IR Thermometer Readings on head and radiator

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Bmettli
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IR Thermometer Readings on head and radiator

Post by Bmettli » Thu Jun 20, 2019 11:42 am

what are your IR Temperature readings for your cars?

I have a newly rebuilt motor, but I suspect my radiator has begun to bite the dust. My timing is ok, carb settings ok, but the motor meter displays pretty hot after a mile or two of driving at low speeds around my neighborhood.

My head readings with the IR thermometer at the center were 354 and the lower block was about 250. How does that compare with normal operating temperature?

I said I’d remember the other temps at the top tank and manifold, but sh*t I forget them already. I’ll have to report back.

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Re: IR Thermometer Readings on head and radiator

Post by George House » Thu Jun 20, 2019 11:50 am

I’m sorry I can’t answer your specific question Brian. I don’t have an IR thermometer but running hot is fairly common in a newly ringed, newly babbited engine. Just run it like you stole it but keep the coolant level up.
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Re: IR Thermometer Readings on head and radiator

Post by Altair » Thu Jun 20, 2019 12:03 pm

The Model T cooling system was skimpy at best, with the head and just the top of the block being cooled via a thermosyphon system was barley adequate, hence the accessory water pumps. A model T steaming out the radiator was not that uncommon. However with a full system and clean radiator they were ok. Some early folks used kerosene as antifreeze and ran kerosene year-round.


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Re: IR Thermometer Readings on head and radiator

Post by Hal » Thu Jun 20, 2019 12:11 pm

If the engine is brand new, I would wait until it is broken in before I panicked. On mine, I can hold my hand on the pipe between the two lower hoses. If I couldn't, I would suspect my radiator.

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Re: IR Thermometer Readings on head and radiator

Post by jsaylor » Thu Jun 20, 2019 12:15 pm

Try taking an IR reading at the top of the radiator tank and at the bottom. Compare the temp drop. And yea a newly rebuilt engine will run a little warmer until it breaks in.


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Re: IR Thermometer Readings on head and radiator

Post by Scott_Conger » Thu Jun 20, 2019 2:07 pm

the motor meter displays pretty hot after a mile or two of driving at low speeds around my neighborhood.
An awful lot of perfectly good Model T's will look just like this. It is one of the worst things you can do with a T with a new motor, too. You want those rings to SEAT and that isn't going to happen properly puttering from stop sign to stop sign. Get on the road, limit the speed to 0-25 MPH and don't be afraid to use the accelerator to "push" the engine some...just don't over-rev it.

Your engine rebuilder should have given you driving instructions. It doesn't matter how hot anything is other than the neck of the radiator and that will tell you by steaming or boiling over. Testing the radiator by hand, meaning feeling the top fins with the palm of the hand and then the bottom fins with the palm of the hand should show a marked drop in temperature (at the bottom) if the radiator is working...you do this test when you stop and immediately check. If you shut down and wait 5 minutes, it isn't a good test as the entire radiator will soak up the heat and not get rid of it as effectively with no air crossing the fins
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Re: IR Thermometer Readings on head and radiator

Post by Bmettli » Thu Jun 20, 2019 2:17 pm

Hey folks- just to clarify. The engine rebuild is about two years old or so- I just haven’t put very many miles on it, I drive it a few times a month, just not far! Maybe a few miles at a time.


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Re: IR Thermometer Readings on head and radiator

Post by Scott_Conger » Thu Jun 20, 2019 4:01 pm

Put the IR thermometer away and enjoy your car. Advice for puttering around the neighborhood still stands. Drive it.
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Re: IR Thermometer Readings on head and radiator

Post by Norman Kling » Thu Jun 20, 2019 4:23 pm

Important things. Does the water spew out the overflow and around the cap? Do you have steam coming out the overflow? If not, you are cooling OK.
This is what I find with a good running T without a water pump. On a hot day, going uphill about 6% grade it won't overheat as long as I keep moving. When I get to the signal at the top of the hill the motometer will begin to climb, but as soon as the signal turns green and I get moving again it goes down to "Normal Summer temperature". When I get home and turn off the ignition it will gurgle for about one minute and then stop gurgling. When it cools off, I check the coolant and it is about half way down the top tank, which is the normal operation level.

If I have an old radiator, the engine will boil. And if I get the old radiator cleaned, it will still run hot. The problem is that the joint between the fins and the water tubes in the radiator becomes corroded which does not conduct the heat very well. In this case, a water pump might or might not help. But in cold weather with a water pump the engine will not completely warm up. We went on a tour in the mountains during cold weather and I had a water pump. We stopped for a break and I noticed some of the other drivers standing in front of their radiators to keep warm. I got in front of mine and it was still cold. Now this was after we had driven for about 20 miles! So a good radiator without a water pump is better than a poor radiator with a water pump.

With a recently rebuilt engine, it is best to drive a few miles at various speeds up to about 25 mph and then let the engine cool off for a while. Then drive a few miles agalin. Do this a few times and after that just drive as you would normally drive a T.
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Re: IR Thermometer Readings on head and radiator

Post by Craig Leach » Thu Jun 20, 2019 4:55 pm

First I would check the IR thermometer, 354 degrees is past seizure temp.last I knew water boiled @ 212 degrees @ sea level. Go out to your modern vehicle & check it, if you are seeing 354 degrees @ the top of the radiator when @ operating temp. there is the problem. Try testing your motometer in boiling water. Or after you buy the wife a new turkey thermometer use the old one in the radiator. Living in Arizona I like to know exactly what the temp. is because when its 110 degrees out to late comes to quick.


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Re: IR Thermometer Readings on head and radiator

Post by Scott_Conger » Thu Jun 20, 2019 6:25 pm

Or, you could put your hand on the top section of the core and the bottom section of the core, verify bottom is cooler than top...no boiling or steaming, then there is no problem.

Craig...not picking on you, but leading anyone down the path of trouble shooting modern equipment, believing/not believing what it is telling you, measuring things that no one else has needed to measure, not knowing what it means if the reading is to be believed (or not), and worrying about an overheating engine that cannot make the coolant hotter than maybe 220 degrees F, if it's coolant, is all a bunch of worrying about nothing
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Re: IR Thermometer Readings on head and radiator

Post by TRDxB2 » Thu Jun 20, 2019 10:41 pm

2018 discussion forum mentions some readings http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/822076/923575.html


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Re: IR Thermometer Readings on head and radiator

Post by Scott C. » Sat Jun 22, 2019 1:44 am

I posted on the old forum asking basically the same question and did not get a real answer. Surely some of the guys out there have checked the temperatures with an infrared thermometer? My 26 roadster pick up runs high on the motometer. I have not driven it much this year, but from memory, my temperature never gets that high. I think my highs were 220 - 230? That is at the cylinder head and outlet. From the top of the radiator to the bottom I was seeing, I think a 50 - 70 degree drop. Again these numbers are from my memory. It does steam a little out of the over flow tube, but not much. This is running 50/50 antifreeze with no water pump and an older radiator that looks to be pretty clean now that I have cleaned the system.


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Re: IR Thermometer Readings on head and radiator

Post by Kuhner » Sat Jun 22, 2019 8:00 am

I check mine with an IR thermometer once in awhile.
On hot day after a hard run I see top radiator tank about 200 to 210. Never seen it hotter. I normally see a 30 to 35 degree difference at the lower tank.
This is a 27 engine rebuilt about 12 years ago, 50-50 Prestone and water, the Brassworks radiator is about 5 years old.
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Re: IR Thermometer Readings on head and radiator

Post by DanTreace » Sat Jun 22, 2019 11:06 am

Older post scroll to 23rd 1:47 comparing laser and motometer. Normal operating temp is 180 or so. Measure radiator top tank of heated coolant, and metal lower return pipe of air cooled coolant returning to the block. You’ll want a good temp differential.


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Re: IR Thermometer Readings on head and radiator

Post by Scott C. » Sat Jun 29, 2019 4:19 pm

OK, I drove my 26 today with no water pump. It is 90 degrees out. The motometer pegged after a short distance. The actual temperatures with IR thermometer were 180 -220 at the water neck. 110 -120 at the bottom hose, The head temperature was 200. I drove it more than twice that distance and checked it again. It was 200 at the water neck. 140 at the bottom hose. The head temperature was 220. The moto meter went up nd down. I am thinking the spikes are when it gets a big gulp of hot coolant from a thermo cycle. Then it drops down until it gets another gulp of hot coolant. It did drip a little bit of steaming coolant out the overflow tube. But, I believe that to be normal and acceptable. I did richen the fuel a little bit for the second drive.


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Re: IR Thermometer Readings on head and radiator

Post by Scott_Conger » Sat Jun 29, 2019 4:50 pm

Scott C your motometer going up/down is perfectly normal during operation in some environments, and some steaming/dripping is normal, too.

However, I do not believe your IR readings showing up to 90 degree temp drop across your radiator. I do not doubt that the device returned these readings...just that I do not believe they are completely accurate.

A new owner of a very pretty '11 just used his IR thermometer on his car (which just had a waterpump removed) and while the overflow pipe was showing a wisp of steam and condensate on it, the shiny top tank registered a sedate 90 degrees...while the top fins just below, registered 190 and bottom fins registered 140...these last two numbers I can believe...
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Re: IR Thermometer Readings on head and radiator

Post by dykker5502 » Sat Jun 29, 2019 5:12 pm

That the cooling system in Model T is inadequate is rubish in my opinion.
I've just bought a brand new Brassworks flattube radiator and had a faily good test of it this friday.
Had driven maybe 35 - 40 miles in 25 C so the car was operative hot. Approached the city of Roskilde which gave me 15 minuttes of slow driving, halts (for signals and queueing) and even uphill streets. And I knew the belt was off and havn't bothered getting it back on.
Not even the slightest steam from the cap. And when I turn off the engine after a trip like this virtually no gurgling.

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Re: IR Thermometer Readings on head and radiator

Post by SurfCityGene » Sat Jun 29, 2019 5:55 pm

Another Report,,, The Montana 500 Green Team cars both run with no fan or pulleys. During my recent 500 mile race out of Columbus with the '26 Roadster the normal water temperature on the gage from the water outlet was 190 to 205*F. The air temp probably was averaging between 60 to 75F. I added some antifreeze once during the whole race just to make sure it was topped off and not too low. During this time the exhaust temperatures varied wildly depending mostly on engine RPM but never over 1325*F. My throttle was always WIDE Open except in town speed limits Of Course!

Your carb mixture setting and spark advance will affect engine temps a lot!

I installed a thermocouple temp sensor and gage on my '12 Torpedo on the under side of the outlet fitting. During normal driving I quite often see it swing from high temps to low as the flow circulates.

YMMV
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Re: IR Thermometer Readings on head and radiator

Post by Jem » Sun Jun 30, 2019 1:31 am

I had a problem with piston wrist pins binding when hot. Thought I had fixed it, but went out to fuel up and found it stiff to crank at the service station. Once I was home I waved the IR thermometer at it and found area around #4 cylinder was around 500F. There's also a magneto problem so it's going to have to come out.


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Re: IR Thermometer Readings on head and radiator

Post by Scott C. » Sun Jun 30, 2019 1:58 am

I miss typed the first temp reading. It should have said 180-200 at the water neck. So the initial drop was more like 70 degrees. I think this was because it was not really up to running temperature at that time. After more driving the temperature drop was 60 degrees. I did top of the coolant a week or so ago and this was the first drive. So, that could be cause of the dripping from the over flow.

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