I've spent the last hour checking out posts and everyone seems to be enthusiasts. Thankfully, there seems to be no self appointed experts. I have run into those on other sites and have no use for them.
However, I guess yesterday, being National Model T Day, was a good day to buy my first T. Canadian produced Centredoor. It's registered as a 1920, but the engine number is C290956. Possibly a 21?
I am trying to download an image. Let's see if this caveman can make that work.
Tried one photo and it didn't take. The second one did. I amaze myself sometimes
NICE T!!! Welcome to the affliction.
Drive carefully, and enjoy, W2
Nice T but then I'm kinda partial to Centerdoors !
Beautiful! Welcome to the hobby.
I loved my Centerdoor. It was a truly unique car that really stood out from most of the other Ts on a tour. I miss that oval back window. Maybe, I'll own another one some day.
For the last 40 or so years I have wanted a T. The centredoor is my favourite body style. Just such a unique entry method compared to anything else. And the oval back window adds so much to the car.
Like Wayne says, I understand this is an affliction. Much like the old car disease. I know it is incurable, so I continue to suffer. And I guess I will have more than one in the future. With 3 GTOs, 2 Tempests, and 6 other miscellaneous cars, why stop at one now.
I stumbled across this one in an online ad. It is an older restoration that was done on a complete and what appears to be, a well cared for car. Nice and presentable car. Newly rebuilt engine. Drives extremely well. And, given that it is a Canadian car, I don't think there were too many centredoors assembled here. So pretty unusual.
Gave it a 20 mile run today. Myself and my pooch. As many smiles per mile as any other old car I have. Worth every penny.
When you think about all the hassle with side curtains back in the "day", the Centerdoor would have been on the wish list of many Ford owners. I like them and have a rustic one that I can tool around in unless it is raining. My top is fragile and I don't want it to get wet. I never get tired of looking at a Centerdoor. Most of the people in my area have never seen one until I started making the rounds.
hi graham where in Ontario are you mike
Welcome aboard! Beautiful Centerdoor. I think you will continue to have a lot of fun with your first T. In addition to the folks here on the forum I would recommend you check out a local club near you (see: http://www.mtfca.com/clubpages/chapters.htm and http://www.modelt.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=5&Itemid=15 . Yes, there are 2 different national Model T Ford clubs. Many of us are members of both. But in general the chapter closest to you will be the easiest to attend etc. )
Caution: I am probably one of the more “attention to detail” folks on the forum. Hopefully I don’t come across as a “know-it-all” but rather as “I would like to gather more accurate information.” There are all kinds of T folks. Those that prefer to work on them. Those that prefer to drive them on weekends. A few that like to drive them all over the country. Some that like to show them. Some that like to race them (well maybe not really race them but hop them up with period accessories etc.). And some of us enjoy researching about them. Some like meet the other T folks. And most of us enjoy several of those areas of the hobby. But I am definitely in the “likes to research” area. I am very interested in gathering additional accurate information about all Ts. And at the moment about the Canadian Ts as we have so little good documentation one what occurred approximately when. So feel free to skip the paragraphs below – or if you have the time and the interest – we would love to gain additional knowledge about your Canadian Centerdoor.
There is a lot of documentation available on the USA produced Model Ts, such as Bruce McCalley’s (R.I.P.) “Model T Ford” with 614 pages (only a couple of blank pages) and most of the documentation in the Benson Ford Archives deals with USA Ts rather than non-USA Ts (see: http://jupiter.plymouth.edu/~trentb/HFMGVStacks/Stacks.html for an overview. ) But, there is not near as much information documented on the Model Ts assembled in Canada. And for Centerdoors, there is not as much information on the USA Centerdoors as the touring and runabouts. Bruce’s book has pages 201-207 on the 1915 USA Centerdoors and pages 287-304 dealing with the 1915 – 1923 USA Centerdoor specific details. If you are interested in details about the cars, chassis, and body changes over the years I would highly recommend Bruce’s book. Again while the dates changes were implemented may vary between the USA and Canadian production, most but not all of the changes occurred in both locations. [It is available from the club at: http://modeltstore.myshopify.com/collections/frontpage/products/model-t-ford-the -car-that-changed-the-world or the vendors. That is a SOFT copy reprint of the 1994 book. Bruce continued to update the information and the updated CD version is available from: http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/331880/333725.html?1357665853 and I enjoy them both.]
You mentioned that your engine serial number C290956 was a 1921, and that agrees with the listing of Canadian serial numbers provided by Herman Smith (R.I.P) the previous Historian for Ford of Canada [ref: http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/50893/55246.html?1210428134 ]. He has that number listed as Feb 1921. And the listing in the “Vintage Ford” Jul-Aug 1968 page 29, has a slightly different listing and would place it in May 1 to May 7 1921. But they both agree 1921 rather than 1920. From memory, I do not recall if the dates are the dates the engines were assembled or when the car was assembled. Either way it is 1921 and not 1920 engine serial number. (Note in the case of Bruce’s excellent serial number information on pages 501 to 537 of his book it is usually the date the engine was assembled [for exceptions to that see explanation on page501]. And from 1915 to 1941 they are taken directly from the engine logs of the main Ford USA factory). If you are able to track down some of the history of the car, it may help you determine when it was actually assembled. And some of the features on the car may help you determine when it was assembled. But caution the dates normally shown for changes are for USA changes. Those USA changes were sometime after, around the same time, or even before Canada made the change – depending on the part.
But many Model Ts had the engines swapped back in the day as well as several had the engine block replaced if the owner forgot and let it freeze during the winter. In general for determining the model year of Model T, I would recommend using not just the engine serial number but the other features found on the car. Type of running boar brackets, type of front engine support, etc. And any or all of those could have been changed on a particular car. So what I like to look for is what year range are the majority of the parts in? If I find a 1927 engine in a mostly 1915 -16 style car – I would not call it a 1927. But it could easily be titled a 1927 if someone used the title from the original car that had the 1927 engine. Lots of possible combinations.
If you would like to work on identifying some of those on your Centerdoor – lots of folks could help. But the time line will be more difficult to establish than for a USA car. Also Ford usually had a period of overlap when both the old style part and the new style part were being used at the same time. Sometimes for just a few weeks and sometimes half a year of overlap. Or in the case of the ribbed pedals on the transmission the USA company stopped using them in later 1915 and from memory (not always reliable) Ford of Canada continued to use them well into the 1920s. [I personally suspect but I do not have any proof that Ford USA gave their ribbed pedal molds to Ford of Canada. That is just a guess but would be one logical reason for Ford of Canada to still have those pedals for years after the USA plant switched to the plain pedal. ]
Since this is your first T – there are a couple of safety items I try to mention. Finding 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] 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 you use the electrical starter that your car probably has – 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/50893/68644.html?1224126132
and there are other related threads.
Some other safety related items:
And be sure the car 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. If the rear axle still has the original babbit thrust washers you can lose your normal service brake. Those and similar items are well documented "oops" for the T. But if you have never been around one -- they are probably new "data points" for you. Some of them are listed below – not to scare you but to let you learn from others rather than discovering all the lessons on your own.
Safety Glass is nice: http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/50893/72116.html and for a Centerdoor it is very important to make sure all that glass is not plate glass.
Use safety wire and not lock washers or cotter pins on the two studs holding the wishbone to the underside of the engine.
Lots of safety items http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/50893/69429.html
Over center steering – shouldn’t happen on the later Ts (yours is a later T)– but if someone replaced your later teens steering gear housing or rebuilt it without the lock pin – or installed the wrong length drag link it might happen: http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/80257/86345.html as well as: http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/257047/300409.html
Types of safety wire: http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/29/41859.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 in the garage – 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 near by and someone started the dishwasher other item that caused it to turn on the burner at the wrong time. 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
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 hand – so 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 – designed to be stable in one direction but not so stable in the opposite direction. 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.
Also the rear axle thrust bearings if they are babbitt (originally bronze in the 1909-1915 cars and then switched to babbitt on the cars during 1915) can fail with minimal warning leaving the driver without the normal transmission brake (the main regular brake on a stock Model T). See the discussion at: http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/50893/78685.html?1233159025 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 part way down in the following thread: http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/257047/277093.html?1332591272
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 and others will gladly help with any questions you may have. Again welcome aboard!
Again welcome to the hobby and the forum.
Hap l9l5 cut off
I know Ontario is an extremely large Province, but
our kind seem to have a need to know another's location. I like to know so that when I travel and when I have the time to stop and visit a fellow member.
Welcome to the affliction, and many happy motoring miles
I forgot to mention that I live near the 1,000 Islands on the NY side and pretty often take my wife to Ganocque and I go to Brockville to look at Model T Parts.
Read the Ford Manuals
yes that is a great area to find t parts and great back roads for touring mike
Hap: Thanks for the information. When I refer to "know it alls", we all know people that will insist the sky is green and not blue. Not going to change their mind whatsoever. You know the type. I had just finished restoring my 66 Corvair back in the late 70's and at its first show (Detroit) all I heard was "what's wrong" from a couple of guys. US cars are different from Canadian cars. I know my car was correct, but after a while, I ignored them. That was the last time I joined any car club.
Helpful criticisms are different. You're addressing a newbie here. I appreciate the advise. If something is incorrect with the car, yes I would like to know. I've done 90 point plus restorations and I like to have things correct. But how the criticism is presented means everything. Friendly criticism falls under the same definition as helpful advise.
Mike and John: I am near Norwood Ontario. 20 or so miles east of Peterborough on Highway 7. About 3 hours from Gananoque. By all means, if anyone will be near here, let me know.
I can't promise that I can, but if anyone has a breakdown I will do my best to drag my flatbed trailer out to get you. Just pay for my fuel and coffee. Old car guys have to stick together. I would hope that if I were in the same boat, I could count on someone to help.
The MTFCA is the only car club / organization that I belong to. I do belong to a couple of Genealogical societies and I suppose I could be considered a Canadian disguised as an American as my Paternal grandmother was born in Kingston,Ont.
I live about 40 miles from Carthage in Edwards, St. Lawrence county. I have been in the MTFCA for about one year, am working on a 1919 Touring.
My Grandmother lived in Carthage many years ago. An uncle was in the Carthage police force for a long time. He passed away about a year and a half ago.
Small world. I used to do a daily run from Toronto to Carthage. For the life of me I don't remember the name of the company. Straight through the main road and a large warehouse on the right.
Bill, I know where Edwards is, having had a girl friend for about 6 months, who was from there.
Do you have an MTFCA chapter up there ? I would consider coming up and joining and perhaps bringing along another T'er. I have a 1919 with a Syverson Canopy Express Delivery Body mounted on on the Chassis I Need coils, fuel line and a gas tank replacement and a new battery. Probably I will be held up until Spring as I do not have a heated garage.
Graham. I have been wracking my brain and thinking about your point of origin in Toronto
to Carthage and coming straight into town to the warehouse. The only large warehouse that I know of is the one across from where my nephew lives.
The Veteran's Administration has finally agreed that I have PTSD and have agreed to a 70% disability rating. It will be a year or more
before they begin payment, and they have to pay me from NOV 2012 and they told me not to expect payment until April 2015. That equates to about
$1,000.00 a month from Nov 2012 and it is tax free.
Read The Ford Manuals.
There are no MTFCA chapters in this area. I think there are maybe 5 - 6 "t-ers" in all of St. Lawrence
There is a chapter in Boonville called Adirondack Foothills Chapter. Not sure how active they are.