Working on Liz today and got to wondering ....
What's the most miles anyone has ever put on a T motor ?
Whoops - make that without a rebuild or between rebuilds.
That's probably gonna be a hard question to answer, Bud. Many T's (mine included) don't have a speedometer/odometer, so who knows?
Someone should ask Johnny Weaver of Pine Tops North Carolina. I have known Johnny for over twenty years and he is faithful to come to almost every tour our HCCA club has. My quick calculation of tours our club has had over 50 years easily totals 45,000 miles. Johnny is so faithful that he decided to pull his engine out of his 1914 now after I think 58 years but borrowed his daughters 1924 T for our tour last weekend.
This would be very hard to compute, because most Model T's have no odometer. Those which do, many times don't work.
You might ask Dean Yoder, Ben Yumori or Ben Hardeman as they all do lots of long distance driving in their Model T, and may have an engine with lots of miles on it without a rebuild. Ben Yumori doesn't drive his T to the national tours anymore due to age complications, but he used to do it all the time.
Ken Swan has been driving his 22 since 54, went on the alaska tour with Ben Hardeman in 01 and drives every chance he gets. As far as how many miles between rebuilds, I don't know. A lot I'm sure as he still has the original engine in it. KB
My 1925 T was bought by a woman in Beaumont, Texas(she was 47 at the time and her husband did not drive)and she drove the car regularly until 1972 when she was 94. It is not known how many miles the engine had on it when she stopped driving, but it was probably well in excess of 50,000 miles, and the engine never any major work done on it during that time. I have yet to hear of another original Model T that was in continuous use for that long of a period.
The car was passed down to her grandaughter, and I purchased the car from her in 2000. The engine was tired, but I did a ring and valve job on it, and drove it 1,000 miles in the next year. I finally had to pull the engine and rebuild it when I cracked the low speed drum. I have since driven it another 8,000 miles.
Another interesting part of this story was when I gave the owner's great grandchildren a ride in the car shortly after I had purchased it. They had remembered riding in the car when their great grandmother was still driving it, and they said she even hand cranked it at that time!
Ralph Zaijcek of Z-Head fame, and his wife put well over 100,000 miles on his East Kittery paddy wagon. Dean Yoder probably holds the record for current T owners.
It depends on how you drive them and the maintenance that was done on them as to how long they will run without any major work done to them.
Periodic maintenance on a stock T would keep it going at least 50,000 miles I would
think going by the way some T engines I have torn down over the years.
I have a parts transmission that has the low speed and brake drums almost worn through and the triple gears are shot.
Put a good driver and a 1 owner car together and you have a good long lasting combination.
I am pretty sure all of the Model T motors are the same length whether they are running or not.
My first rebuild lasted 37,000 miles. Ended short because of a broken crank. I blame the Mechanic, Me. The second rebuild now has 50,000+ miles. It will be pulled this summer to fix the failed mag. My miles are GPS documented.
I can't report miles but I can report years. My 1914 T Runabout engine was last rebuilt by the owners uncle in 1930 after he bought it from the original owner. They owned the car for 74 years before I bought it in 2004 from the nephew. She smokes a little and shakes like a Hula Girl. Mark
Dean, what did your mechanic do that caused the broken crank? Was the failed mag a rebuilt that wore out?
I think you're right, Doug!
I am the original poster, and much thanks to everyone who replied.
Dean Yoder's reply seems to be the best documented one. I would never have guessed 50K miles was possible from a T engine.
Dean, I would like to re-ask Dougs question, "what did your mechanic do that caused the broken crank?". Do you have any idea what led to the failure?
My 19 has the original motor without a rebuild.
I have no idea about how many miles it has but I know it made a few trips between Brookline Ma and Cape Cod in the old days.
Doug, I have always used vendor quality rebuilt mag coils. My first mag failure was caused by a cotter key shorting it out. I later replaced it because I found a crack in the casting. The crank failed because I pulled it out of alignment replacing a fractured center main.