Model T Radiator Repairs

In August 2019 we broke our own rule.

We were shipped an aftermarket radiator Roger Huffman from Grants Pass, OR.  This individual had purchased on a 100 year old aftermarket brass model T radiator site unseen on ebay and shipped it directly to us.  The radiator had a crest logo in the face of the tank was leaking from the core and tanks, had an oxidized brass patina, a diamond pattern film core, dented and damaged sidewalls and trim.   

We manufacture and restore but we do not often repair Model Ts.  We are not even sure what people mean by "going over" but they ask us to do it all the time.  It was explained that the cost of removing the sidewalls and fabricating new ones, making custom trims, testing and repairing and polishing would very likely cost more than simply buying a newly fabricated radiator.  We also cannot predict the time we will spend chasing leaks on dirty 100 year old metal so this is billed on a time and materials.  We also do not stop in the middle of an unfinished job to call and report status.  This is explained online and we discuss it on the telephone whenever someone calls us requesting such work.  No matter how many times we say it some people do not listen.  

After spending nine hours; the radiator had new custom sidewalls, custom front trims and a new neck. It had been tested at 3 and 5psi and the core leaks were repaired. It was polished and re-tested after polishing. The top tank was however now presenting new "champagne bubble sized leaks" at 5psi.  We communicated to this individual the situation and that the leaks may or may not present in non pressure situation.  He asked us to paint the core and not repair the last leaks.  The next morning he called to tell us that he had expected it to cost less and it because it was more and he was not going to pay the bill.  He even suggested we could take him to small claims court. I expect people who say things like this spend a lot of time in small claims court. 

This behavior is on par with eating a full meal at a restaurant and then complaining at the end so you don't have to pay or simply not tipping.  Its shows you do not value people, their time and you are at worst a con man and at the least a classless person.

We learned an invaluable lesson to but it is unfortunately to the detriment of the hobby.  Henceforth we will refrain from making any repairs to aged metal that we have not completely dismantled, cleaned and inspected before we assemble and we will never ever utilize a core that was not constructed by us or for us from new virgin material. 

Anyone who tells us how we should do our job will be routed to this page to understand the "Roger Huffman Rule." 

We will still restore radiators but we do this work to our standards on our terms.   


Update - 2022.  Roger called us again and asked us to sell him a casting.  He told us golf jokes and when we realized who he was and his history, we told him to keep on truckin'