I have been asked to start up an original 1904 model c Ford it has not run for 50 yrs. does anybody have instructions and also tips on timing marks etc. thanks Andy
I suggest you also make a posting here:
If you are pressed for time read paragraph 6.
1. What fun!
2. What a responsibility.
3. If you know the history of the car and that it was in good running shape when parked and the engine etc. was “pickled” i.e. oil put in the cylinders, gas drained, water drained, engine openings plugged, if it was stored in dry location and the engine turned over once or so a year it should be straight forward to start.
4. If you don’t know the history or why it was parked – I would recommend being more cautious than you would when starting a Model T that was produced during calendar year 1924. Why? They produced 1,993,419 Ts and TTs world wide in calendar year 1924 (ref page 466 of Bruce McCalley’s “Model T Ford”) but they only produced approximately 850 total 1904-1905 Model C’s (ref page 5 of 63 chapter Sales & Models in “Pate’s Early Ford Automobile Encyclopedia). So if the connecting rod lets go and it takes the block with it – you don’t have the extra 1,992,569 additional engines that were produced the same year as the one you lost. And no – not all the 1,992,569 other engines remain – but a lot of them are still out there compared to the C. So I would take a look at things much closer than I would with a T. Does it turn over easily and have compression. What do you need to do to check the bearings before you start it? Do a compression check to make sure you aren’t going to burn a valve seat because of a bad valve etc.
5. Milt’s “how to take a T out of mouth balls still can serve as a good checklist to start your procedure. See: http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/29/8538.html and scroll down to Tom Mullin’s posting the third posting from the top.
6. Order a copy of Pate’s Early Ford Automobile Encyclopedia. Available from the MTFCA store, Lang’s, or the author at: http://www.earlyfordcars.info/ It contains a DVD with the original owner’s manual “How to Run the Ford – Model C. It also contains the Price List of Parts for the C. And of course it has a lot of great information on the C.
Also, joining the Early Ford Registry and having an experienced two-cylinder person help you could be a very wise thing to do. It is $10 so it isn't a big expense. There is a listing of who lives where and as mentioned above – placing a note on the EFR forum could lead to a lot of additional better advice. Good luck and take your time.
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