26/27 coupe, wood wheels, 21 inch.
One of the people that I work on his cars brought one of his rear wheels over for me to rebuild after I told him to not drive it because of the loose spokes plus the steering column was broke all the way around up at the top (working on it also).
Two of the hub bolts are snapped off down inside the wheel. The bolt heads is still in the plate but the nut and part of the bolt inside is long gone. The spokes are loose as a goose with nails in the tenons and the remaining 4 hub bolt nuts are loose.
The rim is sprung and the latch is a piece of plate welded to the rim on one side and screwed to the other, the two sections don't line up. The rim mounting holes are way wallowed out and the bolts are stripped. The rim also has rust out.
This is how got got the car from the seller.
The other 3 wheels felt pretty good when I checked them.
The key way in the hub looks good.
He has had the car about 3 years. I will have to look closer at the other 3 rims now that I see this mess.
Spokes and hub bolts are on the on their way from Langs so I get to do my first wheel rebuild.
I guess some people just see these cars as something to say you have and if driven, even if unsafe, to the ice cream shop, don't understand that they do need to be done right.
This car is an example of why you should take someone that knows T's with you if you are a new buyer, or even if you have been around them for a while.
A fellow brought me a '12 Touring one time, which he had had for a short time -- his first T. It wasn't running right, and he wanted it "tuned up." I got it running smoothly and thought it might be a good idea to check a few other things. The hub bolts on the rear wheels were missing some nuts, and those which were left were only finger-tight. It was a terrible accident waiting to happen. I'm glad he brought it by when he did.
Be thankful you could see your shoddy workmanship! My friend bought a "fully restored" 15 roadster. On his first 25 mile trip from home his steering began feeling mushy as he got close to home. Three spokes broken on the left front and chunks out of spokes on the other wheels. The "restorer" had used wood filler on rotten wood spokes and made them beautiful. They even functioned fine for loading and unloading at shows, but when the car was driven, they failed.
there are a lot of t's on the market now days that the seller knows nothing about. ebay, or craigs list are prime examples. it is a fact that the "greatest generation" is the folks that lived in that era, and saved and restored these cars. now, sadly they're time is up and the sons and daughters that sell the car know nothing except "dad restored it, and he was an expert mechanic, and always told us the car was worth 20 grand. i'm on my 4th t now that "dad or grandpa" restored and mostly every thing was done as cheep as possible. perhaps because they only planned on driving in the parade once a year, or the grew up in the depression, and that had a lasting effect on any one who was there. the only t's to buy if you want to get in it and go are from club members, or at least some body who actually puts on some miles, and knows about the maintenence of lizzy. i feel that when you buy a car "restored" in the 50s, 60s,70s, by grandpa, you better figure on new motor and trans, at minimum.
This goes on everwhere fellas!!!
There are wanna B's and those whose cell phone is on and THEY CAN do it! I have seen that all of the time through out my life. YOU TOO. Why else did you start learning how to do this work? There are individuals who just have this LEARNED talent down pat and do well with it. Many others just talk like they know this stuff and you put wrenches in their hands and look out! Yes it is WISE to seek out those with a good track record but we ALL started somewhere or BOUGHT into it when someone died. Many of the first stuff I did too was not the best work but you learn hopefully on our OWN cars first.
I am into many car types besides the T's and it is the same dealing restored railroad equipment, hot rods, vw's, Porsches, Mercedes, and muscle cars. I just saw a wooden wheel on Ebay that looked loaded with glazing or bondo. Old rotted wood. Probably someone's yard art. Now someone thinks that they have a real jewel to pawn off onto somebody. Most average guy types don't know the difference and because it is cheap will acquire it and then seek you or someone out to FIX it/ LOL. Not funny as I have to be the one to tell them the truth about their dream purchase.
I started out in life trying to have someone FIX my cars for me as a young kid. These were the older type garage people (mechanics) in the early 60's and my engines blew up. Transmissions didn't last either so I started fixing my own at home. Luckily I went to work for garage people who showed me how to do stuff. (OR unlucky ???? LOL.) As it goes slow to do a good job on anything that you undertake to do it right. It always has and it always will. People should be truthful and not take risks especially with someone else's property. Try telling that to today's youth. It was hard teaching KIDS to learn stuff let alone to do it right. Today's youth??? Have fun doing that. I became a dinosaur in 2002. First time I had heard that term! I wasn't techie enough for the new young academic high school administrator. With today's youth, It has to be fast, easy, and anyone can do it but THEY will do it better and oh yes! I want big dollars for it. They will promise you the moon and will show up when they feel like it. Not to worry though... They don't want your old silly car. Too expensive anyway.
Am I just getting old?
Someone sent me an E today and it said: "Anyone can take a picture it's just many people just don't have any film in their camera" I thought it was cute and oh how true!
I'm appalled at you guys. Who are you to tell someone how they should fix their car? It's THEIR car. THEY should be able to fix it however THEY choose. Just because YOU like good solid wooden spokes doesn't mean EVERYONE should have to have good solid wooden spokes. What are you? PURISTS?
BTW, I hope I laid on the sarcasm thick enough that no one thinks I was serious.
I have a brother like that - between accidents and neglect, he goes through twice as many cars in a given period of time than anyone else in the family. He knows he would get better service out of his cars if he paid attention to them, but he's just not up to doing anything about it.
This situation is not unique to cars. Some people who don't know the difference between a door knob and a hubcap think they can do anything. Yes some people even on this forum can do everything on their model T but could not file a tax return.
Everyone has their weaknesses but the smart ones know what that weakness is (mine is bodywork).
Others are just plain cheap and won't spend the money to do a job right
I was afraid I would open this thread and see my name
The person who worked on my 24 used a impact wrench on almost everything, i had to use vise grips, nut busters, chisels to take things apart, most of the bolt heads and some nuts were rounded off and there were no gaskets only Orange silicone sealer. It has all new bolts and nuts and gaskets.
This is true in most any profession whether its mechanical or anything else.
If you think people in the medical professions are immune from this you had better think again.
But that's another subject that's WAY OFF TOPIC.
I have seen many "restorations" done with nothing but a can or Krylon rebuilding fluid.
I once got burned when I bought a "rebuilt" engine. It had new fresh paint, and you could see new head gaskets, oil pan gasket, and manifold gaskets. If you looked through the spark plug holes, you could see clean shiny piston tops too, but when I got is installed and started, it barely ran and smoked like a train! When I got it apart, the pistons were definitely clean, but the cam had round lobes, the lifters were dished and a few actually had holes worn through the bottoms, the bores were tapered, etc. but it had new gaskets and paint!
BEWARE, there are many "restorers" out there whose only tools are steam cleaners, scrapers, wire brushes, and spray paint!
Putting things into perspective ...
The fact any cars survives 80 plus years in itself is simply amazing ...
Particularly if they are near a certain fella named " Rob " in Nebraska ....
As Daddy said look, then clear your head of the I want it. Then look again through a friends eyes... I went to look at a "Frame Off" restoration with a friend, after he looked at it I pulled my jack and jack stands out of the Van and the seller asked what I was doing I said I was inspecting the under carriage. He said I could not go under his vehicle...My friend and I walked away and wondered what he was hiding.
I just brought home a 31 coupe. Ran when parked and has been started every couple of years= 14 years ago.
The women had no idea time went by that fast!
My worst horror story, from back when I was restoring cars as a living (not much of a living, but I digress) This was a Model A coupe that I was asked to upholster. It had been at a "restoration shop" and was all painted & looked nice--but wouldn't run right. Found sand in the gas tank; started looking around more--the body wood was rotten, got more worried, as everywhere was sand--sand in the steering linkage even. Dropped pan, SAND in pan too!
I was able to replace the body wood without damaging the outside paint, but had to paint the interior surface, as they hadn't been done. Even pulled the gas tank without having to repaint that area. Tore the engine down, cleaned it (it had been rebuilt!)out, and was able to get the car together and reliable. The owner was a court recorder, so he had the ability to go after the restoration shop and got enough to pay my bills.
What an accident waiting to happen though!
In Model T world, I was asked to fix a fire chief's car that the transmission had seized. The restorer just held dimensions too tight on the bushings, but while I had the car, found the back wheel spokes were "clocking" they were so loose, and the 30 x3 front wheels had 30 x3-1/2 tires on them. So, found a good set of wheels and rims and changed that out, and wrote up a check sheet for the firemen to use to keep the car maintained. Think the fire dept. still has it (this was 20 years ago!). Also got a set of coils from Ron, and they complained that the coils weren't arcing anymore! In the instructions was a statement to NOT mess with the coil settings--I hope they paid attention to that one!
As to the "it happens everywhere" statement: Check out This Old House's site "Home Inspection Nightmares". If it wasn't so sad it'd be hilarious. There's about 20 years of inspector finds and it's really worth a look. And you thought it only happens in the garage!
With any used car purchase, its buyer beware, whether its a 2014 or a Model T.
The sad truth is that people have been killed by wheels collapsing. And from what I've seen in photos the wheels that broke had pretty nice looking spokes in them. The wheels may have not caused the accidents but they were secondary to the cause and still failed.
Restoring on the cheap to deceive is obviously not right. But I see no harm in restoring what you can within whatever budget is available to you. It doesn't mean grandpa or dad was a cheap lying bastard back in the 60s trying to eek once last fraudulent dollar out of people. Good grief.
Sorry. Didn't mean to blow up like that. Been a rough day here.
We used to call them "Sherwin Williams Overhauls"
Sure seen lots of them!!
Well I guess that's why we call it a hobby, anyone that wants an old car to tinker with can jump in regardless of their knowledge. Just be glad that most of these cars aren't being used for daily drivers, then we would have to be worried. I remember 45 years ago when I started in the trade as a mechanic I made mistakes but learned. I have not learned everything and never will but still try and learn everyday. I hope new people keep getting into the hobby and keep it going. Some folks just haven't learned what's right and wrong, give em a chance and use your know how to inform. If you get stuck on a deal, then who's fault is it? MHO, KGB
Don't ascribe malice to that which can be explained by incompetence.
True story. In High School I was buying, cleaning and restoring cars about 10 a year. A friend whose Dad was well off just gave him a two year old car every two years (Dad's Old one) He NEVER changed his oil or maintained them, just wore them out and sold them every two years. Just added more and more oil as he got low until the gunk would clog his oil sump pump !
How can you restore 10 cars a year? That is nearly one a month. i cannot even sand down a door in a month let alone repaint one.
When I worked in the body shop, I did a car every week but it was not a rusted out project. Those took 2 weeks.
The last car I did for someone a couple years ago took me 3 months and I painted it twice because of bad paint.
Dave your story reminds me of the bosses accountant on my first job. (1968). The boss bought his car once a year instead of him turning it in. That car got washed when it rained, never saw an oil change during that time and every candy, cigar wrapper, news paper and what ever was in the back seat or on the floor. First thing, at the end of the day, was to set it up on the lift and remove the drain plug. It took all night for it to drain. Plop, plop, plop. The detailing guys down the block threw the boss out. Told him to clean the car up before they'd take it!
Daniel - I didn't look at your "blow up" as a "blow up" I saw it as a valid point of view.
Your key words are "on the cheap to deceive is obviously not right"
Not everyone has mega bucks to put into a project.
I remember my first car.
It was a 1941 Ford coupe and I spent my last dollars to get it.
I had limited knowledge and fewer dollars to fix it, so I cut corners everyplace I could and made some mistakes.
I used hand-me down tires, and traded a front bumper medallion for a wiring harness just to keep the car running.
The battery was junk so I had to push it to get it going about 50% of the time and I had to replace the clutch a few months after I got the car. (The clutch replacement was close to a comedy.)
Once I got a few dollars I upgraded the tires (still used) added a race cam and triple carburetors. The process was a bit better than the clutch and I still had to push it to start much of the time - ( a new battery was a luxury in my mind)
I finally traded the Ford for something that was a bit more reliable, but had learned many useful lessons.
I am still broke but at a higher level.
I make sure my wife drives a reliable and safe vehicle but bottom feed for my cars.
Since I drive 100 miles a day when I am in the States my vehicles are usually old but I make sure they have good tires and brakes.
The T and A are hobbies so I work on them with a budget in mind, but safety is a priority because my granddaughters are with me a lot of time.
Tires for the T was a big issue because they had been on the car since the mid 60's and had age cracks.
Thus I limited my driving to close to home until I saved enough to get new ones that will go on when the weather gets warm.
My mom used to say unkind things about people “that don’t know what they don’t know”
There are crooks, experts, newbie’s, and many in-between out there –
And those that just don’t know what they don’t know.
Beware the Crooks!