Hello everyone. I'm afraid I've been bitten by the T-bug.
About 3 months ago I inherited the family Model T from my grandfather. His grandfather, (my great-great-grandfather) bought the car new in 1914. Just before WWII, my grandfather received the car and stripped off the Touring body and fenders and turned it into a speedster (trying to keep up with his college buddies). To this day he boasts he could out run anybody's Model A. It's pretty much the only family heirloom we have. I grew up riding in the car in parades and occasionally around his home town Athens, GA. I currently have the car and live in Havelock, NC. It's got all sorts of inconsistencies for a '14 car, but as far as I can tell is mostly period correct for when my grandfather hot-rodded it. It has later, larger wood-spoke wheels with bigger tires that have a nice tread, a Model NH carb, cut-out exhaust (there's a ring connected to a wire in the floorboard that you pull up to a hook and it opens the larger exhaust, makes the car WAY louder), and the original gas headlights have a conversion kit so that they hold 6V GE sealed beam headlamps. Once I get the car finished I'm going to take some pictures and I'll post them up here. I'd also like the join the MTFCA. Hopefully I can come to some of the events I've seen planned this summer in the NC area.
All of that to say: This website and forum are awesome. I've had a bazillion questions answered just by googling my issue, 99 times out of 100, the answer is on here.
I've been going through the car, replaced all the wiring, rebuilt the coil box, cleaned and re-set the points on the coils, new gas sediment bulb, new NH carb (the old one is good except the threads where the gas-line elbow comes in are cracked and broken off, if someone has a fix for that I'm all ears, it's a swivel top), hot-shot battery kit, replaced the handbrake parts because the teeth and pawl were completely stripped and everything from the rods back were gone from the car, I've got a brand new radiator from The Brass Works coming in about 2 weeks. I'm just semi-restoring the car to the condition my grandfather had it. Once I get the radiator I'm pretty much ready to drive this baby, EXCEPT I need some flat automotive glass. I'm not sure where he got it or how, but the windshield doesn't look like anything I've seen researching the forum or google. It's made from brass and is virtually identical in shape and construction to the top half of a 13-14 car, even used the same hinges to mount it, but it's much narrower, about 27 inches wide, and only 9 inches tall. I have the glass that fit in it, but it's broken in half in a big jagged crack down the middle.
Does anyone know somebody in North Carolina that does flat auto glass? It's the last piece of the puzzle before the car is really ready to drive. I found a couple places online, but they're all on the west coast. I'm trying to have it ready before June 29. I work on the Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point and there's going to be a big Family Day event that includes a car show. After the car show the old hot rod will still get driven any time the weather outside is nice.
Thanks for your help!
Take it to the local glass co. In Greensboro I took mine to Binswanger glass. They can install in your frame. The best part is if they break it they just cut another, if you break you buy another.
Sweet, thank you sir. Looks like I'm headed to Greensboro this weekend.
You have posting pictures down. Now lets see the rest of the car.
Welcome Seth --
It's probably too late to warn you about owning a Model T - It's an addiction and will soon become all consuming.
You are in the right place to get help!
Make sure you check the rear end thrust washers!
What in the world is/are rear end thrust washers? I'm pretty handy mechanically, but 65-68 Mustangs are more the area of my current expertise. I'm learning a TON about the car, but I have no clue about that particular issue. Where exactly are they, what exactly do they do, and how can I check them? I'll research that next since I'm sure there are threads on it. If there's a quick and dirty answer that'd be helpful.
There are babbit thrust washers/bearings in the rear end that disintegrate with age.
When they do the pinion and ring gear disengage, you get awful grinding noises, and you loose the transmission brake.
I caught mine before there was a big problem - but it was close.
Hmm. Roger that. I'll have to break that thing open and check it out.
I was contemplating installing the 3 to 1 high-speed rear end gears that my grandfather had purchased but hadn't found the time to install. However, after reading about the pucker factor involved in driving a T more than 35 to 40 mph, plus most folks citing a lack of driveability, I decided against it and didn't have a reason to open the pumpkin.
Lol, thanks Fred, it would have been just fine since I didn't know about it. But now that I know about it the whole thing will tear to smitherines if I don't check it.
In Fred's post above, the washer on the left is the bronze (kind of brassy yellow) one and the babbit (dirty grey) is on the right. You will want to purchase a copy of the MTFCA handbook on Front and Rear Axles to help you as you adjust the purchased bronze washers to get the correct fit in your car.
I have the little tiny owners manual as well as a big Ford Service manual (sometimes referred to on here as "The Bible" I think). I'm really hoping it all just holds together until the car show on the 29th. After that, I'll break it open and see what's up.
Fred was luckier in the thrust washer department than I was. My first clue that something was amiss was when my rear passenger side brake seized up and disintegrated. I was too inexperienced with Model T's at the time to recognize that as a symptom of something else. I blithely installed new brake shoes and thought I had solved the problem. Sometime later I was driving the car and heard an odd sound from the rear. I removed the plug and stuck my finger in the rear end to check the oil. It came out with that pretty silver oil on it that you see in the picture. Note all the little chunks of metal in the oil. The last picture shows all that was left of the thrust washers.
Yep, thrust washer failure can be expensive and even dangerous. You can do the finger check and see what comes out. Oil like I found says you need to rebuild the rear axle right now, or at least before you drive the car again. Clean oil means: 1 The job has already been done and you're good to go; 2 The job hasn't been done, but the thrust washers may still be OK for awhile; 3 Disaster is imminent. As far as I know,the only way to know whether you're facing 1, 2, or 3 is to open the thing up and check it out. Fortunately the MTFCA axle book by Glen Chaffin tells you just about all you need to know when you rebuild.
Here's another example of what you might find in the bottom of the differential.