Newbie!

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Model T Ford Forum: Forum 2014: Newbie!
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Benjamin Morgan on Tuesday, December 31, 2013 - 08:11 pm:

Howdy all! And happy New Year's Eve!

Id like to introduce my self: My name is Benjamin from around Cincinnati, Ohio, and I just finally (at the tender age of 31) got my first Model T a month or so back. Its a 1923 Touring turned pickup truck.

She runs pretty well and I like to tour around Metamora, IN with it when I'm at my new shop (its in the background). It has a lot of character and is all original. For the past 55 years it was with one family and nothing more was done to it other than new tires a couple years ago and a new exhaust system. It looks like its straight out of Dustbowl Depression America!


My '23 T


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Rodrigo Nunes Ricardo on Tuesday, December 31, 2013 - 08:35 pm:

It's a very nice model T touring pick up, Benjamin, she looks original and straight. WELCOME, I am from Brazil. BEST REGARDS!


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Don Booth@ Bay City, Mi on Tuesday, December 31, 2013 - 08:35 pm:

Welcome new member of the T party ~~


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Bill Gall on Tuesday, December 31, 2013 - 08:42 pm:

Hi Benjamin,

Welcome! I'm in the Cincinnati area also. You should join up with the Noken T's in the Northern KY / Southwest OH / Southeast IN area. We generally tour once a month if the weather's decent and I hope to be driving my 1912 Torpedo Runabout this spring.

Nice car! You should consider taking it to the Franklin County tractor show in September, the Noken T's do a Grapes of Wrath presentation from the dust bowl and we have a number of T's and A's in unrestored condition. We'd love to have you!

Once the Torpedo's back on the road I'll drive over to Metamora some weekend to visit.

Bill Gall in West Chester


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By John Aldrich Orting Wa on Tuesday, December 31, 2013 - 08:52 pm:

Welcome Benjamin to the T affliction. Your FIRST T looks like a heck of a nice rig.

Can't wait to see the 2nd one!!


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Wes Nelson ........Bucyrus, MO on Tuesday, December 31, 2013 - 08:53 pm:

Happy New Year to you and your family Ben! Welcome to the affection, what a great ride you have, I hope you bring it on some tours, you will meet and make many new friends. This forum just oozes knowledge and opinions, post a question and sit back and wait.. As far as parking you car alone in a barn or garage.. don't do it these things tend to multiply.. don't ask me how I know this. Happy Hoildays and again Welcome.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Benjamin Morgan on Tuesday, December 31, 2013 - 08:58 pm:

Thanks for the welcome all!

Yes, the bug has bit, I wouldnt mind a second one now! Im actually in the process, albeit slow of making a Model T speeder or railcar. I have a Fairmount running chassis and wheels with a 2 cylinder Onan engine. Now its just lengthening the frame a getting fenders, windshield, etc. I did find an inoperable Brass '15 or so radiator that will go in the front of it!

Howdy Bill! Ill have to look up the group your talking about. Im not sure if it is Tour ready yet. The couple of times I have driven it about 15 miles or so have been wrought with adventure! I saw the setup at the Machinery show this year! That was really neat, and who would of thought a couple months later I would find one! I did think about setting it up with them next year. I have a steam engine too to restore and take out. Definitely come out to the shop and visit!


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Clayton Swanson on Tuesday, December 31, 2013 - 10:13 pm:

nice car! nothing wrong with an old car that looks like an old car.be sure to get the babbit washers out of the rear diff before your wreck the ring and pinion unstead of after you wreck em like i did. do a search on this forum for "babbit thrust washers" and you will see what i mean. have fun!!


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Hap Tucker in Sumter SC on Tuesday, December 31, 2013 - 11:16 pm:

Benjamin,

Welcome to the forum and to the Model T hobby! I think you will find a lot of fun with the folks her on the forum as well as those in a local club near you (see: http://www.mtfca.com/clubpages/chapters.htm and http://www.modelt.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=5&Itemid=15 and yes there are 2 different national Model T Ford clubs. Many of us are members of both. But in general the chapter closest to you will be the easiest to attend etc. )

Great looking cut off! Note many Model Ts are titled as one year when the majority of the parts may be from another year. That easily happens when the engine has been swapped out and folks use the engine number to date the car and register the car. If you look over the water inlet on your car [works for late 1912 to 1941 Model T engines] you will see a pad that normally will have an engine number stamped into it. You can compare that number to the several listing and find out the month [day if you use Bruce McCalley’s “Model T Ford listing] and year the engine was assembled and stamped. There are a few exceptions – some engine numbers were sent to some assembly plants to be stamped onto and engine that was assembled at that branch plant. Those numbers are listed on the Highland Park and later River Rouge engine logs but may have been stamped weeks or even months later onto an engine assembled at the branch plant. Also some engine blocks were replaced and when that occurred, if a Ford dealer did the replacement they were supposed to stamp the new block with the car’s original serial number. So if you copy the number down you can look up when the engine [NOT necessarily the car] was assembled unless it was and exception. One list is available on the same web site you are currently on see: http://www.mtfca.com/encyclo/sernos.htm

In the case of your car, if most of the body, wheels and radiator shell are original to the car, I would give it a good chance that it is a 1925 model year touring that was converted into a truck. Why? The balloon style wood wheels with the 21 inch tires were offered as an option starting in model year 1925 see: http://www.mtfca.com/encyclo/U-Z.htm#wheels and the http://www.mtfca.com/encyclo/doc25.htm where it has:
FEB 5, 1925 Letter from the Chicago Branch
We are rather interested in knowing about what proportion of prospects would be interested in Ford Cars, both open and closed, equipped with balloon tires. Say for instance, if an additional price of $25.00 for the balloon equipment, less of course, the regular discount to the dealer were charged, what proportion of cars do you suppose you would ask us to ship you so equipped if the company decided to furnish balloon tires?
It would probably depend largely on your answer whether or not balloon tire equipment would be used as standard equipment on part of our production.


MAR 6, 1925 Letter from Firestone Tire and Rubber Co., Ford Archives
The Ford Motor Company have (sic) approved the Balloon tire and furnish it as original equipment. This offers you an opportunity for increased sales and profit. New car sales --- changeovers from hundreds of present Ford owners, who will want to bring their cars up to date and enjoy the comfort, safety and economy of Balloon tires.

The nickel plated radiator was introduced during the 1925 model year as an accessory ref: http://www.mtfca.com/encyclo/doc25.htm

APR 30, 1925 Factory Letter
Windshield wing assemblies announced at $7.50 pair. Nickel plated radiator shell, apron and headlamp rims offered. T-3947D shell at $5.00. T-3977B apron, $.75. T-6575BRX headlamp rim, less lens, $1.00. All at 40% discount to the dealer.

The body appears to be the high cowl style that was introduced as the 1924 model year during the later part of 1923. It was continued and became the 1925 model year body. Ref: http://www.mtfca.com/encyclo/1924.htm and http://www.mtfca.com/encyclo/1924.htm . [ http://www.mtfca.com/encyclo/1923.htm states:
The front section of the car was revised about August 1923, with a new and higher radiator, larger hood, a valence under the radiator, and revised cowl section to match. These cars were generally referred to as “1924” models in Ford literature.
The Coupe and Tudor Sedan were all new, with coupe doors opening at the rear. Body construction continued with the metal panel over a wood frame design.
A new steering column support bracket connected the instrument panel to the column for added rigidity, apparently during later 1923 (1924 models) production. All cars had an instrument panel with the ignition/light switch.

See: http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/179374/202420.htm for several ways to tell if you car is a low cowl or high cowl (I may be seeing what I want to see – and it can be difficult to tell them apart).

Note none of the above changes the fun you can have with your T. But if you decide to order any body panels – it makes a huge difference as the low cowl panels in general do not fit the high cowl cars from the front door open forward. And if you decide to look for a rear seat section – be sure you match it with the type of body you have.

I try to post some safety items for any new owner. Getting an experienced Model T person to help you learn about your car can save you lots of frustration and possible expense. For example if you fail to retard the spark and you push down on the starting crank at the front of the car to start the car, you could easily break your arm. That is a known safety issue with Model Ts. And it isn’t dangerous as long as you understand what causes it [spark lever advanced [that is the left hand lever on a left hand drive car] it should be pushed up], commutator adjustment rod installed wrong or bent improperly so that even with the spark lever up, the spark is still too far advanced, shorted wire on the commutator, etc. . And if you use the electrical starter that your car probably has – if the spark is advanced and the engine back fires – it can damage the starter and/or bendix drive. For additional details please see: http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/50893/68644.html?1224126132

http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/50893/69444.html
and there are other related threads.

Some other safety related items:

And be sure the car is in safe working order. An engine that burns oil is not a critical safety issue (at least not in my book) but the front end castor if it is set up negative can flip the car. If the rear axle still has the original babbit thrust washers you can lose your normal service brake. Those and similar items are well documented "oops" for the T. But if you have never been around one -- they are probably new "data points" for you. Some of them are listed below – not to scare you but to let you learn from others rather than discovering all the lessons on your own.

Safety Glass is nice: http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/50893/72116.html

Use safety wire and not lock washers or cotter pins on the two studs holding the wishbone to the underside of the engine.

Lots of safety items http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/50893/69429.html

Over center steering – shouldn’t happen on the later Ts (yours is a later T)– but if someone replaced your later teens steering gear housing or rebuilt it without the lock pin – or installed the wrong length drag link it might happen: http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/80257/86345.html as well as: http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/257047/300409.html

Types of safety wire: http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/29/41859.html

Example of loss of brakes caused by drive shaft failure: http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/29/47804.html

Top T tips – many of them are safety related also: http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/80257/85208.html

Tour safety check list: http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/29/44331.html

And if you have a gas hot water heater in the garage – be very very careful. The float in a Model T Carb will sometimes stick (or trash in the valve) and the carb will leak gasoline. Not too bad if there are no sparks – several homes, garages and cars have been lost when a gas hot water heater was near by and someone started the dishwasher other item that caused it to turn on the burner at the wrong time. Note gas fumes tend to be heavier than regular air …. so they tend to hug the floor. If you adjust your garage door to let the mice in and the air out – that is a temp work around. But replacing the gas fired hot water heater with an electric heater or having the gas one relocated away from the garage is the best thing

Even with a perfectly good and properly adjusted front steering system – if you back up quickly, the front wheels can go full left or full right and pull the steering wheel out of your hand – so remember to back up slowly. It is caused by the caster of the front wheels similar to the casters on the front of the shopping cart – designed to be stable in one direction but not so stable in the opposite direction. Since you have already been driving the car you probably do not have the following problem – but you might still want to check. If someone rebuilt the front axle and it is was really difficult to keep the car going straight they may have inadvertently swapped the front spring perches. There is a left and a right spring perch that tilts the axle so the bottom of the axle is slightly ahead of the top of the axle (5 1/2 degrees positive caster). If it has negative to neutral caster it can cause a wild ride and also could cause the car to flip even at a slow speed see: http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/80257/80333.html?1233523419 that shows the spring perch installed incorrectly and how the front axle looks then. Also see: http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/29/40382.html Note even with the spring perch installed correctly a bent or shortened wishbone could cause neutral to negative caster.

Also the rear axle thrust bearings if they are babbitt (originally bronze in the 1909-1915 cars and then switched to babbitt on the cars during 1915) can fail with minimal warning leaving the driver without the normal transmission brake (the main regular brake on a stock Model T). See the discussion at: http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/50893/78685.html?1233159025 If you loose the brakes and you are on a flat area with minimal traffic – it is not nearly as bad as loosing them while going down hill towards a busy intersection. See the rear axle babbitt discussion part way down in the following thread: http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/257047/277093.html?1332591272

Again a T is a faithful servant but it has some known issues that the driver needs to be aware of and to take proper precautions about.

Steve Jelf will post his excellent recommendation for books to have and others will gladly help with any questions you may have. Again welcome aboard!

Respectfully submitted,

Hap l9l5 cut off


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Royce in Dallas TX on Tuesday, December 31, 2013 - 11:41 pm:

Benjamin,

The Nokin T's club is probably the best T club in the world. A bunch of great folks - you will love touring with them.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Steve Jelf, Parkerfield KS on Tuesday, December 31, 2013 - 11:46 pm:

There's my cue. OK, here you go. The first parts every new T owner should buy.

http://dauntlessgeezer.com/DG80.html

And here's an explanation of what Clayton mentioned.

http://dauntlessgeezer.com/DG79.html


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Benjamin Morgan on Wednesday, January 01, 2014 - 03:45 am:

Hap and Steve, thanks for your time in posting the info!

So far I have most of the books I need already. Others are on order. Im already fairly familiar with the spark advance and throttle settings from other things I run regularly, so that came in handy. I have perused the forum quit heavily over the past month, and have learned alot of what to check and such. Probably looked at so much of what can go wrong Im almost afraid to putt around town! Even though it drives great! It goes in the garage soon for a teardown on the rear end and engine to check all the bits that can cause trouble, such as the babbit thrust washers you all mentioned, etc. Its was running fine when I got it (the big selling point). Ive already gone through the plugs and carb and got it running even better. It has a new exhaust and tires already. The coils are working great but could be looked at. It starts great, even in cold weather either by hand cranking or the starter(I learned to how to properly crank it by hand before I tried). New glass is coming soon as I want the safety glass. I do have to check upon a few of the other tidbits you mentioned.


I wont be changing anything around on it. No restoration other than preventative work and preservation. I checked out the engine serial a few weeks back and its from October of 1923, and I am pretty sure I have the later High Cowl/Radiator style. It has the steel felloe demountable rims as well (which from reading one of Clymers' books was an option in 1923), but I dont think I measured the actual wheel, so Im unsure on the proper dating end. Possibly hard to see in the picture. I have the original title from the 1950s for it and it was titled as a '23 then, still hard to say. I know what you mean about changing parts around.

But, I think there is a bit to the story of this car I think I have somewhat figured out. It has the original 1923 timer and wiring harness in it (just hangin loose in there), but it was converted to the head mounted coil box I am assuming in 1926. You can see the wear where the original dash mounted coil box was. I think when they redid the coil box wiring they added the nickel radiator shell and headlight rims ( to spruce it up probably!).

Now why it was converted to a truck? Could possibly be because it was wrecked at one point in time. The right side underneath the windshield support has been beat up and leaded over to fill it in. Thats probably when they brush painted the car too. I am just guessing that after it was wrecked maybe it was converted over to a truck. Or maybe it was wrecked after the truck conversion? Either way its not too bad and adds to its uniqueness.

Cheers,
Benjamin


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Hal Davis-SE Georgia on Wednesday, January 01, 2014 - 05:51 am:

Do the important stuff (thrust washers, glass, etc) then drive it. 15 miles will turn to 20, then 25. Before you know it, you wont be afraid to do 100. The more you drive, the better they run.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Clayton Swanson on Wednesday, January 01, 2014 - 09:38 am:

many were converted to trucks just for a cheep truck, and many were done during the war as you could get more gas ration stamps for a truck. either way they are fairly common


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mark Strange on Wednesday, January 01, 2014 - 09:54 am:

Welcome to the touring pickup club, Benjamin!

I like your nickel plated radiator shell and the battery box on your running board. Yours also has a nice level of patina.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Steve Jelf, Parkerfield KS on Wednesday, January 01, 2014 - 09:59 am:

Here's the measurement for determining which radiator you have. Low is a little under 17 inches. High is just over 18 if I remember correctly. Your October 1923 would be the 1924 model year, so I would expect a high radiator.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By john kuehn on Wednesday, January 01, 2014 - 10:29 am:

Steve Jeffs post says it all. Buying the necessary manuals and especially the Ford service manual really helps to familiarize yourself with your new T!
You will find out how much it helps when you start working on it. And you will!
Call Snyders, Langs and Macs and ask for a parts catalog. There is a lot you can find out just by going through the parts catalogs. You can learn which parts are for which year and so on.
You can find their information on this website under links and vendors.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Brian Mettling on Wednesday, January 01, 2014 - 10:49 am:

Ben-
Welcome. I'm Brian and I'm 29 from Dayton, Ohio. I have a 23 touring that I'm fixing up. Join the facebook club for Model Ts if you haven't already!

https://www.facebook.com/groups/17532215547/

cheers,
Brian


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Tim Wrenn on Wednesday, January 01, 2014 - 10:59 am:

Ben...as some of the old regulars say..."welcome to the affliction". As I've said in the past, owning a Model T is like having Lays Potato chips..."you just can't have one". I ended up with four! Hopefully you will to! I'm from up north of you near Monroeville OH. I'm still kind of new, but thanks to "the guys" always learning...you can feel free to PM me anytime maybe I can be of help. Or maybe get together for a drive!

You're also lucky that you are only a short drive to the museum. If you haven't been there yet, put it on your list. I need to get back again this year.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mark McWethy on Wednesday, January 01, 2014 - 01:10 pm:

Welcome to the club, and Happy New Year. Have a Great time with your new toy. Don't be afraid to ask questions as these guy are Great and have helped me a lot. Be careful and have a Great time.
Mark


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Benjamin Morgan on Thursday, January 02, 2014 - 11:17 pm:

Thanks again all for the welcome and info you have given me!

Brian: I just put my request into the Facebook group.

Clayton: I never thought of that for the ration stamps. Quit possible it could of been done then too!

If anyone is out in the Metamora area let men know! Im up there at my shop (in the picture) most of the weekends. Ill be up there this weekend too.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Nathan Bright on Friday, January 03, 2014 - 07:13 am:

Looks great! Love that radiator shell and the patina! I am very partial to pick-up touring cars. Thats going to be my next build!


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Nathan Bright on Friday, January 03, 2014 - 07:17 am:

i personally really like this one http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/331880/373347.html?1373514320


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Nathan Bright on Friday, January 03, 2014 - 07:54 am:

i personally really like this one http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/331880/373347.html?1373514320


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dena & Dennis Gorder on Friday, January 03, 2014 - 08:47 am:

Benjamin, welcome to the T world and, hopefully, the MTFCA. There is a wealth of knowledge in our club and on this forum. Don't be afraid to ask questions. John mentioned he can not wait to see your second T. Be careful, they do multiply. If myself or any of the board members can help you in any way, please ask. Make certain your car is safe and enjoy it. Welcome to the hobby.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Bud Lung on Sunday, January 05, 2014 - 08:01 pm:

Hi Benjamin Welcome to the hobby. My name is Bud Lung and I'm with the NoKen T's. As Bill said we are a very active group located around the Cincy area. I'll I.M. you with contact info and we hope to hear from you soon.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Andrew Deckman, Ogden Utah on Sunday, January 05, 2014 - 08:35 pm:

welcome to the club


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Chris Phelps on Monday, January 06, 2014 - 07:41 am:

Hi Ben, I'm Chris from Dayton, Oh. Great looking truck you have. I have a 1926 model T touring pickup I'm putting back together. Welcome to the hobby.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Benjamin Morgan on Monday, January 06, 2014 - 04:18 pm:

Hey Chris! Thats a nice shiny one there! That will look real nice when its done!

Bud, I got your PM and got back to you today!

Thanks again all for the welcome!


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