Docking Radiators Have you had a Failure?

Hi Doc,

The best thing to do I think would be to take some clear pics of your radiator install and contact Docking to see what they say about the issues you are having with your radiator in relation to your install.
Maybe put the pics on here so people have see how it is installed on your car.

Cheers
Mike
Pics of my installation are attached in post #33 of this thread!
Before the installation I discussed it with Mel Johnson from Docking and he agreed on it.
But apperently the radiator failed again, even when only mounted in rubber bushings.

I e-mailed Mel about this, but got no reply yet! (Holiday times?)

We'll see!

Geert-Jan
 
I have been running my Docking radiator since 2007 without any problems. I have mounted it in SOFT rubber bushings allowing them to absorbe movement and vibrations.
Concerning efficiency I have no complaints. I am running a pretty standard engine and therefore not pushing the limits I guess.

Br
Henrik
 

Dave Bilyk

Dave Bilyk
Reviving this thread as I now have leakage from my radiator, it's 11 yrs old and done something like 8000miles and was mounted very softly on rubber mounts. Not isolated electrically as it has one earth connection, so maybe electrolytic corrosion? Yes it's a Docking, and I don't want to jump on any bandwagon but will be looking at other alternatives. Comments, any other experiences in the 6 years since the previous post?
 

Dave Bilyk

Dave Bilyk
I took my radiator to a local company (Star Radiators in Glasgow) who seem to have a good reputation for radiator repair. They tested and confirmed it was leaking where I thought it was.
They said that this type of radiator requires an epoxy repair, as any attempts to weld gives too much thermal input and would certainly cause leaks in other places. Epoxy repair needs a little heat and still could not be guaranteed not to cause leaks in other tubes but they would do their best.
They have attempted a repair, but having cured the original leak, leaks have sprung in adjacent tubes, and they have concluded that this radiator is not economically repairable. Pity as it looks new.
Since it was soft supported on rubbers, the cause is not mechanical, and boroscope inspection shows no sign of corrosion damage. The only other possibility is thermal shock, as I have a bypass valve that only opens up to the radiator at 85degC. Although a radiator that can't stand that type of thermal shock is about as useful as a car that falls apart under acceleration. ;)
So what do I replace it with? I see Winner Racing Radiators (fully welded type) at £180 and others from say £350 upwards. Anyone used the cheaper Chinese route?
 

Randy V

Admin
Lifetime Supporter
Way back when ally radiators first came to market, many repair shops would remove the tanks and solder/braze the failed tubes shut at the headers on both ends. You’d lose the capacity of that tube, but were able to save the radiator. An option perhaps?
 

Mike Pass

Supporter
Hi Dave, my Docking radiator also leaks and has also been mounted on soft rubber mounts. It has always leaked. I have given up on it and bought a chinese one from Ebay. They made it with the size of inlets that I wanted. It is welded rather than glued together. While not a thing of engineering beauty it looks OK. Not fitted it yet as it will need some different brackets to fit my car. I will post some pics
Cheers
Mike
 

Bill Kearley

Supporter
Buy a good quality core and have a good ally fab shop make and weld the end tanks to your spec. I have tried after market replacement rads in other cars and bikes. but have been a little uneasy with unknown quality.
 

Dave Bilyk

Dave Bilyk
Randy,
brazing or welding shut was rejected as an option, because the repair shops experience was that for this type of radiator, the heat input would certainly cause it to leak elsewhere, the only certain option would be to cut the tanks off leaving the backplate on, then weld every tube (not weld shut) to the backplate, then re-attach the tanks, but the cost would be more than a new one.

Mike, oh brave one :) , yes that's what I am considering, those radiators have the same layout, and very similar dimensions to the Docking I have, so would be an easy replacement. I see they are being imported from China to Netherlands and Czech, also see one on amazon from california. price range between £140 and £180 and they are pretty enough at those prices. Import duty in uk?

Frank, yes top quality, but too pricy for a 'garagiste' like me :) Also, the mounting is different to the Docking, although it's the same as my original copper rad.

Bill, it's the total cost that stops me from doing that, although if I had the skills, I would cut off the tanks, weld all the tube joints and refit the tanks. Or alternatively do what you said using the tanks of the failed radiator.

At the risk of being pelted with rotten eggs, what about 'Radweld' or 'Bars Leaks' etc for minor leaks like this?

Dave
 

Bill Kearley

Supporter
Dave, no such thing as a stupid question. I have used a can of stop leak now and then but in an old junk type situation. I'm not sure if there are any side affects to having the stuff running around the cooling system. Could be worth a try. Check it out.
 

Randy V

Admin
Lifetime Supporter
Moroso Ceramic Sealant is also an option. I’ve used it numerous times in Wet Sleeved engine blocks and never had an issue. Just make sure you flush all of the coolant out very well ahead of time.
 
The original rads were, I think, mounted on two angle brackets, one each side about 2/3rds of the height, which pretty much eliminates any effects of chassis flexing. I surprised that there has been no mention of Radtec at Cannock, UK, who make replacements to this pattern for those I know who race original type cars. They will also produce the same radiator with alternative fixings, mine sits on 2 pegs in bushes at the bottom and is rigidly bolted to a frame tube across the chassis at the top, has been in there for about 15 years and never a problem. Also these are not crossflow, the headers are top and bottom, flow goes up in the RH side and back down on the left, bottom tank is divided in the middle; I don't know if this has any influence on the strength.
Btw, I have no connection with Radtec except as a satisfied customer.
 
Further to my last comments, I should say, my car, 9 KVP, has been subject to pretty rough treatment over the years, been to many comp. venues, Uk and Europe, usually driven there and back, has flown through the air off yumps, humpback bridges etc, suffered Belgian roads at speed. Although suspension and subframes have suffered from this, never the rad!
 

Dave Bilyk

Dave Bilyk
Pete, yes, my original radiator had that mounting, and I agree that it does eliminate those effects. I note that Radtech in Cannock (incidentally where I attended school all those years ago) are OEM radiator suppliers to Koenigsegg which has to say something about their quality.
When I fitted the Docking radiator, I took great care with the flexible mounting and can confidently say that this failure is not due to mechanical stressing. Also, having removed the rad and had a boroscope inspection, I can also confidently say that it is not due to corrosion. I am getting the impression that this is a production method related issue, so I wonder what actual process is being used here. Other suppliers seem to make a big fuss about their cores being fully welded, while in the background I hear talk of epoxy bonding, so what process are they actually using in this case that makes the product so sensitive. Sounds like you have had plenty fun with your car :)
 

Dave Bilyk

Dave Bilyk
Update, New Radiator arrived today from GPI Racing in Holland. Ordered on Tuesday arrived on Friday, cost £165 with free postage.
Overall dimensions and mounting brackets are very similar to the Docking so it will be an easy replacement, slightly smaller, with an extra bleed tapping and a couple of extra bottom lugs which I may want to cut off.
Weight wise, the Docking is 4.6kg versus 3.8kg for the gpi.
The first picture shows them side by side, and the pipes at the same position relative to the top, there is extra angled tanking on the bottom of the docking, where the GIP is flat, that must be at least in part a source of the extra weight.
Quality looks robust, welding looks good, polished side tanks, and powder coated top and bottom covers and lugs.
Second picture shows the tubes for the GPI radiator, and third, the Docking. Although the thickness of the matrix is the same, about 40mm , 1.575 in, the GPI has two tube rows, compared with the Dockings' one, so the flow resistance is probably higher on the GPI with a lower cooling capacity. Now before I fitted the electric pump, the cooling flow was abysmal, and the gauge from the engine block sensor was 90C plus Currently the block reading has been 65C to 75C with a radiator inlet of 85C, so I am not too concerned if the electric pump has to work a bit harder. I will report back once I have it fitted and up and running.
btw, in pic 3, those are the leaking tubes in the Docking, but no corrosion and no obvious sign of why.
Dave
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Update, New Radiator arrived today from GPI Racing in Holland.
I just found out GPI China also has a 3 row 70mm version of this, so I just emailed GPI Holland (CNL Autoparts, Alkmaar) if they can do the 3 row also.
If its on order its fine by me.
Ill wait on their responce.

GPI Holland is just an hour drive from where I live.
 

Dave Bilyk

Dave Bilyk
Question about the bleed tappings. I have now mounted this rad and wondering what to do with the two small threaded connections at the top. I will likely plug one of them and install a bleed on the other, either a bleed valve or a hose run back to the expansion tank. A 6mm thread seems to fit these tappings, so I think that's what they are, could they be anything else? I haven't seen any fittings that small, so looking for advice on what I could use.
Dave
 
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