Silly me—I thought all brass radiators were the same from 1913 to 1916. All the Model T books I read said that they were. I have one that I was planning to use on a 1913 Touring, but now I believe my radiator is a 1915-16.
The MTFCA Encyclopedia on this website says that 1913-14 radiators have a spec plate riveted to the back of the tank with a manufacturing date on it. This manufacturing information is stamped onto the back of the tank on the 1915-16 radiators. I have seen 1913-14 radiators and I believe that the number on the back is actually a serial number. Does anyone know for sure? Another thing I am confused about is the crossover tube for the gas. My radiator does not have it, probably because it is for electric lights. Does anyone have a photo of what this tube looks like?
Also, my radiator looks very good except it is “warped” on the top of the tank. It looks like someone may have dropped it upside down on its radiator cap and bent in the top of the tank. It also has a couple of small shallow dents on the top. I have seen other radiators on ebay that seem to have similar problems and I suspect the owners may have replaced their car’s originals with new radiators. Personally, I would rather have my original radiator fixed if it were possible. Are there any radiator restorers that can take a tank apart and replace only the top of it? Has anyone had any work like this done? Were you pleased with the work and about how much does something like that cost?
Brassworks will repair that tank top for you and add the acetylene gas tube,
It is a serial number. The radiators have detail changes every year, for example the 1913 - 14 radiators have a gas tube for the headlight plumbing but the 1915 - 16 radiators have a larger conduit tube for the headlamp wiring to pass through.
You can get your radiator restored by Brassworks but it may be cheaper to buy a new one. They charge time and material. It adds up quickly when you need to unsolder, repair and then resolder. Then consider postage both directions. Finally the time you have no radiator and can't use the car.
The serial plate on a '13-14 radiator is soldered to the back panel in the lower passenger side of the radiator. The stamped ones are much higher. After '16, the skirt on the sides of the radiators were shortened about 1/4-3/8". We have been calling them the mini-skirt radiators, and were supplied by Ford until 1925.
From your profile it appears you have not been posting long. If you only have Brassworks repair the top tank to look nice and add the gas tube -- neither of those repairs will improve the cooling. If you search the forum messages (use the "key word search" feature in the heading of any posting for “radiators”) you will find most of the older radiators do not cool as effectively as the new ones. You may be lucky and have one that was stored and not used much. One way to find out -- use it as is and see how it works. Does it keep the car cool or allow or even cause it to overheat? (There could be other reasons it might overheat but an old radiator tends to contribute to that issue.)
Have you joined a local group yet? If not, recommend you make it a priority to find them. They will be a lot of support and encouragement.
Hap Tucker 1915 Model T Ford Touring cut off and made into a pickup truck and 1907 Model S Runabout. Sumter SC.
Excellent point on cooling, Hap. On the very last day of the MTFCI Annual Tour in Grand Rapids, MI last summer the Brassworks rad on our '17 gave up the ghost. For the remainder of the driving season, I screwed the hood former from out '14 project onto the firewall and ran the car with a '16 radiator and hood just so we had something to drive. Boiled constantly, but we simply added water when it got too low. The radiator obviously had a heat exchange problem although at driving speed it only spit a few drops out the the radiator cap and got us through the Autumn. The radiator looks decent but really doesn't work worth a darn.
Thanks to everyone for your help. I should have been aware of the overheating problems. My dad has a Model T and I have seen it steam like Old Faithful a few times. I don't have a running car right now, but I'm trying to get back to working on it again. I plan on joining the Lone Star T's n Dallas. They should give me the support I need.