Re. I broke the nipple on the radiator that goes to the overflow

Ben Swann benswann at
Fri Dec 12 18:38:18 PST 2008

You definately need a piece of tube inside the nipple to reinforce it.  Epoxy in and of
itself does not have much structural strength.


From: Al S [mailto:streichea001 at] 
Sent: Friday, December 12, 2008 5:03 PM
To: Ben Swann
Cc: quattro at
Subject: RE: Re. I broke the nipple on the radiator that goes to the overflow

Thanks found some PC-Fahrenheit putty at the local Ace store. Fortunately the nipple
broke right at the junction of the pipe/radiator. So I think I can put the nipple in
place, with liquid epoxy and mold the putty around it to form at super strong
attachment. PC-Fahrenheit is good for 500 degrees F.

-----Original Message-----
From: Ben Swann [mailto:benswann at]
Sent: Friday, December 12, 2008 3:56 AM
To: streichea001 at
Cc: quattro at
Subject: Re. I broke the nipple on the radiator that goes to the overflow


The nipple is definitely the radiatros Achilles heal.  As Mark said, the dealer used to
have a repair kit - probably still does, but you may have a delay getting one from the

I have fixed these before without the repair kit.  I would suppose copper would work,
but possibly not due to the difference in thremal expansion of the dissimilar materials.
I used some high temp/pressure rated  PVC - available through plumbing supply.  Normal
PVC will likely melt, so check that it is at least rated for hot water.  It needs to be
a snug fit.

There are some good mouldable high temp epoxies that will give a solid leak-proof seal.
Done correctly, the repair should be stronger than the original fitting and all my fixes
lasted and never failed.

Just do it right  - clean/prep well and size the fitting/adaptor right.  If available
coat the outside of the fitting and inside broken nipple with a liquid epoxy - let
harden. Then use the moldable stuff to form a nice seal.  A good high temp epoxy will
provide good strength and seal - ther is one called Farenheat[sp?} and others labeled
high temp (some steel filled) and of course there is always JB-weld, which works fine
for this application.


[Date: Thu, 11 Dec 2008 18:34:37 -1000 
From: "Al S" <streichea001 at> 
Subject: I broke the nipple on the radiator that goes to the overflow 
To: "Quattro" <quattro at> 
Content-Type: text/plain;       charset="iso-8859-1" 

1990 80 non-Q. While working on the back of the alternator, my elbow reached 
over and leaned on the hose from the radiator to the overflow tank. @#$%$#@, 

I really don't want to ask Congress to bail me out, by buying me a new 
radiator. So has anyone have a fix for this. 

 I have some 1/8" copper tubing that fits into the hole on the radiator. I 
am hoping that I can epoxy the copper tube, and broken plastic nipple onto 
the radiator. But... 

Any BTDT's. Recommendations for the right epoxy? 

If no fix, can I temporarily plug the hole, sealing the radiator. Reduce the 
amount of fluid, so that when it expands, the fluid will have some room to 
move and not blow out the radiator. 

Anyway, Happy Holidays everyone. 

Al Streicher 

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