I've just started driving my 1923 touring/pickup after getting my Missouri historic license plates. I've gone on three trips of about 15 miles each so far. Each time I get home, I notice that some coolant has dripped out of the overflow onto the front axle, is the system just finding its own level after initially being overfilled, or should I be concerned?
The car does not overheat (no steam, and the radiator and engine seem to be a reasonable temperature after my trips). The receipts I got with the car when I bought it say it has a new reproduction radiator in it.
How high should I fill the radiator when the car is cold to ensure that there is enough coolant to allow the thermosiphon effect to do its job?
just cover the core don't fill to the top
If you do overfill it and it is not running hot the coolant will find the proper level which is just above the core. The large upper tank is expansion area. Fill it to where you think it should be and after you run it, let it cool then open the cap and if everything is OK you should see coolant just above the core.
Thanks, that's what I suspected, I'll just keep driving it and checking the level after it cools down after each drive.
You might want to put a Motometer gauge on you Santa list. Some swear at em' and some swear by em'. I'm one of the latter.
Mine has always given consistent readings compared to an infra red thermometer. Its nice to know what you coolant temperature is.
Plus it looks cool! ;o)
so...while we're on this thread, is there any reason to put antifreeze in? I live in a no-freeze zone.
It's not just anti-freeze it also is a coolant and rust inhibitor.
The previous owner of my 1923 touring/pickup filled the cooling system with one of the newer, orange, 5-year antifreeze mixtures, it seems to work well.
To my mind (since I store the T in a heated garage), the rust inhibitor feature is the most important to me, and it is the rust inhibitors that get "used up" or consumed over time, which is why the coolant has to be changed periodically (in my case, every 5 years).
Many folks run antifreeze for the corrosion protection. Where I live I run 1/3 antifreeze to 2/3 water and for you maybe just 1/4 to 3/4 would provide the rust protection. Others use other rust protection methods if freeze protection is not needed. In any case a 50/50 mix of antifreeze/water would be a waste and reduce the heat transfer efficiency of the coolant.
On the water level in the radiator, too high and you will loose coolant out the over flow. But on the other side, if the level is below the top of the radiator core the thermosiphon cooling system will not work at all.
I see..thanks. didn't mean to hijack the thread.
If you want increased cooling add water wetter which is available at most auto parts stores. I run 50/50 mix for corrosion protection plus water wetter for the cooling benefit. Also there have been several threads that the older style green (Ethylene Glycol) should be used in Ts.
I use "soluble oil"...is that about the same as "water wetter"? Its turns the solution white.
The only thing with antifreeze is that if you have any boilovers, it'll be really hard on any paint it touches.
As for me, I run water Spring through Fall and only change to antifreeze when it goes into storage for the Winter.
By running water, this also allows me to top off the radiator and let it find its own level without having to worry about the paint.
How many people in Florida put just water in their radiator? Was it only 2-3 years ago it got cold enough down there to crack some blocks? Go with anti-freeze mix.
I live in mid Florida and use antifreeze and distilled water
While I like the idea of using distilled water all summer and switching to antifreeze for the winter, I would worry that the car could have some kind of breakdown just before winter and now I can't start the engine to circulate the antifreeze. It appears you can drain the T engine pretty good but, wouldn't there be pockets of straight water trapped in there that would now freeze?
Distilled water by its self is corrosive and you should likely use something to prevent rust.
There is no problem with just draining the water to prevent freezing damage. In the day probably millions of cars were operated just that way.
I've used only distilled water plus antifreeze 50/50 for years. It keeps all of my vehicle cooling systems clean and working well. Distilled water.....the best way to go.
Hi: If the T is sitting level it will drain totally dry. There may be some left at a gasket or something like that but it would just be wet and no puddeling. The system is designed to totally drain. As to antifreeze. Even in Florida I would run it for the rust prevention. A motormeter is nice to have. After you get used to it. If climbing a long hill or something like that the motormeter may climb all the way to the steam area. But as soon as you level out, the red in the thermometer will drop very fast. I use mine as a refrence point. If I bury the red in the steam area, I start looking to see how quick Im going to level out. It is just a good tool to help out some, and give you a good idea where the engine temp is. Donnie
I have used green for years and never presented a problem.
Yeah, they're supposed to do that when they're filled above the core. Mine does that too and I purposely over-fill it so it will blow out the excess and automatically bring the volume of coolant to the precisely correct level.
Soluble oil is a water pump lubricant. Model T's don't have water pumps. Regular green anti freeze is for sale everywhere, and works great.
I use soluble oil and it works great. Just a small cup full added to the water is all that's needed. Never overheats and no more rusty water.