Aluminum Head, what should I do different?

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Model T Ford Forum: Forum 2015: Aluminum Head, what should I do different?
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Kevin Weeds on Sunday, April 26, 2015 - 06:54 pm:

Hi Guys I discovered I have a Aluminum head and I'm wondering what if anything I should do different?
1. For example I'm due to add antifreeze, Is there a different type as I've been trying to source a Ethylene Glycol but now perhaps any type might be ok?
2. I have a replacement head gasket arrived (which is Silicon) just as a back up, the existing one is copper that was sprayed with can of copper & refitted approx 500 miles ago following a valve repair via previous owner and is working fine. Does it matter which type I use now?
3. Should I add a water conditioner or similar? The radiator water is very clear every time I drain it.

Any other issues I should be wary of?

Also the car runs a vaporizer at the moment which I'm going to remove at some point but now I discover I have a high compression head maybe my focus changes, what do you suggest I fit to get the greatest benefit.
Economy and increase in hill climbing power is my preference, not speed. I do have the older style manifolds on hand and a NH was my target before this.
Thanks


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Terry Woods, Richmond, Texas on Sunday, April 26, 2015 - 07:02 pm:

Kevin, I and others, haven't had good luck with the new Silicon laced head gaskets. I have two new ones that I would gladly trade for copper ones. I may even have to end up giving them away. Make sure your antifreeze is compatible with aluminum and possibly use an aluminum anode in the radiator filler cap.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Kevin Weeds on Sunday, April 26, 2015 - 07:09 pm:

Thanks Terry, is the Anode you refer to just a piece of Aluminum Rod?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Les Schubert on Sunday, April 26, 2015 - 07:10 pm:

Kevin.
Ordinary antifreeze intended for modern engines should be just fine.
Fuel economy; If you are going to change and you want fuel economy, then I can endorse the Stromberg OF. Last summer I was driving my '13 touring in Banff National Park on a week long tour and averaged about 29-30 mpg imperial.
The being said, my observation is the vaporizer properly tuned up makes good fuel economy and decent power.
But probably the thing that truly helps the fuel economy is the Tru-fire ignition. My car has a Heinz coil box and Heinz coils never were any good and conventional coils won't fit. What are you running for ignition? Are your coils "fully tuned up"?

Hill Climbing ability;
Do you have a Ruckstel? How steep/long are the hills you are dealing with. At what elevation are you normally. Your coupe is medium heavy, so you sure want to stay with3.63-1 rear axle gears. Looking at the picture of your car, I don't believe you have a Ruckstel. They are really really nice to have in hilly country

A 280 cam might be worth considering. As I recall you are a new owner, so I would suggest don't get in a big hurry to change things, but the Ruckstel is worth it in my experience.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Tim Wrenn-Monroeville OH on Sunday, April 26, 2015 - 07:14 pm:

Kevin, not sure exactly what the anode style is, but all the vendors sell them. They're not expensive, and a MUST for aluminum heads. Also, I believe the type of antifreeze I've switched to is the "low tox" type, pet friendly, I believe it's propylene glycol. Same green color, just different type. I read somewhere that it's also better for vintage engines, though I dont' know what's the difference. Iron should be iron. I have O'Reilly's order it for me from Prestone, it's even called-you guessed it- "Low Tox"...has a greenish label on it with a picture of a dog.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Bob Jablonski on Sunday, April 26, 2015 - 07:16 pm:

I'll second on the Vaporizor, if it's working good, keep it.

Don't fall into the trap that you have to change everything to have a great running T. Just fix what is needed and you & you T will be happy.

The "Z" head is , in my opinion, the best bolt on improvement anyone can do to get a bit of extra power to a stock engine.

Bob Jablonski


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Ken Parker on Sunday, April 26, 2015 - 07:36 pm:

Kevin,

Can you show us a picture of that head?

Ken in Texas


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Kevin Weeds on Sunday, April 26, 2015 - 07:38 pm:

Thanks Guys,
Les 30 mpg would be fantastic! ive got 20.7 & 18 mpg (imp gallons) on my economy tests so far. I dont want to change the ign system and my coils have been checked in Feb although I brought another 4 recon ones in Feb that were checked last week.
Just have the standard diff and that wont be getting changed, along with the cam unless I win lotto lol.
I guess if I was going to change my carby system I dont want more speed just economy & power and the reason the Vap is going is I want to crank start every time...Vaps arent the best for this although I try to crank most starts.

Bob I will keep the Vap & manifolds aside for refitting if needed its just finding the Z head could lead me in a different carby direction.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Kevin Weeds on Sunday, April 26, 2015 - 07:45 pm:

Sure Ken


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Kenneth W DeLong on Sunday, April 26, 2015 - 07:51 pm:

Get Rid Of The Plastic Filter and Rubber Hose Before you Burn Down!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Bud in Wheeler,Mi.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Kevin Weeds on Sunday, April 26, 2015 - 07:56 pm:

The filters there until I'm sure I have all the crap from the tank.
I've never had any issue using rubber fuel line before on heaps of cars but it will also go when I settle on my new carby sytem.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Donnie Brown North Central Arkansas on Sunday, April 26, 2015 - 08:04 pm:

Kevin, Most anodes we used in the oil refineries I used to work at were zinc. Zinc is a sacrificial material that "dies" before your radiator or block and head does. I also believe one of the additives in anti-freeze is zinc. Not a 100 percent sure of that, but I do remember reading that the additives contained zinc. Someone else may be able to confirm or correct me on that...


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Brian Eliason, Whittier, CA on Sunday, April 26, 2015 - 08:21 pm:

Kevin,
The new, Long Life coolants, often orange in color, have reportedly shown an annoying tendency to eat up the lead-bearing solder in our copper radiators. They are sometimes referred to as "Organic Acid Technology" and are designed to work well with the new aluminum radiators that are not soldered. Be wary, because the container labels can lead one to believe they are OK for any car.

"Conventional Green" coolant (Peak, Zerex, O'Reilly, etc.) are supposed to be the same Ethylene Glycol base we have been using forever, with an "INorganic Acid Technology" that is OK for copper, brass, solder, aluminum, etc.

As Tim mentioned, I also recall the lower-toxicity propylene glycol coolants being OK with solder, but in a recent search through various manufacturer's web information I was unable to confirm that, so I went with the conventional.

Best regards. BE


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By mike_black SC/FL on Sunday, April 26, 2015 - 10:18 pm:

I know gas is expensive in NZ, but, I don't think 20mpg is bad at all. I don't think any of mine will do that well--in fact, my 2 speedsters only get about 10mpg.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Les Schubert on Sunday, April 26, 2015 - 10:46 pm:

Kevin
So I see you are at about 1,500 feet above sea level and it seems mountainous terrain. With out a Ruckstell I would want 4:1 gears if I lived there. It seems likely you have not checked out the rear axle "slop". Buy a 10 tooth pinion. I had one in a 4dr with a Ruckstell and I liked it. Best of all is it improves the chances of your crank surviving along with better brakes


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Kevin Weeds on Sunday, April 26, 2015 - 10:54 pm:

I might order a anode in my next shipment unless the local engineering shop has a lump of Zinc.

Mike ...yes I also was happy with 20 mpg, remember that is 17 mpg in your language. Considering it a 27 Coupe, Vapourizer, bit heavier and detuned etc with 2 people in & a bit of luggage, mainly flat driving with just 2 steep hills (top gear just). Also had 3 stops of 5 min, 20 mins & 90 mins. I'm Hopefull of bettering that on a constant cruise.
I like the way Les is talking though lol.

Brian - I can only find Ethylene on the market here so far (made a mistake in my opening sentence I meant to I'm looking for Propylene based). I'm thinking now I have a Z head it wont be as important, anything better than freezing it as we can get to -11 C in the next few months and I intend to keep driving it.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Ken Kopsky, Lytle TX on Monday, April 27, 2015 - 08:01 am:

Any boat shop should have zinc anodes. They come in different shapes but if you get the bar type, you can cut them in smaller pieces and have a lifetime supply. Or melt it and pour into smaller sizes. That way you can include a wire hanger to insert into the overflow tube.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Les Schubert on Monday, April 27, 2015 - 10:19 am:

Kevin
One thing I have seen some "novice " T drivers do is lean the mixture TOO much in the search for fuel economy. I have found it is better to adjust for maximum power
Easier on the valves and easier on the crank


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Ken Parker on Monday, April 27, 2015 - 10:48 am:

Kevin,

Put a stock cast iron high head on it and worry about something else.

Ken in Texas


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Kevin Weeds on Monday, April 27, 2015 - 06:27 pm:

Ken K, I'll try a boat shop next time in Town. Next Thurs I'm going to see "Dr Hook".
Les I haven't fell into the too lean trap. The mixture is set at one turn out and I never adjust it from the cab because every time I've tried it takes at least 1/4 a turn each way to notice any changes so i dont bother.
Ken P - I dont have another head, I wont be changing the head back I'm happy with the way it runs.
Thanks Guys


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Paul O'Neil, Fullerton, CA, USA on Wednesday, April 29, 2015 - 11:53 am:

Just a cautionary note - some time ago, possibly two years, we had a long thread on these anodes. I too have an AL Z head and had been using the anodes to prevent corrosion but stopped after reading about them on this elist.

There were two points made that swayed my opinion. First, the anode "goes somewhere" when it is dissolved. That somewhere is all over the water passages of the radiator & engine. It forms an insulating film of filth that harms heat transfer.

The second point was that it is completely unneeded. Ordinary anti freeze/coolant already protects the metal from corrosion.

I'm no expert but these points made enough sense that I decided to go without the anode with my new motor. I have been watching the coolant and have seen no signs of rust in the year and a half the car has been together. I changed to fluid this past fall and the old looked perfect.

Just a point to consider . . .

Vintage Paul


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mike Walker, NW AR on Wednesday, April 29, 2015 - 09:09 pm:

I agree with Paul that the anode is not needed. I've run T engines with aluminum heads many thousands of miles and have never seen any deterioration of the aluminum. Lots of modern engines have aluminum heads in combination with an iron block, and no anode in the system.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Kevin Weeds on Wednesday, April 29, 2015 - 09:24 pm:

Good point guys the head has obviously been on for many years and the radiator water runs crystal clear every time I drain it. I'm about to add anti freeze so that might be enough.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Gene Carrothers Huntington Beach on Wednesday, April 29, 2015 - 10:13 pm:

I think it was mentioned above but make sure to get the Conventional antifreeze not the new Everlasting type.

Think it has the green label but will say conventional


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Kevin Weeds on Wednesday, April 29, 2015 - 10:41 pm:

Thats the issue i cant find any conventional type anti freeze for sale in NZ ....yet


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Ed in California on Wednesday, April 29, 2015 - 10:52 pm:

I have seen many a aluminum head on Ts and an As that are deeply corroded around the water jacket holes. Whether or not an anode would stop that is anybodys guess.


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