New to this forum & thankful for the valuable info. I work at a museum that recently acquired a 1923 TT that was restored back in '68 by a place called the "The Restoration Shop" out of Jamesburg, NJ. It runs & drives, but overheats very quickly. I flushed the rad., but this hasn't helped. Also, it hardly wants to move in reverse. I'm thinking the trans needs freshening. The truck has been in storage for, I'm guessing, 20+yrs. Any help is much appreciated.
Welcome, and enjoy the fun of Model T's.
Be sure to obtain for the museum reprints of the Ford Service and Ford Owner's manual. Lots of good info there.
As for overheating, causes with a Model T, the Cooling system may sub-par, (debris in the block, radiator, hoses),....the Ignition system....poor sparkplugs, magneto output (or battery) down, coils not adj., timer case dirty contacts, timing of ignition of the communtator......the Engine, poor valve adj., sticking valves, carbon in cyl or pistons,..... the Chassis, transmission/rear axle/bearings stiff or producing too much friction in operation.
Also, overheating very quickly, if it occurs at idle, the timing may be off, spark too retarded, or carb adjusted too lean. The Ford does need to move air thru the radiator, the fan and belt need to pull air....less problem when at road speed. The Ford will run hot at 180-200 degrees, that is the thermosyphon method. But a rolling boil in the radiator at idle means a remedy is needed.
If the TT has an aftermarket waterpump, that could also be a source of partial block to coolant flow. The coolant should ride in the upper tank just at or touching the upper baffle plate, if added all the way to the neck, not enough expansion space, and coolant will spill out the overflow pipe of the radiator.
The next checks should be ignition, then carb, then mechanical.
Hardly moving in reverse can mean bad linings on the bands, or adj to the bands, that is easy to do the adj. by removing the inspection cover over the transmission. If the TT moves fine in low and high, then band adj. seems what is needed.
These ref will help:
And these check lists:
And one more - It's not overheating and the radiator is too full of coolant causing excess coolant to be forced out through the overflow.
How did you determine it was "overheating"?
In 1968, when it was 45 years old, the original radiator may have been good enough to keep. If the radiator is original, now that it's 90 years old, especially if it's been driven a lot, vibration may have separated the radiator fins from the tubes. Without that contact, the fins fail to carry the heat away. The cure is a new radiator. But before you go there, check all the things Dan listed above.
By the way, while I'm at it, here's more about good books to have:
You should see some the "original" radiators ive run in the dumptruck.
all the fins loose and half of them split and tattered, looks like newspaper almost, thing ran great even running around with no fan and with a warford shoved in low!
occassionally it would start to steam if you sat long enough, then you would find a convenient hill and just idle down it in high and all the steam went away.
but as for your TT, if its been sitting, was it stored dry? if not the block could be plugged with what looks like lava rock.
you probably need a full ignition tune up, have the coils adjusted, clean and lube the timer, and clean the contacts in the coil box. like others have said both timing and carb tuning can make a car overheat fairly easily,
thanks guys for the literature recommendations, thats what I'm looking for. As far as it overheating, the gauge on the rad. cap is pinned & it spills out the overflow. It does feel to have some drag to it when moving, probably from being stored so long. It was stored with coolant in it, is there a way to tell if the coolant passages in the block are plugged without tearing it apart? The coolant flush did bring some nasty chunks out with it. Also, I had to soak the chambers in trans fluid in order to free the valves cause 2 of the cylinders had barely any compression.
An older post with a video of block flushing.
May be necessary to do a block flush. That only means to remove the hoses, lower pipe, clamps, and clean the passages with a strong flush.
Then do a flush of the radiator again.
Primer for new Model T'ers'
I’m glad to hear you are working on the museum’s Ton Truck. I would recommend contacting a couple of the local Model T Ford chapters near you. There are several not very far away. For example:
29 miles from T-Bones Chapter
32 miles from North Jersey Tinker T's
38 miles to Model T Ford Club of Long Island (Valley Stream, NY 11581)
51 miles from T-Crank-Yankers of Central New Jersey
You don’t need someone who was trained at the Henry Ford Trade School and has 60 years experience working on Model Ts – but if you have someone that is familiar with them, it can simplify your process and get you on the road a lot easier and often quicker. The contact information for all of those chapters is located at: http://mtfca.com/clubpages/chapters.htm and click on NJ or NY. Also there are local chapters for our other national club in NJ and NY listed at: http://www.modelt.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=5&Itemid=15#N J Between them you are very likely to find some active members who are close and willing to help you out some.
Model Ts store very well if they are kept in a dry location. There are no hydraulic brake systems etc. that corrode and need to be replaced or things like that. Your TT could actually be in great shape. Or in the case of the Ts in my Dad’s garage – some of them were parked because they had “an issue” that he needed to fix but that he had not gotten around to fixing yet.
Depending on the museum’s goal you may be just fixing up the Ton Truck to sell and help raise funds for the museum (that is a worthwhile goal). Or at the other extreme you might be able to turn the “Get the Ton Truck back on the Road” into one of the most interactive ventures for your museum. Allowing visitors to see the truck being brought back to life (ok a little melodramatic) but at least back to driving condition. Several museums have put a work area up so visitors can see the progress on a car or truck etc. as it is brought back up to speed. Depending on the space and location that might be easily done or prohibited by your space and/or insurance. And of course I would encourage you to have some local future young mechanics help you with the project. No you don’t want 50 kids getting hurt at one time, but is there a way you could offer to let a few get more “hands on” with the Truck?
Way more information than you should need – but some of it may help you please see “Taking a T out of mothballs” at: http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/29/8538.html
By the way are you already familiar with Ts? I think the comment above about “do not fill the radiator up to the top” is common knowledge for T owners – as it will expand and go out the overflow. But for modern cars with the sealed systems that is how it is done. Lots of things similar to that between T and modern cars.
Good luck and please keep us posted.
Hap l9l5 cut off
Thanks Hap, I was not aware of so many clubs being nearby. Something I will definitely take advantage of. Hopefully, down the road we could host some events or shows. The goal we have for the TT is to get it running properly as well as being properly displayed for our visitors. Eventually it may serve as a parade truck or the occasional drive around town to bring awareness to the museum. Learning the in's & out's here has already been of great help.