FUEL TANK and RADIATOR WORK
Due to the complexity of FTRS work, and the impossibility of knowing the
condition of the item without physical inspection, I do not and can not
offer phone quotes, ball park figures or guesses for work required.
If you still require some sort of ball park figure I regret to inform
you that you will need to discuss your needs elsewhere.
Once I have the job here in my workshop I will be happy to discuss what
I will do, methods and cost.
Owned and operated by Greg since 1982, both in Nundah and Northgate. (Greg
worked as an employee, in the radiator industry, for 10 years prior to this)
RADIATOR, REPAIRS AND RECORING, VETERAN TO ALUMINIUM.
Radiators of all types can be repaired and re-cored,
many varying designs of core can still be accessed
all though the suppliers are becoming fewer.
One option of core for the Veteran and Vintage vehicles
is the "Cleanable Honeycomb" as made by us here
at Vintage Honeycomb Radiator Company.
This is a film type core made in a style consisting of a straight tube
within the hexagons to carry water from the top to bottom tank,
it is therefore cleanable unlike the original Harrison core.
In 2009 I negotiated the purchase of very early authentic film type
honeycomb core manufacturing machinery from a long standing and now
closed business in Sydney. This machinery has known history dating back
to Johnson Brothers, who I believe had this machinery made here in Australia,
possibly as early as the 1930’s.
After more than 18 months of restoring this well worn vintage machinery
and with a combination of research, improved tooling and testing the core
has now been re-designed. This allows a core made with
0.15mm copper to be run as a serviceable core,
superior in design and endurance to the 0.11mm
copper used previously. This new core has been wind tunnel tested and I am
happy to be making a core more efficient than what I have imported and
fitted for many years. I already knew the performance of this imported core
and this new VHRC core is better!
Why serviceable? If you are going to spend good money on a honeycomb
radiator, why not ensure it is serviceable in 20+ years?
Looking forward to the future with "authentic machinery, new tooling,
new cores and a new attitude!"
Visit the Vintage Honeycomb
Radiator Company page.
The differing styles of veteran and vintage cores are,
(A) FILM TYPE. This style of core is made from strip copper run
through dies. Once the sections are reversed the tube takes shape. The normal
type of honeycomb has the water following the shape of the honeycomb;
therefore the tube cannot be cleaned.
(B) CARTRIDGE TYPE, this core is made up of individual cartridges
placed together. The water then flows between the cartridges. They are kept
separated in several ways. The most common way to keep a space between them is
to flare the ends of the cartridge. When the cartridges are laid together in a
slab formation, they are then clamped and the core is then face solder dipped
to approximately 10mm depth. The dipping creates
the soldered joint. Some more exotic cores are straight pieces of Tube
or Cartridge, (i.e. not flared on the end) held apart by a piece
of 1.6mm Copper Wire.
Modern Tubular Replacements are another popular option, particularly when the
vehicles radiator forms part of the front of the car. The core is manufactured
in the samy way as a modern truck or tractor radiator; that is, heavy copper
fins horizontally across the core whilst the water tubes go vertically. The
header plate can be made to suit the tank shapes, eg a "Cathedral" shape as
per the sample shown here.
Radiators of all types can be repaired, BUT, old solder tends to
react very badly to heat. On some occasions a small leak can be made worse by
the application of heat whilst trying to make a repair. The problem here tends
to be the deterioration of the existing solder, particularly with
Leaching Chemicals penetrating the old solder, eg salts etc.
With extensive Workshop facilities, replacement parts can be
fabricated and replaced. Eg, brass fittings can be fabricated to replace
unusable Cast Iron hose fittings. These are solder dipped to fill
any leaks through any joints, prior to fitting to the radiator.
Brass radiator tanks can also be fabricated to replace old unusable tanks.
Brass radiator tanks suffer from a form of corrosion similar to rust. This
corrosion may not be noticeable until the tanks are stripped and blasted.
Metal side bands etc can also be fabricated.
Tanks on alloy radiators can be fabricated or some pressed tanks are
available for "specials".
STRAY CURRENT & CHEMICAL CORROSION PREVENTION
Stray current has been a concern within the radiator industry since the
introduction of aluminium radiators. This form of corrosion can perforate an
aluminium radiator within weeks. Stray current in the coolant is usually
caused as a result of the earth path for some components being altered, a
faulty earth strap or a fault in the wiring loom. Vehicles that have been in
an accident, had engine rebuilds, or had a radiator or cooling fan replaced
are more vulnerable to stray current problems.
Below is a simple test:
- Remove radiator cap.
- Turn your multi-meter to the mV range.
- Insert the positive lead into the coolant.
Do not allow it to touch any part of the radiator.
- Connect the negative lead to the earth terminal of the battery.
- Check for any reading above 50mV.
- Turn on the vehicle’s accessories one at time. Any readings
would mean there is probably a faulty earth associated with that
Testing for stray current should be carried out on all cooling systems, not
only those containing alloy.
If you have found a problem relating to stray current,
change the coolant. Some coolants don’t allow the charged
oxygen to dissipate, so if you are unsure of the coolant in your system, flush
it and replace it.
Stray current can result from a number of odd sources, including loose or
missing earth cables from radiator mounted electric fans. Some other odd
cases which are common are:
- Ford Laser
- Multi earth plugs located at the front of both chassis rails.
- Ford Falcon
- Main battery earth cable fitting at the engine block.
- Wiring harness fitting at the front inner guard.
- Holden Commodore
- Main battery earth cable fitting at engine block.
- Rear stop light wiring harness earths.
- Earthing point behind right headlight.
MODEL T FORD, AUSTIN SEVEN AND MORGAN RADIATORS
Since we own Morgans, the Oldsmobile, Model T Ford and previously the
Austin Sevens we are active in the Veteran, Vintage and Historic Vehicle Scene.
I have found myself rebuilding and repairing many of them. It can be a simple
fact that an enthusiast would rather give the work to another enthusiast, than
a repairer who has little or no interest in the vehicles involved. I have
tried several different types of cores in the Austin Sevens, with mixed
results, in our hot Queensland climate anyway!
Another important success is the difference that can be made with the various
types of cores in the Morgan radiators. I read with interest the "jottings" of
various Morgan Owners from all over the world regarding what works and what
does not in Morgan radiators. It appears that they have varying opinions on
what it takes to cool a Morgan. Morgans do not present any great challenge to
keep cool, after all they are the same motors as the donor cars, just
different in the shape. The biggest problem appears to be "battling" with the
owner and what they have read on the internet or a magazine. In many cases a
simple $5.00 piece of foam to block All of the gaps around the
radiator can make a great difference. The air then MUST be made to pass
through the radiator not around it. This is not rocket science,
but common sense!
The original Tubular core in the Morgan certainly lacks the thermal
efficiency of aluminium, for example. The better variation in copper-brass
radiators is known as a CT core. This gives better efficiency than
the tubular, and is more suited to cooing Morgans, both V8 and the fours. A
tubular core, in fact both tubular and CT, can suffer from problems which are
hard to detect. These can be loss of joints, reducing the transfer of heat from
Tube to Fin. Blockage is another common problem, though this
can’t be found unless the tanks are removed. Debris in the fins
can also be a problem in some odd cases, this happens more in vehicles which
work in a high debris area, eg forklifts, and headers. This can happen with
car radiators as well.
MAKING A CUSTOM RADIATOR
This job was recently undertaken - a complete assembly for a
1988 Maserati Spider Bi-Turbo 2.5L V6. The original assembly had become
unusable due to leaking in the core. Being an alloy core with plastic tanks
the owner had experienced frustration in the un-repairability of the tube to
It was decided to make a new copper brass assembly to replace the entire unit,
rather than re-core the radiator re-using the old plastic tanks, which may be
a cause of trouble at a later date.
The core was measured and made as an NPN (no part number) because it was not
able to match the core to an off the shelf replacement. Once the core is
supplied, new tanks are folded from 1mm soft drawn brass, silver soldered in
the corners and fitted to the core.
The hose fittings are then matched to be the same size, position, angles and
length. A brass Thermo-fan switch flange is made and fitted. New side bands
complete with fan mount points and locating pins are made and fitted.
The radiator is then tested dried and painted, complete.
Radiator Workshop Equipment supplier to the industry. As well as the
above, I fabricate equipment for other radiator shops. Radiator Jigs and
Ridge Rollers are a couple of the specialised equipment I make and sell
throughout Australia. Well over 1,000 Radiator Jigs and over 500 Ridge Rollers
are being used in shops in Australia, New Zealand, Fiji and New Guinea.