Matt Harwood

Water pump packing

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Matt,when I did the one on my 23 Studebaker, I used the old body man pull rod to get it in--it was about 6 in long with a 1 in hook on the end--it solved the problem--good luck---Tom

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Not quite 3/4 inch. Look at the picture up there. Almost the same diameter as my pinky finger. Math still doesn't add up. I can't wrap the piece around my finger any more than I can wrap it around the shaft. A 60mm piece fits, which is what I'll use when I have more patience, but that would suggest a 20mm shaft, which this is not. I'm not happy about the math being screwed up and having to guess at the right size and somehow shove it in there with a pair of needles. AND get the gaps offset? AND make sure the packing doesn't twist as it goes past the threads? AND make sure that I can fit three loops in there? 

 

How could anyone afford to service these in the past? Two guys need four days to install three pieces of string.

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I agree with Wheelmang. 15 mm is .591" diameter. That is both strange and small (if it is a USA car).

Friartucks method is the correct way to pack a pump. Take the time, do it right and you wont be back working on it again.

One of the faults with just wrapping the packing is that at the beginning and end, you end up with a step of the packings size. Makes it harder to seal and compress.

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I believe you should be measuring and calculating using the  diameter of the outside of the space, not the inside or shaft diameter.  Also if you are cutting on a diagonal you must allow for that extra length.

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So here's my caliper at 0 (yes, it's a crappy caliper--someone broke my nice one).

Caliper1.thumb.jpg.61877566099d4127a3354855a93da684.jpg

 

Here's the caliper on the shaft measuring diameter. That shows 15mm (or a little under 5/8 inches) no?

Caliper2.thumb.jpg.e054b005e176a35c38506d8763c1b8fb.jpg

 

Here's my pinky finger near the shaft for perspective.

Finger1.thumb.jpg.4ead01967a47fec9ba875ea480cefeef.jpg

 

All this is academic. I can figure out how long to make the thing. But I'm still struggling with how to get it to stay in a circle while I wrap it around the shaft and somehow shove it into the pump housing. Needles of some kind? Tweezers? There's no way my fingers are fitting in there, and I don't even have particularly big fingers. I even had my wife and her little fingers try it and no dice. What's the trick? I'm frustrated so I'm quitting for the day, but I have to try again tomorrow and I'd like to have a plan of attack.


Thank you for the feedback, it's appreciated. Sorry I'm grumpy. At least nothing got thrown or broken today...

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Hi Matt,

 

Have you considered removing the rag joint and sliding the pump shaft fitting away from the gland nut after loosening the set screw?

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Um, if you are using 1/8" packing rope, perhaps the diameter you want is shaft diameter + half rope thickness + half rope thickness = 15.5+3.2 = 18.7 mm or a spot under 3/4". That is, the inside of the rope will be against the shaft and the outside will be too short because it hasn't stretched. So use the diameter to the centre fibre of the rope.

 

18.7 x pi = 59 mm. Might that work?

 

I just twigged - referring to structural engineering in my past. In bending (e.g. a beam), it is assumed plane sections remain plane.

Edited by Spinneyhill (see edit history)

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Remember that the calc on the SHAFT circumference is the ID of the packing.  You'll need to factor the packing thickness. and if you cut it on a 45, add another roughly 5mm (sqrt 2 times packing thickness).  As Mr FriarTuck said, cut it on a angle and attempt to get three sections in.  It'll be tough.  It will take some time and you most likely will have several failed attempts.  With the first ring on, push it in, then add the second ring - tighten.  add the third ring.

Upon success, you will have a good feeling.

 

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What do you guys think of these instead?

 

A-8524-L-730.jpg

 

https://www.snydersantiqueauto.com/water-pump-packing

 

Those are lead-based rings specifically for water pump packing and the Model A guys over at Ford Barn say that's the very best choice. They're for a Model A, and since the Model A and the Lincoln are both Ford Motor Co., perhaps they would be compatible? Model A water pump shafts are .625 inches, and that's about what the Lincoln's shaft is, if I'm measuring correctly (and I think I am). Snyder's is local-ish to me and I bet I could go out there and get a bunch of those rings and have them in the car by lunch. 


Thoughts?

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Yep, that should work. 15.9 mm vs 15.5. Lead is number 29 in the galvanic series, graphite is 92, so the lead is far less corrosive if you forget to lubricate it!

 

As long as they are not too fat to go into the gland....

Edited by Spinneyhill (see edit history)

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Even WITH the right packing things go a LOT easier if the cross section is hammered a bit to reduce the thickness which makes a world of difference shoving the packings in an ALWAYS difficult spot.

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18 minutes ago, DonMicheletti said:

Sorry to question your measurement, you are obviously correct

 

No worries, Don. I didn't trust myself, either! What the heck was I doing wrong? I don't know. But the little rings fit perfectly. More details later...

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Looks like it's good to go. Three of those rings were enough, clocked at 12, 4, and 8 o'clock respectively. My fingers were too big to get them in there but the Pink Mechanic came to the rescue and made it happen. I tightened the packing nut each time and eventually we got three of them in there. The third was a bit of a fight to tighten and I had a real scare that I had cross-threaded the brass nut, so I took it apart again and all was good. But then I had to put it back together and had the same scare. I think it was just the packing that made it feel like a cross-thread. Using a giant 1-inch wrench doesn't give you a lot of feel for that situation. Also, I expect to make major mistakes--it survives for 80 years, but I always manage to bugger things up no matter how un-buggerable it may seem. Fortunately, it seems OK and my mechanic concurs.

 

PinkMechanic.thumb.jpg.d5d55753bd5d3283b7002fd1e2f0780d.jpg
The Pink Mechanic hard at work installing packing rings

 

Filled it with about 6.5 gallons of water (out of 8--I think there was still some in the block) and fired it up. It puked a bit from the overflow, as expected, but no other issues. The water pump dripped a bit at first, I tightened it until the drip stopped, and it's holding with no issues. We let it idle for about 20 minutes and it got hot but didn't overheat and didn't act up. It was still hotter than I wanted, so there are other issues afoot (radiator shutters only open halfway), but those should be relatively easy to solve. The big thing is that the water pump (and the rest of the cooling system) has stopped leaking. Now I think it's merely an airflow management issue with those shutters, which are frozen at a 45-degree angle. I would have thought that they would fail in the open position, but I guess not. I sprayed some lubricant on the pivots and they seem to move more easily, but the bellows seems to be stuck. They're very hard to access with the grille in place, and I can only work from below so I can't test the bellows or disconnect it, but I think I can probably wedge some rubber blocks in between the shutters to prop them open so I can use it for the show this weekend. More airflow should keep it reasonably cool. Probably not ice cold like my other cars, but cool enough not to worry. But the big thing is that the water pump is healthy and there are no critical leaks.

 

Thank you, everyone, for all the advice!

 

Shutters1.thumb.jpg.c3244e313d39e7e0d3a547cb63846923.jpg

Radiator shutters appear stuck at about a 45-degree angle

 

 

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Matt: Sorry if my comment caused you an extra measurement. My curiosity got to me and I measured the shaft on my DB. It was .625 which is just slightly over your measurement of 15 MM.  

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Hi Matt,

At 45 degrees, your radiator shutters are reducing the airflow almost fifty per cent. If your Lincoln is like my '35 Cadillac, and you have the shutters open and the hood louvers open, the car should not overheat during long idles nor on steep hill climbs. I'd disconnect the shutter thermostat and see how the  car temperature behaves on a good hot day. I'll bet you just have a shutter problem.

Phil

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2 hours ago, Wheelmang said:

Matt: Sorry if my comment caused you an extra measurement. My curiosity got to me and I measured the shaft on my DB. It was .625 which is just slightly over your measurement of 15 MM.  

 

Please don't worry about it. All the help I received was great and I was having trouble figuring out what I did wrong (I'm still not sure why the math didn't work). Tomorrow I'll have the shutters open and we'll see how it behaves. I'm optimistic that the problem will be solved.

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Still some frustration and I don't quite know which way to go now. Good news is the water pump doesn't leak. The radiator shutters are now 100% open, so there's plenty of air flow. We filled it with about 6.5 gallons of water (book says it should take 8 but I bet there was still some in the block from my cleaning session). For a while, it ran considerably cooler and I thought I had the problem solved. Then it started spitting coolant out from under the radiator cap but NOT from the overflow. And it still runs somewhat hot.

 

The obvious problem was that the pantyhose I was using as a filter was causing a blockage--since both inlets and the radiator cap come together at that same point, I figured there was an obstruction. Removed pantyhose. No difference. Note that the pantyhose had zero debris and I can't find any trash anywhere in the cooling system. I do not believe anything is clogged.

 

Then we figured that the cap was defective, so I made a new gasket. This helped quite a bit, but after a while it still starts to seep out at higher RPM.

 

Then we thought it was over-filled, so we let more coolant out, another 1/2 gallon or so. Car got VERY hot and started blowing steam from the overflow. Top of tank is 200 degrees, outlet on bottom of radiator is about 150. Radiator seems to be working. So it obviously wasn't over-filled and is likely now under-filled.

 

So I have two thoughts at this point and I'm not sure where to go. One is that it's simply under-filled and that once it cools off, we add more coolant and see what happens. That won't cure the spitting from the cap, which seems to be RPM dependent, not heat. Maybe I could put another layer of rubber on the cap gasket and see if it seals up better.

 

Second thought is that this is like a Packard I had several years ago where the re-cored radiator didn't flow as well as the original. The car would lose coolant but never overheat as long as you kept adding more. It turned out that the water pump was pushing the coolant through too fast and it couldn't flow down through the radiator fast enough. Instead it just backed up at the top and went out the overflow. I am concerned that this is the case here and I don't much want to have to tear the whole thing apart to find it. The solution there was to modify the water pump impeller to make it less aggressive. What if I put a restrictor of some kind in the upper hoses of this car to slow down the coolant a bit?

 

How do I fill it properly? I have the nose in the air to help, but could there be an air pocket in there somewhere? It doesn't have any internal thermostats. It almost seems worse now than it was before even though everything else should be better. 

 

The kicker is that it was running nice and cool for a while, but then it started puking out through the radiator cap and everything went to hell. Any ideas?

 

 

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See my reply on your Lincoln post asking the same question.  On my '31 Pierce, I had a problem running at speed, when I let off the water would push out the overflow and cap.  Took a freeze plug (casting plug) the same diameter as the inside of the top radiator hose, drilled a 5/8 inch hole in it, and inserted same in hose.  Since it has flanges, so to speak, on it, it will fit snug.  Totally solved the problem and still plenty of water flow and cooling.

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Once again, David Coco proves he's one of the best resources we have on old cars. I was already on my way to Home Depot when you posted, but the idea was the same. I bought a pair of 3/4 to 1/2-inch galvanized pipe adapters, which slide neatly into the 1.25-inch upper hoses. The outlet is about 3/4-inch which is down quite a bit from the 1.25 inch hose. Since I have two hoses going in and only six cylinders on a side, it should be plenty of volume, just as David suggests.

 

Hose1.thumb.jpg.0a435153dce2d3eb27d703d6a8d82973.jpg Hose2.thumb.jpg.8ccf8acbd435abfb471bf054e4178210.jpg
Galvanized pipe adapter makes a nice restrictor (don't worry, I did grind off that little rib before I stuffed it down the hose)

 

I pushed it down far enough that it wouldn't interfere with the radiator necks and secured it with a hose clamp around the widest point. It won't move and even if it does, it'll only get as far as the top of the hose.

 

I poured another 1.5 gallons of water into the radiator and even that didn't fill it all the way, so I didn't know what to expect. Secured the cap, for which I made another rubber gasket to really make it seal tightly, hit the starter and ran it up to a high idle (maybe 1500-2000 RPM). A fairly steady drip came from under the cap, but we left it alone and sure enough, it gradually abated until there was no more leak at all. Using my infrared thermometer gun, I checked various places around the engine and radiator and got some inconsistent results but nothing above about 205 degrees. The outlet right at the cylinder head was 205, which I expected, but it read 180 or so by the time it hit the top of the hose and the radiator inlet. Odd. The radiator was about 180-185 at the top tank and anywhere from 140 to 190 at various points around the core. Also Odd. The water pump was pretty consistently 205, which was very odd, since it was pulling cool coolant directly from the bottom of the radiator, where the heat gun said it was about 170. Either my heat gun is inconsistent, or the readings were off because of the fan wash, or something else. But the important thing was that it didn't puke, it didn't steam, and the gauge on the dash showed perhaps 5/8, not 3/4 or 7/8 to the top. A definite improvement--enough that I'm willing to try driving it.

 

Filler1.thumb.jpg.7c18ee60d319e8ed02e9b9052a12db6f.jpg

 

I looked carefully at the radiator core and I believe it is a new, modern core. The fins are MUCH denser than those on my '41 Buick and look very much like those on a new car's radiator. I can't see the tubes inside because of the way the tank and filler are arranged, but denser, smaller tubes would certainly explain the screwy flow rates and you can't see a flashlight shining through it. I climbed under the car and put my hand on the front of the radiator and the fan, even at 2000 RPM, was barely pulling any air through the core--it's just too dense. My conclusion is that this is a new core that isn't right for an old car. The restrictors will probably be a big improvement, just as David suggests, and it explains why the fan is totally inadequate. I will probably try to either build some kind of shroud or replace  the fan and see if a modern flex fan of some kind can be bolted on in its place. It's just a little, weenie 4-blade fan that looks like it came from a Model A. If I have a bigger flex fan in there, I can paint it satin black and few people will ever know the difference. At speed, I think it should be just fine now that the shutters are wide open.

 

1197452489_s-l1600(1).thumb.jpg.77c07e0b423e3718c4eb9307782130dd.jpg
Factory fan is pretty light-duty

 

der-17918_w.jpg?rep=False
Maybe something more like this?

 

All things considered, I think we have a reasonable improvement in cooling performance. It will surely need additional tweaks and servicing, but at least I can spend the next two days driving it before we need to head for the show. My headlights will be back in the morning, so I'll put it back together and spend the rest of the day stressing it on the road. We'll see what it does...

 

PS: Thank you, David!

 

 

Edited by Matt Harwood (see edit history)
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I am going to be a contrarian here.  I don't understand how the water pump can push too much water into the top of the radiator for it to handle. If the radiator can't handle it, how does the pump get enough water at the suction to push too much into the top?  Unless I am missing something, can't be so.  The radiator needs to be pulled and RODDED out, I think. At the same time the bugs and crap will be cleaned from the fins. And I would not take a previous owners word for it.   Everytime time I have had cooling problems, the radiator was to blame. Everytime. 

 

  My .02.

 

  Ben

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I understand what you're saying, Ben, and believe me, I stressed over this A LOT. The car has never overheated and I don't think it was ever in danger of doing so, it was just HOT. Testing for the last two days suggests that after running for a while, the pump was cavitating--pulling air and water from the bottom, not just water. That was one of the clues that something was amiss due to flow, not temperature. We could feel vibrations through all the hoses and lines, and even inside the car in the heater core--cavitation. It was definitely not flowing at the same rate throughout the system and there was a lot of air being introduced to the system as it ran. Air is a poor coolant, which explains some of the extra heat.

 

Looking at the radiator fins (I'll take some close-up photos) I'm fairly certain that it's a modern core installed recently. It's MUCH denser than the one in my '41 Buick, although I can't see the tubes inside. It was expertly done, but I don't think water flows through it at the same rate as the original radiator, hence the problems. It isn't overheating, it's just pushing out the water through the cap (not the overflow, which is located at the very peak of the upper tank). That suggests that the bottleneck is right where the two inlet tubes and the filler neck all come together. Removing water from the system didn't stop it from pushing the water out, it just got hot faster and eventually started steaming. The restrictors have cured 95% of the problem (still one or two drips this evening when I started it to test my wiring work) and it is running cooler as well. The fan doesn't move much air through that super-dense core, either, contributing to the problem when it's at rest. As soon as I installed the restrictors, the cavitation stopped which probably helped the system work better. 

 

As I mentioned above, I had a '38 Packard with the exact same problem. Not overheating, but losing a lot of coolant after having a new radiator core installed. The solution was to modify the water pump to be less aggressive, which is essentially what the restrictors are doing. I may even experiment with restricting it a little more to see if I can eliminate the leak entirely.

 

I'm 98% certain the radiator is clean, just too modern. I'll have to live with that because I'm not tearing the front of this car apart to get it out and build a new one. We'll see how it drives this weekend. If it overheats, well, I'll have to pursue some other remedies, but I bet it keeps its cool now that it's flowing at a more reasonable rate. I think more restriction might not be a bad idea--water is staying in the radiator longer, the water pump isn't cavitating, and coolant isn't leaking. Win-win.

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