Hi Everyone, First, I would like to thank all of you who have been answering my questions on the first two threads, It's so nice to see such an active group that is so helpful. It certainly makes this new experience a lot more enjoyable. This T is a blast but very different from the cars I normally collect so I have a lot to learn and thanks to all you experts, that will make it much easier
I took my second ride today and have a few questions. Some of these things may be normal and things I need to get used to so here goes...When I shift to 2nd gear it feels like I'm going from 1st gear to 4th gear on a traditional car. Normal? Feels like it needs a middle gear or I need to hold out a bit more in 1st gear before shifting. Even after engaging 2nd gear it feels like I'm just chugging along at 1000 RPM or so.
Next, I'm getting used to starting the T cold, spits and sputters a bit but does idle nice when warm. After today's ride I followed a rod up under the dash and found what appears to be a "homemade" air mixture rod? I included a picture showing where it attaches to the carburetor. Has anyone ever seen one? Maybe I should adjust while driving to maximize performance. Thoughts? Thanks again (for now) Dave
Both normal. Yes, it's a big jump from low to high gear, but you'll get used to it. Some owners install a Ruckstell two-speed rear axle or an auxiliary transmission to provide a gear between low and high.
That mixture rod is a factory feature. Every car's behavior is different, but I find that my car starts better when it's cold if I turn the mixture rod 1/4 turn rich (counter-clockwise). Once the car starts, I then turn the mixture clockwise to its original setting in a couple of steps as it warms up.
After you have driven the car several times, pull the spark plugs when the engine is cold and give them a look. If they are dry and black, it means you are probably running too rich and should experiment with adjusting the mixture to a leaner setting (turn the mixture clockwise).
Once you get comfortable and familiar with how your car runs, experiment with the mixture to find the spot where the car runs best. Do a Google search for earlier threads on adjusting the mixture like so:
"mixture adjustment mtfca"
Forgot on thing, My car has a tail light, not sure if that was a factory option or it was added. Can I add a brake light, is there a kit available? Just thinking of safety and wondering if anyone has adapted their existing light to add a brake light. Thanks again, Dave
Is your single tail light electric, or kerosene?
Many folks add tail lights and turn signals and many don't because they don't like the looks.
My 1924 cut-off touring (now a pickup) came to me with front and rear turn signals and brake lights, and I have chosen to leave them on there.
Do a Google search on "pickup turn signals mtfca" or "pickup tail lights mtfca" for many earlier threads on the subject.
Normal carb adjustment is usually around two turns out from fully closed when starting cold. If you lose track of turns, you can close it all the way then open it two turns. Once started, you close it down until the engine starts to bog down, then turn it open until the engine starts to bog down again, and set it halfway between those points. Every car is different. Some can use a little more adjustment while they're cruising. Others are just set it and forget it.
If you do happen to close the adjustment all the way, be careful not to turn it tight enough to damage the spray needle.
(Message edited by steve_jelf_parkerfield_ks on April 13, 2016)
Mark, The tail light is electric and goes on with the headlights. The kerosene light is there for looks only.
Dave, I think some would agree that the Model T would have been a bit more agile if it had been made with three forward gears and the following Model A four forward gears!
The vendors sell turn signal kits, this is only one example. There is also a 12 volt version if your car has been converted to 12 volts.
Here are pictures of my turn signals and tail lights. The fronts look like the ones in the kit above, but the rears are different. My car came to me this way, so I don't know where the prior owner got the combination tail/brake lights from. When I got the car the tail lights were tucked up out of sight below the bed, so I made a couple of brackets to drop the lights 6 inches so that they were more visible from behind. I got the reflectors on the tailgate from the local Car Quest store.
After eighty or a hundred years, each Model T has developed its own personality and no two are going to drive exactly alike. _And yes, there's one heck of a big whomping jump from low-gear to high-gear. _The temptation, for beginners, is to really let 'er rev up to a scream before up-shifting, but that technique is rough on the engine (its crankshaft being of the un-counterweighted type). _After you've been driving your Flivver a while, she'll start to talk to you and you'll have a much better feel for where her most comfortable shift-point is. _
In a modern context, the car really needs an intermediate gear (especially for hills), but in days of yore, America's light motor traffic and truly lousy roads, with their resulting low cruising speeds, apparently didn't create enough customer demand for it—that and putting three gears into a planetary transmission might have been an engineering challenge of price-increasing proportions, something at which H.F. would have looked askance with extreme prejudice.
How to shift is another popular subject of debate (and if you really want to witness spirited debate, do a forum search on the subject of left-handed cranking). _Some guys like to just take their foot off the low pedal and let the car whack itself into high-gear with a resounding "clack!" _My preference is to cut the throttle while lifting my left foot to the neutral position, pause a couple of beats to give the engine a chance to wind down, and then gently feather in high-gear. _Then I accelerate as slowly and gently as traffic permits, otherwise there will be at least some shudder and low-frequency rumbling. _Generally speaking, where the Model T Ford is concerned, striving for smoothness and gentleness is an endeavor worth undertaking. _I just don't believe in man-handling ancient vehicles.
Just for giggles, I now refer you to a recollection of my first pitiful—and yet laughable—attempt at driving a Model T. _Click on this:
Great story Bob!
Found another issue today that begs a question...There is a pipe that runs from the exhaust manifold to the carb inlet (looks like a preheat tube of some sort) There is nothing attaching it to the carburetor? See photo above, it's just kind of floating there...Is there a clamp missing or a way I can it attach it?
The hot air pipe for a 1923 should have a riveted-on arm that fits under the rear-most manifold clamp nut, like so:
Mark, That end of mine is fine, it's where it attaches to the carb that has no clamp or connection. Does it just float? Thanks
The hot air pipe should be attached to the stud that the rear manifold clamp is attached to. There is no other clamp or device holding it on the carburetor.
Dave, yes, the carb end of the pipe just slips into the short socket of the carb inlet. It doesn't have to be a tight fit.
And referring to a recent thread, Ford recommended to take it off in the summer. In most climates it's rarely needed, it actually robs some of the few horsepowers you need so bad when just getting into high. When it's so humid that the intake starts to freeze up bad and if the car then stumbles, then you may put it on again.