Hey guys , hope you've all had a great Christmas , was going to try to take my boys out for a test run in our recently acquired 1926 tudor ( my youngest son Isaac and I have been working on it most every day ) and We've had it running and idling with a couple of small tube leaks in the radiator , but nothing notable really , anyhow we were about to embark on our short journey to the neighbors farm and the radiator just opened up at the bottom at the lower connection . My question is this , is there anyone who repairs 88 yr old radiators as I feel out of my league in trying to repair it myself , or should I bite the bullring and just buy a new one ( most likely in spring ) the boys and I were quite disappointed ( especially Isaac ) but we cleaned up and put it back inside , we are now in need of repair or replacement . Thank you for your input .
Bullet not bullring , auto correct cracks me up !!
Call Bergs and get a new one. Money well spent.
If you want to have fun with your T and not worry about boiling over I agree with Kevin and spend the money and get a new Bergs radiator. Or if there is a good shop around your area get them to recore it and be done with it.
For a fun T and not a show T get a flat tube core or a new flat tube radiator which is what a lot of T guys do anyway.
Some newer radiator shops wont try to repair old tractor or car radiators. I live close to a town with over 100,000 plus people and NOT ONE shop repairs old radiators. Clicks radiator in Dallas will recore a T radiator for around 350-400.00.
One thing about trying to repair or find an 'oldy but goody' T radiator, you can spend the time, hassle and money trying to fix an original and still wind up with an old non-functioning radiator. They do wear out. They get to the point and just wont cool.
I went the oldy but goody route 3 times until I finally spent the money and bought a new one.
I could have saved a good amount of money if I bought a new one to begin with.
I got tired of taking the old rad off and on for repairs and bit down for a new Berg's rad. All the difference in the world. Not cheap, but very high quality and will outlast me for years of worry free T driving. Really cools far better also. Don't forget to get a very good flush out of your block while the rad is off. Amazing how much iron dirt and gunk is laying in the back of the block cooling chambers. It can be found with a magnet on a wire snaked in the openings while the head was off.
Doesn't seem like a big problem to me from the description. Something that can be repaired. Never can tell until it gets checked out. Don't jump to the "new radiator" prematurely. I am a proponent of buying a new radiator only as a last resort.
I just went thru the same thing with my new-to-me '24 all original Tudor. Radiator looked ok and didn't leak but when I went to change the hoses found the lower outlet completely clogged with mud and rust and the upper hose glued onto the inlet. When I took the lower hose off I found the cast iron outlet to be completely rotted. So I ordered two new bronze inlet and outlet pieces ($100+) and had the only radiator shop in town that would touch it install them and "boil it out" ($175). When I got it back, it leaked like a sieve. Took it back to the radiator shop and he tried to fix it by breaking the fins away and soldering the tubes , still oozes water from the lower third and now looks like someone machine gunned it. Radiator guy says the only thing keeping the water in was probably the mud and rust inside that was removed by "boiling" and to use some block crack seal (sodium silicate). Said he could recore it but I have lost faith in him. Last week I ordered a new radiator from Bergs. I decided I didn't want to keep patching a bad radiator and to bite the bullet and just get a new one, install it, and not worry and think about it again.
Radiators are like tires, they do wear out after 80-90+ years.
When I got the new Bergs radiator for my 24 it was a different car I thought. NO boil over after a run and the radiator was just warm after a good long drive. I had heard that T's have a tendency to boil over after a while growing up.
I still haven't got my 24 Coupe to boil over yet.
I found two local radiator shops that were great. I have a brass radiator and it is original. Founds good leads on who to take it to at our local Model T Ford club. I had the original outlets taken off and new brass inlet/outlets put on. Holds antifreeze really well. Sometimes a radiator shop will recommend someone else in the business of antique auto radiators. There is always someone who knows what they are doing. Good luck!
Travis, I've been known to post about the benefit and peace of mind just biting the bullet and forking over the money. Did two out of 4 T's..one brass, and also my Model A, all in the last 3 years..so you talk about major cash outlay! Wife's going crazy! At least your 26 will "only" be around $850....wait 'till you get a brass car!
I've been there and here's my take. If your problem is just leaks, resoldering an inlet or outlet, or buildup of crud in the tubes .... these can all be fixed. It will be difficult finding a radiator man skilled and willing enough to work on your radiator, but it can be done. If I can find a guy in poodunk, FL you can probably find one too.
My advice is to check the fin to tube connections. Get in there and wiggle with a small screwdriver or other probe. If a significant number of them are loose - forget it and do as others have advised and buy new.
If the tubes are clean and the radiator is tight but the fins are loose, it will NEVER be right and you'll always have overheating problems.
If you can find a new core, that might work, but between the price of the core and having it soldered in, it might approach the price of a new radiator.
Most things on a T can be fixed relatively cheaply ... but not loose radiator fins.
Berg's. You'll be glad you did. Am running three Berg's radiators now - best money I've spent.
I've repaired the radiators on two of my T's this last spring and ran them all summer. It's no big deal if you're familiar with soldering with map gas. If not either find a radiator shop or contact Bergs. I have a Bergs on my touring and after soldering the filler neck on because it wasn't soldered solid enough to take the weight of my dog one and Motometer I had no problems.
Have a local radiator shop look at it. Preferably one that's been in biz for many years.