does anybody run a thermostat in model t ?
Yes, 160 degree. I like to think it gives a little faster warm up in cooler weather. I use an air cleaner rather than a hot air tube.
I'm running a 180 degree with a waterpump. I was just wondering if that maybe to hot.
No thermostat and no pump. A properly running T with a properly functioning original thermosiphon cooling system not only needs neither, they interfere with the proper operation of a perfectly good cooling system.
Wait for it....Opps. Beaten to the punch.
I took my pump off and it runs just as cool. I can't tell a difference and it's one less thing to deal with or service. Tim
I use different approaches in my Ts as their needs dictate. That is all I am going to say about that. (Forrest Gump)
For your consideration I post the following threads regarding cooling systems, thermostats, and opinions and experience from Ralph Ricks (RIP). Mr. Ricks was an advocate for thermostat useage.
Have fun gentlemen.
Ralph also never tried it any other way - he bought the T that way (although he did change the color from green to yellow).
If you have a good running T water pumps and thermostats are just useless.
I'm running a 160 degree thermostat in my car. No water pump. Helps to get it up to temp quickly and run better. Prior to the thermostat, it took forever to make it to normal operating temp and some days never made it there at all. I know!...I shouldn't complain. But an engine running too cool isn't running efficiently. The thermostat helps and the engine never over-heats anyways. By the way, I run an antifreeze mix adjusted to -47. Yes, it does get nasty cold up here sometimes...and the garage isn't heated.
Kevin you are confusing engine operating temperature with radiator temperature. Thermo - euphonium system does not heat the water in the radiator any more than is necessary to keep the engine at operating temperature. The temperature at the moto - meter normally is lower than engine operating temperature. Installing a thermostat is not a great idea unless you need hot water for a heater.
Okay I admit it; I had to look it up:
euphonos from the Greek, meaning "well-sounding" or "sweet-voiced"
Stupid Apple spell check.
Well, Royce if that's the case I'm definitely leaving it in the engine. Even on the warmest days around here (in the low 90's), the red in the motometer only hits the bottom of the circle. On a normal temp summer day up here in the 70's it doesn't get that high. On a cool day in 50's, it reads lower yet. Before the thermostat, the red would barely show at the bottom. Like I said before, the engine runs plenty cool. I like the idea of a heater, but putting on more clothes sounds easier to do. However thanks for your advice anyways!
Very interesting post-Harold, thank you to all the members who took the time giving their views. For what it's worth, here are my experiences. I have run thermostats on both of my Ts and have never had a problem with either vehicle. When I bought my '26 it came with a water pump & thermostat and I just left them in the car. That was until this fall when my top fan pulley failed and I needed to replace it. At that time I tried (but failed to get the thermostat reinstalled, as I replaced the pulley without pulling the radiator). Now while out driving Seabiscuit, I never see any red on my Moto-Meter. This past summer I had the opportunity to do a test run with Ken and his brothers for their club tour they were doing in September, we did this on July 4th with the temperatures well into the 90s and Seabiscuit ran great with o overheating problems, (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wGWjK6tFqnI). Sambuca the '17 has a thermostat, but no water pump and runs great in all weather. I am thinking about taking the water pump of Seabiscuit because I do agree with those who say "if Henry thought that you needed one he would have put it on the car when he built it".
ps; i have been told to keep the water pump in, only because it seems to be period correct and looks good in the car. Also, I'm not sure Henry had anything to do with the actual building of either one of my vehicles.
Am suspecting the 'Minnesota weather' is affecting you?
Thermostats aside, I think a very good, though small, investment is an infra-red thermometer. It will tell you the truth about what's going on in your entire cooling system. A Moto Meter won't.
There are other good uses for this device. I check the bearings and tire treads on my trailer at every pit stop. I check the temperature of the air coming out of my A/C, both home and auto. It is also very useful in finding air leaks around windows and doors, which can waste almost unbelievable amounts of money and cause discomfort to the occupants.
Every shop should have one.
No need for a thermostat if you don't have a water pump.
The thermosyphon system is desperately simple, hot water has a lower density than cold water and that gets the cycle moving. If your engine is cold and the radiator is cold, water will not circulate because there is no difference in density. This is equivalent to having a thermostat: As the engine warms up, the circulation will start gradually and that is equivalent to having a thermostat.
What is not equivalent is that a thermostat can get stuck closed from lack of use or rust and then you will overheat.
I have a thermostat in one car, a 2004 Cavalier. It's the only vehicle I own that a thermostat hasn't stuck. I take them out and leave them out. I'd take the water pumps off too if they were thermosyphon like like a T. 2 times I had to put a water pump on a 92 Pontiac, gotta tear half the motor apart, but I took the thermostat out only once. I vote no thermostat or water pump.
Peter, next time I drive Seabiscuit (either today or during the weekend) I will take along my infra-red thermometer and take many reading.
Alan, last night at our weekly HMTFC gathering we were discussing this very topic and our expert Model T technician (best mechanic) said the coolant in the engine gets converted into steam and the steam goes into the radiator and is then condensed back into liquid. I hope this helps clear it all up.
Coolant does not get converted to steam unless your car is overheating. In the thermosyphon system the warm coolant rises to the top of the radiator out of the engine. As it cools the cooler liquid cycles through the bottom of the radiator and back into the engine as needed. A thermostat prevents the thermosyphon system from operating properly, so you might be getting steam when the rest of us are not.
Any time liquid is converted to steam the volume is expanded. Since a Model T has an open vent tube that means steam comes out the vent. This causes a loss of coolant which must be constantly replenished.
Conversely, a car operating on thermosyphon without a thermostat will only lose coolant due to evaporation, or overheating if the system has problems. Removing the thermostat will result in less coolant loss over time.
The Model T website, of all places, has a spell checker that does not recognize the word thermosyphon.
Royce, so does this mean that as long as I keep the water pump installed on my T engine that I should be using a thermostat with it?
Thanks in advance & Happy motoring,
That's a question I would not care to answer. It's like asking me if you should juggle chainsaws while running through hot coals.
To me, the simple thermosyphon system is one of the real examples of a simple and foolproof system that typifies what the Model T Ford is all about. It not only works,....it has to work, because it is a basic law of physics. Heat rises. It's that simple! A quick and foolproof way to check how well it's working, all you have to do is, with an engine that is fully up to operating temperature, just "TRY" to place your hand on the upper radiator hose, and you will find that it is much too hot to leave your hand on it. Then, grab the lower radiator hose and you'll find that it is just comfortably warm. If it is any warmer than that, the radiator is not cooling to the maximum that it was designed for. It's that simple folks,.....hot water rises, enters top of radiator which cools it which makes it fall to the bottom of the radiator and re-enter the engine via the lower radiator hose. Unless the coolant level is less than designed capacity, or, if the radiator is not performing up to the level it was designed (old radiator with loose fins or tubes plugged from minerals, scale or corrosion maybe) the thermosyphon system absolutely must work. Why anyone would want to interfere with such a simple, foolproof and easy to check system like that by introducing something such as a thermostat is a puzzle to me! FWIW,.....harold
Having begun my Model T experience over 50 years ago, I was regaled with many "using stories" from folks who actually worked and drove them as necessary transportation. Most of them old boys came of age using real flesh-and-blood horsepower, so many practical comparisons were drawn between driving a team, and driving a Model T. As far as the cooling system is concerned, the old-timers generally agreed that if you got Lizzie blowing steam, it was time to stop, lighten the load, and "let the horses blow a while" (all 20 of 'em !) A slow rolling boil was your warning that your pony was working up a lather ! (all without benefit of an infra-red thermometer !) :-)
I have a vintage rubberized canvas "winter front" with a roll down center section that works very well for getting the radiator and engine up to temperature in the dead of winter. A piece of cardboard also works well. :-)
You can use a water pump without a thermostat but the problem will be that in cold weather the pump will continuously circulate cold water through the engine. You don't want that. You want the water in the engine to warm up and then start circulating slowly at first and more as the difference in density increases.
The water pump in my opinion is a nuisance only. it looks cute but the pump shaft seal is a common leak path. The pulley is another possible failure point. Henry kept it simple for two purposes. A ) He was a cheap bastard B) Less things to go wrong.
If your coolant is turning to steam, then you have a problem. It should not boil.
Thanks again to everyone for joining this conversation and sharing your thoughts on this matter. I always enjoy reading post where folks share a difference of opinion. I sometimes I even convince myself that I have learn something new to me and worthwhile knowing.
I have been convinced to take that water pump off Seabiscuit and let him run loose and free like he was designed to be.
Hey Bill, where did you get that Bear skin coat?
I bought that coat, another Bear coat, and a few other odds and ends about eight years ago at a yard sale!
Thanks Bill, If you see one at a yard sale my size buy it for me. Hope to see you on Sunday's tour.
Thermostats in "modern" cars has two functions. The first one is to restrict the flow of water into the radiator until the engine is up to temperature. The second is to act as a flow restrictor. Common knowledge tells us problems will generally occur if you remove the thermostat completely as the water either passes through the radiator too fast or pressurerises the top tank and leak out the over flow pipe.both scenarios cause overheating. The best thing to do if you can not fit a working thermostat is to remove the spring and valve from the faulty one. At least that will control the water flow from the pump. Neither of my T's have pumps or thermostats so I have no experience in that regard except they both run cool just as Henry intended. No water pump, no worries! Alan
Unlike MN,NH,IL, and other polar regions, TX is HOT! I love my water pump.... J.