Go Back   The Ford Barn > General Discussion > Model A (1928-31)

Sponsored Links (Register now to hide all advertisements)

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 07-28-2020, 10:55 AM   #1
cnjzdad
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Arizona
Posts: 6
Question Radiator leaking

Hello, Iím new to Model A owning and recently bought a 1931 Tudor. Was doing fine until the other day after a drive on a hot day had the temp gauge go way up. No signs of overheating though. Parked it and then later added coolant thinking it was low. Next morning found a nice puddle of coolant on garage floor. You can see the fluid coming out on the fins at the very top floor of radiator on passenger side. Does have some rusty color to it also. Thoughts? Plugged? Rusted through? Previous owner said it was put in new six years ago. Tim
cnjzdad is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-28-2020, 11:49 AM   #2
mass A man
Senior Member
 
mass A man's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Danvers, Ma.
Posts: 574
Default Re: Radiator leaking

My option would be to pull core out and repair it, or have it repaired by a radiator shop. I suggest not pouring in any stop leak just yet. Without seeing it myself, sounds like an easy fix where the vertical tube is soldered to the top tank and there may be where your crack is. There are other ways to pinpoint where the leak is. Over-filling, bad cap gasket, etc.. is ruled out since you say you can see where it's leaking. To solder it up yourself, you must know how to solder a radiator core. Shiny, clean is mandatory at the point of repair.
mass A man is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links (Register now to hide all advertisements)
Old 07-28-2020, 12:18 PM   #3
Conaway2
Senior Member
 
Conaway2's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2019
Location: Mt. Pleasant, SC
Posts: 243
Default Re: Radiator leaking

I would take it to a shop and have it cleaned and repaired.
Conaway2 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-28-2020, 12:41 PM   #4
cnjzdad
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Arizona
Posts: 6
Default Re: Radiator leaking

Thanks for the comments regarding the leak. I’m hoping for an easy fix also. Save $$$. You mentioned a bad cap gasket. What symptoms would that show? It hasn’t leaked out the cap.
cnjzdad is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-28-2020, 04:01 PM   #5
30 Closed Cab PU
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2018
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 2,242
Default Re: Radiator leaking

Coolant on the windshield and hood is one symptom.
30 Closed Cab PU is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-28-2020, 04:36 PM   #6
cnjzdad
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Arizona
Posts: 6
Default Re: Radiator leaking

Oh no. Thankfully don’t have that problem.
cnjzdad is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-28-2020, 04:49 PM   #7
eagle
Senior Member
 
eagle's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Eagle Bend, MN
Posts: 1,612
Default Re: Radiator leaking

When you bring it into a radiator shop make sure to tell them it is unpressurized. Model A radiators can be ruined if much pressure is used in testing.
Another thing, are you sure its leaking? Model As should be filled just to cover the tubes, as they don't have an overflow reservoir. When filling, if you splash a bit it can hang for a long time, won't evaporate like water. (if you're using antifreeze mix) Also, if its rusty, flush and change. When mixing coolant and water to put back in, use either distilled or RO (reverse osmosis) water, not tap water. Check the overflow tube, make sure it runs down the side and is soldered well.
__________________
"There are some that can destroy an anvil with a teaspoon and shouldn't be allowed to touch anything resembling a tool."
eagle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-28-2020, 09:54 PM   #8
1crosscut
Senior Member
 
1crosscut's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Lincoln, Nebraska
Posts: 1,423
Default Re: Radiator leaking

I'm with Eagle on as you need to make sure that it is actually leaking or not.

You just might be doing what many (most) folks new to Model A's do is to overfill the radiator.

There is a lot of flow coming from the water pump into the top of the radiator when running at higher speeds. The coolant expands as it heats up and that combined with a high coolant level, the increase in flow and possibly the baffle being damaged, deteriorated or missing will cause water to push out of the overflow tube and also seek it way past a faulty or loose radiator cap gasket.

Drive your car and let it push the excess coolant out until it finds the level it is comfortable with. Just keep checking it to make sure that it stays above top of the tubes in the radiator. As long as it stays above the tubes you are fine as far as the coolant level is concerned.

You say that it got hot but not to the point of overheating. Do you know for sure what the temperature was? Do you have a gauge or a motor meter on the radiator cap? The motor meters get you in the general area on temp but by no means are spot on accurate.
I use a cheap dial meat thermometer that I place in the neck of the radiator directly into the coolant. You can open up the radiator at any time since it is not pressurized and check the temperature. You really need to know what the temperature is for sure if you suspect overheating. Frankly I think it it a good idea to check the temperature of any "new" A for a while to get a good feel for how it is behaving temperature wise.

If you do have a small leak in a seam or someplace that is easy to get to there is a simple fix that while may not be a permanent fix is a pretty darn long lasting fix. It also save's $$'s.

Cut a piece of cotton tee shirt type cloth just a bit bigger than the crack and saturate it with silicone gasket sealant and apply it over the failed area. Of course clean the area very well first. Using black cloth and black silicone will help keep it from being too noticeable.

I've done this type of repair to many different things and it works well. Did this to the radiator on my AA on a small leak in the area you are looking at just about 10 years ago and it is still fine.

Welcome to the hobby. Fun stuff this is.
__________________
Dave

It'll feel better when it quits hurting.
1crosscut is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-29-2020, 09:58 AM   #9
Jacksonlll
Senior Member
 
Jacksonlll's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Michigan-- Member of Oakleaf of MARC
Posts: 1,470
Send a message via ICQ to Jacksonlll
Default Re: Radiator leaking

Try stop leak first. Just may fix it until you do pull the core.
Jacksonlll is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-02-2020, 12:11 AM   #10
cnjzdad
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Arizona
Posts: 6
Default Re: Radiator leaking

Thanks everyone for all the suggestions. Radiator itself leaked for days. Got it to stop today after using Bar’s Leaks Stop Leak. Recommended by a well known Model A gentleman in the Valley here. I know I’ve read opinions on stop leak items is 50/50 but it worked for now. Saved $$. Also got a good reference for a good Model A mechanic in case I need to have the radiator fixed. Helps to network!!
cnjzdad is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-02-2020, 12:45 AM   #11
700rpm
Senior Member
 
700rpm's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Portland, Oregon
Posts: 5,288
Default Re: Radiator leaking

Try just plain water, not a coolant. Water cools better. High temps can cause water to overflow and present as a leak. Model A radiators like to find their own fill level too. Also, make sure you are timed properly and driving the car with the spark lever about half way downmto avoid overheating. Lots of things can look like leaks in hot weather when sometimes it’s just water overflowing out the overflow tube.

Radiator problems can take the fun out of owning and driving a Model A. I have tried all kinds of shade tree tricks in fifty years of playing with these cars. The best fix I have found is new reproduction radiators. Yes, they are expensive, but to me, for reliability and peace of mind they are worth it.
__________________
Ray Horton, Beaver Chapter, MAFCA, Portland, OR


As you go through life, keep your eye on the donut, not the hole.

Last edited by 700rpm; 08-02-2020 at 12:51 AM.
700rpm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-03-2020, 12:35 PM   #12
Chuck Sea/Tac
Senior Member
 
Chuck Sea/Tac's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Between Seattle & Tacoma
Posts: 1,974
Default Re: Radiator leaking

Crosscut/Dave: interesting tip on the radiator patch. I have an old radiator on my engine test stand that’s got a small intermittent leak. I just might try your trick.
Chuck Sea/Tac is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-03-2020, 12:45 PM   #13
1crosscut
Senior Member
 
1crosscut's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Lincoln, Nebraska
Posts: 1,423
Default Re: Radiator leaking

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chuck Sea/Tac View Post
Crosscut/Dave: interesting tip on the radiator patch. I have an old radiator on my engine test stand thatís got a small intermittent leak. I just might try your trick.
Let me know how it works out for you.
__________________
Dave

It'll feel better when it quits hurting.
1crosscut is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-03-2020, 10:22 PM   #14
Gary WA
Senior Member
 
Gary WA's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Clinton,WA/Whidbey Island
Posts: 3,241
Default Re: Radiator leaking

Quote:
Originally Posted by cnjzdad View Post
Hello, Iím new to Model A owning and recently bought a 1931 Tudor. Was doing fine until the other day after a drive on a hot day had the temp gauge go way up. No signs of overheating though. Parked it and then later added coolant thinking it was low. Next morning found a nice puddle of coolant on garage floor. You can see the fluid coming out on the fins at the very top floor of radiator on passenger side. Does have some rusty color to it also. Thoughts? Plugged? Rusted through? Previous owner said it was put in new six years ago. Tim
Well whats the latest results? We can't wait any longer!
Attached Images
File Type: jpg walter dripping nose.jpg (19.0 KB, 7 views)
__________________
www.whidbeymodelaclub.com
Gary WA is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-04-2020, 06:16 AM   #15
Keeper79
Member
 
Keeper79's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: In the Sticks of Virginia
Posts: 60
Default Re: Radiator leaking

Just had my radiator pulled out and sent to a shop to be repaired. The top hose neck was leaking pretty bad from a poor repair job from previous owner. Was $90 to be properly fixed, cleaned up and made to look like new.

Perfect time to install new hoses and clamps. Dang clamps are $$$ but are pretty.
Keeper79 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-04-2020, 06:25 AM   #16
Jacksonlll
Senior Member
 
Jacksonlll's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Michigan-- Member of Oakleaf of MARC
Posts: 1,470
Send a message via ICQ to Jacksonlll
Default Re: Radiator leaking

Common place to fail. With a stiff upper hose and a little engine movement, that area gets loaded pretty good and fatigues. We really need a flexible upper hose.
Jacksonlll is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-04-2020, 05:48 PM   #17
shew01
Senior Member
 
shew01's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: Roanoke, VA USA
Posts: 723
Default Re: Radiator leaking

Quote:
Originally Posted by Keeper79 View Post
Just had my radiator pulled out and sent to a shop to be repaired. The top hose neck was leaking pretty bad from a poor repair job from previous owner. Was $90 to be properly fixed, cleaned up and made to look like new.

Perfect time to install new hoses and clamps. Dang clamps are $$$ but are pretty.

I sent you a PM.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
shew01 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-18-2020, 02:47 PM   #18
cnjzdad
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Arizona
Posts: 6
Default Re: Radiator leaking

Hey everyone. Thanks for all the great advice. Here’s an update on the radiator leak. The stop leak worked for about two weeks but unfortunately after the Sunday Drive at Dawn coolant decided to start oozing out the front of the radiator back up in the front passenger side corner. ��. Looks like it may take a bit of soldering to stop it. Bummer.
cnjzdad is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-20-2020, 05:55 AM   #19
Ed in Maine
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 696
Default Re: Radiator leaking

If you take the radiator to the shop for repair, be sure to tell the shop not to mess with the top row of fins or you may see the repair below the radiator shell. I had a radiator repaired years ago and the shop bent up the fins at the top of the core. When I put the shell back on, it didn't go low enough to hide the repair. As far as I was concerned, the cored was ruined, the front of the car looked awful. Ed
Ed in Maine is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-20-2020, 11:39 PM   #20
cnjzdad
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Arizona
Posts: 6
Default Re: Radiator leaking

Good to know. Thanks.
cnjzdad is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Sponsored Links (Register now to hide all advertisements)


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 03:15 AM.