Over the winter three of us did total rebuilds on our three engines. In my case the engine in question is the original '23 that came in my Grandfather's T. I wanted to get it back into the car. Today I finally closed things up and got her going. Of course aside from the block and the half moon shim on the coil ring I don't think there is anything else left from Pap's motor (or transmission). Bored it .030 over, SCAT crank, Chaffin's .270 cam, stainless valves, new rods with dippers, a new drive shaft in the transmission and three new drums. Oh...ok so the triple gears are original except we balanced them within about 4 grams.
Lesson 1: Discipline is the cornerstone of performance. Some Colonel I used to know preached that constantly. Well he was right. Skipping a small step like setting the timer on Number 1 is a bad idea. It ran but had no power. A quick consult with one of the other two rebuilders and a forum search sent me back to the shop to reset it. Voila! Runs like a scalded dog. (Not that I would ever scald one...but you get the idea).
Lesson 2: Checking to see if the low speed pedal is sticking...with your hand...is not the same as checking with your foot. Kevlar's adjust quickly (I knew this) and I failed to properly account for it after a test run. Steep ramp into the back of the shop coupled with a poplar work bench results in a nice dent in your radiator.
Lesson 3: Bergs build one heck of a radiator! The pedal stuck and I (all at the same time) mashed the brake and reverse with the right foot while reaching for the E-brake handle (and cussing). But it was too late. Slammed into the work bench which served as a stand in for brakes. The wife showed up having heard the noise (I cuss well, and loudly) fearing the worst...the expense of another model t part (the insurance is paid up...no worries there). But as it turns out a Bergs take's a lickin and keeps on NOT leaking. I am amazed.
So in this cloud I see two linings:
1. A Bergs always runs a little cool. Perhaps the 4 inch square area of mashed fins will bring the temp up a bit.
2. I have a good place to put some sort of badge on the radiator.
Now if I can just find that sweet spot on the brakes....
Glad it wasn't worse, Steve. Have you ever used a radiator comb? If you don't have one handy, you can use the corner of a soft pine 2x4. Run it across some good straight fins, and into the bent ones. I have gotten fairly good at finding ways to fix my own *&^%$-ups. Lots of practice
Glad it wasn't worse!
My low pedal over traveled and got stuck as I was pulling in the driveway, fresh off its maiden voyage after being fully restored. Luckily, I was smart enough to reach for the ignition key. That, and stomping on the pedals shut things down in a hurry. When it was all said and done, I was about 2 inches away from a closed garage door. Or else my new rootlieb front fenders would have been like your radiator.
All of this goes to show that we are only human.
Steve I have a 1919 Runabout in my garage and I keep a 3/4" piece of plywood leaning up against the front of it.
I do this 'just in case' my lawn tractor wont crash into it.
The 19 is stored in a narrow garage and I park the lawn tractor in front of it.
Just a precaution to prop the plywood in front of the radiator!
Seems like I read on the forum of a guy who was replacing the hand crank bushing and after trying to knock it out his hammer got a little to high and hit the radiator!
I use an old pair of "duck-billed" pliers to straighten radiator fins. A bit slow, but does a good job.
Here's the damage. My wife says I make a hell of a work table. May be, but Bergs makes a hell of a radiator!
And here is the solution. This is a "Go Badge." I have one on my Mini Cooper with the 3-star symbol from the Tennessee State Flag. My wife had this one on her FJ Cruiser. She is going to get a badge made for it that is more "T" oriented. But for now I'll keep the Gonzales flag. The badge covers the damage perfectly.