Well, finally took the old girl out with her new plates around the block with my boys and their friends... and had a blast trying to figure out how to drive my T.
One thing is for sure... I am going to need more time behind the wheel!
Quick question: Going from low to high then back down to a stop.
As you move the hand brake all the way forward and you let go of the clutch do you get off gas all the way, part of the way or just leave as is when going up to second?
Next when coming back down to a stop I get off the gas, then go to neutral (hand brake still all the way forward) I touch the breaks to a stop... once in a while I would use the low gear but this just confused me a bit.
Lastly, the hand brake: when on the go, do you leave it all the way forward and just 'feel' neutral when accelerating and decelerating?
Tomorrow is Sunday and streets are quieter, so doing some more driving.
Here is a picture of the gang hanging in the T... the one with his feet up is my mechanically inclined 8 year old. The driver is my middle child desperate to show off the T to everyone, and riding shotgun is my eldest in his favorite seat... being driven around!
And the dog just wants out!
The T world has just gained a few more enthusiast
Well for me when I start off hold the car in neutral with my foot move hand brake leaver forward ready go push in to low band after its going raise foot into high enjoy until I need stop find neutral with my foot and press brake I hardly use the hand brake lever while driving forward
Robert: See if there is a club near you and maybe someone can give some drive instructions. It is hard to try and tell you here.
Just becareful on starting and stopping. In starting be sure the spark lever is all the way up.
On my 19 I have to hand crank it. Once started I "jump in " and with left foot on pedal I have it half way down and then press the pedal to the low pedal position and when I gain some speed I let up the left pedal. He is a thought- when you have the left pedal down and you speed up and are ready to go to high pedal retard the gas the gas throttle and when In high pedal speed up. It is something that you have to learn. This it why I said try and find a guy that has doe that and show you . Good luck and enjoy the ride and the fun you will have owning the Model T
Oh look at my profile and see my pride and fun vehicle
As a new driver I would have the hand brake in neutral when ready to take off. Then apply the low band and as you feel it start to grab give it a little gas so as not to stall the engine but do not rev it up. as you are starting off remember to get into low as quickly as possible and not slip the bands or stall the car. Also keep a firm pressure on the low pedal at all times, do not let the bands slip (even if your leg feels like it will fall off from holding it so long ) Then as you are driving along and ready to go into high, I just throw the handbrake forward while still in low, and pretty much just "dump the clutch pedal" to allow it to go into high. This will engage high with as little slipping of the clutches as possible. If you do not feel comfortable with the "dump it" technique then just let it out quickly. Now for the time being, when you are coming to a stop sign or other place you need to stop or go slow, I would pull the hand brake back to neutral each time. Then you can coast to a stop or go from neutral to low or low to neutral easily. When driving along in high and you need to go to low for someplace like a hill, leave the handbrake where it is (all the way forward) and just push thru neutral to low gear. Remember that when going from high gear to low the engine will want to rev up to a high RPM. So you need to push the throttle up as you go from high to low all in one smooth timed movement. Then when you are ready to go back to high, all you need to do is just let out the low pedal. As to the spark rod, a very good general thought to have is it is basically based on engine RPM. The faster the engine RPM the more spark advance you need and the slower the RPM the less spark advance you need. It sounds complicated, but it will become second nature as you get more practice. This is just how I do it. Others have their own little tricks and you probably will develop your own as you go. But for now, I would not try to use the hold it in neutral by foot technique just yet. Have fun and be safe .... Donnie Brown ...
Close the throttle when going from low to high and pick up on the throttle slowly when the clutch pedal is all the way up in high. I have a bad left knee so I tend to use the brake lever to get into neutral when stopping and while sitting at a light rather than holding the clutch pedal down part way. When the light is about to change to green I put my foot on the pedal and hold it in neutral and then release the brake lever forward as I step down on the pedal to start off in low. Also, it is best to use the brake lever to hold the car in neutral when you are backing up. There isn't a lot of room for one foot on the clutch and the other on the reverse pedal. The only time I shift from high to low is when climbing a steep hill and then I usually need to open the throttle a bit more to maintain speed. If you have to do that to go up the hill chances are that you will need to use low gear to go down the other side as well but you shouldn't make it a practice of using low gear to slow down for a light. Best practice is to close the throttle and let the compression slow you down going into neutral when you apply the brake to stop at a light but if you are using low to keep your speed down when descending a hill be sure to keep the pedal all the way down to lock the drum or you will quickly burn up the band or crack the drum.
I agree with Donnie on starting off with the handbrake in the neutral position until you get used to it, and then experiment from there the more comfortable you feel with some time behind the wheel. This is especially helpful when pulling up to an immovable object, such as to the front of a building, or into a garage. One of the first times i ever drove my T, i went to the gas station to fill it up, as i pulled up to the pump i let up too far on the clutch, went into high gear, and drove right past the pump. Of course i acted like i didn't quite like that pump, and circled around to find another one. Congrats on your purchase and best of luck with it.
When you want to take off forward sit your left foot on the clutch pedal. Don't press on it just hold it where it is. Now move the brake lever all the way forward. Give the engine a little gas and push the pedal down. As the car starts to move give a little more gas and firmly push the pedal down. Practice taking off so that you can take off smoothly without slipping the band. While firmly holding the pedal down accelerate until the car is going about ten miles an hour then release the pedal and at the same time close the throttle a few notches then slowly pull the throttle open until you reach your desired speed. After a few attempts you'll learn to shift smoothly into high. To stop close the throttle completely, press the pedal half way down and apply the brake. Slow the car down as much as possible with the throttle before using the brake. Remember if you're in low and you want to stop you have to release the pedal half way into neutral. If you're in high and want to stop you have to press the pedal down half way into neutral. If you can't find neutral with your foot don't panic just pull the lever back half way and take your foot off the clutch pedal and you're in neutral. If your driving in an area where you don't want to be able to accidentally shift into high keep the lever in the neutral position. Also, when reversing the lever should be in neutral. Be very careful to fully retard the spark before you attempt to start the engine and to completely close the throttle before releasing the reverse pedal or putting the forward gears into neutral or you'll race the engine. Also, if you're climbing a hill and you find it necessary to shift into low don't just shove the pedal down into low. Instead close the throttle and push the pedal into neutral. Allow the car to slow down until it's going a little less than 10 miles an hour then give the engine a little gas and press the pedal down firmly into low and give it a little more gas. T's are very weird to drive but, once you drive around a little bit you'll get used to it.
A Motion Picture is worth a Thousand Words...
(Message edited by Rod on February 28, 2016)
Let's try this again:
How to Start a T
How to Drive a T
I like Rod's videos, but I think that the driver in those videos is using way too much throttle when starting off from a stop. the Model T has quite a large flywheel, you don't need to rev the engine at all when starting from a stop except when you are on a steep incline.
Listen and watch:
Yes... Mitch's videos have helped... Especially to hand crank with my left hand, since she kicked back on me yesterday. It was funny in a way cause I caught myself with my right hand switched out to left moved my thumb out of the way pulled and it kicked back right out of my hand... no injuries!
Thanks Mitch, you saved me a trip to the doctors!
Okay, off to another run in the neighborhood!
I just need to remember two things: Turn the key to mag and adjust the spark when moving (had it all the way down yesterday).
Have a great Sunday everyone!
Royce, what is that button on your (fat man?) steering wheel spoke?
Steve that brass button allows the steering wheel center to slide upward out of the way when the car is parked. The black button in the steering wheel center is an APCO horn button for the Klaxon mounted under the floor boards.
Robert, try to get into the habit of retarding the spark before you shut the engine off that way it will always be retarded when you go to start. That said, looking to make sure it has not been tampered with would also be a good idea especially after you've had a car load of kids playing around in it. Having an errant crank kick back chipping a bone in my wrist when I was 14 years old, I still automatically look up at the steering quadrant from the front of the car 56 years later before I touch the crank. A painful lesson well learned!
So yesterday I asked about shifting from low to high and back... why? Because the way I was doing it just didn't feel or sound right.
Low speed was just so low and high pedal seemed to 'high' for lack of a better word.
Then as I jumped in the T this morning (she is electric but I just love hand cranking!) I looked down at the nice lever in the center... my Ruckstell...
"I wonder..." I said as I sat behind the wheel adjusted the spark and pressed the reverse. Once in proper alignment with my front gate I moved forward enough so I could move the ruckstell lever.
It clunked into place, I gave it some gas, pressed the clutch and off I went at a much greater speed than the day before!
As you have deducted, I was in Ruckstell yesterday!
Honestly in the back of my head I kept wondering why Henry would have made low pedal 'so' low... I guess I now have my answer.
As for going from low pedal to high... its a non event now. Today I got used to driving with the hand break on neutral and on the longer roads I shifted up. Coming up to the stop sign I move gas up, and handbrake to neutral and costed to a stop.
Really getting the hang of it! Lots of fun!
Here is a nice shot my wife took after a short run around the neighborhood...
Everyone has a different way of driving their T. Some use the parking lever for neutral and low. Then they push it forward for high. This might be a good way to do it for a beginner driver, but after you get used to it, you can find neutral with the foot pedal. If you are waiting for a long signal and you get tired of holding both feet on the pedals, you can apply the parking brake and then when the light changes push it into neutral and use the low pedal.
If it feels like you are lugging the engine when you go into high, you might try winding it up a little more in low before you shift.
When I am going to back up, I find it easier to use the left foot on the reverse and the right foot on the brake than to hold the left foot in neutral while I alternate the right foot between reverse and brake, so when I back out of the garage, I leave the parking lever in neutral and use the left foot for reverse with the right foot over the brake so that I can stop fast if necessary. Then when I get ready to go forward on the road, I put the left foot on the low pedal and move the parking lever forward.
As you get accustomed to driving the T you will learn to shift to high faster when going down a slight hill and use low a bit longer when on level and wind it up a bit more for uphill. Sometimes you will need to leave it in low or shift to Ruckstell or other auxiliary transmission for hill climbing. That takes a bit more practice when starting out than when you are already moving.
Have fun. It comes easy after a while you don't even have to think about it. In fact it is much easier than driving a Model A with the un-syncronized sliding gear transmission.
Great B & W of the kids in the car ..
You have photographic as well as literary skills ..
Started on your book ...
Enjoy the ride... things get really nerve racking after chapter 13