Get the book? yeah I did that, worst $15 I ever spent on a book. The text is fuzzy, the pictures are crap; Black arrows point to a black component on a black engine copied from a copy of an old reprint. Unless you've been in the club for 25+ years asking a question as a noob gets parroted "get the book". Well I have the effing book now please answer the question 'cause the book don't help. (pant pant pant)
I feel better now. Knee jerk reaction aside even a poor copy is helpful, just hard to navigate without a good reference picture. I had only seen one model T when I started my current project, and so I had many questions not covered in the book. Telling people to get the book makes it sound like "go away kid, you bother me" I know better now but when I first started this hobby I was very put off by this. I even held off getting a membership for years because of this. The closest MFTCA club in my state is 200 miles away, so there goes asking a local chapter for help. I had only the forum. So, 5 years ago when I was helping a friend's 1910 get running I asked some questions and was only told to get the book. We sold the car and I didn't come back until last year.
I have high hopes for the improved book that just came out. There really needs to be a collaboration to rewrite it using tools that modern drivers have ready access to. I have a bronze soldering iron and gasoline torch, so I could repair a radiator that way, but who else knows how to use those?
Haha, so uh, book or no book, what is your question?
I was searching the archives for info on pulling the bearing race off the end of a driveshaft, and many of them had variations of "do you have the book?" This has happened at least 3 times in the past 3 days. One of them I was asking about the thrust bearing pin dimentions and was immediately asked if I had the book. Turns out what I was asking isn't even the book. It is a knee jerk reaction, and makes it seem like folks can't be bothered to help out. It puts people off. Should people have and use the books? Yes, definitely. However until last week the most commonly available copy is lousy and hard to read. (I have laid eyes on more than one copy and they were all like that) Chaffin's books are good, but I still have questions.
I'm not singling anyone out, I don't want to point fingers. I worry that someone new won't enter the hobby because of stuff like this. If we're worried about passing this hobby along we can't do this.
Good: "Hi I'm new, what should I do with my Model T?"
"Hi, welcome. One of the first things to do is get these books. They really help."
Bad: "Hi, I just picked up my first model T, The bands are pretty loose, how do I tighten them?"
"get the book, it says in there"
Is this a real issue? Probably not. I find it irksome, and wanted to say something.
Please ignore - this is just a test to check what time shows up on the posting.
Hap l9l5 cut off
I have "The Book", but I seldom use it. The pictures indeed SUCK. On certain things, I find the thin 8-1/2 x 11 books printed by MTFCA to be much more helpful. Don't get me wrong. "The Book" is a good resource, but in my opinion, hardly the 'cure all' for all ailments Model T. If any of you are also Model A guys, you are probably familiar with The Model A Ford Mechanic's Handbook by Les Andrews. I would like to see a Model T book done in a similar manner. I mentioned this many years ago, but the response was overwhelmingly in favor of "The Book". I briefly considered maybe trying to write a Model T maintenance type book, but I am not a writer and frankly, would rather spend the time driving than writing.
The book is great to make you feel inadequate. If I can do any of the jobs in 4 times the amount of time the book estimates it will take I consider myself lucky. The book is not great but try working on other early cars without any guidance at all and you realize that it is still a great resource. Using the club publications, the Ford book and a copy of Dykes almost always gets you the guidance you need. Sure wish I had those resources for some of my other cars!
Well, If Chilton and Haynes can tear apart a modern car and write books and reprint factory specs that we can actually READ, someone could do it for the T's.The books for T's are poorly illustrated and the strength of a mans arm for me aint much. I need a TORQUE spec if I want to do it right.
So yea, I am right there with you on the books. They need to be redone with clear photos and clear print.
Mack is right on and all model T's are not in that book.I wish there was a much thinner book for the early T's!! Bud.
You need to know that the Service Manual was written for mechanics who worked for the Ford dealers. Those mechanics were experienced men and didn't need as detailed instructions as somebody who had never seen the inside of a Model T. The company also had classes to teach or at least experienced people who could help them through it.
The books sold by the club are much more friendly to those who are doing Model T work for the first time.
Even so, there are some proceedures which need special tools or experienced machinests to do.
From another thread:
message By Mike Walker, NW AR on Saturday, July 12, 2014 - 06:10 pm:
And if you want a really good copy of the Bible, get a hard cover one. The pages are larger, the type is larger and easier to read, and the pictures are actually clear, not black like the paperbacks.
"The closest MFTCA club in my state is 200 miles away..."
I don't know if it's MTFCA or MTFCI, but Rockford is only about 60 miles from Aurora, and there are probably chapters closer.
Other Forums say RTFM, Read The Manual. People who write that obviously don't have the answer, but are trying to be helpful.
Same questions repeated over and over soon get ignored.
A person might start with, "I did the keyword search on driveshaft bushings, and found nothing. Can you help?"
The Service Book is still better than any other book around. I like the original copies, because they are easier to read, and of course are genuine Ford. I believe they were made for the general public, not Ford mechanics. They already knew what to do.
The original issue, "worst $15 I ever spent on a book", is not an issue. You can view the full service manual online at no cost. No need to spend your hard eared money on it and there is some useful info in it.
I, too, was hoping for something a little more polished. However, I'll use this in the shop without caring if I get it dirty.
Interesting post. Chris has a good point about the quality of some of the pictures. Brings to mind a couple questions:
1. Is the book copyrighted ? (Can't find my copy right now but shouldn't be)
2. A good forum project would be to take modern digital pictures (good lighting, good contrast and with the arrows in place) when a member is tearing something down. Maybe Chris could set aside a portion of the website just for these pics which would then be available to all. The pics should be about the same size and cover the same area as the originals and should be posted by figure number.
Jes' thinking ............
Two other books are very valuable, "Model T Service Bulletin Essentials" and the "Ford Owner" they help complement the "bible" and explain in more detail.
I use the " Model T Ford Comprehensive Encyclopedia" available from the club or from Mrs. Mcalley, it has the service manual plus a lot of other information and you can blow the pictures up so you can see details.
Sorry you have been having a hard night or morning depending on your normal work hours. Based on the time of day you did your two postings it was “Oh-dark thirty” i.e. night outside. If you routinely work the night shift and you were off last night working on your T, then you aren’t fighting the “it is really late and this isn’t working for me” feeling. If you are a normal day shift person, I would suspect you are up very early or stayed up very late. I find when I do that many of the minor irritants appear much larger than after I have had a good night’s sleep. And sometimes just having a listening ear is helpful. Hang in there, I’m sure it will look a lot better after some sleep.
Good on you for doing a forum search – that often helps me find an answer I need and it also usually gives several alternate approaches that could be considered. And I like using “Google” and putting “site:mtfca.com” but there are many ways to do it. But in addition to obtaining several different ways to approach the problem, the searches will often show that a couple of the ways are repeated. In this case I suspect you saw the recommendation to obtain a copy of the “Model T Ford Service” book also know as (aka) “The Model T Bible” several times. It sounds like you have a copy, but perhaps one of the less readable ones? I have previously recommended and still recommend that folks not purchase the copy with the title “Model T Ford Factory Service Manual” and a 1926-27 Runabout with wire wheels on the cover. The illustrations are poor compared to the other reprints I have seen and even the text is hard on my old eyes. But that one is a recent offering and appears they did a scan and then paste of the entire page. But all of the other reprints I have seen, they were green and I believe they now have a black cover -- the text and illustrations are much easy to read. Below is a sample page related to your question and even after it has been compressed/resized to around 65 kb or so it can be posted it is still usable for me. (Usually I encourage folks to poster higher resolution copies – below 195 but as high as they can easily obtain. In this case, I just hit compress and it came out at 65 kb and is close enough for this illustration.) And as mentioned above the book is available online for free.
As others have mentioned, the MTFCA booklets have information that includes how it can be done today. And yes, the Model A Shop Manual is a great tool -- and something similar for Model Ts would be great. Most of use do not have the special puller shown in the photo. Glenn Chaffin suggests using a modern day puller. He also recommends taking a nut of the proper thread and diameter, grinding off the shoulders so the sleeve can be pulled off over it. Place that on the threads so the puller does not mushroom the end of the driveshaft.
Most of us do not do a lot of rebuilds, so purchasing all the books for a one time job can take a lot of money from our “Model T budget line.” That would be one reason I would encourage folks to join one of the local clubs when possible. Our club has a lending library that also has the videos/DVDs from the club. They are very helpful when someone needs to accomplish the same or similar job.
Adding to the existing book better photos etc. would be a great project. And one that different people could contribute to as they worked on that section of their car.
And if you still have unanswered questions – please let folks know.
Hap l9l5 cut off
As far as updating the Model T Service manual the inside cover states permission is given to reprint it is given by the Ford Motor Company.
I think that it could be updated in some areas to include some of the mechanical changes that occurred along the way. There are a few but not many.
Whether having Fords permission to include the design and mechanical changes I don't know.
I have worked on different types of cars, tractors and mechanical equipment all of my life.
Using manuals for repair is a necessity BUT even the best manuals don't have all the answers.
Having a mechanical aptitude and learning from others and really helps.
The Ford Service manual was written for mechanics and it was assumed by Ford they knew what they were doing to begin with.
I agree, a lot of the pictures, especially in the reprints, could be much better. I like Bud's idea of making new ones. A few of our members do that now on an ad hoc basis posting good pictures in answer to specific questions. I suppose the ideal thing would be an online manual with those pictures and more like them. You could read it online and print whatever pages you want to take into the shop. That would take a volunteer, or a group of volunteers, to do the work.
I also agree that remarks like "Do your homework" aren't the most helpful guidance. We can't all be like Hap and post lots of pertinent references, or come up with just the right picture like Dan, but we should try to give some useful information without getting snippy about it. Somebody who's new to the game doesn't know the question was asked and answered two weeks ago, maybe for the umpteenth time. It's all new to him. He's stoked by this fantastic old car he's found and he wants to know about it. That should be encouraged, not squelched.
Chris O., you said: "I have high hopes for the improved book that just came out."
Can you tell us what book that you're talking about.
Steve J., according to Jim Thode it is available online: "You can view the full service manual online at no cost. No need to spend your hard eared money on it and there is some useful info in it."
Yes, the book is of poor quality, but as said above, at least we have many sources of material to draw from, unlike other monikers.
I own a 1917 Overland that was my dad's and there isn't ANYTHING in repair literature out there. Nothing, not even by the club, so I am pretty much on my own. Fortunately, the forum members are very experienced in the art of the Model T and quite willing to help out. You can even PM some of the experts and get some great help. Stan Howe has helped me immensely with carb issues
on the Overland and just last month, Steve Jeff helped me with the rebuilding of a 1915 coil box. The assistance here on the forum is immense.
The MTFCA has put out six great books which are very advantageous to have. Mine are soiled from dirty fingers because I have used them so much. Upon a club veteran's advice, I also picked up Victor Page's "The Model T Ford and Tractor" and Murray Fahenstock's book "Model T Owner," neither of which I found as useful as the above literature, but good to have when those resources do not answer your questions.
One thing that I noticed, however, is that a lot of things are assumed in this literature. If, you are like I was and not mechanically inclined, you will make a lot of mistakes. For example, I replaced several leaking exhaust manifold gaskets until a forum member pointed out that I was tightening them up the wrong way. I was going from left to right instead of tightening the center bolts first, then the outer ones. For a mechanic, this is common sense, but not for a dolt like me.
Probably the 2nd best book I received, which was my late father's, was a 1927 Dykes Auto Repair Manual. That edition gets down to the bare basics on EVERYTHING and explains it in the simplest manner that even I can understand it. If you can find one, pick it up! I understand and feel your pain - hang in there. Once you get to know your car's symptoms and fix the initial problem, you will not only become more knowledgeable about it, but also will know exactly what to if it happens again.
If the Ford manual is online someone who is really computer savvy could have an update section at the end of it or either the updates and mechanical changes could be added at the end of the page in question.
Maybe that's to easy though.
Chris, the fox valley chapter of mtfci is near you (Elgin) They have a great group there who would help in any way.
If you are still stuck, please IM me and I will put you in touch with a few great guys who can help.
Many are members here too.
I am a member of the Fox Valley chapter. 5 years ago I wasn't, and I only knew about MTFCA.
In the mid to late 1960's, my Dad and I restored my first Model T. We didn't know of the local club in Houston, only 30 miles away, and although we had an automotive machine shop do the engine machine work, we rebuilt all the rest of the driveline, including assembling the engine and transmission by ourselves, using an old Polyprints version of the Ford Service Manual. It was decades later before I saw my first genuine, original hardcover copy of the Ford Service Manual and realized how much better quality the print and pictures were in it, but we got the job done with the old Polyprints manual. Another thing was, we didn't have any original Ford service tools, which in a lot of cases, make many of the operations, much easier. Since then, and six T's later, I have sought out and purchased one of every Ford dealer service tool that I can find. The MTFCA engine book was not even an embryo at the time, in fact the national club wasn't even that old. If it hadn't been for "the book" (Ford Service Manual), we'd probably had to find someone else, no telling how far away, to restore the car for us, instead of doing it, ourselves.
Hal is absolutely correct - the Les Andrews books for the Model A (there are two - the Mechanic's Handbook and the Troubleshooting Guide) are fantastic; clear, simple instructions and great illustrations. A T version would be great. Aside from the two bibles (Service Manual and the McCalley book), all the other literature (especially the club-published material) is component based - engine, transmission, etc. Need a one-source like the Andrews books.
Such a book would be great....but, how would you weed through ALL of the various ways of doing something to come up with a "standard" way of doing it, so the average Joe could perform the work? There are thousands of people out there with Model T's and probably several thousand methods of performing a task. Who's correct? And who takes a back seat?
From what I've heard, Ford never issued a service book for Model A s but relied solely on the service bulletins. I enjoy the T Service book a lot, because if you are restoring a T made from '23-25 it shows in detail the way everything was assembled during that period of time.
Bill - I guess the same could be said of the Model A. When you follow the Andrews books, you are essentially following "his" way of doing it. That being said, I've found "his" way of doing it pretty good with my Model As and would think a similar work on Ts (by someone as equally competent as Andrews is on Model As) would be pretty valuable.
I first restored my T in 1970. Back then the Model T Ford Service Manuals had a green cover and the quality was very good. I wore that out, so when I started back working on my T in 2008, I purchased a new Model T Ford Service manual with a black cover and it was almost unreadable. As Chris said, instead of printing from a master copy, they make the new editions from copying a copy of a copy of a copy. Who knows how many generations of copies there are now.
I have purchased an original hard cover copy of the Model T Ford Service Manual from the 1920's on ebay from which the copies were originally copied and the pictures are crisp and sharp, printed on slick paper. I see them come up on ebay occasionally and that is the way to go if you can find one. The hard cover is covered in light blue high quality cloth.
Even if you don't ever look at it, it is a nice collector's item for your library. The next best solution is to find an older green cover copy from the 70's. I recently bought one in unused condition and the quality of that is almost as good as the 1920's original. Jim Patrick
Telling newbees to "get the book" can be a problem if it seems to be blunt but anyone truly interested in working on their T should be willing to spend a couple hundred dollars and some time on resource material.
I have numerous T books by MTFCA, the model T cd (on my laptop), the Les Andrews Mechanics Handbook for the Model A, the A Judging standards book, factory books for numerous "modern vehicles" and a stack of Chilton, Haynes books.
Also Mac's catalogs with pictures for the A and T.
None of them are prefect.
In fact many of the Chilton and Hayes books are Factory manuals are expensive and require a class to understand, but the pictures help give a clue as to what I'll find.
They all are good places to start, as is a search on this site for pictures and tricks to make a project easy.
BTW - the Andrews Model A book - while being good does not answer all the questions and it can be hard to find things.
As usual I agree with everything you said big time.
Had the same experience. My original green cover copy is falling apart but saw me through 35 years ago.
The book is a time study. As in it should take so long to do this job. It was written to beat dealer mechanics over the head for going too slow. That's why it seems to be written for some one that knows about the work. While some of the times seem insane, (modern studies do the same thing), some body was able to complete that certain job in that time period. Perfect conditions? Maybe but it's now "the standard". The book was not meant to be used the way we use it today. Besides, as far as pictures and explanations, it didn't need to be that good.
I have found the Chilton and Hanes to be a waste of money. I pay more, and get factory manuals for every car I've had.
I would never buy a CD off tbay, because it's probably pirated, and if they'll cheat Ford, they will cheat you, too, in form of spyware or something.
Henry Ford employed efficiency experts standing over the expert mechanics to determine the times each job should be able to be done in, under ideal conditions. No time was ever figured in for "Murphy's Law" (Whatever can go wrong, will go wrong), or the "Mushroom Factor" (even the simplest jobs will become major jobs as additional problems are uncovered as the job progresses), or going to the toolbox and getting a tool or going to the parts room to get the parts or finding misplaced tools. For each job, all the tools were laid out and all the parts were on hand so there was no wasted time whatsoever. That is why the times are so unrealistic. I need to figure in a couple of extra hours on even the simplest job, just for finding misplaced tools or retrieving dropped or lost bolts and nuts. Jim Patrick
I do not know what the original books bring on the open market, but if you can find one, buy it. I picked up my two books (the first one and the improved car one) 50 years ago. I also have a complete set of original service bulletins. The quality is excellent. These items are very useful. The latest reprint of the book is much better, but I have a 30 year old reprint that is decent and I use that one when my hands are greasie. This forum is also a good source of helpful information.
Got my copy about 7 years ago. It is quite good. Pictures are clear and detail is very good. Fine print in Fig. 3 and 4 is quite readable. I'd say it is equivalent to a 1st or 2nd generation copy.
Here's one for $18:
I rushed out and bought the "new" Ford Service manual when it was recently presented on the forum as a large print detailed picture copy of the old manual.
I was disappointed when I received it to say the least.
They left out the first 20 pages of the 3-1-94 copy that I already have. The print size is smaller and the picture resolution is the worst.
I would not recommend it. It is the one with the picture (bad resolution) of a guy on a ford in the museum in Michigan.
Here is a good thread regarding the several publications of the Ford service manual including the 1970 green copy mentioned above, as well as several other helpful and necessary publications available to the Model T owner, which I had in 1970 and which helped educate me and enabled me to restore my Model T without doing too much damage to the car or me . Note the pictures posted by Dan Treace of several pages from his original 1925 hardcover copy and how crisp and sharp the pictures are. This is the blue hardcover book I have and referred to above. Jim Patrick
I learned from the old Polyprints green cover book. I almost wore it out, and eventually loaned it out and never got it back. I now have several original blue cover books in the house, and a well used one out in the garage. I don't look at them much any more.
Jim, Got my copy about same time frame you did. It has a black cover with gold print. As I posted above it is of very good quality re print and pictures. Would be hard to tell from an original. Go figure.
Larry, would you be interested in selling one of them original blue cover books?
If so drop me a PM.