I think this has been touched on before but I'll ask one more time. Iv put the touring car to bed on jack stands and the fan belt off for the winter. This year I wont have access to my torpedo heater I normally used to warm things up before starting the T's during the winter so its going to cold starts. What is the lightest grade oil that wont hurt the engine I can use in the T's to start them with over the cold winter months. As a rule I start them every couple of weeks and let the cars run in direct drive without the fan until they warm up real good
5-30 can be used all year. And should be.
You can safely start your T in the winter for warm ups with 5-20 or 0-20.
If you can load 6 people in a Honda and drive down the freeway at 70MPH on a hot summer day with 0-20 you should be able to start and run a T for a while on it. Ford always said to use light oil.
Others will no doubt tell you to not listen to the oil engineers, and Ford, and just use straight 40. Or roofing tar.
That would be a good idea, putting lighter oil than you normally use in winter stored cars.
Why start it up as often?
I've always let my salt sensitive cars sit without starting them in a unheated garage over the cold winter months with glycol in the radiator, a full tank of gas in the tank but without the battery - the battery gets some charging in the workshop over the winter.
Starting the car may cause more harm than good, I think. To properly warm it up you need to run it for quite a while - if it isn't up to temp, acid and condensation can form and harm the inside of the engine. Staring it up from freezing cold also causes more wear than starting it up in warm weather.
All cold starts causes wear, that's likely when most of the wear in the engine parts occurs. A taxi cab that is driven around the clock by different drivers and never cools down can be driven for lots and lots of miles with almost no wear in the cylinders.
I agree with Roger.
There's no reason to start your Model T every few weeks if you are storing it for the winter. Let it sit until spring. You don't have to start it unless you actually are going to drive it.
With a Model T, you're not dealing with the same issues and components as a modern car such as hydraulic lifters, seals, rubber and plastic parts, automatic transmission, etc.
When properly stored, a Model T can sit for years between starts with no ill effects.
(Also - there's no reason to change to lighter weight oil if the car is not going to be run during the winter.)
Wonder how many farm tractors are shut off in the fall and restarted in the spring? Oil pump or not in them the system would need to be pumped up.
I would change the oil the add some to the cylinders and let it sit.
How many old cars have sat for years, a little oil was added to the cylinders, the oil changed (or not!)and then started?
As I was told if you are going to start it, bring it up to full operating temp before shutting down, I take that to mean any time of the year.
I agree with Roger, Erik and Mark.
I would say if it is gonna sit for more than 6 months you should "pickle" it.
that means run the engine at fast idle and shoot oil in the carb until it dies.
That will help insure that no valves will stick and the cylinders will not get rusty.
I have done that on a lot of cars we knew would not be driven for a year or more.
I seen someone many years ago try, as Aaron has quoted, "pickle" it, on a truck engine, by the time the engine had died, the damage was done, one piston had hydraulic compressed the oil and bent the con rod!
Drain the fuel tank & the carb and leave it alone. If it ran before you do this it will run when you're ready.
Kerry is right. If you run the engine too fast and pour oil down the carb real fast it will give you a hydraulic lock up and you will risk bending a rod, or two.
Best to run it about 1000 RPM and put enough oil in so it smokes like hell but keeps running. At that point increase the amount of oil until it starts to die. then either shut the ignition off or just let it die by flooding it with oil.
I have done a lot of them that way and have never done any harm to one but you do need to be careful.
You can always pour oil in the spark plug holes with the engine stopped. That is safer but it doesn't lube the valve train as well.
I agree with Charley B until you are getting one ready to sit for several years. I had a car lock up when I went in the Army that sat idle for 13 months.
It was a '50 Olds engine. It had to be torn down to get it to turn over again. the pistons were stuck in the cylinders.
There are a number of commercial products for "fogging" engines. I've used a couple of them over the years and they seem to do a good job of protecting internal components from rust and/or seizing. Follow the directions on the can. You can also help to prevent problems by making sure your cold storage is well ventilated and dry. Also, be sure to throw some dryer sheets/moth balls in the vehicle to deter critters from making it their winter nest. Mice can make a real mess in a car if they take up residence. Over the years I've been amazed at where mice have stored their groceries for the winter: exhaust pipes, mufflers, carbs, seat cushions,door panels, to name a few.
I heard that spreading mothballs around helps to keep the mice away.
I would have tried it but catching moths and removing their balls proved to be impossible!
I suppose the moth ball thing works because my last T was packed with them and had no rodent damage but Lordy that smell! Took quite a while for it to dissipate after I found and removed them all. I've heard scented soaps work just as well. Not sure about that though. I don't know how he caught so many Fred but I'm sure the forced sterilization affected the moth population in his area.