Mercedes-Benz Forum banner

1 - 20 of 43 Posts

·
Premium Member
1976 450SL
Joined
·
610 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Just over 500 miles on my '76 450SL after completing the restoration. Perfect weather here today, so used it to commute today - beautiful drive with no problems.

Came out the garage an hour after I got home to find a small pool of antifreeze on the garage floor. Checked under the car to find the lower radiator seam was weeping. The radiator was a brand new Hella Service 376753541. It was bought in 2019 (while I was building the car), so I'm sure no recourse on warranty :(

(rant over)
 

·
Outstanding Contributor , Bob's Your Uncle!
83 280 SL- 5 speed-The PIG
Joined
·
30,804 Posts
That is frustrating. You did everything by the book and got fucked by a poor part.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
835 Posts
Just over 500 miles on my '76 450SL after completing the restoration. Perfect weather here today, so used it to commute today - beautiful drive with no problems.

Came out the garage an hour after I got home to find a small pool of antifreeze on the garage floor. Checked under the car to find the lower radiator seam was weeping. The radiator was a brand new Hella Service 376753541. It was bought in 2019 (while I was building the car), so I'm sure no recourse on warranty :(

(rant over)
temporarily , add 2 tube of bars leak , the thin brown powder , this will get you about 2 years of driving .mix it first in hot water .been using this stuff for decades , and it does not plug anything but the leak . so no bad comments for people who have never used it .when i used to rebuild engines that had water plates , like antiques or 6 cyl like 280 sl , always used it . if you did not those plate would seep at time .
 

·
Outstanding Contributor , Bob's Your Uncle!
83 280 SL- 5 speed-The PIG
Joined
·
30,804 Posts
Need stiches for that knife wound?

Put a Band-Aid on it!
 

·
Premium Member
1979 450SL
Joined
·
336 Posts
Sorry to hear! Very frustrating! The exact same thing happened to me with a new Behr radiator in my '79.... In my case it was just a pin-hole leak, and it seems to have sealed itself for now, but I know it's there.... :(
 

·
Registered
'79 450SL, '04 CLK200 convertible; former A124, W210, A209.
Joined
·
2,781 Posts
That's a massive PIA, I feel the pain across the pond brother! Hopefully you can get it recored.
 

·
Outstanding Contributor , Bob's Your Uncle!
83 280 SL- 5 speed-The PIG
Joined
·
30,804 Posts
Just over 500 miles on my '76 450SL after completing the restoration. Perfect weather here today, so used it to commute today - beautiful drive with no problems.

Came out the garage an hour after I got home to find a small pool of antifreeze on the garage floor. Checked under the car to find the lower radiator seam was weeping. The radiator was a brand new Hella Service 376753541. It was bought in 2019 (while I was building the car), so I'm sure no recourse on warranty :(

(rant over)
Metal tanks on the 450SL?
 

·
Premium Member
'72 350SL, '85 300D, '98 E320, '19 Subaru Outback (sold '14 GLK250)
Joined
·
11,574 Posts
Metal tanks on the 450SL?
The tanks on my 72 are metal for sure. It is an OE, but made by Behr. Hella is Behr or vice-versa these days and the rad in question is metal:


If that seam leak is where my original was leaking, a rad shop should be able to fix it easily. Maybe even in place. I wouldn't try snake medicine.on an almost new rad.
 

·
Premium Member
1976 450SL
Joined
·
610 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
The tanks on my 72 are metal for sure. It is an OE, but made by Behr. Hella is Behr or vice-versa these days and the rad in question is metal:


If that seam leak is where my original was leaking, a rad shop should be able to fix it easily. Maybe even in place. I wouldn't try snake medicine.on an almost new rad.
In the interests of full disclosure - that's my review!!! I was very pleased with the radiator until yesterday...I'll probably be adding an update to the review.

But yes - the radiator does appear to be all metal; the leak is where there is a 'crimped' edge around the lower 'tank'. There is absolutely no sign of physical damage to the radiator.

At this point I'm trying to look on the positive side - at least it was a small leak, at home in the garage. The motor didn't overheat, I didn't get stranded and the coolant dropped straight onto the floor (so the engine bay didn't get messed up)

I think I'll take the radiator to a local repair shop; they had said they were unable to re-core the original (that surprised me - though the core was clearly bad, the construction seemed pretty standard).

-Steve
 
  • Like
Reactions: nobby

·
Registered
Joined
·
835 Posts
In the interests of full disclosure - that's my review!!! I was very pleased with the radiator until yesterday...I'll probably be adding an update to the review.

But yes - the radiator does appear to be all metal; the leak is where there is a 'crimped' edge around the lower 'tank'. There is absolutely no sign of physical damage to the radiator.

At this point I'm trying to look on the positive side - at least it was a small leak, at home in the garage. The motor didn't overheat, I didn't get stranded and the coolant dropped straight onto the floor (so the engine bay didn't get messed up)

I think I'll take the radiator to a local repair shop; they had said they were unable to re-core the original (that surprised me - though the core was clearly bad, the construction seemed pretty standard).

-Steve
it is metal or plastic , no appear to be .the plastic one has crimped upper and lower tanks on aluminum core .the all metal is soldered on . 90 % of radiator shops dont exist , you dont fix plastic radiators .i dont remember on a 76 car , if it was metal or plastic that is about when they went to plastic .i would make sure you dont have a leak at the lower hoses , that would travel on the core edge .all new radiator are pressure tested before packing .usually they dont leak new , but will in a couple of years , cheaply made .been there .
 

·
Premium Member
1976 450SL
Joined
·
610 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
it is metal or plastic , no appear to be .the plastic one has crimped upper and lower tanks on aluminum core .the all metal is soldered on . 90 % of radiator shops dont exist , you dont fix plastic radiators .i dont remember on a 76 car , if it was metal or plastic that is about when they went to plastic .i would make sure you dont have a leak at the lower hoses , that would travel on the core edge .all new radiator are pressure tested before packing .usually they dont leak new , but will in a couple of years , cheaply made .been there .
I've just double checked. The good news is that the radiator is definitely metal - it appears to have brass tanks top/bottom (see where I sanded the paint off).

However, it is definitely leaking - you can see the water coming from the seam on the opposite side of the tank from the lower hose (this photo is taken from the underside of the car). It's still dripping (slightly) even with the car cold - I think the pressure probably opened up the seam. This happened when the car was parked after a run (which is when the pressure usually rises to the max).

It looks to me as if that seam has some kind of resin sealant in it (and is not soldered). Does anyone know if it's possible to solder brass to aluminum? (I'm interested in how this gets repaired, or whether to try it myself).

As Nobby says, I feel pretty screwed here....I bought a new radiator, from a quality vendor and it leaks almost from new....

In the unlikely event it's not repairable, I was looking at the 'Winter' brand all aluminum radiators (welded construction) on ebay - overkill ($$$), but I do want reliability and think that's probably better than a rebuilt old radiator. Anyone tried one?

-Steve

2685155
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
835 Posts
I've just double checked. The good news is that the radiator is definitely metal - it appears to have brass tanks top/bottom (see where I sanded the paint off).

However, it is definitely leaking - you can see the water coming from the seam on the opposite side of the tank from the lower hose (this photo is taken from the underside of the car). It's still dripping (slightly) even with the car cold - I think the pressure probably opened up the seam. This happened when the car was parked after a run (which is when the pressure usually rises to the max).

It looks to me as if that seam has some kind of resin sealant in it (and is not soldered). Does anyone know if it's possible to solder brass to aluminum? (I'm interested in how this gets repaired, or whether to try it myself).

As Nobby says, I feel pretty screwed here....I bought a new radiator, from a quality vendor and it leaks almost from new....

In the unlikely event it's not repairable, I was looking at the 'Winter' brand all aluminum radiators (welded construction) on ebay - overkill ($$$), but I do want reliability and think that's probably better than a rebuilt old radiator. Anyone tried one?

-Steve

View attachment 2685155
The radiator shop should be able to fix that , just re/solder .
 

·
Premium Member
'72 350SL, '85 300D, '98 E320, '19 Subaru Outback (sold '14 GLK250)
Joined
·
11,574 Posts
I've just double checked. The good news is that the radiator is definitely metal - it appears to have brass tanks top/bottom (see where I sanded the paint off).

It looks to me as if that seam has some kind of resin sealant in it (and is not soldered). Does anyone know if it's possible to solder brass to aluminum? (I'm interested in how this gets repaired, or whether to try it myself).
It would surprise me if Behr used aluminum cores in brass tanks. Dissimilar metals are likely to corrode, so why would they do that? I would get a competent rad shop to look at your rad.

It would be great if you could contact Behr or Behr Hella, but they seem to have been absorbed into Mahle. I couldn't find anything useful on these rads on the Mahle site.

One question that might come up, is what type of coolant have you used?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
835 Posts
It would surprise me if Behr used aluminum cores in brass tanks. Dissimilar metals are likely to corrode, so why would they do that? I would get a competent rad shop to look at your rad.

It would be great if you could contact Behr or Behr Hella, but they seem to have been absorbed into Mahle. I couldn't find anything useful on these rads on the Mahle site.

One question that might come up, is what type of coolant have you used?
the coolant used here is not a issue[ MB would be best ] , those non MB genuine radietor are junk .they are paper thin . if they made a plastic one that fit , i would go that way .
 

·
Premium Member
1976 450SL
Joined
·
610 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
It would surprise me if Behr used aluminum cores in brass tanks. Dissimilar metals are likely to corrode, so why would they do that? I would get a competent rad shop to look at your rad.

It would be great if you could contact Behr or Behr Hella, but they seem to have been absorbed into Mahle. I couldn't find anything useful on these rads on the Mahle site.

One question that might come up, is what type of coolant have you used?
The core definitely looks like aluminum (or perhaps it's plated?), and the tank is clearly brass or copper.

The coolant is Zerex G05; I don't think that could cause any issues (?)
 

·
Premium Member
'72 350SL, '85 300D, '98 E320, '19 Subaru Outback (sold '14 GLK250)
Joined
·
11,574 Posts
the coolant used here is not a issue[ MB would be best ] , those non MB genuine radietor are junk .they are paper thin . if they made a plastic one that fit , i would go that way .
The coolant used on our cars IS important. There are more than one types of MB coolant. Many of us use one that is equivalent to one of MBs specs (Zerex G05) Won't get into it further here - it has been discussed many times on this forum, but other types can cause corrosion.

I don't know what you mean by "non MB genuine radietor" ?
The original MB rads were made by Behr and that is what TheFixer bought.
If you are talking about those "winter" all-aluminum rads, you could be right - never heard of them.

When OE is too expensive and BEHR can't be located, some buy Nissens radiators. They apparently have a reputation for being a very affordable, long lasting radiator when OE is just too expensive. But I have no personal experience with them. They have plastic/aluminum as well as all-aluminum, but not sure which ones for our cars.
 

·
Registered
1999 E320, 2000 E320, 2003 E320 Wagon, 2005 C230K SS, 2010 Accord LX w Eibach & Koni FSD's
Joined
·
3,878 Posts
I had great luck with steel epoxy when I was young and poor.
 

·
Registered
560SL,380SL
Joined
·
4,126 Posts
I really believe that a good radiator shop could wick in some flux, silver solder, and repair this to 100% good/don't worry about it for a decade. On a completely unrelated project, I learned the magic of silver solder and acid flux. Acid flux is very bad for electronics, but very good for metalwork. I also find it hard to believe that a quality MFR would used brass AND aluminum together but look at the stupid things that MB did with A/C evaporators in the 90's.
 

·
Premium Member
'72 350SL, '85 300D, '98 E320, '19 Subaru Outback (sold '14 GLK250)
Joined
·
11,574 Posts
look at the stupid things that MB did with A/C evaporators in the 90's.
I wish I could on my W210. But that evap is buried so deep under and behind the dash that there is no getting to it, even just to look ;) IIRC, a $4k job to r&r the evap at dealer. Didn't get done!
 
1 - 20 of 43 Posts
Top