Jump to content

Storing Prewar Radiators


Recommended Posts

I have a few prewar brass tank with honeycomb core radiators that I recently got repaired.  These have the original tanks and maybe the  cores might be original or early replacements. When I was at the radiator shop (one of the last in my area that's been working on these since the early 40's) the old owner said I need to keep water in the tanks or the old brass tanks will crack. Also he said the water cant just sit or they will rot at the seems.  Is he  correct in his advice?

 

The cars these are going on wont be finished for a few years and I don't want to ruin the original radiators. I was think of building a simple system with a timer and fish tank that would circulate the water.

 

What are others doing to store their vintage radiators?

Link to post
Share on other sites

My 1917 White sat for 75 years with the radiator empty, and when I recommissioned the car the radiator didn’t leak. I have never heard of keeping fluid in a radiator with brass tanks.......and I don’t think there is a pre war car in the world that didn’t have brass tanks........between 1910 and 1940.

Edited by edinmass (see edit history)
  • Like 2
  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

I can't imagine it matters.......even if you use an acid etching paint........it is going to vent and not eat away at anything. I think hard water is probably what destroys most radiators. They end up having a positive electric charge making the system a low voltage battery, and over YEARS I'm sure that could have an effect. 

Edited by edinmass (see edit history)
  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

That's just what the man said about my radiator that they fixed for me . I think what they were concerned about was any scale or corrosion shoulder out and scale off when dried  out and get into the passages similar to place in your heart   

Link to post
Share on other sites

Is the inside brass or 'terne plate' with lead?  If its lead in there that might be what the radiator shop guy is concerned about, the leading will have had fluxes used and they are corrosive - that greenish stuff you see on the joints in your houses water pipes?  Maybe you could flush it with baking soda laced water to neutralize the flux if you're concerned.  

Link to post
Share on other sites

Mark, 

 

You don't want to paint your radiator with "regular" paint. It will insulate the radiator and prevent it from transferring heat.

 

They make a special radiator paint that colors the radiator but does not interfere with heat transfer. 

 

Most auto paint stores carry spray cans of the stuff.

  • Like 5
Link to post
Share on other sites

Mine did sit for about 75 years without water, but it also had cracks at the seams on the tanks (the core was perfect). Don't know if that's why the car was parked or the damage was from sitting and drying out. I will first start with flushing and  neutralizing.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...