Talking to a buddy today, he remarked on this event he had on fixing up a 1920 runabout for an older gentleman, that currently wasn't running. The guy just wanted the T to run, but to spend only tiny $ amount on fix-up.
After cleaning the carb, cleaning out the gas tank, adding fresh gas, and getting a new battery, the old T fired up. But was missing a bit, so the first attempt was to rework the coils, 2 of them being plastic case coils. Those were OK, but one of the other coils had the points installed up-side down, but it was still firing!.
Anyway, with cleaned timer, wires checked and coils re-set and buzzing strong, the T fired up but kept missing on cylinder #1, rotating coils didn't get #1 to go either.
So he called the old gentleman to let him know the T was running, but poorly, and that if he wanted a bit of more time would be needed to check out problem and find a fix. The guy replied OK, but if it is major $ fix, to just forget about it and he would just come get it.
So then the next thought was stuck valve on #1.
Drain the radiator, unbolt the inlet from the cyl head, remove the head and sure enough, #1 exhaust valve is stuck up. Sprayed some penetrating oil, and with slight tapping, the valve was stuck fast. More oil, but the valve wouldn't twist, turn or anything but stay up, stuck.!!
Off comes the manifolds to get the valve cover off, lifter tool on the retainer cup, pulled the pin. Then with a screwdriver tip between the lifter and valve stem, the valve would go up, but not down. ????
Finally, pushing the valve all the way up and out, he spied the problem of why the valve wouldn't go down. Stuck in the valve hole in the port was a small piece of brass, and was lodged to the valve shaft in a way so that the valve was stuck open.
With that tiny brass ball like piece removed, the exhaust valve functioned fine. Back went the head, manifolds, and radiator connected and refilled, and the T fired right up and ran strong on all four cylinders, just like new.
That brass piece on examination was a spark plug terminal thumb screw, with the knurled top all rounded off, it got in there at some point in the T's life by falling into the spark plug hole, getting beat up in the cylinder to a smaller size until exhausted into #1 and to clog the valve stem!
All because of this nutty thing