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Unread 03-26-2005, 02:27 PM   #1
bryes
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Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 84
Radiator Stop Leak

I was reading another thread and the subject turned to Radiator Stop Leak, that powder or liquid that you pour into your radiator to seal leaks. The overwhelming response was negative; I just wanted to hear about others experiences with it and any horror stories that warrant such a response. I have personally used it in a few vehicles with mixed results. On the one hand the stuff does tend to clog small passages. However, this seems to be in extreme cases. The one that I know about clogged the heater core, but that was after about three or four applications.

I know that this will get response, but most of the engines that I have worked on do not contain such small passages and I would think that the amount it would take to clog say the head around the combustion chambers would be extreme. I have yet to see these passages blocked or restricted by anything other than corrosion which I doubt that the stuff has much bearing on. Not that I have an infinite amount of experience, but I do have some, probably more than most and I donít think it would be that bad or GM wouldnít recommend using it (incidentally the official GM stuff is what plugged the heater core!) and include it as I have in cooling systems from the factory.

On the plus side the stuff flat out works, although it may be temporary as I have witnessed. In one case a radiator was spewing coolant and I laughed to myself as my uncle (who incidentally has worked on more stuff than anyone I know so I knew to not laugh out loud) poured a small container in. The leak almost immediately stopped. However as I have found and my uncle concurs, that when a radiator develops a leak it is spotty all over (barring a rock hit or something causing a leak in an otherwise sound radiator) and if you fix the one spot than the others inevitably go bad soon . Needless to say that radiator soon sprung multiple others and replacement was necessary.

Lets put it this way, if I had a vehicle (as I do) which was loosing fluid and I suspected had a cracked head or block or maybe even a head gasket, and didnít have time (as I donít) or patients or money to do it right. I would sure try the stuff (as I did) and see if it worked (so far so good). I also know that the stuff seems to work for awhile and then let go dramatically so I would be sure to inform anyone who drives the 89 jeep that it may be a time bomb and probably not take it on long trips! although I might risk it myself but would be sure to have plenty of stop leak!

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Unread 03-26-2005, 03:29 PM   #2
BrunoS
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Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: South Bay Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 2,534
i'm the guy that responded to the previous request for help with your info in question.

anyways:

Stop leak....of the "Bar's Leaks" variety....is ground walnut shells. this is the ONLY stuff i have ever used or recommend---BUT with some notes of me being a former wrench-head mechanic:

1) The only one to use is "Bar's Leaks" in the small, tiny 4-oz bottle of liquid.
2) Shake very well immediately before pouring.
3) ONLY use 1 tablespoon...borrow wife's measuring spoon set or rip it off from the kitchen drawer.
4) ONLY pour in a nicely warm and idling engine.
5) Only pour in radiator...the overflow bottle ain't the right area.
6) USE ONLY for stopping very small leaks, like a weeping seal or wet area around metal surfaces that are just a little wet from leaking coolant....small dribbles out of radiator are also good candidates. run engine/drive for at least 20-30 minutes after pouring in.
7) This is the only stuff that is non-toxic.
8) it is used by GM, Chrysler, Mercedes, and a host of other builders on their assembly line to cure piss-poor gasket misalignments....can't have leaks when leaving the line or being sold to customers.....
9) It will stop a head gasket that is leaking...and help you keep happy motoring until you need something else major done.
10) NEVER NEVER use anything else but the above, and only 1 tablespoon!!! Yes, pour enough of it in and you will proabably clog something...

here's how it works:

when wet/in liquid, it is very small and disperses in coolant. when it hits a spot that is leaking....it will dry, and swell about 15% in volume. it will dry nice and hard, providing an excellent seal. in the head gasket area, it will carbon up and stop small head gasket leaks. it is also a good trick for old radiator necks that just can't quite stop leaking hoses regardless of how tight the clamps are. it will usually do the trick in a 30-minute driving session.

Personally, I've had to use some on most of the vehicles i've owned once mileage got really high, and I coul'nt' stand coolant leaks. again. only use this stuff and in a very small amount.

So:

it will work
use only small amount as i stated above
only use this stuff...I have never seen anything else truly work like this.

Also, go to bar's leaks web site....they have pretty good info.
it is also a GM and chrysler and ford and mercedes part number if you want to spend big buck$ at the dealership.

-nuff said.
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Unread 03-26-2005, 04:50 PM   #3
cmotsvt
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I had a honda accord with 225k miles on it that had the headgasket going out, I got some of the head gasket stuff that you pour into the coolant. Obviously it didnt work and I got to learn how to do a head gasket. After the head gasket was replaced, and the head surfaced the car would overheat in the summer and the heater didnt work. The can of crud I put into it plugged the radiator and heater core.
I figure the headgasket fixer in a can is pretty similar to the radiator repair stuff, it was either a powder or a powder suspended in liquid.
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Unread 03-26-2005, 07:08 PM   #4
CraigAllen
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Join Date: Oct 2004
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My mom's Isuzu diesel took a small rock hit to the lower radiator core- punched a hole in it about 1/8" diameter. I poured a tube of Alumiseal (the silver powder) in and the hole sealed up before the coolant had all leaked out. I was very impressed. That said, however, my son-in-law put some of the same stuff in his mother's Honda Civic and plugged something up inside the head. Ended up warping the head.
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Unread 03-28-2005, 07:39 AM   #5
bryes
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Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by BrunoS
i'm the guy that responded to the previous request for help with your info in question.

anyways:

Stop leak....of the "Bar's Leaks" variety....is ground walnut shells. this is the ONLY stuff i have ever used or recommend---BUT with some notes of me being a former wrench-head mechanic:

1) The only one to use is "Bar's Leaks" in the small, tiny 4-oz bottle of liquid.
2) Shake very well immediately before pouring.
3) ONLY use 1 tablespoon...borrow wife's measuring spoon set or rip it off from the kitchen drawer.
4) ONLY pour in a nicely warm and idling engine.
5) Only pour in radiator...the overflow bottle ain't the right area.
6) USE ONLY for stopping very small leaks, like a weeping seal or wet area around metal surfaces that are just a little wet from leaking coolant....small dribbles out of radiator are also good candidates. run engine/drive for at least 20-30 minutes after pouring in.
7) This is the only stuff that is non-toxic.
8) it is used by GM, Chrysler, Mercedes, and a host of other builders on their assembly line to cure piss-poor gasket misalignments....can't have leaks when leaving the line or being sold to customers.....
9) It will stop a head gasket that is leaking...and help you keep happy motoring until you need something else major done.
10) NEVER NEVER use anything else but the above, and only 1 tablespoon!!! Yes, pour enough of it in and you will proabably clog something...

here's how it works:

when wet/in liquid, it is very small and disperses in coolant. when it hits a spot that is leaking....it will dry, and swell about 15% in volume. it will dry nice and hard, providing an excellent seal. in the head gasket area, it will carbon up and stop small head gasket leaks. it is also a good trick for old radiator necks that just can't quite stop leaking hoses regardless of how tight the clamps are. it will usually do the trick in a 30-minute driving session.

Personally, I've had to use some on most of the vehicles i've owned once mileage got really high, and I coul'nt' stand coolant leaks. again. only use this stuff and in a very small amount.

So:

it will work
use only small amount as i stated above
only use this stuff...I have never seen anything else truly work like this.

Also, go to bar's leaks web site....they have pretty good info.
it is also a GM and chrysler and ford and mercedes part number if you want to spend big buck$ at the dealership.

-nuff said.
Thank you that was very helpful.
__________________
'89 xj
stock
4.0l
white-wall 235-75-r15's (my wife chose them)
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Unread 03-28-2005, 09:24 AM   #6
canadianmudinus
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Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Currently In: MOBILE, AL
Posts: 135
i saw on the show myth busters where they tried to kill a Caddy V8.. they punched a hole in the rad and sealed it 100% by cracking an egg into the rad cap... Obviously an emergency only fix i would think but hey.... eggs are cheap
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Unread 03-29-2005, 12:18 AM   #7
Xtreme 96 XJ
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I thought Bars-Leak was ginger root & water soluble oil...... I've used it twice, once in a F-250 with a weeping water pump and this past summer on a trip in the XJ with the same problem. My dad always carried a large can of black peper.....he had to use it once when he and a antalope had an encounter up in Wyoming.

Curt (Xtreme 96 XJ)
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