I always start by reminding my fellow member shere that this is my very first T project (FAULTLESS SPEEDSTER REPLICA).
Anyway I got my little set of (1917-25) mounting hardware today but I can't find any reference photos of how exactly it all goes together. See my attempt in the attached photos.
Next, if I got that right, I guess the radiator apron (1923-25 style)is held down by the upper thimble assy.? Ok, if I'm still right, it looks like the radiator's lower tabs (mine are apparently broke off halfway and I'll braze new ones on when I get some answers to all this) and the radiator shell just fit over the thimble through the large holes. I don't get What's holding the radiator and shell down??? Also the radiator came out of a 23 Fordor but in the photo below you can see a gap between radiator shell tabs and the radiaor's tabs. Now I'm concerned my only radiator is the slightly shorter 'low style'. I thought I was safe with a 23 model year but maybe it's an early one before the change? If it is the lower style is there something I can do to make it fit? It's a race car after all and is not tied to any rules of fit and finish and I don't have the budget to buy another radiator at this time. Sorry lots of questions but I'm really backed in a corner here and my friends here have always come through with solutions and answers. Jimmy
PS: Before I hear the radiator looks like a junker and I should get another. It was removed from a running car some time ago. The seller had it inside his media blasting shed for years and it needs a lot of cleaning but it should work ok when cleaned up.
James, you appear to be missing a steel piece that goes down each side of the radiator and the does a 90 degree bend at the bottom. That bend tab has the hole for the radiator mounting bolt that you have in your photo. Those side pieces are soldered to the top and bottom tanks.
Yes James, your right there is nothing but a paper thin strip of metal running down the sides of the core. I thought that didn't look right. Are you saying then that the what's left of those tabs in the photo would normally be bent straight up and then go out at 90 degress (the part that's broke off)to line up with the shell's tabs?
Could somebody post a picture of what the radiator sides and tabs look like please so I can determine how to make/repair what's missing? ALSO -, where exactly do I take the measurements to determine the exact lenth of this radiator to know for sure if its a tall or short version? Jimmy
Your radiator is an aftermarket honeycomb type core, and there is no mounting tab is not compatible with the Ford factory hardware. You'll have to fabricate something as James wrote to add side plates the the bare core edge, which will have holes for frame mount.
And the factory spring and thimbles go like this, your set up has the top thimble inside the frame rail, that top collar is what holds down the radiator side which should have a bracket and hole for the radiator mounting stud bolt.
Here are some rads that show the side bracket with the mounting hole at the bottom of the side panel.
This picture might help you.
It looks like you have the pieces in the wrong order.
It does appear that you have a low style radiator and that the "to frame" hangers have been cut off. That said, I have run that same style after-market radiator and they work well. You could probably rig a bracket out of inch and a half or two inch strap steel (3/32 inch thick might be a little light but should work). You would have to shape it to contour under the radiator and lower hose and set the height to match the shell. That would leave the bottom tank high and showing but with a little hose finagle would work. I wish you were closer to me. I would loan you my 1925's radiator for a while. It will be about a year before I need it anyway. To properly fix that radiator. you would have to make replacement side brackets that go up from the bottom tank almost two inches and set the radiator down into the frame. It would not be difficult to do. I have done that for two different honeycomb type radiators.
As to your other question. The assembly as you have it is a good guess, but not quite right. In your first photo, the big cup you have under the bottom spring goes over the top of the funny "cut and folded" cup that is correctly over the top spring. Some of these sets have two sizes of springs. The larger one goes on the bottom, under the top frame rail. The smaller one goes under the funny cup. the radiator and shell should have about one inch holes in them and set down onto the funny cup. The bigger cup then sets down over the funny cup to hold the radiator and shell down. The entire assembly spring loads the radiator up and down reducing vibration and helps save from radiator failures and vibration and flexing caused leaks.
Things are looking good, I just wish you were closer to me so I could be of more help. Is there anyone close by that could loan a high radiator? The shipping costs and risks from Califunny are just too high for a radiator loan.
Drive safely, W2
My stiff old slow fingers don't type that fast.
If you can, install your front fender brackets/braces first...it is much easier to do that before the radiator bolts are in place.
The picture of the radiators looks like there is a short one sitting in front of a tall one but there's something more important you want to look at. On the radiator on the right, (the tall one) you'll notice that the mounting bracket goes all the way across the width of the core a couple inches above the lower outlet.
I've been told that support across the core was added to keep the spring mounted radiator from flexing sideways and ripping the core out of the lower tank.
One other thing. I think the radiator sitting in front of the hand truck is a 2 row core and the one with the core support is a 3 row core. Your radiator is going to take a bit of work to mount Model T style.
Here's a handy hint. When installing a radiator on the springs. Take a pry bar, put it on the lower frame rail and compress the spring upward as far as you can, then shove something underneath it. Otherwise, you will find out the stud isn't long enough to get the nut started on the top.
Ok all this has been a great help. So here's where I'm at. I can easily bend the broken tabs back in place (no cracks or stress to be seen. As you can see in the photo the broke tabs are mounted very well on the bottom tank. I propose to weld 1/8th inch steel tabs to replace what's broke. The points that both tabs are broke off is exactly where the 90 degree bends should be and that will make the radiator and shell line up with out the gap shown in my first photo. As you can see in the full shot the radiator is not pretty and it has suffered a lot of 'repairs' and indignity but I can't afford another one this year as I'm too far over budget as it is. Only thing left to know is exactly how I measure the radiator to know for sure if it's a tall or short version.
Found this picture of what isthoguht to be the short one 17 inchs between tanks
I know that somebody has posted the exact measurements here before but I "think" the short radiator is 17"+ and the tall one is 19"+.
You might be better off by bending a piece of metal into a 90 degree angle for both sides and drilling them with holes the proper size to fit over the springs and riveting them on what you have there. If you heat that area up too much with an arc welder and disturb the solder, you're just looking for trouble.
Dennis, I thought about that too and have changed my plan of action. I found some verified data from a current manufacturer on the core heights today:
1917-(early)1923 = 17" Low Radiator
1923-1927 = 18 3/8th" High Radiator
Only thing I don't know now is what month they changed them in 1923. Won't matter now.
So, I for sure have a 17" core and I'll have to make it work for this year anyway. What really frosts me is that the seller, who is much more experienced than I with Model T's knew damn well this was a short core radiator and sold it to me anyway. In fact the same guy sold me a spare engine that was supposed to be a 26-27 and I didn't know how to tell the dif at the time. Once I checked the serial numbers on the MTFCA site I found it to be a 25. Well, such is life as the French say.
I'll start my search for another radiator in the Spring at the swap meets (and this time I'll bring a bloody tape measure)!Jimmy
Since you're building a speedster and your radiator doesn't have brackets, you can pretty much set your radiator brackets any height you want.
Just don't waste time working on a hood until you get everything set up where you want it.
I would start looking around for a tall, 3 row core radiator though, for cooling purposes.
Will do Dennis regarding getting a better radiator. Not in the budget however for this year so I have to make this work for now. Bad news is, I already spent close to 40 hours restoring a 1925 hood from two damaged ones. All the hinges were torn or froze beyond repair and the louvers were crushed in some places. I made a decent looking hood out of the 8 sections however and that's why I'm determined to stick with the tall profile regardless. Won't be the first time I let the cows get out by accident live & learn, I guess. Jimmy
You'll notice there's only 1 3/8 difference in the radiator height. You can fool around with you home made brackets and probably absorb most of that for the time being.
Here's another (mickey mouse) idea. Put a stack of washers under the top spring on your radiator mounts. You might have to go to a hardware store and find some slightly longer studs to make this trick work.
Instead of welding on new bracket extensions, and risk melting the existing solder, you may want to consider using pop rivets to attach the new brackets. Jim Patrick
Okay. There are plenty of diagrams with the pre '26 mounting kit, where the hood shelf only goes up to the radiator leg so the spring sits on top of the chassis, but how about the '26 and '27 where the hood shelf goes all the way to the front of the chassis which means the radiator leg sits on top of the hood shelf. Does the spring sit on top of the hood shelf just like it sat on top of the chassis in pre-1926 models? Jim Patrick
James, I've been running a low radiator on my 24 ever since I got it. It was on the car when I bought it and cooled so well I just haven't bothered to change. I did solder on an extra fill neck to get the cap height right. Hardly anyone notices it is not correct. Have fun,KB
You have the top cap installed in the wrong place. It goes on top, not down where you have it. Look at the illustration that Dan posted. That cap holds your shell on.
I won't begin to tell you how to modify your bracket to fit a T, but whatever you do, it should be strong enough to take a lot of jostling and bumping around. The reason for the springs is to keep the radiator from twisting when the frame twists as the wheels go over bumps and around corners. The mount needs to be strong, but flexible.]
James as you are on a tight budget you might consider this idea.
If you look at the drawings posted by Howard you will notice that both show that there is a strap that comes from under the bottom of the bottom tank and normally its soldered onto the tank but what would work well for you at little cost would be to make a single metal strap to go under and up each side or 2 straps on (one each side.)
If you use a good adhesive such as the urethane ones used to attach parts (like windscreens, side mouldings etc) once this sets it not only will give great adhesion but remove the risk of leaks etc in the radiator. It will probably help with the flexing as well.