Hi, my name is Ellery and I'm here looking for some help with my 1924 T Coupe. I've just inherited my great-great-grandfathers Model T from my Grandpa. Growing up the T has always been part of the family and we would run it in the summer time and in the 4th of July parade back in our hometown in Iowa. Now times have changed and we are now out here in Arizona and my Grandpa has slowed down quite a bit.
I'm here on this forum looking for some help. When my Grandpa pulled the T out of his Grandfathers barn when he was a young guy the T was sitting in about 8" of mud. Now after all that time some of the wooden spokes are completely shot and the metal rim has partially rusted and is pretty rough in texture.
I've disassembled the wheel and used both Evapo-Rust and vinegar to work off most of the rust from the bolts, nuts and rim. The results weren't quite what I expected. Some paint and rust has remained and I'm looking to get these parts as clean as I can to reassemble the wheel. As inexperienced as I am I figured I better call out for some education before I get in over my head and really mess something up. Any help with a complete wheel restoration would be greatly appreciated!
P.S. I'm looking to keep everything as original as possible in both parts and look.
You have 3 options that I can think of:
1. Rebuild the wheel yourself.
2. Send the wheel to a wheelwright to be rebuilt professionally.
3. Join a local Model T club and see if a member would be willing to help you rebuild the wheel.
I would recommend joining a local club anyway and have some of the members look at your wheels to determine if they can be saved or if you need to replace them.
Most important - enjoy the car!
The Home page has a link to chapters in AZ. You need to make contacts. "Rough in texture" just sounds like it's not pretty, but, make sure the metal is still solid enough to hold the spokes and function as a wheel, and also, make sure the rim is not rusted to the point to be sharp enough to cut the bead on the tire. Good luck.
I agree with Dave on your choices. Which course you take depends largely on what you have. I'm guessing your wheels on a '24 coupe are demountables with steel felloes. If the steel parts are pitted but structurally sound, you can sandblast them clean, fill the pits with primer, paint, and install new spokes. If the rims sat in mud for years they may be rusted sharp. If so, you want to replace them.
Here's spoke replacement: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UKZ7WrfHdf8 Be sure you read the note posted below the video.
If you post some good pictures here showing what you have, we can probably tell you more about them.
Hey guys. Thanks for the info! Here are some pictures to show you what I'm talking about.
Ellery -- Judging by the pics, I'd clean up the hubs and reuse them, buy new bolts, and find some better felloes. I'd send the hubs and felloes to Stutzman's for respoking. I expect the rims are as bad as the felloes, so I'd look for new ones, or at least better ones. Sitting in mud for several years takes its toll.
We're giving advice in a vacuum here! Answers will often be different depending on your goals. Are you just looking for activities to occupy your grandfather? Are you ready to drive except for wheels? Are you just now beginning after years of storage? Are you wanting a show piece or a driver? Do you do all your own work or hire everything done?
This is why you really need to find some locals and make some contacts. You may meet someone with a complete set of good wheels they want to trade for something you have, or can do. Don't be afraid to get with a mixed club. I've got some great T parts from Model A guys and even hot rodders!
So here are my goals. Right now I have a T that's ready to drive other than the fact that the wheel(s) need fixing (may need some little things here and there too). My Grandpa has run into some health issues so I'm responsible for the work to be done. I'm looking to get it in good enough shape to drive around so my family can enjoy it again but keeping original and authentic is very important to me. As a poor college student I'm guessing doing any work myself will be most cost effective (plus I'd like to say 'I did that').
Sounds like I'll be contacting the local club and making some connections.
Thanks for this info and guidance guys. It's a ton of help!
Good wheels are easy to find. If you need to, I would consider replacing the bad ones.