Question, this is my first restore. Is it more important to restore the original parts? Or, buy repops and make it look new. So far I've been able to use just about everything from the original car except the splash aprons and running boards. Just wanting some opinions on keeping the old car orginal...thx
Don, Nothing wrong with using repro splash aprons and running boards on your car, as probably no one would notice, even a judge, unless you told them.Even repro steel front fenders are so good, most people couldn't tell the difference.
There's a third choice: replacing original parts with better original parts. Good original parts sometimes are less expensive.
The approach you take is often a combination of personal preference and economics. Some folks will resurrect a part that others would consider too far gone because it costs less or because they enjoy doing it. Some have the inclination, time, skill, equipment, and talent to stay original on almost everything. Others are in circumstances that require compromise, or they simply prefer the easier way. Either route to the goal is valid.
At this point with me its the challenge to keep it all together. However, economics is the driving factor on most it...I'm living in the barn now...spend anymore and it will be the doggy-house !!!
You can answer this question yourself if you put your mind to it.
It's now possible to buy a complete new body for a Barracuda, Camaro, or Mustang. Your choice of Fastback or convertible. If you bolt all of the mechanicals from an original to a repro body, do you have a restored car or some kind of a replica?
Let's say you had $150K to spend on a Shelby; would you want one with a brand new repro body or one with a restored original one? Is a body part made in 2012 Farmer Bob the same as one made by Henry Ford in 1911?
We a lucky that reproduction parts are available, but the only time they should be used if it is impossible or economically not viable to restore a genuine part.
Your buddies may not know that you used a fake, but it just doesn't feel right to present a car as a restored original when you yourself know that you just scraped off the "Made in Taiwan by exploited children" sticker before mounting it.
There is a very powerful phrase, and it's powerful for a reason: "Henry Ford steel."
Staying with original parts is a good rule to follow. When you can't find or afford original then you do the best you can.
I would say as much as possible keep original body parts. The wood if rotted, should be replaced with new wood. Same with upholstery and paint. Of course the tires should be replaced. Use a type either original Firestone, or other brand available during the day. These tires will be made with modern materials, but will look identical to the originals. The usually wear better too. I would for sure use new points in the coils and new spark plugs as well as new wiring. A new or recore radiator is a good thing. Overheating can ruin a good engine. New oversize pistons are good too and new band material in the transmission. You need to replace the bushings in the front axle if worn and replace babbit thrust washers with bronze in the rear end even if the babbit is not worn, because it can crumble and when it does, you will lose your brakes and likely the gears as well.
Having said all the above, if you can find an original car with good upholstery, top and paint. You have a choice to keep it original or restore. Some people think a good original is better than a restoration. It is definately much more rare.
Bernard has the same opinion as mine. I guess I would rather have a less than perfect "original" than a collection of aftermarket tin. I agree that it may pass the inspection but "I" would know its there. I haven't opened the differential yet other than new drive shaft bearings. I did stick a magnet in and pulled out a very small amount of metal shavings. The gears appeared to have little wear. I'll know more when the engine gets installed and running.
Thanks for you input fellows..Its appreciated !
Don That metal shaving is often the remains off the org. babett thrust washers. Not safe. Resist the temptation to drive it anywhere until you have a new brass thrust washers. sorry but this is one of the many new parts you will replace to make a T safe.
One other thing I highly suggest replacing before your first drive is all of plate glass windows sorry if this sounds like I'm picking on your car as that's not my intent at all.
Here's what Mike's talking about. I was blissfully unaware of those notorious babbitt thrust washers and the trouble they can make. I was driving in town when my right rear wheel locked up. I brought the car home on a trailer and pulled the wheel. here's what I found.
Fortunately, the brake shoes being destroyed by the differential and axles shifting to the left was all that happened. I could have gone freewheeling and crashed into something.
When I opened up the rear end, here's what I found.
Those are the biggest pieces left of the babbitt thrust washers. The rest were little chunks mixed in the oil. When the old trust washers fail and the differential and the axles shift to the left, the right side brakes are ruined if you're lucky. If you're unlucky, the ring gear separates from the pinion and you have no connection between the rear wheels and the transmission. Free wheeling. No brakes. This could mean trouble. Every unknown rear axle should be opened up and the thrust washers examined. Fortunately, we have the MTFCA axle book that gives detailed instructions.
As for glass, Mike is correct there too. It's very disappointing when a glass shard slices through your eyeball and pierces your brain.
In regards to windows, On my sedan, I am using laminated only for the windshield in the same manner as modern cars. Side and the rear glass will be tempered. This will eliminate the visible seam when the side glass is down.
Well ok, now the crap is scared out of me. I've been told the rear end is a nightmare to get the tolerances correct and not to mess with it if its not needed. However, brakes can be a handy thing to have. I'll take your advise before running the roads. The nice thing about a hobby is having no time restraints. As far as the glass goes it will be safety glass when finished. I'm getting some leads on the 3/16" stuff, if the cost makes it undoable then 1/4" it will be. I do have some good resources for the more complex areas (rear end/engine/tranny) and will start picking their brains.
Thank you !!
Don, I did my own rear end rebuild after watching the MTFCA video and reading/using the book. It was far from a nightmare and now it is safe for many miles. These cars are fun to work on and any problem you run into can be checked here and in several great book sources.
Nightmare? Nope. I finished my first rear axle rebuild this winter, and therefore I'm an expert. You may not need to do any rebuilding if it's already been done, but you do need to open it up and look. If it still has the babbitt washers, rebuilding the thing isn't brain surgery. Use the MTFCA axle book, ask questions here if anything isn't clear to you, and take the time to work carefully and measure things.
The book says you can use the stock pinion bearing and inner sleeve, or a modern bearing. Due to my purist tendencies I started out doing the former, but ended up doing the latter. Any time I rebuild a rear axle in the future, I'll use John Regan's Fun Projects pinion bearing kit.
If I could do this job with my very limited experience, I think just about anybody can manage it.
Don, do not be afraid to tear your rear axle apart. They do take a little time to get right but it is not at all a complicated or difficult job. When the job is done you will have a much safer much more reliable T that will run for another 85 years.
The rear axle in a T is easy, i think it is the model A that is hard.
Well, that is GOOD to know. My information came from a Model A builder. I don't believe he had touched the T rear end yet. He is building a 25 T Touring as we type. I do tend to worry about every little thing while driving but I don't want to worry about stopping. I'm wondering about the pinion gear/ drive shaft gear tolerences ? I currently have the stock setup on the drive shaft. Would you guys reccomend the modern drive shaft adjustable bearing setup in lew of the original setup??
Thx again, for all your help !!!!
nice catch, looks good.
Try and use as many of the vivible original parts you can. I have been disappointed at the poor qaulity of some of the new reproduction parts I got for my Fordor. The worst one was the new door handles I got to replace the original ones that were in pretty poor shape. The new ones just did not fit the holes in the door!I was told thay were made to suit A doors but are aslo sold as T parts. The new trim plates to go under the doors were absolute rubbish as well compared to the originals. They are still on my shelf never to go in. I will try to repair the originals.
Don..a lot will depend on how you are planning to use your car. A use such as a national tours will require a different approach in terms of performance and durability..
Warwick, I have seen some repops that had twists and were so out of shape that they took as much work to repair as the original would have. I hear ya. My question was more of a method of reinforcement for my hours and hours of hammering and welding and grinding. I've managed to replace metal with metal and only use filler as a feathering agent. Its important to me to keep the original parts on the car. I was questioning if its ONLY important to me...Thanks for your wisdom !!
I have always said that I would rather have a wrinkled original than a flawless copy.
The model T rear end is a piece of cake, and very forgiving. Babbitt thrust washers MUST be replaced with brass/bronze. I do not like the other modern option with needle bearings. The original type drive shaft and pinion bearings are good IF you can get really good ones. If yours are not really good, it is best to go with the Fun Projects replacement.
Welcome! Nice T.
Drive carefully, and enjoy, W2
So, do I need special tools to do the rear end?
The only axle tools that I think are hard to live without is a sleeve puller and a hub puller. They make the job that much easier.