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Old 28-03-10, 10:47 PM   #1
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Default Radiator drain plugs

I can't find anything about this on any of the threads but the situation is that my 306 XR (1.4l petrol) radiator drain plug is leaking and there is nothing about how to repair it. I don't want to shell for another radiator as that's not the problem - I just lose coolant and i want to repair the plug - can anyone help me?
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Old 29-03-10, 01:10 PM   #2
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I'd be inclined to remove it entirely and seal off the port. OK, you'll have to whip a hose off to change coolant, but it's cheaper than a new or exhchange rad.
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Old 29-03-10, 01:18 PM   #3
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Thanks for that, I was looking at taking it apart and doing some corrections. Blocking it up will be the final option.
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Old 29-03-10, 05:04 PM   #4
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No experience of 306s but is it a plug or a tap? Do check that it *is* the plug, often water will make its way all over the place. Looking at the fins of the rad on the bottom rows (particularly near the corners) is a good indicator - if there's a leak around there, they tend to simply crumble when pressed lightly. Second, there's often a neoprene / rubber / fibre washer on the tap - replacing this often works.

If it's a tap, when you do the job, obviously do it with the engine stone cold and the rad cap on. Have a friend shove his thumb (or something similar(!)) over the hole as soon as the tap is screwed out.

If it's a plug, go to a plumbers' merchant and see if they have any leak-stopper that will withstand the heat and pressure. Ages ago, I used some stuff on a domestic hot water pipe and it's still good.

If it's a plug and the leak's only slight, there's stuff called Radweld. Pour it in the radiator; it remains liquid whilst in water, then, when it reaches the air via a leak, it solidifies.

Or are you looking for the means of taking out the rad?
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Old 29-03-10, 09:10 PM   #5
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Thanks PureJoe. The thing is a tap/plug if you get what I mean. I have tried to attach some pictures but the size of them is too large (>97.7 kb). It is a drain plug at the bottom right hand side of the radiator when looking ito the engine from the front. Problem is that it is a swivelling plug, in it will swivel to open like a tap but will not screw out like one. I can't wrap PTFE tape around it very well to seal it, but I shall try again to see if I can do a better job in better light. The swivel plug is definitely the source of the leak it largely stops when I begin to drain the coolant system (the coolant streams out of the intended drain nozzle) but it will continue/increase dripping when I close it. I basically need something to seal the plug as I close it (hence the PTFE) but I shall try to get some leakstopper as you did for your hot water pipe - do you have any idea what it was called?

I've heard of radweld but I can see where the problem is and it would seem to be something that shouldn't require it. I'm trying not to take the radiator out as it isn't that old and it functions fine. The plug only started dripping when I opened it to drain out some excess coolant. Thanks again for the help.
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Old 30-03-10, 12:39 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cardboard
Thanks PureJoe. [...] I don't think PTFE is going to work, as you found out.
Quote:
I shall try to get some leakstopper as you did for your hot water pipe - do you have any idea what it was called?
Sorry, my mind is old, my eyes are dim and my legs are grey.

[quoteI've heard of radweld but I can see where the problem is and it would seem to be something that shouldn't require it.
True, but it does now!
Quote:
The plug only started dripping when I opened it to drain out some excess coolant. Thanks again for the help.
Sounds like when you opened it, a seal was damaged. Usually caused by the neoprene rotting. Here a pic: is that the drain tap?
Attached Thumbnails
rad.jpg  
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Old 30-03-10, 10:19 AM   #7
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Purejoe,

Youíre right about the plug in the diagram Ė it is the one on the bottom right with the endclip, the presence of which indicates that it isnít a pull out, clean, repair, replace O ring and reinsert. I am considering using a silicone sealant like Fernox LS-X external sealant but try not to damage the plug if I can, sealing it off externally where I can. When it drips, the coolant isnít too hot so the sealant should last. I would use bathroom silicone sealant if the LS-X sealant degrades the plastic (I will test on a small section prior to proper application). Any other advice before I balls it up? Thanks again.
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Old 30-03-10, 12:38 PM   #8
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Not really. You are unlikely to do any real damage using fernox exterior. My only thought is about the pressure in the system - it's not particularly high, but it is a consideration. It should be OK though as long as you're not about to embark on a trip across the Sahara.

The only other suggestions are, as I said, Radweld or Bar's Leaks or ebay. I bought a refurb radiator for my son's 106 from ebay - it cost £28 inc. p&p and was an excellent piece of kit.

Good luck!
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Old 30-03-10, 01:48 PM   #9
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Thanks for your help again.
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