Second question for the night. Can a brass radiator be re-conditioned and/or re-cored. Mine isn't too bad, but getting rebuilt is probably cheaper than buying new. I'd rather keep the old one on that my father and grandfather fixed and used so much bars leak in over the years. Thanks
Wayne I think I've read where either Steve Jelf, Royce Peterson or maybe both have indeed had brass rads recored. Brassworks used to do that kind of work, don't know if they still do, and when they did, seemed like a long process so best left for the "off season" months.
Yes, I did. The most important reason for me was that it allowed me to keep my original tank. The repo tank isn't quite the same. The second reason was that it saved me a few Benjamins.
Whether you re-core your radiator or get a new one, it is important to get all the Bar's out of the engine block. It has coated the sides of the water passages, and will inhibit heat transfer.
It shouldn't be too hard. While the radiator is out, you could plug the inlet fitting with a cork or rubber ball or something, then fill with water mixed with a radiator cleaner. Or, make your own with muriatic acid, or lye, or something.
Just be sure to flush well when you're finished.
I suggest you DO NOT do this flushing in your driveway. The crud that comes out of the block, including a lot of rust, will stain concrete, pretty permanently. Don't ask how I know.
Steve Jelf engine flushing videos:
Pretty exciting stuff, huh?
Last i talked to brass works and there quote was almost the price of a new one
Guy in the midwest radiator masters was going do it couple hundred less i ended up tradeing
A new radiator from Brassworks would have cost me $1275. The recore was $800. That's a difference of almost $500 for me to spend on other things.
Thank you everybody. I'll flush out the block first and put it on and see how bad it leaks and go from there. Thanks again everybody
The gentleman pictured in Steve's photo is Tom, owner of Tom's Radiator in Sabetha, Kansas (Northeast KS). I've taken five brass radiators to Tom over the last few years. I found him through another farmer who told me Tom can repair anyting. At the time, I needed our Model K radiator repaired, and two shops in Omaha looked at the radiator and told me it was unrepairable. The second shop even charged me $180 to open up the radiator, close it back up and tell me there was nothing they could do.
I took it to Tom thinking there was no hope, but what the heck, a new one would probably cost $7 to $8 thousand. Tom told me he would take a look at it, so I left it with him on a Friday, expecting little or nothing. I also expected it to take a few weeks to find out nothing could be done.
On the following Monday, Tom called, and I expected to hear "I looked at it, and there's nothing I can do." Instead, Tom said he decided to work on it over the weekend, since it was a "first" for him (brass radiator). He said he was done, when would I like to pick it up!!!!
When I picked up the radiator, it looked great, and my next worry was, how much? To my surprise, it was under $400.
This is the second K radiator Tom worked on for me. He's just starting to clean and solder. The first looked the same:
This is how the first one looked on our car:
Tom has now rebuilt two Model N radiators and our 13 T. This is a radiator I bought from Homer's sale a few years ago. Anyone who was at the sale may recall the condition the radiators were in (not good). It's the early Model N style, and I intend to replace the later radiator (also rebuilt by Tom) on our early N:
On our Model K Roadster, the radiator core was in bad condition. Tom said he could make it work, but the cores under the crank box would not have circulated, so we went with a new core. He used oval core since we are going to drive the car extensively, and we kept the original core on the shelf. I spent less than $1,000 for the recore, that included cutting in the crankbox:
I have no relationship to Tom's Radiator, except that I'm thrilled with his work. If anyone wants his contact info, send me a P.M.
There is a lot to be said for learning to do it yourself
Consider picking up a junk radiator and taking it apart
There are also some good books available telling you how to work on them
Ordering a new core to your specifications is not difficult
You can do it just remove the bottom tank , push a brass braising rod up each tube . If you don't feel you can , take it to any radiator shop they can do it. See the Model t Ford factory service manual page 203 par 857
I plan on putting it back on and seeing how bad it leaks. I will attempt to braze up any small leaks or ones that are not resolved with the other tricks I have read about. If it is leaking too bad, then I'll probably have somebody look. I haven't filled it up in 10 years so who knows what will happen.
On my radiator other brass work I try to use a big electric "iron" (really it is copper)
50-50 solder works nicely
CLEANING is everything
Unfortunately, when I've tried to "fix" radiators, the outcomes have been less than desired. I think the problem is excess. Excess solder, excess heat, then excessive leaking.....
If you have time, please post some pics of your soldering equipment and supplies. And maybe a little how-to.