Brass radiator... clear coat?

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Jeff5015
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Brass radiator... clear coat?

Post by Jeff5015 » Sun Feb 17, 2019 11:14 am

I would like to ask what the general consensus is on clear-coating a brass radiator.

I have mine off at the moment and would like to know if I should put on some clear lacquer after I shine it up.

Thank you,

Jeff (in Florida)
1916 Touring

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Steve Jelf
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Re: Brass radiator... clear coat?

Post by Steve Jelf » Sun Feb 17, 2019 11:20 am

I wouldn't. A clear coat will keep it shiny longer than no coat, but when it eventually needs to be redone (it will) you'll have to remove the clear coat. It won't be fun.
The inevitable often happens.
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Re: Brass radiator... clear coat?

Post by Nv Bob » Sun Feb 17, 2019 11:43 am

Engine high temp clear works best
But personaly i wouldnt never coat brass
Even lights look terrible in time

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Re: Brass radiator... clear coat?

Post by twrenn » Sun Feb 17, 2019 11:48 am

NO!!!
Why risk ruining a good radiator even with high heat coatings. Doesnt take but 15 minutes, maybe once every 6 weeks to polish it if you like to keep it looking nice like I do. I find the effort very gratifying. Just my 2 cents.

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Re: Brass radiator... clear coat?

Post by rnwilliams » Sun Feb 17, 2019 12:10 pm

I have clear coated other brass parts with tongue oil which worked pretty well for a while but eventually I had to strip it off. I never did my radiator mostly because of the heat. I vote NO. I now just polish all of my brass. Not to bad of a job if you don't let it go to long.
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Re: Brass radiator... clear coat?

Post by Jugster » Sun Feb 17, 2019 12:29 pm

buffer.jpg
The heat generated by your radiator makes the situation a whole lot different than lacquering things like door-knobs and candle-sticks. If you hate polishing, get one of these small orbital buffers from Harbor Freight:

https://www.harborfreight.com/6-inch-co ... 90219.html


It's cheap as dirt and makes polishing the radiator a breeze (but you must dismount the headlights to gain good access—no biggie).
Use a polish that has little or no wax in it because wax, when heated, fogs over. I prefer Prism Polish because it works well and a little goes a long way, so it's fairly cheap.


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Re: Brass radiator... clear coat?

Post by Scott_Conger » Sun Feb 17, 2019 12:57 pm

Tim Wrenn...not picking on you, but using your analysis, here's my take...

it's one thing to live in the Mid-west and polish brass every six weeks and it is another thing to live next to the Gulf of Mexico and humidity.

When I bought my '13 out of Virginia, it was freshly polished...I trucked it to my dad's in TN where it sat for 5 months in an unheated, un-airconditioned garage. When I picked it up to bring to FL, the brass still looked great, though starting to bloom orange. After getting back to FL, within 2 weeks it was brown. In 3 weeks it had green corrosion from perspiration that I thought I had previously carefully and fully wiped off. In an unheated un-airconditioned 1926 garage, 2 blocks from salt water, keeping brass polished was a curse. I fully understand why the OP is asking this question!

To the OP. I think a version of "dipping laquer" would be a good choice as it will be quite clear and when things finally go south, which will be a long time, it can easily be stripped. Another choice is a good hard wax...an automotive wax with a lot of carneuba (SP?) in it. A quick internet search on either will yield results for you. Either choice would be excellent for the smaller fiddly things. You may find the radiatior may be just as easy to go over with polish occasionally, but I personally would go the wax route on it if I was still in FL like you.
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Re: Brass radiator... clear coat?

Post by twrenn » Sun Feb 17, 2019 1:36 pm

Scott: You do bring up a good point. Especially in the "salt air" states. I forgot about those. But as for humidity though, we have just as much here along the lakes really as they do at the gulf or the two outer coasts. Thankfully, we don't have the salt
to go with it like they do. No doubt, that takes it's toll on "Patina" much quicker. But I still wouldn't coat them. Just suck it up and polish more often! Cause I like 'em shiny, that of course is a whole new can of worms that has been opened in the past!! :lol: ;)


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Re: Brass radiator... clear coat?

Post by Scott_Conger » Sun Feb 17, 2019 2:16 pm

Tim

my grandparents lived in Canton. I know you guys do get the humidity. In fact, the hottest I've ever been when touring was in MN in July. Over 100F and oppressive humidity. The big difference is the salt-air. Where we were in FL, screening would corrode, aluminum doors would grow white "fluff" and polished brass...fagedaboudit. Air conditioned garages make that issue go away, but I didn't have that luxury. WY is an entirely different story now. My machines in FL would initially "sweat" when cold turned to humid. My first experience with that was when we moved into the place and I left the garage closed up for a month in November while we got the house situated. I went out and the machinery was wet with puddles of moisture and orange jelly sitting everywhere. When cleaned, the jelly was dark black spots with pitting, everywhere...some on 100 year old machines which had been pristine prior to that. I WAS SICK! That was a bad day for me. :x

A great big dehumidifier took care of the sweating issue for the next 20 years...went through 3 or 4 of them during that period.

In fact, maybe a dehumidifier after polishing is a better advice to the OP.
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Re: Brass radiator... clear coat?

Post by Raoul von S. » Sun Feb 17, 2019 2:27 pm

This subject comes up over and over again. I always ask myself, why do people like polished
brass so much ? I prefer a patinead finish, and all that sparkle just looks like a PITA to fuss and
worry about. But it clearly is a thing for a lot of people to subject themselves to all that bother.
I look at it as being similar to paying good money to get beat over the head. Lots of trouble for
an end result I don't like. Maybe the best answer is to change one's idea of what looks good ???
"Working today, for a seamless tomorrow"

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Re: Brass radiator... clear coat?

Post by Jeff5015 » Sun Feb 17, 2019 5:24 pm

I never even considered the salt air was the main culprit. Living 1500 feet from the gulf coast it does get salty. The first thing I'm going to try is the wax method, Much easier to strip when the time comes. I'll see how that works.

Thanks for all the input.

Jeff
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Re: Brass radiator... clear coat?

Post by Andyclary » Sun Feb 17, 2019 8:28 pm

I don't know what kind of polish you use, some maintain the shine much longer. I did a non scientific test a couple years ago. Polished a few brass coupons with different polishes and let them sit. Found that Maas gave an excellent shine that lasted the longest. That said I have a tube of Wenol to use up before I change brands. Your mileage may vary.

Andy

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Re: Brass radiator... clear coat?

Post by bobster1 » Mon Feb 18, 2019 9:02 am

1st let me say..... I HATE polishing brass! I have clear coated everything EXCEPT for the radiator. Why not the radiator, if you ever need to make a repair it could be very difficult to clean for a good solder joint!!!!
This advice is only worth what you paid for it.
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Re: Brass radiator... clear coat?

Post by TRDxB2 » Mon Feb 18, 2019 10:27 pm

I am using these Rust-oleum Clear products as appropriate; manifild and other engine parts as I go.
IMG_20190104_071328_975.jpg
In the process of a build so I have no results from heat exposure. The engine enamel is good to 500 degrees and the High Temp to 2000. Hard to get locally - online at ZORO (500) and Summit (2000)
500 2000.jpg
500 2000.jpg (38.64 KiB) Viewed 1721 times

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Re: Brass radiator... clear coat?

Post by rnkugel » Thu Feb 21, 2019 9:39 am

I have a complete set of cotton/canvas covers for all my brass parts. 1915 Touring. They work great in prolonging a nice polish job. When my dad owned the car and living on the East coast of Florida, I was impressed on how long the brass looked good. Sets or individual covers can be purchased at the suppliers. In my opinion, if you have a brass car, these covers are a must.
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Re: Brass radiator... clear coat?

Post by GJScholz » Thu Feb 21, 2019 9:52 am

rnkugel,
Where do I get these covers you mentioned? What search terms do I use?
Do you have them for your lights as well as the radiator?
Last edited by GJScholz on Thu Feb 21, 2019 10:08 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Brass radiator... clear coat?

Post by GJScholz » Thu Feb 21, 2019 9:53 am

Found lamp covers:

https://www.modeltford.com/model-t-part ... ht-covers/

I notice that these are flannel lined cotton, is that better than canvas?
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Re: Brass radiator... clear coat?

Post by rnkugel » Thu Feb 21, 2019 10:57 am

Greg-
Yes I have them for radiator and all my lights. Mine are a light canvas on outside and flannel lined on inside. I think the canvas is just "old school". I know MACS sells a set, but is for up to a 1914 so it also includes a cover for the carbide generator. Don't know if you need that or not. You may want to reach out to guys here on the Forum or the many Facebook sites to see if someone has any to sell. I did have a second complete set but sold it a few years back to a fellow T friend restoring a 1915. Also with the big swap meets coming up, maybe someone could keep an eye out there for you. In the end you will be glad once you have them. Good hunting.
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Re: Brass radiator... clear coat?

Post by rnkugel » Thu Feb 21, 2019 11:04 am

IMG_2417.JPG
Greg-
This is what I have. I do have 14 headlamps, that's why those covers look bigger than for a 15 headlamp.
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Re: Brass radiator... clear coat?

Post by rnkugel » Thu Feb 21, 2019 11:06 am

Maybe one other note. I do not put cover on radiator after use. I wait until the next day so it can cool down.
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Re: Brass radiator... clear coat?

Post by Steve Jelf » Thu Feb 21, 2019 11:07 am

Of course, if you have a sewing machine...
The inevitable often happens.
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Re: Brass radiator... clear coat?

Post by Mark Gregush » Thu Feb 21, 2019 11:45 am

I know the voices aren't real but damn they have some good ideas! :roll:

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Re: Brass radiator... clear coat?

Post by GJScholz » Thu Feb 21, 2019 5:29 pm

Hey!
This is awesome!
I have a 14, but my carbide generator is black.

I happen to have a wife who has a sewing machine.
I'll bet I could make a deal.

Thanks for the info and pictures guys!

Thank you!
Greg
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Re: Brass radiator... clear coat?

Post by Scott_Conger » Thu Feb 21, 2019 5:36 pm

My wife sewed up some really nice draw-string covers using green "silver" anti-tarnish cloth as a lining inside nice black cotton durable covering. They work very nicely.
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Re: Brass radiator... clear coat?

Post by SurfCityGene » Fri Feb 22, 2019 1:11 pm

You'll cuss yourself someday for trying some kind of clearcoat... The best is to make some covers from the material used for your silverware. You can find it online in different colors. My wife made some for my '12 Torpedo from maroon anti-tarnish cloth like Scott. I live close to the ocean and the salt breeze blows directly into my garage when the door is open. If I forget to put the covers back on I can tell the difference in less than a week. It's very easy to sew up some bags to cover all your brass and well worth the trouble of putting them on and having to take them all off. I cover everything except the windshield and the flex horn tube.

One of the Easiest polishes to use when the brass gets very tarnished is Brite Boy. It cleans off the tarnish with very little effort BUT it doesn't give that great shine that brass nuts like to see. Some very good polishes that also leave a protecting film are Mothers BILLET, Prism and Blue Magic. There are many others that I've tried but those are my three I use.
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Re: Brass radiator... clear coat?

Post by Mindless Automaton » Sat Feb 23, 2019 11:33 pm

I'm wondering is beeswax would make a good alternative. It wipes off with gas on a rag.

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Re: Brass radiator... clear coat?

Post by BobD » Sun Feb 24, 2019 12:12 pm

No experience with brass radiators.

I have found Lemon Pledge works well to delay tarnishing of brass clock components I work with in my other “hobby”. After polishing or graining, I simply spray it on then wipe off with a clean lint free towel.


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Re: Brass radiator... clear coat?

Post by Kingsford-Smith » Mon Feb 25, 2019 12:34 am

I work in an auto museuum with a set of Ford letter cars so lots of brass.Would not consider clear coating.Even the best product will yellow the brass and it won't last and is a big job to remove.Best plan is what Reuben has done and use covers

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