My name is Skyler Kimball, live in Waterford, Maine. I am 16 years old. After years of dreaming, working, and saving I am finally the proud owner of a 1916 Model T. Unfortunately, my T needs many parts. My goal is to get it running again. There is so much to learn. I was wondering if anyone had any old tires, coil boxes, front seat springs, written info and advice. Thank you!
You will find a wealth of knowledge right here on this Forum. You can search with the Keyword, but I have found that a google search like MTFCA:subject works better. There are plenty of vendors that can supply parts used and new, Bob's Lang's Synders Chaffins. They are all good. Welcome to the hobby.
I might add, look around for a Model T Club in your area. It is probably the best thing you can do is to join it. They most likely have the expertise and sources around your area. Mike
You can ask any questions you want on this forum and be assured that there lots people with great amount of knowledge and experience to give you advice. Welcome to the model T world. Tim
Welcome, Skyler. Or, as we say around here, welcome to the affliction. I'll start you off with this. Some of the other pages on my site also have stuff you might find useful.
I expect before long the very well-informed and organized Hap Tucker will be along and give you lots of info you'll want to save.
By the way, post some pictures when you can. We love pictures.
Skylar, what body style Model T do you have? Can you post photos?
Wow, 16 years young and already a Model T owner, and coincidentally, a '16! Good for you! Nothing like living your dreams, the earlier the better. Have fun, which you will. Save money for another one, which you will have!
Good Luck Skyler, have fun with your new ride. Post a picture, we'd love to see.
Thank you so much for all of your great advice.
This is a photo when I brought it home earlier this year. I will post some more recent photos tomorrow.
When did t's go to the painted black radiator, but retain the brass headlight rings ?
I thought it was 1916, no ???
1916 kept brass rad but went to painted headlight rims. 17 was all black on out. Skylar, amazing find! Make it safe and reliable and enjoy! If you give that great survivor love, and some money it will repay you with a lifetime of enjoyment!
Skyler. In 1963, when I was 9, my interest in the Model T began when I received my July issue of Popular Science. It had 2 articles on the Model T. One about its history and one on how to drive one. From that time on, my dream was to, one day, own a Model T and I kept that issue and read it often until it was dogeared. Fast forward to 1970. I was looking at the classified ads in the Tampa Tribune when I saw it. 1926 Model T Coupe for sale. When my Dad got home from work we drove right over. When we got there, it was getting dark so I crawled around exploring her with a flashlight in the old man's garage. The smell was intoxicating and I loved it. Musty and moldy mixed with old oil, gas, dirt and age. It was in bad shape. The paint had long since been replaced by a thick crusty layer of rust, the tires were flat and cracked and there was no glass or top or upholstery. There were bullet holes in both sides and all the fenders were bent and dented, but, it was complete and love at first sight. When I was done with my inspection, I asked the old man how much he wanted. He said $650.00. I had brought my life savings of $600.00 cash and said that is all I had. He accepted it and signed the title over to me and I was finally the proud owner of a 1926 Model T Coupe. The next morning was a Saturday and we drove back over with a trailer we borrowed from a friend. When we got there, there must have been a dozen people there, but I had already bought it. For the next 2 years, that car kept me busy, broke and out of trouble. Since there was no Forum back then, the first thing I did was save up and buy the "Model T Ford Service Manual", the "Model T Restoration Handbook" and The Model T Ford Service Bulletin Essentials". These three publications were essential in teaching me what I needed to know to work on my T. I had a job bagging groceries after school for $1.65/hr. and I would work on the T doing what I could with what I had and would determine what I needed in parts and save up my money until I could afford the parts. I worked on that car in my spare time after school and late into the night. I finally finished it 2 years later in October, 1972, when I was 18. It was a very valuable experience that taught me many things such as perseverance and seeing a goal all the way through to the end. I also learned about mechanics, bodywork, painting, upholstery, rust removal, etc. The most important thing you need to do is get a job so you can buy the parts you need. Here is a picture of my Model T I restored and still have as well as the three books I mentioned and recommend you should invest in, in order to learn all you can about your Model T so you don't go in blind and make expensive mistakes. Here is also a thread from 2009, containing the two Popular Science articles that started it all for me. www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/80257/102160.html
Welcome to the hobby and Good luck. Jim Patrick
I have appreciated all the advice you have given me. I sure helps when its hard to know where to begin. I will let you know how things are progressing. How does the engine look to you? The casting date is 12/4/15.
The engine looks normal, but the plugs need cleaning.
Actually, it looks like cleaning may be all #1 needs. The others are for parts.
Is the Holley G bronze, or just rusty? Bronze is correct for 1916, but the iron one will work.
I wonder about that odd bent piece held on by the fan bracket bolt.
By the way, I notice the car was loaded on the trailer with the cable attached in the center of the axle. It's best to avoid that and attach to the frame. The same goes for chaining or strapping the car to the trailer. You probably didn't bend the axle, but I've heard of it happening.
Steve, I suspect that odd piece by the fan bracket is some sort of a belt "retainer"...nice car Skyler! You're so lucky to have one at such a young age. Soon as you can check the compression on your cylinders. I'm no expert here for sure, but I'd at least go so far as to say if they're at least in the mid to upper 30lb. range it'll be okay for the time being. A new rebuilt can be as high as 50-55 I think. My '12 was down to 28 and while it was hard to get it to start by then, it would still run. It's since been rebuilt of course! If your compression is acceptable, then I'd go so far as to take the head off, check the valves/pistons for carbon & crud, clean 'em all off, if there's these "two dots" on the valves then you need to consider getting rid of them, as they are a failure waiting to happen. Then of course a nice new copper head gasket and at least that part of it is done. I'm sure that radiator is a round tube, if not even original. More than likely it'll need replaced, so might as well start planning on that. When or if you do, a flat tube is the best cooling, even though technically not period correct. Sometimes you just have to bend the rules a bit. Hopefully it won't, but odds are against it being serviceable.
Jim, amazing how your $600 car then, is now probably close to $18K or more now! Beautiful car.
Wow, almost completely unmolested '16! And it looks like you have good body wood, looking at how straight the sides are. It's at the point where you could leave it "as is" as a survivor, or take it apart and restore it.
One thing, if you leave it "as is" you can always go back and restore it, once you restore it, you can't go back and leave it "as is"! Don't know what kind of time or resources you have, but you'll have a drivable T much faster if you leave it "as is." Don't drive it around much until you check the rear axle thrust washers--they could be factory bronze, but more likely they're babbit & need to be changed out.
Jim, I really enjoyed seeing your T, there's hope for my T! I can't wait until summer vacation, so I can devote so much more time to my affliction!
Probably not much compression with all those loose head bolts. Better tighten them down before checking.
Down East Chapter
c/o Warren Kincaid
Rockland, ME 04841
That is the only ME chapter listed on this site but the earlier suggestion to find a local chapter is a good one.
Warren Kinkaid may even be able to point you at one if you have not already found one.
Thanks Tim and Skyler. One thing about my 1926 Coupe that made it a lot easier to restore than yours will be is that in 1926, Ford came out with what he called an improved Model T with an all steel body, so, I had no wood to deal with except for the roof slats, the floor, the spokes and the body blocks. From 1909 to 1925, all Model T's had body frames made of wood with steel panels tacked to the frame.
Please get your T undercover as soon as you can to protect it from the elements, for rain is the worst thing for the wood of a Model T and you want to halt all all further deterioration of the wood and metal of your T at this point. If you have no garage to put it in, cover it completely with a good tarp, sealed at the bottom to protect it from rats, mice, bees and wasps, which can get into the engine through the exhaust pipe and build nests.
If your wood is in good condition you are fortunate. Leave it as is because it is almost impossible to duplicate the existing curves the current steel panels are secured to. If it is rotten you will need to learn complex woodworking, for many of the wooden frame parts have multiple curves and if they are not duplicated precisely, your sheet steel body panels will not fit properly and you will have gaps and poor fitting panels. If your wood is in salvageable shape, it is best not to dismantle it, because in the last 100 years, the age and vibration of the car has caused the wooden joints and parts to shrink and sag, so if you dismantle the pieces and put them back together with the joints all tight and erect, the sheet metal panels, that have also sagged to conform to the frame, will not fit properly on the reassemble frame.
There is, however, a way to salvage dry rotted parts and that is with a 2 part epoxy such as "Abatron" (www.abatron.com), which I prefer because of its' long working time, or Kwikpoly (www.kwikpolyllc.com), which many here prefer also. I never have worked with Kwikpoly but I believe the work time is not as long as the Abatron. There are several types of wood restoration epoxies used by members here and they are just as enthusiastic about their choice than I am about Abatron which I have used to restore the rotten wood on my Victorian house since I first discovered it in 1980. Abatron also has a 2 part epoxy putty that is superb for filling large gaps where rotten wood has disintegrated.
The Abatron Wood Restoration Epoxy comes in 2 parts that, when mixed in a 1:1 ratio, has the consistency of water and is readily absorbed deep into the wood. Do not mix the parts together until you are ready for them because once you mix them, it starts to cure and eventually will harden into a very hard plastic material, which when it has been absorbed deep into the wood, makes the, once soft and rotten wood, as strong and hard as it was 100 years ago. If you have a piece of wood that is dry rotted or spongy, but is intact, do not remove any of the soft rotten material, because even that useless material will become useful as part of the shape that gives support to the sheet metal panel.
Be sure the wood is dry and clean of dirt. The great thing about Abatron Wood Restorer Epoxy is that is has a long cure time, which gives you lots of time to apply as much as possible to the wood. Again. If you can do this without dismantling your frame, it would be a good thing. The trick is to apply as much mixed epoxy as possible and keep applying it with a paint brush allowing the wood to absorb it deep into the grain of the rotten portion. Mix more than you need because time is of the essence and you need to have enough to do the piece. Keep painting it on until it will absorb no more, then apply some more. This is the time to get as much on/in the wood as possible, for once it starts to set up, you will never again be able to apply more. If you have some left over, and it is still liquid, but starting to set up, don't go to the next section and paint it on, or you will only succeed in sealing it from absorbing the maximum amount deep into the soft grains. With experience, you will be able to determine how much of a section you can do with a certain amount of mixed epoxy. You will need a dozen 2" paint brushes for this, because once it sets up in the paint brush, the paint brush will be useless. Jim Patrick
PS. Abatron: The name for the 2 part Liquid Wood Restorer Epoxy is, "LiquidWood" The name for the 2 part Epoxy Wood Putty filler is, "WoodEpox". Jim Patrick
Skyler, I would take Jim Patrick's advice and get the manuals he has listed. Very good advice!
I inherited my Grandfathers 24 T Coupe at the age 11 in 1958 as I remember. My Father and my Uncle got it home and over the years we got it running (sort of!)
Along the way as a kid I bought the Ford Service Manual as my Model T textbook. A big help! I now have 3 T's. I restored all of them but it was the 24 that got me started years ago.
There is a lot of knowledge that you can get here on the forum. Read and reread your Ford manuals and you will have good success with your new T.
Welcome to the forum and a great hobby. You have a great looking touring car! Good news, because you live in Maine, you can get by with a radiator that does not cool as efficiently as originally designed. If you were in Texas, Arizona etc. where it routinely gets into the high 90s and low 100s that option would not work as well. There are some good postings that explain that as the radiator gets older, even if it doesn’t leak, many of the fins are no longer making good contact with the radiator tubes like it did when the radiator was first constructed. And therefore the radiator doesn’t cool as well as it once cooled. But checking your average lows and highs for your location in Maine it says for May the average low is 51F and average high is 66F. Below you can see a make shift radiator replacement cooling system that was used by one of the Australian military units T during World War I (WWI) [photo is most likely from the Australian War Memorial (http://cas.awm.gov.au) – sorry I did not save the information of who posted it/sent it to me with the photo that time.]
It is a right hand drive (RHD) and is listed as a 1916. Notice they are wearing heavy jackets – again, that probably would not have worked as well in Texas with 99 F.
It would be helpful to know a little bit about your mechanical background and experience. Have you grown up working on cars or will you need to obtain your first set of wrenches so you can work on your new Ford? There isn’t a right or wrong answer. But it helps us to know how to better to respond to your questions etc. Do you already understand some of the easier tasks such as changing the tires, cleaning and lubricating the front wheel bearings etc.?
Also, do you have any history on the car? It looks to be fairly complete. Is the precious owner still available so you can ask them some questions? There is a high probability that it has parts from multiple years. Why? Because Henry Ford was very insistent that he only wanted to build the Model T and that the new parts should still function on the earlier models. Any 1906-1927 N, R, S, SR, or T Ford front wheel (front wheel and hub if talking about a wire wheel) will fit any 1906-1927 N, R, S, SR, or T front spindle. It won’t look correct in many cases, but it will fit. And you would not want to put the light duty 1906-1908 N, R, S, or SR wheel on a heavy sedan or ton truck etc. for safety reasons. So you will probably find a few late year parts on your car. Not to worry – in most cases they function fine.
If you would like folks to let you know what year parts they think they see, please ask them and provide some additional photos etc.
Based on the photos it looks like your car may still have the original wood in the body. If so, it may also have the original body maker’s letter and maybe even a date code. To find out what to look for and where to look for the body maker’s letter and date code, please see the posting Forum posting “Home for the Holidays” at: http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/29/40322.html , It also discusses items like wooden verses metal seat frames etc. I do NOT see a carriage bolt in front of the rear door opening. Beaudett bodies of 1916-1916 usually do not have that carriage bolt in front of the rear door. I would guess that if there is not a carriage bolt in front of the rear door on a 1916-19 body that it is likely to be a body produced by Beaudett (also spelled Beaudette and usually called Pontiac in the ford records. Please let me know what you discover. You can click on my name and my e-mail address is the 3rd line down in my profile. You may also want to take a look at the posting at: http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/29/13259.html
There they discuss the differences between an original 1915-16 body and a later 1917-1921 body that hase been mounted on a 1915-16 chassis.
Recommend you resist the urge to take everything apart as soon as you can. In general it comes apart much easier and faster than it goes back together. Instead I would suggest that you try to check out the different components for wear, lubrication, etc. and get the car in a test drive condition or highlight which parts need to be replaced to make it where it can be safely driven. I.e. really loose spokes are a safety issue while lack of glass in the windshield is a connivance issue. Take lots of photos of before and during removing any parts. Caution. Many Model T Parts will fit back together in more than one way. For example you can install the ring gear in the rear axle on either side of he pinion gear. When installed correctly the car has one reverse and two forward gears. When installed on the incorrect side it has two speeds in reverse and one really slow speed forward. But it fits “fine” on either side. There are no hints that it isn’t going to fit ok because it fits fine. It just doesn’t function properly. Other items like the front spindles, front spring perches can also be interchanged from left side to right side. But they can cause the car to have a full left or full right hard over steering. That full left or right steering can cause the car to flip. So be sure it is assembled correctly by the previous owners and if you work on it that you assemble it correctly.
Below are some known safety issues with the Model T.
If it is possible, I would encourage you to ask the previous owner if the Babbitt rear thrust bearings were replaced with bronze thrust bearings in the past. If he doesn’t know – I would highly recommend that you check and confirm what they are made out of. There are also some roller bearing thrust washer/bearings. I personally would recommend the bronze – but the main thing is to make sure they are not the original Babbitt thrust washers. When they fail – they tend to go quickly and you no longer have a transmission brake, or low or high or reverse gear. You are free wheeling because the pinion gear is no longer making proper contact with the ring (also called crown gear). Those rear axle thrust bearings if they are babbitt (originally bronze in the 1909-1915 cars and then switched to babbitt on the cars during 1915 ref: http://www.mtfca.com/encyclo/P-R.htm#rax3 see part number 2528 ) can fail with minimal warning leaving the driver without the normal transmission brake (the main regular brake on a stock Model T). See the discussion at:http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/50893/78685.html?1233159025 If you loose the brakes and you are on a flat area with minimal traffic – it is not nearly as bad as loosing them while going down hill towards a busy intersection. See the rear axle babbitt discussion part way down in the following thread: http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/257047/277093.html?1332591272
Below are some additional safety items and links that are helpful to a new T owner. While they may be common knowledge to the T owner of 70 years ago, many folks today have not grown up around Ts and are not aware of many of them. Many of the items below are issues from a part being repaired and then installed incorrectly (such as the front spring perches – which can cause the T to be a wild ride and even turn over. )
There are some known safety items about the Model T that you should check out before you start driving it. (If you are driving slowly on a farm where it doesn’t matter if the brakes fail, the spokes fail, car turns over, etc. – then you can ignore them all). I would encourage you to review them so you learn about those safety issues second hand rather than by first hand experience. Getting an experienced Model T person to help you learn about your car can save you lots of frustration and possible expense. For example if you fail to retard the spark and you push down on the starting crank at the front of the car to start the car, you could easily break your arm. That is a known safety issue with Model Ts. And it isn’t dangerous as long as you understand what causes it [spark lever advanced [that is the left hand lever on a left hand drive car or the right hand lever on a right hand car] should be pushed up], commutator adjustment rod installed wrong or bent improperly so that even with the spark lever up, the spark is still too far advanced, shorted wire on the commutator, etc. . And while your 1915 was not originally equipped with a starter, someone in the past may have replaced the proper parts and installed a starter. I did not see a photo of the driver’s side of the engine compartment. So I do not know if that was or was not done sometime in the past. If you have an electrical starter – if the spark is advanced and the engine back fires – it can damage the starter and/or bendix drive. For additional details please see: http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/50893/68644.html?1224126132
and there are other related threads.
Some other safety related items:
And be sure the car is in safe working order. An engine that burns oil is not a critical safety issue (at least not in my book) but the front end castor if it is set up negative can flip the car. Those and similar items are well documented "oops" for the T. But if you have never been around one -- they are probably new "data points" for you. Some of them are listed below – not to scare you but to let you learn from others rather than discovering all the lessons on your own.
Safety Glass is nice: http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/50893/72116.html
Use safety wire and not lock washers or cotter pins on the two studs holding the wishbone to the underside of the engine. Why? Because even if the nuts have cotter pins there have been cases where the studs back out. That allows the wishbone to be loose and the steering can become useless.
Lots of safety items http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/50893/69429.html
Over center steering – is when you turn the steering wheel to the right and the front wheels turn to the left. That shouldn’t happen on a properly set up Model T. But with worn, loose, or incorrect parts it has happened before. (Ford added a stop inside the steering gear housing to help prevent that. The change was approved Oct 28, 1921 and would have taken a little while to be put into regular production. Ref: http://www.mtfca.com/encyclo/S-T.htm#sgc )– For cars such as yours built before then they do NOT have that stop pin. Also even on later cars if someone replaced the steering gear housing or rebuilt it without the lock pin – or installed the wrong length drag link etc. then over center steering might happen:http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/80257/86345.html as well as: http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/257047/300409.html
Types of safety wire: http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/29/41859.html
Example of loss of brakes caused by drive shaft failure: http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/29/47804.html
Top T tips – many of them are safety related also: http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/80257/85208.html
Tour safety check list: http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/29/44331.html
And if you have a gas hot water heater in the garage – be very very careful. The float in a Model T Carb will sometimes stick (or trash in the valve) and the carb will leak gasoline. Not too bad if there are no sparks. But several homes, garages and cars have been lost when a gas hot water heater was near by and someone started the dishwasher etc. that caused the hot water heater burner to turn on at the wrong time. Note gas fumes tend to be heavier than regular air …. so they tend to hug the floor. If you adjust your garage door to let the mice in and the air out – that is a temp work around. But replacing the gas fired hot water heater with an electric heater or having the gas one relocated away from the garage is the best thing. Note there are also gas/propane fired hot water heaters that are supposed to detect the presence of gas fumes and not light their burner. I’m old school – I would not want to trust the computer technology to work perfectly every time….
Even with a perfectly good and properly adjusted front steering system – if you back up quickly, the front wheels can go full left or full right and pull the steering wheel out of your hand – so remember to back up slowly. It is caused by the caster of the front wheels similar to the casters on the front of the shopping cart – designed to be stable in one direction but not so stable in the opposite direction. If someone rebuilt the front axle and it is was really difficult to keep the car going straight they may have inadvertently swapped the front spring perches. There is a left and a right spring perch that tilts the axle so the bottom of the axle is slightly ahead of the top of the axle (5 1/2 degrees positive caster – although there is some discussion that it is a little less but still positive for the balloon tires). If it has negative to neutral caster it can cause a wild ride and also could cause the car to flip even at a slow speed see:http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/80257/80333.html?1233523419 that shows the spring perch installed incorrectly and how the front axle looks then. Also see: http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/29/40382.html Note even with the spring perch installed correctly a bent or shortened wishbone could cause neutral to negative caster.
Wood spokes work fine – but they need to fit tightly, not be split or wood rotted, made of quality wood (pine is not a good choice and yes some folks have offered pine spokes for sale) and the bolts etc. need to be tight without too much wobble in the wheel. see:http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/179374/248594.html?1322326314
The T is a faithful servant but it has some known issues that the driver needs to be aware of and to take proper precautions about.
Again welcome to the forum and the Model T hobby.
Hap l9l5 cut off
Don't just cinch down on those head bolts. They could be bottoming on crud in the bottom of the holes in the block and you will just twist them off. Soak each bolt with liquid wrench and let it set for a few hours and soak it again, repeat for a day or so and then see if the headbolts will come out. Once they are out you can remove the head and see if you have any surprises. The head will likely take a little doing to get it loose. You can screw a piece of 1/2 inch pipe in the spark plug holes, maybe with a tee fitting you can pull on .
Anytime you are about to force something you are likely to screw it up or break it.
The problem on pulling on the axle is you can pull the wishbone ball out of the socket on the bottom of the engine.
You have the makings of a very car. It will take a lot of work, you will learn quite a bit and will be quite proud of your finished product.
Looks like somebody removed the head and didn't turn the head bolts back down. might be missing head gasket.
Skyler, that's a beautiful little Ford!
See my profile for my eye's version of beauty.... ;-)
That engine looks fantastic! It's clean for what it is. Beautifully clean! :-)
I'm anxious for pics of that engine after the head's off. And the rest of the car. Hint Hint.
You may have a real "survivor" on your hands.
Affliction? Yep! OR Sickness? Yep! :-) You already know that.... :-)
Please remember, if on an extreme budget, you can get still get that little Ford cruising around your property. There really are quiet "cheat codes" for getting around spending money. I needed them years ago when I had little but a dream of a T.
I addition to the MTFCA club in Maine that John posted above, the MTFCI lists this one:
211 Clay Hill Rd
Cape Neddick, ME 03902
One of the guys in our area has a touring, I think about a 1920, that's original / unrestored. He has driven this car from California to Indiana and back... he has a great time with that car, and doesn't have to worry about paint scratches when he works on it, people climbing all over it, or anything else, except the mechanical. If you restore it and have a great paint job you start worrying about the appearance as much as anything, and that makes it a lot more trouble and a heck of a lot more 'grunt work'.
The car I am thinking about is nick named 'old rusty' and runs great! It gets new upholstery when needed... using old seed sacks (think of cool printed canvas / burlap type cloth bags). Wherever that car goes it draws a crowd, and the owner has a lot less worries. I'd vote for spending your time and money on just the mechanical, then decide if you want to do the paint, etc. I guarantee you'll have a lot more fun tinkering on the engine, rear end, etc then doing body work, sanding and painting!
It looks like your car has a coil box; are you meaning coils? I just passed on all of my standard coils or I'd rebuild you a set and send them out, I'm sorry about that. But if you post a list of specific items you find you need as you work on your car I suspect there are a number of us that will send stuff your way. We like young guys getting in to the hobby! My dad was working on these before I was born and I have no memories of not working on them. I do remember being 6 or 7 and spending hours cleaning the T, and started collecting my first parts when I was 12. People helped me out then with parts they didn't need and I've tried to keep that going.
Looks like a great car!
Skylar and young men like him are the future and survival of our hobby and the Model T. Let's all make him feel welcome and help him as much as we can so he does not get discouraged. Jim Patrick
Tourer type body, Attracts people and they ask for rides. Expect social life positive effects once the car is driving.
P.S. Rear seat covering should be clean, Girls jump in the car if the seats are clean. Once mine got dirty they didn't jump in on their own anymore.
(Message edited by kep610 on May 02, 2016)
Further illustration here of Kep's point https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hMVHlrWtmDw
All you may need of wiring and small stuff to get it running is in the vendors catalogs - even the seat springs and tires, though those last items are a bit pricey, so some local T:er may have some used stuff you can get cheaper and use for a while.
If you're lucky you can use the rear axle as is for a while, you can be fairly sure it got brass thrusts from the beginning as a december 1915 produced car - they were used from march '15 to march '16, before and after that inferior crack prone babbitt and other metal compositions were used.
You are such a lucky guy. To have such a complete and original car to work with is a dream!. My first restoration project was a 1916 T but was made out of a heap of parts assembled over years! It looks good enough to preserve and drive. Restore the mechanicals, make it safe and have some fun. All the best.
Skyler,In all of the above i see essentials and this is simply one The engine pan bolt under the timer [should] be threads down!!!!!!!!!!!! Keep it simple!! Bud in Wheeler,Mi.
Hey Skyler. I tried to get a Model T at your age, but wasn't able to work it out. At one time in the late 60's I found two restored touring Model Ts for $700.00 each. Wish I could have bought just one of them. Have fun restoring yours. You will learn a lot. There are a great group of guys on the forum and they will help you all they can.
Thank you is not enough to express my gratitude for all the wisdom and advice you have all shared with me.
I sent away for the Model T Ford service manual, I think it is a good place to start.
I am sending more photos. Are there any clues from the photos to indicate any problems, do you have any suggestions?
I was told the wood on my T is in good condition. I also wonder about a rust problem. Maine is cold, and when the metal on the T gets cold, then warms up, sometimes the car sweats and rusts any more. How can I stop the new rust? The T is undercover.
The coil box is empty, (it is half green and half black) does it look original? Finally, how do I test the radiator?
Thank you again for all of your help, and if it were not for school, I would be on this forum all day!
I don't care WHAT of kind of T you got.......I'm just tickled to pieces another "youngster" got the T bug.......
Have you looked up the engine number yet to determine what month and year your Model T was manufactured? The engine number is located above the water inlet on the drivers side of the block and the serial numbers can be found at www.mtfca.com. Click on encyclopedia, then encyclopedia menu. Under Miscellaneous information you will find the engine serial numbers which will tell you when your engine was made. If the engine is original to the car, you can also see when your car was made. Some members can tell the exact day a particular T was made but the encyclopedia only tells the month and year. Jim Patrick
My engine number is 1,094,170, it was manufactured in February 1916...I think.
Skyler, Congratulations. You are very lucky to own a very nice brass era car at such a young age. I don't have much to add, as there has already been excellent advice.
My best advice however is don't tear the car apart in 1000 pieces. Do small projects that work toward getting it to run. Make it run and make it dependable and safe. If you choose to make it pretty, you can do so at a later time. This ensures you get the most enjoyment from your T and can enjoy the fruits of your labor, while driving it.
Getting the manuals is a great start. Ask any and all questions, we are a large group with a wealth of knowledge.
As Hap asked, it would be great to know your mechanical abilities/experience to know who we're working with. Also as stated, don't just tighten down those head bolts, as they may be bottomed out on crud in the holes. Best to remove, inspect the cylinders / valves and clean the holes with a tap, and install a new head gasket if needed.
Good luck and thanks for hanging out with us. Also join either or both, the MTFCA and MTFCI clubs. The main page of this site will get you to the membership dues and info.
More importantly, keep on your school work. Model T's are fun, but education is more important. It will pay you (literally) later on in life.
Nice find, good luck with it.
The encyclopedia tells the day of manufacture, but that's in the disk version I mentioned above, not the abridged one online which lists only the month and year.
The day listed for #1094170 is Monday, February 14, 1916. Valentine's Day and Jack Benny's twenty-second birthday.
Steve, can you do mine too? All i have is June of 25. 11980369
John, that's Wednesday, June 17, 1925. One of the 7640 engines made that day.
Thanks Steve, i really appreciate it!
If you spent all day on the forum, you wouldn't get anything done on your T!
Looking at your pictures, it does look like your body wood is in good shape, thought it would likely be because of how straight the sides are.
The piece of wood across the top of the firewall, notched to clear the coil box is an addition; wasn't there originally. Looks like a later coil box--dimensionally the same, but made a bit different. The correct lid is one piece, stamped out, no folded and spot welded ends, the switch box is a rubber-like material with a metal front plate.
This box has an accessory switch, but you can see the coil box lid,no wood across the top and the headlight switch.
The switch, and a slightly different cover plate.
I also notice that the wood blocks and cross-bolts are missing on your motor mounts. The Clutch pedal with a C on it should just be plain, and notice the linkage is not connected.
Your body should have a body manufacturer's number on it, often times on the floor riser wood in front of the front door--yours looks like it may have been replaced, so you may no longer have the number, but its also sometimes on the front seat wood, or the floor wood in front of the front seat, look around as it will tell you when the body was built. It is also sometimes a long metal tag nailed to the wood.
That "garage" looks perfect--except for that white plastic window frame!
OH and to show you how lucky you are, here's how I found mine:
Chad had some great advice that reminded me of something I wish I had done when I restored mine, so long ago. When I started disassembling mine, I put the bolts in coffee cans and set them up on the shelf. Two years later, when it was time to reassemble her, as you can imagine, I couldn't remember where each bolt went, so it took a lot of time and trial and error to get the bolts in their correct places. I also neglected to take pictures of my progress, so I have no pictures of what my T looked like when I started. Don't make the same mistake. it will be enjoyable for you to make a photo book and go back and see how far you came.
I strongly recommend that you get a lot of ziplock sandwich bags and label them with a big sharpie marker, where the bolts went and take a picture of the area and make notes on the picture and put the picture in the bag. You should also make drawings and notes and keep them in a file for future reference. This will really come in handy in 2 years, after you have long since forgotten where those bolts and small parts came from.
You can also go to the photo section of the homepage and, for inspiration, review the pictures of other members 1916 T's. Jim Patrick
Welcome Skyler! Post some more photos.....we love photos! They're worth a thousand words give or take a few!
Jim is exactly right. You won't remember where everything goes. For some items I even put a slip of paper with the Ford part number in the zip lock bag with the parts.
When I started to work on my Packard I had never done a project like that before, so I laid out the pieces in order and took a picture. That made reassembly pretty easy.
Yes. Like Steve advises...Before you embark on a task that requires taking something apart, such as the transmission, the magneto, or the rear end, first clean a large area on your work bench, or on the clean floor to accommodate all the pieces that you will lay out in the order in which you removed them. Also, approach each job with caution, as if there is a strong spring inside ready to explode the whole thing in your face, because there just might be. Then, as Steve says, take a picture of the parts on the floor in the order you placed them, then write on the back of the picture, what it was you disassembled as well as any trouble you might have run into that will be of use whenever you are ready to reassemble it. Jim Patrick
For protecting the panels from rust on the inside i use fish oil or waxoyl. For protecting the outside i find rubbing linseed oil on it and letting it dry will help, But the linseed oil will darken the rust.
One current fad is to clearcoat over the linseed oil with spray can clear. Not sure that is great long term though.
One time i had 13 people in my T but it could barely move as the fenders rubbed in the tires.
there are also rust conversion products you can use on the inside. Most body panels rust out from the inside, not from the outside! I agree, clearcoat over the linseed oil doesn't sound like a great idea to me either.
More pictures please!!
Hi Skyler. Since you and those your age, who are interested in the Model T are the future of the Model T and our hobby, a lot of us here want to make the successful restoration of your Model T our special project, so whenever you post a question, if you could post it in this thread, "New T Owner", or start a new thread, prefacing your thread with "Skyler..." we will know it is you and you will most likely get a flood of responses to your problem. We look forward to helping you whenever you get started. Jim Patrick.