I've been driving the roadster a lot lately for grocery shopping and other errands. Today I put about thirty miles on it with a drive to the county seat to visit the bank for dough and the court house to pay taxes. All was well until I got back to Arkansas City and stopped to buy cat food. I came out of the store to find I had a flat tire. Luckily a couple of college boys were kind enough to give me a ride home to fetch another wheel, and the flat rode home like this.
I don't expect that kind of help will be around for every flat, so I need to find a six volt tire pump and carry spare tubes.
Steve, glad you had a couple of good Samaritans come along. Nice looking car you have there. The Chevy Suburban looks like a 1973 Suburban that I drove in Ecuador for 12 years. I still have fond memories of it. I have a 1926 TT which I am driving now and am nearing completion of two project cars, a 1924 Two Door Sedan and a 1923 "Doctor's" Coupe. I can say that with confidence since I have a D. Min. degree.
I'm glad the folks stopped to help you. There are still a lot of great people out there -- but you seldom see those types of stories on the evening news.
I appreciate the "as close to original as practical" Ts. But for any car that I plan to drive much and where there will not be a "vulture wagon" readily available such as on a tour, I prefer the demountable rim wheels. The 1919 and later demountable clincher wheels look similar and can always be changed back to the stock wheels when desired. Royce has put up several postings showing how he can easily change out the tube. Note that is for a tire that is still pliable -- which in theory would be the type we would be driving with. But I would still prefer to remove and replace a demountable rim and work the tire issue when I got back home to my garage. Not a right or wrong -- just another preference. rather than on the side of the road etc. Especially if it was cold or hot outside. And then for some if we have a bad part such as a knee -- it can be a bit more of a challenge.
If you find a good source for a 6 volt portable air compressor please let us know. The 12 volt with the power cord to plug into the cigarette lighter are readily available -- but I don't recall seeing a 6 volt version lately. And of course the hand pump will work on 6 or 12 volt cars.
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Steve, on your 1915 you only have the battery as a secondary ignition source for starting, so you can swap it for a small 12 volt battery without any need to change anything else - a homebuilt or Fun Projects magneto charger would keep a 12 v battery full just the same
How about carrying a can of Fix-A-Flat? I am not sure if they would pump the tire up to 60 PSI, but may get you to a service station.
My KIA Soul and a lot of new cars do not come with spare tires and jacks anymore. They just give you a can of tire sealant, 12 volt compressor and an 800 number to call if it is beyond sealing up. Saves carrying a lot of weight that may never be used.
"All was well until I got to Arkansas City and stopped to buy cat food."
There's your trouble right there. It's not a Model T problem, it's a cat problem. No need for a spare, if you get rid of the cats.
I have a dandy foot pump that I keep under the seat. It came from a Western Auto store maybe 15 years ago, but I bet they are available at other local auto part stores. The foot pump will easily reach 65 PSI and you don't get too tired doing it.
I carry a couple tubes in each Model T, and throw the pump in which ever one is going with me. It has saved me a few times.
A couple of times I have had flats because the Schrader valve was leaking after checking tire pressure prior to a drive. In those cases all that was needed was to air up the tire and play with the Schrader until it started acting right.
It happened once at our local Lone Star T club meeting and it was around 25 degrees that day. Pumping the tire up kept me warm!
I'll try this from eBay ($14.95, free shipping) and carry a couple of spare tubes.
Probably not a problem now, but about 15 years ago, I bought three (count them! Three!) of those foot operated (look just like the one you have pictured) tire pumps with the intention of keeping one under the seat of every car I toured at the time. One rode for several years before I tried to use one of them. Fortunately, at home, where I had another source of air pressure. Turned out, none of the three had a check valve in them, and can NOT work.
Just one of those silly little things that can happen in one's life.
Drive carefully, and enjoy, W2
Steve, that's the same pump I used to carry. The best part is it fits under the rear seat on my touring. That is the only good thing. I now have gone back to a hand pump. Those legs will bend under trying to get the last ten pounds in. Maybe you remember my flat tire at dinner In Ark city last year. With your tool box behind the tank on your roadster one should fit in it nicely.
I have a working hand pump, but I haven't tried to fill up to 65 pounds with it. Maybe I should carry both pumps.
About 15 years ago I was touring the San Juan Islands in my 1913 "Mountain Wagon". I got a flat which tore off the valve stem just as I was rolling in to British Camp on San Juan Island. As Terrie set up for lunch on the parking lot picnic table I dismounted the non-demountable tire falling on my butt when the tire came loose. A chorus of laughter erupted from a crowd of 50 tourists who had piled out of a tourist bus to watch my impromptu show. That was embarrassing!
I put in a new tube and remounted the tire. As I pulled out the brass tube hand pump I turned to the throng of tourists and said "who wants to pump this for me?" Sure enough all of them disappeared in less than 15 seconds! Then I pulled out my little 12V electric pump, hooked it to the battery in my tool box and sat down to a nice lunch. At the end of the picnic the tire was full and ready for touring!
The car was photographed on that trip and appeared on the May-June 2001 Vintage Ford cover.