Radiator support rod does not match up with the radiator hole.

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Model T Ford Forum: Forum 2013: Radiator support rod does not match up with the radiator hole.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Robert Poane on Tuesday, November 12, 2013 - 06:00 pm:

The radiator support rod does not match up with the radiator hole. It is about three quarters of an inch too low.

Should the radiator 'feet' spread as they hang over the frame? Right now they fit perfectly along the edge of the frame.If so, I hate to physcialy spread them out.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By mike_black on Tuesday, November 12, 2013 - 06:30 pm:

Robert,
Do you really think that 1 inch "air gap" is going to hold up a radiator full of water as the T vibrates going down the road? Someone (I think RV Anderson) makes the correct thickness leather that is squeezed between the radiator and the frame. There is the possibility your radiator is right and your frame is spread out. Think of your frame as the car's spine--if it is not right nothing else will be!


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Henry Petrino in Modesto, CA on Tuesday, November 12, 2013 - 06:41 pm:

I don't know much about brass era T's, but what year is your T? If it's a '15-'16 the hole in the firewall is too low. The location of your support rod hole looks about right for an earlier car, but in '15-'16 it was moved up just a little higher than the upper coils terminal holes. Could you have used the wrong firewall?

I suppose alternatively you could have a later radiator, which is taller I think, on an earlier T.

I see this in a catalog with pictures of replacement wood dashes.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By John F. Regan on Tuesday, November 12, 2013 - 06:46 pm:

STOP!!! your have a frame problem which is relatively easy to fix. Measure across the frame and you will find that the center to center holes for the radiator mounting studs are NOT 21-1/2" wide as they were years ago when the frame was new. Yours are very likely much wider than that. It is very common for the front crossmember to sag since it carries all the weight of the front end. You will also see that your frame is not 23" wide at the outer surfaces. If you spread the brass radiator to try and force it to fit, that will be the beginning of a long line of problems.

For a frame drawing that shows this dimension go to www.funprojects.com and look in the document library and download the frame drawing. It is free.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Norman T. Kling on Tuesday, November 12, 2013 - 06:51 pm:

The chassis could have sagged in the middle. It is quite common for the frame to sag around the area of the crankcase ears. Unfortunately, I don't know of a way to check for it other than to remove the body and put a tight string from the front to the back of the frame and also check for diagonal dimensions.

Your problem would not be caused by spreading of the frame. If it had spread, the radiator would be lower than the rod and the holes in the frame and bottom of radiator would not line up.

It might be an optical illusion, but from the picture the rod looks lower in front than it does at the firewall. Try loosening the rod at the firewall and see if it will go into the threads in the radiator, if it does, then tighten the rod at the firewall end after you have adjusted it for correct length between firewall and radiator.

Henry could be right, the hole could be drilled too low.

It is a lot of fun assembling a Model T, isn't it? I wonder how they did it on a moving assembly line? Interesting, isn't it?
Norm


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Val Soupios on Tuesday, November 12, 2013 - 06:52 pm:

The sides of the radiator extend over the side of the frame and there is a leather pad that the radiator rests on to keep it from resting on the rivets. Your radiator is either made wrong or your frame has spread. I doubt you can spread the radiator sides enough to make it drop over the frame. On all my brass radiator cars it is not a force fit. I am not sure that fitting the radiator as it should be will make up the difference however so it is very possible that the support rod is to high at the dash as well.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Robert Poane on Tuesday, November 12, 2013 - 07:02 pm:

The T is a 1912. So is the repo radiator.

The distance from about center stud to about center stud is 21 and 5/8th. Just over 21 1/2.

To my surprise the side to side distance is 23 inches at the front, middle and rear. I thought it would be off too.

John, what do you mean relatively easy to fix? And if the dimensions are correct, do you see why the rod does not match up with the hole? Should the rad. be lowered or the rod raised? Should the feet sit on the frame on all T's?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By John F. Regan on Tuesday, November 12, 2013 - 07:16 pm:

The frame seems too wide. When you say "about center to about center" I think you need to be more critical. If the center to center distance is 21-5/8 then the frame width is 23-1/8" The underside of the radiator is 23-3/16 width if made right and will just fit over a 23" frame width nicely while in the picture your radiator is sitting up on the brass edges that must fit over the front and side of the frame. The 21-1/2" dimension never changed. All frames must have that dimension right on the money or you will damage your radiator and they are rather expensive. Remove the radiator and measure the width carefully. Who made the radiator?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Keith Townsend ; ^ ) Gresham, Orygun on Tuesday, November 12, 2013 - 07:17 pm:

Robert-
Double check your measurements.

Here is how you squeeze the front cross member to get it to 23" wide and the center of the radiator studs at 21-1/2"


Thanks to Toon for the picture.

Don't be afraid.

If the repro radiator is too narrow, I'd send it back.

: ^ )

Keith


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By John F. Regan on Tuesday, November 12, 2013 - 07:21 pm:

I make the radiator pads per Ford drawings but they are not going to touch anything unless the frame width is fixed. Hard to believe that the frame really measures 23" wide since the radiator looks like a Brassworks radiator and unless it was made a long time ago it would be 23-3/16 wide underneath and clear the frame nicely. If you try to use it by building up something under the frame rather than fixing the actual problem, the hood isn't going to fit either since it will sit up about the same distance as the radiator is now. The radiator support rod is running slightly down hill in your picture but the radiator is sitting up too high.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Keith Townsend ; ^ ) Gresham, Orygun on Tuesday, November 12, 2013 - 07:24 pm:

Robert-
Was the hole for the choke rod pre-drilled?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mike Vaughn on Tuesday, November 12, 2013 - 07:31 pm:

I agree with John, the radiator needs to fit between the frame. Here is a shot of my 14 and the radiator fits very nice as well as the hood etc.




Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Robert Poane on Tuesday, November 12, 2013 - 07:39 pm:

Keith, there is no choke rod hole. It is the reflection of the camera looking like a hole. lol I had to figure that our when I first saw the picture to.

Thanks for the vision of how to bend a cross member.

John, I will double check measurements in a couple days when I can get backout to work on the car. You are right. The frame is slightly wider. I will try the jack and chain method to bend it. Thanks!


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Keith Townsend ; ^ ) Gresham, Orygun on Tuesday, November 12, 2013 - 07:54 pm:

Robert-
When I did mine, I unbolted the front motor mount and took out the U-bolts. I put a jack on each side of the frame along sid eof the engine and picked up, while plying the frame up off the spring. You only need to lift up as high as you need to snake a length of chain through. I have a short ring of pipe (about 1-1/2" long, about 3" in diameter) that I sat on the heads of the engine mount bolts and the crank bushing to stabilize the jack.

The frame will "spring" a little so you will need to go a little narrower than 23", but you will find that out once you start tweaking!

Keep us informed (and take pics!)
-Keith


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By John F. Regan on Tuesday, November 12, 2013 - 08:14 pm:

The chain setup is what typically is used but most often a hard wood block is inserted at the sides. What is wrong with your frame is that the load on the front cross member has pushed it UP and at the same time the frame sides have sagged down and to the sides making the frame wider at the front. The action of the chain and jack is to correct both problems. As you jack up the chain that pushes the cross member back down and at the same time pulls the sides in. You need to stop when the center to center distance of the radiator stud holes is 21-1/2" exactly when the jack pressure is let off. Then remove the jack and unhook the chain and see if your radiator then sits down on top of the frame with the under side aprons of the radiator resting on the rivet heads at the front top surface of the frame. Set it down gently. If that is the case then you are ready for the leather pads which go between the frame top and the underside of your radiator apron. Those pads need to be thick and tough leather and they prevent the underside of the radiator apron from being "dimpled" by the rivet heads. Then you will see that your top hose lines up better with the water inlet on the head (notice it isn't lined up very well in your picture) and also your radiator support rod will line up and all with be right with the world. :-)


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Robert Poane on Tuesday, November 12, 2013 - 08:21 pm:

Good stuff! One more, are pads the only thing that goes under the aprons or is a spring necessary?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dan Treace, North FL on Tuesday, November 12, 2013 - 09:08 pm:

Leather pad on the top of the frame to isolate those frame rivets.

Spring goes under the frame rail inside the channel, and use the correct fasteners too, with castle nut and cotter on top to secure the radiator.



Vintage photo from 1915 showing the leather pad.




Current repro parts, be sure to get Fun Projects pad, its the only correct one.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Steve Jelf, Parkerfield KS on Tuesday, November 12, 2013 - 10:49 pm:

I'm not too bright. I don't understand how the frame being spread 1/8" will make the radiator sit any higher or lower. By all means, squeeze it in if it's wide. But I doubt that will lower the radiator any.

It's hard to be sure of this from the pictures, but it looks to me like you may have a roadster firewall in your touring. On the touring firewall the support rod hole is on a level with the top coil box mounting holes. On the roadster firewall it's a little lower. Could that be the problem here?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By John F. Regan on Tuesday, November 12, 2013 - 11:24 pm:

Steve:

I must respectfully suggest that you are incorrect on both items. For a given year the roadster and touring both have the same dash with the exception of the 1911 Open roadster which has a unique dash. On a typical T the hood rod would be in the same place for both a Roadster and a Touring since they also both use the same hood and radiator as well as the same dash. On a black radiator the frame spreading wider would not cause as much of an issue except that it would stress the radiator core if it was too wide since it would reduce the "wiggle room" for the radiator when the car got crosswise on a ditch. It does however affect the fit of the hood and the radiator shell. On a brass radiator the apron of the radiator goes beyond the outer edge of the frame and thus sits down over the frames outer edge. In the pictured setup that Ron is trying to assemble, the outer edge of the brass radiator is sitting on top of the frame rather than down over it. A brass radiator does not mount that way. It is supposed to mount with the bottom surface of the radiator side apron sitting on the top surface of the frame or more correctly on the leather pad that sits on that top surface. There is no pad being used in the picture but even if there was, the radiator would not be sitting on it since it is sitting on the frame top via its outer apron edge. There is not supposed to be any hollow cavity under the radiator above the frame which is what is pictured.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Steve Jelf, Parkerfield KS on Tuesday, November 12, 2013 - 11:51 pm:

Hmmm. I was going by the firewall illustrations for 1911-1912 roadsters and 1912 tourings in Lang's catalogue, which shows them as different. But I have no personal experience with either one, so that was guesswork on my part.

As for the wide frame theory, looking again at Bob's last two pictures I think that may indeed be the problem. It sure wouldn't hurt to adjust the frame to the correct width and find out.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By John F. Regan on Wednesday, November 13, 2013 - 01:00 am:

Steve:

I have seen this problem many times. It is not a theory. I know one guy who took a hack saw and cut off the ends of his new brass radiator only to find out that his frame was the issue after he blasted Brassworks on this forum for making the radiator wrong. It was just a shame and too bad. I have restored some brass cars and I have to say that it is a rare model T frame that does not have at least some sag of the front cross member but many people don't look for it but discover the problem at assembly time when they try to install the radiator. Some file out the holes to try and make the radiator fit and are convinced it is the radiator being made wrong. Black radiator has the same issue but again most folks are just not aware of the issue and don't worry when the holes are "close" enough but it really is a problem later when the sheet metal doesn't fit so nice. It is kind of like building a house and putting up the first wall that is out of plumb. It just causes all sorts of later issues. Time spent inspecting and working on the frame is a very important step toward having everything fit later on. It is why I did the frame drawing and made it free. Just too many times it has come up after the frame is all painted and done up nice.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By David Dewey, N. California on Wednesday, November 13, 2013 - 01:32 am:

I had this problem just as John describes: after the frame was nice and shiny black. I was able to use a padded chain and a come-along to put the squeeze on the frame sides. I knew the frame was the problem, as the radiator I was fitting was an original.
One side benefit: the front fender Irons are now parallel! No sagging fenders for me!!
T
David D.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Bud Holzschuh - Panama City, FL on Wednesday, November 13, 2013 - 09:20 am:

Robert

Your radiator looks like a new Brassworks. I just installed a new BRassworks radiator on my 15 touring. I had exactly the same problem your experiencing. The distance between radiator mounting holes was 21 11/16" so I removed the cross member and adjusted it.



I actually compensated a little too much and wound up with 21 7/16. When i went to install the (new) radiator the mounting holes/system worked fine BUT the brass sheet metal on the sides still did not want to drop over the frame.

I wound up bending them ever so slightly outwards with a pair of gas pliers well padded with an old flannel shirt. The radiator then slipped over the frame and all was well.

So don't be surprised if the mounting holes in your front cross member are spot on but the brass sheet metal still needs a little tweak.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Bud Holzschuh - Panama City, FL on Wednesday, November 13, 2013 - 09:21 am:

Robert

Your radiator looks like a new Brassworks. I just installed a new Brassworks radiator on my 15 touring. I had exactly the same problem your experiencing. The distance between radiator mounting holes was 21 11/16" so I removed the cross member and adjusted it.



I actually compensated a little too much and wound up with 21 7/16. When i went to install the (new) radiator the mounting holes/system worked fine BUT the brass sheet metal on the sides still did not want to drop over the frame.

I wound up bending them ever so slightly outwards with a pair of gas pliers well padded with an old flannel shirt. The radiator then slipped over the frame and all was well.

So don't be surprised if the mounting holes in your front cross member are spot on but the brass sheet metal still needs a little tweak.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Bud Holzschuh - Panama City, FL on Wednesday, November 13, 2013 - 09:23 am:

Apologies for the double post - something weird happened with the forum software ;o)


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Adam Doleshal on Wednesday, November 13, 2013 - 12:32 pm:

While we are discussing radiator fit problems, I would like to bring everyone's attention to the fact that there are front cross members for T car and for TT truck and that they are different, even though they look interchangeable. If you use the wrong one, you will have a distinctive mis-match between the front water outlet on the cylinder head and the top inlet on the radiator. (Generally more than 1" off). Otherwise everything else will seem to fit fine.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mike Walker, NW AR on Wednesday, November 13, 2013 - 12:37 pm:

As others have said, bent Model T frames are quite common. My Coupelet body had been put on a later frame at some point, so I decided to rectify that. I went out back of my shop and picked out the best-looking early frame I had and took it inside. Using string lines and a tape measure, I found that it wasn't nearly so good as it first looked to be. It was bent, twisted, and the front crossmember sagged, as most of them do.

Long story short, I worked on the bare frame for two full days, getting it straightened and missing rivets replaced, etc. But time spent aligning the frame is time well-spent. If the frame is not totally correct, the rest of the car won't fit together right.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Charlie B actually in Toms River N.J. on Wednesday, November 13, 2013 - 01:52 pm:

I get re-bending the cross member but does it stay that way and what are the indications that it's happening anyway? Besides tearing the sides of the radiator off I mean. It seems unavoidable considering where the spring sits and the pressures involved. Has any one notched the cross member and welded in a filler piece and did it work any better than a re-bend? Now Robert says his rad fits perfectly and to be honest in pict #2 the rod seems to be hanging down at the front. The firewall hole might be off but how many have you seen that are a perfectly aligned match? Why would loosening the nuts at the firewall, threading the rod into the rad and tightening it back up be such a problem?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jim Thode Chehalis Washington on Wednesday, November 13, 2013 - 02:32 pm:

Charlie,
From a structural and metallurgical stand point the cross member would more likely stay in the correct position if it was heated and bent to the correct position rather then just flexing cold till it stays in position. Welding would also end up with a relaxed correct position but just heating and bending would likely be easier.
Jim


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By John F. Regan on Wednesday, November 13, 2013 - 02:52 pm:

The big difference in my mind is one that comes up often - namely road conditions are markedly different. The T in its life was subjected to some really bad roads with twists and bumps galore. Now unless you live in Detroit which has returned to that style of road - your T is just not going to be driven on enough horrible roads to warrant a lot of super human efforts to re design the front end. Just put it all straight and it will very likely outlast you and the next owner combined without the front frame end needing alteration. The worst ones I have seen are about 3/16 wider than normal and it really isn't hard to put the frame back to correct position and none of my cars has moved since. I am not building indy 500 cars here. I see overkill coming.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Steve Redelman on Wednesday, November 13, 2013 - 03:15 pm:

Robert,
When I went to instal my new Brassworks radiator on the frame of my 09 I had the same problem, it had spread about 3/16" over the years. I used two all thread rods to go through the holes on the side of the frame that are used to bolt the fender braces on, this way I was able to tighten them to pull the frame rails together. I then over tighten them pulling the rails to 22 5/8" I then heated up the cross member (front and rear side) where it kicks up on the side of the motor mount using a torch but not heating it enough to change color as you don't want to change the property of the metal. By doing one side at a time you can control your straightening of the front cross member. I bent them equally on each side but it took me the better part of an hour loosing and measuring over and over but the results provided a perfect fit of the radiator. Good luck, Steve


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By John F. Regan on Wednesday, November 13, 2013 - 03:48 pm:

I wish to address something that was posted in this thread that might be confusing.

Henry Petrino said.

"...what year is your T? If it's a '15-'16 the hole in the firewall is too low. The location of your support rod hole looks about right for an earlier car, but in '15-'16 it was moved up just a little higher than the upper coils terminal holes. Could you have used the wrong firewall?

I suppose alternatively you could have a later radiator, which is taller I think, on an earlier T.

The radiator support rod hole was only moved once with regard to its height above the top of the frame rail and that was in '09 since the earliest dash shows the height of the rad support rod as 14-15/32" above the bottom edge of the dash and the notations on that early print say it was a "trial dimension to see if correct" - it wasn't. Very soon it moved to 16-3/4" up from the bottom edge of the dash and it never changed again during the brass radiator era including early '16. What may be fooling you with regard to the 1915-1916 dash is the relative location of the radiator rod hole versus the coil box holes. The 1915 dash was abopted on 8/7/14 but on 10/7/14 the new 1915 dash was changed and all of the coil box holes were moved 1/4" lower which would make it appear that the radiator rod hole moved 1/4" higher unless you measured it. The radiator rod hole in all dashes from 1909 (not including water pump cars) through 1916 Brass era had the same height radiator support rod hole in the dash. If you stack up the 1909, 1910, 1911, 1912, 1913-1914, and 1915-1916 dash on top of each other aligning the bottom edges of each dash you would be able to sight through the radiator rod hole and see daylight front to back. I just did that on the computer drawings of all the dashes mentioned. It makes sense since the threaded fitting on the radiator is at a constant height above the frame (not including the early 09 radiators which had it about 2-1/4" lower).

All of the typical brass radiators have the same basic dimensions. I have a 1912 running gear I bought that has a late '15 radiator on it and everything fits fine. The 1916 brass radiator is the same basic height as the brass radiators before it with the noted exception of the first ones which are not well documented in the dash drawing archival info.

Just didn't want folks to be confused. There are enough differences and changes without adding some of our own :-)

Hope this helps.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Robert Poane on Wednesday, November 13, 2013 - 07:22 pm:

It's easier to straighten human bodies than car bodies! Thanks for all your advice. Bob


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