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Offline rpr101

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Radiator Bleed Screw Sealing - Advice please
« on: 11 July, 2019, 04:53:04 PM »
Hi,

A few months back I was 95% successful in doing a coolant flush. The 5% fail was a rookie error in over tightening the top bleed screw back into the radiator. It didn't take much but I stripped the thread. I thought I'd resolved it by putting a couple of small copper sealing washers onto the bleed screw and easing it tight.

No doubt due to the hotter weather, it's become obvious that the radiator is not sealed at the bleed screw. I've noticed a few splashes of white back along the RHS of the engine and on close inspection I can see that a small amount of coolant is leaking out of the bleed screw hole. It's not loosing enough coolant to be noticeable at the indicator marks on the expansion tank but I want to sort it out.

I'm not going to be taking it all off again and trying to re-tap the hole to accept a bigger screw, nor do I think helicoils are a good idea in the soft aluminium radiator.

A mate has suggested loctite'ing the screw into the hole. I understand that there are different colours and applications of loctite and even a tape version. I don't want to put it in so permanently that it rips out and cause further damage when I need to take it out for another flush.

Has anyone got any suggestions of a quick an easy fix or experience of a similar issue?

Thanks in advance


Offline ZuluTiger

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Re: Radiator Bleed Screw Sealing - Advice please
« Reply #1 on: 11 July, 2019, 05:25:49 PM »
Here is my quick and nasty take on this. The radiator develops significant pressure and undergoes similar expansion and contraction. The bleed screw is subject to all of that plus a tightening torque. If the threads are stripped, you are beyond Loctite being of use. You've already mentioned the correct fixes: New threads and a larger screw or a helicoil (which will enhance the thread's ability to accept a screw without stripping in the future). If you have a buddy with a lathe, you could have him turn you a stopper with a threaded shank to fit your stripped thread and a collar with a new female thread. Then epoxy this new device into the radiator with the original (or new) bleed screw... 

Offline Paul2bikes

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Re: Radiator Bleed Screw Sealing - Advice please
« Reply #2 on: 11 July, 2019, 07:03:03 PM »
Needs a proper fix, not a bodge. I'd tap it M7 & be done. Can it not be done in situ?
The greatest deception men suffer is from their own opinions.
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Offline TCC

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Re: Radiator Bleed Screw Sealing - Advice please
« Reply #3 on: 12 July, 2019, 12:44:59 AM »
 :0461:

Offline Yellow Dog

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Re: Radiator Bleed Screw Sealing - Advice please
« Reply #4 on: 12 July, 2019, 08:43:36 AM »
I have always found that the Loctite solution, only works well, if the thread is a only partially stripped. If the screw turns, then it is  :172:.

I agree with the high pressure comment and would also recommend a re-tap  :169:
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Offline Ukwes

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Re: Radiator Bleed Screw Sealing - Advice please
« Reply #5 on: 12 July, 2019, 10:40:13 AM »
I would recommend a good permanent fix as outlined before.

Else if you want to try the bodge route maybe "liquid metal" like Permatex may work better than loctite
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Offline ZuluTiger

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Re: Radiator Bleed Screw Sealing - Advice please
« Reply #6 on: 12 July, 2019, 02:32:50 PM »
Don't bodge it. Take the time to re-tap as advised, even if it means draining it again. In the long term, it'll be the quickest, best fix.

Offline rpr101

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Re: Radiator Bleed Screw Sealing - Advice please
« Reply #7 on: 29 July, 2019, 11:01:14 AM »
So I followed your advice and avoided the bodge job.

I now have a shiny new M7 stainless steel drain plug, nicely seated in a freshly tapped radiator. There's no sign of leaking coolant after 90 minutes of use.

I got a mate with a workshop to help me out and do the drill and tap as he's experienced in motorcycle rebuilds.

TBH I'll have the confidence to do it myself next time if anything else loses it's thread.

The main lesson learnt is to not rely on a cheap torque wrench..

Thanks for helping me to see the sense in doing it properly

Offline ZuluTiger

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Re: Radiator Bleed Screw Sealing - Advice please
« Reply #8 on: 29 July, 2019, 11:47:11 AM »
 :490: :046:

Offline Paul2bikes

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Re: Radiator Bleed Screw Sealing - Advice please
« Reply #9 on: 29 July, 2019, 12:07:29 PM »
Thanks for the feed back, that helps others.
The greatest deception men suffer is from their own opinions.
Leonardo da Vinci