Another question I just thought of for the 1913 roadster. I remember for several years grandpa had a horizontally mounted silver tank which was on the driver's side running board. The tank was to supply the "gas" for the gas lights and, if memory serves correctly, I want to say that this tank appeared as if it was designed to be under pressure.
However, looking at pictures of other 13Ts, it appears these photos show a vertical painted tank (my best description to contrast it to what I've seen on granpa's T) on the driver's side running board. This tank does not appear under high pressure and I've read about carbide generators on Ts.
So, what is the correct gas/tank system for a 13T and what is the gas?
The correct one is the one you have seen on other pictures. It's not a pressurized tank realy but are in fact a acetylene gas generator. You put carbide in an inner "colander type" bowl and then water in the upper part of the unit.
When you need gas for the headlamps, you open a valve so that the water drips down to the carbide producing acetylene.
Some may have had presurized tanks in stead where they got the acetylene filled into at certain service stations.
The gas is acetylene. I'll leave what is "Correct" to someone more knowledgible. The horizontal pressure tank is what is known as a "Prestolite" tank and contained pressurized acetylene just like a cutting torch uses, but the tank was designed to lay on it's side rather than sit upright. The valve is located off center and placed on the upper side so the gas comes out but the acetone stabilizer stays in. The vertical tank is a carbide generator. Calcium carbide crystals are placed in the lower section and water from the upper section drips onto the crystals. The resulting chemical reaction produces acetylene gas and a nasty sludge of which chemical name I can't remember. The gas is of course used by the headlights. The sludge must be cleaned out of the generator before the next use. While I have never used one for Model T headlight, I have used a more miniature version like was used on miner's helmets. Cleaning the sludge up is not as big a deal as some would make it out to be. For me, the experience would be worth the cleaning effort, but again, I'm the kind of guy who lights his oil lamps and handcranks even though my truck has a starter.
The Prestolite tank could have been installed when the car was new by the dealer. They were sometimes factory supplied in 1909 - 1912. A very popular and period correct accessory for carbide lamp equipped Model T's.
When I go to a parts site, such as Langs, and look up the cardbide generator... it only shows 1909-1912. There is no year option for the 13. So the cardbide generator is most likely the "original" method to fuel the gas lights on a 13 runabout? Or would the Pretolite be more likely found on a 13T?
You are dead on about the Prestolite tank you referred to. I went to google to look up an image of the tank and it is exactly how I remember it on the side of grandpa's 13T.
I know grandpa made a lot of modifications to the T for various reasons. For example, he took the Prestolite tank and gas line out completely... though he kept the original gas lights in place. So, I'm not looking to have a 100% original "putting it in for judging" condition. However, I'm trying to get the 13T back to a more original state within reason.
So that's why I ask for guidance on things such as this gas light tank issue. Want to know what's generally acceptable for that year model, what's all original, etc.