While looking for some parts I found this 1915 runabout:
http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/Ford-Model-T-1915-Ford-Model-T-Roadster-0-Miles-s ince-complete-resto_W0QQcmdZViewItemQQcategoryZ6235QQihZ004QQitemZ140210742833QQ rdZ1QQsspagenameZWDVW
After looking at the pictures, I can not believe how smooth the engine looks. I don't think I've ever seen any engine look like that before. How do you think the owner did it?
I have no idea why this has struck me as odd, but I wanted to share it.
Very odd,I would also venture to say,if a man started that engine,and got it up to running temp,half that filler would bust loose.
1 of 2 ways to get that finish,alot of grinding with flap disc and other tools,or bondo as alot of the hit and miss engine folkes do.It takes away from the engine alot and if it gets hot,fergit it.
I know 1 thing for sure,I would love to have that model N to park beside my Craftsman mower!
I also have the rusty twin to his military trailer.
Looks like a heavy powder coat to me...
According to the serial number it is a 1916 roadster.
It could be that the engine has been ground, sanded and polished with no bondo. Appears to be a very high quality car.
You're familiar the yellow 1912 touring that was originally restored by Frank Kelly in Minneapolis and which now resides in TX. That car has a polished block and head.
Royce,that is 1 of the 2 ways I fiqure that can happen to a engine.I cant see powder coat filling that good.
Someone actually took the effort to polish the block and head of a 12 touring? Do you have any photos of that?
It's amazing the degree to which people will detail their cars.
I have seen pics of a cutaway 1927 engine on a stand.......... the one that is in it's original Moleskin color, that was also ground smooth. I assume it was done to make the engine look more refined. I could not imagine the work that would go into it. Would this car lose points if judged for the polishing of the engine?
I don't know, the steering wheel is coming unglued, the fan belt is frayed and there is a lot of silver paint. Other then that, nice car!
That car is red nowdays. It is still a beautiful car. I last saw it in Kerrville Tx on tour in 2004. I bet Frank spent a week of 8 hour days doing all that work.
i HAVE SEEN A LOCAL JUNK MAN (Sorry) take old metal parts, blast them, then use bondo, sand it off and paint. Stuff looks smoother than new. Don't know how it would work on an engine.
I don't have a picture of motor. In hindsight, I wish I had taken a number of photographs of the car before it left town because it was restored in such a unique fashion.
Frank Kelly who restored it was a very talented machinist. The car was restored in the 50s when authenticity wasn't a priority. Also, I was told by a good friend of Frank's that the car was not in the greatest condition when originally found so Frank had no problem taking liberties. It was yellow with black fenders (the undersides painted red) red running gear and varnished wheels with red rims - a real circus wagon.
Frank fabricated decorative brass plates in lieu of the factory issued steel plates on the wheel hubs, which were encircled with acorn nuts instead of the standard hub bolts (the wheels may have been demountable at the hub). There were so many nuts only half of them may have been functional while others were probably decorative.
The interiors of the doors were covered with woodgrain Formica.
Another unique feature was a brass coilbox fabricated by Frank that was virtually identical to a later steel coil box. (It may have merely been a brass plated factory issued box but if I recall correctly, I believe that it was actually fabricated by Frank.)
As mentioned in my earlier post, the block was polished.
The car would have been a great subject for an article on the unique things that collectors did in the early days of the antique car hobby.
I believe the car now owned by Ward & Barbara Beebe and pictured in the photo gallery (now painted red as mentioned by Royce Peterson). Click on the link below to see a picture:
The e-bay car looks like powder coat to me too, I use it on rough cast aluminum and that is exactly how it comes out. He likely spent a day or so with a flap wheel taking off the really bad spots, powerwashed it, baked it to get all oil out of the iron pores to reduce the outgassing (it causes little pimples in the coating) then heavy powder coat, then bake again. I don't think I'd do a block or head with it. That crap is so heavy it would have to hold heat in to a certain extent. It fills pits on frames and suspension parts really well, almost any color you can dream is now available.
When I was a kid in the late fifties a friends Dad had a 1922 T roadster,,,The whole car looked like that.....The man that did the work on it spent HOURS in his shop preparing EVERY part on that car...I remember the front axle looked like plastic....there was no filler,,,,just smooooth metal with primer,and black paint.....He built a V8 for a 1934 Roadster and had it on a test stand in his garage......It too looked like it was made of plastic.....When it was running,,,you heard a faint hiss,of the carb.,and the sound of the belts on the fan and waterpump pullies...George Webster was his name and he was quite a craftsman.........Carl
I like the Models N and S in the background!
Could have been painted with a filler primer first before the black was applied
Erik, I remember that car. Part of the Prouse (or was it Preuss?)estate wasn't it? I was told that Frank Kelly was a master machinist and that those wheels were made so you could remove them like the spare wheel feature on the Rambler mentioned in another thread.
I also remember another "circus wagon" that was on display over in St. Paul years ago. Chromed front axle and other parts that Ford never plated. Owned by (who else?) a Shriner.
Speaking from a personal point of view and as a perfectionist myself, anyone who would be so meticulous as to restore a car like that would not put Bondo or filler primer on an engine so that the first time it was started and heated up to running temperature, it would all come bubbling off, entailing the removal of the engine.
I would bet the farm that the person responsible for that smooth finish, put an immense amount of elbow grease and time into doing it right and smoothing down to the bottom of the pits and roughness left over from the original casting process with hand files, rotary files, grinding discs, flapper drums and sandpaper until smooth and then painting with a good 1500 degree engine enamel. Anything less would be unacceptable to this person because, while others may not know, he would know that there was something on the car that was not up to his exceptional standards and bound to fail and cause even more work if anyone ever started it. Jim
PS. It looks as if he did the differential the same way and probably all the other rough cast components under the car, as well. Nice car.
It would take hours of polishing that is for sure.I Hope it aint bondo,but I have seen it done,and seen it fail miserably.I wouldnt waste the time to put filler on a engine.But I aint chaseing trophys.
Filler primer is good stuff for minor pitting and roughness,but a cast block would be a challenge with it.
But it is curious that the engine hasnt been started since the overhaul.
In one of the pictures the interior shows the 3 pedals. Is the brake pedal in a normal position??
Strikes me to be far forward !!
It was simply dressed smooth using a small hand held die grinder. You can still see some small pits, so bondo wasnt used. Takes some time to do, but guys do this all the time on high end cars.
Wilf, Over the years and a great amount of use pedal shafts bend and the cams wear to the point that the pedals end up in all types of configurations forwards and backwords. I do believe the pedals you mention in the picture are indeed in the correct position when all the parts fit as designed. The T hogsheads I have rebuilt or refurbished have all ended up with the pedals in that position. With the brake pedal rearward it is easier to apply without getting ones foot caught between the left and right pedal....Michael Pawelek
Excuse my quick writing, I meant the reverse pedal.....Michael Pawelek
your right, why wasnt it started. i would have worked on the front axel a little more,wrong oil cap,and something wrong in the trunk, that front right pan is supposed to be underneath, looks like its torn. not supposed to be a brass spyder, but is supposed to be a brass steering box.the top bow nuts are supposed to be brass.and isnt the fan hub supposed to be brass? and there is metal trim that is missing on the turtle deck pedistal (top edge) that meets the trim on the rear of the body. wish i could see it close up. did we pick enough? guy
ps. besides the engine being as smooth as a babys a-- the upholstry's a little to smooth for my taste.
This amazes me. All my life I have heard things like "do your best" and I try to do just that. Then I see and hear comments like "sorry, but you do too good a job", "look, he even spit shined the aluminum head", and above "it's a little too smooth". I'm not complaining, just absolutely amazed that anyone would want something done so so! What happened to "take pride in your work"? It's like the people on the television that hit a brand new table with chains and a bag of nails to make it look better. I just don't understand.
There are different schools of thought on this. Some people feel that, if the lowly Model T is restored too magnificently, with an expensive, professionally applied, super gloss paint that provides a mirror shine, not only on the exterior of the body, but under the fenders and in places nobody will see, it is not done as Henry Ford would have originally done it, since these cars were manufactured and came off the assembly line in record time without much consideration given to quality.
I feel as you do. I am impressed with and admire those that spend the extra time and money it takes to have a truly superb Model T, that is much better than the original Model T's ever were. While Henry Ford did not have the time to invest in quality workmanship back then, some of us do and if there are those that take pride in exceptionally superb workmanship, they should not be criticized by those that do not. Jim
I have done a couple of engines with a smooth finish and had the finish stay on. First off there are some very aggressive buffing wheels available that can remove high spots and smooth the iron surfaces very quickly. One is Liquid Abrasive in a 120 grit by Formax that is painted in a cotton buff. When dry it will throw sparks when used on steel yet it doesn't gouge like a body grinder will once the surface of the face of the buff has been fractured. (picture 1)
When you get to spots that buffing isn't possible, like around letters and in deep corners you can go with an all metal body filler that don't flake or react to heat or volatiles like bondo will. They are harder to sand smooth but worth the trouble. These steps are considered as over restorations but were done to the customer wants. Bob
Assuming the VIN posted is the actual motor serial number (1234135), the motor corresponds to May 1916.
Assuming the car is a 1916, for the purist, it has a number of detail issues:
1) trunk is for a later roadster with starter generator (that is why one section of the front end interior is squared off - to allow clearance when installing a storage battery). Also, the trunk itself is missing its wooden floor - see that cross piece? There should be wood boards of the same height as that piece running across the bottom. The turtle deck should have sheet metal on top of it - not exposed wood as shown. As mentioned earlier, the trim around the turtle deck is missing.
2) rear axle is later - filler plug and boss on opposite housing should be same height - not offset from each other
3) later top bows - should be round/oval, not square. Top fits poorly.
4) fluted headlight lenses are for much later car
5) carberator chimney does not look correct (appears to be much later style with top cut off)
6) brass rims on lights not correct for 1916
7) roll-up curtain not correct for 1916
Your customers probably love the attention to detail until it comes time for them to pay the bill!
It is refreshing to hear you say that going above and beyond how Ford did it is OK. You know that I think so.
The car, now 100 years old is no longer the basic transportation it once was. Now it is someone's treasure and if overdoing it melts their butter and improves their experience, that's great! It's great for them and probably also for the future of the hobby.
BTW, I'm perfectly content with my as-cast Ford engine - painted and letter-highlighted, of course.
"It's 5:00 somewhere" or in this case there's a correct Model T with all the correct parts and finishes for the historical record to be used for anyone's documentation needs just not mine. So I turn the other cheek when someone chooses to over restore or embellish their car with items or finishes not correct as originally used on your car as long as it's done in good taste. As a critic I ask myself could I have done it better? Having done several cars it's hard to get all the parts and finishes correct for a museum perfect car. I see some of what's evident with this car but know I would have done many of the same things given the parts, materials and equipment I had at hand to work with. I know I would be happy if this car was in my garage.
Seth, the reason I have moved from doing T parts and restorations is from your exact quote. " Your customers probably love the attention to detail until it comes time for them to pay the bill!" This is especially true with T owners being one myself.
With so many reproduced T items out there it hard to compete with offshore parts manufacturers which can pay their workers less then minimum wage. On the other hand making parts for orphan cars like Stanley, Kissel, Mitchell, REO, and a host of others has been a lot more rewarding financially for me since the number needed of a given part is too small to get offshore manufacturers to risk trying to reproduce them. It's always good to hear a customer ask "how soon" not "how much" when reproducing a part they need done. Bob
Yes, and even with the engineering required to produce those ultra-low volume parts for the very rare machines, isn't it nice that you can make a little money.
Enthusiasts that aren't mechanically inclined and have their work done rarely understand just what it takes to do it right - especially something that has been abused, has worn and rusted severely.....
I hope that you teach your skills to someone younger so that the art (and passion) isn't lost.
I also like to see some of the "over-restorations", but I also like to see the rusty "as is" cars. They are our cars to do with as we please. I doubt any of us can claim they are truly our daily drivers. I bet most of us have at least one modern driver in our garages. I've "over-restored" mine with lined brake linings, Kevlar bands, Fun Projects' coil rebuild kit, a Z head, Stipes .280 cam, Anderson timer, etc.