I am newly registered with the forums, but I have been lurking for a couple of years ... finally thought I'd come on board to say "Thanks"!
I bought a 1919 touring 2 1/2 years ago (the picture shows the car as I found it on the former owner's premises).
To make this post short(er), I'll just say that I've been test driving the chassis since December 1, 2015. Although I intend to keep its appearance stock, I am updating the drive train, brakes and electrical to provide trouble free motoring around my rural area (my wife and I live on an acreage about 35 km from Regina, Saskatchewan).
Your forum discussions have been VERY helpful in getting my ancient Ford back on the road. Thank you, thank you, thank you!
Welcome aboard! Betchya can't have just one!! I couldn't!
Welcome to posting on the forum also. From the photo in your profile I cannot see if the body has two front doors or not. I would guess it is a Canadian T based on the front seat wood framing although some USA bodies in 1918-1919 also went back to the wooden seat frames. Please let us know if it is Canadian body and Canadian T or USA etc.
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Leroy: Becareful these Model"T" are like rabbits, get one then another one and soon you have a bunch. Well just kidding, as I had one and the second one just happened to want to stay here. I put together a "19 like yours, stock with a few additions and then a "17 Depot Hack. Just a lot of fun and enjoyment. As one of the
Forum persons said go out and enjoy the ride. Ask all the question you can, because you will learn a lot and none are stupid of out text. I have learned a lot from the "BrotherHood of Model T'R here.
Hi'ya Leroy. Garnet here - also in So-Sask. Nice to see you come in from the cold so-to-speak and out of the shadows. If yer on an acreage, forget about the brakes. Just circle around the outhouse a few times to bleed off speed and swing into the parking spot!
Hap, you jogged my thinking ... I should have perhaps described the car in more detail, but the main purpose in my original post was to thank all the forum denizens, including you, for the helpful advice.
When I bought the car, according to the owner's nephew who was clearing his uncle's farmstead, the owner started restoring the T because it was HIS grandfather's car (the uncle died last summer). Unfortunately, the nephew was light on details about the car's restoration to that point.
It is Canadian built; there are some pre-1919 mechanical bits, and some are post-1918. That leaves me to assume that it either was a late 1918 manufacture intended as a 1919, or someone put it together from more than one car.
For example, note the pre-1919 rounded felloes, and the front radius rods mounted above the axle. Yet it has the low-filler hole in the rear axle, and an instrument panel even though it isn't a starter-equipped car.
The former owner made a serious goof when doing the front seat area ... he bent the seatback metal into a straight-across, and created woodwork to match ... that's going to cost me extra money and time to set right.
Incidentally, I had been test driving the Ford only three days when I got into a mishap:
You only need 3 Model T's. One to drive, one to work on, and one for spare parts. Only problem I have is that all 3 are now running, and I don't have room for any more!
I am not an expert on the Canadian Ts, just an interested hobbyist that spends too much time on this forum. A couple of the features you mentioned were introduced at different times for Canadian cars than for the USA cars. The drain/fill plug on the rear end for instance, didn't come out in the lower position until almost 1919 for the USA. Canadian cars apparently had that feature changed early in 1915, almost four years sooner. The actual dates and amount of crossover are not yet known. It is something that is currently trying to get sorted out. Your car could actually have some data points to help with that. Hap T, one of our best regulars, is one of the people trying to sort out the Canadian production changes.
Over or under the axle wishbone is one change that had an unusually long crossover time. Cars as early as late 1918 calendar year have the late style, while several claimed as untouched original cars as late as 1921 had the earlier style. I don't know whether USA or Canada made that change first.
Many things like slanted windshields and one-man tops were factory installed on Canadian cars a few years before the USA cars. Lots of good detailed photos of your car could be appreciated by some of us.
From your photo, it looks like a rather quick turn into the ditch? I can't tell from the photo what caused it? As long as everyone is okay.
Welcome to the affliction!
Drive carefully, and enjoy, W2
Wayne, thanks for the insight about differences between US and Canadian T's. When I bought the car, the engine block was still on site. I wasn't interested in the engine, but I didn't know at that time the engine serial number was also the car serial number (assuming the original block was what the former owner had rebuilt, then left outdoors under a tarp because he had no room in the shed! Was seized, of course).
There is no way of verifying what was originally fitted to this car at the factory, nor whether any dealership repairs used correct year parts when servicing the vehicle, nor what other cars, if any, were cannibalized to fix up this one.
Exact year authenticity isn't too important to me; I originally intended only to have an old-looking car to participate in small town parades (a number of Southern Sask communities celebrated their centennials in recent years, and I provided my 1969 Bonneville to a couple of them). However, as the collecting of parts progressed, and the relatively good condition of the basic chassis became apparent, I got a bit more ambitious by trying to set it up as a daily driver to nearby towns ... as a retiree, I've got lots of time to schmooze the locals on coffee row.
That's why I didn't join the MTFCA forums at the outset; I read many, many discussions on the forums about whether "this, that or the other" was correct for such-and-such a year or body style. As I never intended my T to be stock, let alone year-authentic, I hesitated to join any group that collectively might be sticklers for era-correct construction.
Although I can post photos of various parts of my car, I cannot vouch for originality of the components it had when I bought it ... and I certainly created an alternative drive system! The old dear now features an air cooled engine with a full hydrostatic drive.
In the mishap photo, you will see a small white object under the frame, just to the left of the differential. That's the filter canister for the hydraulic fluid. By the way, the ditching happened because I somehow forgot to fully tighten the two small bolts that hold the steering rod to the steering arm. There was no damage to the car or to me, because I was driving slowly enough that Bella the dog could keep up without strain.
In the website "mytractorforum.com", I detailed the power train design and build-up. That forum has a section dedicated to hydraulics, so I sought and received input from those members. I also posted quite a few photos, but they apparently aren't viewable unless you sign up as a (free) member. Search for user "guywitholdtractorz" and the thread, "Hydrostatically driven Oddi-T"
So, am I committing sacrilege by doctoring the T? For the record, I find it smooth running and dead easy to drive. There is less speed available and very poor hill climbing ability, but then, I have never driven or ridden in a stock T to have a basis for comparison. And, once the hood & rad shell are in place, you'd never know anything is "off" about its mechanical workings ... it even "chatters" like a T. I posted a 40 second video for public viewing at vid.me/cK6e.
There! Now I've confessed. I feel much better!
Many Ts and other cars go through transitions with parts swapped out over the years. I have seen more than one that went from stock as delivered, had the rear section removed and made into a pickup truck during the1930s or 40s like Blackie which is on my profile page. Engines were changed out, axles changed out, some hot rodded, some converted to electric, etc. And we sometimes see the modifications changed back to the more original configuration by a later owner. And it doesn’t just happen with the Fords. In the Jan 2016 “Hemmings Motor News” on page 38 it shares about a Duesenberg SJ Phaeton that sold for $1,595,000. From the web site at: http://www.rmsothebys.com/mo15/monterey/lots/1933-duesenberg-model-sj-riviera-ph aeton-by-brunn/1076064 we see the body was moved to another chassis, the engine was blown up/destroyed and replaced and other changes were made to make it a 140 mph car back in the 50s. No they didn’t put a small block Chevy in it rather another Duesenberg block. And the chassis they moved the body to was also another Duesenberg. (Apparently it may have been easier to find Duesenberg spare parts in the 50s….). But to quote the Hemming’s paragraph, “This Duesenberg was hardly original.” But it was restored back to the original style.
When I was a teenager I had friends that were hot rodding the Model A Fords and other friends that were taking chopped and channeled Model A Ford bodies and returning them to stock so they could be remounted on an original style chassis. So enjoy your car and I’m sure it will bring lots of smiles. I would also encourage you to check out one of the local Model T clubs nearest to you. They are listed at: http://www.mtfca.com/clubpages/chapters.htm and http://www.modelt.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=5&Itemid=15 . Go for a ride and see how the original compares to your modified. You may discover that you will want to locate a stock engine and transmission. Or you may confirm you like it best like the way you have modified. In many cases the original high torque low revving Model T engine will give you better performance than many of the newer low power high revving engines from small lawn tractors etc. Note you may still want to review some of the safety issues mentioned at: http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/506218/576808.html see the second post on that thread. Any of your items that are stock T could have some of those same issues.
You commented, “…there are some pre-1919 mechanical bits, and some are post-1918. That leaves me to assume that it either was a late 1918 manufacture intended as a 1919, or someone put it together from more than one car.” Based on that, I suspect you are probably much more interested in Ts than the average person. I would encourage you to check and see if the original block is still around. At a minimum to capture the serial number. But also to make it available for some future owner. And while you cannot vouch for any of the parts being originally with the same car, individual parts can often give us clues that lead to new discoveries. Or “re-discoveries” might be more accurate as the Ford Dealer in 1919 would have known about those differences.
And if anyone should ask you about the car being stock or not. One reply that will keep you out of trouble is, “I have refused to let anyone install a water pump on the car.”
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Leroy, I see your car has the two piece front spring clamp and forged running board brackets. Should have the round gas tank too. Those are all 1919 items that don't normally get changed by owners. Those parts were redesigned for the 1920 cars in both Canada and the U.S.A.
Dave, thanks for the info regarding model year(s). That 1919 corroborates my guess, too.
She's a nice driving chassis ... better than I expected. At least, it is AFTER I replaced and properly tightened the drag link bolts :-)
Still find it hard to believe that I overlooked those two little bolts.