I was asked to write out some instructions on how to operate a Model T by the train staff. Does this look right? Did I leave anything out?
One> Turn on gas. Right side of engine on carburetor, Turn lever to line up with gas line.
Two> Turn on battery, On the seat frame on drivers side. Switch to on, Volt gauge on dash will engage if on.
Three> Pull left lever on steering wheel full up, This is the timer lever. Pull right lever down about a quarter inch. This is the throttle, Just like the gas pedal in a modern car.
Four> Insure that the long handle is pulled all to way toward the rear of the car. It should have been parked this way but double check. This handle has three purposes, 1, All the way back is neutral and emergency brake 2. Handle half way is brakes are released and transmission is in neutral. 3 All the way forward put the car in direct drive< You DO NOT WANT THAT HANDLE ALL THE WAY FORWARD AT ANY TIME.
Five> Turn the switch that is in the middle of the dash to Mag.
Six> Push down the far right pedal and hold down. This is the brake.
Seven> While holding brake down pull the small rounded wire on the right side of the dash and depress the starter button with your foot on the floor on the left side of the floor next to your foot by the seat. Release when car starts.
Eight> idle down the car a little with the right hand lever on the steering wheel.
Nine> (Moving the car) I don't know which way you will be moving the car,( Forward first) While holding down the far right pedal (Brake) place the long lever on your left hand side just half way forward, The car should not be moving and the engine RPM should not have changes. If the car tries to move pull the handle back a little. any further forward and the car will move forward on you and you can not stop it. Now with the long handle half way depress the far right pedal until you feel the car move and release the brake. Hold the far left pedal all the way down to drive the car to where you want it. It would be a good idea to hold one foot over the far right brake pedal just in case. Press the brake hard enough and the car will stall under low RPM. When you have the car where you want it take your left foot off the far left pedal and pull the far left long handle all the way back until it stops. Turn off car but placing the switch in the middle of the dash to the center and the car will stop running.
To back up the car use all the steps mentioned but instead of depressing the far lsfe pedal you will depress the middle pedal.
Congratulations, You have just driven a 1919 Ford Model T touring car.
If at anytime you feel you need to contact me please do, I would rather come help than to see something happen to the car or yourself.
Opps, I already see a problem. I have to change the right pedal for the left. I drive it so much I guess its just habit for me now.
There's also a typo in the almost-last paragraph, which begins "To back the car----"
I think you forgot to mention advancing the spark once the engine starts.
How much insurance are you carrying with this operation, a lot I hope. Don't forget to tell them to turn off the gas and battery after parking for the trip O and to set the break.
PS maybe instructions on hand crank starting if the battery goes dead for any reason.
I don't think I would even think about consider what u are thinking about to do.
Its a big choice for me but it will save me around 2800 miles and close to $700 in fuel and tolls. Im fully planning on being there to show them how to load and if need be I will do it myself. Same on the other end of the trip. Kinda why I made the directions so complicated so they would just ask me to do it..
I've had my '14 T for more than 40yrs and I can tell u all the people that has driven it in that time. U can count them all on one hand and fingers left over.
Nobody like that would be driving my T.
I think that they will ask you to load and unload your car,I,m not sure that there that gutsy
I HOPE that they will ask you to do the loading/unloading. Sounds like a disaster waiting to happen.
I must aggree with several here on this issue. You are headed in the direction of a insurance claim and a damaged car.
Considering the way they handle "moderns" so roughly, I cant imagine what they would do to a old car.The folks at Leonard truck accessorys ruined the steering column in my f150 because they didn't tilt the wheel down before turning the key switch.Something any dingbat would know.
Also, 1 issue I have not saw addressed. How is the car to be secured on the flat rail car? They could do alot of damage trying to tie it down.
A few years back, a friend took his late 1920s Packard phaeton on the Amtrak Auto Train and he had no problems. He was allowed to drive the car on and off and he supervised the tie down. He said the people working the Autotrain could not have been any nicer and they were more concerned about the Packard than he was. Good luck on your voyage and keep us posted on how it works out.
They're not going to have time to read this when they let their foot off the clutch thinking its like a modern clutch and go flying forward in high gear.
Or I should say, depress the clutch and go flying forward in low gear .
The directions will work for your car, but might be very different for other years. I would tell them that I will load it or it won't go. To a new T driver, operating a T in close quarters is an almost certain accident. It has been my experience (having driven precisely three different Ts), that they all have different starting quirks. One 1924 that I have driven likes practically no throttle at all, another likes a little throttle and no advance. My '27 likes about four notches of advance and quite a lot of throttle and some choke. My T will not sustain engine operation with a fully-retarded spark.
The railroad would be better to hire you as an employee for the time required to load and unload.
Jay Leno caught a lot of flak for not letting a valet park his Model T when he visited a comedy club in L.A.
The blogosphere crucified Leno for the act as "ego" or "elitism" instead of what it was- A Model T doesn't drive like a regular car, and the kid would have likely seriously hurt himself and the car.
Make sure that you have better than great insurance coverage!
I think you want it on battery, not mag to start, no?
Michael, My car starts easy on Mag or Battery.
This is not going to have a happy ending.
I suggest you go down and talk to the guys loading and unloading the modern cars on the Auto Train and get a working relationship with those folks. You need to find a friend at AMTRAK to get your foot in the door. If you can build a relationship with the people things will likely go well.
since this came back I have an additional suggestion...
Place something like this in the brake handle slot so can't go into high gear!
This is upside down but you get the idea!
I use it for parades to make sure the handle doesn't slip forward.
In real life I have a cord attached to it so I can quickly get it out of the way if I need to but in your case I would attach it so that bouncing etc will not dislodge it
Great idea, thanks for sharing.
That is a great idea, I will do it, Thanks