I had quite a bill of work to be done on the mostly 1923 Runabout from the last run of the motor including sealing up the tappet cover which required straightening the tin and sandwiching two paper gaskets together using a good smear of The Right Stuff. While at it with the goop, a dollop of the "Stuff" was applied to the oil leak at the corner of the hogshead, block and pan and worked in with a screwdriver. A Lang's rebuilt genny was installed as the old one had a number of issues detailed elsewhere. A Fun Projects voltage regulator was used and the third brush set to an initial setting in the middle of its travel. The setting will be fine tuned later when the lights are added.
Sunday afternoon the tires were pumped up top 60lbs, the lube done with an oil can and the papers were got in order. I did not bother to take any tools, fuses, a jack or even a spare tire as I planned to go no further away than was comfortable to walk.
The car is hard to start and did not seem to run as well as it should. Just the same, I got it going pretty well and set off to see what would come. Up and down the alley in low pedal. Being so rusty with T driving and with this one in particular, I used too many revs and slipped the pedal too much. I quickly learned how the pedal wants to be used and soon started using high gear. At first it was like a catapult when changing gears but I got better with practice and set off across the main street to the quiet neighborhoods to get more practice.
Soon things seems to go better and better and before I knew it I had worked my way to downtown Fullerton by back streets. After that it was on to a large four lane highway, climbing hills in high gear. I kept smelling something that was probably curing paint but the motor did not feel or act hot. By the time I got back to the barn, the drive had lasted more than an hour at speeds that might have been as high as 35 mph, a very good speed and more than I had intended to use with this new tight motor. When shut off, I could hear the radiator gurgling as it thermosyphoned. The motor was good and warm but not hot.
On the positive side the car has:
A good free neutral, no creeping.
Good high gear lockup with controllable engagement and no slippage.
The motor is peppy with good power.
No loud knocks, bangs or squeals even if there are plenty of rattles, normal I hope!
It drives straight as a string, no shimmy or wandering (it is Model T darty even with its 5:1 steering gears.)
The Lang's rebuilt genny with Fun Projects seems to be working, I could see very little movement of the needle, no overcharge.
The tappet cover is sealed, no more leaks or seeps.
On the other hand:
The oil leak is still going but at a reduced rate. I'll have another go at entombing it with sealer.
The starter is VERY marginal, I stalled the car at a traffic light and it was VERY reluctant to turn the motor over.
The timing is still questionable; the motor wants advance to start at all.
The motor misses sometimes and does not run sweetly, it stalls when asked to idle right down, 6v only no magneto, Anderson timer.
Overall the list of positives is large and strong and the negatives are all things that can be worked out. I'm very pleased and look forward to more progress this coming weekend!
Here are some pics:
Vintage Paul, happy to be "T Mobile" again!
Congrats on your first run. Just remember, the most important tool to carry with you in a Model T is your cellphone.
You may need to richen the mixture a 1/4 turn when you go to idle. Especially without the hot air pipe installed. The Model T carb is very simplistic and it helps to vaporize the gas better.
If you think of a T leaking as marking its territory, it's easier to handle.
Cool! Great report. Nice looking car to boot!
Sounds as though it was a pleasurable & safe drive - looking good !
Something you might consider after viewing your photos - your key fob seems rather large and not knowing what it's made out of, the ignition switch tumbler is after all, made of pot metal and could be compromised by any additional weight.
I did take both a cell phone and a AAA card just in case. Next time I'll know the car will go further afield and bring more gear.
I'm still getting to know this motor and will have to figure out how it likes its mixture set. I did it just as I would in an airplane and it seemed to help.
I would say you did very well with a new, tight engine and only on 6 volts to the coils. Do you have a mag? if not you may want to check what the performance would be like with 12 volts. Just a thought, I don't want to anger the 6 volt vs 12 volt gods..... If you don't have a mag take the other connection on the ignition switch and patch in a 12 volt car or lawn mower battery and see what she does. That way you could use the 6 for starting and lights etc...and run off the 12.
The key fob is leather and was given to me by a dear friend in New Zealand who has since past. While it is too big to pocket on a tour, it works fine for these short jaunts. I had not realized the switch was pot metal, not a good thing on 20s cars!
Do the vendors sell a smaller fob with the Ford triangle?
I foolishly did not install a magneto with the rebuild. I bought an E-Timer and will be fitting it once the car is completely sorted out. I could not imagine that the E-Timer would not be a huge sales success and ever be out of production or I would have fitted the magneto. Mike Kosser has been terrific in supporting his customers but he has no plans to make any more at this time. I hope this will change and E-Timers will once again be available. It is too good an idea not to pursue!
So, I intend to install an E-Timer and that should cure the low voltage ignition problems in this case. That does bring up the issue about what to do for those of us who have a weak or no magneto and wish to stay with 6v. There is a new very compact battery sold for motorcycles that possibly might be hooked up under the dash to the magneto wire. I'm not an electrical sort, but it seemed to me that this might provide the hotter spark even if it would need charging once in a while.
Sounds like you're on the right track.
Update us when you hook up the E-timer.
You are GETTING THERE!! And the car is looking good!
Drive carefully, and enjoy, W2
You're living the dream Paul ... memories you won't soon forget.
I hope along with the new genny and voltage regulator that you have a good quality wiring harness in there too. A slow spinning starter could be an issue of needing a rebuild or it could need new cables. Buy some double zero size (00) ones or get them made up for you at the local battery shop. With those cables and an good starter you will be able to move your Model T around the yard just using the starter with the ignition switch off! Just don't do it tho
Once you get the wiring up to snuff (if there even is a problem there at all) you will have a near bullet-proof electrical system.
If you have tightened up the bearings, that might be the sole reason for the slow cranking starter. As you drive it more it'll loosen up, start easier and idle better
I wouldn't necessarily call it "problem child".
Perhaps, Child-O-Opportunity or Model T 101 would be better.
Trouble causes us to look for a solution. Once the solution is found some sort of corrective action will be required.
Trouble + Solution = Understanding (Education).
Understanding + Corrective action = Experience.
Even if this isn't your first T or the first time you've had to correct a particular Model T problem, others prosper (if they are smart) by reading of the ordeal. The posting of problems and repairs on the forum will benefit many novice T owners for many years to come.
right on Paul, well done!
I like the 47-53 Chevy truck in the background. I had 3 of those between 1989 and 2011. Maybe I'll get another one?
I do like your T.
Here is just a little bit of the back story for those who have missed some of the many chapters of this year and a half long project.
When I bought this car ten or fifteen years ago it had a distributor, alternator and ran on 12v. The magneto had been removed. The starter motor spun the motor over merrily and the motor started easily. One of the very first things I did was to remove the distributor and install an Anderson timer and coils. I kept the 12v system as I needed the 12v to run the coils without the mag.
Two or three years ago, the headgasket leaked water into the crankcase and this went undetected for some time. I only found it when I pulled the inspection cover off the trans to adjust the bands and found the creamy foam of water mixed in. The trans parts were well rusted and the motor was removed from the car for "cleaning."
Once the motor was out, we found the babbit was bad, the block cracked, trans had worn pins and bushes and the crank had four cracks. This project had certainly escalated!
There was much work to do and the motor went back together without a magneto. The new E-Timer made it possible to return to 6v without one. I now wish I had gone ahead and installed one while it was apart.
As part of the return to 6v, new 6v cables were installed along with a new 6v Optima battery. The Ford starter switch (not a repop) was take apart & cleaned, It is in good shape.
The new motor was tight. I could turn it with a flywheel wrench on the motor stand but not easily with the crank in the car. The starter motor spins it slowly. I checked to make sure the bands were loose and high was not dragging, all is fine as far as I can tell. I had Larry Blair at the Tin Shed check the starter out before it was installed so I have hopes that it is OK. The motor has only about two hours running and possibly is still tight. I was able to use the crank to set the timing so it is looser now than it was to start.
I shot a video of the car just before I went out for a drive with my handy-dandy little iPhone. How did we ever get along without these things? I'm still very new at this video business so please forgive the low production values. To see it, go you:
Nice! Nice! Nice! Well on its way to being the perfect model T to enjoy! I did not hear any non-normal miss. The cowl to firewall fit looks good. The Fun-Projects voltage regulator looks good. The car looks and sounds great!
Drive carefully, and enjoy, W2
Didn't sound like it was "missing" to me Paul,...???? Idled smooth as silk and steady as a rock! But then, you've probably just got the "new engine jitters", as you were looking for an oil leak that was not there either!
Hope you took somebody with you on that "maiden voyage" so you could show us how that went too! Really nice car Paul,.....harold
Thanks for the comments. I probably am a bit nervous about things. I can certainly hear a miss sometimes and am not sure why this should be so. I'm thinking of hooking up a spare 12v motorcycle battery to the magneto wire to see if 12v helps things smooth out. Possibly Harold is right and I'm expecting too much. I really did have an oil leak though. I just had a second attempt to entomb it with the Right Stuff and cut it way down. Here is a pic just before a second drive this past Sunday:
Do you see that dark circle right in the center? I couldn't see it on the car, only today while reviewing the pics taken over the weekend. After the second drive the oil was still leaking but at a much reduced rate. I'll clean the area up and have another go at it. Its already ugly there, I can't hurt it now!
Wayne - you remember several posts about the firewall/frame/body fit issues and my solutions that included the weather strip filler? The hood never fit very well before, I couldn't even use the two rear latches. Now, the hood fits very well considering it has dents and bends and all four latches work. The weather stripping is almost invisible - even I have to look for it. Here are a coupla pics:
I pulled the trans cover to look what was inside and was pleased to see that all looked in order after the first rough hour on the road with my unpracticed boots on the pedals. There was very little in the screen:
The red bits are flecks of the Glyptal coating used to seal the parts that were media blasted. I imagine that were abraded off by the action of the bands. The grease is grease used to seal the gasket on the trans cover. I have no idea about the yellow flecks!
The trans itself was oily and looked pretty good to my eyes:
I wasn't able to mount one of the side bars in the rear of the body that cradles the top when it is down so I tried to wrap it up and drive anyway. This didn't work out so well and I'll just remove it next time, an easy matter.
I got a full set of tools, spare tire, fuses along with a cell phone and AAA card and set out Sunday for a trip a bit further afield. The motor is very peppy and didn't seem to make any noises it shouldn't. Now that I know it likes some advance it starts easily when the starter finally gets around to spinning it up. On this second drive we climbed a long steep hill and used full throttle. The car lost speed but never went slow enough to resort to low pedal. Coming down the other side of the hill we went though one of the radar speed reminders and were informed that we had achieved 40 mph, pretty good for a Model T!
While on the road I stopped to visit my Grandmother at the cemetery. It is green and peaceful there and very pleasant. Here are a coupla pics of the car with its hood, lights, spare tire and tattered top:
There is still lots to do but progress has been made and the car is now a driver.
Looking very nice, indeed. Be proud.
Drive carefully, and enjoy, W2
On some engines, (at the spot you're showing the oil leak) one of holes for the mounting bolts for the mag coil ring goes right through the casting and will leak oil even w/a bolt in it. The bolt need to have gasket goo put on it when assembling the engine. Sometimes this bolt hole leaks, sometimes the one on the other side of the engine leaks and sometimes both.
Right in the corner, where the pencil is pointing, behind the crankcase bolt.