I am new to the Forum. I live in Queretaro, Mexico and I am an old car enthusiast. I have a few old cars and I am not afraid of working on them. Anyhow, to the point...
I just purchased a 1922 T Touring. It is in a museum that never opened it's doors. The owner, a friend of mine, now around 70-75, started getting cars and restoring them, he built the museum but decided not to open it and to sell everything. He has been selling for 3 years or so, and there are still a handful of cars left, among them, the T of course. He always told me he would like to sell it at the end and together with what he calls a display, which is really some old tools, an old jack, and a few other bits.
It is raining like crazy these days, therefore I will not pick it up soon, perhaps in a couple of weeks. It is some 5 hours away.
What do I know of it? Very little. My friend bought it around 1988, from another collector. He restored it. I saw pics of the chassis fully painted and from there up. How well it is done? I have no idea, but it looks good.
My friend recently got it started again and he tells me it has new transmission bands so I take it that mechanically it will be fine or close to that.
I am aware, just by description, how to drive them, but I have a friend who lives a couple of hours from here who is a real T enthusiast. He just completed a 900 mile rally on a T speedster! So, you can see he is a brave guy also! He already agreed to teach me.
Anyhow... I am posting a link with a series of pictures, and would love to ask for help regarding what is correct and what is not correct, in order to start learning what I will need to do to the car. I am a sort of a purist and would love to correct whatever is not correct.
I do know I need to install a new correct wiring harness... and I am just suspecting that the upholstery is not correct... look at the door panels and carpet.
Anyhow, whatever you can tell me about the car, I will appreciate it.
Here is the link:
It looks great
However it doesn't look like a 1922, more like a 1924 with 21"x4.50 wheels that became available in 1925.
Maybe the front door hinges became even after 21" wheels were available in early '25 - it's nothing you should change in my opinion, the 21" tires are cheaper and gives a better ride.
The headlight rims were painted in USA 1916-25, don't know about cars sold in Mexico?
There were exceptions in other countries like New Zealand and Sweden (nickeled radiator shrouds were available earlier than USA)
Low rad. Looks like a '22 to me except it has the later windshield. Could it be a Canadian car? I can't see if there are hinges on the drivers side front door. Does that door open? Nice car too.
(Message edited by 404 not found on October 08, 2014)
Here is a great picture somebody posted a while back in another thread showing early and later style touring cars side by side:
Dave, when I look closer - you're right, It has a low radiator. The windshield is 1923 style that was introduced in september 1922, so Victor, if you have an engine number between approximately 6,400,xxx and 6,950,xxx you have a 1923 Ford made in 1922. Is the firewall wood or steel? Ford changed to steel in the spring of 1923 but many earlier cars had their wood firewalls changed out to steel replacements during the time the cars were used.
I noticed there were no end caps on seats.They look like there should be the large pre 22 style..
Nice looking T! I have been to Queretaro many times, it is the best place in Mexico.
I have not checked the numbers yet but if this works, I am including pics of the engine bay. I am almost positive it is metal in the firewall... I guess I would have noticed wood when I saw it. You will see I need a new wiring harness, radiator hoses (in orange?) a correct horn relay and I am sure many more bits.
And a few more pics now that I know how to post them...
Victor, That's a NICE CAR!! My suggestion would be, close the hood, fill the gas tank and drive the living snot out of it. If it runs, enjoy it, too many times guys buy something as nice as yours, and then they want to take it apart? For some odd reason, the cars don't go back together as easily as it comes apart. If it needs something, fix it, lots of guys here would love to have something that nice, right out of the box, but for various reasons their dream machine keeps getting further out of reach. Welcome to the affection...
Royce: next time you are in the area, drop me a line and I will gladly give you an old car tour.
Thanks for the kind comments so far! I do intend to enjoy the car but correct what is not right, like the plastic cable wiring harness, for instance.
So... Keep the comments coming. I will be taking note on what I need to check and correct on the car. It will be a user, but as close to correct as possible.
You would need to paint the spokes black and the demountable portion of the rims silver along with the nuts and bolts. Needs correct ignition wires. The horn and relay are not correct but, one might be tempted to leave it that way and paint the relay black or hide it somewhere. I think Roger nailed it as an early '23. The serial number will be needed to confirm.
Furthermore, I would also paint the headlight trim black and remove the aftermarket Ford badge from the rad. The motometer and mirror are not correct but would be seen as acceptable to most I think. Question, where is your oil filler cap on the front passenger side of the engine. You're really going to need that.
I'm not sure about cars for sale in Mexico, but for a USA car I believe that the Y-shaped spare tire carrier is incorrect. I have two friends with '24 tourers, and both have a straight bar type of carrier. My '27 "improved car" has the Y-shaped carrier. I also would question the upholstery design. Both of the '24s that I mentioned have a diamond-shaped pattern. The pleated type is what my '27 has. Frankly, I would leave it alone - it's a beautiful car as is.
I agree with others above who think it's a '23. (Low radiator + slanted windshield = '23.) Front fenders and radiator shell are correct for '23.
Yes, the wheels are later, but they're easy to change. But, as was mentioned, the later (fatter) ones give a softer ride and there are more sources for that size tires than the clinchers.
The upholstery isn't done in the correct pattern (no buttons), but it looks to be in very good condition, so I wouldn't be in a hurry to change that. Things such as the wiring and horn are easy corrections, so I'd go ahead with those.
But mostly, I'd be driving it a lot. Most folks (99%) won't know what is correct and what isn't, so enjoy the car as it is while puttering with it to correct things.
Dave gave you a number of good suggestions.
1. Wires are on the wrong side, so a new harness would look better.
2. Oil cap is definitely needed.
3. The generator cover is missing, too.
4. Where is the rod to adjust the carburetor?
5. You can change to the red hoses on the radiator, but it is not that important.
6. Hot air pipe might help. I know many do not use one, but I would guess having the intake for the carburetor a bit higher helps to keep out some of the dust stirred up by the front tires.
Great looking car. Take it out and have fun with it.
It is a good looking car. If it runs well, enjoy it. Unless you are going to enter the car in a judging contest, almost no one you meet will ever know if it is correct and original. There was a change made in 1922 and some of the cars had a straight windshield and the ones later in the year had a slant windshield. Welcome to the world of Model T's
Thank you all for your comments.
By wires on the wrong side, does it mean the wiring harness needs to be routed from inside the firewall? That is the first 'heavy' job I will take, but just as many of you suggest, I will be using and enjoying the car, not stopping it to do any restoration...
So far I know I need to correct the look of the wheels, change the wiring harness, get an oil cap and generator cover, paint headlight trim, change radiator hoses, horn and relay and all of that can be easily done, fortunately.
What is the hot air pipe?
Hot air pipe:
Wiring harness routing:
Thanks a lot for the links. THe hot air pipe... I am afraid that it might direct too much heat... down here one of the few really great things we have is weather. No severe colds, and generally mild to hot weather, so I am not sure if it will help or not, but due to the small cost of the part. I will certainly install it and try it.
As for the wiring harness, I get it now... the one the car has goes on the left side of the firewall, while the correct one should go on the right. That will be the first thing I do to it, once I am thru with learning how to drive and enjoy it for a time. ;-)
Very few people who drive their Model T's a lot use the hot air pipe. It makes the car go slower. No other effect that I can detect. Ford shop manual said to remove it for warm weather. Ford was right!
I'm glad you mentioned that Royce. I recently installed the hot air pipe. I figured the car would go slower and it does. I'm going to remove it. I can't imagine a need for that part in Mexico.
It depends on the humidity. Queretaro area gets its share of monsoon moisture.
Queretaro is usually very dry and a bit hot. Semi desertic climate... But the month or two that we get rain... When it rains, it pours!
I will probably not use the heater tube, as it appears to harm the performance a bit, and since I am not planning to use the car in those rare ocassions where the sky falls on you...
I am hoping I can pick up the car next week.
I did indeed remove my heater tube as I said I would and the power difference is pretty hefty. That tube made a lot of harsh noise too as the air went through it.
Glad to know that. I won't add it in my case.
I am attaching a pic I had of the dashboard. Can anybody tell me what the switch in the dashboard is for? I mean the sort of round one with alumimun metal and a rubber cover. I suppose it is for the starter, but I don't know.
I guess a better question is: how is the original starter switch supposed to be?
The original starter switch is on the floor behind the brake lever.
I would just leave the switch on the dashboard and not connect it to anything. Your guests will wonder what it is for, and you can tell them it is for the ejection seat on the passenger side or tell them whatever you want. Some will press it and some won't. Just use it for a conversation piece.
Along with the few anomalies others have noted, I see there's no terminal block and the spark plug wires are unusually long. But as the nephew in Tobacco Road said, "It don't hurt the runnin' of it none." If you eventually want to install a block, here's where it goes.
The terminal block in my 1923 touring was badly cracked, making for an intermittent connection. When I installed a new one I also replaced the tacky plastic insulators with black rubber.
Nice work, Steve. Soldered connections are subject to the skill of the worker, while crimpers can be calibrated. There are almost no solder connections of the wires between all the various electrical and electronic boxes in a modern airliner, except for the BAe-146, which was a nightmare of electrical gremlins.
Boeing tried Ma Bell style punch down connections in the 747-400 in 1988. They had to run the first 25 planes back into the factory to replace those connections with crimped.
Now I know I need to locate a junction block and install a new harness.
As for the starter switch, I just saw it work... my friend started the car for me briefly before we put in in the flatbed that brought it home. Yes, it has a floor switch behind the brake lever... so I guess the one on the dashboard must be the seat eject button.
He didn't remember which side was throttle and which timing, or how to set them for start up, but he did manage to get the engine running. I will need to find out... can anybody elaborate a Little on this?
Answering a few of the questions I have left unanswered:
The car does have three opening doors. The drivers door does not have any hinges.
The car has a wooden firewall... so well sanded and painted that I hadn't notice it is Wood.
I can't find the serial number or engine number. Any hints?
The terminal block, Ford part #5044, is available new from the parts dealers. Bob Bergstadt may still have some NOS.
Here are some videos that include starting. They're not instructional, but they give a general idea of how to start. Also do a Youtube search for Mitch Taylor's videos.
Victor, the original owners manual can be found on this web site, lots of good info there about starting, driving and maintenance of the car: http://www.mtfca.com/books/21manual.htm
Most important is to remember to always have the spark lever up = retarded when starting, then move it down for a more advanced spark when it starts - it'll overheat if you drive with the spark retarded and you'll hurt the starter or yourself if you try to start with the spark advanced. You may have to experiment some how to apply choke, throttle and how to adjust the mixture screw for easiest starting and best performance/economy.
Your horn and a modern relay may obstruct the view to the serial = engine number. It was stamped over the water inlet on the drivers side. There were no frame numbers until december 1925.
Steve: Thanks! Glad to know the terminal block is available. I will get one and install it when I change the harness.
Roger, you were right. I did find the number!... following in the next post on which I want to recapitulate and find out what I have.
Thanks for the link on the owner's manual.
A friend of mine direct me to another great link, paritcularly as it says there for begginers like me:
Ok guys... this is where am I standing in trying to determine what I have...
I know the owner says it is 1922. I have to mention I already ordered a few books, but mail to Mexico takes forever, so I haven't seen them yet, but through the opinions of you, I have the following… first the:
FACTS THAT WOULD SEEM TO PROVE IT IS A 1922-23 MODEL:
- It has a low radiator and the 3 door touring body.
- Slanted windshield is 1923 style, introduced in september 1922.
- Firewall is made of Wood. Ford changed to steel in the spring of 1923
These two facts alone would seem to date the car as a late 1922 or early 1923 model.
FACTS THAT ADD DOUBTS TO THE CORRECT YEAR:
- Wheels are 21"x4.50 that became available in 1925, but I believe those are easily changed, therefore they are no proof of the car's year.
- Engine number seems to be: 6268742 (though in the paperwork apparently they got the 6 confused with a C and therefore it is titled C268742. It also shows the letters RFA. That doesn’t make sense with the comment of Roger Carlsson: “if you have an engine number between approximately 6,400,xxx and 6,950,xxx you have a 1923 Ford made in 1922”. Anyhow, it is not much of a difference… perhaps the Mexico manufacturing was a bit off, with older engines. I am inclined to think that... or is that a replacement engine?
- Seats: Jack Daron mentions: “I noticed there were no end caps on seats. They look like there should be the large pre 22 style.” I am not sure what the end caps are. We know they are also missing buttons, but that shouldn’t be too hard to accomplish, if they need to have them.
- Spare tire carrier in the back, dual type. It is a Y type.
So... big question is: what year is it? I am inclined to think it is a 1923 model, as most of your suggest (particularly for the wooden firewall and raked windshield), which because it was assembled probably in Mexico, may have a slightly older engine number... slightly means 132,000 units away. Any thoughts?
Here is an older thread that talks about the end caps:
The serial number 6268742 would date the engine to Monday, July 17, 1922. As the model year begins with August, that would make it a 1922 engine. If the car was assembled in Mexico with an engine made in the U.S., that could account for a late 1922 engine in an early 1923 car. BUT, as you say, it could be a replacement engine. That's where the other features come in.
From the encyclopedia:
Early in 1923 (perhaps March or April) the firewall, which had been wood since 1909, was changed to one of steel. This firewall matches the “low” hood style, and is different from the steel firewall used when the car was restyled for the 1924 models.
RADIATOR: Supplied by Ford. Shell had the Ford script pressed into the upper part. “Made in USA” was stamped in below the Ford script. The shell was painted black. In August the slightly higher (5/8’’) radiator appeared, along with the new hood and the shell with the valence at the bottom. The higher radiator cars were called “1924” models by Ford. I suspect the Made in USA part wouldn't apply in Mexico.
The raked windshield being a 1923 feature and the steel firewall beginning in spring of 1923, my guess would be that your car is a 1923 model made in late 1922 or early 1923.
I'm not clear on where you see RFA. Is that on the engine, or just on the paperwork?
You didn't mention which books you ordered, but here's the list I give showing the basics I think every T owner should have: http://dauntlessgeezer.com/DG80.html
The encyclopedia is especially useful in dating a vehicle. Some of it is available here on the MTFCA website, but the disk version has much more information.
And here's something you should ask the current owner about. If he doesn't know for sure the job has been done, you'll need to check it out yourself. http://dauntlessgeezer.com/DG79.html
Victor -- Just to muddy the waters a bit, there were many Model T engine numbers which did begin with a "C." They were made in Canada. The C268742 number would date from August or September of 1920, I believe.
Many Canadian cars were exported to other countries; I don't know whether some of them went to Mexico, but some of the other guys here might know.
But if it was a Canadian car, it would be a four door. The three door makes it American for sure. I can see the cylinder head says " Ford Made in USA"? Victor, does it also say "USA" on the engine block below the horn?
Mark, thanks for the link to the end caps. I understand what they are now, but my car has none! The seat upholstery comes down into the body, with no end caps... was it done this way in Mexico? Was it something that was lost with time and wrongly done in a prior restoration?
And here is the pics... first one is front seat, and second one rear seat...
Jeff: Thanks! I believe it may be as you suggest, a late 1922 or early 1923 model with a 1922 engine that came from the US and that may justify the difference in timing... Getting back to the questions on my engine:
The block and not only the head, show the "Made in USA" emblems, therefore it is clearly a USA made engine... so perhaps engines for cars assembled in Mexico came directly from the US... or perhaps it is an American car which at some point found it's way down here, but based on your transcription of the encyclopedia I doubt it as the radiator does not say MADE IN USA under the FORD emblem.
And the RFA stamped letters are in the upper part of the block.
About the engine number, without any doubt it has the number 6 at the beginning, but for some odd reason it shows more space between it and the rest of the numbers... and for another strange reason, when registering in the 80s's or so for license purposes they though it was a 6 instead of a 6, but I could swear it is a 6.
So... I believe it has an American made engine built on "Monday, July 17, 1922" but apparently mounted on a car which might have been assembled late 1922 or early 1923.
Lastly... I just started the engine. I have a terrible wiring harness in which the starter button in the floor is really a light switch... and I burnt it after the starting the car for 10 or 15 times... and in any of those occasions I could manage to make it run well. I retarded the time, started it, increased timing lowering the lever but the car would never work well, like it is missing on one plug or coil. I just called my friend that owns 3 or 4 Ts and who just did the rally for 900 hundred miles in his speedster, and coincidentally, he will be coming near my city tomorrow, so he agreed to come for lunch and see the car. I am sure he will be able to locate the miss it has and will tell me something about the Ts in Mexico... I will report on what he tells me, particularly on engines.
He will bring me the Manual. I will take care to buy the ones I need from your list. So far, I have just ordered an original owner's manual, the Encyclopedia plus 3 or 4 regular history books on Ts.
Oh... and I will get to service the axle just as your link suggests. In fact, every time I get a car, we do brakes and bearings initially... why? Because many people forget about bearings... and stopping is more important that accelerating when you are getting to know a car.
I have to brag on the MTFCA books a bit. For me they're a little easier to follow than the Ford manual, and they've helped me fix my generator and rebuild my rear axle. Very helpful. Videos are OK for showing techniques, but for a reference when you're in the middle of a job you can't beat a book. It's easy to go right to the page about what you're doing.
Victor -- The upholstery on your arm rests is done as they would have been on a pre-1917 T. The upholstery is too nice to be original and some details are not correct, so it has been redone at some time. Whoever did the re-do did a great job of pleating the material in that area to make it very neat. Changing that detail would be very low on my list of things to do.
Thanks for your comments guys!
I will get the books for sure. A friend lent me his manual today and it will be invaluable help.
Mike: Door panels are overstuffed and show no tacks, plus the false one at the driver's place has a terrible looking pocket. I am thinking of redoing door panels, which will be easy, and look into adding buttons to the seats, though they will always show deeper pleats than they should. I would also love to add the end caps but I am not sure if that is going to be possible.
Today I got the visit from my friend and probably my country's foremost expert in Model T. He has two of them and one is a 1923 Touring, just like mine. He liked my car very much and taught me how to drive, on a quick visit he made.
The car worked reasonably well but did show overheating. Belt needed tensioning but we also removed the radiator to correct a leak and service it. Hopefully I will install it back next week.
He saw the transmission belts needed tensioning and did that for me, plus he told my mechanic to adjust the brake handle, which he did already, while we had lunch. He turned the engine with the crank and found one coil to be a bit weak, but he taught us how to calibrate it and brought an extra one with him.
Finally, after he left, my mechanic studied the car and he thinks it is way retarded on timing, so he will check with the manual on cables from the front end of the engine and the coils. He says that is why it overheats and that the manifold was almost glowing when he did his tests... But for all that cable checking I would prefer to have a new correct wiring harness already in place so I will get one.
I guess that's it for the drive report.
On the history of Ford in Mexico, According to my friend, model T's were only assembled in Mexico but sent in kits from the US. Engines did come from the US also but were mounted here... So he thinks there is a good chance that my July 1922 engine is the one that was assembled with my car originally. His car, done in May 1923 already shows the metal firewall.
I checked on the internet and the Ford company established itself in Mexico in 1925, but it was until 1930 that the first assembly plant was built... So my friend must be correct and whatever was sold in Mexico prior to that either came fully assembled or in kits that were put together at distributors.
No real facts that we know... But it was probably that way.
I have one other question, side lamps. i have seen many cars of the era with them but more without them. My car has a set, but I wonder if they are correct for 1923. Were they optional?
Do they always use a clear lense in front and a red one on the side?
My understanding was that cars that came with a generator and starter did not come with side lamps.
If you like the look, you can leave them on, of course.
As far as the lenses, I'll have to let one of the more senior members answer that question.
Note to Steve Jelf, I would get some kind of a grommet in the hole where the wiring harness passes through the firewall.
I was ,going to comment on the pocket in the fake door, but perhaps not what you would expect - I would leave it; there aren't a lot of places to put stuff in a T. Original or not it could very well come in handy. I wouldn't worry at all about the upholstery unless you are determined to make the car absolutely original. It is overdone, but it looks beautiful. I wish my upholstery was as nice as yours.
Victor -- If you have oil lamps with large and small lenses, they are tail lamps, not cowl lamps. Those tail lamps with the large clear lens and small red lens were used on non-starter cars from 1919 and later. As Mark said, T's from 1919 onward came without oil lamps if they were equipped with an electric starter and generator. You see lots of them on "electric" cars because many folks think their Model T doesn't look right without them.
I took a couple of pics of the cowl lamps the car has. Sorry I didn't post them earlier.
So... are these tail lamps? If so, should I think of eventually removing them or are they easily changed with 'correct' (for non 'electric cars) oil lamps? I say eventually as, of course, I would prefer not to remove them as then I would have the holes on the body which would need to be covered and painted... which I don't want to do, not until I have to paint the car... which is a task I would rather have my son or grandsons do ;-)
I guess I was hoping to hear that they were supplied for cars optionally so if you didn't have battery and used your magneto, you could have these as lights... but that was just wishful thinking.
Ford "O" tail lamps.
Victor -- The one you have on the left side is a pre-1919 tail lamp. Its large lens would have been red originally. As Steve said, the right one is a Ford "O" tail lamp, which is what I described for non-starter cars in my post above.
Mike: Thanks! I checked and apparently they are easy to remove leaving no holes, as they are attached with the same carriage bolts that hold the windshield stanchions in place. I will probably remove them soon.
I already got the wiring harnesses and a few more things. I got the radiator out to be flushed.... Working on correcting things. Thanks to all for your help!
I have a big doubt: Wiring harness routing.
I tried to follow the pics in:
But those are referred to a 1924 model, with a stamped metal firewall. In my case, the car has the wooden firewall. So, question is: is the routing the same for stamped firewall cars than for wooden firewall cars? I am referring mainly to the big hole that allows the car interior harness go through the firewall to connect to the connection block. My car doesn't show the hole (apparently a home made firewall, so it might not be fully identical). Should I make the hole it in the same place than the stamped firewall’s hole, directly over the connection block?