I've taken the day off ("It's good to be King ") to do the final preparations for starting my T up, hopefully today, for the first time in 10 years. Actually, it is work related, because we have important guests coming to our facility on Wednesday and we want to have it parked out front with a company sign on the side.
Anyway, if I am able to get it running and drivable, in time to drive the 15 miles to work on Wednesday, what is the best speed with which to drive, what is the best settings for the throttle and spark, the best fuel setting for the choke and how long before the engine is sufficiently run in so that the bearings and rings are seated nicely (have 4 properly adjusted spark coils by Ron)? My wife will be following with flashers going so I won't feel pressured by traffic to go faster than the maximum speed I need to go to properly run it in. Wish me luck. Jim Patrick
If you keep it below 70mph for the first 100,000 miles, it should last a lifetime.
Actually, you should be fine if you vary your speed between 20mph & 30mph for the first 100 miles or so. Once the rings are seated and everything starts to get happy, you can run 35mph all day long and faster for short periods. Your motometer will tell you when you're pushing too hard.
I'll be starting a newly-rebuilt engine soon, and plan to more-or-less follow this procedure:
PS. It has been so long since I started one from scratch, what is the initial setting on the carburetor? I seem to remember that it should be opened 1 1/2 turns from the closed position. Is that right or am I way off? Thank you. Jim Patrick
Jim. The number of turns on the handle is in direct relationship to the taper of the needle valve. A long thin taper will allow a finer adjustment and a short taper will require only a little movement to get out of the proper running adjustment.
I personally like a long thin taper on the needle valve so that I can get a very fine adjustment. We live in two different houses. One at sea level and the other one at 7000 feet, so we must know how to adjust the carburetor to have success.
Once the engine is warmed up and running smoothly adjust the carburetor for smoothest and fastest running on a fixed throttle and spark setting. If it is too lean the engine will miss and/or backfire. If it is too rich the car tends to surge or lope. Once I have found the optimum setting I try the spark control for better running. At this point I check if the mixture is still OK. If I have to do a lot of idling, like traffic lights, I set it a 1/4 turn rich. This helps the engine to not die. Running at a constant speed, 30 to 35, on and open road, I set it about 1/4 turn leaner. This, I think, keeps the pistons and valves cleaner and gives better gas mileage.
To start the engine I open it about a half turn. Once the engine is running and settled down, I set it to the idle position till it is warmed up.
The Model T is not like a modern car where one has a computer setting the proper mixture. You have to do it yourself
All good advice. I imagine that the carb mixture adjustment will vary a little from the first tight engine start up to what it will be later once things have loosened up a little. You no doubt know this, but the newly rebuilt engine will run a little warmer until things seat. You don't want to make this tendency worse by running it too lean, which will make it run hot, new or otherwise.
GOOD LUCK JIM!!
The only adjustment I noticed that changes as you break in the engine is the idle speed. You need to turn in the screw at the throttle lever on the carburetor to keep it from stalling when at idle. After it breaks in, it will be idling too fast and you will need to back out that screw.
I've just spent an hour looking for the throttle and spark lever linkage rods. Finally found them in my screwdriver drawer where my wife put them. She likes to "help" by cleaning my shop while I'm working in it. She has yet to realize that my organizing technique does not include neatness. Sometimes I lay parts out in a certain order where I can find them, only to discover that she has cleaned up after me. Then I have to get my Model T Ford Service Manual and find a picture of the part(s) to show her in the hopes she will remember what she did with them , but I love her and, except for that, wouldn't have it any other way. I'm a lucky man. Anyway, the linkage rods were rusted, so I just got done sanding them to the bare metal and priming them, so they won't be ready to install until tomorrow which means I won't be attempting to crank the T until tomorrow. Another day off. Oh well. If this is what retirement is like, I could get used to it. Jim Patrick
On the three engines I have broken in, my procedure was to get in and go, but not approach 45 mph for the first 100 miles or so. I don't think a "precise" run in agenda is required.
After thinking about it I believe you're right, Norman. The mixtrue wouldn't change but the idle adjustment would.
Jim - I have the same problem. Things just vanish. I hadn't thought of blaming my wife!
Yes 1-1/2 turns is a good starting point but, when warmed up will most likely need to be closed down a bit. Maybe even a 1/2 turn. The engine will let you know the right spot.
How tight is your rebuilt engine? If it's really snug, take it easy. Run it for a few minutes and shut it down to cool. Then repeat until she loosens up some. Don't just get in and drive a really snug engine. If the engine was set-up on the loose side then you can probably just start in driving her at about 30 mph.
As to your spark and throttle linkages. You're too fussy. A little light sanding, a light wipe of oil and you're good to go.
Milt Webb recommends 1000 mile break in period. Limit lugging, keep it relatively slow ( er ) than normal. That is what he has told me. Katzorke as well.
Jim, the story of your wife reminds me fondly of my mom. My car is parked in my (late) mothers garage. She was 89 and didn't drive anymore, so I had a an empty 2 car garage to fill with a Model T and tools. There was only one drawback, my mother was a spotless house keeper and quite often I had an 89 year old lady following me around saying, "Son, I think you spilled something over here?" She died in April and I still find myself cleaning up a little better than I used to.
In the memory of Lorraine Robinson