My '14 has always run a little hotter than it should. I have soaked the engine and rad in vinegar for a few days, flushed the engine with a hose and compressed air (per the Jelf method) and have gone so far as to buy a new radiator. Still runs hot. The previous owner swore that you should only run plain water in a T and that is what he had in there for years. I plan on taking the head off to clean the coolant passages. While I have the head off, anything else I should do or check?
Compression test (both wet & dry) before removal. It'll tell you more about your engines condition and what needs to be done that just looking at things.
Joe, is the new radiator actually new? Like from Bergs? Or just new to you?
Some things that will cause a T to run hot are if you are running the mixture too lean. Screw the mixture needle on the carb in until it runs rough, then back out until it runs rough, then turn it to halfway between those two points.
Also, you want to make sure you're advancing the spark as much as possible. If you advance too far you'll feel it immediately, the engine will knock and it'll feel like it's fighting itself. Just advance it as much as possible whenever you're driving.
If it STILL runs hot, double check that you have enough oil. I like mine to just barely dribble out of the top petcock. If it STILL runs hot after all of that, then I don't know. Maybe you have some bearings too tight or something.
It doesn't run uber hot, but when it is 90 out it boils over, and on copper days it gurgles...
The radiator is new from Brassworks.
Mixture is not lean. I set the timing with a TW timer tool, and run on mag with the spark well advanced.
I have tried most of the simple stuff. There is plenty of oil, bands are well adjusted, bearings are adjusted and not too tight. Brakes don't drag, car rolls easily when pushed by hand.
Even after all the flushing and vinegar soaks, I still get rust out of the water when drained. I am going to take the head off and clean it out.
Just curious, you don't have a water pump on it do you? Sometimes they actually constrict the flow of water, especially if scale gets caught up in them blocking good flow. Just a thought.
Is it a round tube or a flat tube?
If you are still getting rust when you drain it, I would try vinegar soaking just the engine ( block the lower connection of the block and fill and soak it again). Removing the head will not likely help you accomplish more than this method. Once you can drain it clean, then fill with 50/50 antifreeze mixture. It has a higher boiling point than water
I know you say you have set the timing by a method, BUT there is no substitute for setting the timing by when it sounds/ feels right
Another thing, check the front timing cover to be sure it is properly centered on the camshaft. If it is off centre it will significantly affect the performance of the engine and could contribute to your problem
Are you sure it's boiling? Water expands as it heats up and if you fill all the way up to the top it will go out the overflow until it "seeks it's level". Fill about half way up the top tank and try again. If it really boils steam will come out.
I have had the car 3 years and logged a few hundred miles. I am familiar with burping out the extra coolant if overfull. My car runs hotter than others I tour with.
On a 90 degree day, it will steam at 35mph. On a cool day I can peg the moto-meter if I drive 35 mph or more for a while and it will gurgle on shut down.
I am going to take the head off to see what I find. My question is while I have the head off, is there anything else I should look at? Should I buy new headbolts from Langs, or reuse the old ones?
I'll give it one more shot Joe then it's up to you. Just pulling the head won't tell you anything about the condition of the engine. Specifically valves and rings. Now if you don't want to know that's your business but if you'd like a wealth of info concerning hat's going on inside take a dry and then wet compression test before pulling anything. OK, your rad is new and the former owner(mistakenly) only used water so the block may actually be clogged. If you're using the spark lever correctly we can eliminate that too. It appears your block may be badly clogged but I again urge you to comp test first. As to the bolts I've always re-used the orig. ones. The really important thing is rodding out the bolt holes with an awl or pick and blowing them out with compressed air. This is EXTREMELY important as they'll bottom out and strip if you don't. Some run a tap down I never have.
If the head bolts look really good you can re-use them. Look closely at the threads to be sure they're not "pulled" and that the bolts are not necked down.
Charlie's advice on a compression test before head removal is a good move.
How much pitch do your fan blades have? New fans and new blades seem to have very minimal pitch and move very little air. Is your fan belt tight enough?
Since you have the head off now would be a good time to clean out the water passages in the head and engine.
Get you a 1/4" drill bit and CAREFULLY drill out the small water passageway holes.
You can use a ice pick if you want to do this then use the use the drill bit.
The larger passageways can be cleaned out with a speed odometer cable.
Sooner and not later Model T original or old replacement radiators wear out. After 100 years a new or recorded radiator will work a lot better. You will think you have a different T when you replace the radiator. Your overheating issues will be pretty much over with if all else fails.
Sorry I didn't notice you had a new radiator already! Cleaning out the water passageways may be the next thing you could do.
Be sure to check if head gasket is on correct. BIG hole to the rear.
Also: Look at the thread about cleaning block water jackets. Has a mixture from the IH Farmall forum for cleaning engine water jackets. This mixture IH said to use in CUBs. Dan
Here is link to IH Farmall forum
Like Jerry suggests, look at the fan. On a recent tour in Mo. my 14 got very hot and boiled the first couple of times we stopped. Found out the fan had tightened itself (my bad) and was not turning---the belt just slipping on the pulley. Re-adjusted the fan to turn and viola: No more boiling when stopped. Just a thought.
Would not hurt to lap the valves...
check your valves to see if they are one piece or 2 piece, very important. If they are the 2 piece type switch it out. If valves are work add the correct size new ones, wouldn't hurt to clean up valve seats either. Look around for any cracks. Your head may be all gummed up could be some of your heating issues: try taking it to a pressure washer and cleaning it out. Maybe hunting down a replacement stock head with cleaner cooling channels wouldn't hurt either. Getting the head planed to ensure flatness would be good as well, heck maybe even getting .075" or so shaved off to help with compression.
I've been thinking about your symptoms. A definite possibility is a cracked block or head.
A good test is as follows;
Fill the water right up. Start the engine and look down the neck for bubbles. If inconclusive then try this test next. It is fool proof;
Connect a couple feet of plastic hose to the overflow. Take a pail and a empty plastic pop bottle and 3/4 fill the pail and fill the plastic bottle. Stick the end of the hose into the bottle and set it in the pail with the bottle upside down.
Now fill the radiator right up and seal the cap as best you can (plastic wrap or a O ring).
Start the car and observe the liquid level in the bottle. A bit of air should appear very quickly and then it should stabilize. If it keeps producing air in the bottle then you absolutely know you have a compression leak. Hopefully that is not the case!!
A leaking head gasket is possible but unfortunately unlikely as it should have catastrophically failed by now. Anyway you will know what you are looking for
Finished the compression test. I had to make an adapter for my compression gauge to get to pipe thread, but it wasn't too bad. I used a brass pipe bushing and tapped the center to M14x1.25. The car is also hand crank only, so it was a workout. Anyway, the results:
Cold and dry. (Car last ran 2 days ago)
Cyl 1 (furthest forward) 45PSI
Cyl 2 45 PSI
Cyl 3 40 PSI
Cyl 4 30 PSI
Pour a little oil in the cyl abd try again (still cold)
Cyl 1 55 PSI
Cyl 2 58 PSI
Cyl 3 53 PSI
Cyl 4 40 PSI
Both dry and with oil, cyl 4 made an audible chuffing sound on the compression stroke. It sounded like it was going into either the intake or exhaust manifold so I suspect a valve is in need of attention.
The pitch of the fan looked OK to me, and I think the belt is tight enough. I can make it slip if I push the end of a blade firmly with 1 finger, but not if I push gently
The overheating only occurs if I go 30-35. I can cruise around old car fest, or drive 25 forever. That is what made me suspect the radiator. I figured overheating when going faster was indicative of poor heat transfer as there was plenty of air flow.
What do you think about the blade pitch?
Also, I was looking at the head, and it looks like I have to take the forwardmost floorboard and the piece of tin between the firewall and the floorboard out to get at the rearmost head bolt. Do I have to pull the coilbox to get the bolt all the way out, or can it sneak by?
exhaust restriction of some sort
Your compression test would seem to rule out leaking exhaust valves
Since I am posting pics, here is the car:
Nice looking car. Want to switch garages?
The timing is OK. I run a TW timer and checked it with the TW timing tool.
I hand crank only, and made sure the timing is set correctly when all the way up, and run on mag with the lever down as far as it will run smoothly (pretty far)
Cyl 4 is audibly leaking compression. I am pretty sure one of the valves in that cyl is not sealing. Not sure if that would cause the overheating, but it will get attention either way.
(Message edited by 2slow on June 26, 2017)
You don't remove the two rear bolts; loosen them free of the block, then hold them up with clothespins You can then slide the head forward enough to take it out.
Golly, what I could do with that shop...Beautiful cars, Joe, and facilities.
For all the time it will take try my crack test procedure. I don't know if a leaking exhaust valve would cause your problem but a crack into the water jacket sure would
Your comp. pressure went up on every cyl after adding oil. That's an indication of worn rings not valves.
Number 4 was lower than all the rest and I could hear a compression leak as I cranked. Wouldn't that indicate a potential valve not seating for number 4?
What a beautiful car, very detailed. Have you run with the hood off, 1914 was the last year for the non louvered hood. You could try operating with the carb. heat stove removed and your car has the engine splash pans. All these contribute to trapped hot air under the hood. My 1912 Open Express has the same issue and I have run w/the hood off at times but not the carb heat stove or engine pans. I also have run the carb. a little on the rich side and the motometer responds to that. I also think you have a valve issue on #4 cyl., it generally runs the hottest w/#1 the coolest (#1 will normally foul the spark plug first)
Joe if I understand correctly, this problem has been around for several years? A exhaust valve would be so burnt that you would have virtually no compression by that time. I know this from personal experience on my T. From the time it starts to leak until it has nothing left does not take very long ( perhaps at most a couple hundred miles). And certainly I never noticed any overheating associated with a valve leak. Certainly it is possible your problem is different. Best of luck
Les, the car has been running hot since I purchased it three years ago.
I don't know that the low compression in number for has anything to do with the overheating, or how long it's been around. I played with the engine a little more and I'm pretty sure it is the exhaust valve in number for that is not Sealing. I can hear the noise more in the exhaust manifold than the intake manifold, and if I listen I don't know that the low compression in number for has anything to do with the overheating, or how long its been around. I played with the engine a little more and I'm pretty sure it is the exhaust valve in number for that is not ceiling. I can hear the noise more in the exhaust manifold than intake manifold, and if I listen carefully I hear a similar news on the intake stroke though not as loud.
Depending on how late I get home from work tonight I may try the soda bottle test that Les recommends. When i have had coolant get into the cylinders before, the cylinder with the leak looked very clean and washed. None of my cylinders looked wash from what I could see looking through the spark plug hole. I am hopeful I don't have a cracked block, but we will see when we run the soda bottle test.
(Message edited by 2slow on June 27, 2017)
You may have a slightly leaking valve but the only thing that raises compression like that is the oil sealing the rings for a few revolutions. It won't seal valves so if comp stays low with the addition of oil it's valves. 40/45 isn't bad for a cold T engine but if they were all 30 you'd know about it. The soda bottle test would work as increasing pressure on a rad pressure gauge when testing a modern system indicates head gasket/block problems but I don't think it's necessary now. Pretty sure that head removal is in your future.
Didn't read all the other responses past your post of mentioning "round tube" for the radiator. So maybe someone else may have said this same thing, but to me, that's probably the bulk of it. They just run warm, period. It's a small radiator to begin with, now you put all those little tubes in a nice neat row, one behind the other. The last row of tubes gets little to no air around them to help cool. Plus, who knows how well the fins are attached. Just because it's "new" doesn't mean some are already loose. Also, if it's only had plain water in it all the time, who's to say it's not partially plugged up with minerals from the water, or even rust from the engine. Take the radiator out and give it several flow tests. It should void all it's water in no more than 4-5 seconds. Much more than that, and you have an "unclean" radiator.
That's a healthy pitch on your fan blade.
Personally, I don't think your rings are so bad, judging by the wet/dry compression test difference. I think you would expect a slightly higher "wet" value even with really good rings. I don't think your "wet" numbers are dramatically higher to warrant concern. Consider that when your engine is running, the cylinder walls will be somewhat wetted by oil. I do however agree that one of your #4 valves is leaking. Or, maybe your head gasket near #4... When you pull the head, look very carefully at the gasket, block surface, and head surface for any clues of a leak.
Just got home from work, so the bottle test will have to wait. I will run it before I pull the head.
Increased compression after adding the oil is an indicator of wear on the piston rings, but keep in mind that the dry readings were cold and the car had sat for a days before being cranked. Next time I run it, I will do a dry test with the engine warmed up a little and see what values I get.
The radiator is brand new, as in it has only had coolant in it a few days. I don't think it can possible be plugged up. The car also ran about the same with the old radiator that I flushed and vinegar soaked several times.
Thanks for the input. I will look at the head, gasket, and block very closely when I pull the head. I can hear the #4 leak into the exhaust so I am pretty sure it is a valve, but it does not hurt to check.
Listening closer, I am pretty sure the number 4 exhaust valve is leaking. I will take the head off and see what I see. I am hopeful I caught this early enough that the seat will not need to be re-cut. I will know more when I pull the head.
I doubt it has anything to do with the cooling issue, but it can't hurt anything to fix it, and I will clean the water passages while I am in there.
Thanks for all the help!
Use a magnet pick up to clear the scale out of the passages. Use 2 or so feet of bicycle type brake cable or equivalent on a drill to clear the passages and get scale out. The cable is supposed to fray that's the idea. Thump the head on a piece of plywood to get more scale out.
Yes get new head bolts. Chase the bolt hole threads with a tap, blow the crud out of the bolt holes with compressed air. Use regular 1/2 inch pipe screwed into the spark plug holes for head handles for installation and removal. Use clothes pins to keep the 2 rear bolts suspended and off the head gasket while re-installing. Use Copper-Coat spray. Re-tighten from the middle out. Re-tighten after running 20 minutes. Torque head bolts at about 45 lbs.
Thanks for all the tips. I tried to do the soda bottle test today, but the bottom of the new radiator overflow did not protrude past the soldered joint so I could not get a hose around it. I filled the radiator all the way up instead and ran the car watching for bubbles. I saw none.
My wife's car is in the workshop right now, so once I get that put back together I will move the T over and pull the head / check the valves. Maybe I can just lap #4 exhaust back in, my luck I will be doing a complete valve job...
I'm very pleased that you have not found any indication of a compression leak into the water jacket. These things seem to be a process of elimination. Best of luck
Maybe just check clearance on #4 valves, and save a gasket. Dave in Bellingham,WA
I will take a look at the valve clearances, but the head is coming off either way to clean the coolant passages. I hope to get it done next weekend.
For those that were following this thread, I took the head off and posted pictures in a new thread:
I was surprised by what I found...