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Sounds like it’s time to grit your teeth and replace the radiator. I would bet your threads are boogered up. Brass or aluminum is soft. It’s easy to torque through them by hand. I know from expience, not to mention cross threading. I’ve killed soft metal threads with a tap too. Honestly, I seem to remember my drain plug having a stop. I know I’ve never completely unscrewed it.

If you’re really bent on keeping the wounded radiator, I would remove it to dry that damaged area and I would JBweld it. I have done that on a Griffin radiator transmission cooler fitting.

Personally, I would swap the radiator.
 

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With that many miles on your ride you should consider just replacing the radiator. You can save the coolant and reuse it. The idea of diddling with a radiator to stop a leak is not something I would do to mine. Last thing I want is a failure on a trail knowing that I had a problem before starting.
 

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Discussion Starter #23
Plastic radiator and drain plug

It is plastic upper and lower tanks and the plug is plastic. The drain tube is about an inch or so long and is part of the plastic tank/drain. There were no threads in the tube and it is a little bit tapered. I ran the 5/16 tap up into the tube - it started cutting threads about 1/2" or so into it and cut about 1/2" estimated. There are just enough threads to run the bolt into the drain tube by hand and finger tighten. My thought was that it is a slow drip with no pressure on it so with the Teflon thread sealer and hand tightened it might stop the drip.

I crawled under it a little bit ago and it had dripped enough to see on the cardboard. I screwed my old face up closer and could see with my old eyes that I had not clocked it as good as I could of - so I turned it one way to get a flow and then back to a good solid horizontal 90 Degrees and then blew it off with air to dry it up. It looked like it stopped seeping . Only time will tell so I'll look at it later today and then Run up to operating temp - may even put a piece of cardboard in front of the rad to get it good and Hot to see if the pressure makes any difference.

I suspect it night be a newer radiator since it is so clean inside - nothing like what a well used one would look like. It was used to me so I do not have any idea what has been done to it in the past. I priced a Mopar OEM $280+/-. I did find a couple of jobber type replacement Radiators in the $60-75 range plus shipping. Really don't want to do either of them at this point. I did order a replacement plug so I might bite the bullet and drain it to replace it - too see what happens. Always something.

LBM


Sounds like it’s time to grit your teeth and replace the radiator. I would bet your threads are boogered up. Brass or aluminum is soft. It’s easy to torque through them by hand. I know from expience, not to mention cross threading. I’ve killed soft metal threads with a tap too. Honestly, I seem to remember my drain plug having a stop. I know I’ve never completely unscrewed it.

If you’re really bent on keeping the wounded radiator, I would remove it to dry that damaged area and I would JBweld it. I have done that on a Griffin radiator transmission cooler fitting.

Personally, I would swap the radiator.
 

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If you replace the radiator, use an OEM Mopar - it's worth the money. I tried an offshore replacement and it was crudely made. The advantage of the plastic top and bottom is you won't burn yourself, I tried a Griffin radiator which was all aluminum and had to be super careful not to get burned.
 

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Discussion Starter #25
Leaking radiator

OK - so I got it all fixed and put back together . Replaced the radiator drain valve with a new one from dorman in the bottom/plastic tank. It came with a threaded female section that pushes in after I pried out the old one out. The male section screws in and tightens down. I tightened it down fairly snug - until it acted like it didn't want to go any tighter.. It has a soft flat face that acts as a sort of hole-less "O" ring and seals the fluid in. I filled it with water and let it set for a few Hot days then ran it around until it was up to temp. Still had a little leak and was able to take another 3/4 turn up and it sealed OK. I drained the water out by pulling off the lower radiator hose - I didn't want to chance another leak with the drain plug & it was faster. Filled it up with Orange Oat and good to go!


Appreciate all the input - the cheapie fan clutch tools worked good.
LBM:grin2:
 
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