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The Ford Cooling System

The Ford Cooling System

The Ford Manual was supplied a new Ford circa 1921 details the the Ford Cooling System and questions new owners might have.

The Ford Cooling System

Ford Model T Cooling system
How is the Engine cooled? Answer No. 35

  The heat generated by the constant explosions in the engine would soon overheat and ruin the engine, were it not cooled by some artificial means. The Ford engine is cooled by the circulation of water in jackets around the cylinders. The heat is extracted from the water by its passing through the thin metal tubing of the radiator—to which are attached scientifically worked out fins, which assist in the rapid radiation of the heat. The fan, just back of the radiator, sucks the air around the tubing- around which the air is also driven by the forward movement of the car. The belt should be inspected frequently and tightened when necessary—not too tight, however—by means of the adjusting screw in the fan bracket. Take up the slack till the fan starts to bind when turned by hand.

How does the Water circulate? Answer No. 36

  The cooling apparatus of the Ford car is known as the Thermo-siphon system. It acts on the principle that hot water seeks a higher level than cold water—consequently when the water reaches a certain heat, approximately 180 degrees Fahrenheit, circulation commences and the water flows from the lower radiator outlet pipe up through the water jackets, into the upper radiator water tank, and down through the tubes to the lower tank, to repeat the process.

What are the causes of Overheating? Answer No. 37

  (1) Carbonized cylinders; (2) too much driving on low speed; (3) spark retarded too far; (4) poor ignition; (5) not enough or poor grade oil; (6) racing motor; (7) clogged muffler; (8) improper carburetor adjustment; (9) fan not working properly on account of broken or slipping belt; (10) improper circulation of water due to clogged or jammed radiator tubes, leaky connections or low water.

What should be done when the Radiator overheats? Answer No. 38

  Keep the radiator full. Don’t get alarmed if it boils occasionally—especially in driving through mud and deep sand or up long hills in extremely warm weather. Remember that the engine develops the greatest efficiency when the water is heated nearly to the boiling point. But if there is persistent overheating when the motor is working under ordinary conditions—find the cause of the trouble and remedy it. The chances are that the difficulty lies in improper driving or carbonized cylinders. Perhaps twisting the fan blades at a greater angle to produce more suction may bring desired results. By reference to the proper division of this book each of the causes which contribute to an overheated radiator is treated and remedies suggested. No trouble can result from the filling of a heated radiator with cold water—providing the water system is not entirely empty—in which case the motor should be allowed to cool before the cold water is introduced.

How about cleaning the Radiator? >Answer No. 39

  The entire circulating system should be thoroughly flushed out occasionally. To do this properly, the radiator inlet and outlet hose should be disconnected, and the radiator flushed out by allowing the water to enter the filler neck at ordinary pressure, from whence it will flow down through the tubes and out at the drain cock and hose. The water jackets can be flushed out in the same manner. Simply allow the water to enter into the cylinder head connection and to flow through the water jackets and out at the side inlet connection.

Will the Radiator freeze in winter? Answer No. 40

  Yes, unless an anti-freezing solution is used in the circulating system you are bound to experience trouble. As the circulation does not commence until the water becomes heated, it is apt to freeze at low temperatures before it commences to circulate. In case any of the radiator tubes happen to be plugged or jammed they are bound to freeze and burst open if the driver undertakes to get along without using a non-freezing solution. Wood or denatured alcohol can be used to good advantage. The following table gives the freezing points of solutions containing different percentages of alcohol:

20% solution freezes at 15 degrees above zero.

30% solution freezes at 8 degrees below zero.

50% solution freezes at 34 degrees below zero.

  A solution composed of 60% water, 10% glycerin and 30% alcohol is commonly used, its freezing point being about 8 degrees below zero.

On account of evaporation fresh alcohol must be added frequently in order to maintain the proper solution.

How are leaks and jams in the Radiator repaired? Answer No. 41

  A small leak may be temporarily repaired by applying brown soap or white lead—but the repair should be made permanent with solder as soon as possible. A jammed radiator tube is a more serious affair. While the stopping of one tube does not seriously interfere with the circulation, it is bound to cause trouble sooner or later—and the tube will freeze in cold weather. Cut the tube an inch above and below the jam and insert a new piece, soldering the connections. If the entire radiator is badly jammed or broken it would probably be advisable to install a new one.