Model t engine - paint or not?

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Model T Ford Forum: Forum 2015: Model t engine - paint or not?
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Philip Berg on Friday, July 10, 2015 - 10:08 pm:

My coupelet's engine is 95% done and wondering if they were painted or not? I've viewed several posts but I'm not sure if a definite answer was found. My pan has been painted black while the block and head are natural.

Opinions please.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Royce in Georgetown TX on Friday, July 10, 2015 - 10:17 pm:

Black paint was original by 1916. For authenticity it should be very poorly applied.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Erik Johnson on Friday, July 10, 2015 - 10:25 pm:

Look at the photos of Paul Iverson's unrestored '16 touring. The motor is definitely painted.

http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/506218/534038.html?1429893540

Likewise for the 1917 Rip Van Winkle touring.

My unrestored 1917 roadster also has some black paint on the block, valve covers, pan, hogshead but it is a well used car so not as much is left compared to the two cars above.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Tyrone Thomas - Topeka KS on Friday, July 10, 2015 - 10:41 pm:

Orielly's has a Bare Medal spray can paint that look very close to bare metal. You no doubt want to check me on this and I don't know what year your car is, but I thought that in the later years (whatever "later" year means) were not painted.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Erik Johnson on Friday, July 10, 2015 - 10:45 pm:

"Cast Blast" is a paint that as become popular among antique car restorers. The look of fresh and unpainted cast iron without the rust.

http://www.seymourpaint.com/product/cast-blast/

Other companies such as Eastwood market similar paints.

However, as Royce stated, by 1916 the engines were painted black based on surviving cars.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Philip Berg on Friday, July 10, 2015 - 10:46 pm:

16 Coupelet


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Steve Jelf, Parkerfield KS on Saturday, July 11, 2015 - 12:44 am:

Yes, by 1916 it would probably be painted. From my reading of the encyclopedia, it would have been a "Gilsonite wash" poorly applied, as Royce says. Folks use all sorts of paints for engines. I prefer black Rustoleum satin finish. It's inexpensive, tough, and looks good.




Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Steve Jelf, Parkerfield KS on Saturday, July 11, 2015 - 12:51 am:

You didn't specify what year, so here's the 26-27 color just in case that's what you're asking about.





And here's a bit from the encyclopedia:



Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Royce in Georgetown TX on Saturday, July 11, 2015 - 08:55 am:

Picture of the one millionth Model T engine photographed in December 1915 at the Highland Park plant shows it is painted in a thin, runny coat of black paint. The casting date is December 6, 1915.

Photo images property of The Henry Ford.




(Message edited by royce on July 11, 2015)


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Erik Johnson on Saturday, July 11, 2015 - 09:14 am:

Rip Van Winkle 1917 below - not as thin as you might expect.

An acquaintance of mine had a very low mileage '17 that always had good storage that still had original paint on the block, etc. It was quite heavy in most places.

(I realize we're talking about 1916 Fords and not 1917).

Who knows what the blocks were like just prior to painting? Surface rust may have already started forming and/or the blocks my have been oily, etc. Not the best surface for paint to adhere, even if it was lowly gilsonite.

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Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Trent Boggess on Saturday, July 11, 2015 - 12:49 pm:

I wrote an article on engine paint that was published in the Vintage Ford some years ago.,,I presented all of the research on Engine paints that I found at the Benson Ford Research Center in the article. Bruce McCalley accepted and summarized my findings in the Encyclopedia, but somehow could never bring himself to admit that Model T engines, at least from 1914 on, we're painted black, despite the small mountain of documentary, photographic, and surviving examples evidence. It was a very poor quality of paint, half paint thinner and half Gilsonite, and I am sure it did not last long, but I do think the overwhelming evidence points to the engine being painted black prior to1926.

I generally use a semigloss black spray can. It looks about like the original paint would have looked, but dos a much better job of protecting the metal than the original stuff did.

Respectfully Submitted,

Trent Boggess


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Erik Johnson on Saturday, July 11, 2015 - 02:04 pm:

I have a small collection of carburetor hot air pipes. All of them have remnants of Gilsonite paint on the outside but the INSIDES of the pipes all have a very heavy coating of Gilsonite paint. They even have the aroma of tar.

I presume that excess Gilsonite dripped into the hot air pipe when a motor was painted. Another theory, though not as plausible, is the Gilsonite melted off of the exhaust manifold and dripped down into the hot air pipe. This would have been during the first few minutes the first time the motor was started as the motor warmed up but the exhaust manifold was not yet hot enough to burn the Gilsonite - only melt it.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By James A. Golden on Saturday, July 11, 2015 - 02:48 pm:

I bought a fire chief's car in 1980 that had the original engine painted green and painted over red by the company that added the chemical tanks, etc.

The engine and frame numbers dated the vehicle to early April 1927.

The green color appeared to be the same shade of green that was later used on the Model A Ford.

This vehicle was traded in on a 1946 Ford large firetruck in 1946 and sat on the Ford dealer's show room for for the rest of its life, until 1980.

It would make a parade now and then, when it was willing to start and run without flat tires.

That 1946 fire truck was still in service in 1980 and had 6,000 miles on it. The town it protected only had 400 structures.

Going ratio and proportion on the years in service and vehicle mileage, I estimated that the fire car only had between 5,000 and 10,000 miles on it. Then too, none of the mechanical parts showed any wear.

The fire chief told me that being chief there was not a very exciting job in town, as he went 18 months or more a couple of times with no fire at all.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Larry Smith on Sunday, July 12, 2015 - 09:47 am:

For what ever it's worth, I recently acquired a NOS battery box cover. I assume it was painted with Gilsonite, just like the fenders and a lot of other stuff too. Apparently during the drying process it got upside down, and there is a puddle of it in one corner. I broke away part of this puddle, and it looks just like tar.


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