I see that there are thermostats now available for the Model T. I was just curious what opinions does any one have of them?
My opinion is that thermostats and Model T's do not mix. Just something to cause problems better left for cars that need them.
More junk that you don't need. Save your money.
I think the answers you get will fall into two camps. One will be that they're a useful "upgrade", and will include theories on why. The other will assert that they're superfluous, a useless expense, possibly counterproductive. Until I see convincing evidence to change my mind, I'm camping with the second bunch.
When the weather gets warmer and I can get my cooling system de-gunkified, my intent was to remove the water pump and return to the way Henry intended it to be. I was wondering why I'd want to create another blockage with a thermostat.
With a good radiator(more later) and unobstructed water flow the original thermo-syphon system works well so long as you understand its quirks.
If your Model T has a waterpump installed it was placed there to solve a problem. Sometimes thermostats are installed at the same time. Thermostats will allow for getting the engine up to normal operating temperature faster, but they have a tendency to restrict water flow. That problem was most likely an original Ford radiator that has long since ceased to be a heat exchanger and a water pump is only a patch up solution. Original radiators have tubes and fins that are no longer contiguous and it will not dissipate heat as originally intended. No matter how much you spend to "degunk" it. The best Model T advice I have ever been given is buy a new radiator, install it and amortize the expense across ten years of trouble free (not overheating) time having fun with your family and driving your Model T. That will cost you about $75 a year and it will be well worth it.
Just my view.
Ron, thanks for the advice. I don't believe my radiator is the original as it is a flat tube, but either way it is gunked. Also I removed the outlet connection from the engine and it fell in 2 pieces. I believe an owner before my father bought the car knew it was cracked as there was enough chalk behind the connector as to block half the hole in order to stop the leak. Hence the need for the water pump that was on the car when my father acquired it. I'm hoping to be able to save the radiator, degunk the engine's water jacket. Will be placing an order with Lang's tomorrow to get all the pieces I need to return the cooling system to original.
Here's a page on cooling troubles. http://dauntlessgeezer.com/DG96.html.
The bottom line is that sooner or later all these radiators have to be replaced or recored. After ninety or more years, now is later for a great many of them.
Thanks for the link Steve. Trust me if I need to replace the radiator I will, but the outside of the radiator is in such good condition I just can't believe it's anywhere near as old as the car. Besides looking inside it's not the round or even the square tubes, it's a flat tube which I've been told is the best to get if your replacing an original radiator. This leads me to believe a previous owner has already done this step, unfortunately no one thought to flush it regularly to maintain it. I'm hopeful it can be cleaned and saved, at least it's worth the attempt.
The radiator leaked badly and it was a shame because it looked really good; beautiful fins. I bought a Brassworks flat tube radiator. I also cleaned the cooling passages very well.
With the new radiator the engine ran cool and would never reach Normal Operating Temperature. I installed a thermostat and the engine then warmed as it should. It worked for me. Your milage may vary.
"What works for one marriage may not work for another marriage." You do what works.
I have one. Can't say that I really notice any difference.
I've been running a thermostat in my daily driver for years. Works very well to allow the car to warm up much quicker in sub-freezing weather. Seems to have no ill effect in the summer. I have both a temp gauge on the upper head outlet and a moto-meter on the radiator so I can keep an eye on what is happening. I have a good radiator and don't run a water pump (nor fan).
I have a good flat tube radiator and newer rebuilt engine (if that makes any difference?). On anything but warm mid-summer mornings, my car would never hit operating temp. Even with a 160 degree thermostat, the engine is slow to reach operating temp. Even on the hottest days (which for around here is the low 90's, and there's maybe 5 of those all summer), it doesn't overheat. If I lived in warmer climates I probably wouldn't bother with a thermostat. But up here it does help me get the engine warmed up quicker.
First off, I don't care to have a motometer on my T. Without a motometer, I have no idea how long it takes to get up to operating temperature. So there's one less thing to worry about. "How do you know if it's running hot?" you might ask. Well, ever since I got a new radiator, that hasn't been a problem, but before I did, if nothing else, I could see steam coming out around the cap, but usually I noticed it in the running of the car before that.
For those that feel they need a water pump, I could see using a thermostat (Up until they figure out the root cause of their problem and fix it. Bergs sells them. ). For those who choose to use the system as originally intended, I would say do NOT use a thermostat. The thermosyphon system acts as it's own thermostat in that the flow rate is a function of the difference in temperature between the engine and the radiator. When it's cold, both are at the same temperature and no flow occurs. As it begins to warm up, flow begins to occur, and increases as necessary.
I re-read Tom's original question and it seems that I only half answered it. My opinion is that thermostats seem to work fine in my T, but I didn't give my opinion as to whether they are really needed. I think that if you only casually drive your T, there is no real compelling reason to have a thermostat. In this case my line of thinking would pretty much correspond to Hal's. If you drive your T lots, including in winter time, and your cooling system is up to snuff, then perhaps a thermostat would be useful, but not required.
I have a thermostat in my snowmobile. No water pump, no engine pans not much of a hood, cold air temperatures when running. I would like to here from others if I should leave it in?
Will engine pans change the air flow around the engine and the cooling? I believe so.
Will a thermostat change the water flow thru the radiator and the cooling? I believe so.
Will a water pump change the flow of water thru the engine and radiator? I believe so
Will engine controls effect the heat generated by the engine? I believe so.
Will bands and the heat generated by the transmission add heat to the engine? I believe so
Will the type of driving effect the engine cooling? I believe so.
What is the most effective combination? Now that I have no idea.
Dean, Leave it in and go play. Sounds like you folks might actually be having snow again this weekend.
Does anybody have any idea how many different T water pumps were on the market during the T production days. I have 6 different ones and suspect that just a small representation. J.
Kevin, I heard on Friday we are going to get 2 inches of rain or 20 inches of snow. The antique snowmobile run last Saturday was canceled because of 55 degree weather and NO snow.
I have found a piece of cardboard adjusted for variations in temperature to be most effective for winter driving and quick warm ups. It doesn't block water flow and is easily removed for summer driving!