How did they start them in weather like this ? -19 in Brimfield, Mass. at 7pm this morning
Jerry: Grand-pa said they didn't use anti-freeze in the day so at night they would drain the water from the radiator then in the morning add boiling water to the radiator let it sir for a while then crank it
7am brain freeze ?
Over the years i have had several people who used the model T back then tell me they thined the oil with kerosene.Look at the old winter pictures,do you see alot of model T's with a rear wheel jacked up?? The Model T then was nothing more than a cheap car/truck,and people made it work for them instead of them working for the Model T.Bud in Wheeler,Mi.
The coldest temp in which I have cranked my '14 was ten above zero. I was mad at myself as I had not changed the summer weight oil (10W-30) to winter weight (5W-30). I did chock a front wheel and did NOT jack up a rear wheel. The poor frozen little dear did not spring readily to life but after a while it did start. I feared a Pyrrhic victory (Google it); car idling happily and I on the floor as I clutch my chest while my heart explodes.
After she warmed up and I composed myself, I drove from my home in Keene to east of Meredith, to a Model T Snowmobile meet. The day warmed to near 30 degrees and it was a pleasant trip of about 185 miles.
I am the short fellow just behind the driver's seat.
G.R. I have read about boiling water use in cold weather. Hard for me to understand the wisdom of pouring something so hot into something so cold. I suspect it would make some interesting noises.
When I was much younger I asked my grandmother about starting the Model T in the cold weather in Eagle Bend, Minnesota. I asked her if they did anything with boiling water, she said no, that they used Prestone. I asked about whether the car was easier to start on battery - she said "We never had a battery in the Model T. We had to crank the car on MAG".
My grandparents were very poor in the 1920's - 1930's. They rented a piece of land outside Eagle Bend where they could grow food. The house had no electricity, and no bathroom, and no running water. There was no barn, and no garage.
They had bought a 1915 touring new, and continued using it until it became part of a home made tractor in the early 1930's.
This is the tractor with my Dad on it in front of the house about 1934.
Grandpa said he always threw a couple old heavy coats over the engine. Then he drained the water out and sat it on the floor by the wood stove. Then in the morning he would take the ashes and some coals from the wood stove out to the car and set it under the engine. After he did chores and ate breakfast, and when he was ready to leave, he would carry the water back to the car and pour it in. It was just a hot room temperature. between the coats, ashes, and water he said it would always start pretty easy.
Royce...great story about your grandparents. They, like many others back then including your dad, were certainly the backbone of America. Hard working, never say never, get 'er done folks. Too bad society's not anything like that anymore. Too many button pushers now, I realize it's not all that bad, just the way things have evolved. And you can bet many a "little ol' lady" got out there at 5 a.m. in zero weather cranking those cars too! Imagine that happening today!! Heck, look how many folks are too lazy to even properly clean snow/ice off their windshields before driving off! We have become so soft it's pitiful. And I laugh my butt off when the occasional O.T. post comes up about surviving an EMP!!! Never happen! Time to shut up and go out and get another load of firewood brought in.
Back in the mid '50s I used a Model T all one winter, temps down to -30ºF, even -40ºF in January wasn't unusual where I lived back then. No hot water, starter didn't work, wouldn't run on mag. #10 oil, jack up one back wheel and it would go, stiff cranking but it would start, then fill it w/water.
Put a magnetic block heater on the pan the night before.
My father lived in a city as a teenager and said he had a standing job to start his elderly neighbors Model T twice a week for ten cents a start. In the winter his clientele mushroomed as the temperature dropped!
Cool stories. People were a little tougher in those days. I expect they would think we all live like kings compared to the tough times back during the depression era. Tim
Royce - That "Prestone" your Grandmother talked about would have been alcohol in those days, right?
Royce - That "Prestone" your grandmother talked about would have been alcohol in those days, right?
I've just got to learn that when I go back to check to see if something I've posted is actually there, it is possible to check too soon, before it actually appears,.....sorry,.......harold
Prestone went on sale to the general public in the late 1920's. It was used in aircraft during WWI.
No doubt they would have used an alcohol based anti freeze before that. I just remember thinking it was funny that my grandmother would say Prestone. I was expecting her to talk about boiling water.
Thanks Royce,.....I guess it's just that I remember both my Dad and I trying to convince my grandfather that he was wasting his time, draining the alcohol anti-freeze out of his '51 Cadillac in the Spring, with the intention of saving it for re-use the following Fall. Talk about "Mr. Thrifty", huh? The problem was that the stuff was a pale blue color when he drained it out, and it was STILL a pale blue color in the Fall when he wanted to re-use it. No way could we convince him that it was just blue water as all of the alcohol had evaporated out of it during the long hot Summer.
Side note: You railroaders out there will get a kick out of this one,.....my Dad was a switchman/conductor on the railroad, and his father-in-law (my grandfather) was an engineer. Of course, Dad found it a perfect use of the often heard insult on the railroad,.......you can always tell a "hoghead", butcha' can't tell 'em much!"
Had to move 2 of my T's to get one into my trailer to take to the FL Winter tour. 10-W30 and 25 degrees. Cars have not run since November. 4 quarter pulls with full choke, opened the mixture 1/2 turn and both started and ran continuously when I turned on the ignition and gave another pull. It can be done!
I remember my great uncle Hank who grew up on a farm in Virginia in the twenties. When we had model T's at family gatherings he was beyond uninterested. Wanted nothing whatsoever to do with them. Dad asked him what was up. He said "I have had all the time I want with model T's. When I was a kid on the farm, my brother and I alternated sharing two chores. One would milk eight cows, and the other would get the T started. The milker was always done first."
It is 53 here in Denver on 2/15/2016 at 8:47 pm. I bet I could start my 14 on Mag tonight! It has 10 W 30 in it.
Back in the 50's I had a neighbor with a Chev 4 dr
about a 1930,in real cold weather I would see him in the morning on the ground tending a small fire under the engine,I guess it did not leak any gas.