Officially there are only 5 more days until the start to the world famous(within the model T community) Montana Cross Country T Association 500 mile model T endurance run.
Last night was the last Tuesday night Work session the Spokane Model T Group has before the run. I feel there is so much work left to be done. This Morning I was talking to Hutch of Tip Top Timers about all the things other drivers have to finish and it got me thinking about guys like Milt Rhorda from Florida who is already on the road, or the Orange county Model T Group who will leave in a couple days. Yes, we all have 365 days in the year, unfortunately some of the drivers years are shorter than others.
I think type A people that love that last minute crunch. To all that are running the in the Montana 500 or those that are building cars for next year. Have Fun, Drive Safe and good luck. 500 Miles full throttle in a Model T isn't easy; but it sure is fun!
Must go one of these days. Just to learn if nothing else, and drive noncompetitively too of course. Great country for a T tour.
Good luck to you Milt. Safe travelling to the event and I hope you get a good result. I wish I could be there doing it with you. Rest assured some Aussies will be over for a tilt at the trophy one year soon! Yes, Mike you event is world famous and watched from the other side of the globe. Just cant watch it live on ESPN yet!
Have a great event.
Wish all of you the the best for a safe and successful 500. I'm headed back to the garage to work on the Tour Deluxe which may or may not be ready Monday morning to put on the trailer and head to Lincoln for the Speedster Reunion. Never enough hours, just wait to you get a little older if you think it's bad now.
Whadayamean John, not ready??? After all that Planator work and differential and hubs and wheels and tires and, and, and, and, and, you're not ready??? Good thing I'm not planning to go to the speedster run or the 500, I have another carb to go yet tonight to get in the mail tomorrow before I get shot, spent FOUR DAYS (or the better part of them) on that Buffalo, finally got it figured out and have it running, not leaking, hopefully reliable. I'm leaving for an auction Friday hopefully in the AM. I'll stop by the 500 signup on Sunday if all goes as planned, back to the shop Monday -- I'm really behind on carbs, gotta get some people back on the road. Have fun in Lincoln.
Hey Stan, I hope I see you again Sunday before you leave!
I contacted Mothers, polishes, waxes and cleaners, and asked if they could help sponsor the event. They were happy to donate some nice prizes for this years 500 race winners and everyone entering the event.
The SoCal group has been feverishly been wotking on the cars here with test drives, tuning, kicking tires, and of course polishing with Mothers great products.
The cars are all are all running very bad and we hope that all the other car drivers will slow down a little so we can pass at least a couple of other cars. Hee hee ha ha
One important thing I believe for anyone running a car in the event is that you find everyone works together and we all learn a lot about making the T's run their best.
I'm a rookie first time runner in the 500 and even thinking about leaving right now tonight just so I can get started! I been on lots of tours with the Torpedo and expect this will lots of fun as well.
Since this will be during Fathers Day I will be bringing my 13 yr old grandson for his first Model T Tour. I'm sure it will be trip he'll not soon forget.
Hoping everyone has a safe trip there and back and a fun race!
This year I have decided to drive my coupe just for the fun of it. I had to make some changes as the motor wasn't "legal" for the MT 500. For instance, I had to get rid of the Z head. I had carburetor issues and have a "new" carb on that I haven't had a chance to test drive yet. I hope to get a chance to try it before I have to leave for Montana. I am sure that I won't win any prizes driving my coupe, unless all of the routes are down hill with a tail wind!
I'm as excited as a kid at Christmas and looking forward to seeing my friends from California, Iowa and Florida and wherever else they may come from.
Gene, a little word to the wise. Make SURE you bring a warm coat, not just a windbreaker. Bring warm gloves and a cap. It is only the middle of June in Montana, the weather can be anything from freezing cold to blistering hot but odds are that you will have that coat on sometime during the three or four days. We've had people show up with just a California windbreaker and it was 35 above with the wind out of the northwest at 35 at 8 AM when they were ready to pull out. One year I gathered up all the winter caps I could find and passed them out to the out of state guys just before they left for the day.
We also have mountains. It is almost always cold up there. I don't know the route this year, not many mountains around Ft Benton.
Right now at my house it is about 45 and raining hard. We got an inch of rain in about two hours last night along with some small hail. It is supposed to turn nice and be in the mid 70's by Sunday.
I'll try to catch up with you guys on Sunday. Tom, if you'd have let me know I could have done you a "legal" NH for your coupe.
Sure wish I could be there just to watch. Maybe some day...
Tom, it would be nice to see a picture of your coupe. You could maybe even use it for your profile picture. Just a suggestion....
The winner in the Montana 500 has to go over 70 mph at times in order to average 50+ mph. I can't imagine how that feels, but it has to be scary. The fastest I ever went in one of my T's was 49 & then I chickened out.
Have fun, guys, and come home safe and sound.
Keith, Yes there are times when they hit 70mph. Usually while coming down a mountain pass. The fastest I've been in my '24 is 75MPH, I think at 76MPH is when lift off occurs. The slowest I've been in high was coming up Bridger bowl into Bozeman from Clyde Park, MT 15mph. When you get that slow you have to make a decision. Can I go faster in low? I did, and I did.
Stan, I borrowed Stormo's carb off of his car from last year. It worked good for him, so I'm hoping it will work OK for me.
Here is a rather lousy photo of my coupe.
And you thing STORMO'S carb was LEGAL??? =) =) Nah, just kidding. Isn't he coming this year?
Stormo is coming, but he thinks he has something better than his carb from last year.
Tom - Thanks for the pic. That looks like a quite nice coupe. You are going to remove the bumpers and visor for the race though, right?
Maybe off topic, but would a E-Timer useage be acceptable in the "500" rules ?
Keith, thank-you. I restored it about ten years ago, so she is getting a bit jaded. I will run the bumpers and the visor and the tool box on the running board and spare gas and oil and water and about half enough spare parts to build another T in the trunk.
I have no clue how you can go 70mph in a T. Not even talking about slowing down again, just traveling at an average speed of 50+mph for days seems to be unreal, especially with no 3:1 gears allowed and the Ruckstell locked.
Bernard, when they are built right it ain't no big deal. Crappy Model T's are no fun at 35 mph. Good ones are a pleasure at 60.
I've told this story before but it bears repeating. Periodically I'll have someone riding with me and I'll cover up the speedo and ask them to guess our road speed. I've had folks guess 45 when we were going 59. They always under guess and usually by 10 mph or more.
Tom is right on that one. I was a passenger in his roadster. He did cover up the speedometer and ask how fast we were going. I don't remember what I said, but it wasn't enough. That car was smooth as silk at 50 or so. I think balancing it the big thing.
I had a nice visit with Gary Ebbert yesterday. Gary and Kathleen are headed for Montana today.
Green with orange wheels--You Rock!!
Dont forget to post pictures! Sounds like there will be lots of new entrants and cars this year. Good photos and descriptions are the next best thing to being there. Thanks in advance.
so without going into revealing sacred secrets, what does it take to built a T engine that won't self-destruct rather quickly, parts and money (from a customer's perspective) wise?
I can imagine that it starts with a counterbalanced Scat crank, fully balanced components, but that alone cannot be sufficient . . .
To continue Bernard's post above, I imagine it includes a really special cam grind & maybe an advanced cam gear too....
I believe they use stock cranks.
E Timer use in the Montana 500 is strictly prohibited, same as any other electronic ignition.
Here's the rule specifically that you are asking about:
B2j. Only stock Ford roller type, New Day, Anderson flapper type timers or Crystal timers allowed.
Everything that moves balanced to a gnats a$$, interesting grind and timing for the cam, no extra loads on the motor (generator, water pump, fan belt), extremely careful clearances, "refined" NH carburetor, carefully tuned timers and coils, everything checked and balanced throughout. Some of this is money but a lot of it is skill, special knowledge and preparation. From what I've heard, at least some of the main participants are willing to share many of the "secrets" but it's up to you to make them all happen in the proper combination.
Even with their daily drivers, it can be tough to keep up with the Carnegie and Robison folks if they feel like airing it out a bit.
Oh, you also need to be willing to pull both levers all the way down and leave them there.
I've got a lot of respect for the Montana 500 folks but even in my speedster, I like to take a somewhat gentler approach. I'd never drive that fast for that far with a "stock" T.
Bernard, the rules pretty much spell out what we do. Walt pretty much nailed it. I balance all of my stuff with the exception of the rear axles and the carrier. They turn at 1/4 speed (more or less) so I have never bothered. I built a balancing machine (details are in the Montana 500 newsletter) so I could really take the time and fine tune the balancing. I even balance my drive shaft. I make sure everything is aligned. Think about this. My brother pours my babbitt for me. His rods stand up where others often don't.
I hope your last sentence is referring to car parts.
Any photos of this years event would be appreciated.
Thank you, but Tom Carnegie already answered THREE days ago.
Dennis, I shouldn't compose forum messages late at night.
Mike Robison is just leaving for Montana. I am already there (in Helena right now).
I sure hope Mike has a safe trip with that rig. Reminds me of Brent Terry's accident a few years ago towing 3 old cars behind a pickup.
I wish you all a safe and exciting race. Show 'em how to drive fast, Gene.
I don't see that COUPE?
The coupe is with me. I will post a picture when I get to Ft. Benton.
The pink car belongs to a girl, right?
Yep, Miss Jillian.
I would love to see a set of photos with one picture of each car. Possible? Thank you.
Car no. 1 Mike Stormo, Davenport, WA
Note: number is from last year.
As promised, my coupe. I drew number 17.
Made it to Ft. Benton. We left Spokane @ 5am and rolled into town @1:00 pm. No problems with my crew. I don't do much photo taking but my wife has a finger that never stops clicking. I'll see if I can post some pics later, time for bed 250 miles tomorrow.
Car number 2: Dan Lukowski, Kansas City, MO
Car number 3: Mike Robison, Valley Ford, WA.
Note: number is from last year.
Car number 4: Miss Jillian. Valley Ford, WA
Sergio Hernandez, Miss Jillian and Dwayne Lukowski
Car no. 5: Sandy Watt, Orange (or thereabout) CA.
Sandy Watt and Dwight Patten (Las Vegas, NV)
Car no 6. Sergio Hernandez, Bell Gardens, CA
Enough for now. More later.
That's Alex Watt of Santa Ana. Sandy is his wife.
How many cars in total running in the competitive class? Looks like you have another coupe to run against Tom! Has Jillians car got a flash new set of wheels? they look smart anyway. Might just have had a wash! Have a great race and stay safe.
I thought the cars had to have a top to qualify?
Ralph, all Scotsmen named "Alexander" are "Sandy" as far as I know. Alex told me that he prefers to be called "Sandy". His wife is Sandy too, but not Alexander. Confusing, huh.
Warwick, 22 cars in the trophy class. Same old wheels on Jillian's ride.
Dale, tops are optional.
Car no 7. Dennis Powers, Ogden Iowa.
Big Muddy Missouri in background.
I second Stan's comment about hot and cold. I've been snowed on in Montana in August.
Could you, if at all post a picture of Milt Roordas entry. I had the pleasure of entertaining him for a BBQ at my home a few years ago when he was in Australia. We both spoke then about entering the 500 but he has beat me to it! I hope he does well.
Number 19: Milt Roorda
Last picture for a while. Flag out in a few minutes.
Looking good Milt
Milt, I saw your car up close. If that thing runs as good as it looks you gonna win. We're pulling for you. Bob
No. 8 Mike Wendland. This car belonged to Ray Warhank and has done Montana 500's since the early 60's. It was doing well in 2013 when it lost a tire. The spare was flat, so up on the trailer it went. This car will be sold at auction next week.
Car number 9: Jamie Allen, Spokane, WA.
Tom . . . whatcha "think" is the Ray Warhank car "worth" in its current condition? It kinda talks to me . . .
Continuing: Dan Brown, number 10 from La Porte, IA
The Ray Warhank car was worth $7250. Or at least that is what it sold for. Might not have been worth that anywhere or anytime else.
Looks like the fast boys use wire wheels, late blocks, and tires?
Do the radiators have round tube or flat tube?
All iron pistons? Stock bore or over bore?
Can the head be modified other then total cc?
Manifolds cleaned up or left rough?
The rules are at:
"C4. Rebuilt or new radiators allowed. Must be built to stock dimensions including tanks and side brackets"
" B2p. Cast iron or aluminum pistons of stock Model T type required. Cast iron pistons must have a full set of .250" width rings in place. Aluminum pistons must have two (2) .125" width compression rings and one (1) 0.1875" width oil ring in place. Pistons must conform to the attached diagrams. Refer to Illustration for Piston Dimensions"
"C18. Cylinder bore not to exceed 3.825" maximum or 3.750" minimum"
"B2i. Only stock cast iron or stock aluminum or new manufactured intake manifolds with ports not to exceed 1 1/8" diameter are allowed. No grinding or performance enhancing alterations of the intake or exhaust ports allowed.
The biggest rule that makes a difference IMHO is the one for carburetors. All cars must run swayback NH with no enlarging of the bore beyond 11/16 ths. They have a bore gauge, if it passes through you cannot run that carb. Other than that there are quite a few things you can do to the carb, especially for air passage through the bore. (Yup, I've built a few for the boys.) Contrary to what you might think, the main reason for the NH requirement is to keep speeds slower (also to level the playing field) as there are carbs you can put on these engines that would let them run 65-70 down the road and faster down the hills. That is also the reason for the stock manifolds.
I think all of the cars use tires, =) some use 30 x 3 1/2 but most run 4:40's. There is quite a difference in diameter of the various makes of tires and different theories about as to whether smaller or bigger is better. I dunno.
The cylinder bore maximum is misleading to some extent. Realistically, you can't bore .075 over - which is what 3.825 is - because pistons are only available in .020 increments up to .080 over. So you can bore .060 over and fit commercial pistons. Although...............................who knows what a guy with a piston grinder and a boring bar and a little time could do to an .080 over piston? It would only have to be a .005 reduction, wouldn't it? Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.
When you consider that many of the guys who build engines build their own and have extensive shops....................
I suppose they measure all this stuff at teardown. =) =)
Not a lot of wiggle room other then making a darn good running T.
I can see why balance is such an important issue. It takes lots of time but other then a few tools folks can make its worth it.
Which car did you take? I haven't seen any pictures that say that they're of your car.
The bore may be .075" over, but the pistons cannot be more than .060" over. This is to allow for wear. To machine .080" pistons to .075" would not be allowed, in my opinion.
Number 13: Garrett Green, Orange, CA.
Number 14, Gene Carrothers, Huntington Beach, CA.
Number 15: Nan Robison, Spokane, WA
Number 16: Rick Carnegie, Otis Orchards, WA.
Number 18, Mike Cuffe, Eureka, MT.
Number 20: Donald Carnegie, Post Falls, ID.
Number 21: Brandon Langel, Rudyard, MT.
Number 22: Hutch Hutchinson, Spokane, WA.
That is all that I have pictures for right now. I have missed Sonny Bishop and Skeeter Carlson. I will try to post those later when I get more photos.
Looks like the rear of Garrets touring top is gone. On purpose or otherwise? My touring runs stronger with the top down.
Paul, I think it is on purpose. Are you sure that your car runs better with the top down? No one has won the Montana 500 with a top down in nearly ten years. The top nine cars this year (if you count the coupes) all ran with tops.
Tom, Where I live the top is down when its not raining and thats not often. Could be I can see better looking out for critters and traffic, or the back part of the touring is like a parachute wider then the windshield catching wind. Opening up the rear would let air flow through---I dont know!!
Found a picture of Sonny Bishop number 11 and Skeeter Carlson number 12. That should be everyone.
Awesome. Thank you for taking the time and effort to post all the cars in the race.
Thanks Tom & everyone in the "500" for all you do..... gotta include this event on my bucket list ! .......... but I may be tempted to drive from New Jersey.