Now that I'm back from vacation, I ran off to my shop to work on the cars. Today I turned my attention to my touring. My '16 T was purchased over 25 years ago as a project because I discovered a wife, two kids, and a dog didn't fit into our Coupe. I am amazed at what I did to the car because of the "expert advice" of the time. When I restored the car, I had the red book from the Henry Ford Museum souvenir shop along with a copy of the service manual. I also had knowledgeable friends who knew everything about the Model T. This was well before Bruce's book.
Things I think I did right... Bronze plates in the rear axle and an EE crankshaft.
Things I did that I now question... fiber timing gear and a brass timer shield. I also some how tucked the engine pans inside of the frame rail on this car. I put Nylok nuts on the steering bracket and brake cross shaft because they were safety items and I needed better fasteners than those available in the day. This last part reminds me of my helpful hardware store guy who tells me I need to use stainless steel fasteners because all the Corvette guys are using them on their cars. I finally convinced him to leave me alone and I would yell for him if I need him.
Things I shouldn't have done but experts told me to do otherwise... No wood blocks on the pan arms because they cause the pan to break, a four dip pan because I would be constantly taking up rod bearings, a stepped drive shaft tube because "you should use the nice one; they're interchangeable.", a starter because I would break my arm if I didn't have one, newer style radius rods because of the same advice they were interchangeable with the earlier design and would drain water easier because of the split line on the bottom. And yes the car once had a water pump because everyone said I needed one.
So before the Old Car Festival, I am feverishly working to put the correct engine with a balanced Scat crank and needle nose pan back on my car along with the correct driveshaft tube and radius rods. I'll confess I am really tempted to put the starter back on the car though. Yes, I am using Kevlar bands.
I'm starting to like this Forum with its variety of advice and the Internet in general. I do find myself wondering what will replace this forum some 25 years from now when kids and grandkids are trying to figure out Dad's car.
I did manage to have a good vacation; when no one was looking, I managed to repaint my torque tube, remount a tire on a split rim, and restore a couple of horns.
There's one thing you can count on around here. For every question you ask, you will get 10 different answers. 9 out or 10 of them, will be (in one way or another), correct.
To add to Tom Miller 'experience' pre forum...and books published in the last 20 or so years...
"I can't get my starter out...I undid that high hat thing...undid those 4 bolts...but something keeps it from sliding out!" Normal verbal answer- "Keep working at it, you'll get it!" (Somehow I did get one out and back in with Bendix intact and magneto still worked when done...35 years later that engine will be coming apart soon...oh joy of joys...I'm sure the coil ring should need to go to Wally!)
"Boy, you don't have the right front fenders and splash aprons! What you got there on that '25 Fordor of yours is the commercial chassis parts! Really should put them right, lot's of stuff at Hershey!" Answer...that group didn't know what a black closed car was as in the era of this advice black closed cars were considered 2nd class dogs of 1/2 value. Just after I did do the Hershey run and had a flawless set of bead out fenders and curved splash aprons ready to go...Bruce confirmed square and bead under for the later closed cars! That's OK...they were used on a '23-'25 bitsy build up about 25 years later.
"Boy, what you have there is a Western Auto aftermarket head and block, somebody just stamped it with right numbers...you really should change them to Ford script first chance you get!" Answer, didn't bite at the time, came up with a spare high head but never used it. Car was again the fordor, a late April '25 edition.
"Wow, that really is a nice '15 you got there. Bet it was really a '16 backed up...just about all of them were, you know. I got this here refrigerator magnet, looky here, it sticks!" Answer...amazing what a good set of magnets will do, even through an aluminum hogshead!
"That '15 is really nice, you say 3rd owner now, 2nd owner kept it static for near 50 years and has never been restored? You know, something like that you really should spend the money and get that crease out of the splash apron...good tin knocker should be able to fix you right up!" Answer...(eventual after a few years)...ah...go look at the other side...looks like whoever creased it did the same mistake on both sides!
I have a few more...those are just off the top of the head. At least the forum approach gets these sort of questions and answers out of the way in about 24 hours
I've been at it for 50+ years, and like to know everything I can about all years Model T's. I'm still learning!
Reading this thread is like being back in the past, but it seems so recent. Oh wait, it was just a few weeks ago that a local T expert told me "you should put a water pump on that, it will really make it cool better!" I drove it in the 4th parade in 94 degree weather with out a bit of cooling problem. The next comment was "I have the right windshield frames for that" When the M1917 ambulance did not have windshields.
There are still a lot of T people out there who do not do the webernt thing, and for the most part, it is their loss. This forum has been the best eduction for me, and that is thanks to all of you who contribute.
If it runs well, don't worry about it! If you need to do some work on it, that would be the time to get the correct replacement parts. Meantime, if it is fenders or other easy to replace parts, look for them at swap meets and when you find them, paint and replace. It is not necessary to do everything at once.
Any safety items such as radius rods steering parts should be fixed immediately. I would not want to put any lock nuts or lock washers on the steering parts. Castle nuts and cotter pins on those parts! And of course safety wire where called for, such as on the wishbone ball joint.
The steering column is out and it will get the correct fasteners as will the cross shaft. I am also installing a Fun Projects branded pinion bearing kit along with the correct radius rods and driveshaft tube.
Let me see - before the forum, I experienced failed babbitt thrust washers (cost me chipped teeth on ring and pinion), traded my worn out timers and sad coils for a distributor, drove the heck out of the car and had a good time with it. I learned to attend swap meets (hadn't been part of my life before), got to know a few parts vendors and some folks in the local club. Got the green/black service book and Bruce's "From Here To Obscurity" to augment the reprint of the owners pamphlet that was in the toolbox when I bought the car. I read the books, scraped my knuckles and figured out a fair bit of stuff the hard way. I enjoyed it all.
The forum is a great place to share and learn from good advice as well as the good and not so fun experiences of the participants. The forum is a boon to both the experienced and the newbies that enjoy their Model T's. Wouldn't want to be without it.
The forum and the MTFCA is a great place for information on Model T's and their repair and restoration to be sure. I guess I knew a lot of the basics on T's by buying the Ford service manual and some of the Clymer books years ago before the computer came about.
I do believe though the best advice to new T guys is to buy the service manual at the start and READ AND STUDY IT and use the forum for advice.
The manuals that are available from the MTFCA are really invaluable and can can save a lot of time.
I love the forum!
I've been a bit surprised at how many T owners I've met who have a strong aversion to anything involving a computer. When I tell them that online they can find lots of helpful information that makes working on a T easier and/or cheaper, they blow it off. Ignorance is bliss.
I don't believe that these people or small
groups of people that I've met are Ignorant but they like there life style and are very knowledgeable in the T world, most have worked together for many years and have very nice looking and running T's and are really enjoying life in there lane. I know about three of these groups and there friendly and helpful and are not picky of others work. Confusers or Puters are fine if you like them. My decision is still out.
My .02 cents worth.
Bob, as is usual in this kind of discussion, we're both right. Some folks are computer averse but well informed through traditional media. Others skip online info and also believe in obsolete superstitions.
Keep up the great post that you provide, your photos and texts are perfect and educational to all on the forum, participants and lurkers. We all enjoy this hobby wright or wrong were all learning in our own ways. That's what makes it a great place to visit. It's also why the model T has lasted so long and will continue to do so.
Boy, I hope no one learns you have a SCAT crank in that "original engine" with all those other "original" items.
Before the internet, you wrote to Ted Aschman... <3
I guess I learned at the same rate as the Forum developed. I found this new Forum right after buying the Speedster in Spring of '97. It was a natural for me, as I had already been lugging a laptop in my job for ten years, and had been on the 'net two years.
Back then, there were about 40 posters and maybe 400 lurkers. Still, there was a lot of knowledge offered.
That's our T era house with the red roof. The field is now full of McMansions.