Hey all, you probably don't remember me but I was asking around here a year or two ago about a T in a field and if it was worth pursuing. Well, that never panned out but just last week I found and bought a '26 touring-turned-pickup.
As near as I can tell this car was restored at some point in the past but most if not all of it is there. I haven't tried to start it yet, the radiator overflow tube has come loose from the tank and I'd like to give everything a good going over before I fire it up, and that's where the expertise here will come in.
Anyways, just wanted to say where I stand now. I look forward to getting this thing on the road and I hope you're all ready for a bunch of newbie questions.
Cool, we should start with some photos of your new family member.
One of the first things is to go over the fuel tank/fuel system. Get rid of any old fuel unless you know for a fact that it's less than three months old. Go over the carb too, or just rebuild it. Have the coils checked on an HCCT to see if they're any good, check/clean/replace the spark plugs. Pull the timer (commutator) and give it a good look-see, replace if you have any real doubts about it. The new timer from TW Components is a nice one at a fair price.
There's a pot-full of other stuff here, I'll let the long-time experts take over from here! Heck, I'm still kinda new at this too, but learning every day.
Here you go, Tim. Some reading to get you started.
Wasn't there a check list someone took the time to put together on starting up a car that had been stored for years. Or is that my some timers kicking in.
It would be helpful if someone could post a link. As I recall it was a fairly complete check list.
Mike, you're probably thinking of Milt Webb's list. That's my third link above.
Steve you type faster, that is the list, I will save it this time thanks
Thanks everyone for the replies so far, I think I have some reading to do before I start ordering parts and whatnot.
I tried to upload a photo directly to the forum on that first post but it didn't want to work and I didn't have enough time to sort it out. Anyways, here it is:
The short term plan is to get it on the road mostly as-is if possible. Slightly longer term I'd like to tidy up the box, paint the box black and probably make up a bench seat for in the back. On the very long term I imagine it will eventually get a full restoration, exact body style TBD. For now, though, I just want it to be somewhat reliable, pass a safety and get a set of license plates on it.
After making sure you can STOP it it looks pretty much like a slam dunk.......
"Owned and operated by Peirogi House". You're gonna have some fun with that
I see the "FUR KID" has already staked out his territory. I see a lot of fun disguised as a truck! enjoy!
Tim -- I think your idea of getting it roadworthy and having some fun with it is a good one. There's no need to rush into a restoration before having some fun and getting to know the car.
After looking at your photobucket pics, I have a few suggestions to help make your time with the car more enjoyable. You said your radiator needs some work. If you have a good old-time radiator shop near you and the upper and lower tanks are in good shape, I'd suggest having them re-core the rad. Better than that would be to buy a new one from Berg's Radiator Shop; then you won't need to give it another thought as you drive the car for many years to come.
I can see a great deal of wear in the front shackles/bushings. A complete front suspension and steering rebuild is mandatory to enable you to keep the car "between the weeds."
Another chore you MUST do is rebuild the rear end. If you don't do that, you run the risk of losing the connection between your transmission brake and the rear wheels, which is very dangerous. It's a nasty job, so get help with it if you feel you need it. It's not more than an average shade-tree mechanic can handle, but it helps to have done it before.
Basically, check out everything which makes the car go, stop, and turn, and fix it where it needs it. You'll be glad you did.
And of course you'll want to read over the lists Steve posted and give those things your attention, since it has been sitting for some time.
I understand your desire to get the car on the road as quickly as possible, but first please be sure it'll be safe to drive. After that, just have fun!
Just so that nobody gets the wrong impression, I have no intentions of taking this T on the road until it's every bit as safe as an 88 year old car can be. The "Taking a T out of mothballs" article is hot off my printer now and it will be hung on the garage wall as a reference for the many T-parties to come.
Mike, you have a good eye to spot the wear on those front shackles, and that was something I was going to ask about. They looked pretty rough so it's good to know right away that I can add that to my shopping list.
I haven't had a chance yet to thoroughly look through the various suppliers' catalogues but that's also on the very near-term to-do list. Do you guys recommend one supplier over the others or are they pretty well all the same? Also, apart from the four or five manuals listed in the links above, and apparently suspension,steering and rear end rebuild kits, what else do you figure I'll need to put on my first parts order?
While you're fixing the front suspension (not terribly difficult, by the way), you can ditch the aftermarket "stabilizer" springs on the linkage. Those are a Band Aid for the symptoms of a wobbly front end.
Tim -- The vendors are not "pretty well all the same." There are some which are better than others, but I recommend Lang's for one-stop shopping and great service.
Looks like you found a nice car/truck to start with. I would also recommend you locate and join the nearest Model T Ford club. They are listed at: http://www.mtfca.com/clubpages/chapters.htm and also http://www.modelt.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=5&Itemid=15 They can be a wealth of information and encouragement.
Also, do you happen to know if your Model T was produced in Canada or the USA? If you check the engine number on the water inlet on the left side of the engine as well as seeing if the same number is stamped on your frame -- that will probably answer that question. I.e. it will start with a "C" followed by numbers. Also most of the Canadian parts will have Made in Canada rather than made in the USA. They run and drive the same -- but just wondering since you are located in Canada.
Good luck with your car.
Hap l9l5 cut off
Glad to see you back! The T looks like a nice one! Are you going to teach the Newfie to drive it?
Drive carefully, and enjoy, W2
Mike is correct. Not all parts dealers are the same. I agree with him that Lang's is tops for selection and service. I also would recommend Chaffin's Garage. It's just a two-man operation so you may have to call several times to get through, but glen and Dave are very knowledgeable and very helpful. They are also a supplier of many parts the other dealers sell. The other outfit at the top of my list is Bob's Antique Auto Parts, also a supplier of many parts the other dealers sell. Sadly, Bob's will be closing soon, with a big closeout sale. I hate the reason for the sale, but it will be a good opportunity to get some parts at a discount. There are several other good dealers, but those are my top three. There's also another major dealer whose catalogue is probably the best in the business, but I'm not mentioning their name. There's a very good reason for that.
I'm going to try to put in one big order to start so it looks like Lang's is the winner for now. I think I know which supplier nobody is talking about, could someone hint at why?
As for teaching the dog to drive, I thought about it. If I had a limo it would be awfully hard not to black out the back windows, move the controls to the rear and let either of my two Newfs chauffeur me all around town.
I need to go digging for the engine number still, as I think that's what I need to register as the VIN. That's job #1 this week.
Snotty attitude/bad service.
Serial number is above the water inlet on the side of the engine. If your 26 was made on December 19, 1925, or later, it will also have the number stamped on top of the right (sometimes left) frame rail under the floor board. If the numbers match, your car probably has its original engine.
Well, this can't be good:
Here's to hoping I find some sort of ID on the frame...
Tim, looks like a replacement block as many of those had a blank boss so the already licensed number could be stamped on it. Obviously, some were just left unstamped.
Yeah, it looks far too professional to be stolen but now what? I can't seem to find a serial on the frame rail, unless it's hiding under the box on the back.
Part of the reason I need a serial number is this thing came without an ownership and I'd really like to get it registered.
Tim, if it has a frame number, it should be under the floor boards on the passenger side (left hand drive car). It may be hard to see under a layer of rust and or paint too.
As Erich says, sometimes you have to dig through some crud to find that number on the frame. After you find the number, if it's there, "somebody" could stamp it on that replacement block.
I am certain that there is a number on that frame. You just need to know how to look for it.
Many thousands of replacement blocks were sold with nothing stamped on the serial number boss. I have personally had a few of them over the years. Depending upon your jurisdiction, as long as you got a good bill of sale, you should be able to register it and enjoy it. I do not know much about Canada, however, most states are doable. Some are much easier than others. Many model T people will not consider buying a car without a good, full, title.
Drive carefully, and enjoy, W2
I had a 1926 that was supposed to have the engine number on the frame as shown above. There was no number on the frame, and I was due to take it to the CA Highway Patrol for inspection prior to getting a YOM registration.
I went to Wally-World and got a metal stamp set. I got out my trusty 3-lb sledge hammer, and I stamped the engine number in the frame.
It passed with flying colors!
Sometimes you have to get a little bit creative...
I got the date wrong by a week. 1926 frames made before December 12, 1925, won't have the number on them.
My 1926 engine number was early Feb '26, so it is likely that the frame was made before they started stamping them. But just try explaining that to Officer Erickson of the CA Highway Patrol...
The frame gets one more chance tonight to give up a number, after which I find some metal stamps and we may find the serials went one higher than was ever recorded...