building a speedster but wish for engine to remain fairly stock. I am curious what to expect fro a cahffin reground cam and t parts distributor on a fresh engine. The car will be very light having just speedster fenders and seats, not even starter or generator. How should his car do in hilly terrain, will it need more, like an high compression head, or larger carb( have rebuilt nh) Thank you all for opinions
It will need brakes.
Welcome to the Model T Ford Club of America forum.
I believe your best bet would be to contact the nearest Model T Ford club and find out who has some speedsters and for that matter who has some roadsters that you could go for a ride in. Both national Model T Clubs have local chapters see: http://www.mtfca.com/clubpages/chapters.htm and http://www.modelt.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=5&Itemid=15 If you live near the state line, be sure to check listing for the state next to you as sometimes it will be closer to you than the club in your same state. Note a stock powered Model T speedster will easily out perform the same chassis with a closed car body on it. But it isn’t really “faster” but rather “less slow.” That said – it way more fun in the Model T than the modern cars (assuming you do not have to get to work on time and you started late).
The Model T Ford Club of Tulsa has some excellent information on stock Model Ts, speedsters, hills, reliability etc. There main page is: http://mtfctulsa.com/ The tech page is at: http://mtfctulsa.com/Tech/index.htm The article on Power and Torque at: http://mtfctulsa.com/Tech/power_and_torque.htm it has some rules of thumb results that are easy to understand:
+++++++++++++ from Tulsa site – Power & Torque article ++++++++++++++++
Use gears that are appropriate for your car. As a rule of thumb, for every 10 percent you increase or decrease the rear axle ratio, the maximum percent grade will change by about one percentage point. For the example presented the maximum grade with gears of 4:1, 3:64:1 and 3:1 was 9%, 8% and 6%, respectively. Consequently, a 3:1 rear axle is not recommended unless you have a lightweight speedster with a good strong engine and a Ruckstell rear axle or other auxiliary transmission.
Weight is very important. We estimate that for every 150 to 200 pounds the weight is reduced, the maximum percent grade will increase by about one percentage point. It doesn’t matter where the weight reduction comes from. Reduced passenger weight, less luggage, fewer spare parts all work just as well as removing weight from the car. Ruckstell axles and auxiliary gearboxes are heavy. A car with a good strong engine should not need one. Since a new billet cam and Z head costs about half as much as a Ruckstell axle, this approach is also cost effective.
Many Model T owners use distributors instead of the original vibrator coils. We have only limited and not very systematic data concerning this modification. In one test, we found that a distributor may give an 8 to 10 percent increase with peak torque improved more than peak horsepower. We have not considered alternate carburetion either. Since we can achieve very good performance without this modification, we see no need for it. Unlike the cam and head, changes to the ignition and carburetion will alter some of the unique features and the original appearance of the engine.
++++++++++++++++++++ end Tulsa site extract ++++++++++++++++++
As Royce correctly pointed out brakes are an issue. The stock T brakes only apply to the rear wheels. They work off the transmission brake drum. That means if you have an excellent working stock Model T brake system it takes a lot [as in a bunch] more room to stop than a modern car. Add going down hill it is even longer. Add going fast down hill and you have a potentially dangerous situation. If you have a modern car with an emergency brake between the front seats and a button you can press so it doesn’t get “stuck applied” there is an easy simulation you can try. [Not recommended for cars with the parking brake pedal near the floor that you push and it stays on.] Drive to a safe area where there are not any other cars, people, etc. near you. Speed up to about 15 and apply the regular brakes for a quick stop. Notice about how long it takes to stop. Go back to the same spot and now use only the emergency brake – notice how much additional room it takes to stop the car. It gets to be more and more extra room the faster you go.
You may also want to consider adding a name to your postings. You might get some additional responses as some of us older folks are sort of used to having a name if we are going to post a response. Based on your e-mail address I would guess Dave.
I think those articles will help you consider some of your options. And again welcome to the forum.
Hap l9l5 cut off
Thank you both for the excellent insight! I have to confess that I really have been reading this forum for years, and like many, never post. I looked at tulsa sight, great information, and if simple calculations are correct, this little car should pull steep grades with ease( 10% is steep where I am) And thank you for advice in the area of braking, I am looking into it! Thank You Both
David Mazza, North Adams Massachusetts
Welcome to posting and congratulations on your car getting closer to hitting the road.
Assuming I can get a running start, I can pull a 10% grade in my 25 touring. It's a real grunt but doable. It has a high head, aluminum pistons, distributor, NH carb and all else plain stock including the rear axle (3.63 gears, no Ruckstell). It is a good runner though and I've seen several other similar cars that don't pull as well (or they are driven differently). When you lose some of the body work, it will make the pull easier but you won't really know what you have and what will be satisfactory for you until you try it out. As others suggest, start with brakes and then see how it goes. It's easy to add a higher performance head later if you feel the need.
Speedster folks frequently drive with a bit more "spirit" than when in a stock T. In addition to brakes, pay good attention to your wheels, tires, and suspension components. Poor wheels and tired suspension can make your life far too interesting.
The great part about this project is it is assembled from tossed out junk, everything is being done to spec out of the club books. All clearances checked, and repaired. completely new johnsons wood wheels, axles gone through completly. No bolt not checked. The axle will retain 3.63 gears. cant wait to get this little car moving! Thanks again for advice!
It doesn't NEED a high compression head, but they sure are nice to have.
Do you mean a reground performance cam or simply a reconditioned, stock Model T cam? If it's just reground to stock specs, I wouldn't waste the money. Not to say that it won't work, just that it won't deliver the added performance that you seem to want. I use a Stipe .250 and a high compression head. A great combination! Chaffin's performance grind is also excellent, by all accounts. But, a simply reground cam will be a wimp.
One of the advantages of the high compression heads is that you get some extra engine braking when you throttle back on a downgrade or as you approach a stop sign. Retarding the spark gets you more. I was amazed at the amount of braking the engine would do when I first installed a high compression head. It's not that noticeable when cranking either which is a good thing if you are building a "stem wind" car.
also keep in mind that fenders catch air thus slowing the speedster down. This can be/is good or bad depending on what your desired end will be. You dont NEED accessory brakes IF you drive cautiously and defensively. This is even true in hilly terrain. Brakes would be nice to have in the mountains though. I would certainly NOT recommend using anything other than stock gearing in your rear end. 3.66:1 will give you the climbing power you need especially in a light car like a speedster. You would hate driving a speedster with a 4:1 in the mountains. A high compression head is nice both for the power and the enhanced engine braking.
It's the 3:1gears you want to avoid in the mountains, 4:1 climb hills like a mountain goat!
The cam I have in question is a driver 11 cam from chaffins, said to be similar in performance to the .280 stipe cam. If this cam has been used with favorable results then it will be used. I cam always switch the cam choice before reassembly. my performance goals are really to just have a good car to drive, capable of 45, cruise at 30-35, and get up decent hills without straining:-)
I have not personally used that cam, but I have heard good reports about it. It should do what you're looking for.
That is great, Thank you Jerry, its not every day you get new you hope to hear!
David - I run one of the driver cams from Chaffins in my Touring car, It is a very good cam, I'm very happy with it.