Radiator Leaking 57 pickup

Bill Kuran

Precision Fit
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720
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Potomac, MD
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Bill
Willys Model
Wagon
Willys Year:
1960
#21
The short answer is that the original cooling system was designed for 7lbs. At 15lbs you’ More than doubling the pressure in the system. You can cause gasket leaks, etc. when I switched to my champion radiator, I was using the 15lb cap, and it wasn’t cooling right and was always hissing after a drive. I switched to the 7lb cap and everything was good.
You are right about the 7 lb cap and brings up an issue I have with the 1961 service manual to which I refer.

On page 118, paragraph H-4, it says: "Early production vehicles were equipped with 7 lb. pressure caps; later vehicles with 9 lb. [0,63 kg-cm 2] caps. Current production Model L6-226 4WD and 4x4 vehicles are equipped with 13 lb. pressure caps; all others with the 9 lb. caps." That's fine except it doesn't make clear what years or serial numbers are included in the categories of "early production," "later production," and "current production."

Since my wagon is a 1960 I'll assume it's not "current production" and is part of "later production," and should be equipped with a 9 lb. cap.

However, I'm using a 16 lb. cap. When the original radiator and heater cores were re-cored, they were pressure tested to 30 psi so I'm not concerned about them failing, nor am I concerned about coolant system hoses, gaskets, etc. The 7 lb. increase in system pressure, with a 33% ethylene glycol mix, increases the boiling point to about 260°F (about 15 degrees more that at 9 lb.) For me, the biggest benefit of a higher boiling point is the prevention of localize boiling at hot spots around the combustion chambers. The lower anti-freeze concentration (from the usual recommend 50:50) is better heat transfer.

If under max power (not there yet) the coolant was to suddenly boil around the combustion chamber, detonation (and engine death) would be he likely outcome.

It would be interesting to know what made your engine "hiss" with the 15 lb. cap. When you say "wasn't cooling right", do you mean overheating?

Service Manual - H-4 Radiator Pressure Cap, Pg 118.jpg
 

Ckelley254

Bigger Hammer
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Mar 23, 2016
Messages
134
Location
Greeley, Colorado
First Name
Chris
Willys Model
Wagon
Willys Year:
1955
#22
You are right about the 7 lb cap and brings up an issue I have with the 1961 service manual to which I refer.

On page 118, paragraph H-4, it says: "Early production vehicles were equipped with 7 lb. pressure caps; later vehicles with 9 lb. [0,63 kg-cm 2] caps. Current production Model L6-226 4WD and 4x4 vehicles are equipped with 13 lb. pressure caps; all others with the 9 lb. caps." That's fine except it doesn't make clear what years or serial numbers are included in the categories of "early production," "later production," and "current production."

Since my wagon is a 1960 I'll assume it's not "current production" and is part of "later production," and should be equipped with a 9 lb. cap.

However, I'm using a 16 lb. cap. When the original radiator and heater cores were re-cored, they were pressure tested to 30 psi so I'm not concerned about them failing, nor am I concerned about coolant system hoses, gaskets, etc. The 7 lb. increase in system pressure, with a 33% ethylene glycol mix, increases the boiling point to about 260°F (about 15 degrees more that at 9 lb.) For me, the biggest benefit of a higher boiling point is the prevention of localize boiling at hot spots around the combustion chambers. The lower anti-freeze concentration (from the usual recommend 50:50) is better heat transfer.

If under max power (not there yet) the coolant was to suddenly boil around the combustion chamber, detonation (and engine death) would be he likely outcome.

It would be interesting to know what made your engine "hiss" with the 15 lb. cap. When you say "wasn't cooling right", do you mean overheating?

View attachment 58656
When the 15lb cap was used, the engine did run hot, and was on the brink of overheating. At the time of using the 15lb cap I was just driving short 1-2 mile trips to pickup my children from school. It was in April or May, and was nice springtime weather, but not 90 degrees out. When I got to the school parking lot you could hear the “hissing” sound. I switched to the 7lb cap and it stopped. Greeley is about 4500 feet above sea level, not sure if that would play a part in it or not???

As far as the increase in pressure, I’m aware of the benefits of running a higher psi cap.
 

Lookout Ranch

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Sierra Foothills
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Carter
Willys Model
Wagon
Willys Year:
1957
#23
Was getting the wagon ready for a little drive and found the radiator with no visible coolant. This has never happened before, so I suspected something was wrong. Sure enough, when I started adding coolant, I could see a leak. (See picture, the pliers are pointing to the spot where it is leaking, at the base of the solid top, just above the fins.)

Question: is this something that can be properly fixed and be reliable for a long time, or is it just going to start disintegrating?

Repair or replace?

Thanks

70A0DEA0-00E8-4E31-B546-8D5263C55C1F.jpeg
 
Joined
Mar 17, 2019
Messages
46
Location
Central New Mexico
First Name
Jeff
Willys Model
Pickup
Willys Year:
1957
#25
Was getting the wagon ready for a little drive and found the radiator with no visible coolant. This has never happened before, so I suspected something was wrong. Sure enough, when I started adding coolant, I could see a leak. (See picture, the pliers are pointing to the spot where it is leaking, at the base of the solid top, just above the fins.)

Question: is this something that can be properly fixed and be reliable for a long time, or is it just going to start disintegrating?

Repair or replace?

Thanks
I dunno. If you aren't hung up on total authenticity, the Champion aluminum replacement was a good value, and an easy replacement.
 

54 wagon ken

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Gilroy ,Ca
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Ken
Willys Model
Wagon
Willys Year:
1954
#27
I got a quote on re-coring these radiators — $417 apiece. Not sure which route to take at this point.
Carter, have you checked the replacement radiators for the 6-226 from Walck’s ? Price is over 500 ... says they are copper core and made in USA . Curious how the fit and quality is . Anybody gone that route?
 

54 wagon ken

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Ken
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Willys Year:
1954
#29
Ken, did you have to reconfigure the grill supports?
I haven’t purchased one yet . I have a small weep hole at the bottom of mine and have been contemplating whether to repair or replace it . The Walck’s one looks like it’s an original replacement ,
43509453-97D1-4391-82AD-91E3C49F6155.png 2ECC5A97-D220-4847-BD23-68B83DB7B84B.png 5A931D59-DB13-4B5E-B205-58469A60FC74.png
 

Lookout Ranch

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#30
I dunno. If you aren't hung up on total authenticity, the Champion aluminum replacement was a good value, and an easy replacement.
It looks like a good product but it irks me that the grill braces have to be reconfigured and the outlet goes off in the wrong direction. If they’re going to go to the trouble to make a product for a specific application, why would they not design it to fit correctly?
 
Joined
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Jeff
Willys Model
Pickup
Willys Year:
1957
#31
It looks like a good product but it irks me that the grill braces have to be reconfigured and the outlet goes off in the wrong direction. If they’re going to go to the trouble to make a product for a specific application, why would they not design it to fit correctly?
On my 57, the braces appear to be correct. There were two extra braces and the radiator was larger. This one fit precisely to the grill frame. As for the outlet being angled, yes it is a PITA, but a flex hose fixed the issue (although as you see in the pic, I have a too long one). For $250 with shipping I am fine with it.
 

Bill Kuran

Precision Fit
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Potomac, MD
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Bill
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Willys Year:
1960
#32
I haven’t purchased one yet . I have a small weep hole at the bottom of mine and have been contemplating whether to repair or replace it . The Walck’s one looks like it’s an original replacement ,
My 1960 original radiator, PN 9119558, is shaped differently than the one from Walck's. The top tank is more rounded on the ends and the bottom tank has radiused edges rather than square.

The Walck"s replacement may fit and work but eventually there will be no such thing as an original or original looking Willys if we continue to accept using parts that are only "close enough." As Carter said "If they’re going to go to the trouble to make a product for a specific application, why would they not design it to fit correctly?"

My wagon is modified but try to keep as many parts as original as possible. At least when I modify something it's my decision - I would be hard pressed to pay someone for a part that is advertised as original but is not.

Radiator Top Tank.jpg Radiator Part Number.jpg
 

Lookout Ranch

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1957
#33
This has been an interesting exercise — it’s given me the chance to learn a bit about radiators, of which I knew nothing.

For example, my current leaking radiator was re-cored at least once before, using a staggered 3-row core with straight horizontal fins in a style commonly used on on tractors, because it’s strong, not because it’s most efficient at cooling.

There seems to be a debate about what is the most efficient core style: is two rows with channels 1” or 1.25” wide more efficient than three or four rows with channels less wide? At least one radiator manufacturer argues for fewer, wider rows.

Also, copper is apparently a better conductor of heat than aluminum, but the solder used to attach the fins to the core channels slows the rate of heat transfer, significantly reducing the advantages of copper.

Anyway, I gave the shop the go-ahead to re-core the radiator from my wagon. I’ll wait on the other, original radiator.
 

54 wagon ken

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Gilroy ,Ca
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1954
#34
My 1960 original radiator, PN 9119558, is shaped differently than the one from Walck's. The top tank is more rounded on the ends and the bottom tank has radiused edges rather than square.

The Walck"s replacement may fit and work but eventually there will be no such thing as an original or original looking Willys if we continue to accept using parts that are only "close enough." As Carter said "If they’re going to go to the trouble to make a product for a specific application, why would they not design it to fit correctly?"

My wagon is modified but try to keep as many parts as original as possible. At least when I modify something it's my decision - I would be hard pressed to pay someone for a part that is advertised as original but is not.

View attachment 58921 View attachment 58920
Bill,
I probably shouldn’t have said “ looks like an original replacement “ o_O Walck’s advertisement said fits pick up truck , station wagon models. Mounts like the original... I was just throwing it out there as another option . I was wondering if any forum members had purchased one and were they happy . Im probably going to try to repair mine first and cross my fingers that it lasts . It would be nice to have an exact replacement as an option but I’m afraid to think what that would cost .
 
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