I'm back!! About a year ago I was working at the Museum of Texas Tech University on a 1926 Ford Runabout as a student. This time I'm a volunteer and working on a 1927 Fordor. What makes this project really exciting is the museum wants this one running!!
Anyway, as I am starting to evaluate the Model T, for the life of me I can not get the radiator cap off. Is there a trick? This has been setting for over 30 years. Or is it possible it is so corroded, its welded shut and there is nothing I can do?
Probably just corroded from sitting gentle heat with a heat gun and copious amounts of your favorite penetrating fluid.
That is my next step. More worried about applying too much heat. Not sure how the metal of the cap or radiator will react. And yes, lots of WD40 right now. Thanks G.R.!
The neck should expand with some heat. Don't use enough to weaken the solder to the radiator tank. You might carve a piece of wood to fit the 4 things sticking up on the cap to help turn it evenly. (I'm assuming a stock cap.)
Andrew; that is why I suggested a heat gun such as this one
the neck being a lot thinner material than the cap will expand faster and a heat gun lets you start low and come up as needed. Good luck.
pipe wrench always worked in the old days. lol buy the way i am back i didn't die just the computer 2 weeks without e-bay#%&*# it was ruff. charley
Thanks for all your input!! Yes it is a stock cap. Looks like I'm going to harbor freight.
If its the stock style cap, use the hubcap portion of the hubcap and wheel bearing wrench. The eight point opening goes on and grabs the four points of the cap. Works everytime.
Andrew - There are much better choices than WD40. In fact, WD40 is not really a penetrating oil. The very best choice is not even a commercially available penetrating oil, but has been proven to work best of all:
A 50% - 50% mix of acetone and automatic transmission oil.
In case of any "doubts", there has been much discussion about proven test results on this forum,...FWIW,....harold
Wrap a damp rag around the neck as low as possible when heating the thread area to wick off the heat.
The neck and cap are not ferris so I would think putting something like tarnoff that would clean up the corrosion from the brass and nickle. That is after looking close to make sure the neck hasn't been hit out of round. Mgh
Make sure that someone has not put a little screw in the backside to keep it from being removed. This is often done so that moto-meters don't grow legs, but might also have been done on a museum car so that souviners aren't taken.
WD-40 is flammable . Suggest something else if you are using a flame.
Andrew: Sometimes mine seem like the threads are worn and the cap wants to spin and spin but not come up on the threads. When you get it loose, try some ‘pulling up’ pressure when you spin the cap.
I had the same problem with my T that had been in storage for 45 years. I tried many types of fluid and heat without success. I finally cut the cap off with a dremel. I was careful to not cut the threads on the radiator
The threads may be clogged and frozen in place with hardened, concrete like, water deposits such as can be seen on the end of your bathtub spigot. Calcium and lime deposits can be dissolved with "Limeaway" or "CLR" (Calcium, Lime, Rust). Try carefully dripping some between the neck and the cap but don't allow it to dribble down the outside of the neck as it will discolor chrome plating if your neck is chrome. Wait a while then try to loosen it, counter clockwise. It may take several applications for it to work its' way down to the bottom of the threads, as the upper deposits have to soften before allowing the solution down to the threads below. I would get a thick piece of sheet rubber to protect the fins of the cap from the teeth of the Channel lock pliers. Jim Patrick
Could have been cross threaded also.
Thanks everyone for your post. I'll start working on it next week.
UPDATE: Success!!! After a few days of letting the WD40 do its thing (Yes, I have started bar fights arguing for and against if WD40 is a penetrating oil or not, depending on how much I have had to drink), a few wacks with a rubber mallet and it came right off. A lot easier than the last Model T. So, now on to the next part of this project. Thanks everyone for your advise!!
Thank you for the update!