Drove my 26 model T in her first Veterans Day parade... Overheat within four blocks due to pace of parade. Any suggestions.. By the way, the 34 Model A truck in front of me didn't complete it either...
Lots of things can cause overheating. How old is your radiator?
- Timing is off, (too retarded)
- Running too lean
- Clogged passages in engine water jacket.
- Driving in a parade.
- Slipping fan belt.
By the way. That's a really nice Fordor!!!
Also by the way, when you say "overheat", do you mean that the moto-meter is at the top of it's scale, or that it's pushing out coolant, or that it's steaming?
The first 2 are somewhat normal. Only steaming/boiling is really considered as overheating in a T.
I would check for any radiator blockage. You could remove the head and clean out the water ports.
I had a similar problem with my 1910. I cleaned the water ports and bought a new radiator. Now she runs cool while idling all day. Be sure the fan is not slipping.
I hope this helps.
Jerry, Thanks for the advise. Its the moto-meter at the top. I didn't want to chance anything being her first time and not knowing her true limitations.
She was boiling too.
Will play with the timing. She sounds great when idled out. How do you determine too lean? will check the water jacket / ports.
Chuck, here's some info on overheating: http://dauntlessgeezer.com/DG96.html
Having gone through all of that, I would suggest that you be sure the cooling passages are clean and open. It they are, check the radiator. IMHO the round-tube radiators are marginal at best. If you want a show car, I would use one; if you want no overheating problems get a new Bergsen's flat-tube radiator. I did, and my T went from undriveable to a "you can't make it overheat" car.
Does this car have a freshly rebuilt motor in it? If so, they can run hot until fully broken in.
As for "too lean". Turn out the needle valve until the engine starts to loose a bit of speed and sputters a bit. That's too rich. Then, turn the needle valve clockwise until it smooths out and begins to pick up some rpm's. Stop there and you should have a good mixture adjustment, i.e. not too lean.
Several things. If you have Ruckstell or other reduction transmission, use it. Keep the engine at a fast idle with the parking lever in the neutral position. Press the low as needed to keep up with the parade and the brake if you need to slow down. Keep the spark in about the middle position. These practices will keep the fan moving the air through the radiator.
Here is another thing I found out a week ago. I have a brassworks radiator on my 26. It has a baffle about half way down the upper tank. I thought I had filled the radiator when I added a little water. What I saw was the wet baffle. The coolant was actually about one gallon low. The car boiled. So be sure a wet baffle doesn't fool you.
I got the idle down by your description Jerry.. Thanks.. That was a learning experience when the car failed me at the wrong time. It won't happen again =-). Norman, I'll try the fast idle. The fan belt is right not slipping.
Where I am in Florida we have numerous draw bridges and I have spent much time sitting at a bridge in 90 plus degree heat. A T may not need a fan when it is running but the fan makes all the difference at rest. I open the throttle a bit to get the rpm's up and create a decent draw through the radiator and that makes a noticeable difference. Timing and fuel mixture need to be right too but the combination should solve the problem even if the radiator isn't new. I have 2 cars with original radiators and they never overheat. The others have repro radaitors many of which are already over 30 years old.
Where I am in Florida we have numerous draw bridges and I have spent much time sitting at a bridge in 90 plus degree heat. A T may not need a fan when it is running but the fan makes all the difference at rest. I open the throttle a bit to get the rpm's up and create a decent draw through the radiator and that makes a noticeable difference. Timing and fuel mixture need to be right too but the combination should solve the problem even if the radiator isn't new. I have 2 cars with original radiators and they never overheat. The others have repro radiators many of which are already over 30 years old.
Are you running a water pump? If so, get rid of it. Mine boiled over in a parade in cold weather. I removed the pump and never had a problem since. After that, I cleaned out the ports as Rod mentioned above and they were loaded with crud. I have since installed a new Brass works rad. Now my car can take on any conditions possible.
1. Is your car equipped with a water pump?
2. Water or Anti-Freeze?
When we ran the 19 with an original motor and radiator in our first Memorial Day parade they did a few stops for ceremonies that made the T unhappy.
The Moto meter went almost to the top and steam came out of the overflow tube.
About 25 feet from the end of the parade it stopped running so I rolled to the side of the road and we watched the rest of the parade go by.
When it cooled down I pulled on the crank and it started right up.
I am convinced that it was vapor lock because it hasn't stopped running in a parade since I moved the gas line away from the exhaust pipe.
But it still gets warm during parade stops.
My fix is easy - We carry a small squirt bottle of water and mist the radiator when the temperature gets too high.
It is surprising how quickly the temperature comes down!
I also put this block in the brake handle slot so I don't mistakenly go into high gear.
I attach a string to it so I can remove it quickly if needed.
Most parades move slower than the T wants to move in low, so I try to let the T roll slowly in neutral and wait until there is a space before locking up the low gear band.
I try not to come to a complete stop and do NOT slip the band.
This will not really help but is just merely an "observation" due to my experience with Model T's,.....one of several advantages of the Ruckstell rear end is that it makes a huge difference in parades! Not only easier on low band, but easier to keep rpm's up a bit more which makes the fan more effective,....FWIW,.....harold
When we are in a parade we have fun. We drive around like the little shriner cars and make circles around each other. This helps to keep the air moving through the radiator. You just have to be real careful you do not run over anyone as you swing around the curb sides.
Disclaimer: I am running a Prus head and good flat tube radiator. Also have a -47 anti-freeze mix. When I first got the car running the moto-meter would run on the high side when driving on a hot day, and run there when idling even from a cold start after a while. So, I got some Redline Water Wetter and added it to the coolant mix. The temp dropped noticeably driving and idling. Since then I have flushed the system and added new anti-freeze mix with Amsoil Coolant Booster. Now the red in the motor-meter glass seldom ever goes beyond the bottom of the circle on the hottest days whether driving or idling. No affiliation with Amsoil or Redline. Don't exactly know how it works as I'm not a chemist, but it does seem to work.
Dan... No water pump. I run a 50/50 mix water/antifreeze...
Dave... You had me laughing hard.. I think I'll add the Shriner driver just for the heck of it.. Thanks
When in a parade...
The last Christmas parade I was in had the shriners in their little cars right behind me. After a while, I started doing the same driving stunts in my T. They looked a little peeved that I was stealing their thunder.
The water wetter \ coolant booster sent me on an internet search.
I looked at Advanced Auto and they listed Hy-Per Super Coolant.
I checked their web site and found the following:
Street applications running a 50/50 mix will run 6-8°F cooler, and racing applications running straight water will run up to 20°F cooler.
When running Hy-Per Lube Super Coolant with straight water or a Water/Anti-Freeze mix we DO NOT recommend using Distilled Water.
We recommend using Softened Tap Water or Bottled drinking water for best results.
Interesting difference between straight water and 50/50 I don't know about the snake oil but it might be worth a try.
I also found this
The temperatures are with a motor running on a dyno under load
looks like water only cools better than 50/50