Does antifreeze need to be drained before I take off the head?
There is antifreeze in the first compression chamber.
As I loosen the head bolts antifreeze is coming out of the top head bolt. So, does antifreeze need to be drained before I take off the head?
The anti in your combustion chamber got there from lifting the head prior to draining the engine.
Robert, forgive me if this sounds like I'm trying to be a jerk. It's not my intent. But that's the kind of question that causes a lot of us to think you should find an experienced Model T person from your area to help you through your endeavors with your T.
Im in agreement with Mike. The last thing we want to do is sound like a smart ***, but your question is a very basic question. We do not want you to have to learn the hard way, and do something that will cost you a lot of money. Im sure there is some experienced Model T guy in your area that would be glad to help with your project. We want to welcome you to the Model T world and have you have years of enjoyment with them. We all started somewhere, so please do not take this the wrong way. Let us know where you are from and there is probably a local chapter that would love to have you join them, or they could give some tips ... Good luck and welcome
Robert, as Donnie said, welcome. I see you're from Maryland. Maybe a few of those east coast guys will chime in.
After 706 posts I hardly think that Robert is a newbie to the forum!!
Frank 706 posts since March of this year. We're not trying to belittle Robert. Our goal is more to assure another happy Model T guy is out there to join us on the open road.
What good is this forum if one cannot ask a question in effort to learn?
Robert don't sweat it about not knowing about the antifreeze I believe everyone on here has something like this happen to them. I remember when I first tried to remove a front wheel on a T I took off the spindle nut and the wheel refused to come off. I knew that it had to come off as it did on my 1929 Model A my 1966 Ford Mustang and my 1937 Stude. Well I started with a small hammer and progressed to a big wheel puller and finally to the biggest hammer I had, it never happened that day. I found an old guy who took me under his wing and helped me learn just how to work on these Old Lizzy's. That was in 1973 and now I'm the Old guy. So don't sweat the small stuff and everything is small stuff and enjoy your car, I know that I have enjoyed all of ours. T's Forever
Tyrone, We want anyone to ask a question, no matter what it is. But that question gives the impression that he is in way over his head. Mike and myself are treading on delicate water with this one. I want in no way to hurt anyones feelings, and I think Mike feels the same way, but at the same time, we do not want someone to make a costly mistake ... so everyone "Please play nicely"
Mike, March 2012!!
Just a reminder to all, don't leave drained anti freeze around in a container that a pet can drink out of, it's not a fun way to die.
Thanks for your kind word, help and encouragement!
I already said many times, I am way over my head on this one!
Yes, I have talked on this forum many times (706 time since I joined the forum many years ago) because I enjoy the company of like minds, not because I know how to repair the model T.
There are two guys in my club who have been very helpful, but they live over an hour away.
I have never been a 'car guy.' I have been a model T guy since I was a kid. I have been a member since around 1979. I make a better tinkerer than restorer.
But I am already into this project (over my head), which is why I call this 'the car the forum built.'
As long as you have patience with me I will continue to ask questions. As always, thank you for your help.
It seems to me a little bit more sympathy and a little less snark would have been more appropriate for a fellow T owner. Were not all perfect and everybody has different mechanical skill-sets, that's what i thought a forum was for. Its the ability to ask a person for a little bit of help in a time of need. If it weren't for people offering help and advice here, this would be nothing more than a heartless search engine. Just my thoughts as someone who has only been here for a few Months.
Go easy on the guy. Everyone has to learn at some point. I dont mind helping a fellow T owner out as so many here have done for me.
I've had my Flivver for about four years and am always second-guessing myself about how to do any kind of repair or maintenance when it's going to be for the very first time. Now, as it happens, I've been considering removing the head to do a carbon-cleaning and so, went through the steps in my mind. Next move would be to check with the gang on the forum just in case I missed something.
Well, turns out I also missed the anti-freeze factor. And it's funny because I know that "water always seeks its own level," so it should have been obvious to me that because the level of the liquid in the radiator comes up above the top of the engine, pulling the head without draining off the coolant would have made quite a mess of things for me. This, I think, is a case of my having gotten so close, I couldn't see the forest for the trees.
Checking with the gang on the forum before doing something for the first time is prudent—and smart. Good move, man.
There are whole threads on doing silly/dumb things, and the threads are LONG. Lol, for instance, i know for a fact I am only 1 in a long line of forum posters (and lurkers) who have gone to the trouble of measuring and tweaking and measuring and tweaking my radius rods so that my torque tube is perfectly perpendicular to the rear diff. Except, that the u-joint ball bracket that allows one to bolt the assembly to the transmission - is resting down around the pinion bearing. Lol, undo and then torque tube alignment, take 2.
Not a dumb question at all.
If filling your cylinder with antifreeze from forgetting to drain it before removing the head is the worst thing you ever do, you'll be just fine. Chalk it up to a learning experience. If someone just told you to drain it, you might not know why and may or may not remember to do it the next time. You know why, now, and will probably always remember to do it from now on.
One thing I don't think anyone mentioned is that you probably have some antifreeze in your oil now. It can get past the piston rings and run down into the pan. The bad thing is that it is probably not down in the sump, but caught in the dipper wells in the inspection cover. It might not be a bad idea to drain the oil and remove the inspection cover to get it out, then replace the cover and refill with oil. A new gasket may be required when replacing the cover.
Hal is right, coolant will end up in the sump if it's already in the cylinder, a little less work of removing the inspection cover would be to jack the front up as high as you can, (+ safty stands) and drain the oil and also tipping a fresh gallon of cheap oil to flush. Just of interest, why are you removing the head,is it because of the coolant in that #1 cyl?
Frank, there was oil spitting from around the spark plug at combustion chamber #1(closest to the radiator) and #3 (closest to the trans.)
With the suggestion from a man in our club, I removed the plugs to put copper head gasket
paste around the plug and noticed antifreeze in chamber #1.
As I began loosening head bolts I noticed antifreeze leaking. Been so long since I removed a head, I forgot it was hollow so the anti could circulate.
Hence, removal of the head question.
A mentor of mine years ago once said to me when I told him I had a "dumb question"...."there are no dumb questions, only DUMB ANSWERS". How true.
Unbelievable, is not being able to spell unbelievable!
Now let's drain that antifreeze and get the head off and clean out the cylinders! Draining/replacing the oil would be a good idea too at this point.
I lost count of the "learning experiences" I've had from working on the Model T. There is always something you didn't know you didn't know till you found that you didn't know something you now know. I just wish I could make mistakes only once. From time to time, I do a repeat "learning experience".
Enjoy the learning.
Oil spitting from around the spark plug? If it's oil, those must be pretty bad rings for that much oil to be getting into the combustion chamber. Is there a lot of smoke when the engine runs? If it's antifreeze spitting out, not oil, a gasket leak is likely.
Either way, now that antifreeze has probably found its way into the sump, I agree on draining the oil and removing the inspection cover.
Learning is half the fun of owning a Model T. And we all learn in different ways and at different rates. Some learn more by reading and then doing and others lean more by doing and then evaluating. And some of us will be better in one area of work, sports, hobby, etc. than other areas.
Statistically many men do not like to read books – so if you don’t like books feel free to skip the rest of this posting. Although the book “Model T Ford Service” was written for the Ford Mechanic at the Ford Dealer it was also written to provide “…detailed instructions to skilled as well as unskilled mechanics” (ref paragraph 3 of the Forward page in the book). I find it has a great deal of good information for me whether it is the first time I’m doing a certain job or the 50th time. It provides a good checklist summary of what needs to be done in a logical order (actually in the “authorized Ford way” again according to the Forward page).
There is a free on-line version of the Model T Ford Service book – T1 located at:
http://mtfci2002.readyhosting.com/manuals/Model_T_Service_Manual/mtsm.html I find it and some other books & DVDs very helpful. They can make my Model T jobs go easier. I still asked questions. And if possible having someone there to help – an extra set of eyes, hands, and another person’s experience can also make the job more enjoyable. And if you have the opportunity – I would encourage you to have a younger helper also. I could never break the head bolts lose when I was very young but once my Dad got them loose, I could turn them out with the wrench or socket. And those times with my Dad working on Ts is the reason I enjoy them so much. Note page 91 – 95 of the Ford Service has a list of items any mechanic will want to consider when they are planning to remove the carbon from the head as well as checking the valves while the head is off. Page 91 step 1 is “Drain water by opening petcock under radiator.” And page 95 has an equally important last step “Close radiator drain cock and fill radiator ….”
No matter how you like to learn, continue to have fun with your Ts. That’s why we have them.
Hap l9l5 cut off
Hey Robert, Don't let 'em grind you!
I see from your profile that you are a medical practitioner, I'll bet you didn't get there without a great deal of study and practice.
Well, understanding the basics of auto mechanics is no different. I would suggest you get ahold of a copy of Dyke's Automobile and Gasoline engine encyclopedia then hit the books!
You have gained a great deal of model T smarts by practicing on your remarkable car, with very little understanding of its theory of operation. A truly remarkable feat! I can assure you that with the education you will gain by studying the old books, your Model T experience will move from frustrating to pure joy (with different frustrations).
You have chosen a wonderful platform on which to learn! Keep those questions coming!
well Robert, if you have any questions regarding your car you can email me. I'm not as experienced in the T as most of these guys but I am not a beginner. I own two cars my dad restored and have learned to keep them in top condition by asking questions here and reading books. I have built several period type racers from basket cases.
Then if I can't answer your question, I am friends of a nationally known and respected restorer who is a library of knowledge for T's and especially Model A's.
If you have any question sir, I will get you an answer. Also I don't know where in Virgina, but I will be in Norfork, Va next April. Will be driving from here in Topeka, Ks to there. I will be happy to stop in if you are close to my route.
Robert if you guys have followed/commented over the years is a lot like I was some 30+ years ago.
Without knowing that 2 + 2 will really equal 4, Robert deduces what seems to be right to his way of thinking and before he breaks something he comes here with a 'well here is where I am at and I can use your advice".
Isn't that what the forum is really for?
Besides, I live maybe but an hour away and if you really get stuck on something, I'd drive down and help hands on. I only live at milepost 34 in Jersey. My fee is pretty steep but would be what I charge everyone...you buy/supply lunch!
Keep at it Robert!
No damage done, however, you need to drain the oil and remove the inspection plate under the engine to get out any antifreeze which might have gotten into your oil. Seal up the inspection plate and all around the bolts which hold the inspection plate, and everything will be fine. After you get the head on and torqued, remember to refill the oil with new oil and use plain water first in the cooling system to check for leaks. Once you get all the leaks fixed, you can then drain the cooling system and refill with proper mixture of anti freeze. Remember after you warm up the engine to operating temperature to re-torque the head bolts. 50 ft lbs, not more. tighten in proper order from center to outside and center to front, center to back. Then go back to the center and work outward again until all are 50 ft lbs. If you have an aluminum head, let the engine cool after you warm it to operating temperature before you re-torque. If it is steel, you can torque it hot.
THAT >>> By John P Noonan on Friday, July 25, 2014 - 11:24 pm:
It seems to me a little bit more sympathy and a little less snark would have been more appropriate for a fellow T owner. Were not all perfect and everybody has different mechanical skill-sets, that's what i thought a forum was for. Its the ability to ask a person for a little bit of help in a time of need.
If you can't or won't help someone it's not THAT hard to sit on your hands.
What's your point Craig? The proper answer was obvious and repeated over and over, should i have just piled on the bandwagon?
Craig, I'm a little confused by your post. Could you please clarify your indignation?
That's a high complement to you John....... :D
I said if folks can't or won't help they should sit on their hands.
Sorry Craig, i misunderstood the context of your post,...My bad, and my apologies for being a jerk, i should have known better.
LOL.........not to worry John....you are ANYTHING but a jerk.......
Thank you Craig, your very kind. My wife was diagnosed with cancer after only 2 weeks of buying our first T and now all she wants do is cruise along like its 1925..and that's exactly what i plan to do.
........I could tell by your posts you are a helper......and now you are proving it by your actions.......enjoying every day you have together.
God bless you both........ ......(something tells me He has).
Thank you Craig, didn't mean to bring my personal life into this forum, but my wife loves T's just as much as i do and teaching her to drive it makes it all that more special.