Hey guys, I think I finally have some time to dedicate to the pile of pieces in my garage I call a T and I figure the wheels are good candidates to bring in from the cold to work on. The thing is, I have a really stupid question: the front and back wheels are obviously different, but do they have lefts and rights as well?
Sometimes, depending on year, etc. the passenger side front wheel hub will have three small holes, or a machined flat area on the outside of the inner bearing area to hold a speedometer gear.
There are left and right outer front bearings, but it doesn't sound like you are that far yet.
Just finished refurbishing 4 front wheels - too sketchy for a driver, but perfect for the new sawmill. Two were rears that I converted to fronts by switching out the hubs (sawmill was made using two front axles). Patina is fantastic - weathered spokes take on a beautiful color when lightly steel wooled and then treated with linseed oil.
Well. There are lots of different years, styles, sizes, and makers of model T wheels. Can we get more details?
Generally speaking, there is very little if any difference between rights and lefts. There also are after-market, Chevy, Overland, and others that often get mistaken and sold as model T wheels.
Are these for your pickup? They look like 30X3.5 in your profile photo. Other than a speedometer gear, as David D said, there should be no difference between right and left.
Good looking little truck! Nice dog too.
Drive carefully, and enjoy, W2
Wayne, the wheels are the ones on my truck. Basically every T part I own is in that picture, as well as 1/2 of my dogs.
The plan is to pull all four wheels, pull the rims and tires, strip paint, inspect, repaint, reassemble and throw new tires and tubes on them. When I'm done I'll set them aside and pull the axles, but that project is still a ways off.
Tim, nice looking truck. If it is a "driver" I would be very carefull about making it a "non driver". Too many projects die and never get back together. I would suggest to do the wheels and not set them aside, but put them back on the car, and still have a driver. Then when its time, pull a front axle (or rear end) and rebuild it. Then put it back on the car. Drive it a little again, and then do the next thing. There are the folks who can tear one completely apart and put them right back together. Those guys either have another "driver" or lots of time or lots of money. You are the one who can decide what or how much you can do, but I have seen it happen too many times to not say something ... Good luck and have fun ...
Thanks for the concern Donnie, it's a worry of mine too. Even though my pickup is almost all there, it's not a driver and as purchased couldn't be made to run. Most if not all of the wear items seem to be worn, the wiring was pooched, valves had to be ground, coils falling apart and I have a seized rear brake cam. That stuff will all be addressed but I'll continue to offend the "purists" by leaving it externally as a tired, sawed-off touring-turned-pickup.
I'm with Donnie on that one.
I have a lot of fun driving the cars and don't ground one for more than a few days or a week. I drove the '14 tonight and got to fire up the gas headlights to come home.
It was as much of a kick for me as the 5:30 pm Saturday bunch I go to church with to see that car with all the kerosene and acetylene lights on.
Now that's what I call fun for an old man! Go T in the dark.
Ken in Texas
donnie is right, restoration has been the death of many old cars
It can be done, but it's not the best way. This is the pic I show folks of how far down I took my 15 before starting back. Actually, I tore it down further and put bronze thrust washers in it, but this pic looks better as a beginning of a restoration leading up to MOTAA and AACA Senior awards. I enjoy my other T's more--driving is more fun than polishing! If you only have one T, make things functional before you make them pretty!
Tim, a lot depends upon your willingness to learn. Driving T's is a hoot but not everyone is that lucky! All of my T's in my life (21) have never ran when purchased!!!!!!!!!!!! It took several RIDES in a few owner's cars to greatly help though. Shows and listening to a lot of purists to get me there. Judging in AACA and MTFCI shows along with judges TRAINING meetings at events helped. Buying books that dealt with restorations, and how to tell a T apart by the years it was sold (From Here to Obscurity) and later on McCalleys Model T Ford to really help start putting them right. It's a learning process. T's are a step above Go Karts. Which was a step above where I started in Soap Box derby car building in the 50's. Which was a step up from my Red Flyer wagon and my driveway, (on a small hill-type incline).
Learning to rebuild anything using this forum seems like a God-send when trying to learn how things are done. Time changes everything... to me. There is more knowledge now then when I started in the early 60's. Even though when the cars were newer then. They had been pieced together to keep them on the road (or in one's garage) over the years. Mostly because the parts mostly all interchanged easily.
Concerning your wheels. I see that they are 21" 1926's or possibly the 27 model so you have a very EASY job to do! I have turned new spokes out of Walnut, white oak, and finally straight grained red oak as I was taught to do in the 60's. Being a shop teacher, THEN, helped. But showing one how TIME changes that notion I am to use ash today as per several on this forum have corrected me in saying. I have MANY sets of the oak spokes and finished wheels and have had no problems with any including cracking. Use Boiled Linseed oil to paint them prior to final paint. I am sure you will find several different methods on researching this forum. I let mine soak in and dry because I am in no hurry to finish a car. A couple of times in a year I have done this process. Then prime them or just run them unpainted other than the Linseed oil. I am positive someone will say don't do this but my wheels are still around if the car was taken care of by the next owners. I saw one of my restorations a few years back and it was horrible! I could not believe my eyes. (It hurt)! After talking with the owner I found out that the car had sat 12 years in a carport in Florida. Loaded down with junk and the tires had all rotted off. The fella who bought it off of me had died and the daughter had no place to keep it and did not want to sell her father's old car. Explanation enough!
Wheels are a good place to start. Your car, if it is the one in your User Profile, then it looks like you have an easy job ahead of you. 21" spokes are available by several of the dealers and at a cheap price (compared to an early brass car wheel). If needed.
Joe in Mo.
On second look and reading Wayne's post you just may have the wrong wheels on your T. 1920-24 wheels. Same there though. Spokes are available and cheap.
Thanks guys, if you're up for it I'll be sure to post lots of pics as I stumble my way through it all. This week I want to pick up a set of tire irons and other than that I should have all the tools I need on hand.
First real question on doing it: does the knock-out for removing the rear wheels take many small taps or just a few few hard hits to work? This will probably be pretty obvious to some but I figure I'll ask lots of questions before I bugger anything up.
Tim, You can use a "knock off" wheel puller, but if at all possible get the one that screws on in place of the hubcap (if the hubcap threads are good on the hub). Im sure someone will loan you one. The knock off type can damage the threads of the axle. If you decide to use the knock off style make sure it is screwed all the way down till the end of the axle bottoms out in the tool. Do not over tighten it. I like them to screw on by hand till they bottom out then a "slight snug up" with a wrench. Leave the tire/wheel sitting on the ground, and jack up the opposite wheel. Then using a good small sledge hammer (aprox 2 to 4 lbs) give it a "good wack" do not try to "kill it" but hit it a solid hit. The hub should break loose. Good luck ...and have fun
Joe in Mo. - In reading your post ref wood spokes,....you said "ash", but I'm thinking you meant hickory. (???) More specifically, shagbark hickory I believe. At least that's what I've come to learn from this forum Joe. This in the interest of not to mislead anybody that might want to turn their own wood spokes,........harold
I do believe I've read it should be second growth shagbark hickory. It apparently has the best characteristics for use as automobile spokes.
Early non-demountable wheels come in different size for front and back. The front wheel has a tire 30"x3". The rear has a tire 30"x3 1/2" The 30" is the outer diameter of the tire as mounted on the wheel. De-mountable wheels are all the same size around the car. De-mountable wheels come in either 30x3 1/2 or 4.50x21. The 21" is the diameter of the rim itself. The 26-27 also have wire spoke wheels 4.50"x21". Those wire wheels were optional and not all came with the wire wheels. Also, the wire wheels are quite popular, and many owners have replaced the earlier wood spoke wheels with the wire ones. One other thing, is that there were many after market producers of wire, or disk wheels made to fit the Model T. So first thing you need to know what type wheels you are asking about.
The hubs are different for front and back and the back wheels have brake drums. However the front wheel bearings are different side to side. The outer bearing threads are left hand threads for the right wheel and right hand threads for the left wheel. That is the threads turn in the direction which would loosen the bearing in the direction the wheel turns when going forward. There is a washer with a notch which fits in a groove in the spindle between the threaded bearing and the outer nut, and then a cotter pin in the outer nut, so the bearing should not turn when the washer and nut are tight and pinned.