Small 328 radiator leak - Would this work?

Discussion in 'Technical Q&A' started by Ron328, Dec 1, 2003.

  1. Ron328

    Ron328 F1 Rookie
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    Mar 10, 2003
    Willamette Valley, Oregon
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    My 328 radiator is leaking (just a drop or 2 of coolant from the car's FRONT on the garage floor overnight ). The car runs fine (in fact, I drove almost 250 miles last week) w/o problems. I took it to my service station and they said it's no big deal and can be fixed electively.

    My question is, is it safe to use a commercially-prepared solution like
    Prestone "Stops Leaks" (described on their website as a high quality performance product consisting of pellets suspended in a corrosion inhibiting liquid designed to seek out and seal leaks in your radiator, heater, and hoses)? I'd appreciate any input on this. Or what do you recommend?

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  3. Verell

    Verell F1 Veteran
    Consultant Owner

    May 5, 2001
    Groton, MA
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    Verell Boaen
    NONE of the stop leak products are a good idea for a car you're planning on keeping around. A winter beater you want to last a few more months is a different story.

    As the discription reads, these products depend on keeping something suspended in the coolant until it hopefully gets to the leak & plugs it up.

    Unfortunately, the stuff will also settle out in a lot of places like nooks & crannies in the engine where it can produce permanant localized heating.
    Once it's settled somewhere, there's nothing to get it moving again so it can be flushed out.

    Do the job right. Drain the coolant, pull the radiator & find out what's leaking. There's a good chance that one of the soldered seams has begun to open up. Any radiator shop can readily repair it, or if you're handy with a propane torch and/or heavy duty soldering gun, you can do it yourself. The shop will generally thoroughly clean the exterior, strip & repaint it so it looks new again. If you bring it in you're probably talking $50 or so.

    If the car is high mileage, it'd be a good idea for the shop to rod out the radiator core while it's at it. Cost is on the order of $75-$150 depending on the shop & part of the country.

    For another hundred or so the shop can rebuild the radiator by putting in a high capacity core which the 308 badly needs.

    Search the old FerrariChat Tech Q&A archives
  4. Dale

    Dale F1 Veteran

    Oct 7, 2003
    Full Name:
    Dale Juan
    Hi Ron, Verell's reply is 100% spot on take his advice
  5. Ron328

    Ron328 F1 Rookie
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    Mar 10, 2003
    Willamette Valley, Oregon
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    Thank you, Verell and Dave. Am definitely going to heed your advice.
    Am neurotic about repairs in my car but somebody suggested the
    "stop leak" solution, hence, my inquiry.

    Thanks again.

  6. Mule

    Mule F1 Rookie
    Rossa Subscribed Owner

    Jun 25, 2003
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    There is a very long discussion in the old board that I had when mine was leaking. I was lucky, and it was just the lower hose. Make sure it is the radiator before you go too far. My lower hose was dry when the car was sitting, but spit out coolant under pressure.
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  8. Ron328

    Ron328 F1 Rookie
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    Mar 10, 2003
    Willamette Valley, Oregon
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    Thanks Mule. When I took it to the service station, they showed me the leak was coming from the lower part of the radiator. Was a "small" area
    but the green color coming from the coolant tipped off its location.

    I am debating whether to take the car to an independent exotic car shop for repair or to Brentwood Volvo (they used to be the Fcar dealer in STL until 2-3 years ago). The latter still charges Ferrari "rates." It is not a matter of financial issue to me; I don't mind paying their rate. It's just that at that rate, I would rather have an authorized dealer fix my car. Ah, well.
  9. donaldh2o

    donaldh2o Karting

    Nov 10, 2003
    Irvine CA
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    The single, most satisfying repair I ever did to my '76 308 was to pull the radiator and have it repaired, rodded out and repainted.

    I also had a small leak that once the car was warmed would seal itself. They tested it under pressure, repaired all the leaks and rodded it out saying it did not need a new core. Total cost: $60.

    But what it spurred is once the radiator was out, I gutted the front of the car (grill, horn, fans, headlights, turn signals, sidelights and everything else I could get my hands on), cleaned everything, repainted most things and bought all new connectors, grommets, nuts, bolts and washers then reassembled the whole conglomeration.

    The engine and rear of the car still looks like its 25 years old, but the front and under the front bonnet sparkles.

    And with the new radiator, the car runs cool even in heavy Southern California traffic on the hottest of days.

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