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Old 09-27-2019, 10:20 PM   #1
AD1948Ford
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Default Radiator shops in Houston Texas

Anyone have recommendations for good radiator shops in Houston Texas to rebuilt original 1948 Ford Tudor Sedan radiator? For context of why I am asking, please see below.

My original 1948 Ford Tudor Sedan radiator probably needs to be rebuilt. The motor was rebuilt a few years ago and I have been running the motor off and on while I was finishing up restoring the car. Now since itís done, Iíve started running it more and for longer periods and under load on the road. I finally got a aftermarket gauge hooked up that shows temps for each head to just check exact numbers. While it was idling in the garage, one side got up to 180 dog while the other head started to push 205/210. I did notice that the level in the radiator was down so I guess that could be it. I added more 50/50 AF but did not get a chance to rerun to check everything out. I do not have any leaks and no water in the oil so I believe itís either 1) bad radiator or 2) bad water pump. Any way to check if water pump is bad or confirm radiator is clogged up?
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Old 09-28-2019, 12:15 AM   #2
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Default Re: Radiator shops in Houston Texas

I worked at Longpoint Radiator as a teenager, don’t know if they are still around, but worth a look.

Off longpoint and Bingle rd.
Used to be a real radiator shop.
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Old 09-28-2019, 11:21 AM   #3
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Default Re: Radiator shops in Houston Texas

I had the radiator in my '37 Ford cleaned and repaired recently by Freitag Radiator in Hempstead. He did a good job on it, the price was reasonable and it only took 3 days. This is a one-man shop and he and his father have been doing this for many decades. Google for address and phone number.
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Old 09-28-2019, 12:51 PM   #4
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Default Re: Radiator shops in Houston Texas

Usually replacement is a wiser investment than repairing. Look to pay about $600 for top quality brass core units. Original style types are a bit more, about $850. Reference C&G catalog, pages 100-101.
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Old 09-28-2019, 02:01 PM   #5
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Default Re: Radiator shops in Houston Texas

Do you have thermostats?
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Old 09-28-2019, 02:13 PM   #6
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Default Re: Radiator shops in Houston Texas

Those temperatures aren't really that bad, sitting idling here in the Houston heat this time of the year. It's also reasonably normal for the temp on a Ford flathead to run higher on one side vs the other. These radiators are notorious for puking the water out to a certain level in the top tank before the radiator becomes happy. While it's still hot here, get that thing out on the road with some air going through the radiator to see what it's really doing. You may find that things are just fine, without the huge expense that sometimes goes-along with radiator work. DD
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Old 09-28-2019, 06:20 PM   #7
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Default Re: Radiator shops in Houston Texas

you may find it will run a little cooler with water instead of antifreeze. in houston, i would not think freezing is much of an issue. perhaps even a lighter mix than50/50 would help
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Old 09-28-2019, 08:24 PM   #8
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Default Re: Radiator shops in Houston Texas

Thanks everyone. Doesn’t look like I need a new radiator. Drained the radiator and put in a diluted 50/50 mix. Also got it out on the road and it didn’t go above 200 degrees on either head. The diluted mix and improved airflow did the trick.

I will have to replace the original mechanical fan as the one on the car gave out right as I was pulling in to my driveway. Unknown to me, the oil in the fan hub had drained and given the extended drive today, it decided it had enough. Going to order a oil-less new unit from Macs next week.
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Old 09-29-2019, 10:22 AM   #9
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Default Re: Radiator shops in Houston Texas

I find it amazing that you are able to drive a 48 Ford in all that crazy traffic! I was there for a couple months in 2017/18 and found it difficult at best, in a modern car.
Way different than when I was a kid in the 70’s,
Even back then I stayed off the freeways in my old 55 Ford.
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Old 09-29-2019, 02:08 PM   #10
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Default Re: Radiator shops in Houston Texas

RalphM, I stay away from the freeways or highly congested areas as well. Luckily I know the back roads to get where I am going haha
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Old 09-29-2019, 02:51 PM   #11
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Default Re: Radiator shops in Houston Texas

Quote:
Originally Posted by AD1948Ford View Post
Thanks everyone. Doesnít look like I need a new radiator. Drained the radiator and put in a diluted 50/50 mix. Also got it out on the road and it didnít go above 200 degrees on either head. The diluted mix and improved airflow did the trick.

Glad to hear that trying the above worked-out for ya. Look at all the beer money (and hard work) you saved by trying the obvious first. Plus, you never would have known that you DIDN'T really have a problem. What area of Houston do you live in? DD
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Old 09-29-2019, 06:02 PM   #12
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Default Re: Radiator shops in Houston Texas

Also, new engines normally run a little hotter that it will with some miles on it.
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Old 09-29-2019, 08:43 PM   #13
AD1948Ford
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Default Re: Radiator shops in Houston Texas

V8Coopman, you are right. I can use that extra money for the next project car now. I live in the Clear Lake Area.

JSeery, thanks for the additional info. It startled me a bit to see the temps.
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Old 09-30-2019, 04:16 AM   #14
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Default Re: Radiator shops in Houston Texas

One other thing....have you retorqued the heads?
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Old 09-30-2019, 05:30 AM   #15
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Default Re: Radiator shops in Houston Texas

Brian, I have not. Given it’s being driven more, should I ? And if so, what should I torque them to?
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Old 09-30-2019, 06:50 PM   #16
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Default Re: Radiator shops in Houston Texas

Yes, you should/must retorque after several heat/cool cycles until the gasket has fully compressed, ie, the heads hold torque. Torque should be to specs for the heads you're using.
You'll find the heads pull down with this retorquing, this will improve the sealing also possibly improve your observed operating temps through not having compression leaking into coolant.
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Old 10-02-2019, 07:34 AM   #17
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Default Re: Radiator shops in Houston Texas

Thank you, Brian. I have stock heads so I’ll look for the torque specs
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