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Leaking radiator

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Hi all, my '86 Turbo Esprit has a very small radiator leak. It was 'fixed' by

the PO, days prior to transporting the car to me!

My questions are:

Is taking the radiator out a major deal, how many labor hours am I looking at

(at a shop)?

Can I buy the plastic fan shroud, as I believe mine has some cracks in it (that

have been epoxyed) but I don't want it falling to pieces when the rad comes

out!!LOL

How expensive is it to have the radiator triple cored to increase cooling?

If I decide not to have the radiator fixed right away, would I be liable to big

trouble whilst driving (is the radiator likely to get worse under the stress of

driving?)

I've got a 500 mile round trip coming up and the last thing I want is to be

stranded on the road.

Adam

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Is the leak in the radiator, or at the pipe connections?

Personally I wouldn't risk a 500 mile trip. Depending on what it is it could let go anytime, leaving you with a big recovery job unless you're well covered by AA RAC etc. Like most things on the Esprit, a new radiator maybe about £150, but it's the labour that's a killer. Having said that I'm no expert, but on my old S2 it was very doable on my own, although a lot of faffing about with rusted fixings and trying to access bolts under light pods etc.

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As MatK says, it's do able just a case of taking your time.

You could bung rad weld in, thats what the AA did on my honda to get me home with a huge leak in the rad, But it will obviously go round the full coolant system, and it will eventually give way. Personally, think i'd get the rad out, have it record or replaced whatever cheapest and put it back, and replace any rusty fittings etc.

Bought my replacement rad for the Honda from here : Click really well made, worth a call?

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the leak is in the bottom corner of the radiator itself, it is very, very small/slow.

What would radweld do apart from (hopefully) fix the leak? Will it have adverse affects on water pumps etc, will it raise the cooling temp of the coolant?

thanks

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Short term rad weld may prob cure the leak. The prob is that once in the coolant circuit it can over time start clogging up other bits and pieces, and in an Esprit that could end up getting expensive. Recently just spent time having to completely flush through a Citroen AX that had radweld in. It had bunged things up so much over time that the thermostat had completely gunged up, water flow had stopped, and the head gasket blew.

I know that's prob extreme, but with a car like an Esprit I don't feel its a risk worth taking.

Even if the radweld works, who is to say the radiator is not near the end of it's useful life and the leak just gets bigger, or the radiator bursts. Had that happen to me on an Excel many moons ago, and it dumped the entire contents of the coolant system within about a min when it did let go.

I really would bite the bullet and either sort a new radiator before your trip, or don't use the car for it.

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Recently replaced the rad and the fans shroud. So happy to report Its a reasonably straightforward exercise.

I had the original radiator re-cored but at over £200 looking back it might have been better in the long run to have bought a new one from SJs at about £300.

The fan shroud was available in fibreglass from SJs at a 'reasonable' £100 ish although 3 mounting rings added another £150.

There were a hodge podge of 3 different fan motors and blades and was lucky to find 2 from Mk1 ford fiesta on e-bay so now all fit well

Others have had problems with the oil cooler pipe unions breaking but I was lucky.

did snap some of the captive bolts on the mesh grill in the rad housing but cable ties now hold it in place.

took the air con rad out with the assembly as the a/c is not in commission and so not worried about refigerant leaking out.

the mounting bolts for the rad duct all sheared or had to be ''angle grindered'' and then replaced with stainless so hopefully might come apart next time.

The rad duct itself was battered and cracked in several places (road humps / sleeping policemen are the culprits?) but fortunately a bit of fibleglass mat and resin gave a reasonable repair.

With regard the 'Radweld' solution, sure, it will work but perhaps you are just putting off the fateful day. However figure on several hundred pounds in parts alone to do a good job. I reckon it was well over £500 (and I did the labour myself :)

Happy for you to PM if you want to chat through on phone if you are going to have a go.

John

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Thanks for the advice John, I'd love to chat on the phone, but as an ex-pat living in the US I fear the phone bill will amount to more than a new rad! LOL

I know the rad was fixed before I recieved it, but I just don't see a leak! My mechanic said he saw a very small pool of fluid, but I think it may just have been from the ac. I'll definitely keep my eye on it, but don't want to outlay the cash if it isn't really necessary.

If Radweld won't do any harm to the coolant system. I might give it a try as a preventative measure.What do you think?

Cheers for the help peeps

Adam

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Radweld could cure a very small leak if that's what your mechanic suspect, if there isn't a leak then it will do no good, but not do much harm (it will very slightly reduce flow through the cores).

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in my primitive opinion, you should get the rad recored, if the tanks are good, or get a NEW SETUP, new rad, with some racing fans. i know money isalways a consideration, the rad will cost 200 pounds at least( mine cost me 895 dollars, in Newyork, no body does them, and summer time). and fit the fans at the same time(check them out on ebay for universal rad fans 10 inch) will save you money, as my rad got better but moters malfunctioned shortly(weeks) after.

Recoring the rad deeply depends on a specialist, and paralell gaurentees

New rad, although expensive, is a psycological pleasure only

The original fans should be anybodys choice

the racing fans A triplet, may cost a bob, but efficient

The dismantaling, removal and installation of any component of an esprit should be done with a knowlegde, and talent of racing knowhow and its atributes(consequenses)

i mostly leave the complex transplants to proffesionals, with a condition to be informed and involved. This job can be accomplished by you, if you are patient, and spend a weekend, under your racecar.

The do it yourself job is only a pleasure when you have ordered and collected most or all the parts and tools in advance.

The cooling of your race car(esprit) is very very important , take your time as its not going to rust.

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