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Radiator: re- core or new

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A while back, we pulled my radiator while rebuilding the engine.  We flushed it and pressure tested it.  There was one or two pinhole leaks near the top half but nothing bigger than that.  After my choke stuck, a lot of coolant came out after the engine stopped.  I would say about a gallon.  It was mostly dark green with some slight rust tinge.  I am wondering if I would be able to find someone local to re-core it would be better in the long run to just get a new radiator?

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Benefits of AACA Membership.

I would go with a quality recore. Get the best core that you can. Don't skimp on the quality, even if you have to wait to save enough to buy it. An inadequate core will always cause problems, some minor others disastrous.

 

The main difference between a new radiator and a recored radiator is the top and bottom tanks. A recore uses your original tanks and mounting, a new one supplies new tanks and mounting that may require some modification to fit.

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Posted (edited)

Lincoln Zephyrs are prone to gushing over and  throwing  up after running at a fast idle with no air being blown thru radiator. A re cored radiator is a good start. When you rebuilt engine was the block tanked boiled  and flushed out?  Lots of gunk seems to accumulate in blocks over the years. mice/rat nests, paper, rags sludge. Cracks in heads and blocks can be detected after a block tanking.  . Leaking head gaskets and retarded ignition can also cause overheating.  In your" Choke is Stuck" post you mentioned the motor would not turn over properly, may be there was water in a cylinder due to a weeping  head gasket and it had a  hydraulic affect slowing or stalling motor roll over. 

Edited by 38ShortopConv. (see edit history)
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If you can find a good radiator shop they can build you a new core and keep it original.  Cores today are aluminum not brass like the 30's & 40's.  Mine cost me over $800 some 10 years ago, still works great.  I do have the baffles behind the water pumps which helps get the water to the rear of the engine as the ole V12's notoriously run hot.  I would never drive it too long at high speeds or on mountain roads to get it too hot.  I live in a tropical climate and we don't use thermostats usually with radiators.  Mine are installed but I don't drive much so no problem.  The Lincoln V12's used thermostat's inside the two top radiator hoses like the old Fords of the day, but it works well without them unless you live in the colder climates and need to get the engine up to temperature faster as the engine builds heat fairly quickly.  When Skip Haney rebuilds the water pumps he puts new impellers in the with better bearings and seals to get the best cooling possible including the issues mentioned in the first part of this posting.   

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On 6/29/2020 at 7:31 PM, 38ShortopConv. said:

Lincoln Zephyrs are prone to gushing over and  throwing  up after running at a fast idle with no air being blown thru radiator. A re cored radiator is a good start. When you rebuilt engine was the block tanked boiled  and flushed out?  Lots of gunk seems to accumulate in blocks over the years. mice/rat nests, paper, rags sludge. Cracks in heads and blocks can be detected after a block tanking.  . Leaking head gaskets and retarded ignition can also cause overheating.  In your" Choke is Stuck" post you mentioned the motor would not turn over properly, may be there was water in a cylinder due to a weeping  head gasket and it had a  hydraulic affect slowing or stalling motor roll over. 

Thanks, we did flush the block when we pulled it and you are right-a lot of gunk did come out.  We did not tank it however.  Everything looked good to the naked eye-knock on wood!
I had an in-line fuel filter that somehow got twisted and it wasn’t allowing fuel pickup from the tank.

I definitely need to get the choke unstuck.  The radiator is going to have to be on hold until then.  That was the first time I ever ran it that high but not by choice.  It might be worth replacing the cable.  Is there supposed to be any lubrication on the slides for the choke and the throttle?  It looks like metal on metal.

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On 6/30/2020 at 1:58 AM, Ray500 said:

If you can find a good radiator shop they can build you a new core and keep it original.  Cores today are aluminum not brass like the 30's & 40's.  Mine cost me over $800 some 10 years ago, still works great.  I do have the baffles behind the water pumps which helps get the water to the rear of the engine as the ole V12's notoriously run hot.  I would never drive it too long at high speeds or on mountain roads to get it too hot.  I live in a tropical climate and we don't use thermostats usually with radiators.  Mine are installed but I don't drive much so no problem.  The Lincoln V12's used thermostat's inside the two top radiator hoses like the old Fords of the day, but it works well without them unless you live in the colder climates and need to get the engine up to temperature faster as the engine builds heat fairly quickly.  When Skip Haney rebuilds the water pumps he puts new impellers in the with better bearings and seals to get the best cooling possible including the issues mentioned in the first part of this posting.   

Currently, I am looking locally to find a shop to do a re-core.  I did have Skip rebuild both water pumps.  Thanks!

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Shops that rebuild in brass are out there, you might have to send to to another area to get it done.  You don't want any aluminum cores like new cars have as they will rot away in time.  Also aluminum usually have plastic tanks on them.  Mos vintage Lincoln radiators are brass all around and the core can be soldered into the tank/frame and give a long service if you keep coolant in them.  Proper radiator caps are also important!

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4 hours ago, Ray500 said:

Shops that rebuild in brass are out there, you might have to send to to another area to get it done.  You don't want any aluminum cores like new cars have as they will rot away in time.  Also aluminum usually have plastic tanks on them.  Mos vintage Lincoln radiators are brass all around and the core can be soldered into the tank/frame and give a long service if you keep coolant in them.  Proper radiator caps are also important!

Thanks.  I found a local shop that does it right.  I just have to pull it now!

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Re lube on choke and throttle slides. Not usually, may be a bit of dry lube if you can get it in there. A light wipe of grease on inner cable inside outer sheath could be useful. 

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22 minutes ago, 38ShortopConv. said:

Re lube on choke and throttle slides. Not usually, may be a bit of dry lube if you can get it in there. A light wipe of grease on inner cable inside outer sheath could be useful. 

Thank you.

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If you have an aluminum core installed, you need to make sure that the corrosion inhibitors in your antifreeze are in good shape. The aluminum and cast iron interact with the coolant and cause electrolysis of the aluminum. If it was my car, with an aluminum core, I would change the coolant every year to replenish the corrosion inhibitors. A sealed system could be changed less often, but not more than 2 years between changes.

 

If you are sure that it is just the cable that is stuck (choke moves freely with cable disconnected), you can remove the cable from the car and lubricate the cable along its length with a thin oil like 3IN1. The slide at the dash can also be lubed with it, but you will have to wipe it dry. Silicone lube works pretty good when sprayed on the dash end of the cable.

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I pulled the radiator this past weekend with slightly cooler temperatures.  I took it to a local shop and he is going to boil it and pressure test it.  He said he can also recore it if needed. Thanks for all the help!

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 Got the radiator back.  Boiled it twice, welded two holes, and straightened the fins.  No recore required.  Is the brass piece the thermostat?  Any suggestions to get that piece in?  It seems like it wants to cross-thread.

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That looks like the temperature sender to the gauge on the dash.  Thermostats were the Ford type inserted inside the 2 top radiator hoses with outside clamps to keep them in place.  In warm climates most don't need them.  Those old engines worked better at operating temperature, and of course in frigid climates people needed heat to keep warm inside the vehicle with the attached heaters either hot water or manifold type!  Cleaning out the core is great, but remember those cores are thin brass and it will deteriorate over time and use and will eventually leak in different spots.  When I had mine done some time ago I had a new core installed so I hopefully put those issues behind the whole project! 

Edited by Ray500 (see edit history)
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