to make the plastic soft so that you can speed up the process of repairing the crack. What you need to do is pre-heat the cracked area with the heat gun for welding it.
Heat it up slowly and keep doing it till you see the v-groove area (in and around) is getting glossy. If the crack is long, then pre-heat the crack part by part. Suppose you have a four-inch crack over the tank. Then heat up two-inch of it at a time.
Step 3: Melting V-groove
Now get a V-groove and melt it along the crack line. You’ll find the welder tip edge pretty handy to get this job done easily.
Step 4: Melting Nylon Rod
Take a Nylon rod. Melt it into the V-groove by using an airless plastic welder. At the time of melting the rod, you’ll see a change in color where it’ll be getting light brown. As you’re not going to like the fumes, you better choose an area that has enough room for the melting process.
Step 5: Mixing Up the Plastics
Once you’re done with the nylon rod in the v-groove, put it out of the welder tip. Then use the welder for mixing the new plastic with the plastic of your radiator. Stop when you see that both of the plastics have turned into the same color.
The strength of that mixture will depend on how accurately you’re mixing them up with each other. So, do it carefully.
Step 6: Waiting for Resolidification
Now, wait till the plastic becomes cold and gets in the desired state. Once it’s done, your radiator will become functional just the way it was before.
Spending money on a purchase when you have a cheaper alternative is not what I call a wise decision. Having a cracked radiator tank might not be what you’re expecting now, but being able to fix one up when something like that happens is what matters at that moment.Apart from the tank ,If you want to repair your plastic radiator , some best epoxies are there that suits and does the job perfectly.
Now that you know how to repair a plastic radiator side tank, I’m sure you can fix your side tank all by yourself.