I have almost completed my restoration of my 1915 T and wonder where to place a small motor cycle sized battery, sufficient to give power while cranking. If I place it alongside the petrol tank at a point furtherest from the filler cap am I facing a fire risk? There is no conventional battery holder attached to the chassis as obtains in the later cars.
I would be a bit concerned with a battery close to a fuel tank. If your battery cables are not absolutely tight it may spark and all your hard work will be orbiting Mars. I would think that a battery box underslung from the frame would work quite well. My 15 is sporting one like that. It sits under the turtle deck. I'm sure you could find a suitable spot under the floorboards of the rear seat perhaps?
Personaly, I don't think I'd put it there. The exhaust pipe is enough of a hazard as it is. Perhaps under the rear seat cushion? It could be secured and unseen there.
On my '14 I have the battery on the drivers' side of the gas tank. The cables are snug and the battery is held in position with nice big wads of upholstery padding all around it. The fire risk is about as low as it can be.
This does raise the question, when the Non electric start cars were new where did one usually stow the dry cell battery for Bat. starting for the coils?
If you are scared of putting the battery at the end of the gastank on the left side it is best to put it under the back seat.
Unless the tank is leaking on the left side and the battery connections are loose at the same time what is the danger?
Common practice was to put four 1.5 volt dry cells or a six volt Hot Shot dry cell battery under the front seat next to the gas tank.
I put my battery by the gas tank on the passenger side because being able to open the passenger door makes it easier to lean in when installing or removing the battery. Also, on a U.S. built left hand drive Model T, the passenger side is closer to the battery post on the coil box so I don't have to run as much wire compared to putting it on the driver's side.
I use a rechargeable sealed six volt battery that is used in kiddie cars (such as Power Wheels). It has a quick connect plug, similar to the plugs that are used for connecting trailer lights to a an automobile's brake light system. I put pieces of wood between the battery and the gas tank and the body to keep it in place.
My dad has the same set up on his touring. Before he went to a rechargeable battery, he used to put a six volt Hot Shot dry cell in the same spot.
If you are truly paranoid, you can put the battery in a battery box on the running board, or, if it is touring, under the back seat.
A battery was not considered to be required as a standard item on the non starter T.
I have a battery on my '13 to run signal lights etc and have it beside the gas tank just as RV suggests. I use a motorcycle style battery and charge it from the mag. It has been working fine for almost 10 years.
People are funny about gas tanks. I was filling up my truck today and a guy was asking me a question and couldn't quite figure out what he was saying so I told him to come closer. He replied he was smoking and that wasn't safe. People believe too much of what they see from Hollywood. The reason for no smoking at the gas pumps is the risk when you light up AND you have spilled gas. A burning cigarette will not light gasoline vapour, it is not hot enough!
I rebuilt a 1915 touring for a Guy that had lived north of Lincoln, Ne. and put the Repro Battery box, for a 12 volt battery, on the drivers side of the Running board, at the front, no starter. I run the cables, between the body, and splash apron, had the room, or I could have run them through the splash apron, and put in grommets to protect the cables. R,G, Reeder, about 5 to 8 years before he died, told me he had his battery along his gas tank, in a coupe, he lifted the batteries out, and dropped one on the end of the bone dry tank, it burnt a hole at the touch, and the tank explosion, messed him up some, and he said if he would just a little gas in the tank, he would have been gone, along with his Model T.
I keep my batteries in the runnng board box on all of my cars. They are small enough to fit nicely and the wires can be hidden easily. I used to keep them under the rear seat but it was too much trouble to disconnect them for long term storage or charging. I use motorcycle batteries as they take up little space and you can run on one all day if the mag quits. On omost of my cars I use alligator clips to connect the terminals as I only use the battery for cold starts and disconnect them after starting.
I also have a 1915 (its a touring) and the picture below shows my solutuion to the battery problem.
The battery is a lawn tractor battery any quite inexpensive here in the states. It is rated at 19 AmpHours which should power the ignition for about 12 hours or more. The small pig tail you see running to the left and just barely entering the back passenger footwell compartment is a polarized quick connect for a small trickle charger which I normally leave connected while the T is in the garage. That way I can be sure I always have a full charge.
The battery itself is just a little too tall for under the back seat so I cut out the forward floorboard to the footprint of the battery and fastened a plank across the bottom. This gives enough height for the battery and makes a small well which keeps it from sliding arround.
Overall - it works a treat!
My '16 starts well on Mag, however I feel better having a backup batty for parades etc. I took a 12V gel cell and Gorilla taped it to the inner front cowl, however, I always wondered where the dry cells were located when early Ford owners added them. Under the front seat sounds OK to me. Thanks.
My 15 still had an original tin large dry cell holder...screwed in between the tank and the drivers side. To use it to power coils only you only need a 12ga wire. I put a 6.3V lantern in this location for the first 8 years I had the car and since I only used it to start, I'd get 1-2 seasons out of the battery. I sent the son, a teenager at the time to the store one Saturday morning to pick up a battery as mine was dead and he returned with a motorcycle 6 voleter...lol...so my battery has been in the turtle deck since and if you have a touring, under the seat would work well also, I just made a wood tray out of scrap wood to match the battery size.
Posting these pics for Arron Griffey.
Ours is under the left side floor of the rear section. A battery box holds it all in place and a piece of plate covers it.
Mine is in the tool box mounted on the running board.
In this case, small is good. If the only purpose is for starting on battery, I vote for a sealed hobby battery: http://www3.towerhobbies.com/cgi-bin/wti0001p?&I=LXL370&P=0
William, RHD car, battery on LHS with home-made bracket.
Val, I use alligator clips too, as it's just for starting.
Forum 2010: "Hot Shot" battery suggestions needed.
I have a 6 volt fencer type battery box made out of galvinized that is an original box that bolts to the engine block w/ lid and most of the instructions are still in the lid for a T its for sale email@example.com
Many thanks form your input. I hope to create the perfect 1915, if one ever existed!
I will buy a new battery over the week end and depending on it's size I will place it in a secure, convenient and safe place.
One last word, does it matter which way the wires are connected to the battery lugs, after all it will only be in use for a minute each time it is hand cranked?
doesn't matter if you don't have a generator.
Polarity isn't important. If you were to run on battery all the time, coil point life might be extended somewhat by occasionally swapping the polarity, but..........
If you put it under a seat just make sure you have enough clearance so that any spring coils in the seat don't contact the battery posts.