Ford Model T Blog

Getting my Leaky Model T Radiator Repaired, Part 2

On November 16th, I decided it was about time I had my radiator out; and have an apparent leak repaired.

It had me fooled from the very start, I observed a considerable rusty water stain on the back of the radiator core, to the right-hand side, and some water had accumulated nearby. However, the core itself turned out to be just fine!

After taking my radiator to Taree Radiators for repair, it turns out, the overflow pipe (which runs down the back of the radiator core) had a hidden hole, which was leaking rusty water onto the radiator core, which then tracked across to the opposite side of the radiator, and it really looked like the core itself was leaking! The bad section of pipe was cut out, and replaced with rubber overflow hose, it’s hard to tell the difference, it’s all black!

Thankfully, the copper core itself is in perfect condition. The brass tanks top and bottom were also in perfect condition, except for a small crack which had appeared on the top of the top tank, so I had that soldered.

I gave all the cast portions of the radiator a good coat of bitumen paint inside and out, the can says it’s good for rusty surfaces and protects against further corrosion, so it should help with longevity.

I’m going to be trialling a glycol-free corrosion inhibitor in my radiator, one which does not affect the water boiling point, which would upset the Model T’s thermosiphon cooling and cause overheating – not a good idea!

Model T looking rather naked with no radiator!

Dubious looking rust stain was a cruel deception!

Freshly painted radiator, with no leaks!

Mitch Taylor

New South Wales, Australia

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