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Old 11-10-2018, 01:52 PM   #1
walkerlakeprinter
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Default Radiator Shell fitting problems

I just finished putting the welting on my new shell. I have problems fitting
it to my radiator. When it is down around the neck of the radiator as far as it will go, the opening for the crank shaft is about 2" too high! Although the bottom two screws line up more or less the radiator bracket, the two upper ones are too far forward to line up to the brackets. What in the world?? How far above the crossmember should the "feet" of the radiator be? I Have the bolt, rubber pad, spring, washer on in that order. Do I have a shell that is not correct?? Or is the radiator I bought wrong? I have a 1929 Special Coupe.

Last edited by walkerlakeprinter; 11-10-2018 at 06:49 PM.
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Old 11-10-2018, 01:55 PM   #2
Dan Partain
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Default Re: Radiator Shell fitting problems

Is it possible to try an original radiator shell and check the fit?
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Old 11-10-2018, 02:01 PM   #3
Bob C
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Default Re: Radiator Shell fitting problems

Should be the cross member, rubber pad, radiator, spring, then bolt.
The picture is a later Ford but the Model A is the same.


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Last edited by Bob C; 11-10-2018 at 02:11 PM.
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Old 11-10-2018, 02:29 PM   #4
walkerlakeprinter
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Default Re: Radiator Shell fitting problems

No available original shell....mine was stolen sometime in the past 5 years when my car was dismantled. Ugh. The setup pictured is how mine is set up. I did have a washer between the spring and the castle nut. I will try to attach some photos later if I can figure it out.
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Old 11-10-2018, 02:55 PM   #5
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Default Re: Radiator Shell fitting problems

Senior moment! I went back out to the garage and in one second realized what I had done.....I put the spring between the rubber pad and the radiator feet. Amazingly, when I put them back the right way, a few other things lined up better (radiator hoses and generator). Now the opening for the crank is just maybe 1/4" too high. Once I get the shell attached and down as far as it can go, I might be able to file a little clearance at the bottom of the opening and still have the cover plate over it.
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Old 11-10-2018, 04:27 PM   #6
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Default Re: Radiator Shell fitting problems

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The rubber pad can be very thin to get more drop. An original radiator or the Bergs or Brassworks should fit better than some other repros.
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Old 11-10-2018, 06:48 PM   #7
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Default Re: Radiator Shell fitting problems

Thanks for all the ideas. I ended up taking out the rubber pads and replaced them with some bicycle inner tube rubber. I also used a large round file to enlarge the crank hole just a millimeter or so. Then, I pushed down on the shell as I tightened the four bolts holding it on. I can now get the crank lined up and into the ratchet nut on the engine. I then test-fit the radiator splash pan, although I will have to put it in later when the fenders and hood shelves are in. It fits tight behind the radiator shell after I pulled the shell outwards to squeeze it behind the bottom lip. Hoping it will work out when the real fun begins.
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Old 11-11-2018, 12:10 PM   #8
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Default Re: Radiator Shell fitting problems

Also the shell can have a felt pad between it and the front splash apron; contact cement it on one face vs rivets if easier. The radiator can slide laterally at the spring bolts to help achieve hood alignment/ even gaps along with the radiator rods and front cowl shimming up or down.
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Old 11-11-2018, 04:08 PM   #9
1927Tudor
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Default Re: Radiator Shell fitting problems

I experienced the same issue when installing a new offshore rad shell on my 1929 Tudor. I had the original shell, but the cost of replating it was twice the cost of the Chinese unit. I could not get the shell to sit down far enough to line up the crank hole correctly, and had the shell off three times before I found the issue. The flange on the bottom of the new shell was twice as deep as the original, resulting in the bottom portion of the shell being forced away and up from the rad. I eventually had to cut a slice of this flange off in order to get it to fit. To avoid destroying the plating the flange was wrapped in masking tape and I cut it with a cut off wheel in a die grinder.

The first picture compares the two, the second is the amount of material removed. I would not have cut an original shell, but the 200 dollar Chinese one will do until I eventually restore the original.
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Old 11-11-2018, 04:15 PM   #10
1927Tudor
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Default Re: Radiator Shell fitting problems

Heres the car when I dragged it home last December, and how it looks now..
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Old 11-11-2018, 08:45 PM   #11
walkerlakeprinter
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Default Re: Radiator Shell fitting problems

Quote:
Originally Posted by duke36 View Post
Also the shell can have a felt pad between it and the front splash apron; contact cement it on one face vs rivets if easier. The radiator can slide laterally at the spring bolts to help achieve hood alignment/ even gaps along with the radiator rods and front cowl shimming up or down.

Thanks! Now I know what the two felt pads I have are for. I will try to put them in when I do the final assembly. Glad I have my car in the garage....it went from 90 degree days to 40 degree days in a just a couple of weeks.
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Old 11-11-2018, 09:34 PM   #12
Tom Wesenberg
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Default Re: Radiator Shell fitting problems

I didn't realize the repro shells are up to $200.
The last one I bought was nickel and cost $95.
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Old 11-12-2018, 12:58 PM   #13
ericr
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Default Re: Radiator Shell fitting problems

I might horn in to say that we have had posts before to the effect that the repro splash apron pad is about twice the thickness of an original one that was displayed.


The '29 radiator repro shell has certainly caused no end of problems that can't easily be fixed by the owner.
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Old 11-12-2018, 10:55 PM   #14
1927Tudor
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Default Re: Radiator Shell fitting problems

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Wesenberg View Post
I didn't realize the repro shells are up to $200.
The last one I bought was nickel and cost $95.
That number includes the first class airfare that it apparently took to cross the border.
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