Brass radiator shell repair

(Biskit) #1


I need to solder some new lugs to the inside of a brass radiator shell to hold the grill in place.

Soldering has never been a forte of mine & I am wondering if there is someone out there who can point me in the right direction.

Obviously the soldered surfaces need to be cleaned from any oxidation, then one needs a flux, what is the best, spirits of salts, Bakers flux or ?

Heat, I have a fairly large electric soldering iron, propane gas that can heat the shell & lugs or heat a reasonably large non electric soldering iron.

Where to heat, on the outside of the shell or the inside of the shell?

What is the best solder to use?

Would it be better to solder brass screwed lugs than steel ones?

I have some 1/2" wide half round brass that matches the curvature of the shell where the lugs need to go & I was thinking if I cut a 3/4" length & then drilled & tapped a hole in the centre to take the lug it might make the positioning of lugs easier to solder?

After soldering what is the best way to neutralise the soldered joint from future corrosion?

Cheers Peter

(Ed Nantes) #2

_ doubt an electrcsolering iron will have the gazunka to do the job. Good soldering needs heat quickly and hot. I use a large copper iron heated witha propane torch [ or the oxy] depening on the job_ It should be very hot, so hat you can see colours swirling on the surface. and the business end should be in good condition and tinned. File nice flats on it and re-tin idf needed.
WE use a solder witha silver content that can be applied with an iron and there is a flux that goes with that.
The surfaces must be brain surgery clean and tin where they will jin first
Better to solder brass screws than steel. The 1/2 " brass , if I have understood your intention, would just dragheat awayfrom the joint.
Perhaps get someone else to hold the brass lug with needle nose pliers while you solder.
The flux could ben eustralised with caustic soda
The chrome plating should take care of any residue
A good joint will have the minimum of solder needed as only that at the joint is doing anything useful and it should not be a dry joint [ so you are looking for a shin
The silver solder is good for repairs to things like lamps, grilles. I have just done a nice pre war spot lamp that had small pit marks in the body around the base.
NOt really big enough to panel beat, I had the chrome strippeed wiped solder across the spots, filed them back flush and had it copper plated to show any marks in my filing I’d missed and it’s now back at the platers from chrome.

I wouldn’t recommend resin core electrical solder for the grille.

(Biskit) #3

Thanks Ed

The shell has been stripped of chrome so soldering should be OK, Just curious to what happens theoretically if when the shell is chromed and a lug becomes loose for whatever reason, can one resolder the lug without damaging the outside chrome?


(Rob Reilly) #4

I had to do that once on an XK120 grille. The answer is yes if the solder is still there and you keep the heat down, just remelt the solder while holding the stud in place, then immediately take the heat away. Worked for me anyway.

(tony) #5

I know this is cheating completely, and unsuitable if chrome is to go over the top.

However, I had a loose vane or two in a grille, the solder at the bottom had broken
I used a 2pac metal repair to re-affix them, and I swear to god, it looks just like lead.
The material is not chromed at that spot anyway

(Ed Nantes) #6

What ones needs to be careful of is that the tabs on the vanes will have become brittle if they have been coppered.
Originally brass would haveonly been nickled then coppered but often now, copper plating is used to fill pit marks and the like and tabs could break off.
So Tony’s idea of JB Weld or some alternative method of securing is wise.