Here is a pic of my new model T; the owner said it was a '16, but I think it is a '14 or earlier. What do you think? I know there are some incorrect items, but it sure looks good!
I have since found out it has numerous mechanical problems, including an overheating engine, tight trans. bands, water in oil, loose rear wheels on axel, rear brakes covered in grease/oil, battery not charging, gas leaking out of carb, and the throttle shaft is loose. When I drove it, it was very sluggish starting out in low, and really struggled in high. He said he changed the diff. gearing from a stock 4:1 to a 3:1 ratio, which I think is mostly the problem. He also removed the magnets from the flywheel "because thats what the hot rodders do".
I have fixed some of the problems and am looking forward to fixing the rest, except for the possibility of a cracked block. Despite the problems, I'm still really happy wit it. I don't like to do body or interior work, but love to fix mechanical problems, so this is actually an ideal project for me.
To start off with a couple of questions: it has a Ford NH carb. Is this the correct carb for this vintage? If I replace it with a rebuilt one, what should I get? Also does anyone know what type of manifold thats shown in the pic? Thanks!
Thats a neat little T. Nice accessory intake manifold too. I would just fix the things needed to get in driving well, and do not worry about getting it "correct" for now. Enjoy it as it is and change things as you go.
It's a Johnny Cash car, made up of parts from many different years. The engine with starter/generator is 1919-1925. The rear fenders appear to be crowned, making them 1917 or later. I don't recognize the odd manifolds. The splash aprons appear to be 1917 or later. The wheels are 26-27. The NH carb (1920-1926) is a good, reliable unit, and all parts for it are readily available. I'd stick with that while researching other ones to see if there's something else you'd like to try.
The previous owner's comment on the magnets, and your list of things that need fixing, are a pretty strong indication that he didn't know his stuff, so there may be needed fixes that you haven't discovered yet. Don't let that intimidate you. While the T is different from any car you've worked on before, it's relatively simple. You just need to be aware of some things you might encounter before you dive in. Here's some info to get you started:
As the saying goes, welcome to the affliction. I think you'll enjoy your Model T.
Thanks for your honest assessments. I suspected it was more of a reconstruction then a restoration. I consider it a "stepping stone".
I also discovered he hooked up the battery as a positive ground system! That would explain why the generator isn't working (hopefully not damaged), but why does the starter work in the right direction?
Hi Robert. About three years ago I walked into a similar situation with my first T. I spent the better part of a year very discouraged but still kept plugging away with it. Certainly it was a case for buyer beware. But I liked the car and stuck with it and I'm sure glad I did. Hang in there my friend.
Robert, even though you listed all the things that are wrong with it, its still a beauty and you will have just as much
fun diagnosing and fixing it as you will driving it, believe me. Good luck from another T newbie.
I just noticed the typo in my second link. It was supposed to be this:
Robert -- You mentioned that this T is a "stepping stone" for you. That's probably a good way to look at it. Model T'ers who get one T and never get another are in the minority.
Your car is made up of pieces from several years, as has been said. But rather than try to "correct" this one, drive it as it is and have fun with it. You can make improvements to it which will make it easier, more efficient, or more pleasant to drive without worrying about what is "correct."
If you decide later that you really want to have a T which is correct for one model year, you can get one when it pops up. In the meantime, this one will be fun to drive while you learn more about T's.
You may find out that once your bands are adjusted properly, it's no longer sluggish and doesn't run hot. Best of luck.
Hi, Robert. Changing your car back to negative ground won't reverse your starter motor.
It wasn't until 1925 that Roadster Pickups were made so you are a long way from correct if that is what you want. Like you, I am more a mechanic than a body man so I also wound up with a solid, clean car that needed many mechanical and electrical issues fixed which has been quite enjoyable to deal with. My car was also wired positive ground yet my generator was undamaged and now works perfectly. Yours looks like the kind of T that is worth fixing and having fun with instead of making correct. Good luck and enjoy.
I agree with Mike's suggestion of fixing this car pretty much as is. If you want to go for a correct one later, it will be easier and cheaper to buy one that doesn't need a lot of correcting. Until that opportunity comes up, you can have plenty of fun with this one.
Mike, that is a beauty! I agree with the others, get it running well the way it is, you'll have a blast with it! Once it's running well, you can pick away at the non-original things that bother you a little at a time as your time (and wallet) allow.
Great little rpu. I'd fix what needs fixin' and drive the snot out of it. When you're not polishing brass that is ;-)
Thanks guys, for your encouragements.
I fixed the overheating by replacing the leather fan belt (which was falling off), and flushing out the head/block, which was full of rust. I hope that didn't create the water leak into the oil. Should I use antifreeze to prevent all this rust from forming again?
I fixed the loose rear wheel by removing a washer that was preventing the hub from seating on the taper.
The dragging bands are an ongoing effort; there are some good threads here on that. I think I should replace the band springs; one was loose and a couple others were sitting cockeyed against the little forks.
But I am confused by the proper operation of the hand lever. A recent post implied that the rear brakes should be engaged when in the vertical position. I thought the brakes should engage only when its pulled al the way back against the seat.
Dave, did your generator start working after you switched it to negative ground?
I bought this car mainly to experience what it was like driving a T back then, and also to study the engineering decisions that were made during that period of history. When people smile and wave at me when I'm driving it, they have no idea that its not correct. And thats fine with me.
Robert, I adjust the length of my emergency brake rods so that the brakes are fully released when the brake lever is fully forward. That way you can be sure that the brakes won't drag when the car is in high gear and that the brake rods won't keep the high gear clutch from fully engaging when the lever is forward. Once the rods are adjusted this way, the lever position with the emergency brakes applied is something of a fallout, but you should make sure that the emergency brakes hold firmly before you run out of aft brake lever travel.
This procedure doesn't match the service manual, but it seems to work well for me.
Very good and glad you did this. You will enjoy working on this car as I sure do, even if it wont win any show. Fun and educational. If it were mine, I would take off that very cool accessory manifold and hang it on the wall. Use the original setup and you may get better performance. Those were an effort to heat the intake and improve vaporization of the poor gas of the day. Our modern gas is not in need of that.
Have fun and keep us posted.
Robert - What a nice little Model "T"! I'd just leave it like it is, but be sure to make it safe and reliable, in THAT order! Some "T's built up from parts look awkward, however, I think yours has perfect proportions!
Steve Jelf said,...."I don't recognize the odd manifolds." I don't either, but as Ed in California said, it's a nice accessory intake manifold too!
To elaborate a bit, it's actually a combination intake and exhaust manifold, and it is, in my opinion, indeed a very nice accessory! They were an accessory made by a number of manufacturers, mainly back in the days when gasoline contained a large proportion of kerosene and was such poor quality fuel. I believe the most common ones were ANCO (Anderson) and Wilmo. I run a Wilmo on my '27 depot hack and it runs very well, and, I believe Royce Peterson runs an ANCO on one of his "T's and has stated that his runs very well too. I guess the theory was that the combination manifold aided in vaporization of the poor fuel back then, and because the intake and exhaust manifolds are not two separate castings, but just one big heavy casting, the need for a heat pipe like the original Ford part is not necessary and the really neat thing is that the common problem of a warped exhaust manifold is much less likely with that single, big heavy one piece combination intake and exhaust cast manifold.
You didn't ask for all that Robert, but I'm so "sold" on combination manifolds that I thought I'd just do what I could to be sure nobody discourages you because your "T" does not have the original Ford factory separate intake intake and exhaust manifolds! For what it's worth,........harold
Sorry Erich,....we were typing at the same time! I guess we have differing opinions about what to do with the combination manifold but we seem to agree that it's sure a nice accessory!
Ha, I can't say anything against what Harold just said at all. As you will see, there are many ways to get good results. If you like it and it works for you, that is what counts. They are pretty cool.
Having fun is what owning a model T is about as far as I can tell. Enjoy every drop of it (there will be many drips).
Haaaha, typing again at the same time. Love it. Yes, we agree.
Robert, I did the little momentary spark thing to repolarize the generator (there are threads on that). I'm not sure if that had any effect but, my generator has worked perfectly for years ever since. Consider using the excellent and correct appearing voltage regulator from Fun Projects inc once things are hooked up properly and make sure you have a good battery. Do you have the factory ammeter gauge? It is accurate and helpful once you understand it.