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Old 07-04-2020, 01:47 PM   #1
saxman657
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Default Radiator Overheating

I'm sure this query will be somewhat repetitive from others, but here goes. First background: I started the TLC of my father-in-law's Model A last year. First time out after changing out filters in bowl and filling up a dry gas tank I spewed a huge amount of rusty water. Got her home and shoved a hose down the radiator and flushed a lot of rust out and ran until water was clean. Then flushed with a Blue Devil product. Filled up with distilled water and added water wetter - no antifreeze since I'm in SoCal. Car ran great at speeds up to 53-55mph. A couple of months ago I drained the radiator and decided to add a 50/50 mix of old fashioned Prestone. Started to overheat at highway speeds after running for maybe 15-20 min. Hmmm. So I flushed with Thermocure, letting sit for about a week. Then flushed and back-flushed with garden hose. Still overheated. Added a Gano filter and ran for several weeks. Took her up into summer desert hills and started the overheating again. Got her home and pulled the filter to find a good amount of what looked like mineral deposits, but no rust! Cleaned it out and have noticed it is still overheating.

Next steps, and I'm looking for help here. I plan to drain and clean the Gano filter, and then run the white vinegar for a week. Should I use 2 gal to fill radiator and then top off with water if I need to? Also, I read where it is recommended to follow with a flush of baking soda and water to neutralize the effect of vinegar. How much baking soda do I use? A box in several gallons of water?

If all goes well, I plan to try Royal Purple Ice and bottled filtered drinking water. Has anyone used this product before. Royal Purple says I can use with antifreeze too, but I don't see the need considering the environment here in SoCal.
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Old 07-04-2020, 01:55 PM   #2
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Default Re: Radiator Overheating

Keep in mind you can pass the radiator flow test and still have clogged tubes.
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Old 07-04-2020, 01:56 PM   #3
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Default Re: Radiator Overheating

You started out with water. Did not overheat.

You changed to 50-50 mix water and Prestone. Overheated.

Have you switched back to water and it still overheats?

Or still using 50-50 mix?

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Old 07-04-2020, 02:24 PM   #4
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Default Re: Radiator Overheating

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Originally Posted by Jim/GA View Post
You started out with water. Did not overheat.

You changed to 50-50 mix water and Prestone. Overheated.

Have you switched back to water and it still overheats?

Or still using 50-50 mix?

I'm back to water and a wetting agent since that seemed to work best. 'm think I may have dislodged some crud into the radiator? Cooling jackets???
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Old 07-04-2020, 02:46 PM   #5
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Default Re: Radiator Overheating

Run it full of vinegar, flush it again, fill with water and try running it again with just water. Is the timing correct??
If still overheating, remove the radiator, plug the botttom, fill with evaporust and let sit for a few days, then drain (the evaporust can be reused), then flush good from the bottom and then the top.
Follow up with us on how that worked. FWIW
Paul in CT


Is this an original radiator??
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Old 07-04-2020, 02:53 PM   #6
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Default Re: Radiator Overheating

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Timing is good. Try to exhaust all options before pulling radiator, though this will make it easier to attach the new shroud I purchased! Just added pans to both sides since I didn't have them before, but ran hot when I took it out yesterday in low-80's weather and not a lot of torque on the engine.
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Old 07-04-2020, 03:10 PM   #7
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Default Re: Radiator Overheating

????'s Is this a relative new radiator, or a 90 year radiator that has been shaked, rattled and rolled for 90 years. Two row or three rows of tubes. 6 Fins per inch or more. have you pointed and used a infrared pointer to see if it has hot spots or hot all over.


$600 or more for a new radiator sometimes can be a bit to swallow, but old radiators can just wear out. The fins and tubes loose their contact with one another and the heat is not disapated. It may look pretty but does not wurk any more. ken
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Old 07-04-2020, 03:19 PM   #8
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Smile Re: Radiator Overheating

I'm a proponent of using only a 10 fin/inch radiator and even though I live in northern Calif have never had a problem with overheating and that includes driving through Death Valley and I-80 through Nevada in the summer. Cost is minimal.
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Old 07-04-2020, 03:51 PM   #9
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Default Re: Radiator Overheating

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Originally Posted by kenparker View Post
????'s Is this a relative new radiator, or a 90 year radiator that has been shaked, rattled and rolled for 90 years. Two row or three rows of tubes. 6 Fins per inch or more. have you pointed and used a infrared pointer to see if it has hot spots or hot all over.


$600 or more for a new radiator sometimes can be a bit to swallow, but old radiators can just wear out. The fins and tubes loose their contact with one another and the heat is not disapated. It may look pretty but does not wurk any more. ken
Not sure how old it is, but I'm sure it's not an original. I believe my wife's uncle rebuilt the car in the late 80's, so he probably installed a used radiator (or maybe new?) then. Outwardly it appears to be in good shape; no major indentations, fins all appear straight. Not sure, but it appears to be a 3-row with 10 fins/inch. Have not tried a infrared pointer, so don't know about hot spots -- would that indicate a blockage? Might be worth my time for a trip out to Harbor Freigh
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Old 07-04-2020, 03:55 PM   #10
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Default Re: Radiator Overheating

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I'm a proponent of using only a 10 fin/inch radiator and even though I live in northern Calif have never had a problem with overheating and that includes driving through Death Valley and I-80 through Nevada in the summer. Cost is minimal.
It appears that mine is a 10 fin/inch radiator. If I have to buy a new one, several folks have pushed me towards a Berg Radiator (3 core 12 fin/inch), but at $795+shipping, a bit pricey. Do you have a source or brand name for your radiator? It sounds like my driving won't be much different from yours. I might make it out towards Needles, CA If it can handle that, it can probably handle anything!
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Old 07-04-2020, 06:11 PM   #11
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Default Re: Radiator Overheating

I would use nothing but Bergs. Pricey because of the way it is made.

I had heating problems on the highway. I have a 4 speed synchro, and some stuff done to the engine, maybe 70 HP.

I brought that radiator to the radiator shop they cleaned it, flow tested it and the same problems. Replaced it with a Bergs and now I can ride 60-65 MPH for 1 hour or more in 99 degree heat, and my gauge goes between 185-190. Even on a long idle on a hot day, I have the same temps.

I run 50/50 yellow Prestone.
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Old 07-04-2020, 07:36 PM   #12
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Default Re: Radiator Overheating

Just get a new radiator. Your is plugged.
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Old 07-04-2020, 07:58 PM   #13
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Default Re: Radiator Overheating

If you do not clean the engine it will just plug up a clean radiator.
I use Rust911 rust911.com A lot cheaper than Evaporust and does the same thing.
Drain the system and fill with Rust911 and drive for a week or two.
Have done this with good success.

Chris W
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Old 07-04-2020, 11:07 PM   #14
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Default Re: Radiator Overheating

When done with treatments and back flushing/flushing install a Gano upper radiator hose filter to help keep crud that might still be in the cooling system out of the radiator.
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Old 07-05-2020, 07:13 AM   #15
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Default Re: Radiator Overheating

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Originally Posted by Jacksonlll View Post
Just get a new radiator. Your is plugged.
This is good advice.

What do you really have if you canít count on your radiator?

It is not a big thing to replace. I would also change the water pump at the same time.

Do it right the first time and itís done for a long time.

Enjoy.
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Old 07-05-2020, 07:23 AM   #16
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Default Re: Radiator Overheating

My radiator would run at 190-200 and I did everything you have done, just replaced with a new radiator from Independent Antique Radiator Mfg. out of Algonquin, Ill. (they supply all the major distributors). took it out yesterday, was 95 degrees in NC, and I couldn't get the engine temp up to 150 degrees, ran 20-25 miles, 45-50 mph.



Wish I had replaced earlier, now I have one less concern on my trips. I watched them fabricate my radiator, from punching fins from copper roll stock, to cutting and pressing the tanks components out of Brass, there not cheap, but no complaints on the price for the quality of the product. I got the HD version 8 fins per inch,
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Old 07-05-2020, 07:23 AM   #17
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Default Re: Radiator Overheating

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When done with treatments and back flushing/flushing install a Gano upper radiator hose filter to help keep crud that might still be in the cooling system out of the radiator.

Sorry, reread post 1, missed that you are already using a Gano filter.
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Old 07-05-2020, 08:45 AM   #18
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Default Re: Radiator Overheating

Many people still use tap water for their radiators, this is where it leads. A couple things to be aware of, you probably already know this: 1. Advance timing as much as possible until you hear it ping then retard just until the ping stops. Pay attention to pulling a hill, don't let it ping. However, don't retard it too far, it will overheat and won't have good power. 2. Run the coolant just high enough in the radiator to cover the tubes. 3. Use distilled or RO water. I always use 50/50 antifreeze, your choice, but it NEEDS some sort of rust inhibitor. 4. If the radiator is plugged and doesn't clean out readily with a good flushing solution, replace it. It will be marginal at best. 5. Your use of a coolant filter is a great idea, especially with a new radiator. A new radiator won't work if it's all plugged up. 6. (this is advice for ALL repairs, and I don't heed it myself as often as I should) Don't be cheap! Don't FIX it, RESTORE it. Every repair should be brought back to original specs.
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Last edited by eagle; 07-05-2020 at 08:53 AM.
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Old 07-05-2020, 10:24 AM   #19
saxman657
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Default Re: Radiator Overheating

Quote:
Originally Posted by CWPASADENA View Post
If you do not clean the engine it will just plug up a clean radiator.
I use Rust911 rust911.com A lot cheaper than Evaporust and does the same thing.
Drain the system and fill with Rust911 and drive for a week or two.
Have done this with good success.

Chris W
I used Thermocure which s made by Evaporust. Shouldn't this do the job on the cooling jackets? Maybe a course of Rust911 too just to be sure? If I go with a new radiator I would really like to ensure the block is in as good of shape as possible.
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Old 07-05-2020, 10:31 AM   #20
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Default Re: Radiator Overheating

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Originally Posted by eagle View Post
Many people still use tap water for their radiators, this is where it leads. A couple things to be aware of, you probably already know this: 1. Advance timing as much as possible until you hear it ping then retard just until the ping stops. Pay attention to pulling a hill, don't let it ping. However, don't retard it too far, it will overheat and won't have good power. 2. Run the coolant just high enough in the radiator to cover the tubes. 3. Use distilled or RO water. I always use 50/50 antifreeze, your choice, but it NEEDS some sort of rust inhibitor. 4. If the radiator is plugged and doesn't clean out readily with a good flushing solution, replace it. It will be marginal at best. 5. Your use of a coolant filter is a great idea, especially with a new radiator. A new radiator won't work if it's all plugged up. 6. (this is advice for ALL repairs, and I don't heed it myself as often as I should) Don't be cheap! Don't FIX it, RESTORE it. Every repair should be brought back to original specs.
I'm looking at using "Royal Purple Ice" as a cooling system optimizer and conditioner. Supposed to drop temps by up to 25 degrees. Says it fights corrosion, electrolysis & erosion. Funny thing is, it says to use bottled filtered drinking water, not distilled water! Straight from the Royal Purple folks:
"All forms of water are corrosive, but some can be more aggressive in the way that they corrode soft metals like distilled, demineralized or deionized water. Distilled, demineralized and de-ionized water are completely stripped of minerals, and that is why they are so aggressive in the way that they corrode. With these forms of water being completely stripped of minerals, they basically have developed a very aggressive ionic hunger, and they “want” to put minerals back in their structure. This is why distilled should only be used in mixtures containing at least 50% or more of antifreeze.

The best and preferred type of water to use whenever running straight water or a higher water percentage coolant mixture in the cooling system is bottled filtered drinking water. The reason why bottled filtered drinking water is a much better and less aggressively corroding choice of water form, is because it has a very small amount of minerals and that tends to pacify the water’s ionic need to dissolve and absorb minerals, like aluminum or the older soft copper/brass radiators. This makes bottled filtered drinking water a much less corrosive form of water and the form preferred in straight water or higher water percentage coolant mixtures. Mineral scaling issues from using bottled filtered drinking water is virtually nonexistent, because the mineral levels are quite low."

I'm no chemist, but does this sound right? First time I've heard someone tell me NOT to use distilled water.
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