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Thread: Mice and mud doggers in the radiator

  1. #1

    Mice and mud daubers in the radiator

    Guys: I have this 1949 all original Willys Jeepster with the L134 engine that I am trying to bring back to life. I now have spark and good compression and I should have the fuel system back to working condition in the next few weeks. Today I decided to see if the radiator would hold water. This Jeepster has been sitting in a shop for 40 years and when I got it both radiator hoses were off, why I do not know. Anyway after looking inside the radiator I notice a mud dauber nest inside the cap opening. After further checking, I found several mud dauber nests and a bunch of cloth/fabric material that was covering the entire top cavity of the radiator. I think I got it all out, but I thought I should flush it out just to be sure. It doesn't look like anything got into the the water pump opening or the thermostat opening. I was thinking of removing both hoses and run a garden hose in the bottom opening and back flush the entire radiator. Does this make sense or is there a better way? Thanks.
    Last edited by dgoodenow; 03-06-2021 at 06:42 PM.

  2. #2
    Super Moderator gmwillys's Avatar
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    To be honest, the back flushing will help, but I would take it to a good radiator shop to be boiled out. I've seen it too many times where a good radiator was condemned for not cooling properly, to find out that a bunch of the passages had bugs and crud stuck in them from storage. It's money well spent in my opinion. Just go to a shop that knows vintage radiators.

  3. #3
    Super Moderator bmorgil's Avatar
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    dgn, that sounds like a good plan to me. I doubt anything got into the motor. I would bet the "various nests" were installed after it had been setting for a long while. Those critters show up when all the remnants of coolant and oil have evaporated completely away.

    I would see if you can find a radiator shop that can still biol it and rod it out. I would pressure check it first. You don't want to spend anything on it if it cant be repaired without costing what a new one costs. I have found this to be the case, unless you can find a shop that will do you an honest job.
    Last edited by bmorgil; 03-07-2021 at 07:29 AM.

  4. #4
    Super Moderator LarrBeard's Avatar
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    Old Fashioned Radiator Shop

    Finding the right shop is the key to this. Our late friend Ira had a shop tell him the radiator on his M38A1 was too far gone to fix and he ended up buying a new radiator for about $600.

    But, bring the curious former Marine he was, he took his rifle bore scope and looked into the radiator some time later. It looked clean to him, so he took it to an "ole' boy" back in the woods to have him look it over.

    It turned out he had a hairline crack on the outlet pipe. The radiator flow tested OK and not a bubble at 30 PSI pressure test once the crack was fixed.

    Good luck, and show us some pictures. We consider Jeepsters the Unicorns of the Jeep world - rare and marvelous critters indeed!

  5. #5
    I took the radiator off inverted it and flushed it out with a garden hose using hot water. It cleaned up nice and water ran through it fine with no back flow, so I decided to put it back together to see if it would hold water. To my amazement it is holding water with no leaks, not under pressure but no major problems either. I think it will be fine for getting the old gal running and if it runs hot or leaks under pressure it is so easy to remove I can get it fixed at that point. Thanks for all the help and suggestions.IMG_2122.jpg

  6. #6
    Super Moderator LarrBeard's Avatar
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    What you have looks very nice- it isn't showroom, but it's not badly eaten up either. And, just what is that sitting off to the right of the Jeepster? It looks like another project in progress....

  7. #7
    I'm trying to keep the red one all original, it has the original seats and floor mats, as well as the original heater and radio. The yellow one is my mostly restored early 1950 with the 48/49 body style Jeepster with the L148 six. I have not put the front fenders on because I have been waiting for the weather to warm up before I finish bleeding the brakes and it is so much easier to get to the master cylinder without the fenders.

    IMG_2041.jpg IMG_2044.jpg

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