This doesn't look right to me.

So I got the T running this summer. I put between 5 and 10 miles on it - easy driving up and down my street. While emptying the cooling system to put the car to bed for the winter, I see the coolant water (it was just water) is a reddish brown, the color of a fine holiday cider. It is so dirty I thought there might be oil in it. Then I thought maybe this is normal since it’s a cast iron block and the motor has been sitting around a lot. By the way, I had a Motormeter on it for driving and there was no overheating, even the first day driving.

Do you think I have a problem with a cracked block or does this seem normal for start up operations after an overhaul? I think the Miller crew paint the inside of the block too.

What is the capacity of the cooling system? I got about 7 quarts back even with the front wheels 2" lower than the back wheels during draining so seems like there’s still a couple quarts left in the engine. Does that sound right to you?

Well, it might be normal for an engine and cooling system that has sat with just water in it. You can try flushing the block and radiator, here are some videos:

Typical when plain water is used. The inside of the block and head get extremely rusty. It ruins the radiator too. Distilled water will accelerate the rusting process.

Thanks fellas

Hi Royce - I stuck my hand in the sample I drew and no oil deposits adheared to my skin. So that’s reassuring.

Do you think city water that’s been through a water softener mixed with antifreeze is a best solution? I just put the water in last spring. I’m surprised at how quickly that happened. I’m pretty sure BJ and the boys paint the inside of the block too but I may be mistaken.

BJ has his guys paint the inside of the block with Glyptal but they don’t paint the inside of the water jacket. They are assuming you will want maximum cooling. So yes I would use a gallon of Prestone and then fill it the rest of the way with water.

To fix the problem I recommend that you fill the cooling system to the top with white vinegar. Let it sit overnight. Then after 24 hours drain the vinegar. You will see massive amounts of rust flakes come out with the vinegar when you drain it. Then flush with fresh water until it comes out clear.

Refill with a mixture of anti freeze and water to prevent corrosion.

OK. So 3 gallons of white vinegar should fill it up including the radiator, yes?

I guess you drain what vinegar you can through the radiator then remove the radiator to flush it and the block. Is that about right?

Do you happen to know how much coolant can remain in the block after it’s drained?

I find that my brass cars take about 3 gallons to fill the cooling system. I wouldn’t remove the radiator, just take the hose off the LH side along with the water neck so it can run out there.

You might want to remove the cylinder head so you can get all of that clean. Many pockets that don’t drain could benefit from probing with a screwdriver with the head removed. Maybe vacuum them too.