Now that the roadster can actually run, I went grocery shopping and bill paying with it. After a drive of about fifteen miles on an afternoon around 93º it was doing this:
Recored radiator with under 500 miles on it. I did close the door and shut off the lights, and nothing was glowing. This lasted for about three minutes after I shut it off.
Bummer! Boy, that roadster is fighting you every step of the way! Was it boiling while you were driving, or just after you stopped and shut it off?
If it only does it after shutoff, you might try taking a hose and shooting a fine mist of water at the front of the radiator for a few minutes to help it cool.
You've probably sorted out the timing, so maybe try running the mixture a little richer on the next trip?
That pulsing may be blocked steam holes. When was the last time you had the head off and checked all the 1/4" steam holes?
Steve I remember from a driving video you posted a while back that you started the car then pulled the spark lever almost all the way down. I hope you broke yourself of that habit.
Steve, I know you are an old hand, but is it possible you had over-filled the radiator and it was simply seeking its level?
I think one of the handiest tools, and least expensive at that, is an Infra-Red thermometer. You can get them at Radio Shack or similar places, or on-line, for under $30 and sometimes under $20.
You point it at something and pull the trigger or push the button, and it tells you the temperature of the item. You can check all sections of the radiator, all parts of the engine, etc. and find the "hot spot" if there is one. You don't have to actually touch the item, and the temp display is virtually instantaneous.
I also use it to check my trailer tires when on a trip. Hot treads or sidewalls mean under-inflation, and hot bearings mean trouble. I do a walk-around and check them at every stop.
Did your engine used to have a water pump? If so, and you took it off, did you remove the thermostat from the upper outlet? Just a thought.
If it only boils after you turn off the engine, you could park it facing a fan for a while until it cools. Just a thought. Summer will be over soon and when the weather cools down maybe the problem will go away.
Geez Steve, you can't seem to catch a break lately..
A few things to check:
50/50 antifreeze/distilled water mix?
Mixture rich enough?
Water level acceptable AFTER boiling over ?
To lean on gas out of time plugged up block these I would start
Is the motor fresh rebuilt could be to tight
I think you should try a water pump for a test only. You should keep the bonnet on while you do this. Someone on the forum may see you and poke a little fun at you. Ok I guess it me pokeimg the stick. Sorry, Scott
Fresh engine with maybe 200 to 300 miles on it, and the water passages and holes were very well cleaned. It doesn't feel overly tight when cranking. In fact, that feels great. I didn't notice any boiling when I made two stops in town, so it was the drive home that did this. Probably the climb up from the river. Maybe hitting 40 mph for a little bit was part of it. I try to avoid advancing the spark too much, setting it where the engine seems to run best and retarding when climbing steep hills in high. Too lean? Maybe. I'll check that the next time I drive. I was running with the needle 3/4 of a turn out, which seemed about halfway between stumbling from too much and stumbling from too little. I'll open it a full turn on the next drive and see what happens. Coming at the end of fifteen miles, this wasn't just an adjustment of coolant overfill. Coolant was just over the baffle to begin with, and after it cooled down from this adventure it took a couple of quarts to get back up there. I'm going to do the vinegar/flush routine and refill with fresh 50/50 and see how it goes. I'll also remember to check it with the infrared thermometer next time. That was sitting six feet away and I never thought of it.
I am not against the 50-50 antifreeze mix but how is that going to keep the car running cooler.
Oh... and before anybody jumps on me to tell me antifreeze will carry away heat faster than water.... you're full of bull.
Straight water will keep an engine cooler than with antifreeze in it.
I agree that the timing may be too retarded, the mixture too lean, etc. but I'm sure Steve knows all about that stuff.
When I had that problem with a fresh engine and NEW radiator it turned out to be the leather fan belt. It slipped too much.
A Gates belt did the trick. Never added water again, and it saw some really hot days.
Her in CA, where I live the temps range from 32F to 95, but I have to drive in areas that get over 105 for several days on end.
I use water with a quart of antifreeze and some soluble oil in my T, water and 2 quarts of antifreeze and lots of soluble oil in my old Ford F1 daily driver.
I don't think the soluble oil helps keep it cool but since some smarter than I am guys posted that soluble oil will just cause a mess and not help keep the cooling system from rusting that I had better do just that. Been doing it since 1986. I don't know when I can expect the mess and rust to show up though.
Steve as we all know, all our T's love different things...Mine loves 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 out..Why don't you start out a little rich to begin with and see how it runs that way, especially temp. wise, and than you can adjust from there if it doesn't overheat..just my humble opinion.
When I got my T on the road in 1989, I was cautious about advancing the spark when driving my car. I now drive with the spark lever in my lap almost all the time, except when climbing hills. In the 26 years and over 5000 miles I've been driving it, I've never heard the engine ping from an overly-advanced spark. The fuel octane rating of current regular gas is so vastly superior to fuel used 100 years ago, greater spark advance seems to be allowable.
The advantages are a cool running engine, better performance and better gas mileage.
Steve, do you have enough pitch in your fan blades to move air? Have seen a bunch of early fans with blades nearly zero pitch. Will cool OK at speed but overheat at stop lights and low speed.
I just think you engine still need to be run in for an other 200 or 300 miles and the problem will go away. I was there last year when I started to run the 1922 woody. Motor had a total overhaul and was running and starting well. On the first short rides it run without any problem, than I took it out for a 150km ride and it did it twice, at the lunch stop and at the icecream stop. At home I checked it all and couldn't find a reason why it was boiling. Now it has about 2500km on it and it never did it again. Why ???
Ya, check the fan pitch.
I'm bettin Andre is right.
Now that I think about it I've seen that happen before.
A car can run at normal temp but as soon is the engine gets rebuilt it will cook for a couple hundred miles.
Try driving at night in an area where you don't need to stop and there is no traffic.
I have know many a T guy, and model A folks, who pull the spark lever way down as soon as the engine starts and they leave it that way. and they don't have any trouble.
With 3.8:1 compression and 81 octane gas there should be little or no problem running an engine, without lugging it, at full advance.
I gotta agree with Ernest about that.
If Steve drives it easy but fast and keeps some of that new quick flush in it that you can leave in for three days it will eventually settle down and run at normal temp. We hope.
Andre, is that .be Belgium code safe to use or visit?
I use it all the time and have no problem.
Reproduction fan blades do not have nearly enough pitch and some original fans seem to have gotten squashed down over the ages. Does your fan have a good healthy pitch to its blades?
I see Erik was on this track too. Please excuse the repeat...
Back to the discussion of 50-50 antifreeze. I don't know how your water is Steve, but here it will make deposits on everything it touches. It would plug up the block and radiator in a short time. I use only distilled water in my radiators. Actually I do use the 50-50 mix when I fill the radiator and then as I add water I use distilled. It usually spits out a little, but stays above the baffles. It will gurgle a bit on a hot day after pulling the hill to our house, but doesn't steam or boil over.
The advantage of the anti-freeze mix is not that it runs cooler, but that it raises the boiling point for water, and so will not boil over as easily.
In area where you live, Steve, you must follow the mixture instructions for the coldest nights you expect, to keep the block from freezing. That is not the problem here where I live.
The anti-freeze also has rust inhibitors and after running the Model T's for over 20 years using it, I have not had any radiator problems.
In the old days I would just drain the cooling system the few times in the year when we expect a freeze, but I had more problems because I filled it with tap water.
At any rate, you need to use a rust inhibitor of some type to keep the corrosion out of the cooling system
By the way. I rebuilt the engine in one of my T's last summer 2014. It still runs a bit hotter than it did before, but it was so loose before that it would almost keep spinning after turning the crank even if it didn't start!. Now it has good compression and power. It runs about the center of the motometer at the "average summer temperature" mark, and when I turn it off it gurgles for about one minute. I leave the hood open when I turn it off. I think that will allow the hot air to rise and cool off sooner.
Dad was born in 1903. This was solidly in the horse & buggy era, especially in rural Kansas. His parents both died and he was raised by his grandma in the little one-horse town of Sedan. In that situation, it's no surprise that he grew up unacquainted with things mechanical. Even though I arrived during the automotive age, being raised in an unmechanical family I was pretty much in the same boat. I learned a few basics in the army and dabbled in some automotive repairs over the years, but when I got seriously into the Model T hobby about eight years ago I was pretty much unencumbered by mechanical knowledge and talent.
So it has happened that for the past eight years I've spent a lot more time trying to learn the mechanical stuff and fix tings than I have driving.
That brings us to this incident of the automotive geyser. Fortunately my limited mechanical talent and knowledge are often outweighed by the expertise of old Model T hands here on the forum. A phone conversation with a very experienced Model T guy whose advise has helped me in the past sent me down a different path. His question: Do you retard the timing on a hill because you need to, or just because you're going up a hill? I had to admit to the latter. He suggested that all the extra heat might be the result of retarding the timing when I didn't need to, and he explained the mechanics of the thing in a way that even I could understand. The advice boiled down to two things. 1 Set the spark lever where the engine seems to run best, and if you encounter pinging on a hill retard the timing only enough to eliminate the noise. Otherwise leave it alone. 2 Avoid running too lean. It's better to have the spray needle turned out a touch too far than not quite enough.
So this afternoon I took that advice out for a drive of about seven miles. The best running seemed to be with the spark lever down about 3/4 of the quadrant. I never heard a knock, so I left it there. The NH seemed happiest at an even one turn out. But I want to do a lot more driving with both that carburetor and my other functioning NH to learn what settings work best under varying conditions. I'm slow, but I may learn this stuff yet.
And the final report on this afternoon's drive? When I got home and shut off the car the only sound was the normal after-shutdown gurgle. No boiling, no steam puffing out of the overflow.
I have to repeat what others have said before. It's sure nice to have this forum where those of us who need guidance can get it.
Great news, glad to hear your experience with the roadster is on the upswing!
I really like your roadster and am looking forward to hearing about your experiences as you put more miles on it.
torqueing the head bolts again might help. I know that the copper head gaskets need redone several times.
I have had combustion causing air pockets in the cooling system and that lead to water being pushed out the overflow. Then the overheating...
Seeing that last comment I went and checked the head bolts while the engine's still warm. All were 50 to 55 foot-pounds.
One thing you might want to consider is using some brand of coolant booster. I'm not much for additives of any kind, but I have to admit the stuff works. I added the recommended amount of Amsoil Coolant Boost to my antifreeze mix and did the same route I usually drive to check the motometer temp. After the coolant boost, the temp on the motometer dropped about 15 degrees. That being said, I do have a good flat tube radiator and clean/recently rebuilt engine. I'm not precisely sure exactly how the stuff works as I am not a chemist or engineer, but according to their literature Coolant Boost increases heat transfer from the block to the coolant and from the radiator to the air. All I can say is that it worked great for me.
Apparently that Amsoil product works well with 50:50 antifreeze mix or with tap water, but not with distilled water alone. And apparently there is a warning to that effect on the packaging but some folks don't bother to follow that advice. There is a long discussion about it on this other forum:
I remember you posting you had the Rad redone. Was that with a new core or the original redone?
I had a new flat tube core installed. That was a few Benjamins cheaper than a whole new radiator, but the main reason was to keep the old tank. The new ones aren't made quite the same.
Engine should be cooled completely for a re-torque. Just FYI.
Charlie B is right. Let it cool down. JMHO Dave
I have also heard that some loosen the head bolts, then re torque them. That is also a no no. Pretty much defeats the whole purpose. Again, JMHO Dave
I think it was a quote from Albert Einstein who said " if you study a subject intensely for a year you can become an expert in it" Well after three years with my 27 Roadster I am still far away in my learning curve.
I don't think Einstein ever took up auto mechanics.
Einstein was a Quantum Mechanic.