I just finished a complete rebuild of the entire drive line on my '26 coupe and have installed a 180 thermostat, because I re-installed the water pump that came with the car. Did I do the right thing?
Warren, you're probably okay with that setup. I would never consider putting that much restriction in a thermo syphon system. These cars were designed to run with water in the system and water pumps were never part of the considerations. I've known of several model Ts that are run without restriction and don't have a fan on them. The key to good cooling is to have a good radiator with all the cooling fins intact and make certain the inside of the water jacket is very clean to avoid restricting flow. If your attempting to bring your running temperature up to increase performance and efficiency perhaps you'll achieve your goal however, it's important to monitor your temperature and a motometer is a pretty good option.
It's your car, bought with your funds, so it is your "game" and you get to set the rules. If your heart says that you did the "right thing", then you did.
If your heart says "no", well, then you didn't.
Thank you Michael and Dave for sharing your thoughts. I was told by a good Model T friend that the Ts run better when they are up to proper operating temperature. It was an easy install and will be just as easy taking it out should I decide to do that. I have a '17 with no water pump and it runs great, even when I'm doing one of my favorites the 4th of July parade in New Boston, New Hampshire and it's ninety degrees in the shade!
ps: Dave now that Seabiscuit is running I hope to get together for some fun riding around the area.
Your saying the pump was there but it never had a thermostat in it? You know, kind of what Dave said above but what prompted adding one?
Warren, how good is your radiator? Is it a 'good' original, a new one or?
Its your car of course but if the radiator is new and you also have a water pump maybe the water pump would be going along for just a ride and not really needed.
Unless you're operating somewhere like Arizona in the summertime, a water pump is a needlessly complicated Band-Aid. -It requires less effort to flush out your engine's water jacket and have a radiator shop clean out your radiator than it does to install a pump. -But hey, places like Florida and Arizona do require more of a cooling system than other places and the more your coolant circulates, the better. -Now, if a water pump is needed to keep the engine cool, the last thing you'd want is any kind of circulation restriction and a thermostat is exactly that.
The whole point of a thermostat is to prevent coolant circulation so the engine will warm up to operating temperature as quickly as possible. -But the thermo-siphon system doesn't circulate coolant until the engine warms up, anyway, so I can't imagine any benefit to be gained from installing a thermostat in a Model T. -Why do non-thermosiphon cars need thermostats? -Because if the engine takes a long time to warm up, the car's heater will take a long time before it can begin to work.
I've had waterpumps that leaked, that seized, and even one that pumped the water through so fast it pushed it out the overflow until it starting running hot. The only time a waterpump has ever proven satisfactory for me was as a temporary fix for a poor radiator.
Here's how a water pump works for me:
Here's how a water pump works for me:
Of the four T's I own only one actually runs at "operating temperature" (based on moto-meter). They all have new, or fairly new radiators in them and all run equally well.
I never did understand why the 23 Runabout ran hotter than the 15 pickup, 27 Touring or 26 Tudor.
Can anyone help me out with that?
Sorry for the thread drift. I realized what I had done after I had already posted.
I have 7 Model T's and all have new or at least old reproduction radiators except for one that still has an original brass radiator. Six of them are brass era cars. They all run about the same temperature and none of them have water pumps. I live in Florida and have found that timing and fuel mixture affect running temperature more than anything else but unfortunately I have also found that getting the right combination takes a bit of tweaking and is different for each car. That said it is well worth the time it takes to get the right combination and avoid the need for a water pump.
Ironically my Bride drives the T that runs warmer than the others. That may explain the temperature difference.
All of them are without water pumps and thermostats just as Henry made them.
I think this debate started sometime in 1909 and could be debated for another hundred years.
I don't have one on my car because I want it to appear correct, but I understand the desire to run a car at a well controlled optimal temperature as it has been proven for a very long time that engines do last longer, make more power, and run more efficiently if they're not run too hot or too cold.
I don't own a T water pump, but I have often thought they would be a neat thing to collect. However, I would never install one, as I think thermosyphon is just too d@mned neat a phenomenon to do away with.
If it hasn't been said already, the only way to know is to try it. If it doesn't work right, take the pump & T'stat out. My opinion, you probably don't need either piece, (even though my T's have pumps, which I probably don't need either...)
You don't say whether you have a temperature gauge on the car. Not a motometer, but an accurate temperature gauge. That would be the only way you could determine whether it is running at the correct temperature. My experience with a water pump is that it runs too cold in cold weather but doesn't make any difference in hot weather. A thermostat would help in cold weather but do nothing for it in hot weather. You should also have a bypass for the thermostat so that some of the coolant will go past it to make it operate. Otherwise, it would not open at the proper time. You will notice that the modern cars with thermostats have a bypass, even some have a small hole drilled in the thermostat to let some coolant through.
I have found that a T with a clean cooling system and good radiator will warm up quite fast by thermosyphon, and then it will maintain the operating temperature just fine without any pump or thermostat.
However, if you do install them, be sure to test the actual temperature to see how it operates.
Another thing I have found out is that a closed pressure system doesn't work on a T either. The pressure will blow out the freeze plugs.
I second your comments. My dad tends to "pull the ears down" on his car and run the carb wherever it ran best on it's last trip (which was in the mountains). I'll never be able to convince him of the long term problems of running too much advance...oh well. When we were taking 5 people in his Hack at the Winter tour in FL this year, his radiator started spitting out of the cap...I reached over and reduced the overly-advanced timing and enriched the carb 1/8 turn and we cooled off in 1/2 mile...I could feel the car run much easier and the temperature proved it.
Thank you everyone form sharing your thoughts with me. I do use a MotoMeter on both my Ts and they seem to work fine. I have also ordered a Etekcity Lasergrip 1080 (ETC 8550) Temperature Gun Non-contact Digital Laser Infrared IR Thermometer to check my engine temperatures. I also sent the radiator to the shop and had it cleaned, flow and pressure tested. It was a matter of convenience to reinstall the water pump, more than anything else.