Buttoned everything up on my 1914 touring a while ago. Thanks to all those that provided advise on the previous threads.
I finally had a combination of available time and good weather so I went for a ride. The car seemed to start a little easier, and gave me a few more freestarts than I was expecting when I was idle cycling to cure the exhaust manifold paint in the barn. It wasn't hard starting before, so I won't know if it is really better until I log some more time.
The damn thing still runs hot.
Things I have done:
Checked timing, replaced timer with TW unit, reset timing, re-checked timing.
Checked carb (4ball rebuilt by Stan Howe) mixture setting and it always runs smoothest where I put my mark last year. (quarter turn either way and it stumbles)
Flushed engine and radiator using Jelf compressed air method several times.
Soaked engine and radiator in vinegar for a few days, then flushed again using the Jelf method.
Replaced the radiator with a brand new Brassworks unit.
Took head off and cleaned all water passages with drill bits for the little ones and wire rope on the end of a drill for the big ones. They were generally open except for the steam hole between cyl 3 & 4 which was plugged with carbon.
While I had the head off, I saw signs the old gasket was leaking compression into the steam hole between Cyl 3&4. I cleaned the steam hole out, checked the head for flatness and it was within 0.001" everywhere I looked.
I also had low compression on cyl 4 which turned out to be a late closing intake valve on that cyl. I re-set all the valves using the piston position method.
One valve (Cyl #4 exhaust) had a little pitting so I had it reground and then I lapped it in. I lapped all the other valves. (original only dd exhaust, but another forum member suggested doing them all so I did.)
Torqued head to 40 ft lbs, and retorqued several times after letting the engine idle and get warm.
Went for a ride and like I said up front, it still runs hot. If I hold 35 mph for a reasonable period of time, I will peg the moto meter and be steaming.
I just filled the radiator all the way up to the drain tube and let the car idle. I saw a few bubbles, but I only let it run for a minute or so. I retorqued the head bolts to 45 ft lbs hoping that the overheating is due to combustion leaking into cooling system. I am not confident it will fix anything though.
The damn thing still runs hot.
"hot" is relative, no?
Like a politician once said:..."what do you mean by _____?"
Or, when the Mrs. says to the Mr. "Does this dress make me look fat?"
So, the question is -: "what do you mean by hot?
Incidentally, if I fill my radiator all the way up to the drain tube and let it idle for awhile, I will wind up with a cup or two of coolant on the ground under the radiator. My car really likes to run well, and I guess stay "not hot" as long as the coolant level just covers the tops of the radiator tubes when cool.
Again - what is "hot" to you?
How hot is running hot? What is the actual temperature?
How far are you advancing the timing after the engine starts? If you live in relativity flat land like me you can get away with a set it and forget it philosophy if you do this the advance lever should be somewhere near 80% of travel. If I let my engine idle or drive down the road at say 50% travel it will heat up pretty quick (I use this method of warming the engine on what few cold days we get down here)
Seems all you have done would allow cool running.
So might be too lean fuel mix, that will cause heat. Or too retarded spark too. If you can't see difference in moto meter on those adjustments in a mile or two at road speed then it's not those. Check fan blade pitch and belt to be sure air is rushing thru that new radiator. Coolant level at mid point of the upper tank (in line with Ford script).
So move on to friction causes like low oil in crankcase, tight bands , dragging brakes ,low pressure tires, un- lubed u-joint and driveshaft bushing, tight wheel bearings , ect.
Along Dan's line of thought, can you push the car forward and back in the garage with the emergency brake handle in neutral (vertical)?
With the emergency brake set, can you hand crank the engine fairly easily?
Left off clogged exhaust system! That will over heat the Ford.
How hot? - It gets hot enough to pin the motometer and boil / steam a 50/50 water/Prestone mix.
I advance the timing until the car runs well which is 3/4+ of all the way. I start all the way retarded and once it starts I pull the spark lever most of the way down and leave it there.
The car is easy to roll around with one hand in neutral, and I can hand crank it easily. (no starter)
Haven't checked the muffler. How do I do that?
Put in some earplugs, disconnect the muffler from the headpipe, and drive the car to see if it still overheats.
So might be too lean fuel mix, that will cause heat.
Try opening the spray needle more. Also try backing off the bands. Is the oil really running out the top petcock? Open it and stick a piece of wire thru to make sure.
Are you getting oil to the front? Set the throttle as a fast clip, take the breather cap off, you should see some oil splatter in the oil fill hole.
You say it is boiling over, but from your description you are over filling the radiator. Read the suggestions as to where to fill in postings above. Is the Moto-Meter original or repo? Reps are know to give bad readings. I would suggest getting or borrowing an temp tester gun or even a good meat thermometer and checking the true water temp.
If/when I am brave enough to take the radiator cap off my T immediately (or shortly thereafter) after it has been running, there are copious amounts of "steam" that issues forth from the opening - depending upon outside ambient air temp.
Also, it has been reported that the protrusion from the bottom of the Moto Meter gauge reads "steam" temperature, rather than water temperature.
Yes, your coolant temp is hot - is it abnormally hot? Mark's suggestion of using a temp tester gun
( https://www.harborfreight.com/non-contact-infrared-thermometer-with-laser-target ing-61894.html - or similar)
to determine if, in fact the temp exceeds 210 degrees while running may help confirm the issue.
I am thinking that if the motometer is pegged, and it is steaming, it's probably abnormally hot. Not sure where doubt comes into this.
And Dan, I am with you re: plugged exhaust...pretty sure I had mentioned a plugged exhaust 1, 2 or 3 threads back. Either that or maladjusted timing. In any event, will be interesting to hear what it finally is.
I personally went through a clogged exhaust problem once...had muffler replaced on an old mustang, for my sister. Tried to drive her to college in the thing...over 35 and the thing would go through the roof. My dad wrestled with that car for months and spent thousands $$$ with the local Mustang "expert" before I took it back to the muffler guy and said "cut that frickin' thing open". Turned out to have a piece of down-pipe in it and when you accelerated, it snapped up and blocked the outlet. Another few weeks and it would have rusted to dust, blown out and problem would have mysteriously disappeared. That was quite a lesson.
Would check timing again IMO
Lever at full retard, at top edge of quadrant, should have timer contact for #1 plug on #1 piston @ 15 degrees past TDC, if you can view by peek at the crank pulley, the crank pin will be at 9:15AM - 3:15PM like a clock face when at that spot.
Then check timer rod so it moves full length and not stuck by the lower radiator pipe or anything as full travel of spark lever all the way down the quadrant should occur.
When at road speed pull all the way down until you hear some spark knock or rattle as that is too much advance for set speed, back off slightly on advance and run there.
If all other is good, like carb setting and proper set coils allowing for throwing hot sparks from good clean spark plugs....your T should run cool.
I will play some more tomorrow. As Scott says, it is steaming and the motometer (aftermarket) is pegged so I think it is running on the hot side. Nonetheless, I will check the water temp tomorrow. The motometer is an aftermarket one I purchased via Brassworks.
I generally fill the coolant to about the bottom of the ford script on the radiator. I only filled it up to the top of the overflow to check for bubbles at idle to see if the head gasket was leaking. I did get a few bubbles, but It may have been a couple of voids filling in as I only ran it for a minute or so all the way full.
The muffler looks brand new, but I will try running without it as well.
Thanks for the tips! So far this year I have made more steam with the T than the Stanley...
If anyone nearby (Milford MI) wants to take a peak let me know.
Re; "replaced timer with TW unit"
Maybe; check your battery voltage. Could it be too low for the unit to function correctly.
If you have a different carb, might try it.
Try one thing at a time, not all at once.
(Message edited by redmodelt on July 23, 2017)
Thanks for the thought, but the TW timer is a brushed unit, not an eTimer. I don't think it cares about battery voltage and I am running on mag.
LOL duh. Sorry I was thinking again! Brain fart and all that.
To Mark Strange - With the parking brake set, my T cranks like a hand-operated cement mixer. It still doesn't overheat even on a 90+ degree Florida day. I know that Joe said that he had a new radiator, but if you eliminate everything else and it still is actually overheating, I would be suspicious of something that either isn't sealing or is cracked. I sure hope that I am proven wrong. The bubbles bother me.
Try getting a heat gun and taking a reading of temperature drop across the radiator, (i.e. inlet/outlet temps.).
Even if something is wrong with your engine, no matter what, you should still get a temperature drop from inlet to outlet.
(Rereading above, I see this problem has been consistent with an old and a new radiator... Still would be good to know temp drop.)
I'll get yelled at, but, try a water pump. Not saying you need to have one forever! Just something else to try. If it changes things, you know you have a flow problem to get fixed. Then you can throw the pump away if you want. It's just a test, not a water pump testimonial I may have one to lend you if you want to try.
Do you have access to another motometer? It would be interesting to see how a different motometer acts and also to try yours on a different car.
There is a line going through the center of the "bubble" That is the hole through the plate inside the motometer. by that line is inscribed "average summer temperature" Does the red on the motometer go above that line, like all the way to the top? If not above that line, you are not overheating.
Other things and questions. Does it get hot while driving at a constant speed or after you come to a stop. On hot days many times the engine will not boil while moving into the wind, but when you stop you are just depending on the fan to pull air through the radiator and it would run hotter than while moving. After you stop the engine, it might gurgle a few times. That is normal.
But if you are driving along and you see steam coming out around the cap and through the overflow tube, you are hot.
You say that you got a new radiator from brassworks. Did you clean out the head and block before or after you replaced the radiator? If you cleaned it after you replaced the radiator, there is a possibility that some particles from the engine have settled into the radiator and although you flushed it with vinegar, you were not able to get the tubes clean. In that case, you need to see a radiator shop and have the radiator "rodded".
I wish I was closer so that I could observe your car and see for myself what is happening.
My guess is that your head gasket is leaking as a result of "the vinegar treatment". No way would a new brassworks radiator overheat unless it got clogged somehow.
On my Model A, I did the vinegar thing once and then I got a weeping from the head gasket shortly thereafter. That vinegar is quite acidic!
More info, and answers to some of the questions.
First answers to questions:
Oil level is fine. I put a gallon in and if the top petcock is opened, oil flows out readily.
All of the flushes / vinegar soaks were done before the new radiator. I really did not want to buy a new one.
I checked the timing again and it starts at 15 ATDC and the timer freely rotates all the way.
I do not have access to another motometer, but when the car is steaming, it is pegged at the top where it says steaming. I have had this problem since I bought the car 3 years ago, and when taking short trips, it was likely to gurgle at the end, but if I take a long trip with sustained 35mph speeds I will leave a steam trail coming out of the overflow tube until the rad runs low. After running low on one tour, I now carry water with me.
New info from today:
After idling a long time, the top of the radiator measured 195F, the bottom was 115F according to a non contact thermometer. The car has never boiled at idle and today was no different even though it idled for about 20 min. I put a dial thermometer in the radiator neck and it showed 213F at the same time the radiator measurements were taken. (I still had the rad overfull from when I was checking for bubbles)
In my first thread, Les Schubert suggested an alternate way to look for leaking compression it was , "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!!"
Because of the way the overflow tube terminates on the brass works radiator, I couldn't do exactly what Les suggested, but I did something similar. I put a rubber plug in the top of the overflow pipe and then replaced the radiator cap with a rubber stopper that I cut the center out of to accept a fitting to which I attached a rubber hose. I ran that hose into a small bottle sitting in a large bucket of water.
The system continued to bubble slowly, and I let the car idle and it took about 20 min to half fill the small bottle. Because it never stopped bubbling, I assume this indicates a compression leak, but it was quite slow and wonder if it could not be from the coolant expanding or boiling. For those that have run this test, did your car stop bubbling completely or just bubble very slowly? (it would not bubble for 30 sec or so, then burp a little, then not bubble and just kept doing that)
For those that have interest, this thread has some pictures of what I found when I took the head off a few weeks ago. There was definitely a compression leak near the bolt that goes between Cyl 3 and 4 as can be seen by the carbon coated bolt and the steam hole being plugged with carbon.
I was very careful to check for cracks and put the head back on carefully, but I fear I still have a compression leak based on today's test.
Other background threads:
Before I took the head off:
What I found (Thread above)
Discussion of how to re-install the head:
Low compression even after re-installing head (was late closing intake valve)
I had a similar experience with my 13 over 10 years ago and Installed a Texas T water pump and it has run cool ever since. Many model T owners will not agree on the need for using a water pump....however, it has worked for me.
It's something you can try and it is easy to remove if you are not happy with the results. Also if you decide on trying a water pump, also add some Alum. seal as the pump will circulate it in case there is a small hidden crack or leak.
I think you might have a compression leak. You need to check both the top of the engine and the bottom of the head for straightness. If either are warped, the gasket might not be compressing completely. Also inspect very carefully for cracks. You could magnaflux the head, but I don't think that can be done to the block without pulling the engine. I might be wrong about that. Someone more familiar with the magnaflux process can answer for you. Common places for the block to crack are around the valve seats between the exhaust valve and the cylinder so check those areas very carefully.
Another possible cause of overheating could be the cylinder bore. I have found that the larger the oversize bore, the hotter the engine runs. I think it is because of heat transfer directly from the cylinder to the water jacket.
Anyway, I hope you find the cause and are able to fix it without too big an expense.
You're getting a healthy temperature drop across your radiator.
Therefore, you've got one of two things going on;
1. There is insufficient flow. In other words, the heat isn't getting transferred to the radiator at a sufficient rate.
2. The amount of heat produced by the engine exceeds the amount that the radiator can dissipate. Your radiator, good as it may be, has its limits. It can only dissipate so many BTU/hr. After that, the heat energy generated by the engine has no where to go but into the water, causing it to boil.
I don't believe #2 is your problem, since even when the water temp coming in is near boiling, you still get an 80 degree drop. I can't tell you the cause, but I believe the flow is insufficient. To test this hypothesis, you need to try a water pump, (horrible as that may sound). It's most likely the only way you can eliminate that as a possible cause. You've done other tests, now let's do that one.
Compression leaks may be an issue, but I'm having a hard time believing it can be this severe. Still, you need to test for and eliminate that chance also. While you had your head off, did you get it planed?
I almost took you up on the water pump loan offer, but decided to do one more test...
With some adapters I plumbed shop compressed air into each cylinder and then used the hand crank to hold the cylinder on the compression stroke. I repeated for each cylinder. While I did this, I had the radiator sealed except for the tube going to a bucket of water.
Cyl 2-4 no air bubbles - BUT - If I held Cyl 1 on the compression stroke air would bubble out through the hose from the radiator and into the bucket. I am sure I have a compression leak at Cyl #1.
The head is coming off again - (third time now) I ordered another head gasket from Langs and hope to have time to get into it this weekend.
I am hopeful something simple went wrong when I installed the head / gasket last time, but I will triple check the head and block for cracks or warpage by Cyl #1 before putting it together again.
off topic, but just had to compliment you on a really nice looking car.
And antiseptically clean garage floor !
Thanks for the compliments guys. I can't wait until the T runs as good as it looks.
Upon disassembly, was there any visible evidence of leaking on either the gasket, block, or head?
Should be some sort of visible trace from a combustion leak. It may give a clue as to the nature of the particular leak.
If found, take pictures please.
Awesome! I've been following these threads and it's been driving me crazy that this car isn't fixed yet. Ha, not half as crazy as I'm sure it's driving Joe.
Joe, I'm sure at this point you just want to avoid any possible problems but you really should be able to re-use that current head gasket.
When I took it apart the first time, there was a clear indication of a combustion leak at the bolt between cyl 3 & 4. The bolt was coated in carbon, and the steam hole next to it was full of carbon.
I took it apart again tonight and did not see anything carbon coated. (I drove it less than 20 miles since I put the head back on and idled it about 20 min) I did notice that the head gasket wasn't aligned perfectly and the holes for the bolts to pass through were ovaled out a little. I stuck the gasket to the head with the copper coat and then put it on the block. I think the gasket shifted as I slid the head back. I will put the gasket on the block this time, have #1 and #4 up to help hold it in position an use a drift to make sure it is centered before I put bolts in this time.
I checked, rechecked, and checked one more time for a crack in block or head and could not find anything. I laid a straight edge across the head and block at various angles and checked for warpage with a feeler gauge. There were a couple of places I could sneak a 0.001" feeler gauge under the straight edge, but nowhere I could get a 0.002" one.
The new head gasket should arrive tomorrow, and I will put it together again this weekend. The copper coat really stuck the gasket down and I trashed it when I removed it.
It's starting to smell more like a crack to me....
You might put a straight edge on the block and check its flatness with feeler gauges.
Could be a crack, but I can't find it.
One bit of hope I have is I checked the compression in cyl#1 before I took it apart this time. It was lower than when I checked it the first or second time I pulled the head. Last 2 times it was 45 PSI, thus time it was a smudge under 40.
If this doesn't fix it, I will try a new head.
Thanks - I checked a straight edge and feeler gauge and there were a couple of places I could get a 0.001" gauge under it (between cyl 3 & 4) but no place I could get a 0.002" gauge.
Joe, a couple of other thoughts.
Have you checked the calibration of your dial thermometer by putting it in boiling water. At your elevation of about 1000 feet water should boil at 210F.
Are you running plain water or an antifreeze solution. A 50/50 solution should raise the boiling point by about 15F.
I understand that folks want to help, but What part of "boiling","steam", "top of the motometer" and a thermometer showing 212 do folks not get?
This is NOT normal for running 35 MPH, and running coolant to raise the boiling point is not the solution (plus it's tough on the brass).
The new head gasket came from Langs today and I couldn't wait until the weekend so I put it on this evening. I didn't get done until now so I didn't get a chance to drive it, but I am cautiously optimistic.
I was able to pressurize each cylinder with shop air and hold the crank on the compression stroke while I had the rad sealed off except for a hose going into a bucket of water. This time I didn't see bubbles with any of the cylinders so as I said I am cautiously optimistic...
If the weather is good, I will take a ride tomorrow and report back.
I filled the radiator and let the T idle for about 15 min, then I retorqued the head to 40 ft lbs. I went for a ride and for the first 30 min, it was great. The moto-meter stayed below the bottom of the circle most of the time except for the occasional hill which drove it almost to the middle of the circle. I had a smile from ear to ear because I it was fixed.
Then...near the end of my trip there was a long incline, not low pedal kinda hill, but a quarter mile of nearly full throttle to maintain 35. As I went up the hill, the moto-meter climbed. No big deal, it was a hill it should get hot. Well ever since that hill it is running hit again everywhere. I let the car cool, took it out and it is back to steaming all the time. I retorqued the head to 45 ft lbs and that didn't help.
I will play more tomorrow.
I have been reading off and on, several people have said almost anything I would have. So, I have just kept quiet.
But. More and more, it looks like you have repeatedly eliminated the usual things. And one thing I have not noticed (could have missed it in one of the threads), is block porosity. It is actually a fairly common problem with some non-Ford early cars, and shows up occasionally with some high-end rare marques of the classic era. I have seen it several times with model T blocks.
A minor mold shift, a bit of sand flakes off and ends up in the iron, minor machining errors. Many things can precipitate a thin spot or flaw in the iron. Age and corrosion, along with re-machining can make these problems show up many years later. Often, these flaws are small enough (sewing pin size) that they can be nearly impossible to see. However, depending on location, they can sometimes allow just enough hot gasses from the power stroke to heat the cooling water beyond the radiator's ability to exchange out enough heat.
One place often overlooked for such flaws, is the valve chambers and ports. I have found a few that developed leaks on the back (inside) of the valve ports. They share a wall with the water jacket, and have been known to rust through from the water jacket side. If this happens in an exhaust port, overheating is likely. If such a crack gets very large, it will of course leak water into the exhaust whenever the engine is not running. But that could remain small enough to not be noticed with the engine all together. (And "When it don't rain? It don't leak!") (A line from the "Arkansas Traveler" comedy routine of the model T era.)
Checking for such flaws can be very difficult, and very tricky. This is because such flaws can turn up almost anywhere, and have different odd symptoms. Sealing up and pressurizing different areas of the block is of course the main method. The first step is generally to seal the water jackets, input and output, with something like a tire valve to pressurize the entire block and head water jackets.
Unfortunately, I have not done this enough times to give really good figures of what to expect. The few times I have done this? Usually showed the flaw quickly. An initial test could be done to the engine in the car, head installed, just water inlet and outlet rigged to hole air pressure. 20 psi should be adequate. I don't know what pressure could eventually blow a block open? (Flaws of course would change that figure.)
I torque my heads to 50. You might still be getting some combustion gasses into the water jacket. Especially after climbing a hill on which the engine runs on highest compression and pressure. Try 50. I wouldn't go any farther than 50.
Is it possible that the head bolts are bottoming out and thus not making a really tight seal? Along with Norman's suggestion of increasing the torque, what would you think about (temporarily, at least) putting a washer under the head of each bolt before you re-torque them? (Would save you the effort of once more removing the head - BUT, if the washers fix the problem, it may be a good idea to once again remove the head, clean the bolt holes in the block - and maybe install new head bolts - perhaps the old ones have "stretched" over the years and are bottoming out in clean holes).
Must be very frustrating...I feel for your disappointment.
Good point David. I agree.
The bolts bottoming out is unlikely, but I am at the point where I am willing to check again. I previously measured every bolt, and checked how far it protruded from the head vs how deep the threaded holes were in the head, and there was plenty of margin. I also picked out every thread, ran a tap through them, and vac'd out whatever was in there. I did not actually put the head on without the gasket and thread the bolts in, but the measurements I took indicated there would be no issue. I will put the head on without the gasket and check next time the head is off. (which is going to be soon)
If it had not run so cool for 30 min, I would be pretty sure there is a crack somewhere that I can't see.
I have upped the torque to 50 ft-lbs, and no change. I have re-checked for a compression leak by hooking shop air into each cylinder, holding it on the compression stroke with my foot on the crank and sealing the radiator except for a hose leading to a bucket of water and I have not seen bubbles. Well, I actually saw a few bubbles on cyl#2 last night, but they stopped quickly and I tried to repeat it three times (hot, cold, and hot again) between last night and no and have not seen another bubble since.
What is odd and frustrating is that if I run the engine with the radiator sealed except for the hose going to the bucket I will get bubbles. This happens hot or cold and would indicative of exhaust leaking into the coolant. I don't know why I don't see it with shop air, but perhaps the leak path is slight and the compressed air pressure is not high enough compared to the pressure during the power stroke.
I am going for one more head gasket effort. Some reading says the copper head gaskets that Antique Auto Ranch sells are probably the best. I have been buying mine from Langs, and I don't know if they are the same or not. I will order an Antique Auto Ranch gasket, check the head again for warpage and have a machine shop clean it up if I see anything, and put it together again, but start at 50 ft-lbs of torque rather than 40. (It is an old (1914) block and I used a little never seize on the threads so I have been really careful about overdoing it and stripping the block.) It seems once the gasket starts leaking, it is done so I am not going to creep up on head bolt torque.
If that doesn't fix it, I will run it as is until Old Car Festival. I am considering the nuclear option after that - pull the engine and trans and send it to J&M have them redo everything and hopefully get a trouble free assembly back.
Doesn't sound like you have pressure tested the valve pockets. Maybe should make a plate to block off the manifold surface and pressure test that, should be easy. I have read a few reports of cracks and/or porosity in that area. Dave in Bellingham,WA
Dave and all,
Thanks for the tip. I will do some reading on valve pocket cracks. I am still baffled as to why the bubble test with compressed air isn't showing anything, but idling the car will show bubbles. Maybe there is a crack that is low in the cylinder that is not exposed when I hold the piston into the compression stroke. It seems to run cool at 25mph or below, but if I push 35mph for long stints it boils.
I ordered 2 head gaskets from Antique Auto Ranch. If they look the same as the ones from Lang's I am going to just leave it alone until after Old Car Festival. If they look different / better I will take the head off again. I am getting pretty good at it...
I am starting to think there is a crack somewhere. Anyone nearby have a known good head I could borrow for a week?
I wonder if there's something in the fact that the engine ran cool for the first 30 minutes and then went sour again ?
That tells me that your most recent head R&R may have temporarily upset the applecart. (Or righted the applecart, depending on your viewpoint) In which case you might well focus your attention to anything you touched or disturbed in the work prior to the test drive.
I accidentally posted above before finishing my thought train:
As much as I like the "crack in the exhaust pocket" theory, the fact that the engine ran cool for 30 minutes suggests that you temporarily fixed the problem. You didn't do anything in the exhaust port area, did you ?
Sorry if this is a duplicate, but does the car have Kevlar bands? How tight are the bands?
Get some other eyes on it. Try a different carburetor. If it ran ok up to a point then it might be fuel or where you are advancing/retarding the spark for a given speed.
Seeing bubbles in the bucket when you're running, is proof of a leak somewhere. Since you are NOT seeing bubbles when you air test on the compression point, the leak must be at some other point in the BLOCK and not in the head, valve seats, or head gasket, since you said you get bubbles running hot or cold but only during running.
Could be in the valve pockets or lower in the cylinders, but surely in the block somewhere.
I repeated the 30min route where the car ran cool today, and to my surprise it ran cool again, right up until the long hill where it steamed again. After re-running the route and paying more attention there just aren't that many places I held 35 for more than 2 or 3 miles there was a lot of 25mph as well as I went through town.
If I take a route away from town that has more sustained 35 mph sections it overheats. It takes about 5 miles at 35 to start steaming which is a little better than it was before.
I have 3 theories as to why it bubbles when running but not with compressed air:
1) The crack is below the point I am holding the piston on the compression stroke. (Like Terry mentions)
2) The shop air pressure is not enough to open the crack or gap at the head gasket. A friend suggested running the engine and killing one cylinder at a time to see if the bubbling was only on one cylinders power stroke to help determine where to look.
3) Maybe the bubbles when running are due to water locally vaporizing at hot spots during combustion. I doubt it because it does it immediately after start up, but I have never run the sealed radiator test on another T so maybe it is normal...
I may do the bubble check while running and kill individual cylinders tomorrow, but I may leave the T alone because I am frustrated with it.
If you want another method to confirm it's a combustion leak (although it is sounding like that's the case) you could try Block Tester BT-600 Combustion Leak Test Fluid. You could buy the kit, but using the fluid in a container with your hose connected to it should also work.
I forgot if you already answered, but did you try running a richer mixture to see if it changed anything?
I have a head you can borrow if you need to. Let me know. I'm not far from Milford.
I had a 55 T-Bird motor rebuilt with lack of oil to head. Found head gasket not punched properly. May need to check ALL of the holes in gasket. Another thought, try a different radiator for different results. There must be another T owner with a radiator available near by. Good luck.
Just a thought and maybe a bit of humor attached. Many years ago I had a Model A. I decided to clean out the cooling system with laundry detergent. I put some in and filled with water. Then I ran the engine a while. The Model A has a water pump so the mixture was circulated around the block, head and radiator. Then I drained everything. I even put a hose in and let the water run through. I flushed and flushed. Then filled the radiator and we went driving the car. Bubbles came out!!! Those were soap bubbles. It took a long time to get ALL the detergent out!!!
As I posted before...install a water pump that does not leak, add Aluma-seal and drive the car for 5 miles or more/until it gets good and warm. After it has cooled off (Over Night).....take it up your test hill and see if your heating problem is.... NO More.
With the water pump, the Aluma-seal will circulate through out the cooling system and seal the leakage problem. The water pump/Aluma-seal corrected the over heat problem in my T and that was over 10 years ago.
If you do as I suggest.....and the over heating goes away.....say NOTHING....and start enjoying your model T.
I walked a walk similar to what you have done and the water pump and Aluma-seal cured the problem.....it may have not "Fixed" it but over heating has not been a problem for me (Over 10 years).
I've been swamped busy so haven't checked on your progress till now
Try your air test with the pistons all the way down. If you get air bubbles, then you know it is in a cylinder
I'm impressed with your perseverance!!
If you do have a combustion leak, it must be a very small one, or you'd have much more obvious results, besides just steaming. I'm still thinking it's not about a combustion leak. However, I'll stay tuned to see if I'm wrong.
From another thread at this time.
It still sounds like a lean/rich and timing combination issue.
FROM ANOTHER THREAD THAT IS GOING ON NOW
Monday, July 31, 2017 - 08:20 am:
Good one, Chris.
I've read of this problem with motometers before, so I'll spend the dollars on something else. All I really need to know about how my cooling system is working is whether it's too hot (boiling) or isn't.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message By Robert G. Hester Jr., Riverview, FL on Monday, July 31, 2017 - 12:28 pm:
Just use a standard radiator cap with no gasket. Leave the cap rattling loose in the threads. Don't worry, it's a very quiet rattle, you won't hear it above the normal Ford rattles. :-) If you don't see steam you're cool. If you see some wisps of steam or water bubbles around the edge of the cap you're a little uncool. Works about as well as a motometer.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message By Hal Davis-SE Georgia on Monday, July 31, 2017 - 12:31 pm:
Yep, just forego the gasket and use a regular cap. If there's steam or water coming out past the cap, you're running hot. If not, you're good to go. Works for me.
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The T had me frustrated, so I left it alone yesterday and drove the Stanley about 20 miles. That one is supposed to make steam and I hadn't had it out yet this year...
I played with the T again today and have a little new info, but nothing substantial.
I realized I had not done a compression check on the latest head install / valve adjustment so I did:
Cyl #1 50 PSI
Cyl #2 50 PSI
Cyl #3 48 PSI
Cyl #4 52 PSI
When I started this journey I was at 45, 45, 40, 30 but based on the first head gasket swap having no affect on those values, I think most of the improvement came from the valve adjustment by piston position.
In addition to the compression check I tried running the engine with the rad sealed other than a hose to a bucket of water. Again bubbles, so I killed the spark in each cylinder one at a time to see if a particular cylinder was causing the leak on the power stroke. (theory being I got bubbles when running, but not with compressed air so maybe power stroke pressure is higher than compressed air) Killing any individual cylinder did not stop the bubbles, so I decided to try shared pairs. Killed 1 & 2, then 2 & 3, then 3 & 4. In all cases the bubbles slowed (as did the engine) but they were there every time. The bubble production rate does seem to be related to engine speed.
Perplexed, I decided maybe I wasn't using enough air pressure when I did the test hooking shop air to each cylinder and holding it on the compression stroke, so I bypassed the regulator and hooked each cylinder directly to the 175PSI in the compressor tank and held the compression stroke as best I could. (At that pressure, even standing on the crank, I could not hold it sealed, but I could bounce on the crank and seal for a split second or so.) Anyway with each cylinder as much as I could no bubbles in any cylinder.
I think I need to drive more and log miles to better understand the issue.
Which car will you be bringing to OCF?
I can bring a known good high head,but I am not sure this will fit your earlier car?
Answers to some of the questions:
I do not know if the car has kevlar bands.
I checked band adjustment and have them set as loose as possible while still functioning.
Current radiator is brand new, and the second one I have tried. I gave the first to a forum friend and am pretty sure that one was fine now, but didn't want to sell a radiator that was suspect at the time.
I have tried 2 carbs. A NH rebuilt by Russ Potter, and a 4 ball rebuilt by Stan Howe. Car behaves the same with both.
I looked at the head gasket before I put the head and and I did not notice a misplaced or missing hole, but I did not count. I meant to take a picture before I put the head on in case there were questions, but my phone was at the house and I was in the shop. I do have the original head gasket and the 2 others I have gone through and all three have all 5 steam holes.
I sent Aaron a PM and will likely take him up on the head loan offer if logging some miles doesn't point me in a different direction. If anyone nearby would be willing to let me put a rubber stopper in their radiator while it idles, I am curious if the bubbles are normal T behavior.
Thanks for the offer. I plan on bringing a few cars and my wife and brother to drive them to OCF. I will have the T, the Stanley, and an A. Aaron also offered a head to borrow and he is pretty close by so if it comes to that, I will likely bug him.
Since you are doing all that troubleshooting and seem determined to find the source of the bubbles, (if you haven't tried Les's idea of putting air in each cylinder while the piston was down) - what do you think of this idea - run the engine with a spark plug removed from each cylinder?
"Killing the spark" in one cylinder at a time still leaves the air in the cylinder.....if you remove the plug, the air can escape thru the hole, rather than thru a possibly cracked cylinder wall.
Just a thought...
If you are running on coils and timer, and you remove one spark plug, also remove the corresponding coil. Or easier yet ground the end of the spark plug wire. Otherwise, you run the risk of causing a carbon path in the coil or coil box which is very hard to fix.
Thanks Norm - forgot that important point.
I thought about taking a plug out and running. I will try that at some point. I know leaving the plug in will allow compression to build, I was killing the spark to reduce the peak pressure in the cylinder by eliminating combustion. I figured that the compression was about 50 PSI based on the compression test, and knew I added more than that with shop air.
I am not sure how to do the compressed air test with the piston any further down. I connect the air and then rotate the engine to the point on the compression stroke that the intake valve closes and hold it there with the hand crank. If I tried to test with the piston lower the intake valve is open so it does not hold pressure. If I try on the power stroke the engine just rotates dye to the ratchet action of the crank.
I think i should log more miles to better understand the current state.
Joe, for what it's worth, I would start with another head. First have it hot tanked and crack tested. Then forget checking for flatness with a straight edge and feeler gauges, have it milled so you are certain it is flat.
If this fixes the problem, you know you had a crook head. If it doesn't fix it, at least you have eliminated one source as the problem.
A friend in Victoria, who used to own a machine shop, has been running a set of gauges measuring exhaust temperatures at the manifold. He was amazed at the difference he could induce just playing with the mixture control. He can manipulate the controls to raise and lower the temperatures and find the sweet spot at which to set them.
Allan from down under.
Good morning Joe, Would you have access to a torque or pressure testing plate that you could install on the block to see if you can see anything going on around the valve seat (port) area or cylinder wall? Our plate here in our machine shop is machined out around the seat area to use as a pressure plate or as a stress honing plate when we hone the model T blocks just like we do with our race engines we build.We have even heated the block somewhat to simulate the heat when its running when pressure testing. We have seen when valve seats get put in that over time running they can rust or corrode through usually at the radius of the cut on the back side of the valve seat area or like mentioned earlier just plain rust through into the port over the years. Doing the block eliminates the head from the block. Just a thought. John S.
You really hate the notion of even trying a water pump don't you.
I don't know the peak cylinder pressure of a Model T engine, but I'd be dubious about putting 175 psi into a cylinder as that would generate 1935 lbs. of down force. Especially scary if held at mid stroke. Even if peak cyl. pressure does get that high in a T, it's only for a split second and not a prolonged application while you look for bubbles.
Do you have access to FLIR gun? Would be great to see the temperature variation across the engine and to show hot spots.
Just curious, how much oversize are your cylinder bores?
I agree with Allan Bennett, take a close look at the head. I had a similar situation where I kept blowing the head gasket on a newly rebuilt engine which had the deck milled and a head that had also been milled. It would run fine for a bit after replacing the gasket then it would bubble large amounts especially if you revved the engine. Took the head to a machinist who measured it and it was flat. But after measuring it he noticed that the imprint left by the gasket did not have the compression ring of the gasket totally cover a very small area adjacent to one of the valves. Apparently the core had shifted in casting of the head allowing that area to not have a corresponding mating surface in that critical area. My head was definitely crook as Allan said. (I learned that term last year down under from Charlie Sharp and as he said it was as crook as rook wood. Meaning it was dead.)
I don't mind using a water pump for diagnostic purposes, but would like to make it work without one.
I hook the air up to the cylinder with the piston on the intake stroke. By doing that the intake valve is open and the cylinder doesn't hold pressure. Then I turn the hand crank towards the compression stroke. As the intake valve closes the pressure builds and pushes the crank in the opposite direction I am trying to hold it. (Pushing the crank, sitting or standing on it, etc) At 175 PSI, I can not hold the engine from rotating back a little and that opens the intake valve a slight amount relieving the pressure a little. I am applying 175psi, but actual pressure is less because I can't hold it perfectly sealed and the engine rotates backwards slightly opening the intake. At 100 PSI I was just able to hold things sealed, not sure I got much more effective pressure when I went to 175, because I couldn't hold the crank in position to keep the cylinder fully sealed.
I don't have access to a IR camera, but will ask a couple of friends. I do have a non contact or thermometer I can use to see if something is way off, but I really like your FLIR idea.
I measured the cylinder bores last time I had the head off and to my surprise, they are standard bore.
I need to log some miles, will try the running bubble test pulling one plug area time, and see if I can find a buddy with a FLIR. Aaron also offered a head to borrow so I will try that. If I am still running hot, I will try a water pump.
The engineer in me just doesn't understand the bubbles when running and none when using compressed air. I do the compressed air test with the intake valve just closing on the compression stroke so the piston is pretty near bottom dead center. Based on the measurements I took when adjusting the valves by piston position the top if the piston is a little over 3 inches below the top of the block at the point the intake closes on the compression stroke. Is a crack in that window bottom 1/2" of stroke I am not pressurizing likely?
The new head gaskets arrived today and a quick look makes me think they are a the same as the ones Langs sells so I won't do a swap until I log more miles.
Thanks for all the help, unfortunately I don't think I will play with the T for a little over a week. My wife says there are other things we should be doing...
I have a T block that had bubbles in the radiator. I did not find the problem until I tore it down for rebuild. There was a core shift in one of the exhaust valve pockets at the time the block was cast. It had a stove bolt installed in a hole in the pocket. It was set in with something that looked like plaster. When I cleaned it up I found spider cracking in that area. A friend tried to arc weld it but when he put the stinger to it, the whole area collapsed.
Just a swag. Have not read all the thread, but. You are putting the head gasket on correct? Big hole to the back. Dan
"I don't mind using a water pump for diagnostic purposes, but would like to make it work without one."
Totally understand that.
Remove the hoses, fill the block with water and block the in and out fittings on the engine with plugs. Remove the manifolds, pressure, 10lbs, the block and bet you find water coming out one of the ports. You can use plugs like they use on radiators.
I really think this whole "bubbles & leaks" thing is a red herring. How can a small compression/combustion leak make that much more heat???
The simple process here is, you burn fuel and produce heat, the heat transfers to the water, the radiator transfers the heat energy from the water to the atmosphere, cooled water returns to the engine and it all begins over. Some of the heat energy gets converted to mechanical energy, some heat energy goes out the tailpipe. At what step in that process does a small combustion leak make a difference such that water will boil in 10 min. of driving? In other words, where does the extra source of heat introduced to the water come from? Could it be the heat energy that normally goes out the tailpipe? I suppose, but we're not talking a massive leak here, are we? It's like saying a combustion leak produces more heat energy than a totally sealed engine. In my thinking, it violates the laws of thermodynamics. Again, maybe I'm wrong...
I'm still leaning towards lack of flow.
Joe, here's an idea for the mating surfaces...
Unroll a piece of wax paper w/o creases and write "front" on one end.
Place it on the block, masking if necessary, and trace all the holes with a finger, steam, cylinder, bolt, and outside edge.
Remove and place it, masked on the head, front orientation, but "front" will be upside down.
You are checking for misalignment because you can see through the wax paper.
You may then also trace the four additional head combustion chambers and try again on the block.
Aarrgg..forgot, cut out holes for the valves.
Waiting for an update. Maybe start new string "Head Saga - Part 6" when get back to working on car?
You could replace the steel tube from the radiator outlet to the engine inlet with this:
That would let you see what kind of flow you have.
I was on vacation and just got back Sunday so I have not done much to the T since the last post. I did run the engine after removing each plug and coil one at a time in the barn. It did not affect the bubbles. Still there when running.
I don't understand what causes the bubbles when running, but not with compressed air. I think Jerry is right and the bubbles don't mean there is a compression or exhaust leak into the coolant. Maybe they are local steam bubbles that only happen when combustion is occurring. I will bring a hose and the cork to OCF and see if anyone is willing to let me see if their car bubbles when running.
I am back to where I started, I should log some miles and ensure it still overheats, and understand when. I haven't driven it except for 2 times since the last head gasket swap and I think I need to get more data to understand what is going on.
I ordered the clear tubing out of curiosity, but am not sure I will be able to see flow unless it is pretty turbulent. If I can't come up with anything, I will try the water pump, then the head swap. I will post as I learn more. Thanks for the help everyone.
Is the head gasket on the right way? Big hole to the rear. Dan
The head gasket is on the right way. Big hole to the back, crush rings to the top. I checked multiple times before installing the head. Thanks for the thought.