News

Pin hole leak in coolant tank 328 gts

Discussion in '308/328' started by TK 328, Nov 13, 2009.

  1. TK 328

    TK 328 Karting

    Dec 24, 2006
    167
    Perth West Australia
    Full Name:
    Tony
    Just noticed tonight a pin hole leake in my coolant tank in my 328 1989, is this an easy fix or buy a new tank for heaps of dollars, car is in mint condition and sevviced and driven 2-3 times a week???
     
  2. To remove this ad click here.

  3. AZDoug

    AZDoug Formula 3

    Jun 17, 2009
    1,435
    Along the Verde , AZ
    Full Name:
    Doug
    Usually easy fix, you can low temp solder a piece of thin brass shim stock over the hole. You can get thin brass at a hardware store

    Low temp being ~500F melting point.

    Holes near complex curves or seams can be more difficult, but same principle applies.


    High temp bronze braze is stronger, but wouldn't be needed for this, plus I wouldn't want to heat up the tank that much.

    You will probably want to heat sink the rest of the tank that isn't being repaired.

    Doug
     
  4. Helmut

    Helmut Formula Junior

    Dec 11, 2004
    635
    Yeah, you can easily fix the hole. But is the hole because of rust from the inside? I had mine plated on the inside and outside so it won't rust. You may want to consider that to avoid bigger holes and the plating place can probably fix the hole as well.

    Helmut
     
  5. sdfovc2003

    sdfovc2003 Karting

    Aug 17, 2009
    54
    I had a similar problem on another car and I just stopped by my local radiator repair shop. They fixed it in 5 minutes and charged me $10.
     
  6. spiderseeker

    spiderseeker Formula 3

    Jul 22, 2005
    1,708
    Colorado
    Full Name:
    Steve
    I took mine to a radiator shop too and they boiled it out , sealed the leak, painted it and pressure tested it to 20lbs, all for about $30.
     
  7. To remove this ad click here.

  8. Paul308GTSi

    Paul308GTSi Formula Junior

    Oct 26, 2008
    992
    Queensland Australia
    Full Name:
    Paul D
    Mine was quite bad but I was still able to fix up fine. What may happen is as you are fixing up one hole another nearby will finally surface. I think it's the heat expanding that last bit of "strutural" paint sealing the tank.
    I used small patches of .030" steel and high quality silver solder. Silver solder (not the color of it , the quality of it) will offer a long fix where as normal solder used for electrical work make fatigue and let the leak weep again.
     
  9. Paul_308

    Paul_308 Formula 3

    Mar 12, 2004
    2,335
    Silver solder contains 50% or more silver and requires a much greater temperature, usually done with a flame rather than an iron as it stands to melt back the steel tank. Silver solder is really for jewelry.

    If the hole is truly a pinhole, normal solder could be an adequate fix. Another adequate fix would be brazing with brass. Placing a patch of any kind over the hole allows water and contaminants to fester in an unreachable area. In any case, a thorough cleaning is a must.
     
  10. TK 328

    TK 328 Karting

    Dec 24, 2006
    167
    Perth West Australia
    Full Name:
    Tony
    Is she safe to drive untill a service in a few weeks??? or will tank blow out and get me stranded someware!! Thanks guys
     
  11. Paul308GTSi

    Paul308GTSi Formula Junior

    Oct 26, 2008
    992
    Queensland Australia
    Full Name:
    Paul D
    You're right about the higher temperature , , the key is controlling where the heat is applied and keeping it at the point of just enough and not bar-b-queing the whole thing. Brazing is in the same boat of course.

    When I was in the US recently I bought a really small oxy torch set ......

    http://www.littletorch.com/

    .... YEP , it's jewelers size with the smallest tip but you can do some bigger stuff with the largest tip.
    They are available at lots of welders supplies , , I got mine from Airgas - Norpac Inc in Kalamath Falls OR (541 884 8136)

    For us foreigners it's good to know these torches are easily available with the correct fitting for European and Australian regulators also. Heath France at Airgas said he was willing to post to anywhere !

    For sensitive jobs I have found this thing an invaluable companion to a regular size oxy torch.
     
  12. To remove this ad click here.

  13. Paul308GTSi

    Paul308GTSi Formula Junior

    Oct 26, 2008
    992
    Queensland Australia
    Full Name:
    Paul D
    It will be going through coolant thats for sure ........ do you really need to drive it ?? I'd be very careful.
    You're most likely going to drive it to the service shop so make sure it is full of coolant before you leave. Mine used to vanish at unpredictable rates.
     
  14. Brian Harper

    Brian Harper F1 Rookie
    Owner

    Feb 17, 2006
    3,864
    San Jose area
    Full Name:
    Brian Harper
    On the GT4 the tank sits horizontally and has a few recessed ribs across the top. My tank developed a small pihole leak in one of the ribs. I took it to a radiator shop and they fixed the leak. A year later I have pinholes in all of the ribs. It is rusting from the inside out. Probably water droplets hang from the bottom of the ribs slowly rusting it away. This is probably also the PO's very old coolant getting acidic and corroding everything. I'm sure there's no saving it. New tanks are around $300. I need to order one soon.

    So if you have one leak have it fixed, but don't be too surprised if it is sadly temporary.
     
  15. AustinMartin

    AustinMartin F1 Veteran

    Mar 1, 2008
    5,094
    Los Angeles/Idaho
    1. Slap a piece of duct tape on it
    2. Drive
     
  16. AZDoug

    AZDoug Formula 3

    Jun 17, 2009
    1,435
    Along the Verde , AZ
    Full Name:
    Doug
    With all due respect:

    Has anyone here actually soldered before?

    A patch does not leave voids, you don't solder the bloody edges, the solder fills (if properly done) the entire underment of the patch and fill the hole also, the patch metal simply provides needed strength to the relatively weak solder compound.

    Electronic solder and its flux is different from tin/antimony solder or 4%ag/96%sn, or 5%ag/95%cad and its flux. Plumbing solder is slightly different yet,and you don't have copper plumbing blowing apart because it wasn't silver soldered.

    Silver solder/braze usually requires a melt temp of about 1200*F, and that is hot enough to cause weak steel to oxidize further, creating more pinhole leaks in thin metal as the iron burns, thus the need for low temp solder repairs. Silver solder is much higher strength,and has its place, but not on a 15 pound cooling system, I use about 2-3 oz of silver braze per week, for high shear strength applications, I use low temp everywhere else to keep heat distortion down.

    You can use an iron for soldering, if it is large enough, usually on the order of a 1/4 pound iron, typically a propane torch is used for heat, at least in the USA. I use an oxy/acetylene flame for silver solder.

    You want to heat sink the rest of the tank so it doesn't get hot enough to melt any other solder in the tank if solder exists, and to minimize heat distortion. Submersing the rest of the tank in water is a good heat sink

    To fix a small hole, you wire brush/sand the area to be repaired to bare metal, I use a commercial premix paste of solder and flux and paint it over the repair area, then set brass patch, then heat gently with torch, once liquid solder bubbles out from under patch, remove heat, let cool, and patch is done.

    If you use separate flux and solder rod, apply flux, set patch metal, apply gentle heat and touch solder rod to edge of patch, when solder sucks in between patch metal and tank, repair is done.

    Or take it to a radiator shop and pay them $30 to do the same thing. You repair won't last forever as corrosion in one spot usually means corrosion someplace else also, but it should get you by for a few months or years.

    Good luck,

    Doug
     
  17. Paul_308

    Paul_308 Formula 3

    Mar 12, 2004
    2,335
    Spoken like an artist!
     
  18. TK 328

    TK 328 Karting

    Dec 24, 2006
    167
    Perth West Australia
    Full Name:
    Tony
    I found some of that metal putty that you knead and put over the whole, it starts to go off in 2-3 minutes and is ready to go in 30 minutes seams to have worked as a short term fix but I dont think I will get away with out a new tank or re-condition. Hey is the tank steal or like a copper compound????
     
  19. TK 328

    TK 328 Karting

    Dec 24, 2006
    167
    Perth West Australia
    Full Name:
    Tony
    I found some of that metal putty that you knead and put over the whole, it starts to go off in 2-3 minutes and is ready to go in 30 minutes seams to have worked as a short term fix but I dont think I will get away with out a new tank or re-condition. Hey is the tank steal or like a copper compound????
     
  20. Nurburgringer

    Nurburgringer F1 World Champ

    Jan 3, 2009
    10,615
    Texass
    Had a pin-hole leak in the bottom of the tank in my '85GTS earlier this year.

    Mechanic took it to a radiator shop, and they soldered a penny over it.

    Wasn't too happy about that, but it hasn't leaked in almost 2000 miles...
     

Share This Page