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  #1  
Old 02-17-2004, 10:20 AM
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radiator problems - '72 250

I just got off the phone with my radiator shop and they are telling me my radiator is shot and that I need a new core ($247.00 + tax). I thought it was just leaking around the top but they are telling me its "eating away from the inside out". He said he could fix it as best he could, stopping the leaks etc. for about $75. Any suggestions? I can't seem to find a radiator online anywhere - can anyone recommend a good used radiator? I wasn't planning on having to spend close to $300. Thanks.

Ryan
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RG Newell

1984 300D
1972 250
1986 560SL
1991 300CE
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  #2  
Old 02-17-2004, 12:24 PM
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I did mine myself...
The drawback of this is that I went through my own trial-and-error. I didn't know at the time, but you need to do the WHOLE top at one time - not just the leaking part (because it will be strongest where you repaired it, forcing a leak elsewhere).

I am going to redo mine but where I soldered it myself, it leaks not one bit! The cost? A few hours of labor (to drain and remove, then to remove old solder, then apply new solder, then leak-test in a sink, then reinstall), and about $30 assuming you don't have any equipment (I had a torch and a few fuel tanks already, it cost me maybe $5 for flux and solder).

I never did it before in my life and thought it'd be hard - it wasn't! All you do is:
1) Remove old solder by any means you desire, I melted it then blew it out, then cleaned the area to be resoldered with a screwdriver and (when cool) an alcohol rinse.
2) Apply a generous amount of flux all around the seam
3) Heat it (in a small area) until the flux bubbles and then apply the solder along it until it melts and completely fills the seam (you need to unwind about 6" at LEAST if you want to work smoothly).
4) Continue along, applying solder slowly and smoothly along the seam. Make sure to leave no holes! If you have a pinhole, go back, melt the solder in that area and add more until it's completely filled.
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Old 02-17-2004, 08:31 PM
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For $75, I don't mind letting the professional do the job. I was really wondering about the cost - is that a a lot for a core - or if I can get by with just rigging it for a while? He offered to fix the leaks (around the top and around the bottom by the transmission hose) for about $75. I have not had a problem with the car overheating, but we are in the middle of the winter. I did find some used radiators online, but I don't know if that's an option or not. I can't find radiators for this car new anywhere. I just wasn't interested in paying that much right now but I don't know how finicky radiators can be.

Ryan
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1984 300D
1972 250
1986 560SL
1991 300CE
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Old 02-17-2004, 10:16 PM
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Have you tried this search? I got a bunch of hits.

http://www.car-part.com/
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'66 200, '66 230SL, '96 SL500. Sold: '81 380SL, '86 300E, '72 250C, '95 C220, 3 '84 280SL's '90 420SEL, '72 280SE, '73 280C, '78 280SE, '70 280SL, '77 450SL, '85 380SL, '87 560SL, '85 380SL, '72 350SL, '96 S500 Coupe
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Old 02-18-2004, 08:50 AM
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Yes I did - do you think buying a used one is a good idea? I don't guess there's any guarantee that it would be in any better shape than the one I have???

Ryan
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RG Newell

1984 300D
1972 250
1986 560SL
1991 300CE
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  #6  
Old 02-18-2004, 09:18 AM
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No, I really don't. Especially if you drive the car every day. And you have real summers.

You would probably pay $100 for the used radiator, and $30-$40 shipping which makes the $250 for a basically new radiator look pretty good.
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'66 200, '66 230SL, '96 SL500. Sold: '81 380SL, '86 300E, '72 250C, '95 C220, 3 '84 280SL's '90 420SEL, '72 280SE, '73 280C, '78 280SE, '70 280SL, '77 450SL, '85 380SL, '87 560SL, '85 380SL, '72 350SL, '96 S500 Coupe
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  #7  
Old 02-18-2004, 04:01 PM
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Location: Tulsa, OK USA
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Ryan:

I had a radiator built locally and he used my old top and bottom with a 3-row oval aluminum core. Runs very cool. I think it cost me $275.00. The person that did this has apparently sold the business and it is now Tulsa Radiator. I do not know how much of what he did they still do. Benzin used him which is how I got referred. I think they still use the place. You might check and get another price or whatever (918 622-8395 if you are interested).

The radiator in my 250 had been repaired "many times" using the stock core and it was just to the point where it was not worth the effort. I didn't want to trust a used one - figured they would be about as old as mine.

Considering the grief a bad radiator can cause I just bit the bullet and had him build a new one. Don't reget the decision at all.

Dan

ps. Your box is "in the mail".
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  #8  
Old 02-18-2004, 06:32 PM
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My 72 450SL radiator was corroded and starting to leak. At that age and condition it is definetely time to recore or replace unless the car isnm't worth keeping for long. The cooling system is one place I don't like to cut corners since cooling system failure often leads to disastor for the engine. I had mine boiled, recored and paited at a top notch shop called Reseda Radiator (Reseda, CA) for $250 plus tax.

If you have a 6cyl maybe the radiator is smaller than mine and could be a bit cheaper? Also I think prices tend to be higgher here in the LA area compared to OK.
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  #9  
Old 02-18-2004, 11:29 PM
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Thanks for the suggestions - I think I'm going to have this shop recore ($247). It sounds like the same procedure that Dan described - I stopped by the shop this afternoon and had the owner explain what was wrong and he pointed out the solder that was corroded and the tubes that he would have to 'cut out' if he tried to fix it and he also indicated that they had already worked on this radiator twice before! He pretty much convinced me that it was time to fix it right.

Ryan
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1984 300D
1972 250
1986 560SL
1991 300CE
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