First one of these I have ever seen, showed up in the mail yesterday. It is the very first version of the Kingston 5 ball, used on the first 1909 T's (Along with a few Buffalo) and has all the correct characteristics. According to the encyclopedia, it is a model 4100 Kingston.
Straight up threaded inlet tube.
No choke butterfly in inlet tube.
Inlet tube threaded for spark arrestor.
Float depressor with no lever.
Nearly all of those things were changed in the second version which apparently appeared in late 09 or early 10.
It is not NOS but is in very nice condition with every original part on it. It does have a little damage from being smacked with pliers or something to get the float unstuck but most of that will polish out during the restoration.
It has the float and needle and seat intact. The float is missing from most of these early ones, this is a pattern for correct weight and shape for correct fuel height.
The bowl has slight damage that should polish out.
The caps are in excellent condition and the original ball seats are excellent, showing virtually no wear.
The bottom nut is nice and can be reused -- these are usually rounded off and can't be saved.
The threads that hold the venturi to the body are nearly perfect.
It should be on a nice 09.
It is for sale.
$1850 restored and ready to run, display stand included along with shipping in the US.
Same price if you want it the way it is with patina, dirt and all. It would be a great display piece.
Cash, check or USPS money order only, no paypal, no credit cards.
Guaranteed delivery by Christmas.
I'll have more photos up and will post them on my website later but it is too tired out tonight to do any more.
firstname.lastname@example.org 406-949-3448 Mountain Time
Got a nice email from an '09 guy who knows more about these than I do, this is not the very first design, but the second. Here is his info about the one that is earlier than this:
"Hi Stan, yes, that is an early one, but there is still one earlier. The earliest ones have an entirely different float arm. It's pictured in the first 1909 parts book. The early float has a metal center with 2 copper staples and the float hangs off the float arm that looks like the letter C."
Making sure I am not misrepresenting anything here. If anybody has more info, please feel free to send it to me.
My big question: Is there, or has there been, any evidence that any of the brass carburetors manufactured for original equipment on Model T's were EVER polished prior to being installed onto the automobile?
OR, is "highly polished" something that owners and restorers have just come to expect from any visible brass or bronze part within the last 75 or so years?
My first thought whenever I see a carb like this is that once it is polished, you can never get the "original" 106 year old finish back AND no matter how careful the polishing job, sharp corners and edges are rounded slightly, blemished areas get sanded down and thinned, etc. etc...
There is no question that the vast majority of hobbyists want to see a part like this polished and sparkling like a piece of jewelry... But was it really that way when it left the factory?
No, I don't think so is my answer. I think they were "as cast" with possibly a little clean up of rough edges and flash lines.
I don't buff anything, don't do much polishing and don't like that look much. On the other hand, it is the new owner's and he can do whatever he wants or pay me to do what he wants but I personally prefer the "as cast" look.
All that said, most "patina" is just dirt and in the process of rebuilding a carburetor it is difficult to keep the dirt and patina.
I want my U&J's to be shiny !!
For the people wanting to know the serial number, it is 101850. I don't have time to take any more pics and post them right now. I shouldn't have posted this last night, should have waited until I got a couple more carbs out tomorrow or Saturday. I'll try to post some later this week or next.
As far as I can tell, the early 09 carbs are under 100,000 serial number so one this late should be common as dirt and dirt cheap. I don't know how many of the early ones they made, if somebody knows I'd like that info. First one I've ever seen but that doesn't mean a lot. Logic tells me that this would be the 1850th 5 ball with this style float arm. I dunno if there are any other differences or not. This is what this one is.
I wish there was a way to edit and delete on here.
Apparently this post hit a nerve with a few people who have carburetors here waiting to be done. I apologize for taking an hour last night at 10 PM to take some pictures and post them.
Here is the deal: I have been off work a lot this year due to some health issues and some other things that I have involvement with that also require some of my time.
I have not taken in any new repair work since the 1st of June with one or two exceptions. I have sold a few carbs since I need some income. I am not taking in any more repair work until AT LEAST the 1st of January and may not be taking any in then. I am trying to wade through the backlog of what is here that needs to be done. Some of these jobs take 4 or 5 hours, some take 4 or 5 days. I am doing every thing I can to get caught up and get carbs shipped but there are only so many hours in the day and I can not stand in front of that bench as many hours as I used to. I am slightly over a year from being 75, still trying to run this business and a couple little two bit ranches, do radio, play music and help raise a couple kids.
If anyone wants their carb that is here for repair back with a check in the box for the amount paid I will do that. Just let me know.
I'm sure there are dozens of places that can do this work and manufacture the parts I do that can turn the work around in a week or two instead of taking one old guy working in a shop by himself several months to cast parts that are missing etc.
All of my inventory -- including my large accessory Model T carburetor collection -- is for sale; I will not be donating it to the museum as several people have suggested I do, any donation will be to my bank account.
I have been trying for a year or more to get an inventory of what I actually have, prices, etc., or to find somebody to list it all on ebay. There are several hundred carbs + all sorts of related items. I hope to get that done this winter. In the mean time, back to the shop. I'm working on a couple 4 ball Kingstons.
I feel your pain. Back when I made musical instruments and did instrument repairs .. I made the mistake of taking in repair instruments in the shop at the time people brought them in. I would tell the customer that I couldn't get to their instrument for say two months. They would come back to me in a month and a half expecting their repair to be done. After three years of this I finally realized that I should never let pieces walk in until I was actually ready to work on them.
The 5 ball is sold, thanks to everyone for their helpful information and interest. It will be going on a 1909 being restored now, mid year 09 so it is correct for that car. Special thanks to Kim Robbins for the help and info.
Stan, thanks much for letting us see it !! I do appreciate that.
Obviously that is Kim Dobbins. Trying to type on my tablet.
It is looking more every day like I got stiffed on the sale on the carb, 10 days and no money in the mail. There were a couple other people interested, if you are still interested call me at 406-949-3448 or email@example.com and I will put you on the list in order of receipt.
I'll wait a couple more days before I sell it to somebody else but in my experience if somebody doesn't pay you when they say they will they aren't going to pay you at all. Still might happen, the mail can be pretty slow but ......
Great price on that carb Stan. If I needed it I would have not hesitated to pay that to you for a restored 5 ball. BTW the serial number is really early.
Well, I guess I got stiffed, just got the mail -- nothing today either -- it will be three weeks tomorrow and I never got any money or heard from the guy after I told him I couldn't take his 4 ball in trade at retail.
So it goes. Wasn't the first guy that ordered a round for the house without checking his purse; won't be the last.
So it's still for sale; email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call me at 406-949-3448 if you are interested.
Back to the shop.
The carb is sold, this time to a guy who will most likely put it on display.
Thanks for the interest and additional information about it.