I have gotten a 26/27 brass nickel plated radiator shell. The Ford script seems to crisp to be original so my question is, did anyone make repos of the brass shell? If it's original about how thick was the brass used in it's construction?
My 1984 Obsolete Ford parts catalog shows both Nickel and Chrome shells for sale. $ 195.00. Also Chrome for both high and low as well as steel. "Ford script radiator Exact steel duplicate"
I just "miked" .036 on part of a nicked brass shell. It was with feeble eyes and one foot on the step ladder and one foot on a shelf but that's my story and I'm sticking to it.
IF you have that 80's repro steel / nickel plated shell, you can check the fit of the collar of the shell around the neck of the radiator. The repro doesn't fit too well.
A brass repro hasn't been made I think, but could have.
Check the features, the repo misses details like hood clip, frame holes, and centering of radiator cap hole.
Here are close ups of the repro 1980's steel shell, compared to a real Ford ( shell in primer gray).
Dan, Regardless of original or repo; didn't the steel shells all have the slotted rectangular hood lacing holes on the shell? All original brass shells (26-27) that I have ever had or seen, had round non-stotted holes for the hood lacing.
The shell on my 27 Roadster is nickel plated steel (probably not factory plating) and the hood lacing holes are round.
I also have a brass shell and the lacing holes are round as well.
Terry, original steel shells before 1926 could have either round or square holes if that is the question.
As Richard posted, the steel shells came round or slotted, typical low steel is round holes.
My guess is the brass shell of late '25-'27 that was then nickel plated, came with only round holes. Figure the polishing and buffing to nickel plate the shell would be hard to do with notched holes. The notches catching on the buffing wheels.
Ford original brass shell nickel-plated
For sure is brass did the magnet test. The holes are round for lacing. It also has the extra brace piece riveted to the mounting ear.
I think the info (I still need to go mike it) point to being an original.
Does someone know why the nickel plated shells were made of brass? Does it plate better than steel?
They plate easier and less cost.To really plate steel,you need to Zinc/copper/Nickel plate for it to hold up.
In my experience of our Canadian sourced cars, all the nickel plated brass shells I have seen have had the square holes for the hood lacing. I have never seen a round hole brass shell. Brass is certainly easier to prepare for plating, and holds that plating better. The trade-off for us restorers is they suffer badly if the hood does not fit well, which is usually the case.
That said, I find working on a brass shell easier than a steel one. It is certainly easier to bring up to plating standard than trying to buff out rust pits. Repeated copper plating to fill rust pits costs heaps in time and money, but it is often the only way to get a good job.
Allan from down under.
The one I have has about the same patina as the one Dan shows. It has the round lace holes.
Eric, does your shell have "Made In USA" on it? My late friend/mentor had copper/nickel plated steel shell that appeared to be original that had another language(maybe French?) stamped below the Ford script instead of "Made In USA". I hadn't seen it until his estate sale and now I'm not sure if it was a high or low shell, but I think it was a high one. I posted on here about it, but I don't recall what was said about it, and I think that was before the crash in 2012. As I recall, Dick Lodge had some input on it. Dave
Yes, it's marked "Made in USA". The "A" was polished thin to start with and now with the new plating it's almost gone, but the shell is beautiful!
New plating: (the picture makes it look a lot worse than it really is)
(Message edited by esole on March 26, 2016)
Yes, you have to be careful when selecting a plater, many of them obscure details like the "MADE IN USA" lettering. When plating, once the piece is ready for the nickel, you have to re-engrave the lettering--sometimes this is as simple as using a sharp metal piece to go over the letters and dig the stamping deeper.
At one time you could tell a repo shell by how the sides were made. If you would look down on top of the radiator shell, the originals tapered, following the angle of the hood back to the firewall. The repo shells were straight (parallel with the frame rails). For that reason, they did not fit as nice as an original,