Took my radiator to the only guy in Atlanta that will recore it and it will cost more than the $800 delivered new radiaotrs from the two major vendors.
I need one, looking at another possible one and a chassis purchais that will need one, so it's getting expensive.
Are the two vendors the "best" options? I'm not the T police and absolute accuracy is not job 1, but don't want a rat rod set up either. Something to bolt in, fit the hose connections and fit innside the shells.
What 'cha guys do for radiators?
I bought a Bergs radiator for my 24 Coupe a few years ago and couldn't be more pleased. Very well made and cools like a dream. Fits perfectly and drops rights in.
You can buy directly from him. Most of the T police will buy a Brassworks because they are supposed to be duplicates of the originals which is fine.
Bergs is a well made radiator that closely looks like a Montgomery Ward aftermarket and is a flat tube which arguebly cools better than original round tube radiators.
Eitherway you go you cant go wrong. A lot of T's are running around with both.
I'm running 5 Berg's radiators - exceptional product.
Berg's gets my vote. Got 2 of them and am quite happy with them.
Berg's endurance tested in Montana 500 I wouldn't have any other.
One more thing about T radiators.
It can be tempting to go to a swap meet and find one that looks good and is in good shape. I have found a couple of nice looking originals that turned out to be not good in keeping the car cool. You can use them while always having to add water and putting up with boil overs.
It's a pleasure to drive a T and come home after a drive on a hot day and no boil over. Save your money and buy a new one and be satisfied. In the long run you'll be glad you did.
On the Model T Ford Fix Forum there is a topic in The Speedster Zone about using an early mustang radiator. They show a lot of pictures how to fit it.
Not to change the subject, but maybe some newbies can use this info. I saw a T once at a car show. Brand new restoration, brand new radiator.......except the guy had painted the core when he painted the car and he must have had 5 heavy coats of really thick paint on there. There's no way in Hades that radiator would be able to cool. I forget what I said to the guy, as I was trying to not offend, but in conversation, it came out that is was a brand new radiator. I wouldn't have given him $50 for it with all that paint on the fins.
I just purchased a new radiator from Berg's and it fit perfect and cools great. Have used it for 2 tours already. Good place to deal with.
I know the word "value means different things to diffferent people, but I did notice the Berg's high radiators are $875 plus shipping. Or, $75 over the two major T parts suppliers.
I'm not a cheapskate, but, being first generation Scottish, was hoping for a little frugality.
But, it's nice to know what works best.
I had mine recored at a local shop for $650. Look around for prices if you want cheaper. A good radiator is a must for happy T-ing. If you go recore route get references. Explain in great detail what you want done and make sure they know the tank has to come apart to recore. Its not like a modern one.
You didn't specify the year. Black, or brass? It matters. From the price you mentioned, I assume black. For black era, I go with Berg's. They work.
For those contemplating a brass era radiator, here's my experience in that department: http://dauntlessgeezer.com/DG96.html
I've had all three of the previously mentioned options over the years. Late tall radiator
First was the frugal option of the recore. The first core they put in turned out 1/2" too tall. It was a speedster, so I dealt with it, and built the car around it... Dumb idea!! The core didn't last...! Shook apart. The second core was the right height, but twisted 1/2"! So I made a new hood to make the damn thing fit... Didn't last that time either! Looking back on the probably 5 trips across town to have the thing reworked, and all the bent fins that I had to straighten... It wasn't with it.
Second was the Brassworks. Beautiful workmanship!!! Clearly jig built, and fit very well. Had to make a new hood again. I ran the radiator for 10 years. Cooled well, as you would expect a new radiator to cool. It finally failed when the heavy mounting bar that runs through the core came loose and rubbed thru the tubes... Catastrophic and unrepairable! Nobody I've talked with has ever heard of such a failure, and I don't blame the manufacturer.
I now run a Bergs. Too early to tell if it's any better or worse than the Brassworks, but I feel is of equal quality. Fit and finish is very nice. Bergs does incorporate a few non-authentic design characteristics that I felt increased drivability. So far... Worth every penny!
Whatever you choose, choose the one that's right for what your doing with the car.
Robert and John, who are the model T police? I gather that would be someone who wants to do the best authentic restoration possible?
Original radiators can be good, check it out before you trash it. At the price of a new one it could be worth your time. The radiator leaked in my original Coupe when I bought it in 1988. I took it to have it repaired to a local business that had a good reputation. When I put it back on the car, I drove it about a 1/4 of a mile and lost all the antifreeze out of it. I took it back to the repair shop, he took the bottom tank off of it, it was a mess. He was trying to solder a hole in the panel that holds all the tubes. I didn't like what I was seeing and told him to wait. I took it back and I bead blasted the whole panel, it was loaded with pin holes. There was no way that guy could have fixed it the from what I was seeing him do. After I bead blasted it, I took it back to him, he took one look at it, said it was junk and couldn't be fixed. I figured to myself, if that's the case, I'll try and fix it myself. I ran a coating of solder over the whole panel, it wasn't that difficult. I soldered the tank back on, and never had another problem with it until last week. I had to re-solder part of the seam. This car cools equal to one of mine with a Bergs radiator in it.The radiator itself is in good shape, fins are straight and they are tight on the tubes. The other thing I did as long as I had the tank off was: I took an old speedometer cable and ran it down each of tubes, which cleaned a lot of crude out of the tubes. This is almost a must, as just taking and boiling it out is just about worthless.. I am a firm believer of trying to use original parts, but I'm not down on anyone that doesn't. We all enjoy this hobby in different ways.
There's a reason you find radiators at swap meets.
There may be a reason they are found at swap meets, but don't discount the swap meet radiator for parts...
When I couldn't afford new, I'd buy a decent looking radiator from the (then) local guys stash of dozens...take it to the local radiator shop and they had picked a forklift core from the book that was exact as to height, 3/4" shy as to width, and they brazed on side strengtheners all for what would be about 450 bucks today.
Times change...the hoarder has passed on...the local radiator shop is now a water ice place...and Bergs makes the best new one in my opinion even though the price sounds like an ouch.
On the other hand...swap meet radiators are also a gamble when you might even win!
I changed the radiator on the Hack because it was a honeycomb...and it would get a wet spot on it about the size of a chicken leg whenever I took it out. Never needed to worry about adding water...just the stain bothered me and since its was a honeycomb the thought of pinching a tube wouldn't work...
So now I have what is a honeycomb low radiator packed into Gery's perfect shipping container...it lugged a Hack for trips of 100 miles or more and never over-heated...it may have another 20,000 miles in it or more, maybe not...and it will sit in that box until the next swap meet I go to. It has a story...just has a small steam weep and with 850plus shipping for a new one...someone will make me an offer that might even sound pretty good
So it is a doorstop for now as the 15 and the 25 and 26 take totally different radiators, and the 23 power plant is so far down on the priority list now that I've had that life altering fall and 6 month so far rehab that will probably never get to see a chassis either...
New one sure is purdy, eh? Very does great work
That was Gery! Danged autocorrect
The intent would be for high black radiators at this time.
Kim, the Model T police are not the ones that are doing what they think is best for their restoration, but imposing their value set on everyone else. We are all in this hobby for different reasons. I respect all others reasons, but I personally get more enjoyment out of driving and displaying a Moddel T that is representative of the species than having a garage or trailer queen museum piece. But, both are important in their own rights.
I think I'll go with a Bergs for the 27 Depot Hack as that will be a runner and maybe play with creating a Frankenstein radiator from a mustange modern one and various original, scrap yard pieces for a speedster or TT project that I feel I can "get away" with it. More to say I could do it, than to save the $400 over a new one.
My take on radiators. Having grown up with T's and the weekly dismantle and repair of radiators back "in the day" gave me lots of experience. My Grand Daddy would take the stupid thing off on a regular basis to repair leaks and rod out the tubes with a piece of baling wire. The hard water we had was loaded with lime, still is, and was prone to stopping up the tubes. The pictures are from the old soldering iron and the Coleman blow torch. He used that or just a fire to heat the iron, worked well for him. My present car came from a Museum in Minnesota, and it always ran hot when I got it home to Texas. After a period of fooling with it, I found that it had only one row of tubes. This may have worked in Minnesota, but not in Texas. About 15 or so years ago, I bought a Brass Works from Ben Hardeman, installed it on the side of the road, put on a water pump at a later date, and went from there. ( have always run 100% Prestone, summer and winter, and never looked back. I just changed it out for new for the year, and it is just as clean and clear as ever. Just my experience, and may not work for you, but it did for me.
This thread is costing me money!
I mentioned it to my wife and she told me to stop messing around and get a new radiator radiator for the 19 T.
When I told her that I didnít want to spend the $800 she asked if I would be willing to spend $400.
So I will be ordering a new radiator - most likely from Langís.
All I need to do is figure out if it cost less for Mass sales tax or shipping to NH.
I did finally did it!
I called Langís and they told me that they do not stock radiators.
They are shipped directly from their supplier (Brassworks) so I canít save a few pennies.
It goes against my Yankee heritage to not save a few pennies but I ordered one.
Fred, you saved a few bucks compared to a Berg's (if you got the flat tube version).
Yes I got the flat tube version.
I am tired of fighting a cooling issue and decided to,take the big step.
It will take a couple weeks for it to get here and I am in no big hurry, but I canít wait
You posted.... Model T police are not the ones that are doing what they think is best for their restoration, but imposing their value set on everyone else.
Think that is a bit extreme, as 'police' help enforce rules, regulations. For a 'regulation' restored Model T, that help from our T police is good to me
As for Brassworks's and Berg's, I have both, and both are good for the application.
The Brassworks is more spot on for Ford way of fitting stock parts. Note the funnel shape and outlet of the upper tank on the Brassworks, just like Ford and uses stock Ford rubber hose to fit well to the cylinder head outlet.
(Hose clamps are my choice, but otherwise fit of radiator hose length to cylinder head is factory)
The Berg's uses an available heavy duty casting for the upper tank outlet and same for the support rod. Now that is much stronger indeed, however everything is a compromise, and this casting is a tad shorter and smaller in diameter than the Ford or Brassworks copy.
Berg's notes this on the package insert with the new radiator, and includes a longer black hose for making up the difference length do to the position and type of casting used by Bergs. this difference isn't much, and most won't know, but I like the hose to fit tight and be choked up well on the inlet.
This comparison shows the needed length of the upper hose with the Berg's. I cut a longer red one from a red hose from Restoration Supply. The package contains the typical vender hose set.
The fit of a Ford style red or the black modern hose is a bit loose over the fit of these same hoses on the Ford style inlet.
The fit is loose as the hose falls away. On install the clamps will fix that, and also mentioned is made to use silicone adhesive in fitting. Many do that anyway. But this isn't to disparage the Berg's, its a fine radiator, heavier and stronger all around, and will cool exceptionally well.
Just pointing out details that those "Model T Police" would say, is it illegal violation or just an warning?
For me just glad we have choice of fine manufactures parts made today for our Ford, and that we all have freedom of choice to fit out our Ford as we do!