I will kick off this years thread. I think this series of threads has evolved into anything Model T powered alternative equipment such as Tractor conversions, Doodlebugs, and power units as well as other T oddities.
As usual, let this and subsequent threads showcase your purchases, builds, restorations and anything that involves T's other than the normal cars and trucks.
Here are links to the past threads:
This seems to be a popular series, so let it continue and show what those used up T parts did after a life of a car or truck and preserve that history. Welcome to 2016.
To kick off this year, I have been working on my 2 cylinder half engine build. Late last year I scored some key components for the build, parts that have been kicked in the corner if you will that owners just couldn't throw out.
The inspiration was an old Popular Mechanics article from about 1937 I believe.
I started by deciding which side of the engine to use. It was a toss up, as the front and rear cylinders had more rust than the two centers. But in the end I decided it would be easier to use the front half. So cut away I did.
The next major hurdle was the crankshaft. I was given two crankshafts that were broken. I decided to use the one that broke on the rear. I cut the rear of the second journal, and salvaged the flange with part of the third main. I then used some 1 3/4" DOM steel tubing, 1/4" wall thickness and split it into to halves to make a two piece sleeve. I then clamped the two halves onto the 2nd main journal and the rear flange/3rd journal stub---then I tack welded it, tested the run out and fully welded it. Sorry, no pics of the mock up before welding.
I then cleaned up the welds and polished it out best I could. Is it perfect, no. Am I doing it a little archaically with the tools at hand, probably so, but they would have hacked it worse way back when I feel. I really wish I was able to use my TIG welder over the MIG, because I feel I could have filled some voids in the welds and had a cleaner finished result, but either way the job got done.
I was rewarded with only .0025" runout on the outer diameter of the flange. The face of the flange I have .014" runout, but I have seen some T cranks not run true on the face side. I will try and correct this later. Those of you that have nice lathes and such machine equipment should probably look away.
Looks good. I like the "as they probably did it" approach. It is amazing what was accomplished with a hacksaw, file, and big hammer. Keep posting your progress.
Donnie, yes they did some amazing things back then. I have just enough tools to be really dangerous but not enough to pull off some really cool stuff. I have used the hacksaw and files on this project, but managed to stay away from the big hammer so far, LOL.
If I get time today or this weekend, I will mic out the pistons and bores just so I know how bad the clearance will be. I like to know this stuff, but even if it is out of spec, it is still going together, just like it would have back then.
Does anyone have a used copper head gasket I can hack the front two cylinders off?
Chad, I had a 27 roadster that had .060 pistons in .080 holes. When I got the car it ran like crap. So I pulled the head to see what was going on. It had new valves, nice clean newly bored cylinders and new pistons. It turned out the front cam bearing was worn over .040 in the block, causing the valve clearances to be constantly changing. The bearing fit the cam, but sloppy in the block. So while I was fixing that, I noticed I could see a lot of the ring showing between the piston and cylinder wall. So I measured the cylinder bore and it was a perfect .080 over bore. The pistons were marked .060. I think when the car was overhauled before I bought it, that .080 pistons were not available but the re-builder may not have know that. So he just stuck .060 pistons in it. With no money for the project, I just stuck it back together. With the cam bearing problem fixed, I thought I would at least see how it ran. When I started the engine, it ran great, no noise or anything. I drove the car that way for several years. When I sold the car I explained the piston issue to the new buyer. I think the car is still going just like I sold it... Chad, an old trick on reusing a old head gasket, was to put it in boiling water for a little while. That will let the water soak very well into the soft gasket material inside the copper. Then put the gasket in the freezer and freeze it solid. That expands the copper back to about where it was when new. That was an old trick my grandpa taught me. He also painted the gasket with silver paint, and installed it with the paint wet. Please make us a video of it running when you are done
Donnie, Thank You for the advice and story. I love hearing stuff like that being I am a little younger than most here.
New head gaskets are not that expensive, just thought it would be better if I did not have to cut up a brand new one.
You can count on a video when it runs.
Chad, i have a good used copper gasket you can have for your project. Let me know if you want it.
John, sent you a PM. Thank You.
I managed to get some work done today. I managed to get all the holes left in the cooling system surfaced flat for block off plates and also cleaned up the water inlet surface. This block I think sat in water or dirt on the left side as it is pretty rough on that side. Also managed to start drilling out a broken bolt in the water inlet.
The pistons and bores did get measured today, I have about .010" clearance on average for both cylinders. Oddly enough, the front bore that had a fair amount of rust compared the 2nd bore before I honed it ended up being a little tighter in the bottom area of the bore.
I've been itching for pics of this!
If the gasket from John doesn't work out, do what some may have back then, make one out of good gasket material. They had asbestos mat'l back then but the dark gray stuff of nowadays worked great.
I did it 20 years ago when I had nothin' but will. Never leaked at all. What a bear to remove last year when we pulled the head!
Valves in a drill on the bench grinder and wide, deep seats in the block (had decent old set of reseaters) etc......
Gosh that old P.O.S. runs good still!
Nice measuring equipment and I'm aching to see you fix the runout on the flange!
May I ask? How much did it hurt to cut that block?
Thank You for the interest. The head gasket should be on it's way this week thanks to John.
I do own a valve grinder (the red Black and Decker machine in the backround) and seat grinder too. In fact I splurged on this project and ordered up some one piece modern valves for it so I will be redoing the guides and seats again. Truth be told, any valve work I usually have for someone else, 90% of the time I just send it to the machine shop. Some of my tools I only have for my enjoyment for my own projects. Like I said, I have just enough tools to be dangerous. I am a tool junkie, always on the lookout for something new I don't have that I can afford. Plus I have built many "modern" v-8's over the years for myself and others so specializing in some engine assembly tools is more of a need than a want. Most of my machine work I find it easier to farm out to someone that has deeper pockets than me for equipment. This build is low-buck so I am doing everything myself if possible even if it seems kind of meatballish.
I tried fixing the flange run out a little yesterday and didn't get anywhere with it---at least I didn't make it worse. Stay tuned.
I didn't have to much reservation of cutting that block, I just had to keep telling myself that I saved it from being a doorstop. And like I stated before, it really was not in the best of shape and is pretty pitted on the left side, rusty cylinders that actually cleaned up decent, and I had two broken bolts I had to get out of it, the last in the water inlet is really fighting me but I should have it taken care of today. I think I fought more with am I making the cuts in the right place. I used a angle grinder (no guard on it) and a 4-1/2" .045" thick cut off wheel to do it. I had to use a hacksaw blade in the valve guide area to finish it through, a bigger diameter cut off wheel would have been better.
Posted from the other thread for prosperity of this thread.
Looking good Chad!
I like the picture of the 'bug above really nice.
I think this is the 1937 Popular Mechanics article referenced above:
That is indeed the article, Thank You for posting it Zac. The only thing is, in that article they are making it a single cylinder engine. I decided to just go the extra and make it two cylinder.
No other progress yet, been working on some non T stuff. As soon as I get the crank flange trued up and valve guides reamed for the modern valves, I believe some assembly can commence.
Pullford tractor conversion I picked this up today with plans to mate it with some of my mismatched parts. I would like to make into a tractor show ride. Its pretty rough but I could not let it just rust away. I will be looking for photos and information on how it was attached to the rear of a T.
Bill, did that come out of CT?
Ron Yes it came from CT
Yes were you the person who was looking at his doodlebug?
Yes - and the TT. Went a couple of weeks ago. Think he still has them both.
Yes they are still there he does not like to part with anything
I got the doodlebug running on crank (which surprised the hell out of him). Threw him a fair offer on it, but he wouldn't budge - at all. Cowl is toasted, needs a new radiator and I'd swap those front wheels out for T wheels. In any case, a buddy of mine (who came with me that day), is making a try for it. I really was interested in the TT - it is EXACTLY what I've spent the last 2+ years looking for, but he wants a ridiculous amount of money for it. Sad thing is, it is going to rust away to nothing there.
No - he doesn't, which makes one wonder why he advertises that he is selling. Last fall, the doodlebug wasn't for sale but the TT was. I threw him an offer on the TT that he initially accepted, then backed out of. Then the doodlebug popped up for sale and the TT became a Dusenberg that wasn't for sale unless you had a wheelbarrow full of cash. Very odd guy.
I think that Pullford kit is the Model A version (at least the pinion gears were).
Sounds like some of the guys on American Pickers - he gets a buzz from owning what other people want.
He said his son wanted to do something with the TT but with what he has in that yard which project do you start with.I walked way out back to look at the Motor Truck chain drive rear axle that will return to the earth soon if someone does not rescue it
He gave me that line too about the son, who looked more stunned than he did when I got the doodlebug to fire. I got the grand tour as well and came to the same conclusion you did. There was a rusting pile of A tin work (advertised for sale by the way) - my buddy asked about a pair of hood halves that were decaying there and was told "not for sale, I like looking at them."
Did you see the BB in the car port? I asked him about that too. He told me he restored it and "it will probably never move off those jack stands again." I'm amazed he actually sold you the Pullford stuff.
I went there with an empty flatbed and a wallet full of cash. I left there two hours later with an empty flatbed and a wallet full of cash. Lot of great stuff is going to die there.
When I got there he really did not want to sell the Pullford I told him I just drove all this way thru ice and snow and we went back and forth until we made a deal.He told me it was not a good year for plowing snow the money went right to the wife
Yep, he likes playing games.
Bill, That's a nice rear and will be a fun project. did it have the pinion gears, where would you find them if the are missing. Too bad the guy is letting things rust away. It's one thing to have a hoard, it's another to have a hoard outside rusting away. At least if stuff is indoors or some how cared for someone can enjoy it once you have passed on.
Those are some serious cleats. Unless you like spinal re-adjustments or live in a sand pit I think you will want some rubber to wrap those rims in!
Bill, that is a nice score and save. Hopefully you can get it all together.
Did some more work on the two cylinder T engine. The big question was how to true up the end of the crank without a lathe. This setup faired pretty good. I am going to try and fine tune it a little more but I have cut the runout in half down to .007".
I used a marker to "paint" the end of the crank to see that it was hitting the flange all the way across. I pushed the crank back in the block using the crank gear as the thrust or stop surface and just set the belt sander to shave the high side while just barely skimming the low side while turning the crank by hand.
I get the runout on the back of the crank down to .003". I am calling that good enough.
I worked on some block off plates for the sides and back of the engine also:
Also cut the donor oil pan off. The bottom cover was well over tightened and needs the flange straightened out.
Started on the plate for the back of the head, 1/4" steel.
Cannot wait to see that when you're finished!
Stained the new blade cradle and cutting tray for the saw rig - all made out of 1.25" white oak. It never ceases to amaze me how innovative people were 70-80 years ago and how nothing went to waste. For example, the blade arbor is secured in the cradle using T main bearing caps.
I would like to make it to Orange, MA with it Ron. Then you will get to see it first hand. I have decided to make it way over the top in the finishing dept.
Just like my deal, yes, they were quite innovative back then---well, innovative as far as using what was around. No sitting behind the computer shopping for parts, LOL.
Chad, I found this video today. You may have already seen it, but just in case you have not seen it. here is some inspiration ...
Oh yea Donnie, watched it many a time. Hoping to get the oil pan all buttoned up this weekend, I have all my block off plate templates made for the pan and block. I have been trying to do a little each night after work, but nothing noteworthy to post with pics, just a lot of prep to do the job at hand.
If anyone is interested, I have listed my running 2-cylinder T engine in the classifieds. http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/3487/619523.html?1456495680
Ron send me the guy's contact info and I will try and see what I can get out of him, since I am right across town. I know of this guy because He used to bring the aa truck to the local engine show thanks Spencer
Derek, Glad you sold it, she is a beauty. And it proves the one thing I did not think of when I was starting this project, that the 2 valve cover block is much easier to convert--however the one I got was dirt cheap.
Here is Derek's engine:
Started making the intake / exhaust manifold yesterday. I decided to go way over the top with this build, so I went for scratch building a setup using a header flange I bought. I am about half done with it at this point, The welding slows down here to keep flange warpage at a minimum. I clamped the flange to another piece of 3/8 steel and only do short 1/2 - 3/4 inch passes (after tacking in place) and let it cool. so it takes a little longer.
I also started tacking in the rear wall for the oil pan, again, a little at a time to keep the warpage down.
How will you get the crankshaft in that?
Ok Now I see that is attached to the pan not the block.
Yes, you got it. There is another plate that will bolt to that one that will block off the back of the block.
Fit the blade guard for the saw rig to the new cradle:
That blade guard is so awesome. I can't wait to see this thing in person.
She won't be done for Orange this year unfortunately. But, I should have the mower T there.
Hi all mud season is in full swing here in Vermont
I picked up these wheels that I hope will work on a Doodlebug
They are Whitehead and Kales and are solid steel with hard rubber tires
I think these were on a Fordson tractor
Pat dates in the 20'
They are 41 inches tall and about 8 inches wide and weigh about 300 lbs each
Any information would help
Thank You Bill
Here are some photos
Have seen them on industrial Fordsons before. Nice score! Rubber looks pretty good - probably wouldn't last long on asphalt or gravel, but maybe they would on dirt trails and grass.
Here are pics of greggs tractor which is used almost daily
Now that is cool, thanks Paul!
Will, I guess you won't be needing wheel weights for the doodlebug that uses those wheels.
Paul, I like it! Looks like things were a little muddy where ever it was. I take it that at the center of the T-front hub the steel wheel's hub clamped in between?
Pic as it came out of the woods from collecting sap for maple syrup. There is a pivot attached center of front axle
Paul, that is a cool looking tractor.
Finished welding up my oil pan and removed the crank handle bushing using Steve Jelf's method of cutting a split down the length of the bushing. I actually made to cuts and it came out really easy.
Paul, Nice pictures! Thanks for posting them.
Managed to plug away some more. Block is painted (Model A green from Snyders--Camera distorts the color some), so assembly can now begin:
Also stood way to long in front of the buffing wheel. Holley G all buffed out. I found the castings aren't that good for polishing (very porous), so it is as good as I got it until I decided I just couldn't do any more.
Unfortunately the camera doesn't really pic up the good and shows more of the bad. I also polished some stainless castle nuts that are for the main cap bolts.
I have what appears to be a governor off a Model T saw rig...three arms the move outward with speed and pull a rod to the carb
Greg, any chance you can post a pic of it?
Gear driven and mounted in place of the generator
My mower doodlebug came with one like that. I pulled it off and put a generator in.
The saw rig that I bought some years back for the engine had a gov. on it. it had a home made bracket,I doubt it was T specific. everything was enclosed in a housing so I have no clue what the mechanism looks like, just up in the attic for the time being
Oh, and Chad -Nice work the Two Cyl is going to look slick
Link to 2016 Part 2: http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/599638/630541.html?1459729222