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Boyce Motometers


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<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Can the thermometer be replaced in a Boyce Motometer? Is there a rebuild kit available? (similar to the quails)

Thanks, Ron </div></div>

OK,

Is the thermometer there, but just has the red dye "stuck" up in the body of the thing, or is it missing entirely?

If all that is wrong is the red dye having gotten reversed, up in the tube, instead of down in the bulb where it belongs, that is correctible. This seems to happen if the Motometer has been left laying on its side for a period of time.

I have managed to get the red dye (and the "bubble" at the other end of it) reversed, back to where it belongs by simply banging the bottom of the Motometer on a spare tire (you need a soft, but very surface for this, and your spare tire is perfect!), with repeated heatings of the Motometer by sticking the bottom end in hot water--just below boiling. It can take repeated pounding and heating in hot water, but every time I tried it, it worked like a charm!

To replace the thermometer, you have to remove the metal plug at the bottom of the Motometer probe (the portion that extends down into the radiator neck)--it's just crimped in place, and then "dig out" the grout that surrounds and secures the glass thermometer--use old dental scrapers for this, they work just fine. There are replacement thermometers out there, just get one, make sure the red dye is where it should be, then insert into the probe, up into the window area of the unit, and pack with fresh grout (like tile grout you would use between tiles on the walls of a shower in the bathroom. Then, a bit of JB Weld epoxy to seal off the bottom of the probe, and you have a repaired Motometer.

Back in my college years of the 60's, I restored perhaps a hundred Motometers in this fashion, for extra cash to fund my college hi-jinks and my Model A Fords.

Art Anderson

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Art,

Thanks, you are undoubtably a wealth of knowledge! I have never seen any red, in least while driving. Never thought of the possibility the dye got stuck, I will look. Overall the meter is in great shape, I will fix it if possible. Do you know what spark plug Ford used in the Model A, the 3X is supposedly a replacement, so far I havent read anywhere what went in the car originally.

Thanks again, Ron

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<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Champion Model 3X was original equipment.

They make a modern Champion Model 3X that is close, but not exactly the same as the orignal. </div></div>

My memory tells me that Champion C4's were the OEM plug for Model A's--a two-piece plug, that could be taken apart for cleaning the electrodes by wire brush. Buried in my lock-n-store I have something like 10 sets of 4 of NOS C4's, left over from my days as a Model A driver and restorer back in the 60's.

Art Anderson

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<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Art,

Thanks, you are undoubtably a wealth of knowledge! I have never seen any red, in least while driving. Never thought of the possibility the dye got stuck, I will look. Overall the meter is in great shape, I will fix it if possible. Do you know what spark plug Ford used in the Model A, the 3X is supposedly a replacement, so far I havent read anywhere what went in the car originally.

Thanks again, Ron </div></div>

If the dye were "stuck" as in reversed in the thermometer, you would definitely see it, as it would be all the way up to the top of the glass.

It's not at all visible even on a nice hot radiator shell? Barring any breakage (which you would see, given that the bottom inch or so of the glass thermometer is fixed quite solidly in the grout-filled probe) the dye is in there. Now, have you tested this Motometer in HOT water, say 200-212 degrees? If there is dye there, nestled all snug at the bottom of the thermometer, it should rise very quickly in the glass. Remove the Motometer from the radiator cap, and immerse the bulb of it as deeply enough in hot water, so that the bulb heats along its length--you should see red dye.

This leads me to wonder if you have enough water in your radiator--the water should be up to the overflow, and stay there, that will put the bulb of the Motometer into the coolant deeply enough to register. Motometers don't work all that well merely exposed to the steam coming off hot radiator water.

Art Anderson

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Art,

Took Motometer off, and took the wreathed covers off to get a better look at the celsor. Its not stuck up top. Put it in boiling water for 5 minutes,no red. The bulb would not have been submersed in the coolant, I need to check that. If I have to get another meter, no big deal.

So C4 plugs were the originals? You wouldnt want to sell a few sets would you? About 90% of this car is close to original, I'm trying to put all original parts or parts from that era back on it.

Thanks, Ron

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Art,

I don't want to upset you, but you might want to get a copy of the MAFCA Judging Standards...Check out Page 2-7.

The first section on spark plugs reads, "Champion 3X spark plugs were used throughout Model A Ford Production." It then goes on to explain two small differences in the plugs during Model 3X production, but they were all 3X's. The modern 3X's are a very good reproduction, but they are slightly different from the original. (I have some of each.)

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<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Art,

I don't want to upset you, but you might want to get a copy of the MAFCA Judging Standards...Check out Page 2-7.

The first section on spark plugs reads, "Champion 3X spark plugs were used throughout Model A Ford Production." It then goes on to explain two small differences in the plugs during Model 3X production, but they were all 3X's. The modern 3X's are a very good reproduction, but they are slightly different from the original. (I have some of each.) </div></div>

I believe that if you look it up in the original service manuals and service letters from Ford regarding the Model A, you will find that Champion's C4 was the OEM spark plug for Model A. Somewhere along in the late 50's, Champion quit listing the C4, so Model A owners were having to substitute another plug from Champion (or even from other makers) for their worn out C4's. The orignal C4's are a 5-rib insulator design, white (of course), with CHAMPION and C4 imprinted in red--in the middle 1960's, with nearly 2 million Model A's estimated to be in existence, and Model A restoration at almost a frenzied peak, Champion produced a reissue of the C4, same 5 ribbed white insulator, but with CHAMPION and C4 imprinted in either blue or green.

In addition, I purchased my case lot of NOS C4's from an obsolete parts vendor in downtown Fairfield, IA, in 1964, the carton having a Railway Express shipping label FROM Ford, to the forerunner of the 60's Ford dealership in Fairfield, dated in 1931. Additionally, my mentor on restoring my first Model A (a '29 Tudor which I restored while using it as a driver to and from my residence hall in downtown Fairfield to the then-Parsons College campus when it wasn't torn down for some project) was a then elderly gentleman who had workd at that Ford dealership and Jefferson Motors as a mechanic from the time he was 15 (in 1914) until his retirement in 1962, and was a veritable repository as to what was correct on Model A's, as well as a tremendous source for OEM Model A Ford parts.

I believe that the Champion 3X was a replacement for the C4, but cannot determine from Champion exactly that online, as the company's website shows neither plug as a current product of Champion. Further, C4's are nearly unobtainium nowadays. I managed to find one set of four and a couple of individual ones on eBay this morning.

Art Anderson

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Art,

I was born in 1960, so I can't say what is or is not correct for the Model A era from memory. I am on my third Model A, but I am certainly not an expert. I also have a friend who worked on Model A's at the Ford Dealership when the cars were new.

While MAFCA is only one of my information sources on this, I suspect that their judging manual is correct. All of the literature that I have says 3X was original equipment. I would certainly love to look at any documentation that you have that contradicts the literature that I have. I don't want to be disagreeable, but I have to disagree with you unless you have documentation that you would like to share.

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I guess this doesnt surprise me, I have gotten different answers, and havent read anything concrete about the original plugs. Only that the 3X was the original, and the ones now are really reproductions of the original 3X. I use the C16C now, its considered the "go" plug, pretty neat looking though, works fine. But you both sparked my interest in researching the C4, and I will pass on anything that I find. I have not even seen an original owners manual, but I gather the original plug info is not in there, or this question would be an easy answer. Thanks for the feed back, I appreciate it.I am new to the Model A's, so this kind of stuff is interesting.

Back to the Motometer, looking into the top of the radiator, its hard to believe the thermometer tip even touches the water, I do have the wings between the meter and cap, I also wonder if the over flow in my radiator is too low?

Happy Thanksgiving

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  • 3 months later...

I followed the instructions for the removal of the thermometer from the motor meter, but have been unable to find a replacement thermometer. I would appreciate information from you (or from anyone else)as to where I can find the thermometer. The typical parts supply houses I have contacted do not stock them.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Sorry this took so long, computer was down.

I ended up buying another wreathed motometer from Brattons. The way I see it the motometer did not really come with these vehicles anyway. And if the cars cooling system is working correctly, the motometer never registers because the temp needed to rise the red dye is never met unless of course you do have an issue and you overheat. My cars temp only reaches around 140 degrees F. But I still have not driven it on a real hot day either, this summer will tell!

Ron

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  • 4 weeks later...

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">I followed the instructions for the removal of the thermometer from the motor meter, but have been unable to find a replacement thermometer. I would appreciate information from you (or from anyone else)as to where I can find the thermometer. The typical parts supply houses I have contacted do not stock them. </div></div>

I had looked for about 5 years for replacement bulbs and just gave up and bought a new one. I even considered taking the bulb out of a new one and using it to replace the one in my original casting. I'd corner folks at shows and at the Hershey meet every year to no avail. Shame one of us here didn't snarf up about a hundred bulbs back in the 60's when it sounds like they were still out there.

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  • 7 years later...
Quote:

Art,

Thanks, you are undoubtably a wealth of knowledge! I have never seen any red, in least while driving. Never thought of the possibility the dye got stuck, I will look. Overall the meter is in great shape, I will fix it if possible. Do you know what spark plug Ford used in the Model A, the 3X is supposedly a replacement, so far I havent read anywhere what went in the car originally.

Thanks again, Ron

If the dye were "stuck" as in reversed in the thermometer, you would definitely see it, as it would be all the way up to the top of the glass.

It's not at all visible even on a nice hot radiator shell? Barring any breakage (which you would see, given that the bottom inch or so of the glass thermometer is fixed quite solidly in the grout-filled probe) the dye is in there. Now, have you tested this Motometer in HOT water, say 200-212 degrees? If there is dye there, nestled all snug at the bottom of the thermometer, it should rise very quickly in the glass. Remove the Motometer from the radiator cap, and immerse the bulb of it as deeply enough in hot water, so that the bulb heats along its length--you should see red dye.

This leads me to wonder if you have enough water in your radiator--the water should be up to the overflow, and stay there, that will put the bulb of the Motometer into the coolant deeply enough to register. Motometers don't work all that well merely exposed to the steam coming off hot radiator water.

Art Anderson

This his saved the day for me! I bought a moto meter on ebay but the red was all the way to the top.....and it's 19 degrees in my shop. I tapped it on my wood workbench about 1500 taps the red went down to where is should be. I tested it in almost boiling water and it works perfectly! Thanks Art!

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I finally heard from Myer's, they have the Thermometer unit, it's the thermometer and the Brass part that attaches to the Dog Bone, but it only works if you have a re-Pop, won't work on an original cap. It cost $30 plus tax and shipping, comes out to about $35. It's in their Catalog under Accessories. I went ahead and ordered it. Thanks for the info you found.

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  • 9 months later...

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