I have a few questions that I think I know the answer to from working on vehicles slowly over the 33 years I've been able. I work with a 1912 Model T. She was restored (exterior parts) a few years ago and looks great. It is mainly driven in parades and for photo ops. My questions are:
1. We have been finding a ton of metal shavings in the oil when we change it. How soon will I need to have the engine rebuilt? Is there any one that people could recommend that is close to South Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa, or North Dakota?
2. Is it common for the what I am going to call the "oil trap" to throw up an oily sludge?
There are probably more problems I don't know of yet. But she looks great!
First, welcome to what guys here, and myself now, call "the affliction". And I've said before, like Lays potato chips, you can't have "just one". I'm up to four now! Still looking. Also have a neat little '12, in my profile pic.
I'm no expert here by any means, and plenty of more experienced guys will chime in, but it does sound like it's time for a rebuild. Probably babbit bearing material floating around, could be other stuff. Bite the bullet and get 'er done. I'm in the process of the same with my '12 also.
Somebody else probably knows of a re-builder near you. They'll soon chime in.
This forum provides plenty of good info on learning how these things tick. Pun intended.
Hard to tell anything about the condition of your engine without more info.Are the shavings magnetic? Do you hear any strange knocks or noises when running the engine?
Often when a Model T engine is freshly rebuilt the machine shop can clean the parts very well, but there is still some metal shavings hiding somewhere.
I recommend you base any decision about rebuilding the engine on the engine's performance. The metal shavings could be meaningless.
The way the Model T oiling system is built, particles will appear in the oil when you change oil. There is no filter and the dips under the rods will receive some metal filings from seating rings or prior machine work. Those flakes settle to the bottom. Then later after a hard workout some of that metal will flow into the sump along with the oil. Some will be picked up by the magnets and thrown out into the crankcase or flow into the oil line when the engine speeds up. Anyway, since you don't have a filter, there is no way of knowing when the original metal filings appeared. It might help some to remove the inspection plate under the engine and clean out the dips next time you change the oil. Another thing that will help would be to put a filter screen under the transmission inspection plate and put a magnet on that screen. The magnet will take some of the iron particles out of the oil.
Best thing to do is to notice strange noises or roughness when you drive the car and if it runs smoothly, just keep driving. Change the oil about every 500 to 1000 miles or at least once a year. Find someone locally who can help you and listen to the car run. Your local club will help you find that someone.
Welcome to the hobby. It is fun and educational.
There is a fellow in Watertown you rebabbits. I assume he would rebuild engines. I will have to do some searching to get his name.
They Guys all seem to be of the same idea which to me is " Wait and try this or that or everything in between, and save your money for when it is time for a rebuild. Other than purchasing another T, for me Engine and Transmission rebuild is most expensive repair,
I can face. Many of the guys do their own and if you are a mechanic, then you should have little or no problem. Good luck, Welcome to the club,
and Remember to "Read The Ford Manuals.
Is the thing you describe as "oil trap" a flat pan underneath the connecting rods with depressions pressed in it for the rods to dip into? Because an oily sludge builds up in there and it is common.
Or is it an accessory transmission oil screen you call the oil trap?
They're commonly used to catch foreign particles and loose band material before they cause trouble. Shouldn't be much sludge there after a couple of oil changes with ordinary 10w-30 oil?