I took two 26-27 radiators to a reputable shop to be repaired. The overflow tube was leaking where it goes into tank on the one. I told them they dont have pressurrized system. They lft me a message that they both needed recored because they both leak really bad with very little pressure. I used the one all summer in my RPU with no problem till i btoke tube loose installing motometer. The othe one had a tube broke where it enters lower tank and the cast water outlet was leaking where it attatches to tank.
Do I tell them to repair the overflow tube and hope they didnt destroy it with pressure? They said the tube on the other is not repairable.
What do you think?
IMO, old radiators are things you throw $$ at and are still a PITA.
Took this one to a not-so-reputable shop, for check out, cost $50 and was nicely cleaned and painted.
Was told, no leaks.
Installed, hosed up and clamped tight, poured in the coolant, and it all seeped out and dumped on the garage floor. The entire lower tank has pin holes, (my yellow pen marks) and rusted hole in the lower outlet too.
Core may be OK, but the lower steel tank is rusted thin, and this rad. is just of no use.
IMO, get a whole re-core, and checked out upper and lower tanks, and outlets, to be rebuilt by a quality shop, and expect to pay at least $500 too, or buy NEW!
I think it is getting harder and harder to find anyone who knows anything about repairing radiators. I would at least plug the bottom and fill it with water to see if it leaks. If it doesn't I would do the same thing again with 50/50 antifreeze. If it doesn't leak then I would use it. As to the one with the broken tube I can't believe it cannot be repaired but the real question is does it make sense to fool with either of them. I have done it and looking back it would have been a lot easier to bite the bullet and get a new radiator. I got the one for my '27 from Berg after spending 3 years fooling with the original one. Time wasted that could have been spent driving!
Texas Radiator, which recored both my Model T radiators, recently closed after 80 years in business. The aluminum radiators in modern cars have really dried up this business segment.
I agree with Dan and Val. You can clean, and flush, and patch, but if it still doesn't radiate as it should, I wouldn't waste any more time on it. A new one from Gery Bergbower won't be cheap, but you'll never have to fool with it again.
This guy did mine last spring. He had several others there at the same time.
Bills Antique Radiator Restoration in Chillicothe, Illinois
Did the radiator repair shop have recent experience with other exact Model T radiators & was that work done by the same person who worked on your radiator ?
I have the same problem on the road when I need work done
on my F350 CC Dually 7.3 PSD trucks ..
Out of necessity I do most of the work myself because.competent mechanics are hard to find.
I've had a couple of local shops tell me radiators needed recoring. Finally found a good shop that could actually "fix" a radiator. Had him do the radiators on all of our old cars, even the ones not together. The most expensive was a Whippet radiator which he converted to a Model T. That was a whopping $75!!! Unfortunately, he retired about 25 years ago but the guys in our local T club say there are a couple of other's around the area that do good work. They specialize in tractor radiators. Since they serve the farming community, it is best to contact them at a time other than harvest. Have you asked the guys in your local MTFCA Chapter? The one with the leak sounds like an easy home repair.
I found that most radiator shops here in Central Texas are completely 'bumfuzzled' when it comes to repairing antique car radiators.
What seems simple to us old guys to fix or repair is a head scratcher for a lot of modern mechanics.
I finally fixed my own recored T radiator after I took it to a local shop in town for a repair.
AS stated in an earlier post the shop said they had repaired it but after I put it on the car it still leaked! And this shop had been here since the 50's.
The problem was that the guys in the shop now fix mostly modern stuff now. That's what they work on the most so that's what they know about.
Many years ago I paid $1450 for a new flat tube black T radiator: $600 messing with the old one and $850 for the new one I finally had to buy.
I agree with R V Anderson. Get a new Berg's flat-tube and be done with it. If you fry your engine by overheating it, it will be a hell of a lot more expensive then the new radiator.
Thats the thing,no heating problems. I broke the tube. I talked to them today and they said they had to pressure test it!! I asked how much pressure? Started leaking at 5lbs and it really leaked at 15 lbs. No sh#t!!! $550 for them to recore and will be perfect. I said to recore the one I have been using and not the oter.
Another phone call they said this is not put together like a newer radiator and the top tank had to come off in pieces and it would be another $100. After telling the guy it did not leak other than the overflow tube when I brought it to them and it should not have been pressure tested, he said let me see if I can fix it. Thats all I wanted!!! I talked to several people before turning over a 90 yr old peice to someone I didnt know and they all raved about this place!!!
Im not impressed.
Still cheaper than repro. Sorry about rant but BEWARE!!!
Dallas your story is why I waited two months to get mine into a shop that specialized in them. Then I road tripped to drive it there and hand it to them personally. I figured a Maxwell radiator was going to be a little tough to replace. He also did my gas tank at the same time.
I bought a new radiator and it leaks from the overflow tube! Not a happy camper and I never made a comment before now because I didn't want to get blasted for making a comment about a vendor.
My experiences have taught me that when dealing with gas tank and radiator issues it's always best in the long run to buy a new replacement instead of investing money and time cleaning and patching up old ones.
Two more calls today. Back to recore option. Suprise! Suprise! Lesson learned. Should have bought the old soldering iron and fixed it myself. At least I learned a valuable lesson and I will have a better waranty than a new one. What ever that means. Im sure if I bought a new one from one of the vendors that they have a good waranty.Dennis did yours come with a waranty?
I've had my honeycomb radiator repaired twice in the last 20 years by a local radiator shop. Most recently they brazed in a new outlet neck. Each time it was pressure tested to find the leak with no damage to the radiator. Both times it was fixed for walking around money. That honeycomb radiator didn't boil over even with 4 people in the car in our 4th of July parade.
Those shops are still out there but they are getting harder to find. Last time it was in there they were working on a bi-plane radiator.
Picked up radiator today. I asked if I were to bring in another radiator and asked for a simple repair if they could do that without pressure testing and boiling? Yes they could, was the answer. They would put a big red note on it with instructions. Repairs are possible!!! This is a pretty large shop so one hand doesnt know what the other is doing. The radiator looks great and should last longer than me . If it fits all will be great. Looking forward to driving again. They gave me the original core back. I looked through the tubes and they were all open and fairly clean aftwr 90 years.
Drive safe and often