Friday, 7 September 2012

Can we repair this Singer Car Radiator?

A brief history of a recent recore on a Singer motor company radiator.

Very often at Motoradsonline we get contacted to carry out work on classic and vintage radiators. The pictures and description below are typical of the kind service we provide.

 Top left shows the radiator as it arrived with us. First tests showed that the filler neck solder was split and there were a few major leaks in the core. We had to seal these leaks first to get some pressure into the rad and check out the rest of the core. Unfortunately all that this did was to show that the rest of the core had more leaks than it would be possible to repair. This radiator had reached the point, after many years and previous repairs, where it would need to be fully overhauled.
 This gives us several options and decisions for the customer. Do we want a modern equivalent core or do we want one with the pretty fin pattern shown above?  Our speciality is the modern equivalent but the original type core is still available for a customer who wants it. The major stumbling block for this type of job is always price and whilst we wont go into exact costs lets just say that the difference is about £1000. This is down to the fact the core has to be made specially for this job and is very expensive. There is a 'dummy' cover you can get which is 6mm thick and goes over the front of the radiator to give the original fin pattern, this is a much cheaper option at around an extra £150.
 The Radiator was stripped down to its component parts and they were cleaned back to bare metal, any major dents or splits can be repaired at this stage. The new core arrived and you can see that it has straight flat fins and a different water tube configuration, this will work better than the original.
 After several hours of careful soldering and reassembly the radiator was ready for final inspection, testing and spraying.
  Using a modern core will give a very efficient, reliable and economical result which we can do it in a matter of days. This method may not always acceptable to the customer for many reasons, but if you are willing to wait six to eight weeks for the core and pay an extra £1000 then we can arrange that too.

My Morris Minor Radiator is Blocked

Morris Minor Radiator Blockage

This job was like a reminder of the past as its been a while since the last time we worked on a Morris Minor radiator. Many years ago they used to come in as regularly as a Volkswagen Golf radiator might come in today.
 This particular vehicle was over-heating and the customer suspected a blockage in the radiator. A quick inspection and a few tests confirmed that the core was blocked beyond repair and although the radiator itself looked in quite good condition there was no alternative but to fit a new core.
 The radiator was stripped into its component parts and these were then cleaned back to bare metal. As you can see from the picture the water tubes in the old core were pretty well blocked.
 Once the new core arrived all of the parts were soldered back together and after a final inspection and test the radiator was sprayed black to look as good as new.

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

A new lease of life for an Austin Cambridge Radiator

Reconditioning an Austin Cambridge Radiator

Whilst our website has new Austin Mini radiators for general sale to the public, our trade counter still sees plenty of other old Austin radiators in various states of repair.
One of our customers bought this Austin Cambridge radiator in recently saying that it was starting to overheat when the car went over 30mph. The radiator itself looked in pretty good condition compared to a lot that we get to see so we set about doing some tests. There was a minor air leak which would have been easy enough to repair but the flow rate through the radiator was very low. A visual check through the filler and connector pipe confirmed that the radiator was blocked beyond repair as you can see in the picture next to the new core. There was also a lot of loose debris which isn't shown on the picture and that would have made the situation even worse.
The radiator was completely stripped to component parts and these were cleaned back to bare metal for inspection and further repair if necessary. The top tank needed some dents smoothed out and a couple of splits properly repaired but apart from that all of the components were in good condition. The new uprated core arrived and all of the components were soldered back together. The final picture shows the radiator after inspection, testing and spraying.

Thursday, 23 August 2012

American Ford Pick up Radiator recore

Stages for the reconditioning of an American radiator

 Along with the standard Ford radiators we sell online we occasionally get an unusual Ford radiator to recore. This particular one came in recently requiring a little TLC.
 Top left shows the radiator as it arrived looking a little tired and worse for wear. The fins on the rear were beginning to fall apart, the frame was corroded and the internal tubes were blocked. There was no alternative but to fully recondition the radiator so we set to work. The top tank on this radiator was the old fashioned 'bucket header' type which is no longer available to us but a little clever work with the new core solved this problem.
 The top tank was broken down into three pieces, including a top, bottom and central baffle, all of these were fully cleaned back to bare metal. The bottom tank was removed and stripped back to bare metal, as was the frame. All of this was then reassembled onto the new core to be inspected and tested before a final spray.
 The final result can be seen in the bottom picture.

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

So you want a Classic Mini Heater Matrix?

Which Mini Heater matrix would you Buy?

 When we recently uploaded our Classic Mini heater matrix stock to our website we were reminded that there were a lot of different Mini heaters available on the market. A lot of the heaters out there were extremely cheap imported units and our experience with these units tells us that they are also very poor quality. In this case it seems that you do get what you pay for!
 Most of the Mini owners who contact us are enthusiasts who take great care of their pride and joy and want to fit the best possible parts, but judging by the heaters being bought on sites such as EBay this does not appear to always be the case. It may be that the people who buy these heaters don't realise that there can be a big difference in quality between these units and that it may turn out to be a false economy.

 Below is a brief description of the heaters we sell and why we think you should choose them.

 All of these heaters are made in the UK to the highest standards, they are all fully tested and come with a full manufacturer’s warranty. They are all made from top quality copper and brass even though some of the originals are plastic and aluminium. This means that they are considered to be more robust than the plastic technology heaters.

 These heaters were originally designed in conjunction with Mini enthusiasts and Mini Clubs to ensure that the very best results were achieved for fitting, function and strength. The designs have been sold successfully for up to 30 years in some cases and i can’t remember ever getting any returns. I'm pretty sure this can’t be said for the imported heaters.

1964 - 1984

The top two are real classic Mini Heaters and are based on the original heaters with the seam around the top of the tank. We have lost count of the amount of these we have sold over the years and sales have only slowed recently with the introduction of a plastic and aluminium import. Our only concern here is for the customer as they may require another one sooner than expected.
The only difference between the two is the corners that the pipes are mounted and you can find more info in the link above to our website.
 1984 - 1992
The next heater down is based on a plastic and aluminium original with a separate pipe set attached to a diamond shaped flange. This was one of the first heaters we came across which used plastic tank technology. Within a couple of years our manufacturer was being asked to reproduce this heater in the all metal format as the original was not considered robust enough. The pipes on our all metal version are silver soldered directly into the tanks for strength and to avoid any problems with the pipe flange seal. As above we have been supplying this heater for a long time, even against the competition of far east imports which don't reach the quality standard of the substandard original. We have found that the true enthusiast will pay that very small amount extra for a far better product.
1992 onwards
The bottom picture is the last of the Mini heater matrix range, again based on an original that uses plastic tank technology. Like the earlier heater it didn't take long before the manufacturer was asked about a copper and brass version. So as before the pipes were silver soldered directly into the brass tank to avoid the need for separate pipes and rubber seals which have the potential to leak. An extra consideration with the alloy pipes on the original is that they are liable to corrode to the point where you cant seal your rubber hose on, this means that they will need to be replaced. If you buy a poor quality cheap import it will not come with these pipes and you will end up paying another £20 for a set. Unfortunately you probably wont realise this until the heater and car are in bits and you have a useless 'cheap' heater in your hand.
 We do also supply the heater matrix for several other old Mini models so feel free to contact us at:

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Reconditioning a TVR Radiator

Reconditioning a TVR Radiator

Most of the radiators we get in need a little TLC to get them back in to a serviceable condition but some need a little more than others. Unlike the brand new TVR heater matrix which we sell online, the radiator below had certainly seen better days.
When this TVR radiator arrived it was quite literally falling apart. The core used to re-core it before was sub-standard and falling to pieces. The top picture shows the side plates hanging off and the one plate is so corroded that it needed to be made from scratch in our workshop. One tank had a big hole in it covered with filler as shown in the pictures and both tanks had several large splits and dents. The whole of the radiator was covered in an a thick layer of dried 'underseal' type paint which would need to be removed.
All of the parts were removed and stripped back to bare metal for inspection before deciding a plan of action. The tank with the hole was patched internally with silver solder whilst the outside was lead loaded for a better appearance. All dents were knocked out where possible and a few splits were fixed. The one side plate was still solid and could be re-used but the other was beyond repair (you can see the new side plate in one of the pictures).
When the new core arrived you could see that it was going to be more efficient than the old one ever was. When you see the picture of the end of the core you wonder how the radiator worked at all towards the end of its life, half of its tubes are visibly blocked.
During re-assembly we fitted a 22mm boss for a temperature sender, then inspected and tested the radiator prior to painting.

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Maserati radiator recore

Maserati 3200 Radiator Recore

 As well as selling your everyday Astra or BMW radiator Motoradsonline are more than capable of fully reconditioning some pretty unusual radiators.

The pictures above show a breakdown of the work involved in reconditioning a two part radiator for a Maserati 3200.

The top two pictures show the radiator as it arrived with plenty of corrosion and missing fins. This was stripped down into its component parts including tanks, connectors, side plates and frame parts.

All of these parts are shot blasted back to bare metal before the re-assembly process can begin.

Once the new cores arrive the clean tanks are soldered on for the first of three pressure tests. After passing this test the two radiators are joined by rubber hose at the three connectors in the bottom tank to form a single radiator, which is then tested again.

 The frame, sides and bracing bars are then fitted back onto the radiator before a final test, inspection and spray.

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

BMW 3 Series Car Radiator

We have now managed to source a top quality BMW 3 Series car radiator. This particular radiator will fit the E46 range including the Compact models. It has the added bonus of also fitting the Z4. The interchangeable breather and blanking plug means that it has the flexibility to fit several models which means in turn that we can keep the price incredibly low

Friday, 13 July 2012

Reconditioning a Reliant Scimitar Radiator

Reliant Scimitar Radiator Re-core

 We have been manufacturing the Reliant Scimitar heater matrix for many years now and quite often we will get a radiator in for re-core too.
 The images above show a few basic stages of the process of reconditioning a Reliant Scimitar radiator we had in recently. The original radiator on the left is certainly not the worst example we have had in but unfortunately it was beyond economical repair.
 All of the component parts were taken off the core and can bee seen in the second picture about half way through the clean up process. They will be stripped back to bare metal and have the dents knocked out.
 The new core arrives and the side plates get riveted on before the rest of the radiator is soldered together. A full test and spray gives you the radiator on the right.

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

John Deere Tractor radiator recore

The images to the left show a few basic stages during the re core of a typical John Deere tractor radiator. We have been offering this service for over 30 years now as well as selling new car radiators

The old radiator was leaking beyond repair and judging by the image top left the tubes were so 'furred up' and blocked that it would not have been very efficient either. You only need to look at the top view of the new core to see the difference.

The old rad was stripped down to its component parts as shown and these were then shot blasted back to bare metal.

Once cleaned and checked, all of the parts were soldered back together before testing and inspection.

The finished radiator re core can be seen in the final image.

Monday, 9 July 2012

Ford Ka heater matrix online

The new copper and brass version of the Ford Ka heater matrix is now available. We have been asked to get this heater into our shop by customers concerned that the aluminium units on offer are not going to last. We recommend fitting the copper brass version and this is a very popular heater for two good reasons.
 1. The ford Ka is a popular model.
 2. The original aluminium heaters aren't lasting as long as they should.
The Aluminium version can be found a fraction cheaper but 'Buyer Beware', we are not looking to stock inferior products.

Friday, 6 July 2012

Reconditioning a Lotus Esprit radiator

 To the left you can see a breakdown of the stages involved in the re core of this Lotus Esprit radiator.

 The sorry looking radiator arrives and we dismantle the frame, remove the tanks and shot blast all of the parts back to bare metal.

 The new core is ordered, which in this case is a nice thick 3 row version to replace the old 2 row core.

 One end of the frame is corroded so badly that it needs to be completely replaced with a new one. This kind of job is never a problem as we have an engineering workshop at our disposal for the fabrication of metal work.

Once all of the parts have been cleaned they can be re-assembled to make the nice reconditioned radiator shown at the bottom.

Thursday, 5 July 2012

Mini Cooper Radiator now available

We have been selling the best Mini heater Matrix for a while now and have been looking for Mini Radiators of the same quality. Finally we have found one that meets all of our quality criteria and is competitively priced aswell. We hope this is the first in our expanding Mini radiator range and will keep this blog updated on our progress.

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Heater matrix for Mini One, Cooper and Cooper S. R50 R52 R53

The new heater matrix for the BMW Mini has now been listed. It will fit the The Mini one, Mini Cooper, Cooper S and convertible. This copper and brass version is considered to be stronger than the original and a direct replacement. It can be very costly in labour to replace your heater so you have to ask yourself if it is wise to replace a failed aluminium heater matrix with another aluminium version. I know I wouldn't. This aftermarket copper and brass heater is British made to the highest standards and costs the same or less than an original. Our cutomers so far have been delighted with the new version and the added peace of mind.

Thursday, 28 June 2012

Mini Radiator

We have now started to stock the Mini Radiator. We have been reconditioning and supplying the Mini radiator and heater matrix for many years now but this is the first of the Mini One BMW type that we have stocked in large numbers. We have been waiting for the right quality at the right price and we have now found it.

Thursday, 21 June 2012

Lotus Elise heater matrix now added

We have now begun to add some heater parts to our online shop. The first heater matrix listed is a top quality british made Lotus Elise S1 heater matix at a fraction of the original price. It is a direct replacement which will outlast and out perform the orignal unit.

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Jaguar Series 2 radiator reconditioning

reconditioned Jaguar series 2 radiator
We had a small project in this week which we are glad to share with our new motoradsonline blog.

The pictures to the left show the typical time line on a radiator re-core.

Starting with the original radiator as it arrived.

Next all of the component parts are removed and are shown part cleaned and being prepared for assembly.

The new core arrives.

The component parts are soldered onto the core and all of the dimensions checked. Once the radiator has been checked it is pressure tested and sprayed.

Finally in the last picture you can see the finished radiator.

Unfortunately these pictures are not the best quality but hopefully they give an idea of how our radiator recore and reconditioning service works

Monday, 18 June 2012

Citroen C4 Berlingo and Xsara car radiator added

We just received a large quantity of the Citroen Berlingo car radiator. This is a multi fit car radiator and will also fit several Berlingo models as well as the Citroen Xsara and C4. These have been selling well and the price and quality of this radiator is so good we have now put it on our motoradsonline website.

Thursday, 14 June 2012

Audi A3 Radiator

We have had a new radiator in today for the Audi A3 which does several models. The price and quality of this radiator is really good so it has gone straight on to the website. You will find it in the Audi car radiator section, please have a look.

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

car radiator website almost finished

Motoradsonline have been working hard over the last couple of months to develop a new website to sell car radiators at great prices. We will also be selling parts for air conditioning and will have a large heater matrix range. Progress on the site will be posted on this blog along with any interesting projects we are working on in the workshop.