Would you accept this reproduction brass radiator?

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Model T Ford Forum: Forum 2017: Would you accept this reproduction brass radiator?
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Karl J. Vacek on Monday, January 09, 2017 - 03:50 pm:

Last spring I bought a new reproduction brass radiator for my car's 100th birthday in April. It arrived after the car's April birthday, and I was busy, so I really only looked at it in the box till I went to install it on the night before the Independence Day parade. First, I cut my hand on a notch cut into the bottom front corner of the top wrapper where it meets the side panel and the front tank (Ford script) panel. There's a similar notch on the other side but it's not even the same, nor is it proper for a brass T radiator. He hand-notched the top wrapper's front overhang at each front corner to wrap a soldered seam from across the front above the core, around the top wrapper, and continuing into the seam at the side panels. He didn't even do it cleanly or evenly. I've never seen a Model T radiator notched and seamed like that - not even others that were supposed to be his products. The top wrapper's front overhang should run smoothly around the top of the radiator and overhang the front panel evenly, all the way to where it meets and matches the identical overhang of each side panel.

Then I couldn't line up the hood - same hood that fits my other two radiators perfectly. If I got one side of the hood to fit the other would either be too far in or out, leaving a tapered gap on that side. The radiator's out-of-flatness is visible if you sight across it corner to corner, but just the same I removed the radiator and laid it face down on a granite counter top (actually on several different ones with identical results) which proved that the front face of the radiator is out of flatness by about 3/16". No hood will ever fit unless it's cut out of square to match this radiator.

By then it was late, our family was committed to make the parade the next morning, and my old radiators were 25 miles away. I finished installing this one as well as I could and filled it, and then found that neither of my radiator caps would screw in more than two threads. Needless to say they both fit my other radiators just fine.

I pulled the radiator off the car right after the parade and called the manufacturer. He was hostile to say the least, but after further emails and photos he ordered me to ship it to him for his inspection. Demoralized by his hostility and not wanting any more confrontations, I left the radiator in the box a few months till I finally sent it back to him with a detailed letter.

He just wrote back saying that it's all in specification and he will neither repair it nor refund me.

I tried to post pictures but each one exceeded the Forum size limit. If there's curiosity I'll reduce them and post later.

I've read other negative comments about this company and its owner, but I still hoped for the best. No such luck. Is this what I should expect with the current well-known brass radiator manufacturer?

Thanks!
Karl


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jerry VanOoteghem - SE Michigan on Monday, January 09, 2017 - 04:04 pm:

Maybe your next letter should be on legal stationary?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Ron in Central Massachusetts on Monday, January 09, 2017 - 04:07 pm:

Gee, I wonder which manufacturer Karl could be referring to??!!

Too bad Berg's doesn't make a brass radiator. Gery lives customer service and his radiators are fantastic (I own 4 of them).


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Allan Bennett - Australia on Monday, January 09, 2017 - 05:02 pm:

Karl, you are not alone in the despicable treatment you received. The high radiator I bought for my 25 roadster had the same problem with the cap fit. The neck was also placed in the wrong position, so much so that the shell would only go on half way.

The maker was not interested. Despite others in the same shipment to my supplier having the same problems, he dismissed the complaints and refused rectification. My supplier wore the $50 cost on mine and the others he had in stock.

Under Australian consumer law, my supplier was liable to make good the problems, as the parts were not fit for purchase. He wore the $50 cost I incurred for the re-placement of the neck with a good original I had. I was not going to punish him over the problem, as it was not really his fault. However, he was prepared to stand by his reputation. Not so the US manufacturer.

The way things are going, there should be a Brass radiator business going cheaply some time down the track. An ideal opportunity for someone.

Allan from down under.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Karl J. Vacek on Monday, January 09, 2017 - 05:12 pm:

Left corner photosLeft front corner straight onLeft front corner "notch"


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Karl J. Vacek on Monday, January 09, 2017 - 05:14 pm:

Right corner photoRight front corner "notch"


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Karl J. Vacek on Monday, January 09, 2017 - 05:16 pm:

Left and right side hood fits (best I could do with this twisted radiator)Right side straight hood fitLeft side tapered hood fit


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Karl J. Vacek on Monday, January 09, 2017 - 05:24 pm:

Let me add that when I first placed my order he told me that he was the radiator supplier for the 1914 T reproductions that Ford had made a few years back. But I bet Ford didn't accept radiators like this!


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Bruce Kile ....San Jose CA on Monday, January 09, 2017 - 06:42 pm:

Please tell us who built this radiator.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Val Soupios on Monday, January 09, 2017 - 06:54 pm:

I would see him in court! Radiators are not cheap and you are entitled to get what you paid for. I don't know what you paid for it but whatever it was you certainly didn't get your monies worth! This is one case where I think everyone is entitled to know the supplier. I certainly would not want to do business with whoever it was if I was in the market for a new radiator.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By gary hammond on Monday, January 09, 2017 - 07:07 pm:

Did you use a credit card for purchase? You may have recourse thru it.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Ed in California on Monday, January 09, 2017 - 07:37 pm:

My original radiator on my 14.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Ed in California on Monday, January 09, 2017 - 07:38 pm:


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Allan Bennett - Australia on Monday, January 09, 2017 - 08:01 pm:

I only know of two radiator manufacturers for Model Ts, Brassworks and Bergs. Bergs make high quality products for black era cars only. I would have bought one of theirs, but was put off by the non-original look of the top tank and outlet.

Allan from down under.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By John Semprez-Templeton, CA on Monday, January 09, 2017 - 08:31 pm:

Wow this is a disappointing story to say the least!

I have a neighbor and friend who builds brass radiators, who does incredible work! I'm sorry you don't know him. last summer I took my old radiator to him to see what WE might do to repair it. This radiator had problems: 1. The top tank was beginning to show a stress fracture at the curve on one side. 2. The neck was leaking where it was riveted (my fault as I had used a heavy dog bone cap with a large motometer). 3.
There were a couple of seeping joints. 4. After 14 years of use several of the fins were bent.

He and I looked at the problems and I could see from his face that he was struggling with the right solution. As we were trying on some ideas, he first mentioned how he might be able flow some solder into the fracture... Then the notion of selling me a shop radiator at a discount flashed by, Then he came up with a rather wild idea, when I said "back in the day, I'll bet the old radiator guys would solder on a patch or something" At that his eyes lit up, he called over one of his artisans, and he had a solution! He wouldn't tell me exactly what he had in mind, but since were friends and I know his work I was ok with that. For the next couple of weeks I didn't hear from him which caused my anticipation and excitement to grow.

Finally the call came, my radiator was ready! I jumped in my truck and was there in a flash! As I walked in he greeted me with his "special grin" and took me to a rack of newly finished radiators. At first I didn't see mine because all the radiators were gleaming in their brightly polished brass. Finely I spotted the most beautiful and unique radiator I has ever seen! My radiator had been repaired and polished like a jewel with two incredible four point stars adorning the top tank!

The best was yet to come when I asked, alright how much? His price do do all the work was less than 1/3 of a new radiator! I was so stunned I asked him if he could make me a lower brass pipe too... he called over one of his guys who crafted one while I was paying the bill. His cost of materials was all he would take for it.

So Karl, you can see why I say, I sure wish you knew my friend.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Les Schubert on Monday, January 09, 2017 - 09:25 pm:

I see a third alternative. Karl can go into the brass radiator manufacturing business and produce really high quality for a low price. Shouldn't be that tough to do


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By David Hagerty on Monday, January 09, 2017 - 09:30 pm:

"stars adorning the top tank" I'm a little concerned, Do you have a picture?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Ron in Central Massachusetts on Monday, January 09, 2017 - 09:32 pm:

Think Karl just wants what he paid a hell of a lot of hard earned money for Les - a radiator that fits. Nothing unreasonable there.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Allan Bennett - Australia on Monday, January 09, 2017 - 09:41 pm:

Ron, those were my expectations too.
Allan from down under.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Ron in Central Massachusetts on Monday, January 09, 2017 - 09:48 pm:

Reasonable expectations Allan. Which is why the "third alternative" suggested above seems unwarranted and unhelpful.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Les Schubert on Monday, January 09, 2017 - 10:04 pm:

Ron
Absolutely nothing unreasonable about that. But from what I gather, there is no alternative supplier at this time. So this sounds like a great business opportunity for him to step up and fill that void. With out competition the supply problem is not likely to be solved
I make my own, so I don't personally have a source problem


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By John Noonan - Norton, MA. on Monday, January 09, 2017 - 10:24 pm:

I personally don't understand how any person, and or company that made such a specialized product would tarnish their reputation by treating their customers this way. I'm a self employed Carpenter and my reputation is my bread and butter, If the customer is unhappy, I'm unhappy and do all i can to make sure this never happens. Business is spread by happy customers, at least it is in my line of work.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By David Dewey, N. California on Monday, January 09, 2017 - 11:20 pm:

He thinks since he's the only supplier that he can treat us however he wishes; and he either doesn't care, or he really believes he's making a quality product.
I have a brand new '16 radiator, probably made by the previous owner, and there are enough deficiencies in it that I'm thinking about reworking my original instead of using the new one. He has offered to fix it for the cost of materials, but that was a year ago and at the time I wasn't able to take him up on his offer.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By David Hagerty on Monday, January 09, 2017 - 11:38 pm:

John Semprez, I'm a little concerned, "stars adorning the top tank" Do you have a picture?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By John Semprez-Templeton, CA on Tuesday, January 10, 2017 - 12:05 am:

Not for you dave... eat your heart out!:-)


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By David Hagerty on Tuesday, January 10, 2017 - 12:12 am:

Okay John, So as I don't get my feelings hurt... With no picture I'll just guess it never happened! :')


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Bob Coiro on Tuesday, January 10, 2017 - 12:13 am:

Most folks want to eliminate the "middleman" and purchase directly from the manufacturer in the interest of saving some money. _Ordinarily, that's a good way of doing business, but there are times when it boosts my confidence to know there's someone looking out for me. _For instance, I could buy my tires directly from the manufacturer, but I know for sure that when I order them through Lang's, I'm going to get tires so fresh, when they're unwrapped, the rubber will still be pungent. _I strongly suspect that likewise, Don Lang would not sell a brass radiator behind which he would not stand. _If I ever need to replace my radiator, that's the way I'm going to go.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mack Cole ---- Earth on Tuesday, January 10, 2017 - 12:24 am:

Well I don't have a brass car. BUT if I had paid what brass radiators bring,1 with the script is even higher,I would be wanting something done about my concerns.
I would explore legal options.
The trouble is, it may have been best to not use the radiator at all once it was found defective. The judge may look at it and say,"Hey did the car run hot?" If you say no, then "well the radiator functioned properly. 100 year old car is not perfect anyway" Dismissed.

sad we don't know who it is that made it so we can all avoid their products and perhaps improve their business model by not doing business with them until they fix their attitude.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Peter Kable - Kiama NSW OZ on Tuesday, January 10, 2017 - 06:16 am:

Does it hold water? A member here bought one and when he put water in it leaked where the Ford had been pressed into the front panel.
The impression had actually split the brass at the edge of the Ford script.

The one I purchased leaked at the join where the top outlet meets the tank.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Royce in Dallas TX on Tuesday, January 10, 2017 - 07:13 am:

I recommend that you buy any future radiators through Langs or Chaffins. They will stand behind the product and deal with the manufacturer.

The problem exists, it is fortunate however that there is at least one source, however unreliable and hard to deal with. The only alternative is to have an original radiator recored. Just a few sources for that service exist.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dan B on Tuesday, January 10, 2017 - 07:41 am:

So if I go into business as a manufacturer of rare, hard to find parts for orphan cars and sell parts that do not look or function anything like the actual thing, then the people who buy my stuff should just be happy that there is a manufacturer out there willing to sell it to then? I never understood this logic.

Also the response of "well why don't you go into business if YOU think you can do a better job" has got to be one of the crappiest things to say to someone in Karl's position. This is like hiring a plumber and when your sink still leaks someone says "well if you think you can do it better then why don't you become a plumber." There are far too many good and decent suppliers out there, some of which are defended vigorously and promoted breathlessly on this forum, to not hold everyone to the same standard. Please do not insult our intelligence or the value of our dollars.

(Message edited by Dan B on January 10, 2017)


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Ron in Central Massachusetts on Tuesday, January 10, 2017 - 07:45 am:

Sounds like a great opportunity for you then Les. You should get right on it - make a mint. Seems that Karl only wants what all of us want - what he paid for.

Could haves, should haves, would haves and "helpful" suggestions for lucrative sidelines aside Karl - I'd be talking to a lawyer and either getting a new radiator or my 4-digit payment back from this company.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Allan Bennett - Australia on Tuesday, January 10, 2017 - 08:08 am:

Royce, I dealt with a local supplier for just that reason. He stood behind the product he supplied. The shame of it was the refusal of the manufacturer to even recognise there was a problem with his product, let alone do something about it. Being overseas may mean he thinks he has no need to do the right thing. My supplier is seriously considering not supplying his product any more, as did the previous supplier.

Like John Noonan, I can't understand why someone would trash their reputation with such an offhand response.

Mac, of the two radiator suppliers, mine did not come from Bergs, leaving just the other one with the substandard product and the substandard attitude to service.

Allan from down under.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Ed in California on Tuesday, January 10, 2017 - 08:20 am:

Maybe we could start a thread and contribute crisp comparison pictures detailing the differences between the original design and the reproductions, in order to better inform potential buyers, as well as to provide reference/guidance for the manufacturer to make changes to future production if possible. I have heard many a T person state that the reproductions are an "exact replacement" or "authentic replacement", which often leads one to expect perfection as well as an exact copy of the original.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Ron in Central Massachusetts on Tuesday, January 10, 2017 - 08:35 am:

Not having anything brass, I can deal solely with Berg's - Gery doesn't make a brass radiator. I have one replacement from "another manufacturer" (first replacement radiator for a T I bought) and 4 I bought later from Berg's (will be placing an order for 2 more from Berg's this spring). Berg's is an exceptionally fine radiator - doodlebugs run slow (5-10 mph) and I still work a couple of them (including the sickle bar mower doodlebug - which has a Berg's radiator). I have never had a Berg's radiator overheat - even while cutting dense brush on a 98 degree day at 5 mph.

As far as customer service goes - about 2 years ago, I ordered a Berg's low radiator for my '17 power unit. A couple of days later, Gery contacted me. He said that he and his wife were going to be up in New England in a couple of weeks and offered to load the radiator up in their car, meet me someplace along their route through Massachusetts and hand the radiator over to save me shipping costs. I was floored. He didn't have to do that - lot of trouble to go to - but I sure as hell appreciated it. He met me at a little town off I-90, about 35 minutes from my house and delivered another one of his beautiful radiators - saving me about $65 in the process. He got a customer for life with that sort of consideration and exceptional product.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Tom Strickling on Tuesday, January 10, 2017 - 08:57 am:

Is only one person out there making brass Model T radiators??


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Val Soupios on Tuesday, January 10, 2017 - 09:07 am:

There was a brief period of time when Berg's was making brass radiators and I was lucky enough to have gotten one from him before he stopped. I wonder what made him give up making brass radiators? I am very happy with the one he made for me.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Larry Smith, Lomita, California on Tuesday, January 10, 2017 - 09:40 am:

If this is who I think it is, you are right on.
I tried to talk Greg Gouveia into making radiators again the last time I saw him, but he isn't interested.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Steve Jelf, Parkerfield KS on Tuesday, January 10, 2017 - 09:49 am:

Having my 1915 radiator recored saved me a few Benjamins, but more important to me was that the reproductions are blatantly unlike the originals. Reading about the problems with quality and attitude makes me even more glad that I chose a recore.

I like the idea of a photographic comparison of original and reproduction. I'll have to find somebody who has a repop I can shoot.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Bill in Adelaida Calif on Tuesday, January 10, 2017 - 10:04 am:

I have seen the radiator that John Semprez speaks of. He showed me the stress cracks it has on the top tank and a couple of other issues. I went back to see John a few weeks later and saw a brand new (or so I thought) radiator sitting on a frame. I could not believe it was the same 15 radiator! I shined with a rich color and the core looked flawless. Truly a work of art with two "stars" that looked more like fancy diamonds to me laid over the top tank where there was once stress cracks. A very clever and unique repair.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Les Schubert on Tuesday, January 10, 2017 - 10:12 am:

Ron
As you well know I have and continue to make some rare virtually unobtainable parts for the T. So I practice what I preach. I am continuing in the development of reproduction of the McNerney front brakes and the Ross steering box. I also developed the "floating " transmission shaft which has been shown to save cranks. I made my own radiators and flat profile fenders. I make the Bailey locking differential. I have no time to get into the radiator business
All this being said I sympathize with Karl.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By David Hagerty on Tuesday, January 10, 2017 - 10:40 am:

Bill,
Thank you for helping me visualize the stars were indeed the patches on John's radiator. I somehow got the idea they were an ornamental addition.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Arnold on Tuesday, January 10, 2017 - 10:51 am:

Is this a repo or original, it has round core tubes?


xxx


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Ed in California on Tuesday, January 10, 2017 - 11:39 am:

It depends. There were a variety of very well made replacement/reproduction radiators made over the years. I think I even have a very early brassworks radiator on a project that has all the right details.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Karl J. Vacek on Tuesday, January 10, 2017 - 12:17 pm:

Thank you one and all for the helpful replies. Having read old posts that indicated that this vendor used to check the Forum daily, I hoped he might see this and relent, but apparently I've really infuriated him by asking about the discrepancies I found. First call after I received the radiator, he said "just a minute" and then loudly told someone else in the room that he was about to begin yelling. I've been timid and polite throughout, which is clearly not a good strategy to use on him. Pretty sure I'm not going to get any cooperation from him without some "encouragement".

I'll probably pursue both credit card and legal avenues, but I fear that my $1275 plus about $210 in shipping (so far - it's back at his shop in California now) is at least mostly lost. A lawyer will charge me hundreds of dollars just to file a suit across the country, and who knows what motivates this guy anyway? He might enjoy it. At the moment he has my money and my radiator and now I need to spend more money. He's got all the marbles and seems to prefer to just hang me out to dry.

I'd priced his new radiators before calling him but indeed planned that if I bought a new one I'd buy from a dealer for that extra layer of security as well as to support the a dealer who makes it possible for us to maintain these old cars. I paid him the exact same price as dealers charge for that same radiator and a dealer would have been closer and saved me some shipping too.

I actually called him not to buy a new radiator direct from him but to ask about repairing my excellent reproduction brass radiator from 1976. He gave me a big sell about how wonderful and more original his radiators were, his having built the T-100 radiators, his exclusive license with Ford, etc., and how I'd spend less to buy his superior radiator than to have mine repaired. But he was so nice and helpful and informative on the phone. On the first call, that is.

In any event, unless this radiator is repaired properly it will never go back on my car. If I have to eat it as-is, I'll just describe it honestly and sell it cheap to someone for whom it's "good enough".

For now I have an Ideal honeycomb radiator on the car. It was installed by a radiator shop in the car's home town when the car was only a few years old, and was still on there when I got it as the third owner in 1969. But I'd still like a nice original Ford script round-tube radiator. I have that nice 1976 reproduction radiator that now needs some help thanks to a local radiator shop that pressure tested it despite my warning.

The man who built that radiator (Quality Manufacturing in Castro Valley, Calif) was still alive in 2000 but had long since sold his jigs, fixtures, and parts, and didn't work on radiators any more. He had no suggestions other than to find an expert or do it myself.

So - if anyone knows a good radiator craftsman who can repair my 1976 reproduction radiator, I'd appreciate any info.

Thanks again !!


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Eric Macleod on Tuesday, January 10, 2017 - 01:42 pm:

I enjoyed the "if you can do better, build it yourself" comment. Apparently Alexander Winton once said such a thing during a conversation with James K Packard in 1898. I think we all know how that turned out.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Tim Eckensviller - Thunder Bay, ON on Tuesday, January 10, 2017 - 01:50 pm:

Eric I believe Mr. Ferrari once said something similar to a tractor builder named Lamborghini, just probably with more hand waving.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dan B on Tuesday, January 10, 2017 - 02:24 pm:

This seems like the appropriate time for an intermission break.

https://youtu.be/WO23WBji_Z0


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dallas landers on Tuesday, January 10, 2017 - 04:12 pm:

Karl, Im in the middle of my own radiator run around. I posted a few days ago about it. Needed an overflow tube fixed when I took it in. Explained that these dont ever have pressure in them when dropping it off. You know what happened next! They are recoring it now. Holding my breath. My point is that someone from illinois said they took theirs to a great shop for repair in your state. Cant remember who?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Freighter Jim on Tuesday, January 10, 2017 - 04:45 pm:

You accepted.

Then you installed it.

Reading thru your thread you received it in April of 2016
but did not open it up to inspect it until July.

Three months after you bought it - after you inspected it - you installed it.

Then waited a few more months before you returned it.

Did you think you were renting a radiator ?

You should have inspected it when it arrived.

You should have returned it at that time.

Lesson learned.


Freighter Jim


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Karl J. Vacek on Tuesday, January 10, 2017 - 04:48 pm:

Thanks Dallas!! Was it Bill LeMaster of Bill's Radiator Restoration? I Googled earlier this morning and found him - about a hundred miles south of me in central Illinois. He sold his 55-year-old family restoration business and then decided he missed radiator work, so he came out of retirement just to do brass radiators. Wish I'd found him 17 years ago when the local radiator guy messed up my nice reproduction radiator by pressure testing it like your local shop did to your radiator - he puffed out the tank to and front panels. He also soldered the neck on crooked but that wasn't much of an issue - it fell off the second time I drove the car. I'll be calling Bill LeMaster soon and likely taking a drive down to see him if he's interested in doing the job.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Ron in Central Massachusetts on Tuesday, January 10, 2017 - 05:26 pm:

Think Karl was seeking the advice of OTHER MODEL T OWNERS based on their EXPERIENCE with Model T radiators - thus the title of the thread.

What year Model T do you own "Freighter Jim"??


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Karl J. Vacek on Tuesday, January 10, 2017 - 05:35 pm:

Freighter Jim - I did open it and look at it when I got it in late April and noticed the light stamp on the Made in USA. I called him immediately and his hostility started on the first call. The radiator arrived weeks later than promised and too late for the car's April 100th birthday, so I just put the issue on hold till the 4th of July when I finally discovered the other issues. I figured I'd accept the light stamping and that it would otherwise be OK.

After all, he claimed to have built the business over 40 years and to have been the one who made the T-100 radiators, so surely it would be a good radiator. I took his word, apparently an increasingly dangerous thing to do these days. I had no idea he'd bought the place a few years ago and had nothing to do with the origination or development of the business. I thought he was an experienced brass radiator craftsman, not just a young guy who bought a business that apparently had a good track record prior to his purchase.

There's no rental involved - I paid the full price a month before shipment and all I ask for is for a workmanlike repair/rework. I cannot find his warrantee information on his website, but I'd hope he offers a decent length of warrantee for obvious manufacturing defects. Certainly 90 days to discover and report defects isn't unreasonable and I did that. The terrible hacked treatment of the front corners, the twisted shape, and the filler neck that won't accept a cap are manufacturing defects and that's that.

Further, I asked for repair and return of this radiator, but said that I would alternatively accept a different radiator or a refund instead. He just argued that he couldn't resell a used radiator, when all he needs to do is repair the original manufacturing defects and ship it back to me. Can't he fix this one? Besides, I certainly hope he wouldn't resell this one without repairing the issues, which is all I'm asking.

I paid him in March, so he's lost nothing - it's not as if he loaned me the radiator. He shipped later than promised so I couldn't install the radiator by my car's April production date. Therefore I waited till I had to get the car ready for the 4th of July. I notified him of the issues within less than 90 days of my receipt of the radiator and he told me to return it for his inspection.

I didn't want any more confrontations with him so I waited from July to November to ship it back. Other complications in my life that have nothing to do with this also induced me to wait rather than have someone else pack and ship it for me. Nonetheless, the issues were there when he first shipped it to me and are still there as far as I know. And he says it's "within tolerance for square-ness [sic] and consistent in production techniques", so despite the photos I've posted he asserts that it's a good radiator.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Freighter Jim on Tuesday, January 10, 2017 - 05:36 pm:

Ron,

You take any opportunity to criticize me.

That has been going on for years.

Normally I just ignore you .....

The OP just registered & started this thread to intimidate the radiator supplier into complying with his desire to deal with a customer satisfaction issue that should have been addressed by him in April of 2016 - not now.

If someone wants to order a part - wait (3) months to inspect - install it after they are not satisfied with it - then contact the manufacturer about it - then wait a few more months to return
it ....


Be prepared to take some heat.

Freighter Jim


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Freighter Jim on Tuesday, January 10, 2017 - 05:46 pm:

Karl,

Go back and read the first two sentences in your first post.

That is different than what you are stating now.

If you want to pull your old radiator before a parade without first completely inspecting a replacement radiator from a vendor that you have never done business with before - that is your choice.

But you chose to install it on your car - by doing that you accepted it " as is ".

Starting this thread was a bad call on your part IMOP.

You made the mistake of not inspecting a part when it arrived - then installing it after your inspection deemed it unsatisfactory.

That is not the vendors' fault.


Freighter Jim


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Karl J. Vacek on Tuesday, January 10, 2017 - 05:54 pm:

Thank you, Ron in Central Massachusetts. You've picked up on the two snide posts that I really didn't expect from this group. I'm not active here or in any other car clubs any more - I'm just an old guy who's had this same Model T since I was almost out of college. The restoration is old and really I've spent my recreational time with airplanes more than cars for decades. But this car is a family member and I need to keep it nice so my grandchildren can drive it soon.

In my 48+ years around Model T's I've only encountered one other vendor as hostile as this radiator manufacturer - and that was about 1990. Pretty good run I'd say. Airplane guys are about the same, though not catching a bad airplane part can be far more dangerous. Still, taking this radiator manufacturer into the mix, the average is great overall.

Thanks again to one and all. I think I've learned that my experience with this guy isn't unique, though apparently it's not typical. Some times I just tick people off I guess.

Karl


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Chris Bamford, Edmonton AB on Tuesday, January 10, 2017 - 05:57 pm:

So by that logic Jim, one should not expect warranty or correction of manufacturing defects once a product has been installed?

I guess this is good news for shingle and window manufacturers!


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Ron in Central Massachusetts on Tuesday, January 10, 2017 - 06:13 pm:

Not worth it.

(Message edited by Conversiont on January 10, 2017)


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Stan Howe Helena, Montana on Tuesday, January 10, 2017 - 06:13 pm:

Everybody runs their own business their own way and that's exactly the way I run mine.

They can run theirs the way they want. It is too bad there is no choice of manufacturers.

I've replaced several needle and seat sets with the newer version I started using about 6 years ago. No charge. I contacted a couple people and told them I thought there might be a problem with the tips dissolving in the new Ethanol fuel. The others contacted me. One had been setting on the shelf ever since I sold it to the guy about 8 or 10 years ago. I sent him an update set that he said he would probably never install. IMHO, that's how you stay in business.

I'm glad I got the new radiator I still have on the shelf for the T pickup project when they were a work of art reproduction.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Karl J. Vacek on Tuesday, January 10, 2017 - 06:18 pm:

Freighter Jim - you're entitled to your opinion, as divorced from the facts as it may be. I got what I wanted by posting here - confirmation that I'm not the only one who has had quality and cooperation issues with this vendor. He sold me something with a number of defects and within 90 days of receipt he denied the truth shown in the same photos I've posted here, plus more. I've borne all freight costs, and am still out the cost of an unsatisfactory radiator.

I also got confirmation that the majority of Model T owners are still great guys, helpful, and friendly. The few others, well...

No idea what you mean by my intimidating this guy. Maybe that's your method for dealing with people, but I'm not interested in that sort of thing at this point in my life.

I really don't expect any rectification from the manufacturer at this point without legal action. The only person I ever sued was over 15 years ago, for $300K, and I won, but I'm not sure there's even enough money to recoup here after legal fees and irritation. I'll probably just take my loss and try to warn others of my experience.

Have a nice life, Freighter Jim, and thanks for your "wisdom". I'm done arguing with you about something that doesn't concern you at all.

Karl


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Tom Rootlieb on Tuesday, January 10, 2017 - 06:32 pm:

I had the same problem with a new radiator being out of square along time ago. Either side of the hood fit perfect, but not at the same time. Laid it face down on the floor and sure enough one corner was a quarter inch in the air. Then if I looked down the face I could see that the core was twisted out of square. So after some thinking I decided to lay the radiator face down on the floor and place a 1"X1/2" piece of wood under the two opposing corners that touched the floor. Then using a table to support most of my weight, I placed one foot on one corner not supported by the wood and placed my other foot on the other corner and did a slight push off using my weight. I could feel the core give way slightly and checked it and had corrected the flatness of the core by half. I repeated this process a couple times and it squared the core. I put it on the car and the hood fit great. I ran the car for 5-6 yrs. and it never developed a leak or had any problems.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By brian korth on Tuesday, January 10, 2017 - 06:35 pm:

karl had a new brass radiator made for my 08 brush two years ago powell radiator in wilmington ohio. exellent job.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Ted Dumas on Tuesday, January 10, 2017 - 07:02 pm:

Royce nailed it. Buy it from Chaffins or Langs, they certainly have more leverage with Brassworks than an individual does. Freighter Jim raises a good point, the way I read the account it was 9 months later or so when the the radiator was returned to the manufacturer. When you make a $1200 or so purchase you should check it out the moment it arrives. At that point you can work through your credit card company to get the issue resolved.

Maybe Tom Rootlieb's suggestion will get you out of the woods and you can enjoy your new radiators at long last.

Getting a lawyer involved will likely cost you much more than the radiator and if you wish to enforce your judgment, assuming you win, I think you will need to sue in a California court.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By tim moore, "Island City" MI on Tuesday, January 10, 2017 - 07:04 pm:

Bad story all around. I would try one more time and ask how this can be resolved without legal action as that is your only next step that you don't want to take. The manufacturer may be thinking that your car is 100 years old and has probably been hit, has a sagged frame, body isn't mounted like new...and none of us, even you know if that is the case or not. Does he build them on a jig according to Ford specifications? If that is true then you are done because he can't build a radiator to fit a twisted car. That doesn't excuse a radiator neck with bad threads or leaks or poorly fitted joints.

If nothing else you can contact the State Attorney General Office, department of consumer complaints. I did that many years ago with a radiator shop that "fixed" mine for a Model T and they told me 3 complaints that were found true in one business year and the business license is revoked. That shop was closed within 2 weeks.

It was 1977 and I was 17 years old. I went to pick up my radiator and the owner and 3 employees were sitting in the office drinking beer and grinning at each other. The radiator looked worse than when I dropped it off for a new neck (I provided), fins straightened and leaks fixed. I wrote out the check for $75 rather than get my ass kicked and went to the next radiator shop I knew of. I told that owner that if the work was done so was I and no problem paying for it. He just shook his head and said it was not functional. The next morning I was at the bank when the opened and cancelled the check and filed my complaint. Oh, before I left the first shop I gave them a Model T cap and said to put it on the shelf to display to remember this one. I might have been young but have never been dumb.

I hope it works out and you can report back that all is well. As a business owner also I have had to take a loss sometimes but a business can't survive that way...if they are at fault they can't survive that way either. I make no judgment either way as I haven't seen your car or the radiator.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Karl J. Vacek on Tuesday, January 10, 2017 - 07:32 pm:

Tom Rootlieb - I assume you're the same family that made my hood in the early 70's? I remember your ads in Hemmings - maybe now to, though I haven't seen a Hemmings in decades. It fit the other radiators and I recently measured to make sure it had nothing to do with the radiator issue. I never felt the need to check it before. It's always been beautiful and fit perfectly.

Thanks for a quality product !!


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By The Brassworks on Tuesday, January 24, 2017 - 01:04 pm:

I was alerted to this thread last evening and read through it. This morning I reviewed the emails exchanged and compared them to the various forum postings. There are substantial inconsistencies between the calls, the emails and the forum postings.

The radiator was returned under warranty and inspected in late December. A cap threaded on without issue and there is no perceptible issue of “squareness” to the radiator that was shipped in April 2016 and returned nine months later.

A printed document accompanies every radiator that clearly states Radiators that have been installed and show evidence of having been used are NOT eligible for a refund.

What has been presented to you on this forum is the purview of the forum moderators and readers and we will not comment further.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Ed in California on Tuesday, January 24, 2017 - 01:13 pm:

Is the cut out notches part of the standard assembly now... yes or no, and what is the reason for the notched out areas? That is the question I believe.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By The Brassworks on Tuesday, January 24, 2017 - 02:26 pm:

Ed -
There was a notch in Ford's radiator and a notch in ours too. The purpose is the same e.g. create a relief in the tank face/wrapper joint to received the "tray" portion of the header.

We are changing our process and moving to a formed radius on the vertical part of the header. It is more consistent with the OEM design and it will result in a reduced "notch".


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Ed in California on Tuesday, January 24, 2017 - 03:06 pm:

Thank you for the response and clarification regarding the notch.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Richard Gould, Folsom, CA on Tuesday, January 24, 2017 - 05:51 pm:

Well well, neither Brassworks or anyone else can dictate what the law says re defective goods. UCC, to which California and most all others states conform, adopts the "any defect in tender" rule which allows a buyer a remedy if the goods are in any way defective. The rub is defining defect. The law looks to what customary in the industry. The other rub is the buyer must reject the goods and notify the seller in a reasonable period of time What is timely depends on the facts and circumstances. It gets even more dicey if the goods are accepted and later the buyer attempts to revoke acceptance. Much harder to do.
So did the buyer here reject the goods or not? Did the problems with the radiator amount to a defect?
Did the buyer notify the seller of his rejection in a seasonably manner?
This would be a good law school exam question.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Freighter Jim on Tuesday, January 24, 2017 - 06:24 pm:

Richard,

Read the OP's account on this thread.

That will answer your question(s).


Freighter Jim


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Steve Tomaso - Longbranch,WA on Tuesday, January 24, 2017 - 07:34 pm:

Hey F.J. - you do know Richard is an attorney, don't you ????????

Get off the BUS !


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