I rigged up a little inspection light for tight places so I might be able to look inside. I'm sort of seeing what's in there, but I'm not sure what it is.
In this 1911 radiator you can see small holes. My guess is that I'm seeing a baffle with holes in it, and not the tops of the tubes. Is that right?
The 1915 radiator has a solid baffle with no holes. I wonder how far above the tops of the tubes it is, and whether the coolant covers them. When I fill with enough coolant to cover the baffle, it barfs out until the level is back down out of sight. I guess that's OK as long as I don't have a glowing manifold or a steaming radiator. When I stop after a drive I hear a little gurgle for a bit, but that's all.
I am baffled by those things.
Most of the model T radiators I have had, they were missing when I got them. A few of the radiators I have used that had the baffles when I got the radiator, within a few hundred miles the silly thing came loose and fell down blocking a bunch of radiator tubes. Twice I have ended up on the side of the road pulling the stupid thing out through the filler neck in little twisted up pieces. At least one wound up breaking the overflow tube loose causing another repair (fortunately it was at home).
If they stay where they were supposed to, they deflect the water flow away from the neck and overflow tube keeping a better level of water in the top tank. If they come loose, they will likely block radiator flow causing overheating. And they can and do sometimes break the overflow tube. Usually because someone yanked to hard to remove the loose baffle.
The baffling mystery of the missing baffle!
Drive carefully my friend, and enjoy, W2
I too have been baffled by the baffle in my 1927 Touring. The baffle looks similar to the one Steve posted and is definitely loose. I was not sure if that is the way it is suppose to be or is the reason the car had a water pump on it when I got it. I have since removed said water pump and have had occasion of running hot in the summer (top of the Moto-Meter) but not all the time. So now I am wondering if it is the loose baffle moving around blocking holes. Recommendations appreciated.
Yes Steve, that is definitely a baffle. Virtually all my rads have them too. Mike, it's possible your baffle is laying on the top of some tubes. And if you're running a round-tube rad they tend to run warm anyway, as I'm sure you already know. Then there's possibly half a dozen other reasons for running warm, as I'm sure others will chime in about.
The radiator in my 26 touring has the same problem with the baffle. Unlike Steve's it has one large hole (oval, maybe 1 1/4x2") that the overflow tube goes through plus a number of smaller holes, about 1/2". I managed to lasso the baffle with a piece of 12ga. copper wire, pull it up into to the top of the tank, and then hook the wire over into the overflow tube. Not a permanent fix I realize, but meantime she's running nice and cool.
Baffles differ with each year or style of radiator, but all perform the same way. Without an upper tank baffle, the radiator won't be as effective.
That upper tank baffle is needed to 'distribute' the bolas of water that flows up from the cyl head in the hose, and it spreads the heated coolant over the baffle in big gurgles, so that all the tubes have a chance to collect the coolant and let it spill down in them, getting cooled on the way down to the lower tank
This clearly comes under the heading "Looking for trouble".
Dan, where did you find that page? It's not from "The Bible".
I think that page is from the Service Bulletin Essentials.
I think the baffle was put there to keep fast circulating coolant from splashing up into the neck and down the tube. or out the cap if you have a loose fitting cap.
So far, I have not had a problem with baffle falling down, but have had a problem which now that I am aware of it will check for when I add coolant. I would just pour in about a cup full and look down and see "wet". I thought the radiator was full to the level it will not overflow when running. However, what I saw was a wet baffle. The actual coolant was about 1 gallon low and the car overheated. Anyway, that's my excuse. I poured the coolant in while the car was parked inside the garage and the lighting was poor.
I caught myself making the same mistake, so if I'm filling it indoors I always look in there with a drop light to see what I'm doing.
Fortunately, if you put in too much your car will spit the extra out.
Thanks for the explanation Dan!
Please show a picture of your inspection light.
OK, can do.
The next size smaller would have been better. It was a tight squeeze getting this one in and out.