I am back again, tired of writing on the book and needing a break. If I am to reach my goal of having the engine rebuilt by the time school starts in the fall I have to get serious about pulling the engine from Green for a rebuild.
The service manual stated that the first order of business is to remove the radiator. Actually, it says the first step is to drain the fluids; the second is to unbolt and remove the hood, but I don’t have anywhere to store it right now, so I plan to work under it until whatever else can be done first is done. When the engine is ready to lift, then it will come off.
So this starts with step 3 (and I’ll number things to follow the service manual). Thankfully removing a radiator is a simple function. Unfortunately, because this is such a straightforward job there isn’t much interesting that can be said about the process.
The radiator in place.
Obviously the first step is to remove the upper and lower hoses. Hose clamps are straightforward: a flat screwdriver loosens the clamp. That part was simple, but the ends of both hoses have not been moved in quite awhile. Both required a bit of prying to get them off the nipples.
Bottom hose, feeding coolant to engine. Shot from the front on the passenger side
Intake hose, receiving coolant from engine. Shot from driver’s side
The wiring on Green is absolutely original (and will absolutely be replaced), but even the purest motorhead knows that hoses are almost never original on a vehicle this old. They take far more punishment from the heating and cooling every time the motor is started than wiring ever does. I was a bit surprised, however, to notice that the lower hose had been replaced rather more recently than I had anticipated. Beneath the clamp part of the paper label was clearly readable. Though the hoses will certainly be replaced in the rebuild and these will be tossed, I plan to hold onto everything until I finish, just in case I need to consult “how did they do that” on something.
The hose clamps have been in place long enough to squeeze through the banding.
Label on the lower hose, covered by the hose clamp
Upper hose. The top clamp may be original, the lower one is clearly more modern
The thermostat housing is encrusted with corroded goop
The radiator is secured to the back of the radiator frame by three bolts up either side. The frame is a welded and bent C-channel. The bolts pass through the flange on the radiator and into square nuts that sit in a socket that wraps around the sides which in turn seems to be welded to the frame. I forgot to photograph those, but I get the impression that one could pry the folded steel leaves from around the nuts and pull them out; perhaps it was to simplify replacement if the threads stripped.
The bolts thread through from the engine compartment. They are identical on both sides so only one is shown here. They were not seized at all, though they undoubtedly have not been removed since the original 216ci motor was replaced, some time after 1955.
Though they were not hard to remove and would have gone back in place with a bit of effort, I still gave the threads of each bolt a good brushing with a brass brush, then a quick coating of WD-40 as an anti-rust, anti-corrosion treatment. Here are a pair of before and after shots of one bolt, though frankly it doesn’t show much.
I was a bit surprised to find that the bolts were mismatched. The one in this image is probably original, with an integrated washer cast onto the head. At least two of the bolts were just . . . bolts, with regular washers.
It was impossible to photograph myself while lifting the radiator, so you’ll have to trust me that I did it all by myself. I put back the drain plug, though it is clear that the fiber-core freeze plug will eventually have to be replaced.
With the radiator out I could clear out the decades of decomposed detritus that are in the frame, which is a shallow U. This is the dust of hay fields, decayed leaves and seeds from the orchard, water from the springs, and who knows what other parts of Hilltop and the farm. I have to say I got a bit nostalgic as I scooped it out, because I was literally touching my childhood again—not too nostalgic, though; I did toss it.
With the radiator out, it was a simple matter to remove the fan belt. This, it turns out, had also been replaced at some time in the past. The original belt configuration was to have one belt drive the fan from the power train, then to have a second belt from the fan drive the generator. Though there are two channels on the fan pulley, it is clear from the shape and size of the belt that it was driving both the fan and the generator from the drive train. It is not an optimal arrangement and might explain why it could be so hard to start Green sometimes—the three-corner shape does not have enough contact with the pulley to drive the generator effectively.
Removing the radiator was fairly simple. Next step is to unbolt and pull the radiator frame.