If I just drain the radiator of the water, is that good enough to cover it over the winter without fear of damage?
Why not use antifreeze, which contains anti-rust ingredients?
Be sure to leave a tag attached to your steering wheel that reads, "no water" so next spring you don't forget you drained it.
If you are not going to drive at all during the winter, I'd drain the gas, too.
: ^ )
Leaving a drained cast iron cooling system without anti-freeze / corrosion protection might cause you more trouble when you put fresh coolant into the rusty passages.
Probably a good idea to run with anti-freeze all year long, not just in the winter.
I found out the hard way that there's a puddle left both front and back when you drain the water.
If there's a small airport nearby get a few gallons of 100 octane avgas for your car.
Drain as much of the crappy alcohol gas as you can and dump in the avgas for winter storage.
Run it long enough to get it into the carb.
That stuff never goes bad.
You haven't put your city/state in your name field so we can only guess how cold it gets where you live.
One gallon of antifreeze in you T should be good down to -4 deg F and two will get you down to -58 deg F.
Cheap insurance for your block and rust protection at no extra cost
I agree with everyone else, put a little 50/50 mix in and you will be fine all year round, it is cheap insurance.
Ultimately it really matters on where you live.
I've heard a lot about "draining" the water. 3 yrs ago I drained the water in my motor home and in the spring I had to replace a $60 commode flusher. The next year I drained it and blew air through the line and again had to replace the $60 flusher where the little bit of water collected. Last year I used $10 of RV antifreeze and had no problems! Ten years ago a friend drained his tractor radiator and the petcock on the block and the next morning the side of the block was broken from freezing. ANTIFREEZE IS CHEAP -- compared to the damage without it!
The tractor mentioned above was in northwest Florida!
When was antifreeze introduced? Did they have it back in the teens and twenties?
Alcohol based anti freeze for automobiles was around before 1910. Prestone ethylene glycol anti freeze was introduced before 1920.
This is from a Fordbarn post to answer Harry's question.
From the 1918 edition Dykes' Automotive handbook. They were alcohol-based, usually methanol.
"Permanent" anti-freezes ( ethylene-glycol ) such as Prestone go back to the very early '30s, possibly the late 1920's.
Prior to "permanent" antifreezes, alcohol was the principle ingredient; it would boil-off at temps above 160 * F, so it had to be constantly checked and replenished.
Even into the 1950's, there were 160* thermostats for folks who continued to use alcohol-based antifreezes, and 180* thermostats for folks using "permanent" anti-freezes in pressurized systems.
Harry - I remember my Dad giving me "heck" for wasting money by buying the expensive, so called "permanent" anti-freeze for my '28 Model A Coupe during my high-school days, instead of using the much cheaper alcohol type anti-freeze that Dad had used for years. I'm pretty sure that was the first winter I had the Model A and that was the winter of 1958. The next year, guess who had to buy "permanent" anti-freeze (ethylene glycol) because you couldn't even find the old alcohol anti-freeze anymore! I never saw anything die out so fast as alcohol anti-freeze when the ethylene glycol came out! As far as the old alcohol type is concerned, I really don't know when that came out. I know that back in the real early days, they tried everything from salt water to kerosene! For what its worth,.....harold
You guys type faster than I do. I know ethylene glycol was "AVAILABLE" in the early days, but as Jay stated, it wasn't very popular until the '50's. Royce,....remember names like Zerex and Zerone besides the old alcohol Prestone?
That's a 1928 magazine ad above............
My grandmother, when I asked her if she drained the water from the Model T in winter, told me "we always used Prestone so we didn't have to drain it". I asked her if she started the car on battery and then switched to MAG, and she looked at my dad and said "We didn't ever have any batteries in the Model T, did we?" They bought a 1915 touring new, and it became my grandmother's car when my grandfather got a 1926 Chevrolet.
In northern Minnesota, my grandmother crank started the Model T year round on "MAG".
I'll bet she cranked it right handed too.
1927 according to Prestone was when they marketed Ethylene Glycol.
This isn't rocket science. In truly frigid places like North Dakota, Minnesota, Maine and Wisconsin, cars are protected with anti-freeze and little else. Some run, and some—particularly those owned by elder folk—just sit out most of the winter. Buy a gallon of Prestone and follow the directions.
Since you're going to change your oil on some kind of schedule anyway, it makes sense to do it just before a period of winter inactivity because as oil becomes dirty, it also forms sulphuric acid and you don't need the innards of your engine soaking in that for an extended period of time. Just common sense.
And if, like me, you’re a little bit compulsive, you can inhibit winter corrosion in your engine by unscrewing your spark plugs, applying a spritz of spray-can oil in each cylinder and screwing the spark plugs back in. I use this stuff:
Regardless of the season, if your car is going to be inactive for any significant length of time, you need to protect the gasoline in the tank—not the car, the gasoline. Because modern, alcohol-infused gasoline is such garbage, it starts to go stale in a couple of months, so go out and buy a bottle of Star-Tron Enzyme Fuel Treatment. In my opinion, this stuff is way better than Stabil. In fact, even during the driving season, I’ll pour 1/3 of a bottle of Star-Tron into the tank at every other fill-up because it inhibits carbon formation in the engine's cylinders. For about five bucks per bottle at Walmart, it’s ridiculously cheap insurance (and no, I don't hold stock in the company).
Another word about gasoline: If you drain your fuel tank for the winter, the humidity in the empty tank will condense when the temperature drops and form a puddle of water at the bottom. And an eighty-year-old, thin-walled, steel tank needs water like a helicopter needs ejection seats. Keep the tank full during the winter.
For paranoids only:
If you live in an area that gets hit with serious winter weather, you can find yourself in a position whereby you cannot quickly evacuate your Model T from your attached garage due to snow accumulation in the driveway. If your century-old gas tank picks that time to start leaking fuel, there may become associated with your situation an unpleasant level of urgency. To address such possibility, I keep two empty, five-gallon gasoline cans and a siphon next to the car. Come to think of it, maybe I should get an extra fire extinguisher, too.
Or if you do regularly loose power, think of your Model T gas tank as a 10 gallon gas station without the need of a pump for filling your generator.
I'm a thin-blooded southern boy who has always handled the heat a lot better than the lack there-of. However, after I saw that thread where those two guys are driving speedsters and it's like -10 outside, so bad that they have to use cardboard to cover up most of the radiator fins, I figure I can bundle up and drive even though it's cold!!
Some good gloves, a beanie to cover my head/ears (aka sock cap/watch cap), a motorcycle-style neoprene facemask (with super cool spider web design), some sweet aviator goggles, and long socks to handle the gap from my pants to my shoes and I'm good to go (because I usually hate any socks that cover my ankles). Added benefit of the beanie is it doesn't try to blow off in the wind.
It's way more fun to just drive the car all year than to leave it setting all winter. Plus the T is just happier, she's less cantankerous when she gets to run every week.
I agree, I plan to take mine out occasionally during the winter when the roads are clear. Since the drives will likely be infrequent, I have put gas stabilizer in the tank.
I have to confess, I have occasionally tapped the Model T's gas tank when I needed gas for the mower and was too lazy to make a trip to the gas station ;>)
I put all my T's on jack stands to get the weight off the spring and wheels. I start them and just let the wheels turn until everything is well warmed up. Depending on how cold it gets sometime that can take a long time, Even with the fan belt off.
How do you get the front wheels to turn?