Ford Model A Pickup Restoration February 2014

Some of you have maybe already seen the following pictures. One year ago I was at the same point with my first radiator, a no name product from a Model A supplier. I had to stop my work because of the very bad quality. Now this is my second attempt with a radiator I've bought from 'Brassworks' and they make really good quality, but see the following pictures.

Ford Model A Restoration February 2014

First I had to drain the coolant.

Ford Model A Restoration February 2014

The old radiator is already removed but before the new one could be mounted, I had to adjust the connecting hoses.

Ford Model A Restoration February 2014

Also some more details must be done. In this case, the filler neck was too big in diameter (approximately 0.2 mm) and I had to grind it down to a smaller size. In order to protect the radiator I have used a piece of PET foil.

Ford Model A Restoration February 2014

The two slots for the connecting rods were a little bit too narrow and I had to expand them.

Ford Model A Restoration February 2014

This rust problem which can be seen in the picture is mostly my fault. The Radiator was not completely dry inside and I stored it in a closed box. It is also critical since a radiator is soldered and because of the aggressive flux which is used, this corrosion can occur if the metal is not properly cleaned after soldering.

Ford Model A Restoration February 2014

In my case, I was glad that it happened before the installation of the radiator. Now it's easy to grind the affected spots and I have treated the entire lower area with POR 15 - now I definitely will have no rust anymore!

Ford Model A Restoration February 2014

The mounting points on the right and left hand side of the radiator became an extended hole, so there is enough end play when I have to adjust the gap of the hood.

Ford Model A Restoration February 2014

My new radiator is ready for installation.

Ford Model A Restoration February 2014

An important point is that the radiator shell is 100% flat when lying on a flat surface. If it is not, it has to be bended a little bit. I placed 3 pieces of wood under the shell and pressed it down with my full weight. After 5-6 attempts it was lying flat on the ground as it must be.

Ford Model A Restoration February 2014

Make a last quick check that the shell fits to the radiator and to the 4 mounting points. So far everything is ok and I can mount the radiator.

Ford Model A Restoration February 2014

The radiator stands on the frame and the alignment can start. An exact alignment is absolutely necessary so that the gap of the hood (front / rear) will be perfect.

Ford Model A Restoration February 2014

Until everything fits, I had to remove the hood for several times and my little tool has paid off.

Ford Model A Restoration February 2014

I have not counted how many times I have mounted the hood, but the last year included, it was certain 10-15 times.

Ford Model A Restoration February 2014

All gaps are perfect and I can remove the hood for a last time to add the missing rivets on the shell.

Ford Model A Restoration February 2014

As in the original lacing set for the radiator were only small rivets, I've bought another 2 sets and here I found the big rivets I was looking for!

Ford Model A Restoration February 2014

Original, the screws are mounted from outside to the inside and then riveted … which means that you can't remove the shell later without destroying the lacing. I have decided to use the other direction and mount the screws from inside, which means I can remove the shell later without removing any rivets.

Ford Model A Restoration February 2014

I also made some special tools like this modified ring spanner.

Ford Model A Restoration February 2014

I used it to loosen and fix the socket bolts of the radiator when the shell was mounted.

Ford Model A Restoration February 2014

The radiator is now in its final position and I can secure the castle nut with a cotter pin.

Ford Model A Restoration February 2014

Now I hope that all gaps of the hood are still perfect.

Ford Model A Restoration February 2014

A final check on both sides shows that everything fits. When the radiator is of a good quality, the rest is an easy job :-)




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