Painted radiators

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Model T Ford Forum: Forum 2018: Painted radiators
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dave Young in Mays Landing, NJ on Sunday, May 20, 2018 - 08:33 pm:

The rad on my 26 RPU was spray painted gloss black by the previous owner. She overheats anytime it sits at idle for a few moments. The radiator doesn't leak and I realize that old ones loose their ability to transfer heat to the fins. But, I feel that the paint is acting as an insulator, compounding the heat retention. Any tips as to how to strip the paint off, chemically, without damaging the brass? I'm considering the spray-on gasket remover.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By John Annaian - Moultonborough NH on Sunday, May 20, 2018 - 08:35 pm:

I would think standard paint stripper would be okay? Ive heard citri strip is great and less harmful than others...

That reminds me, gotta do that to mine soon!


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Erik Johnson on Sunday, May 20, 2018 - 09:15 pm:

Paint stripper won't harm brass.

Many times, old radiators have a lot of road dirt stuck between the fins and around the tubes.

If that dirt wasn't cleaned out before someone painted the core it can make a bad problem worse.

With the radiator off, take a dull hacksaw blade or a stiff wire and carefully push it in and out between the fins or blast some water into the core. You may find a lot of dirt stuck in there.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Spencer Vibert - Granby ,CT on Sunday, May 20, 2018 - 09:23 pm:

Dave get a bin that the radiator will fit in and put simple green in make sure the simple green is over 160F and it will take the paint and dirt right off that's what I use in my hot tank


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Charles Jenkins - Ohio on Monday, May 21, 2018 - 12:37 am:

I bet the problems on the inside of the radiator not the outside they have been painted black 4 years had one that got hot setting the block and the had plenty of little rust flakes in it I cleaned out the motor and new radiator Runs so cool I'm almost thinking it will produce ice for my cooler


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mark Gregush Portland Oregon on Monday, May 21, 2018 - 01:04 am:

There is paint made for radiators and paint that should not be used on radiators. Off the shelf black paint is not the good choice. :-)


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Allan Bennett - Australia on Monday, May 21, 2018 - 04:29 am:

When I had the radiator for Henrietta repaired, I told my repairman if he painted it I would not be paying! He understood the need to keep it looking original. There are traces of paint on the top tank only.

Allan from down under.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dave Young in Mays Landing, NJ on Monday, May 21, 2018 - 06:38 am:

Spence, I guess I'll try making a hot tank and building a fire under it outside. Any idea what ratio of simple green to water you use?

Are any of the regular paint strippers thin enough to get between the fins? The ones that I have used on wood have always been like mayonnaise. That's why I was thinking of the spray gasket remover.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Erik Johnson on Monday, May 21, 2018 - 09:33 am:

Eastwood sells special radiator paint.

In my opinion, the only thing "special" about it is the label.

Years ago, I had an original Model T radiator fixed at an old fashioned radiator shop in north Minneapolis.

I asked them about the paint that they used. It was cheap, rattle can lacquer.

They said it didn't matter as long as the paint was applied in a thin coat and it didn't fill-in the area between the fins.

I would think that if there really were such a thing as special radiator paint, it would be available from the local auto parts stores and manufactured or marketed by more than one company, not just Eastwood.

When we painted my father's radiator, we used Rustoleum high heat in a rattle can.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Spencer Vibert - Granby ,CT on Monday, May 21, 2018 - 09:43 am:

Dave I would make it 50 50 that is what is in the hot tank behind the barn


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By john kuehn on Monday, May 21, 2018 - 10:03 am:

If that's an original radiator dont be surprised that it will still overheat even if it's stripped of the paint that's on it. The heavy coat of paint probably is covering up the gaps between the tubes and the fins.
As far as 'radiator paint' is concerned go to the nearest dollar store and buy you a spray can of black spray paint or a can of high heat black spray paint. Just put on a thin one coat of paint. There's your radiator paint.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mark Gregush Portland Oregon on Monday, May 21, 2018 - 10:23 am:

Guess I read Some "fake news" LOL. So more too the point, it is how thick the paint is put on, not what high heat paint is used. Ok except for Eastwood.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Aaron Griffey, Hayward Ca. on Monday, May 21, 2018 - 11:22 am:

Removing the paint from the radiator will lower the average running temp about as much as it will lower the fuel consumption by not having to haul that much weight around.
But that idea of Simple Green and hot water is a good tip.
Gonna try it this morning, have a transmission to overhaul and an engine to paint from a 57 MG Magnet.
Had the radiator recorded last week, the radiator shop painted it.
They said paint also transfers heat. It is too dense to act as insulation.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By George n LakeOzark,Missourah on Monday, May 21, 2018 - 01:49 pm:

After reading all I could find about Rad.Paint. I ended up using Rattle can Lacquer by Rustoleum. Lacquer won't hold in the heat like enamels will. When I was in Cali. Laquer like some oils and solvents are no longer available. Here in Missourah got it at the local hardware store. I used the high gloss stuff. Looks nice.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Aaron Griffey, Hayward Ca. on Monday, May 21, 2018 - 08:17 pm:

George, your front directional lights look much better mounted horizontally than they did when you had em vertical.

Unpolished black lacquer on the radiator seems like the way to go. I have always used black satin.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By George n LakeOzark,Missourah on Monday, May 21, 2018 - 10:43 pm:

Thanks Aaron, some of dad's rigging drove me crazy, but got it corrected and Better looking too. Changed out to brighter bulbs too. If I ever get back to the Bay Area or you visit the midwest we'll have to find a Korean Restaurant like last time.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jim Patrick in Florida on Thursday, May 24, 2018 - 06:44 pm:

Eastwood makes a special aerosol radiator paint that does not inhibit the radiator's heat exchange ability. The following link is for gloss-black. They also make a satin-black. www.Eastwood.com/ew-radiator-black-paint-gloss-aerosol-12-oz.html. Jim Patrick


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jim Patrick in Florida on Thursday, May 24, 2018 - 06:49 pm:

PS. "Easy-Off" oven cleaner is great for removing old caked on oil, grease, dirt and grime from between radiator fins and will remove old paint too. Just spray it on. Wait a little and wash off with a garden hose water nozzle. May take several applications. No scrubbing needed that can damage fins. Jim Patrick


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Darryl Bobzin on Thursday, May 24, 2018 - 09:08 pm:

The only thing special about "real" radiator paint, is that it is an enamel that takes forever to dry. It is a slow dry, almost non curing enamel that is made to be removed easy in the radiator shop hot tank. Paint will not effect cooling unless it is applied so heavily it blocks air flow.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jim Patrick in Florida on Thursday, May 24, 2018 - 11:24 pm:

It has been discussed many times on this forum over the years by many with first hand experience that regular paint WILL affect a radiator's ability to cool the water as it inhibits the fins from being cooled by the air passing through the radiator, since regular, non thinned paint acts as an insulator.

The only difference between regular paint and radiator paint is that the radiator paint has been thinned during processing so that when enough has been put on to cover the fins, it is still thin enough so as to still allow the fins to cool the radiator.

I have used Eastwood's radiator paint and it does not take forever to dry. Since all it is is thinned enamel in a can, it takes no longer to dry than regular paint. Jim Patrick


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By James A Bartsch on Friday, May 25, 2018 - 10:26 am:

Make sure EZ Off does not come in contact anything aluminum, it's a great cleaner for non-Al parts.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Darryl Bobzin on Friday, May 25, 2018 - 02:18 pm:

Jim I am referring to the paint used in a radiator shop, when I say "real " radiator paint.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Frank van Ekeren (Australia) on Friday, May 25, 2018 - 05:12 pm:

Darryl is right, "real" radiator paint that was used did take forever to dry, it was actually pitch resin based.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jim Patrick in Florida on Friday, May 25, 2018 - 07:45 pm:

Darryl. Sorry for the misunderstanding. I learned something today. :-) Jim Patrick


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Darryl Bobzin on Friday, May 25, 2018 - 08:07 pm:

No problem Jim, that is why we get on here. To share knowledge and ideas. I know it from working in my father's shop. When we would send one out to get repaired, by the time you got it back in the car, you'd have that paint all over you.


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