How to get more power/speed out of a T

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Model T Ford Forum: Forum 2016: How to get more power/speed out of a T
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Matthew Atchinson on Wednesday, May 04, 2016 - 12:03 am:

I am eagerly awaiting 2 more Saturdays until I pick up my grandfather's 24 roadster. That being said, I am also excited to bring this car to its full potential. It's going to need a new handbrake and an in car recharge of the magneto. The motor was rebuilt to like new in 2003 and has had maybe 75 miles put on it since then, plus maybe a couple of more hours idling in the driveway. I would LOVE to put this car in the Montana 500 next year. I know many of those guys keep their speed secrets well guarded, but is anyone willing to give me some tips as to how I can get more power out of a T?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Tom Carnegie Spokane, WA on Wednesday, May 04, 2016 - 01:00 am:

Balance everything.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By David Mazza on Wednesday, May 04, 2016 - 04:28 am:

Do you know who built the engine? On top of what Tom said, a good cam, and added compression and it will be faster than you will like and climb hills much better.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Matthew Atchinson on Wednesday, May 04, 2016 - 08:29 am:

My Cousin Mike Esposito of Esposito's customs Kingston NY rebuilt it. I'm actually meeting him in a few days for Rhinebeck. I'll have to ask him what he did to it/put in it.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Ken Kopsky, Lytle TX on Wednesday, May 04, 2016 - 09:00 am:

Know the rules before you start making changes to the engine. Many well known "speed secrets" can't be used.

http://www.antiqueautoranch.com/montana500/rules/rules.html


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mark Strange - Hillsboro, MO on Wednesday, May 04, 2016 - 09:02 am:

Be sure to upgrade the brakes to keep pace with your increased speed potential. :-)


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Ken Kopsky, Lytle TX on Wednesday, May 04, 2016 - 09:21 am:

As I said, better read the rules BEFORE making changes. That includes the body, axles, wheels and brakes. :-)


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Larry Smith, Lomita, California on Wednesday, May 04, 2016 - 09:37 am:

Why not accept the car for what it is? Take what you have and make it right and reliable.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Tom Carnegie Spokane, WA on Wednesday, May 04, 2016 - 04:23 pm:

Larry said:

"Why not accept the car for what it is?"

then:

"Take what you have and make it right and reliable."

If the car needed to be changed it to make it "right and reliable", he probably wouldn't want to accept it for what it is.

If he has to change it, why not change it to what he wants?

A side note about the Montana 500 rules. There has been a constant pull since day one in the Montana 500 world between the guys who want to soup up the cars and those that want to leave them absolutely original. The rules have evolved as a sort of compromise between the two.

The chief deviations from original are the use of aluminum pistons, reground cams and a limited amount of head and block milling.

After that, speed it is largely a matter of tuning.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dan Brown on Wednesday, May 04, 2016 - 06:32 pm:

Tom said:

"After that, speed it is largely a matter of tuning."

Can you elaborate on that Tom?

Be very very specific. Lots of pictures, and maybe some how to videos detailing the "secrets"


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Matthew Atchinson on Wednesday, May 04, 2016 - 06:41 pm:

Thanks for the responses guys. The more I look at it the more I think I'll just do a couple minor things to get it right. Maybe I can't run the Montana 500 with it but A high compression head and a better carb could do wonders for the hilly countryside I live in.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Bill Harper - Keene, NH on Wednesday, May 04, 2016 - 06:53 pm:

If the videos detail the secrets then they won't be secret!

The NASCAR boys don't fess up do they?

And remember, "It's not cheating if you don't get caught".


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mark Strange - Hillsboro, MO on Wednesday, May 04, 2016 - 07:04 pm:

http://www.antiqueautoranch.com/montana500/indexnonrefresh.html


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Tom Carnegie Spokane, WA on Wednesday, May 04, 2016 - 08:25 pm:

Dan, check out this video.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oHg5SJYRHA0


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Tyrone Thomas - Topeka KS on Wednesday, May 04, 2016 - 08:48 pm:

Always go down hill with the wind is at your back.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Burger in Spokane on Wednesday, May 04, 2016 - 10:47 pm:

I suggest you speed secret mooches start attending our Tuesday night meetings at the ranch
and soak up all the banter about speed potential, then sort through and test oodles of like parts,
looking for that micro-slight advantage angle that ,when combined with 43 other micro-slight
advantages, adds up to "speed secret". :-)


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Brian Beatty _Kansas City on Wednesday, May 04, 2016 - 11:11 pm:

Okay Tom -that is about enough of that! I wonder if this is the first time the MTFCA forum has been "Rickrolled" ? :-)


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Bob Coiro on Thursday, May 05, 2016 - 02:18 am:

When I hear arguments like, "Do you think you know better than Ford?", or "That's not the way Ford did it!", I remember that Mr. Ford was primarily concerned with the mass production of what he viewed as a simple, inexpensive, no-frills tool for people who couldn't afford the really good stuff.

Is it possible to make a stock Model T engine run better and smoother than Ford did? _Sure. _For just a moment, let me point to the aircraft engine overhauling industry: _In spite of the fact that the FAA lays down some hard and fast rules which basically prohibit major modifications to certificated aircraft engines, there exists an industry of extremely pricey aircraft engine overhaulers who take a brand new stock engine from Lycoming or Continental and blueprint and balance the heck out of the darned thing until it runs smoother and more reliably than anything the original manufacturer could afford to mass-produce and market. _In essence, the engine is not modified, but the weighing, porting, polishing, massaging (or what ever the heck it is they do), while not departing from the basic specs of FAA certification of a particular make and model of engine, still make a world of difference to the pilot. _But we're not talking hot-rodding, here. _We're talking smoothness and reliability over a relatively longer haul. _That, to me, sounds like a good idea—and sure, there are Model T engine overhaulers out there who are reputed to turn out exceptionally well-balanced, smooth-as-silk, otherwise stock engines.

But several times a year, I'll read threads on this forum about squeezing more power and speed out of the Model T Ford, and though some folks are indeed operating their Flivvers on the highway at highway speeds, to me, that just seems like a practice fraught with peril.

At highway speeds, you can't safely swerve to avoid the pothole you saw too late, and if you hit the hole, you could collapse a wheel. _Braking action with or without Rocky Mountain binders would rival the Titanic for distance covered during the maneuver. _Sustaining the high rpm and power necessary to overcome the kind of parasite drag (which increases as the square of the speed) you'd encounter at 55 mph would be extremely hard on the engine, to say the least.

As a "for instance," my '15 Touring has a nice, tight front-end that tracks straight ahead and has absolutely no play in the steering (thanks to a forum pal who re-bushed the spindles for me). _The engine has new valves, aluminum pistons, a high-compression head, an extra-large intake manifold and an NH carburetor, so there's sufficient power (in fact, more than I'd actually dare to put through a stock Model T crankshaft, for I've never pushed the throttle wide open with the engine running). _The car has also got fresh tires & dynabead-balanced wheels. _Now, on one not-entirely prudent occasion, I had that fairly powerful, rather solid, exceptionally stable Model T up to 42 mph and at that speed, there was plenty of reserve throttle left, so she could have gone faster—heck, the road was straight, long, level and dry, and she was only 8 mph away from 50—but the car was talking to me and she sure as heck was NOT urging, "Go for it!" _I didn't.

With that in mind, in my humble, know-nothing newbie opinion, the highest reasonably safe cruising speed for a Model T Touring would be around 35 mph—maybe even 40, if the road ahead were straight and smooth and there were no pedestrians, traffic or intersections in sight—and you figure you've already lived long enough, anyway.

I wish that instead of having to take secondary and tertiary roads fairly long distances to attend car shows (or the expense, space consumption and inconvenience of a trailer), a mostly original Model T Ford could safely cruise on the highway. _But nah, it can't really be done. _Not safely.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dan Brown on Thursday, May 05, 2016 - 07:27 am:

Tom
That video did nothing to dispel the belief that reground cams and particularly MT500 cars have no bottom end.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Steve Jelf, Parkerfield KS on Thursday, May 05, 2016 - 09:03 am:

In my admittedly limited experience, Tom's "balance everything" admonition is on the mark. When I helped Mike with rebuilding the engine for my 1915 runabout three years ago, it was done stock. No head-milling or radical cam, no oversize anything except .060" aluminum pistons. Just up to Ford specs, with engine and transmission balanced. The result is enough pep to get me up some pretty steep hills without any thought of resorting to the low pedal, and enough zip on the level to get me up to white-knuckle territory (over 40 mph!) with throttle to spare. Patterson coils, New Day timer, and ordinary Holley NH swayback.

My idea of a Model T is that it should get you up the hills in high and cruise comfortably on the level at 30 to 35 mph. If I want to go fast I'll build a speedster or drive a Packard.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Matthew Atchinson on Thursday, May 05, 2016 - 09:46 am:

Steve, that's essentially what I'm looking for. I just want to make sure my T has enough power to reliably get me up the big hills our here in the Catskills.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jay - In Northern California on Thursday, May 05, 2016 - 10:03 am:

Matt, Try one of these under the hood. Should be able to get at least up to warp 8 or so!
Don't know about living long and prospering though. :-)


(Message edited by fordmodelt on May 05, 2016)


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Charlie B actually in Toms River N.J. on Thursday, May 05, 2016 - 10:04 am:

Oof. The Catskills. Long long climbs. Not the T's favorite geography. You wanna' race that's one thing. Pulling long hills? A Ruxtell (sic) perhaps?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By David Mazza on Thursday, May 05, 2016 - 10:23 am:

A light car with a strong engine shouldn't really need auxiliary gears. Your car is a roadster, see how it goes, maybe some balancing and a hc head and you will be happy. Also plan out your trips to avoid the real bad hills and speeds over 45


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dan Brown on Thursday, May 05, 2016 - 10:43 am:

BTW I don't know what a "Rick Roll" is but I feel kinda dirty


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Burger in Spokane on Thursday, May 05, 2016 - 11:55 am:

From Ford Taurii to Chevy Cavaliers, to this:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9jK-NcRmVcw

The 80's were like a decade in hell, complete with bagpipe screeching.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Roger Karlsson, southern Sweden on Thursday, May 05, 2016 - 11:58 am:

Dan, It's a 2007-2008 internet meme.. :-) https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rickrolling


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Brian Beatty _Kansas City on Thursday, May 05, 2016 - 12:07 pm:

Rickrolling is a bait-and-switch practice that involves providing a web link supposedly relevant to the topic at hand, but actually re-directs the viewer to Rick Astley’s 1987 hit single “Never Gonna Give You Up.”

The best use of a Rickroll so far in my opinion was when the internet group Annonymous decided to go after ISIS. They somehow redirected all of the links and hashtags on ISIS websites to the same cheesy video Tom lead us to.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By David Mazza on Thursday, May 05, 2016 - 12:12 pm:

I believe this is what Tom meant to post.https://youtu.be/qX45_9PGRzw


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Constantine on Thursday, May 05, 2016 - 03:04 pm:

If you live in a hilly area one or more of these would help:

HC Head

280 Chaffin or Stipe cam

10 tooth pinion

Ruckstell rear or a Warford tranny

V-Ray quad-electrode spark plugs...a poor man's OHV (no extra power; more of a psychological effect)



Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jay - In Northern California on Thursday, May 05, 2016 - 05:04 pm:

Constantine, Speaking of a psychological effect and fancy spark plugs, a set of four of these spinning in your engine could give your psyche a need for speed fix. Kind of like a poor man's turbo-charger times four!!!! :-)


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Constantine on Thursday, May 05, 2016 - 06:05 pm:

Jay, yes those ones are even better, and almost as good as a Fronty or Rajo when it comes to an ego boost. The only drawback of course is when that little fan finally breaks off thus wrecking your engine and leaving you stranded in a place like this:


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jay - In Northern California on Thursday, May 05, 2016 - 06:27 pm:

I agree about the Fan Flame plugs. You really wouldn't want the fan blades flying free of the spark plugs and spiting out Ninja stars from your tail pipe like James Bond's Aston Martin. :-)


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Tom Carnegie Spokane, WA on Thursday, May 05, 2016 - 06:41 pm:

So, I'm sitting at my desk at work trying to eke out a meager existence. Suddenly I hear this strange tinny rendition of "Never Gonna Give You Up". Everybody's looking around to see where it is coming from. It turns out that someone hacked into my security camera and Rick-Rolled me. :-)


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Gene Carrothers Huntington Beach on Thursday, May 05, 2016 - 08:08 pm:

I thought I recognized that guy! COOL Secret


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