A Ramble on a New Engine, Lessons Learns and Craftsmanship

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Model T Ford Forum: Forum 2015: A Ramble on a New Engine, Lessons Learns and Craftsmanship
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Steve in Tennessee on Monday, August 31, 2015 - 09:21 pm:

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....


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Ed Baudoux Grayling Michigan on Monday, August 31, 2015 - 09:34 pm:

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 :-)


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jay - In Northern California on Monday, August 31, 2015 - 09:47 pm:

Glad it wasn't worse!

Radiator comb


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dan B on Monday, August 31, 2015 - 10:17 pm:

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.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By john kuehn on Tuesday, September 01, 2015 - 10:12 am:

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!


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Wayne Sheldon, Grass Valley, CA on Tuesday, September 01, 2015 - 04:19 pm:

I use an old pair of "duck-billed" pliers to straighten radiator fins. A bit slow, but does a good job.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Steve in Tennessee on Monday, September 07, 2015 - 04:15 pm:

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.



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