A few years ago someone gave me a Model T engine and transmission that had been in a basement in Chicago for several decades. I finally decided to tear it apart to see what is inside. It was in surprisingly good shape - cylinders are smooth and oil leaks past the rings very slowly, the bearings all feel good although I have not removed any bearing caps yet. 0.010 end play in the crank. Iron pistons.
I’d like to get the engine running even though I have no car to put it in.
The magneto coils all have about the same resistance to ground, so I guess they are good. The magnets all have magnetism. The timer has rusted away to nothing, and the front cover is cracked off where the oil filler cap goes. The belt pulley was rusted away to nothing. I have no crank or ratchet mechanism. The crankcase was dirty but not too bad. One of the motor mounts was badly bent and rusted. The block is dated 1917.
Where should I look for the parts I need?
At a swap meet I bought a transmission cover that takes a starter and a ring gear, but my engine did not have a starter or generator. Can I machine my flywheel to take the ring gear so I can have electric cranking?
Martin, welcome to the T world, or as some call it, the affliction. Before we start on your specific questions, here's something for all new T folks: http://dauntlessgeezer.com/DG80.html
The book says crankshaft end play should be .006 - .007, which matters because too much can give you magneto trouble. The MTFCA books will give you all the numbers and tell you what to do about them.
The magnets have magnetism, but is it enough? Each magnet should be strong enough to hold up one of those iron pistons. Again, the books will tell you what to do about recharging magnets. You can also Google previous forum posts by typing mtfca: and then the subject.
A 1917 block can be used with a starter, but it isn't made to accommodate a generator. Electric start came with the 1919 model year. As long as you run on MAG and not BAT, a battery will give you a lot of starts between recharges in the shop. You can get a new or rebuilt timer from the many parts dealers. Lang's, Chaffin's, Bob's, and several others will have much of what you need. Search this website and the MTFCI site for lists of suppliers and services. Cranks and ratchets aren't quite a dime a dozen, but they are plentiful. The pan with the broken mount may be repairable, but it's likely to also need straightening on a jig made for the purpose. I expect it would be less costly to get a 1919 or later flywheel than to adapt the earlier one for a ring gear.
I'm a newbie too. A couple of months ago I purchased a 1925 model T. I hardly ever use the the self starter; I nearly always hand crank it.
In addition to the link Steve has shared, check out this one: http://www.mtfca.com/suppliers/Suppliers.htm
Thanks for your encouragement! I have already read the "Model T Ford Service" book and learned a lot from it. I'll get the other books too.
I have access to a lathe big enough to machine the flywheel, so I thought I'd try to mount the ring gear while the transmission is apart. I will recharge the magnets too.
Thank you too. I hope it will turn out to start easily with a hand crank. Thanks for the link to suppliers. I know Snyder's and Mac's for Model A parts, I have a '28 roadster with a flathead V-8 in it.
You probably already know this, but the flywheel should be machined to slightly larger then the inside diameter of the ring gear. The ring gear should then be heated with an Oxyacetylene torch to expand it to fit over the flywheel. When the ring gear cools, it will be shrunk-fit onto the flywheel.
For the record the allowance for a ring gear sweat fit is usually between 18-19 thousandths.
While most starter ring gears are a "sweat fit", model T ring gears are held in place by the magneto screws. They are usually a tight slip fit. They could be made to a sweat fit (if custom modifying), but if you also want to have the magneto on the flywheel, lining up the screw holes before the temperatures equalize and seize the gear could be difficult.
Just my thoughts.
A few of us still like to restore brass era and pre-starter Ts using correct (uncut) flywheels.
Drive carefully, and enjoy, W2
The flywheel could be modified for a ring gear, but why bother when there are so many ring gear flywheels available? I I have a bunch of them. We do a lot of starter conversions for folks no longer able to crank their T's.
Model T's when properly tuned are very easy and safe to start with the crank.
If you are by chance anywhere close to northern Ca., I can fix you up cheap with enough parts to build up a driveable chassis around your engine. Speedster project maybe?
Profile says Northbrook, north of Chicago. Lots of T activity in that part of the country. Finding parts should be no problem.
Be sure to mark the positions of the holes for the brass screws which hold the magnet pole pieces. Mark on the flywheel with a punch next to each hole. When you heat the gear to place it on the flywheel you have a short window of time to be able to position those holes before it shrinks. So you want to get it right the first time. Also important is the the gear bevels go toward the back side (opposite the magnets).
Try Bob's Antique Auto Parts
Loves Park, Il 815-633-7244
very close to you and good prices also.Bob
Indeed, as Wayne says, the Model T ring gear is not an interference fit. It installs at room temperature with no particular effort required.
Thank you all for your help and encouragement! I am in the Chicago area.