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  #1  
Old 01-04-2011, 11:34 AM
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Red face She's ALIVE! But radiator leaks now...

Ok all, it's been a LONG time since I posted anything but an update is due. My 60 HT that I've been working on RUNS once again! I rebuilt the engine, found my oil pressure was low, asked you guys and gals about it and what do you know? Seems I missed the oil plug behind the distributor. Got so used to small blocks that I never thought about a hidden plug like that. Anyway, fixed that and she runs great! Just need to tweak the carb a bit more so she idles lower. But before I can do that, found another problem. Seems my radiator decided to start leaking on me. So I called around Jax, FL and no one here repairs radiators anymore! Say that there's no money in it any more since most newer ones are plastic anyway. But they could order me one using my old tanks, new core, etc... Questions for all of you wise people! Has anyone repaired their own before? That is what I'm trying to do with mine. The oil cooler for the AT was leaking fluid into the antifreeze. Can't seem to get a good repair on this to stick. Next, I resoldered the upper and lower outlet tubes that the hoses connect to but when I tried to reattach the tanks to the core I was actually heating up the solder in the core which seals all the little tubes. Anyway around this? Final question. Has anyone ordered a new radiator and where could I find a respectable place that sells them for our 'Birds? Thank you all for your help so far... I literally could not have done a lot of this without your help!
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  #2  
Old 01-04-2011, 11:48 AM
Richard D. Hord Richard D. Hord is offline
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Hey Jimmy,
I would do some web searching! I had my camper radiator repaired, couple years ago, by a local shop that specialize in radiator repair. He repaired it, rod it and done some kind of boil on it, then he pressure checked it. Camper runs cooler and I have not had any other problem out of it!
Richard D. Hord
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  #3  
Old 01-04-2011, 12:27 PM
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Some of the new T-Bird restoration vendors sale new radiators. You just need to call around.

Try the Tbird Nest and Concours Parts & Accy's.
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Old 01-04-2011, 01:31 PM
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Default She's ALIVE! But radiator leaks now...

Try Bob's Bird House in Delaware also. Most of the Tbird parts houses sell radiators, I think. Look at the listing in the Advertisements Forum for contact information. Call Don at Bird Nest or one of the guys there. There ARE replacement radiators for these old birds available.
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  #5  
Old 01-04-2011, 01:50 PM
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Thanks guys. I'll hit these places up and check 'em out!
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  #6  
Old 01-05-2011, 07:39 AM
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hi Jimmy!

You radiator can be re-cored in the event that the original core is rotted beyond repair. A good radiator person can do this kind of work and pressure test the result. You then recycle the side tank for the tranny fluid and other items. I did this back in 2004 and paid close to $400 for it.

Hemming's classifieds list 9 shops nationwide who work on old-car radiators: http://www.hemmings.com/classifieds/...type=radiators

This meant I was continuing to use a copper core radiator, which I believe cools better than an aluminum after-market.
(see http://automotivepartsuppliers.com/c...num-radiators/ for a comparison . Also if you look in the table of thermal conducitivity at http://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/th...ity-d_429.html you will see copper's is more than 50% higher).

Suggestion: while you are working on the radiator, however you resolve that, remove the heater and get it checked out as well. If one is aged, the other may be and if you get it in good shape, one less thing to go wrong later. You will have all the coolant out anyway.

Do a thorough flush job on the engine while you're at it , too. Probably lots of rust in there, which does not help cooling any.

Further, take a real careful look at the expansion tank and see if it is leaking any. Those things are the Achilles heal of the system - the solder joints just aren't very good.

Put a 6 blade fan in while you have things apart. Good bang for the buck!

Bottom line: don't just overhaul the radiator, but comprehensively go through the entire system and put the matter behind you. In the middle of July, you will be glad you did! The Squarebird cooling system, as a whole, is not all that effective a system (see many threads where people add 6 blade fans, shrouds and so on). So it needs to work as well as it possibly can, given it's limitations. You live in the South, so all the more reason! Think worse case scenario - it is hot out, you are stuck in traffic . . . you want the cooling system to be up to the task!

John

Last edited by JohnG : 01-05-2011 at 08:08 AM.
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  #7  
Old 01-05-2011, 10:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnG View Post
hi Jimmy!

You radiator can be re-cored in the event that the original core is rotted beyond repair. A good radiator person can do this kind of work and pressure test the result. You then recycle the side tank for the tranny fluid and other items. I did this back in 2004 and paid close to $400 for it.

Hemming's classifieds list 9 shops nationwide who work on old-car radiators: http://www.hemmings.com/classifieds/...type=radiators

This meant I was continuing to use a copper core radiator, which I believe cools better than an aluminum after-market.
(see http://automotivepartsuppliers.com/c...num-radiators/ for a comparison . Also if you look in the table of thermal conducitivity at http://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/th...ity-d_429.html you will see copper's is more than 50% higher).

Suggestion: while you are working on the radiator, however you resolve that, remove the heater and get it checked out as well. If one is aged, the other may be and if you get it in good shape, one less thing to go wrong later. You will have all the coolant out anyway.

Do a thorough flush job on the engine while you're at it , too. Probably lots of rust in there, which does not help cooling any.

Further, take a real careful look at the expansion tank and see if it is leaking any. Those things are the Achilles heal of the system - the solder joints just aren't very good.

Put a 6 blade fan in while you have things apart. Good bang for the buck!

Bottom line: don't just overhaul the radiator, but comprehensively go through the entire system and put the matter behind you. In the middle of July, you will be glad you did! The Squarebird cooling system, as a whole, is not all that effective a system (see many threads where people add 6 blade fans, shrouds and so on). So it needs to work as well as it possibly can, given it's limitations. You live in the South, so all the more reason! Think worse case scenario - it is hot out, you are stuck in traffic . . . you want the cooling system to be up to the task!

John
Listen to John. This is very well written & it's great advice too.

-Jon in TX.
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  #8  
Old 01-05-2011, 04:22 PM
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I agree with everything John said. I really like copper radiators for a host of reasons, but mainly because there is nothing better. That's why Ford originally made them of copper and brass.

I don't hear much about the causes for radiators failure, or the remedy. Modine is (in my opinion) the foremost authority in the 'heat exchange' field, with over 90 years of automotive and commercial business. They discuss reasons for radiator failure HERE.

(Mind you, they are in business to sell radiators and heater cores.)

You guys have endured my boring posts about properly grounding your car. A major cause of radiator failure is 'electrolysis' or 'galvanic reaction' (whichever term you prefer); a direct result of failed body grounding. You can measure this voltage with your volt/ohm meter (as described in the Modine 'electrolysis' heading).

Phosphoric acid (found in Coca-Cola), effectively removes lime, calcium, and rust. It can be found under different labels at Home Depot, Lowe's, etc., for about US$8 per quart. (CLR, Crud Cutter-Must for Rust, Osphor) I have had great success unplugging heater cores with this by recirculating hot phosphoric acid over night using a small pump (like a drill motor pump) and a 5-gal bucket. (All the crap that comes out collects in the bucket. You will be amazed.)

The same procedure will break up the corrosion and deposits, and unclog your radiator.

Aluminum radiators are popular, cheaper, lighter, harder to repair and more inefficient. Good luck, trying to find a copper radiator... Hope this helps. - Dave
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Old 01-05-2011, 05:41 PM
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Dave, the Modine site is great! Thanks!

Bottom line: would running a dedicated ground wire to the radiator end the possibility of electrolysis once and for all?

john
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  #10  
Old 01-05-2011, 07:33 PM
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Forgive me John, for answering your question with another question:
How are modern cars grounded?

From the battery neg post, in addition to a heavy engine ground, they have a small, short wire mounted (usually with a green screw) to the radiator support. So, if the engine vibrates its ground wire loose, the body is still grounded (even though most new radiators have plastic tanks).

Modine suggests, "Electrolysis will usually occur if there is a defective or missing ground on one of the potential electrical sources."

Ford should have added that ground wire decades ago.

Oh.. btw, look at the warranty: "You'll love the drop-in fit, as well as the peace-of-mind protection provided by Modine's Gold Card Lifetime Limited Warranty."

Henry Ford used Modine radiators in the fourth year of his model T.

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