Brass nut onto original radiator - Alfa Romeo Bulletin Board & Forums
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 08-04-2016, 02:03 PM Thread Starter
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Brass nut onto original radiator

Hey there

I didn't really know where to put this question, so sorry if it should be somewhere else.

As the regular radiator isn't all that bad thermally so I said to myself i resist to temptation of the alu radiators that are out there.
Anyway as the normal radiator unfortunately lacks a drain of some sort and because I'd like to fit a temp sender to switch a fan.

Long story short, is it possible to just solder a nut onto the copper radiator? Or does one need to weld it to really hold up?

Google wouldn't really reveal anything about this, seems like most radiators from other manufacturers already had it built-in.

Thanks a lot!
Alessandro

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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 08-04-2016, 03:22 PM
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is it possible to just solder a nut onto the copper radiator? Or does one need to weld it to really hold up?
Yes, soldering will work fine. No need to weld (not even sure how you would weld brass - braze perhaps). I have added electric fan temperature sensors to my Alfa radiators by soldering on the fittings.

Jay Mackro
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 08-04-2016, 03:55 PM
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I've soldered a brass fitting on for just this purpose (temp sender) to the expansion tank in my 1966 Thunderbird. That was in 1992 and it's still on there although my cousin has the car now. I used a mapp gas torch when I did it and I was always careful not to twist off the fitting when installing or removing the sender unit because I figured the solder wasn't that strong. I wanted to braze it on there but at the time I didn't have an oxy-acetylene torch. By the time I had one, I had sold the car.

Steve
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 08-05-2016, 12:24 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks guys!

Yeah, actually I meant brazing. Easy to mix up when one read a lot about Mig Brazing vs Mig Welding. ;-)
@Alfajay where did you drill the hole?

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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 08-05-2016, 07:19 AM
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@Alfajay where did you drill the hole?
In the left side of the lower tank, at the front, on the opposite side as the drain valve (this is on early 105 radiators).

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I was always careful not to twist off the fitting when installing or removing the sender unit because I figured the solder wasn't that strong.
Yes, this is a good point. The threaded fitting that came with my temperature sensors has an external hex where you can put a wrench. I use that to brace the fitting while I loosen/tighten the sensor. Not only is the solder not that strong - the thin brass of the tank might deform even if the fitting was brazed in place.

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actually I meant brazing
Speaking of brazing, one other benefit of simply using soft solder: You don't need to heat up the radiator brass very much (as you would with brazing). If you have a good, leak-free radiator, the last thing you want to do is get the tank hot enough to cause the solder to flow. I pre-tin my fitting, pre-tin the edges of the new hole, insert the fitting, and just heat the joint enough to re-flow that solder.
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Jay Mackro
San Juan Capistrano, CA

'65 Guilia Sprint GT
'67 Duetto
'91 164L

Last edited by Alfajay; 08-05-2016 at 07:25 AM.
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