My First T

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Model T Ford Forum: Forum 2008: My First T
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Omar on Tuesday, December 16, 2008 - 01:21 am:

I just purchased this 1919 from eBay this morning. I’m eager to get it home and start going through it. I’m new to all of this, my brother has a 1926 coupe that I’ve helped with, but I just had to get one of my own. The seller tells me that she runs good, has very little rust, and has a starter and generator. What can you gays tell me? How does she look? I will probably be here asking lots of questions in the future.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jim on Tuesday, December 16, 2008 - 01:28 am:

" What can you gays tell me?" What about the rest of us? It looks like a fun car.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Omar on Tuesday, December 16, 2008 - 01:29 am:

OOOOPPPSSSSS its late.... GUYS!!!


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By David Dewey on Tuesday, December 16, 2008 - 01:37 am:

Ah, Calif. plates, so where do you hail from?
T'
David D.
Oroville, CA


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Omar on Tuesday, December 16, 2008 - 01:37 am:

I was told the rear lamp runs on “oil”. What kind of oil? Can I drive this thing at night? What can anyone tell me about the horseless carriage plates?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Omar on Tuesday, December 16, 2008 - 01:38 am:

Omar C.
Glendora, ca


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By elmo on Tuesday, December 16, 2008 - 01:55 am:

Omar, I'd have to say it's a fine looking example of a model t ford open touring car. the color is not authentic, it would have been all black for that era, but if you like it, enjoy my friend for that is what it's all about.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Omar on Tuesday, December 16, 2008 - 02:02 am:

Thank You, Elmo I'm going to repaint it black, I would like to make it as authentic as possible :-)


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Elmo on Tuesday, December 16, 2008 - 02:11 am:

Back in the day, they would have used kerosene in the lamps. If you cant find kerosene you can use lamp oil from any hardware store etc. Basically kerosene with a little perfume in it.
Elmo


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Keith Townsend, Gresham, Orygun on Tuesday, December 16, 2008 - 02:18 am:

Bargain of a deal, Omar!
The tail lamp uses kerosene, the original "tail light fluid"
Have fun!

-Keith


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By elmo on Tuesday, December 16, 2008 - 02:27 am:

The horn is not correct, it looks like an aoogha horn from the model A era. T horn would have been mounted on the driver side, smaller, lots of T guys like them for parades. So they can show off. Spectators don't know the difference.
Elmo


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Tom Lovejoy on Tuesday, December 16, 2008 - 02:35 am:

I tried to get my friend to bid on that car, congrats hope you love it and have a bunch of fun.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Hap Tucker on Tuesday, December 16, 2008 - 07:51 am:

Omar,

Congratulations on your new Ford! It looks like you have a solid car that will need minimum inspection to determine any safety or maintenance needs and then could be driven and enjoyed as it is. I would actually encourage you to have someone help you do that inspection while they show you some basics about the car. I.e. how to check the oil – is there enough, has it been changed in the last year, is the rear axle really lose or has it been rebuilt, (recommend ask the owner if he knows if it was rebuilt or not and if so if it has the original babbit style thrust washers or the much safer brass rear axle thrust washers), etc.

I encourage you to join one of the local Model T clubs close to you. It will provide a great support and you will have a lot more fun learning about the car and meeting new people.

If you are interested in bringing the car back to as original as practical (none of them that I know of have the original gas that came with the car) I would recommend obtaining a copy of Bruce McCalley’s book “Model T Ford.” Last month it was still listed on our clubs web site, but today when I looked I did not see it. I would recommend send the club a note and see if any copies are still available (contact information is at the bottom of the page at: http://modeltstore.myshopify.com/pages/about-us ). They may have finally sold out of their copies but Bruce also offers similar material electronically but without as many pictures at: http://mtfca.com/encyclo/mccalley.htm -- His Comprehensive Encyclopedia CD is a wealth of information. With most of the pictures removed, part of it is also available for use for free on line at: http://mtfca.com/encyclo/intro.htm --the Encyclopedia and http://mtfca.com/books/bookmenu.htm booklets and manuals -- see the 1921 Instruction Manual there for information very similar to your T. You may be surprised and find that most of the parts on your car are correct for the year / time frame it was manufactured. But most Model Ts have had parts replaced over the years and many parts are the same for many years. Others changed several times during a single year. And Ford intentionally built parts so they would work with the older cars. For example the front wheel bearings from a 1927 Ford will actually work in a 1909 Ford. And unless someone removes the hub cap to look – they will never know it has a later front wheel bearing than it came with. Other parts such as your steering wheel are more easily identified as one year or another. In the case of the steering wheel it appears to be the pressed steel type introduced around Jun 1920 (ref Bruce’s encyclopedia http://mtfca.com/encyclo/S-T.htm#stw ). If you research the car and determine it was produced in Aug 1918 – the beginning of the 1919 Model year – then you may want to replace that someday. But if you find the car was produced in Jun 1920 then unless it is the larger wheel used in 1926-27 – it is the perfect wheel for your car. Note the dates on titles are often off a little. The Model Ts look very similar and were usually titled based on the engine number. And sometimes when an engine was swapped out – the year of the car title sometimes was changed also. A very very brief look at your pictures indicate to me that the body is probably 1915-1920 (based on the arm rests – I cannot see if the rear quarter panel is the 1915-20 or the 1921-1925 but the arm rest size is likely 1915-1920. And it is missing the very inexpensive arm rest caps (or it is a 1915-1916 body). The rear axle looks like it has the offset oil filler which fits fine for 1919 to 1925 (see: http://mtfca.com/encyclo/P-R.htm#rax2 } Notice that the car has both the switch on the coil box and the switch on the wooden dash. It probably initially was a non-starter car that had a starter added to it or when the coil box had problems the owner replaced it with a non-starter car coil box and also added the windshield brackets for the oil lamps as the starter cars did not originally come with the oil side lamps or tail lamp. Note that it also appears to have a metal firewall which was introduced in 1923 but was sold as a replacement part for the earlier wood firewalls (ref: http://mtfca.com/encyclo/C-D.htm#dash ) It also has the 1920 and earlier two piece front motor mount and spring clamp rather than the later typical 1921 and on one piece. A lot of folks have fun sorting all the pieces out so they are mostly one year range while others say – hey it drives the same why worry about it. And your engine serial number may influence the way you may want to go with your car. I would encourage you to get it driving safely – enjoy it for a couple of years and then decide what year range you want the parts to all be. Painting the car can be down with out a lot of down time – the upholstery etc. can be taped off. Taking the car apart before you know what you really want to do with it can sometimes result in a stalled project that sits, and is finally sold in frustration. I’ve never known anyone to sell their T because they were having too much fun driving it.

Again – you have a great looking T. It is in so much better shape than so many others have started with. I'm sure you will have a great time with it. And if you want to go over the details of the car – let folks know – but we don’t want you to feel like we are picking your car apart. It is in much better shape than my1915 (which has 1923 – 25 front fenders, 1917-1920s rear fenders, 1916 block with 1915 serial number, 1917-1922 windshield hinges, is missing the rear seat section, has later front wheels etc. But hey – it is the first car I ever drove.)

Respectfully submitted,

Hap Tucker 1915 Model T Ford touring cut off and made into a pickup truck and 1907 Model S Runabout. Sumter SC.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Royce Peterson on Tuesday, December 16, 2008 - 08:30 am:

Looks nice Omar! I watched that auction, you got a good deal it seems.

It is a good idea to equip your T with at least a brake light and electric tail light. Modern traffic does not understand that cars once came without these things.

Also, try to find a T club near you and join them as often as possible for tours and club meetings. It will provide you with a database of information superior to anything we can tell you here.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jerry VanOoteghem on Tuesday, December 16, 2008 - 09:57 am:

Thanks for the typo Omar, that's the best laugh I've had on this forum in weeks.

By the way, welcome to the hobby, you made a great choice!


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By John Joyce on Tuesday, December 16, 2008 - 12:31 pm:

Omar, you can electify that tail lamp including a stop light, so if you like the looks of it [ I do] you can juice it for less than the cost of a new one. Have fun! John


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Norman T. Kling on Tuesday, December 16, 2008 - 12:33 pm:

Looks good Omar. I have the same type of horn on 2 of my 3 T's. That is an after market OOGA horn made to look and sound like a Model A horn. It actually gets more heads turning than the original T horn. The important thing is that the horn works so you can warn those who are about to pull out or step out in front of you. Most younger people (under 60) don't know that the T takes a bit longer to stop than the modern car.
The most likely reason the horn was mounted there is because of the water pump which interferes with the placement of the original bracket.
That water pump is one area of potential trouble. Be sure to keep it greased with water pump grease. You might have to buy it from a supplier that has parts for the Model A. The Model A came with a pump that needed to be greased. The pump on a Model T is after market, and only needed if you can't keep it cool without one. They tend to leak or be so tight that the belt slips. If you take good care of it, it will serve you well but if it will run cool enough without it, better to remove it.

You can get a conversion kit to convert the tail light to electric if the Kerosene lamp is too much trouble. You need to keep an eye on it to be sure it doesn't go out. In a rural area like Oroville, you have country roads and other drivers tend to go much faster than a Model T so you need all the tail light you can get so they can see you. If you paint the car black, it will be even harder to see at night.
Have fun with your new car.
Norm


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Omar on Tuesday, December 16, 2008 - 05:27 pm:

Thank for all the info, WOW... I've got alot to take in...


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Omar on Tuesday, December 16, 2008 - 05:40 pm:

Hey guys, seller tell me the VIN is 3065703 and is the same as the engine no. Where is the frame NO.?? I know the motor no. is by the water inlet.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By jack daron-Indy. on Tuesday, December 16, 2008 - 05:59 pm:

Frames weren't numbered until 26. Nice looking car.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Noel Denis Chicoine, MD on Tuesday, December 16, 2008 - 06:43 pm:

Omar, nice looking car!! I might also suggest, after joining a local clulb if there is one around, to consider turn signals. I know they were not original equipment, but modern drivers don't know what a hand signal is. Logo-lites makes a set for model A's that fits well on a T. I put the front ones on the outer front crossbar bolts under the lights. The rear ones currently reside taped to the axles, but will be moving to hang off the top saddle support arms. They are inconspicuous until they light up. Have fun!!!
Noel


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mike Walker, NW AR. on Tuesday, December 16, 2008 - 07:27 pm:

Omar -- The presence of a water pump on a well-used Model T often means that the radiator wasn't cooling the engine without a pump. The best solution to that situation is to remove the water pump and replace the radiator with a new one. Then you won't have any cooling problems, which can be a detriment to enjoying your car.

One thing you should do before driving the car much is to check the rear end condition. Have a local T'er show you how to check for worn thrust washers. It can be checked without taking the rear end apart. If the thrust washers are bad, you can be without brakes in an instant. This winter would be a good time to rebuild the rear end if it hasn't been done lately.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Omar on Monday, December 29, 2008 - 02:19 am:

I got the car running. It took some time, $ and effort. She drive really smooth, I've got a question on brakes. It seems as the car gets hot and I've been driving for a while the brakes seem to go away. She still stops, but not the same. Also as I brake I hear a hum. Is it ok to shift from high back to low to help her stop?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Royce Peterson on Monday, December 29, 2008 - 08:00 am:

Omar,

You should not use a forced downshift except in a panic stop, this is very hard on the low band and also the planetary system.

Model T brakes are weak and ineffective compared to modern car brakes, even when working properly. Proper driving technique with stock Model T braking is to drive as though there are no brakes. Start to slow down for an intersection from perhaps 50 -100 yards away so that only minimum braking needs to be used.

All that being said you should remove the transmission cover and inspect the brake band. You can see the ends of the band lining material. It is possible the brake band is worn out and needs to be replaced. By your description this is very likely.

The humming noise when braking is probably the rear axle ring gear pushing the differential against the housing thrust surface. This is somewhat normal, but also could indicate a disintigrating babbitt thrust washer. It always pays to inspect the rear end on a new T purchase, because the failure of a thrust washer means no brakes. Have you checked the differential grease?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mike Walker, NW AR. on Monday, December 29, 2008 - 11:11 am:

Omar -- In addition to what Royce said, when using the brake you should not hold the pedal down for very long at a time. Let up on the pedal every few seconds so oil can lubricate (and cool) the drum and band.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Val Soupios on Monday, December 29, 2008 - 06:29 pm:

You can use reverse to assist in braking, especially when going down a long steep hill. Pump reverse and the brake alternately like you were pumping a player piano. That allows oil to soak the bands but prevents speeding up when the brake is released because the reverse band is doing the braking at that point. Just remember to use the brake pedal only at the end if you are stopping completely. Best thing to do is to install Rocky Mtn. brakes when you get the chance if you plan to do a fair amount of driving. They stop well in dry weather and save a lot of stress on the rest of the drive train. They also provide braking if the rear end lets go


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Kenneth W DeLong on Monday, December 29, 2008 - 06:52 pm:

Omar,I may or may not be the only person thinking this,but please avoid using reverse for braking except as a last resort!! Bud.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jay - In Northern Ca. on Monday, December 29, 2008 - 07:17 pm:

Howdy Omar, congrats on your new ride! Here's a great link on taking your T out of mothballs written by Milt Web and posted on the Towe Ford Museum web site. http://www.toweautomuseum.org/html/3.html
Follow Milts advice and you will have many miles of trouble free Touring.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mack Jeffrey Cole on Monday, December 29, 2008 - 11:09 pm:

Nice car.I wouldnt worry about color and "correctness" at the moment.Check out the rear axle for the thrust washers,check and maby reline those bands and enjoy your car.Fix a few things as you go along.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Larry Smith on Tuesday, December 30, 2008 - 12:44 pm:

It appears your car was originally a non-starter car, which is common for your year. You may wish to upgrade it in the future with a steel dash, and a coilbox with no switch on it, and a few other things, but it is also fine just the way it is. As far as clubs go, I belong to the Southern California Model T Club (Hacienda Heights). There is also the Orange County Model T club, and the HCCA, LA chapter.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Omar on Tuesday, December 30, 2008 - 03:46 pm:

Hey, Larry I've looked around for a local club. Hacienda Heights is not far. I'm in Glendora, my brother has a 26 coupe, he lives in Chino Hills. I will contact the club. This Sunday we went to a Holiday tour sponsored by the Horseless Carriage Club of Southern California. We had a great time
Omar


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By John Leming on Wednesday, December 31, 2008 - 10:54 am:

Omar,
I was new to the hobby 2 years ago - just about have my coupe completed - you will find these guys fantastic to work with and very very helpful when all seems lost and you think you will never get something fixed! Welcome to the hobby - they are sooooooooooo - fun to drive!


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