Low Head Restoration

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Model T Ford Forum: Forum 2017: Low Head Restoration
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By John Van Cott on Thursday, November 16, 2017 - 07:07 pm:

I am in need of a low head for my 1914 Touring. The original had four rust through's from the water jacket to the head bolt holes. Can the holes be sleeved or is a waste of time and money? I have considered a z head replacement but I understand that it is the high head design and difficult to line up the radiator hose. This has been a four year restoration project and the defective head is the only thing holding me back from the first start in 70 years. I have seen some low heads for sale however they have the same problem, Does anyone know of a good low head for sale other than one from the scrap pile? Also what is your thoughts about the z head replacement. Any help would be appreciated, I need some expert advice. Thanks, John


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By David Martin on Thursday, November 16, 2017 - 07:16 pm:

John, Ford had a sleeve for this purpose (probably had leaks due to casting porosity) that was introduced in March of 1910. The "bushing" as they called it is seamless steel tubing, 1/2" OD and 29/64" ID. They specified "use only when there is a leak around cylinder head bolt".

A bit of loctite on the sleeve would be a nice fix to save the original head.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Frank van Ekeren (Australia) on Thursday, November 16, 2017 - 07:27 pm:

John.
I have a never used aluminium HC low head with Ford script and made in USA on it, that I would be willing to part with, owes me about $500 US + postage.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By John Van Cott on Thursday, November 16, 2017 - 07:28 pm:

Thanks Dave! What is your thoughts regarding the Z Head for a replacement considering alignment problems with the radiator?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Wayne Sheldon, Grass Valley, CA on Thursday, November 16, 2017 - 08:15 pm:

There should NOT be ANY alignment issues between high and low heads! IF the high compression aluminum head is made to an exterior Ford speck, it should fit fine to the radiator. You might have a fitting problem putting a high head of any kind under your early type firewall. The higher head will not fit under most correctly made firewalls for before 1916 about.
I read this here too often. I have gone out to my shop, and laid the fronts (where the neck is mounted) of both a high head and a low head nose to nose and they line up almost exactly. The outlet neck itself MUST be the correct type for the era radiator. Brass era radiators require a low angle profile whereas both low radiator black era, and high radiator black and improved era cars, require a nearly all up angle that leans forward only a little bit.
I think there is a slight variation between the low and high black era necks, but I have never even looked into it. I have used the non-brass era necks on numerous later Ts, and never found a fit that wouldn't work by simply changing a hose.
I have had two later Ts that had early low heads on them, using the later outlet neck. No fit issues at all.

Most of the fitting issues people do have with the brass radiators and using the proper brass era neck, have turned out to be the fault of the reproduction radiator "not being made quite to spec" (my comment was designed to be rather kind). I have seen repro radiators with the inlets too far forward, some too far back. And I have seen them with atrociously wrong angles, or offset to one side or the other (one was off side about 3/4 inch). Those can be a bear to get hoses to work. I have never seen a real problem connecting a radiator caused by using a low or high head instead of the other.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By David Martin on Thursday, November 16, 2017 - 09:15 pm:

John, I've never used a Z Head, so I can't speak to the fit. Good luck with your project.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Frank van Ekeren (Australia) on Thursday, November 16, 2017 - 09:44 pm:

3/16" higher at the out-let bolt height, no big deal, a new hose is soft enough to allow for it.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Keith Gumbinger, Kenosha, WI on Thursday, November 16, 2017 - 10:20 pm:

I tried a Z head on my '14 Touring, and like Frank said, it worked because the new hose was soft enough to allow for it. However, the hose in that case had a pretty good offset and I didn't like that, so I took the Z head off and used a Reeder head which has the same height as a stock Ford low head and it lines up perfectly like it should.

Keith


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