Hello all. I'm new to the forum. I just bought my first Model T, a 1926 Model TT dump truck. I'm super excited about it. It's been restored, cab, bed and everything, but the hood isn't closing properly. It almost seems like the radiator is a quarter inch closer to the can on the left side of the truck than is the right side. It makes it a real pain to open and close the left side of the hood, and impossible to close if the front and back rod in the center of the hood (where it folds) are in the proper positioning. Is there a way this can be adjusted, or do you think the truck ran into something and got bent a little at some point in its life?
John, Show us a picture of the firewall. It may be that the firewall is installed to the surrounding wood at a cant. Put a straight edge, such as a framing level against the front axle and measure back to the wood cab. Do this on both sides and see what you get. Kevin
Kevin, thank you very much for your quick response! I will post another picture as soon as possible. I called and told my dad what you said (I am housing it at his garage, and he is helping me get it ready. I have been really bummed, thinking the worse (that the frame is bent), but hopefully, when the cab and everything was restored, it all just wasn't lined up quite right and it can be adjusted. It belonged to an old man who passed away a few years ago, and he owned it since right after WWII. It spent the better part of 50 years in a barn, and when it was used, as I am told, it wasn't used hard...
Sweet looking truck John! I bought my first TT last December and have totally fallen in love with it. I drive it around the place at least twice a week doing chores. Mine is a 25 flatbed/stake bed. They are great trucks because they all have common bones but otherwise very individually unique. I'm still looking for another TT with my cab on it. I don't know who made my cab. Yours is close except for the vertically split windshield. Great looking truck!
Wow, what a neat first T! Congratulations.
Thank you Ryan! I've had some 32 cars (at 29 years old0, and most of them were from the 50s and 60s, but it's been a dream of mine since high school to have a Model T...never thought it would be a TT! And Kevin, my dad did some measurements, and there is about an inch and a half difference from one side to the other... Interestingly, the side that is scrubbing so bad and appears to be throwing everything off is the longer of the two measurements??
Thanks Mike! I got lucky on this one!
I'm kind of surprised both sides don't cause trouble on a body like that. How do you guys with later TTs, depot hacks or whatever work around the geometry of opening that tapered hood against a flat-fronted cab? I helped build a T fuel truck a number of years ago and we ended up having to make a short cowl that spaced the firewall a couple inches forward to make room for the hood to open and close without hitting anything.
Tim, I'm very new to vehicles this old. That's a great point. hopefully if something does need to be done like that, my dad and I can handle it ok!
Tim, mine opens up right on the wood. Not a quarter inch to spare. It opens just fine though but if I weren't careful I could scrape the paint on the wood.
John, I'm a few years older than you (I'm 35) and the TT is my first "very old" car. I drove a '53 Ford Customline as my first car in high school. I still have it. Part of me wishes I would have started with a T. When learning about engines by yourself, when you start this simple, conceptually every other motor is just add-on improvements.
Tim, mine is the same way. It opens flat against the wood, but something is off to where it is opening ok on the drivers side, but it is scrubbing the wood terrible on the passenger side.
Ryan, I drove a 1959 Chevy Apache pickup truck in high school.
Check and make sure the cab is square with the frame. I have a '23 TT with a similar cab and had the same problem. The cab was loose on the frame. I slid it back and tightened the bolts. No more problems.
John, I love your truck. It has a great look.
I am with Fred. Just loosen the cab from the mounts and adjust it on the frame to fit the hood. I'm sure it will be a small adjustment.
John, if the hood is tight on the left side, shifting the metal firewall a little to the left will even up the gaps each side. What this will do is shift the centre hinge mounting slightly left. It may mean you have to slightly elongate the bolt holes in the body/firewall and at the lower frame mounts.
Check the fit at the radiator also. If it sits squarely now, shifting the firewall left will will close the gap at the radiator on the left. If your radiator shell is the nickel plated brass type, it is essential that you get the hood sitting correctly. Any contact with the shell will result in rubbing and ruination of the brass. It must sit on the hood lacing.
Given the truck is already built, the fit you can manage may be a compromise at best. Adjusting the radiator stay rod so the gap is wider front to back may be the best compromise.
That is a really nice truck. I love the tailgate closure.
Hope this helps.
Allan from down under.
I really appreciate all of your help, guys! This is quite the good forum, for sure. I just relayed this information to my dad. He said he already considered that, but he is afraid that when the new wood was put in for the cab when it was restored, that it was placed slightly crooked (if this is the case), so the holes are drilled in the wood and permanent, and the only way he could adjust it is to slightly elongate some bolt holes? He said he is going to get back under it in a bit to look specifically for ways to make a very slight adjustment, and I personally haven't been under it yet to check it out for myself. I hope this makes sense... Again, thank you all so much for your input. I just got her, and this has been really driving me crazy. I can't wait to get her right!
I see no one else has mentioned it yet but from your pictures it is better to jack up either side of the rear end instead of lifting the pumpkin in the center. It's easy to stretch the bolts that way and wind up with a leak or worse. Definitely a super cool truck though.
Thanks Seth. That's how it was when I bought the truck, but I have since removed the jack and I'm using jack stands. The only reason it's jacked up is because the rear brake rods were not connected...so you can crank it and not get run over.
That's good, just let it down one side at a time when you are ready.
LOL speaking of getting run over . . . on more than one occasion I've cranked my speedster up only to have her try to get going without me. I'm sure I looked like a moron trying to grab the front wheel and really lean into it, but also trying to not touch the brass that I've polished.
I don't know about anyone else's T but if I forget to set the parking brake when she's still cold oil will grab the clutch pretty good. If she's warmed up it's not a problem, she'll just sit there in neutral.
What's even funnier is that for the longest time Eliza didn't have any brake rods or shoes. My granddad had a piece of wood with a rope and he would rock the rear left wheel up onto it, crank the car, then get in and rock the car off of it and pull the piece of wood up with him. It was one of the first things I fixed when I got her.
Seth, that's too funny! That's a really nice looking speedster you have there. I love that brass.
Thank you sir. =) I'm fond of it myself. It's not quite the finished product that some other folks have, but she's getting there.
I want a TT so bad I can't stand it. I think it'd be wicked cool to have one and then make a really low trailer with T wheels so I can pull Eliza to whatever car show or touring event. Like having my own race truck.
You're welcome! I really want an early 20s coupe (I guess what I've always thought of when I here the term "Doctor's Coupe")--body style of like a 1923 coupe. I imagine I soon will sell my TT so I can get one!
Ok, so it looks like we will be able to make a slight adjustment to the radiator (bring it out about an eighth of an inch) on the left side, and that should fix the problem. It won't budge with the radiator hose, so we are going to see if we can loosen the hose and slightly pull it out and adjust it. If not, I'll just put new hoses on it. Here are some more pictures.
You have a very cool truck! I'm curious about something. In the second photo you posted (at the top of the thread) there is a shifter lever. The opening for it in the floorboard is a long slot, indicating it moves only forward and back, which suggests a two speed rear end (Ruckstell or the like). However, the fourth photo clearly shows that there is not a two speed rear end.
So, what does the shifter operate?
Henry, that's a good question. Excuse my ignorance, but I've always owned 50s and 60s model cars and trucks, and Model Ts are def new to me. And I haven't had this one very long. If anyone else has any input on this, that would be great!
You may be new to T's, but seem to have the ability to posting pictures on this forum. If you have a couple of minutes to spare, snap a few shots of the drive line from the rear end to it's forward end and whatever may be there, including anything that may be under the shifter. It there is anything there, try to get name plate, casting ID, or whatever.
I'm sure we'll figure it out quickly.
Thanks Henry! I'll do that asap. And I apologize to every one for the large size of the pictures. I need to do a little research about what's a good size to post on here.
I think the size is just right! I can see the details I want to see.
John, your pictures are fine, if you want to tweak them, I will tell you that when I resize mine I set them to 150 dots per inch and a width of 5.9 inches, that seems to turn out well, see my latest thread below:
By the way, I agree with the other comments, that tailgate mechanism is the coolest.
Henry I was wondering the same thing about the shifter but stock rear end, maybe it activates the dump bed?
Thank you very much Mark! Your pictures are a great size. I will take due notice thereof and govern myself accordingly. And yes, the tailgate is really neat! Thanks again!
Seth, we will get to the bottom of this soon! haha I feel silly knowing so little about it yet, but since I got it, I have had no time to really learn about it, inside and out...
Just called my dad. He said under the truck where the supposed two speed shifter goes it goes down into the transmission assembly. He inspected the rear end, and--though he doesn't have the greatest eyesight--he said it looks like it says "Fuller and Sons Kalamazoo, Michigan." Does this shed any light?
Fuller and Sons made an auxiliary transmission for TTs starting in 1918 and it seems they are still in business producing heavy truck transmissions.
The one you have is a 2 speed, and based in what I found depending on which way it is facing it either gives you a direct gear (just 1:1 like it's not there) and then an under drive gear, which lets you go slower and have more pulling power, OR, if it's facing the other way, you get a direct gear and an overdrive gear, letting you go faster. You'll be able to tell which one it is pretty quickly once you drive it. If there's a "whoa that's CRAZY slow" then it's set up for under drive. If you shift and can get up over 35 mph, it's set up for overdrive.
The concern about the metal firewall and not having enough room to lift a hood without scraping?
It all depends...lol...find one with the metal firewall tight against the wood and it is/was the first time someone put one together. Find one with a piece of 1/2" or 3/4" plywood backing between the metal firewall and wood one...and you have found a project of someone who has had to live with the Type #1. ha-ha
You get use to it...once everything else is lined up and balanced, you just learn to lift with a bit of a twist at the handle, put it back down the same way...but if I ever have my Hack body off...it's moving back that space and a spacer put in!
John, when I resize pictures for the forum I adjust the height. I keep it to 720 pixels or less so it will fit on the screen without having to scroll up or down to see it.
As you're new to the T world, here's something for you: http://dauntlessgeezer.com/DG80.html.
I've seen this same problem on many 1917 and later Model Ts. In short, there might be nothing wrong except one or more of the hood latch springs is stronger than the others.
Fuller and Sons made an aux trans that was a direct and underdrive and fit between the rear of the drive shaft and front of the differential. My TT had one when I bought it. With an underdrive in front of a 7.25 to one rear end and very heavy loads, the 20 hp had enough power to distort the frame right where the engine ears mount to the frame. Might effect the hood alignment! I had mine stripped down to the frame when I discovered with my naked eye that the frame was bent. Yours will be harder to detect, but, I think I'd try to lay a straight edge against the side of the frame rails front to back across the area where the engine mounts to the frame and see if you have a gap on one side and it rocks on the other.
One page 13 of this PDF you can see a period add and read a little about your transmission. http://www.nwvs.org/Technical/MTFCA/Articles/2602AuxilaryTransmissions2.pdf
Speaking from experience, the fuller transmission cannot simply be turned around for an overdrive. It can be done but there is some extensive machining work that is required. The original gears took a real beating from the reduction work, so it pays to check out their condition before getting too far into one. Hope this helps.
John, the truck appears to have a real dump bed.
Most dump beds have a lever that the driver can work while seated inside the cab. (Maybe at the side of the cab) sometime a little jerk forward is needed to complete the dump action. That lever might be the dump release lever if it is not part of the aux transmission.
I have a metal TT gravity dump bed on my project list. The gravity means that the load is centered over the pivot point and maybe with a slight forward jerk it will dump the load of dirt gravel etc. (pull bed release lever first) I might put some hard rubber tires on it as it will be built as a slow vehicles. (No tours for it)
After looking at the pictures again, it appears the bed release is below the right front side of the bed and also I guess you have to release the tail gate latch before the dump part will work???
Forgetting the tail gate release and dumping could result in some real fun.
I've never seen all the material in the link Seth posted. I knew there were several auxiliary transmission out there, but I didn't realize there were so many. Really useful information! Thanks.
I have a question about the Fuller. The add says, "...No cutting of drive shaft...". In looking it over, it would appear installation requires removal of the spool and coupler, then the unit goes in place of these parts, filling the void of the missing coupler and intercepting the drive line for input and intercepting the rear end behind that in place of the coupler. Right?
Seth, thank you so much for that information! I find it fascinating. I have a masters degree in history, and Model T ownership aside, that was just an interesting read! George, dually noted. I'm going to post a few more pictures with better detail of my situation in the next post. Steve, thanks for the picture sizing advice and link to the Model T manual info. Very helpful! Royce, my alignment issue is obvious before the hood latch are fastened, so at this moment, I don't think that is the issue. Tim, thanks for the input on the Fuller transmission. That certainly makes sense to me. Willie, it does have a real dump bed. We know now that the lever is certainly for the transmission and not the bed. Good observation, the bed release is below the right front side of the bed, and the tailgate latch does have to be released before dumping. The tailgate is fixed at the top and the bottom swivels outward when the bed is lifted up. Good luck with your TT project! And Henry, I'd like to know the answer to that also.
We got the radiator bolts loosened and the top center hood rod loosened a bit and we placed the hood on. Here are some pictures of what it looks like. The alignment is way off, and we are having a heck of a time figuring things out. We have not yet checked the frame to look for twisting.
I think your particular dump bed is typical of a grain box. Normally, you wouldn't release the dump bed on these vehicles from the drivers seat which might explain why the trip lever is on the other side of the truck. In this case, you'd probably pull over a floor grate at the grain elevator, get out, release the tailgate latches (at which point the grain would force the gate open at the bottom and begin flowing on its own. You'd then go to the front of the box and trip the dump lever. Or so my line of thinking goes. Just a thought.
I believe Warren is right about your dump bed being intended for grain. In addition to his comments I'd point out that it's wood. Dump beds made for construction use (sand, rock, dirt, etc.) would more likely be made of metal. Wood wouldn't last long in those applications, but would work fine with grain.
Thanks guys! Very interesting to know, and certainly makes good sense. I just need to buy a bunch of grain to dump now! Haha 😆
Update: we loosened every bolt and nut we could find connecting the cab to the frame, and it won't budge. This is aggravating. haha
There are 2 fasteners on each side that hold the firewall to the bracket which is bolted to the chassis. Did you loosen these? If not, I'd give it a try. Also, I'd just remove the radiator support rod while I'm fiddling with this just to allow as much play as possible.
Thanks for the advice Henry. I believe we did loosen them, but we will also remove that hood rod, per your advice.
Victory! Thanks for all of the advice, guys. We were finally able to make a slight adjustment to the cab and we got the hood to fit very nicely!
Absolutely a grain truck. How cool! If you want to see a comparison, look up a buckboard wagon or "high box" wagon. You will see a similar ability to add side board height and a similar rear locking mechanism. Now you need a threshing machine and a steam engine to complete the set. Your wife will love them!!!
Thank you Ryan! I've been getting a lot of comments about how unique it is. It's really good to know! I don't have a wife, but a threshing machine and steam engine would be sweet! haha