I am trying to install a new radiator for my 17 Touring. It's from Brassworks and the only difference from the old one I removed is that it's a flat-tube variety. The rod isn't wanting to thread and I'm afraid I'm going to strip it. Is there a trick to this? Are all the thread sizes the same?
I've had to run a tap into them to get it right. I think it's 1/4-20, but someone correct me so Andy knows what to get.
My low-hood car had a rod that was 3/8"-24 if I remember correctly.
I respectfully disagree with both of you. It is 5/16-24 on the Factory drawings that I have. All of my drawings are for brass cars but I don't think the thread size ever changed at the radiator.
The DASH end of the rod is bigger thread than at the radiator.
That makes sense John. The 3/8"-24 I remembered must be the firewall end on that "oh so long carriage bolt". Thanks for the correction.
Thanks guys. I'll see if I can tap it - I'm scared to death of stripping the brass threads!
I have this great book I've been using - a 1920 edition of "The Model T Ford Car". Awesome descriptions of everything, and it runs about 400 pages. I just wonder if the book itself is worth anything. I picked it up from my dad's barn before everything got auctioned off -including his Doctor's Coupe :-(
Sounds like a Victer Page book. They run $25-60 each.
I have NEVER found a BRASSWORKS radiator that had the wrong thread there. Make sure of the radiator support rod having the right thread. I have seen some repro rods with the WRONG thread.
Not wrong threads - crappy threads. Either they are a tad too small (maybe they shrunk?), or maybe the paint is just too thick. I run a tap in just to gently clean them up, not to cut new ones. Using a tap and die set (Sears) I screw a die on the rod to clean up those threads, then run the proper tap into the radiator.
The biggest issue I have seen is that when swapping out the radiator, the rod is still often fastened to the dash and only the lock nut is loosened to allow the rod to spin. The new radiator it stood up front and then the rod is attempted to be threaded into the radiator rod threaded boss but the radiator is tilted forward at the front and the rod is more or less level and the thread won't engage because the rod is not lined up with the slightly tilting radiator. A tap is certainly not a bad idea but lining up the rod properly is important. Remember to take the lock nut totally off the radiator support rod and even remove coils and coil box on some early cars to allow the radiator support rod to slide well back to allow the radiator to sit up straight so that the rod is now square with the boss and the threads engage properly.
Thanks, John. Exellent advice. I had not removed the coil.
Andy, listen to John, he knows what he is talking about. Make sure you have the correct support rod too. Ford used these up into the V-8 era, and there are all kinds of lengths. Also, on the later T's, (23-25), there are two styles of these. One is for the wood firewall, and the other is for the steel firewall. The main difference is the firewall threads on the later ones are shorter, because they don't have to go through the wood.