I'm looking into some unique and interesting brass polishes that may be a quantum leap beyond the stuff we've all been using, but in speaking with the manufacturer of one such product, I was asked whether our brass radiators (and other brass accessories) are solid brass or brass plated. I know the radiator is covered with sheet metal, so it's not solid in the strictest sense, but is the sheet metal itself completely brass or is it brass plated?
Up through part of 1916 the radiators were made of brass sheet in a decorative manner. The tubes were of rolled brass and the fins were copper. in mid 1916 they covered the radiator with a thin sheet of steel but the radiator its self was still made of brass. I should correct this. The top and bottom tanks were made of a very thin sheet brass and the fins were copper. The tubes were of rolled sheet brass and were known to split in freezing weather.
Most brass stuff on Model Ts is brass. Radiators prior to 1917 have their bare brass exposed. There are some brass plated steel parts on some model T's, such as brake and reverse lever on 2-lever cars, early care pedal trim plates, and numerous bolts, spark and gas rods up to 1916 and other hardware.
The majority of reproduction hardware is made from solid brass instead of brass plated steel.
All brass radiators are made of brass.
I'd be happy to be part of your beta test team.
: ^ )
Okay, let me get this straight: The brass parts of any brass radiator on any Model T up through 1916 are made of brass sheet-metal which is not electro-plated. Got it.
I'm not concerned about the 2-lever, 1908 cars because they're rare as hen's teeth and don't concern most of us. I'm guessing the brass steering-wheel spiders and throttle & spark levers that are brass were electro-plated and are not brass through and through. Is that right?
What about the lamps that have brass parts? Are those brass parts electro-plated or are they brass through-and through?
What about bulb horns and other parts that get polished?
I haven't checked this with a magnet, but I think with the exception of those early parts Keith mentioned, most brass parts are solid brass.
Bob -- All the parts you mentioned are solid brass, except the original throttle and spark levers which were brass-plated steel up into 1916. Today's reproduction levers, as shown in Keith's picture above, are made of solid brass.
p.s. -- Looking at Keith's picture again -- although you didn't mention it, the quadrant with the notches was brass-plated steel on early 15's, later painted black.
Bob, the spider on my 1913 is solid brass. I also have a fat man assembly that is solid brass. Dick C.
Thanks for the answers, guys (and please keep them coming). I spoke with the owner of one
of the polish companies this morning—a very interesting gentleman with a passion for what
he does—and he's sending me some press-kit info and a sample of his polish.
I'm planning to do a practical comparison with the other company and we'll see how the
relatively inexpensive single product stacks up to the more costly 2-product protocol.
I strongly suspect that either will work a whole lot better than the combination of Maas,
Simichrome, Brasso, Cape-Cod, Nevr-Dull, Mother's, etc., with which I've been struggling.
If you'd like to help me flesh out the article (which I plan to make available for free to our
club), please e-mail me with your polishing experiences. Or, if you'd rather chat, e-mail me
your phone number or I'll e-mail you mine.
Here is recent threads on brass polish:
When it gets down to solid brass or plated, if in question, just check with a magnet before proceeding.