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Old 12-10-2016, 06:09 PM
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Default Any Weldors of Plastic Out There?

I recently posted about the need for gasket sealer placed on gaskets before installation. I also mentioned that I thought the radiator in my Jeep Cherokee Sport 4.0 was shot because I thought it was leaking where the plastic pan is crimped onto the aluminum.

Yesterday I discovered that the plastic tank on the upper passenger side was leaking due to having a crack in it right where the radiator hose outlet meets the tank.

Just out of curiosity I would like to play around with it to see if I can weld this type of plastic............or any plastic for that matter.

If there is anyone on this site who could explain how to weld the type of plastic that radiator tanks are made from, with the least possible investment in tools/supplies, I would appreciate any information you could provide.

The internet is full of people who say to JB Weld it, and others state that the plastic will not bond to JB Weld or any other types of epoxy for very long if at all.

I figure that I have nothing to loose since I put a new radiator in the Jeep, and who knows, I just may learn something..............thanks.
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Old 12-10-2016, 06:23 PM
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HDPE tank? Try a solder gun, milk jug filler if you need.
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Old 12-10-2016, 06:37 PM
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No help here, I bought a plastic welder 15 years ago and never tried it out.
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Old 12-10-2016, 07:04 PM
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Don't know what your rad is made of, but you might have a look at the plastic rod package at HF to see if any of the assortment matches your rad.

Your Jeep dealer should be able to tell you what plastic the rad is made of... they, probably, weld them, too.

I've had success, welding up cracks and holes in polyethylene kayaks with a soldering gun/iron for heat.

A primer on how to repair a plastic radiator can be found, here.

Last edited by Gadgeteer; 12-10-2016 at 07:14 PM.
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Old 12-10-2016, 10:29 PM
Lew Hartswick Lew Hartswick is offline
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I bought one of the HF "plastic welders" and didn't have much success with it. The big problem was keeping the heat in only the desired places. It seems that blowing hot air is not anywhere as easily to control as the flame of a oxy/acetylene torch. Then there is the question of just what "plastic" any particular object is made from. :-)
...lew...
OH! by the way if you're working with ABS or PVC or the like a good solution is methylene chloride to just dissolve the adjoining edges (and maybe add a bit of filler) .
..lew..
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Old 12-10-2016, 10:47 PM
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Gadget's second link looks promising although I've never tried it. In this day and age of $50 plastic tank radiators, it is not economically feasible to "try" something like epoxy or plastic welding when popping a new radiator in will provide potentially better results.

I have an HF plastic welder I pulled from a dumpster and fixed. The air hose needed a clamp--otherwise it was brand new. It heats up but I haven't had a chance to try it out. It sounds like Lew has described operation thereof adequately.

I have had very good luck with epoxy on plastic over the years. I like the black/white makes grey flavor. Preparation and cleanliness are key. I think the reason epoxy doesn't work for people is because they don't adhere to the 2 steps above. The surface being epoxied needs to be "roughed up" to provide something for the epoxy to grab onto. Then it needs to be clean and dry before epoxy is mixed and applied. I've been using 5min JB Weld lately with good results but you need to move fast!
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Old 12-10-2016, 10:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pat View Post
Yesterday I discovered that the plastic tank on the upper passenger side was leaking due to having a crack in it right where the radiator hose outlet meets the tank.
I would be willing to bet green money that the crack was the result of some gorilla trying to get the hose off. I have an old "cotter pin puller" L-hook tool with a screwdriver-style handle I use to "delicately" separate the hose from the neck. This could be a difficult area to epoxy due to the stress of the hose being attached and engine movement, etc.

Don't be afraid of applying a second coat of epoxy--follow directions on the package... And remember to prepare and clean the surface every time!
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Old 12-11-2016, 01:31 AM
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Gday Pat,

I have done a bit of plastic welding.

The trick is to use the properly designed gun for plastic.
I don't know if the same gun is available in the US, but what we used was a Leister. The home handyman type might work if a suitable nozzle could be cobbled up.

https://www.leister.com/en-mn/plastic-welding
scroll down to Triac

Think of a paint stripper on steriods - not super hot but a bloody lot of of heated air.

The term welding is really a misnomer as the process is one of basically fusion. That is fusing the rod into the softened parent material.

The purpose built torch is built to guide the heated air at the right temperature to the specific spot required to gain the best performance .

Its a process of pushing the filler rod at precisely that needed rate into the the plastic softened by the heated airstream.

To be honest if the repair surface not a flat straight surface I believe it may be very difficult indeed as it hard enough to do all the above in ideal conditions.

P.S. Just found this don't know if its any good or not- not seen in Oz as yet.

https://www.polyvance.com/radiator.php

Cheers Ozwelder
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Last edited by OZWELDER; 12-11-2016 at 01:36 AM. Reason: new info
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Old 12-11-2016, 03:25 AM
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Seeing Ozwelder last link I guess it can be done.

Plastics that i have tried I found out the filler material may be the biggest issue

I did not have a lot of luck with the HF plastic rods, I suggest go to a junk yard and snip up some broken radiators for filler material you will need quite a bit more than you think, bring back a cover and practice on that will be best.

as to a soldering iron something with a 3/16 -1/4" wide tip, the plastic will need to be melted a bit more than a paste and mixed in with the filler, the base must be melted or it will not hold.
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Old 12-11-2016, 03:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OZWELDER View Post
Gday Pat,

I have done a bit of plastic welding.

The trick is to use the properly designed gun for plastic.
I don't know if the same gun is available in the US, but what we used was a Leister. The home handyman type might work if a suitable nozzle could be cobbled up.

https://www.leister.com/en-mn/plastic-welding
scroll down to Triac

Think of a paint stripper on steriods - not super hot but a bloody lot of of heated air.

The term welding is really a misnomer as the process is one of basically fusion. That is fusing the rod into the softened parent material.

The purpose built torch is built to guide the heated air at the right temperature to the specific spot required to gain the best performance .

Its a process of pushing the filler rod at precisely that needed rate into the the plastic softened by the heated airstream.

To be honest if the repair surface not a flat straight surface I believe it may be very difficult indeed as it hard enough to do all the above in ideal conditions.

P.S. Just found this don't know if its any good or not- not seen in Oz as yet.

https://www.polyvance.com/radiator.php

Cheers Ozwelder
Gday, Oz,

You might want to reconsider your statement about "welding" of plastic being a misnomer. When metal or plastic is altered by heat, and brought to the liquid state, allowing molecules to co-mingle, fusion occurs. This is exactly what occurs during the welding process... perhaps this is why it's called fusion welding. I don't think one can separate fusion from welding... but, I may be wrong. (Happy to hear of any alternate explanations.)
Cheers. Gadgeteer

Last edited by Gadgeteer; 12-11-2016 at 03:40 AM.
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