I've had a completely restored 1914 touring for almost 2 years now that the people on the forum were kind enough to help me evaluate before I bought it.
It has run perfectly up until about 3 weeks ago when it began to overheat. The previous radiator had been replaced by a brand new Brassworks flat tube radiator just before I bought the car because it was having the same problem. I've never had a problem since I owned it until just recently.
I've checked the carb adjustment, radiator fluid (50/50 mix), oil replaced and full (same as before), everything greased, etc. No difference in throttle/spark advance settings while driving from before. Starts easily by crank on battery, runs great on mag.
But if I drive it 3-4 blocks on level pavement, the red is above the circle on the motometer and it's steaming!
Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated.
Overheating can be caused by spark too retarded, OR carb set too lean. Check these out and I think you will have fixed the problem....Paul
Try adjusting the carb... if that does not resolve then.
Do a good flush on the block and the radiator (and watch what comes out during the flush as well)
Then driver her. I'm betting its an obstruction in the block...
Make sure the parking brake is not dragging. I had that problem recently, the brake spring had broken.
If you had it for 2 years, has the radiator and block been flushed? You wrote the coolant was checked, but have you flushed the complete system? Needs to be done annually.
A flush will turn up and excess rust debris in the system or if the flush is very slow, means blockage somewhere. If all is well clean (total check is to remove the upper and lower hoses too) then likely the cooling system is OK. Check that the radiator cap with motometer is tight with gasket. Check new fill of coolant is up to the Ford script, try a bit more water to coolant mix, like 60 percent distilled water to 40 percent coolant.
Then test run again, up to operating speed, closing the carb mixture till the engine falters, (too lean) then open till it runs rough again (too rich) and set it in this in-between place. See if the cooling is better.
Sometimes ignition may cause overheating, dirty plugs, timing off, or missing at speed.
If still too hot, could be brake dragging, or clutch slippage or band linings dragging, maybe one of the linings may be loose and dragging.
Okay, I'll bite.
Does it have a water pump?
Head gasket. That would cause your "very quick" overheating. Plus it could happen suddenly. The gasket going bad I mean & there would be no other indications that something is wrong. Take a compression test. I'm suggesting this specifically because you've changed nothing in your driving habits and haven't had a problem before. It could be a couple of things but it's over heating so fast that a head gasket immediately came to mind. I don't believe a bad rad would heat that quickly.
Under inflated tires are worth a check
I had the exact same thing happen on my 1926. I worked for a long time before I figured it out. At some point before I purchased the car the bushing in the fan hub was replaced with a new repo bushing made from the wrong material. When the engine warmed up it started binding and the fan would slow down or come to a stop. After I replaced the bushing with the correct material it's been perfect....never even comes close to overheating.
I have a brassworks flat tube radiator on my car and one day it started overheating. Note, There was a small puddle of coolant under the car every time I parked it and I couldn't figure where it was coming from. I thought maybe it had just run out the overflow tube, because when I added a little fluid it looked like it was up to the middle of the top tank.
So that day when I drove it and it overheated, I didn't know what could be the trouble. I let it set about 20 minutes and poured in a gallon of distilled water! Then when I got home I poured in some more coolant. Then this is what I noticed. There is a baffle about half way up the top tank and when I poured in a little coolant, the baffle would be wet. It looked as if the coolant was up to the middle of the Ford emblem on the front of the radiator. However I had been filling it inside the garage. When I was outdoors I discovered that what I had been seeing was the wet baffle! Now I jiggle the car to be sure that coolant is above that baffle and no more overheating. I also found out that the top hose clamp needed a slight tightening. That stopped the small amount of coolant I had found when the car was parked.
Was the motor totally rebuilt like new? It may be as simple as your motor is still too tight and not fully broken in. Took my grandfather's roadster being run to overheating, cool and repeat for a few days before it was wore in enough to stop heating up.
Randy's problem would have to hard to find, try removing the fan belt and go for a drive and this should remove this potential.
Thank you all for your help. Great to have the MTFCA forum available for help.
To some of your responses, it's been running fine for almost 2 years, and no changes in driving habits or adjustments were done before the problem.
To the other suggestions, thank you!. It looks like I've got some things to check out tomorrow.
I'll let you know what I find.
Thank you again for your help and suggestions.
And forgot, Dan. No water pump! (that's right up there with asking which motor oil to use!)
Thanks again guys. Let you know tomorrow.