What is the current fuel of choice for the cowl lights and tail light? Still kerosene? Or is there something better?
naphtha and methyl-ethyl-ketone mixed 1:1!
Just joking! (please don't try that!) I filled'em with diesel when first got mine fired up, because that was what I had on hand. Worked fine with a nice eerie glow. Now i use plain old kerosene like they were meant to use. I don't know if there is something else better though.
What about lamp oil? It's clean burning and less smoke.
I've always used kerosene. Be sure to only fill them half way. If filled much above half full the kerosene sloshes around and spills on your fenders and running board
Kerosene smokes too much. Use lamp oil as mentioned. I buy it by the gallon at a local discount food and janitorial supply store. The are places that sell oil lamps that probably would have it too.
Our local Ace Hardware carries lamp oil.
Guys,Kerosene= lamp oil. Nuff said.
Yeah, Jack, but lamp oil comes in purty colors...
Royce, the font on the lamps should be filled w/cotton wadding with the wick down into it.
The wadding will absorb whatever fuel that you're using but the wick will still draw the fuel up to the burner.
Lamp Oil may be kerosene, but kerosene isn't kerosene anymore. There are apparently varying grades of Kerosene, and it doesn't have the BTUs the old stuff had--ask any Stanley owner!
I suspect that the "lamp Oil" is the finest grade Kerosene, not necessarily what you get when you buy a can of Kerosene at the Hardware store.
The wadding does keep the stuff from sloshing around, but it also rusts out fonts when left "dry." I wouldn't put it in unless you do use your lamps.
An old Model T guy that passed many years ago told me to put about 100 BB's in each font. Wet or dry they roll around when you are driving the car, polish and keep the bottom of the font from rusting. With as many noises that a T makes you will never hear them working! It works for me. Your mileage may vary.
It sometimes is worth looking up the original suggestions from those in the know. In this case I went to my modest library and perused a 1918 edition of Dykes Automobile Encyclopedia. Taken from page 438: "The brilliancy of oil lights can be improved by using a hard wick and placing cotton in the bowl of lamp. Then use gasoline, or half gasoline and light cylinder oil instead of kerosene." I also read a suggestion elsewhere that mineral spirits works great, and does not smoke as much as kerosene, and also that lamp oil is produced differently in that it also smokes less than plain kerosene. Perhaps a lamp oil supplier can, uhm, shed more light on this?
I think the reference to "gasoline" in early texts refers to white gas. I believe we know white gas today as Coleman fuel.
I figured it meant "pump gasoline" like you'd put in your T's fuel tank which, at the time, was about half kerosene anyway based on what I've read here.
The Dykes reference to gasoline means just that. There are dozens of references to gasoline, and the grades of gasoline fuel, and normally gasoline at the time was not mixed with kerosene. If you wish to mix the two, it suggests a ratio of 1 gallon of gasoline to 3 gallons of K. Gasoline in the 'teens came in 3 grades, No. 1, 2 and 3. Dykes goes into great detail on comparing gasoline, kerosene, and has many tables and comparisons. Try securing a Dykes if anyone wants to know what the scoop was back then. Gasoline quality and octane (no lead yet) were both low, but that is why the motors could also run on other fuels, once warmed up. White gas (naptha) is a very different animal. There were also special kerosene carbs with a dual bowl, start and warm up on gasoline,and then switch to kerosene. Kerosene is much heavier and not as volatile as gasoline, the two were not routinely sold mixed, and many references suggest not using Kerosene as a primary fuel. Interesting info in these old manuals!
Seth,you know not of what you speak. Go to an online encylopedia and look up the BP ranges for gasoline Vs Kerosene.
Of course I don't - I heard that quoted here on this forum. Where, I couldn't tell you, but I'm only 50 and I don't forget much - especially what I read here.
My apologies for quoting what I heard here.
I use lamp oil but i wish i had read about only using a little before i ruined the paint on the right front fender! I have one cowl lamp that goes out easly if you get to much wind. Other than keeping my mouth shut to reduce the wind,anyone have a idea for a cheap easy fix?? Bud.
My 1913 cowl lamps (JNO Brown) are good up to 35 MPH.
My 1915 cowl lamps - they are E & J model 9 I think - blow out at walking speed. Tail lamp too. Worthless.
Have not tried the E & J 1908 lamps on my 12 yet but plan to use them in Richmond if I can find some wicks by then.
Tony Wilshire makes a 9 volt LED unit that fits over a lamp burner cap,and flickers. They last forever . I have them in my speedster lamps and will have it at Richmond. Check them out.
Jack is he still in business, I called 10 days ago, NO ANSWER yet, so I ordered one from Snyders I have a customer who needs one for his taillite, So I'll have to pay full retail, add postage and get a couple dollars for me, so he can get a 3rd one.
Thanks for clarifying the gasoline vs. white gas reference as far its use in the Dykes passage at least.
He's around. Racing season is here and that's how he makes his living.