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Old 03-01-2020, 08:16 PM   #1
saxman657
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Default Radiator Baffle

Working on my overheating cooling system (currently working through a thorough degrease and rust flush) I noted that the radiator baffle was missing. I looked through every Model A part house I was aware of and couldn't find any. Does anyone have a source, or does this have to be fabricated? If fabricated, any schematics and instructions?
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Old 03-01-2020, 10:01 PM   #2
Bob C
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Default Re: Radiator Baffle

Here's a drawing of the baffle.
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Old 03-01-2020, 10:13 PM   #3
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Default Re: Radiator Baffle

I wouldn't worry too much about a missing baffle.
Is the overheating problem new?
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Old 03-01-2020, 10:38 PM   #4
saxman657
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Default Re: Radiator Baffle

Yes. Last year was my first year with the car so don't know a lot of history. I drained and flushed the system last year after it overheated during one of its first runs until water ran out clean, then aded distilled water and WaterWetter. Ran all year without a problem (weather is mild here in SoCal). Last week I drained and water was pretty rusty, so I flushed chemically with Blue Devil, then flushed with water until clear. Instead of distilled water I used 50/50 Peak antifreeze (standard). Drove the car about 10 miles up to 50mph on highway during cool morning for a breakfast meeting. Drove home in warmer 80 degree weather at highway speeds and MotoMeter showed a temp increase and had some coolant spew on the windshield. Slowed car to 45mph and temp dropped pretty quickly on flat road. Increase back up to 50mph, and temp increased again.

Might be coincidental, but didn't have the problem until after I flushed the system and switched to antifreeze (with WaterWetter added). I'm sure it wasn't the coolant, but something perhaps dislodged during the flush. It was during all of this and reading Les Andrews that I noticed the radiator baffle and that I didn't have one.

My plan for the cooling system is to flush with Simple Green, then rinse and flush with water. Then flush with Thermocare, running it for a day or two. Then flush well with water until running clean. Also plan to do a back flush and have ordered a Gano Filter, then add antifreeze one more time. If this doesn't work, time to pull the radiator for another flush and thorough cleaning with ThoroFlush (basically TSP) and maybe ThoroFlush to clean the insides of the motor.
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Old 03-02-2020, 01:44 AM   #5
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Default Re: Radiator Baffle

The over heating could be as simple as learning how to adjust the spark and GVA if you are not experienced using them. The other thing I noticed in the first photo, you have over filled the radiator. It only needs be be about an 1" over the top of the core, maybe a little more, not all the way up to the bottom of the neck. Check the over flow tube and make sure it is clear. Water expands as it gets hot and needs to go someplace, ether thru the overflow or out the cap and will do so till it finds its own level. Once it finds that level, that is where it needs to be filled to. Other wise it will just puke out.
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Old 03-02-2020, 09:22 AM   #6
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Default Re: Radiator Baffle

I agree that the antifreeze solution is probably not the cause of your overheating. From what I read in your post is looks as if you ran distilled water and WaterWetter for a year. That could be what caused the rust in the cooling system and it could have plugged things up.
If you are having coolant spray on your windshield it is not necessarily an over heating issue. If your radiator cap seals well any coolant hot or cold should go out the overflow tube. Running too full as redmodelt mentioned will cause coolant to be pushed out when warm. Resist adding more coolant as long as the tubes in your radiator are covered.
If you have a head gasket that is allowing gases to escape into the coolant it can push water out the radiator. Often this only happens under acceleration and under load. Check the torque of your head studs.
Have you used a probe type meat thermometer to actually check the temperature of the water to know for sure if it is over heating?
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Old 03-02-2020, 09:28 AM   #7
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Default Re: Radiator Baffle

I would take the radiator out and turn it upside down to back flush it. Also flush the block separately. You can use the cleaner of your choice but do them separately so one doesn't contaminate the other.
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Old 03-02-2020, 09:29 AM   #8
Bruce of MN
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Default Re: Radiator Baffle

My radiator was foaming over and that is a symptom of a bad head gasket.
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Old 03-02-2020, 10:36 AM   #9
saxman657
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Default Re: Radiator Baffle

I haven't seen any foaming or bubbles in the coolant. And I'm sure the rusty water was from the water/water wetter combination from this past year. I'll lower the coolant level to just a bit over the top of the tube to allow room for expansion as suggested. I'll also do something to raise the level off the MotoMeter gasket to make sure there is a solid seal when I close the MotoMeter top.

May still give it a solid flush with radiator on first, then if necessary, will pull the radiator and do a thorough flush of radiator upside down, as well as in the engine as suggested.
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Old 03-02-2020, 04:32 PM   #10
Kurt in NJ
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Default Re: Radiator Baffle

If you don't have a baffle you can look at the top of the tubes--- when drained are the tube open and empty--- how many are clogged ?
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Old 03-02-2020, 04:46 PM   #11
saxman657
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Default Re: Radiator Baffle

This is what I see
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Old 03-02-2020, 05:24 PM   #12
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Default Re: Radiator Baffle

Salman,

You might ask someone at C.W. Moss if they can recommend a radiator shop near you that works on vintage cars. They might clean it out for you or maybe put a baffle in for you.

The guys at The Early Ford Store recommended a shop in the San Gabriel Valley. I can find the business card when I get home tonight.

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Old 03-02-2020, 05:41 PM   #13
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Default Re: Radiator Baffle

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kurt in NJ View Post
If you don't have a baffle you can look at the top of the tubes--- when drained are the tube open and empty--- how many are clogged ?
I canít see the top of the tubes. All I can see is what I think is the bottom of the top tank.
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Old 03-02-2020, 05:43 PM   #14
saxman657
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Default Re: Radiator Baffle

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Originally Posted by California Travieso View Post
Salman,

You might ask someone at C.W. Moss if they can recommend a radiator shop near you that works on vintage cars. They might clean it out for you or maybe put a baffle in for you.

The guys at The Early Ford Store recommended a shop in the San Gabriel Valley. I can find the business card when I get home tonight.

David Serrano
Definitely on my to-do list when Iím out there. Terry was a wealth of knowledge, but unfortunately retired this past December. Iím sure William will steer me in the right direction if it comes to that.
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Old 03-02-2020, 06:16 PM   #15
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Default Re: Radiator Baffle

When I first got my 1930 Coupe it seemed to over heat. I am not really sure it was, I was over filling it. While trying to figure "the problem" I flushed the radiator and engine 3 times with vinegar. There is a YOUTUBE video on how to do it, I could not believe the crud that I drained from the radiator.
Once I got the rad flushed I elected to use Water Wetter and no anti freeze. A member in our Model A club is a chemical engineer, gave a lecture on coolants and suggested not to mix more than one chemical with another. He felt you may be creating a chemical reaction between the radiator additives.
I bought a laser heat temperature gun type sensor from NAPA to take an accurate temp of my coolant in the radiator. The upper half near the top of the rad is usually 15 degrees warmer than the bottom half, which is what you would expect. I found in fact my rad was not over heating but was in consistently running at 170 DEGREES.
I think between my over filling the rad and the cork gasket needing to be replaced on the rad cap was causing the moisture on the windshield and and coolant drip under the rad.
I now use the laser heat reader after most drives to check the rad temp and wheel drums to make sure one or more are not dragging.
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Old 03-02-2020, 07:24 PM   #16
Bob C
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Default Re: Radiator Baffle

Quote:
Originally Posted by saxman657 View Post
I canít see the top of the tubes. All I can see is what I think is the bottom of the top tank.

You should see something similar to this looking down into the radiator.
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Old 03-02-2020, 08:09 PM   #17
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Default Re: Radiator Baffle

Quote:
Originally Posted by saxman657 View Post
I canít see the top of the tubes. All I can see is what I think is the bottom of the top tank.
If you can't see the tubes you might be seeing your baffle. Might not be missing.
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Old 03-03-2020, 03:08 PM   #18
1931 flamingo
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Default Re: Radiator Baffle

There is no "bottom" to the top tank. If no baffle you're looking down into the tubes. Your baffle is most likely what you think is the "bottom" of the top tak.
Paul in CT
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Old 03-03-2020, 10:28 PM   #19
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Default Radiator Baffle

Here is a photo of what the early and late style baffles look like from the inside.

Darryl in Fairbanks
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Old 03-05-2020, 12:28 AM   #20
flatheadrick
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Default Re: Radiator Baffle

The best radiator shop to use for the Model A is Tom's Radiator Service, 828 W. Chapman Ave. Orange, Ca. They are just down the street from CW Moss. (714)-532-6771. They also repair gas tanks.
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