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Model A (1930) leaking coolant at the overflow pipe

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  • Model A (1930) leaking coolant at the overflow pipe

    I need help tracing the cause of my 1930 A coupe has started leaking coolant from the overflow tube on cold start. I noticed it having a tendency to run hot this summer just driving around the neighborhood . How do I determine the cause ? Tks for any help Dallas Johnson [email protected]

  • #2
    Dallas is it? WELCOME to the VFF!!

    First thing I would check is where the over flow pipe sets in the radiator neck. In the Service Bulletins, Page 450, Ford stated that the tube must be moved to the farthest part of the neck, and as high into the neck as possible.

    Second, are you overfilling the radiator? The radiator coolant will settle at it's own level, which normally isn't to the lower edge of the filler neck, but more often than not, about an inch below there.

    Has your car been modified with a thermostat or filter in the upper hose? These things can cause an overheating problem as well as the radiator tubes becoming clogged with rust chips from the engine. I personally have removed the radiator on my '28 Tudor and laid it flat on the front with the cap on and filled it with vinegar and sloshed that around for a few days, and after draining the vinegar through cheese cloth had chunks of rust even after force flushing the radiator upside down. Even though the original radiators had a lot of tubes and a large cooling area, if it isn't clean, it won't cool.

    There are several other things that can cause over heating, like timing, head gasket, engine cracks, but this is the basic spots to look for first. I believe in K.I.S.S., start simple. There is plenty of time to get complicated.


    You wana look waaay far up da road and plan yer route because the brakes are far more of a suggestion than a command!


    • #3
      Sounds like your radiator is plugging off tubes go to the technical section here and read what others have done sounds like a good block cleaning and radiator cleaning are probably needed. Also search the tom W, method of back flushing as well study these and get back to us so we can help you better. Also welcome to the vff there is a lot of info here to digest and some real experts here as well. So first do a little research and if you do not find answers ask we will always help. Plus what Wiz said.


      • #4
        Here's a link to the thread about cooling system cleaning. I show 3 pictures of how I cleaned mine, and go a lot of rust out. I fill to just below the baffle plate and always use antifreeze.


        • BNCHIEF
          BNCHIEF commented
          Editing a comment
          Best way to do it if you have to.

      • #5
        Sounds to me on start up you don't have a baffle plate. Looking down in your filler neck you should be able to see the overflow pipe sticking up close to the top, you should not be able to see the tubes of your core.


        • Baileyiii
          Baileyiii commented
          Editing a comment
          Yes I can see the core and Thus I do not see a baffle plate .Is that correctable without removing the radiator ? Or ? Tks for your reply

      • #6
        As Tom mentioned keep your coolant level at the baffle height. Overfilling will cause it to go out the over flow pipe.
        Why do you think the car is running hot? What are your indicators other than the overflow issue?
        3~ Tudor's & 1~ Coupe
        Henry Ford said,
        "It's all nuts and bolts"
        "Start by doing what's necessary; then do what's possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible."

        Mitch's Auto Service ctr


        • Baileyiii
          Baileyiii commented
          Editing a comment
          During the few times I drove car last summer the temp gauge went to near or in the hot range within 5 or 10 minutes of driving. The speeds were quite low as I was trying to get used to double clutching. Tks for the post

      • #7
        I do not however remember any overflow. The prev owner is a neighbor and states no prev issues with over heating unless driving a lot slowly and siting at idle for long periods in 90 plus weather.


        • #8
          Well here are the main causes for overheating

          timing is off
          head gasket issue
          head needs re torquing
          partially restricted radiator

          Since your saying it runs hot at idle i will venture out on a limb and say you need a new radiator. Running your motor hotter than it should causes a slow death
          there are tests available for ck ing for a combustion gas leak into the cooling system. Maybe get an infrared thermometer and check for cold spots in the radiator core or use your hand
          3~ Tudor's & 1~ Coupe
          Henry Ford said,
          "It's all nuts and bolts"
          "Start by doing what's necessary; then do what's possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible."

          Mitch's Auto Service ctr


          • #9
            • "Baileyiii commented
              • Today, 04:23 PM
                Yes I can see the core and Thus I do not see a baffle plate .Is that correctable without removing the radiator ? Or ? Tks for your reply
              • Flag
            Yes you will need to remove the radiator to have a baffle installed as the top tank will need to be removed, unsoldered, so that the baffle can be installed. At the same time the radiator shop can rod out your core and let you know what condition as a whole your radiator. I see you are in MO, and it probably gets quite warm there in the summer? Look for a shop that has a lot of experience repairing Model A radiators. If you find a good shop to do this work, I'd recommend taking along your radiator shell to be sure it fits before you leave the shop when it is finished.


            • Baileyiii
              Baileyiii commented
              Editing a comment
              Tks Dennis I will follow up staring with the radiator and also r/o an head gasket issue.

            • BILL WILLIAMSON
              BILL WILLIAMSON commented
              Editing a comment
              Drop a loose fitting Roofing nail in the top of the overflow tube, to prevent coolant loss from "splash" over.
              Look in & REV it up, you'll be AMAZED at how the water CHURNS around & dumps some into the overflow!
              Dad Oldtimefix
              Last edited by BILL WILLIAMSON; 10-29-2017, 07:39 AM.

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