As I am a proud owner of a 1916 Model T Tourer since May and a member of MTFCA since yesterday I would like to say 'Hello' to all fellow members and to introduce myself.
I am 51 years old and living near the romantic part of the Rhine Valley in 'good old' Germany.
Since I was a student I was dreaming of owning an old pre war Ford. Many years the Model A was my favourite just from its look. Recently my interest changed to the Model T for being just an icon in automobile history and fascinating more by the ingenious simplicity (I still have the illusion that I am able to do some repairs by myself) and the specific way of operating the car. The 1916 was of special interest for being the last car with a brass radiator - and it is looking like a real veteran car - just have a look:
In the 90s I already owned a BMW Isetta which unfortunately I had to sell due to lack of room.
My T has spent the recent years at Louisville /KY from where it was bought last year by a retired German engineer who now is restoring Model T's (he has some 15 on stock currently and is quite experienced). He took the car apart and restored where it was needed but did not overdo it.
Prices over here are pretty different from the USA - I estimate them twice as high but for me it was worth to pay the guy also the work he did on the car and giving me the feeling that most of the possible defects will not occur in the near future.
Back to my T: of course I would like to know more about recent owners of my car. The last owner works at a Ford dealer in Louisville and wrote me that before him owners were a retired Sheriff and the owner of Ball Moving and Storage Co. I was sorry to here that these gentlemen seem to have passed already. Perhaps someone of you saw my car with its registration KY 650 and can tell more ?
My T seems to have the original engine with cast date 4 5 16 and should have been assembled on April 11th due to the engine number.
I do not have that much driving experience yet but I am getting along pretty well (well: steering is a bit weird). We have some hills here and we have to climb the last 2 - 3 miles back home from every direction in low gear.
I must admit that I have to get used to the very low speed possible in low going uphill (and the radiator blowing out some steam when we reach home and I stopped the engine). r I hoped that the high gear could be used more than only on more or less flat ground (where we managed to reach abt. 40 miles per hour). Otherwise - can you blame a car that will reach an age of 100 years soon ? I think one just has to adjust expectations and the car and me have to 'approach'.
At least we had our first trip of about 35 miles without issues. When time goes by I hopefully will learn the difference between regular and irregular noises and rattles. By now i just assume that everything is o.k.
Until now I only had to change the fan belt which was too long - so a screw of the fan bracket and the timer adjustment had contact with the belt.
I found a company nearby and now I am driving a modern belt which is shorter and gives way to all sides.
That's it for today - just want to say 'thanks' for all the helpful threads and contibutors in this forum from which I learned quite much already and hope to take part from now on.
Please ignore my perhaps sometimes funny use of the english language ...
Take care and drive safely, all the best from here !
Welcome aboard, Joerg! That's a great looking car. Your English is very good.
Welcome, Joerg -- You have a nice-looking Model T. One thing you might consider is adding a Ruckstell 2-speed rear end to the car. It was a very popular accessory "back in the day" and gives you the extra gear you need to climb hills without having to use the low pedal, in most cases. Adding more gears is the best thing you can do to improve the car's drive-ability.
p.s. -- Your English is 1,000 times better than my German.
Welcome Joerge !
Best wishes for many enjoyable rides.
Joerg, look at this forum thread from two years ago:
If you scroll down, you will see that Michael Velling is fairly near you. There are other European T owners who participate in the forum as well.
Welcome aboard, Joerg!
P.S. If you had to sell a BMW Isetta because of lack of room, you really didn't have much room.....
Welcome Joerg. Nice car and I agree with your reasons for owning a T instead of an A. You have the right attitude for that car. Only one problem, I'm trying to picture how someone runs out of room to store a BMW Isetta. There's space in my bathroom for one.
Wilkommen, Joerg. My great grandparents, Johann and Barbara Rick, came from Rheinbach/Oberdrees (near you) to the US in 1870. My grandfather was born in Wisconsin 3 years later. He and an older brother ran away from home when he was 13, and changed their surnames to Ricks to avoid being caught by the old man, who had homesteaded in western Kansas by that time. Sorry for the drift.
If you put in an auxiliary transmission, you must put on wheel brakes as well.
Germany apparently required a conventional steering gear on Fords as early as 1911. Does that requirement still exist, or is it better to not ask?
Welcome to the Model T hobby. It is good to know that some younger people are still interested in these old cars.
About 20 years ago my wife and I took a week in Germany. We visited the "Lorelei" along the Rhine river. I was interested, because I have a sister named Lorelie. Do you live anywhere near this site?
Ihr Englisch ist besser als mein Deutsch.
Willkommen in der Bedrängnis. (Welcome to the affliction) Mein Deutsch ist sehr schlecht. I needed google's help.
Beautiful T! Hopefully, you will have many fun-filled miles enjoying that car for many years to come.
There is a big model T gathering in France most recent years. It draws cars from all over Europe and has been reported on in this forum. You may wish to consider going to it next year.
Drive carefully, and enjoy, W2
Joerg: Several years ago we were in Koblenz and watched the Rhine in Flammen, and what a beautiful site to see.
My wife's family is from an area near Wurzburg on the Main
Welcome, and have a great day. Your English is better then most of the old guy's here.
By the way, I'm half German half Swedish.
My Skills are German, my good looks Swedish. HA!
Welcome to the club and forum! You have a beautiful touring. If you would like to read more about some different options for improving the hill climbing abilities please see the Tulsa Model T Web Site Technical page at: http://mtfctulsa.com/Tech/index.htm All the articles are good, but the one titled Power and Torque does a great job explaining how weight, power, torque, rear axle, auxiliary transmission/rear axle, cam, etc. work together to produce the desired results – see: http://mtfctulsa.com/Tech/power_and_torque.htm
I often post the following safety related items for folks new to the Model Ts. The T can serve you faithfully but like the horse it replaced both have some known safety issues that are easily handled and/or avoided. But both of them can bite you if you aren’t aware of some simple but important items. Having an experienced Model T person to help you learn about your car can save you lots of frustration and possible expense. For example if you fail to retard the spark and you push down on the starting crank at the front of the car to start the car, you could easily break your arm. That is a known safety issue with Model Ts. And it isn’t dangerous as long as you understand what causes it [spark lever advanced [that is the left hand lever on a left hand drive car or the right hand lever on a right hand drive car] it should be pushed up], commutator adjustment rod installed wrong or bent improperly so that even with the spark lever up, the spark is still too far advanced, shorted wire on the commutator, etc. . And if your car was updated with an electrical starter – if the spark is advanced and the engine back fires – it can damage the starter and/or bendix drive. For additional details please see: http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/50893/69444.html and http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/50893/68644.html?1224126132 .
Some other safety related items:
It sounds like you have already had the car gone through to make sure it is in safe working order. An engine that burns oil is not a critical safety issue (at least not in my book) but the front end castor if it is set up negative can flip the car. A mid 1915 and earlier rear axle would have originally had bronze thrust washers installed by Ford. But the mid 1915 and later cars came from the factory with babbitt style thrust washers. And when (not if – they all eventually fail ) that babbitt style thrust washer fails you can lose your normal brakes. If you loose the brakes and you are on a flat area with minimal traffic – it is not nearly as bad as loosing them while going down hill towards a busy intersection. See the rear axle babbitt discussion at http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/50893/78685.html?1233159025 and part way down at the thread: http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/257047/277093.html?1332591272
Safety Glass is nice: http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/50893/72116.html
Use safety wire and not lock washers or cotter pins on the two studs holding the wishbone to the underside of the engine. The lock washers or cotter pins can prevent the nuts from backing off, but the studs have been known to back out of the engine pan and that can cause the steering to go really bad.
Types of safety wire: http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/29/41859.html
Lots of safety items http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/50893/69429.html
Over center steering – i.e. you turn the steering wheel to the left and the car starts turning to the left but if you keep turning the steering wheel left and it goes over center the car’s front wheels now are turned to the right. That shouldn’t happen on a properly assembled and adjusted T. But if someone used the wrong parts or items are worn excessively, someone installed the wrong length drag link etc. it can happen -- see: http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/80257/86345.html as well as: http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/257047/300409.html
Example of loss of brakes caused by drive shaft failure: http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/29/47804.html
Top T tips – many of them are safety related also: http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/80257/85208.html
Tour safety check list: http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/29/44331.html
And if you have a gas hot water heater or a fuel fired house heater in the garage etc. – be very very careful. The float in a Model T Carb will sometimes stick (or trash in the valve) and the carb will leak gasoline. Not too bad if there are no sparks – several homes, garages and cars have been lost when a gas hot water heater was in the same area the car was parked. When someone started the dishwasher it caused the hot water heater burner to come on and that ignited the gasoline fumes from the leaking Model T. Note gas fumes tend to be heavier than regular air …. so they tend to hug the floor. If you adjust your garage door to let the mice in and the air out – that is a temp work around. But replacing the gas fired hot water heater with an electric heater or having the gas one relocated away from the garage is the best thing I lived in one home that had the garage and the house oil heater in the same basement. Adding a wall to separate the two areas might have worked also.
Even with a perfectly good and properly adjusted front steering system – if you back up quickly, the front wheels can go full left or full right and pull the steering wheel out of your hands. Remember to back up slowly. It is caused by the caster of the front wheels similar to the casters on the front of the shopping cart. It is designed to be stable in one direction but if you back up the wheel wants to flip around. Since you have already been driving the car you probably do not have the following problem – but you might still want to check. If someone rebuilt the front axle and it is was really difficult to keep the car going straight they may have inadvertently swapped the front spring perches. There is a left and a right spring perch that tilts the axle so the bottom of the axle is slightly ahead of the top of the axle (5 1/2 degrees positive caster). If it has negative to neutral caster it can cause a wild ride and also could cause the car to flip even at a slow speed see: http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/80257/80333.html?1233523419 that shows the spring perch installed incorrectly and how the front axle looks then. Also see: http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/29/40382.html Note even with the spring perch installed correctly a bent or shortened wishbone could cause neutral to negative caster.
Again a T is a faithful servant but it has some known issues that the driver needs to be aware of and to take proper precautions about.
Steve Jelf will post his excellent recommendation for books to have related to the Model Ts – how to maintain them how to find out more about how they were produced etc. If you do not already have any T books, some initial questions can be answered on the MTFCA site. See the booklets etc. at: http://www.mtfca.com/books/bookmenu.htm the 1911 owner’s manual is very close to a 1915 and for some of the improvements see the 1921 owner’s manual. And of course Bruce’s on-line encyclopedia has a subset of the information in his book – it is located at: http://www.mtfca.com/encyclo/index.htm and click on 1916 for a lot of information about the 1916 Model T Fords.
Also if you have a chance please look for a body number and a body maker’s letter on your car’s body. Ford did not make most of the bodies but purchased them from outside body makers/suppliers. Please see the posting “Home for the Holidays” at: http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/29/40322.html for information on where and what to look for. If you find anything, please let us know.
Again beautiful touring and welcome to the forum and club!
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Welcome, Joerg! Your Model T is very nice and your English is very good also.
I was in the US Army in Germany in the early 60's, stationed in Kitzingen (near Wurzberg)and in Nuremberg. Being of German descent, being stationed in Germany in peace time was good duty.
Our family is from Dackenheim, near Speyer. They moved to the US in about 1870. It would be nice to go there some day.
Best wishes and good luck with your "new" Model T.
Thank you all for the warm and overwhelming welcome and a humble bow for judging my language skills !!!
I will take my time to review all posts, hints and links. I own a pile of books already and spent some hours of reading Bruce Mc Calley (The car that changed ...), Floyd Clymer (Henry's wonderful ...) and Victor Wilfred page (Model T, it's operation ...).
The seller of my T gave me a copy of a Service manual in german - I have the english one too.
Nice to hear about relations to Germany - it's a small world ...
Just some short replies to single posts:
Dick Lodge: M. Velling seems to live near the seller of my T. That is about 100 mls away but I am in that region sometimes for business.
Norman T. Kling: Special thanks for the 'younger people' ... Loreley rock is about 40 mls from here.
Dave Wells / Dick Lodge: Yes - it was stupid to sell the Isetta instead of just hanging it on the wall somewhere in my flat ...
Let it roll !
Joerg, I was once told that the difference between Americans and Europeans is that Americans think 100 years is a long time and Europeans think that 100 miles is a long distance....
Good morning Joerg. I also welcome you to this great forum and Model T'ing as a whole. A town near us is the Sister-City with Pruem, Germany. My wife and I have visited Pruem and your area on two occasions and have hosted numerous friends from Pruem in our area of Iowa. Many from Pruem have went riding in my model T while here but I could never find any T'ers in your area. Now I know where to look. Enjoy our hobby and if I can ever assist you please let me know. Dave.
Jörg, Willkommen beim Model T Forum! Ihr Englisch ist tausendmal besser als mein Deutsch. Ich studierte Deutsch sechs Jahre lang in der Schule, aber leider habe ich eine Menge vergessen. Sie haben einen sehr schönen Ford T. Wie lange besitzen Sie ihn? In meiner Nähe gibt es viele Hügel, die meine Ford Ts nicht besteigen können, ohne den ersten Gang zu benutzen. Ich glaube, das ist nichts ungewöhnliches, wenn ein Auto nur 20 PS hat und bald hundert Jahre alt werden wird. Ich habe immer Isettas gemocht, Weil sie so ungewohnt sind. Aber habe ich keinen Raum für einen Isetta und zwei Ford Ts, noch genug Geld. Vielleicht eines Tages.
Viel Spaß mit Ihrem neuen Ford T,
Welcome. THREE THINGS: 1. Most newbees start the T and immediately advance the spark and leave it there. It's not like a modern car that you only have to adjust the gas to adjust your speed. When you begin to climb your next hill, retard your spark a little as you start slowing down 2. If your problem isn't driving technique, you're either low on power or have some real steep hills. Check your coils. Last year I returned home from a trip where I had driven my T a lot. After about a month at home, I was driving that T and had to go to low to climb hills. I did a lot of things before I took the entire set of coils out and replaced them with a "known" set of good ones. The plugs fired while laying on the head turning the engine over with the crank, but, at speed, it would quit; leaving me running with 3 cylinders.
3. Your rebuilder probably used adjustable tappets. Now that you've ran it a bit, the valves may need adjusting. Good luck.