Steam out of radiator

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Model T Ford Forum: Forum 2018: Steam out of radiator
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Scott Dombach on Monday, July 09, 2018 - 03:25 pm:

Hello friends, I've been reading a lot about this issue of overheating and most intel on overheating is varied from timing, A/F ratio, excessive drag on bands, loose fins and so forth. Hope I didn't miss anything from my reading. Here's what's up.

The 1924 coupe was running fine when I got it back into the family. Never had any issues with overheating. I could motor up and down hills in Ruckstell or normal drive. I did some slight maintenance and all of a sudden I have heat issues with boiling sounds and steam coming out of the bottom of the radiator when I park in the driveway after a ride...no steam boiling out while I'm motoring down the road or at least that I know of. :-)

So I find myself backtracking on the things I've done to the T and I'm now back tracking some of my steps to see if they were the culprit of my woes.

I tightened the drive band because the pedal was sticking into the floor boards, while I was in the bands I tightened up the brakes and reverse. I installed new rear brake shoes, I've flushed the 15 year old radiator of the nasty 50/50 with CLR and put in tap water with Purple Ice. Perhaps I didn't flush the system correctly? To clean out the CLR I did a lot of drain and fill until I didn't see anymore CLR residual. I then filled with fresh water, opened the bottom petcock and started the T with the garden hose in the top and let it cycle through fresh water. And that is all I did.

I've since gone back and loosened the reverse band and the low/high band and that seemed to help give me more time until the boiling/steaming starts but it's not quite perfect like it was. I'm not sure how to check the radiator for loose fins but it's just odd that all this started with my band tightening, radiator flush, and brake job. Perhaps I loosened some crude during the flush.

Thoughts? Am I on the right track with my thinking and processing? If I need a new radiator, so be it, but I'd like to track down all possibilities first.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Henry Petrino in Modesto, CA on Monday, July 09, 2018 - 03:54 pm:

Pure guess - Did you also loosen the brake band? Since loosening the other two bands seemed to help, I'd think you may have tightened all three a little too much.

Also, check for drag on the rear brake shoes.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By paul griesse--Granville,Ohio on Monday, July 09, 2018 - 04:19 pm:

Scott---Model T radiators all "boil over' if they are filled too full (usually just about halfway up the top tank is OK ) Run it for a while and see if that stops your overflow/steaming. Good luck---paul


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Norman T. Kling on Monday, July 09, 2018 - 04:24 pm:

The bands should be adjusted as loose as you can get them and still completely stop the band from moving. This would cause the pedal to bottom out about 1 inch above the floorboard. Then put the car in neutral on a level surface and turn the crank. The car should not move when you crank. Then push the car. The engine should not turn when you push the car. The reverse band can be a little tighter than the low and brake because the pedal has a longer throw, but it should be completely loose with the pedal up. The rear brakes can be adjusted by placing the lever all the way forward and pushing the rod all the way back. The clevis pin should fit right in without bending the rod. Then try stopping the car with the parking brake. If one wheel stops first, tighten the opposite rod 1/2 turn and try again. Keep adjusting 1/2 turn at a time until both wheels stop at the same position of the lever. The transmission should be in neutral with the lever straight up or slightly forward of straight up.
In hot weather it is normal for the engine to gurgle when you park the car but should not boil over.
Norm


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Steve Jelf, Parkerfield KS on Monday, July 09, 2018 - 05:14 pm:

I hope the overheating isn't because of having the transmission bands too tight, because that could also overheat the drums and crack them. It's possible your flushing loosened some crud but didn't remove it. This kind if flush may help: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TJ3nkPm87X0

Your radiator being only fifteen years old, I doubt that your problem is fin separation.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Michael Pawelek Brookshire, Texas on Monday, July 09, 2018 - 07:09 pm:

Take the bottom hose loose from the radiator, engine not running, and stick a garden hose in the top of the radiator running full blast. Water should run out the bottom as fast as it is added at the top.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jerry VanOoteghem S.E. Michigan on Monday, July 09, 2018 - 08:27 pm:

What's nasty about 50/50? Was it nasty due it's being very old? I'd try putting 50/50 back in it, or just try plain water, at least as a test.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Steve Jelf, Parkerfield KS on Monday, July 09, 2018 - 09:26 pm:

When you get it sorted out and you're ready to install long-term coolant, use distilled water in your 50/50. Most tap water has lots of minerals in it.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By William Hoffer on Tuesday, July 10, 2018 - 07:15 am:

When taking my car out for the very first time this May on the BBC tour, my radiator started steaming after climbing a long hill. I pulled over at the top and let it gurgle and cool so we could press on. I added a little water.

The most dangerous part was when the Mennonite farmer who owned the pull off spot came out and offered us a free corgi/poodle puppy. Or all the puppies. By then the car had cooled, I started it, put my wife in, and escaped! Bullet dodged. Car ran fine after that, with some gurgling. Cheers, Bill


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Scott Dombach on Tuesday, July 10, 2018 - 01:23 pm:

sorry for the confusion about the crud 50/50. Before I got the car back into the family it sat for 15 years so the 50/50 was just a little dirty with reddish rust and mineral mixed with the 50/50. I don't know how old the radiator is, pretty sure its not the original but again, not sure how to check fines. I'll work at flushing it again.

Looks like when I was bottoming out the drive pedal I was to aggressive on tightening the bands. Obviously i probably got nervous and overtightened everything being a newbie T owner. I'll keep loosening.

Not sure about drag on the rear brakes, I literally pulled the wheels and put on the new shoes, I didn't adjust any of the arms and clevis but it makes sense that I should as the parking lever is in a new position, perhaps I should since the shoes are new.

So a little gurgling on a hot day is normal, but not steam, Correct?

Back at it. Thanks for the confirmations!!


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Norman T. Kling on Tuesday, July 10, 2018 - 04:22 pm:

When the fan is turning or when you are moving, it should not boil or steam. When you turn off the engine, it will gurgle for a few seconds but not overflow. The normal level for the water when you check cold is about half way up the top tank of the radiator. About level with the Ford emblem. However, be sure what you see when you look in is water! I overheated when I had poured a little water in and it looked half full but what I was seeing was a baffle in the radiator. When the baffle is wet it looks like the water level is fine. Now I rock the car a bit when I look in to see if it is really the water level that I see.
If you over fill the water, as soon as it warms up it will expand and run out the overflow tube. That is not boiling. It is just expansion and will overflow until it finds it's level.
Norm


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By R.V. Anderson on Tuesday, July 10, 2018 - 07:23 pm:

Check your timing. On my '14, one notch + or - on the spark lever makes the difference between normal temp and boiling.


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