I'm getting pretty frustrated. I bought my car in February knowing it needed a bit of work. It was disassembled for restoration when the owner died leaving the car to a son-in-law who did not like it. He was very honest and the fact that he assembled the car to unload it. He did not know a lot about the car. It ran moved and stopped .The body was really good and the paint although not perfect would get me through a season or two . It seems like everything has gone wrong since. I found a brass screw head in the oil so I sent the Engine and transmission off to be checked out and made safe since the magnito keeper screws needed replaced. I've only got to run the car one time in the yard and in that time the magneto was working. I quickly remedied that by accidentally zapping my magnets not knowing to disconnect the magneto wire while changing out some other wires . I discovered that I have no working emergency brake and many parts are missing so I'm rounding those up. And then tonight I totally ruined a rim trying to change a dry rotted tire. I didn't go into this thinking there would be no setbacks. But so far I've had the car three months and ran it for five minutes in the yard. Please tell me it gets better!
Yes, it gets better.
It sounds like you need to hook up with a local club or some other hobbyists in your area.
Is there anyone near Rick that can lend a hand? His profile says he is in Maysville, KY.
It will get better. Dont get flustrated. That is the fun of having an old car
Ive made plenty of mistakes too over the years, its part of the learning process.
Rick, what Mark said. Find a local or nearby club or other T people and get some help. I have to think that it gets better....
The best way to get over frustration restoring a T is to buy a restored T to drive. That takes the pressure off to finish the car under restoration. The draw back is that you may end up like me with several restored and un-restored cars in inventory. Your spouse may have some input into that plan as well...
I agree with others about the frustration level becoming lower as time goes on.
Look at it as a challenge and find a way to enjoy doing the work.
If I compared the time in the garage to the time driving the garage would win.
But the joy of driving makes it worth it
It took me 3 years to get mine going and the first 3 years on the road I pulled the engine out once a year fixing things I didn't get right the first time. This was my first car restoration and my first T so like you, I was on a steep learning curve. If you don't have someone there with you that knows what they are doing, then spend the money on the books this club offers. That's what I did. Between the books , this forum and some patients, you will get everything sorted out.
Hit a roadside bomb and then engage in a firefight as a matter of putting this all in perspective.
Believe it or not, this truck was back in the fight about 3 weeks after this photo was taken, so I don't
want to hear any excuses, Private Pyle !
Ha! Good stuff! Thanks for the encouragement. I'll get back at it. Some of the stuff I've done is down right embarrassing. I'll get it all figured out. It will be worth it. I was hoping to be ready to go by the Fourth of July. Guess I won't specify what year! The car is actually quite nice. Just needs every system gone through for safety. I just have to get smarter, slower, and keep collecting the right tools for the job. I wish some club members were close by and I could attend some seminars to see the work in action.
One of my favorite ways of looking at something is you first have to HAVE it to fix it.......
You have one down anyway.......
Yes, it gets better. But not as fast as expected. One of the rules of life: Everything takes longer than you think it will.
Contrary to what many believe, where we live is actually a choice. I discovered this concept WELL into life
and wasted 30 good years living in a hell hole before that notion popped into my head one day and I left !
I would really encourage you to attend the Tuesday night work sessions at the Antique Auto Ranch. A slew
of nutters show up every week and there is always a number of different projects being attacked where the
old dogs are showing the greenhorns how it is done.
You have almost a week to get moved and settled in. See you there.
Rick it does get better, my first tour blew a rod! If not for wonderful people on tour I would have drove it off a cliff. Several other problems popped up over the next couple of years. Runs great now, have a group of true friends in the clubs and chapters all around the country & Canada. I now have four T's learning everyday. Find a local club! T guys n gals are truly great friends! ;)
Post a picture of your car and it's progress, we love seeing how folks are doing and you might get a tip or two to make your task easier.
Not a great situation. Taken apart by someone who might have knowledge and assembled by another who may have had close to none & maybe on a hurry to boot. Might account for the missing stuff that just didn't look like it belonged. Take it one project at a time to put it in perspective. You'll get more discouraged if constantly looking at everything needed to be done. GET HELP! Very important as this beast is in a class by itself. Borders on downright weird frankly. The mag, if merely discharged is repairable & not a hard job. You simply must take your time and do it once. Completely forget the body for now and work the under carriage/ running gear front to back one small step then the next.
Just think of it this way... every mistake you make now is a mistake you won't make in the future (assuming you learn from it). When things go bad for me, whether I'm working on the T, a piece of furniture, the house, whatever, I always stop, take a minute to think about what happened and why, and then quit working on that part and go do something easy. Wipe the grease off your wrenches. Sweep the floor. Take out the trash. If you're anything like me, your Model T might not be finished yet, but you'll have the cleanest shop in the club!
Rick, it gets better!
Rick think of how much fun it will be the first time you take it on an Ice Cream run.... Park it under a shade tree and get ready to answer questions. It always gets better!
My first T was like that! Some problems existed before I bought it, and others were caused by me, because I didn't know what I was doing when I "fixed" it.
After I had trouble with the rear axle and then the transmission, I decided to tear the whole car down and restore it. I fixed all the mechanical problems I could find. Either replaced worn parts or repaired them. I was fortunate to find an engine and transmission which had been rebuilt by Lee Pierce a very talented machinist. I also installed a Ruckstell axle and repainted and reupholstered the car while I had it apart. I have been driving it now for 24 years with very few problems. It was only on a trouble truck for part of a tour due to a loose ignition wire. At one of the stops on the tour, I found the loose connection and took it off the truck and finished the tour.
My next T was one I bought as a "basket" case. I completely restored that car and it is now the best looking car of my fleet. It runs good too.
The third car I bought from an estate and although it had been restored many years earlier, I still had some problems with the magneto and the transmission. Now it is fixed.
Anyway, you never quite know what you are buying until you have it a while. If you buy from someone you know and trust, you will usually get a better car, or at least the person will be honest and tell you what he knows about the car.
Your engine and transmission will need to be pulled to fix the magneto anyway. While it is out, I would suggest you go through it thoroughly with someone experienced to help you and fix every problem you can find while it's apart. Then your chances of being happy with the car will be greatly multiplied.
If you have auxiliary brakes on your car, you might find that the small drums have been removed and the parking brakes removed. If so, they should be replaced. Three sets of brakes are definately better than two and two are better than one. There are hills in Kentucky, so the more braking power is better.
Easier to take'em apart than to put them back together!
Rick, give up and sell that pain in the neck. Better yet, sign the title and ship it to me. I'll see that it's disposed of in an appropriate manner.
Oh, just wondering, how are the tires and upholstery on that horrible car? Is the glass good? What about...
Seriously Rick, keep working on it. There's some great rewards ahead. When I jumped in I figured I was an instant expert. It didn't take long for me to be humbled by my own lack of knowledge. But now a few years later, things are a lot better. I've got a couple good running T's and I'm working on a third. I'm comfortable with what I'm doing and having some successes. So hang in there. Good times are ahead.
Hey man, it gets better. I love my T to death and have a blast working on it and even more fun driving it. However. That blasted thing can also piss me off so bad I won't even go in the garage and look at her for a few days.
Take right now for example. I just got a new Rajo 4 Valve head on. Except she didn't want to run because the intake manifold I had made wasn't working. So I made a completely different one. Except that wasn't gonna work well because of the throttle linkage I was using. So I had to modify the stew out of my second manifold along with modding both of my carburetors. Granted, all of my frustration was self inflicted. FINALLY, I got everything squared away and had basically ironed out all the kinks. She had been running like a Swiss watch. Cranking right up, and good lawd she's quicker than greased lightning with this new head and dual carbs. I drove about 50 total miles and then I blew the head gasket and limped home on 3 cylinders. Didn't go in the garage for almost a week. She is currently in the garage dismantled and awaiting the next paycheck for a new head gasket. Lol, not having money to do anything is half the reason I didn't look at her and being mad was the other half.
But hang in there! Eventually, you'll get yours straight and she will be a blast to drive. And without all of my go-fast mods yours will probably be a lot more dependable, lol good luck.
Hey, you own a T. It doesn't get much better
Seriously, Gary Schreiber is right.
It's a tough hobby, full of misery and extremely frustrating. It's often expensive and takes up most of your free time. Your neighbors wonder why you have multiples and if the street in front of your house will have oil spots all over it forever.
You'll go to bed many nights wondering how you're going to get many different fixes to work. Your clothes will be oil stained and you won't be able to stop something called Ultra Black from migrating it's way onto your last decent t-shirt.
Your hands and arms will be scarred from cuts and burns and I don't care how much eye protection you wear, you're still going to get dirt in your eyes.
You'll smell like gasoline and you'll wear a baseball cap that needs to have the oil changed reall soon.
Nearly every day you'll receive packages in the mail from places like Langs, Bobs or Snyders. The cost of the packages will seem fair for what you get but the cost of postage will set ya back.
At some point your children will no longer stop by to see how you're doing and the chances of having a significant other in your life will get lower and lower as the days go by.
Owning a Model T Ford is a sad, lonely, aggravating lifestyle. It's something you want to get into with caution. It may never get easier.
But, for whatever reason, I love my Model T Fords. I love all that comes with it. I love driving it, I love working on it and I love having people check it out. I'll have one till the day I can no longer get out of bed to work on it.
Oh wait, I may have misunderstood Gary's post.
It does get better with a few repairs here and there. My first ride i got 20 miles from my house and it spit sputtered and the 26 stopped. I drug it home fixed it and it does great now but still fixing the little things that should have been repaired years ago buy the previous owners!! I still love these cars and plan to repair and drive them until i expire.. Tim
About 40 years ago, the Santa Clara Valley Model T Ford Club had a discussion that went on for several months. The question was "We know model T people are the best people in the world, but WHY are they the best people in the world?" During the ongoing discussion, most of the things mentioned by Michael G came up. Along with many other things like spending a year getting the car ready to attend a major tour, planning the family's vacation around it, only to beak the crankshaft the day before you were supposed to leave.
Then again. Model T Fords, more than ANY other car, more than any other THING, have a way connecting their caregivers and keepers to history, humanity, to the world and the universe.
People who are basically good, are attracted to model Ts. The model T can help them understand their place in the universe. But the Model T can also chew up and spit out lesser people. Only the best people stick with them. They help mold you, train you, and teach you. You take care of them, and they will help you.
That is why Model T people are the best people in the world.
And yes, it does get better.
Drive carefully, and enjoy the journey! W2
I truly believe it's become a therapy tool for me. PTSD is a struggle. The anxiety, depression, anger and emotions appear at some of the worst times. It costs way more than people know. It can cost you your family, your marriage and your friendships.
Something happens when you work on an old Model T. You learn to have patience for its age. You learn to respect it for what it's been through. You marvel at its strength and you appreciate it for its tenacity.
It will do whatever it can to fill your days with pleasurable touring. It'll humble you by proving you have no idea of what the hell you're doing. It'll kick you if you don't follow procedure and it will provide you with a lifetime of new friendships.
But the best thing it does for me is it causes me to stop what I'm doing and think about its needs. It needs me to be patient, it needs me to relax and go slow, it always makes me smile and it'll never break my heart.
So true, Michael G. So very true.
Rick, it gets better! Model T's will humble you at times, remember most of them are 90 years old or more, and the technology at least ten years older. As simple as they may seem in comparison to today's cars, it is amazing the things that find a way to go wrong. I think they test your devotion to them, and when you pass the test, more reliable touring is in your future. Or maybe you just learn how to make the damn thing run. I'm not sure. I have always said about old cars, if you were certain about getting to the destination, it would not be as satisfying when you do. Anyway, keep the faith and persevere. All of us here are rooting for you.
Rick, keep the faith, once you get it sorted out it will give you years of pleasure! You just have to have patience and gain experience. Well worth all the aggravation! It's always a good idea to find another club member to be your mentor or at least give you moral support!
Rick, I kind of know where you're at. I have always wanted a Model T since I was a child, so when the opportunity presented itself...I jumped. I really wanted a car as close to original as possible that hadn't been messed with, so when the chance to pick up a '26 Tudor out of an estate presented it I couldn't wait to shell out the money. It wasn't running at the time, and for some stupid reason I thought I could get it back on the road with a minimal investment. Wrong! The car was in worse shape than I ever imagined. After two frustrating years of dumping money into it, I choked up more cash and bought a decent driver ('26 Touring), then took the rebuilt engine and Ruckstell from the Tudor along with the wire wheels and new tires and put them on the Touring. So at least I have something to play with on the roads.
However, the Tudor is still there and I have been gradually spending time and more money trying to get that back together. My dilemma is that I have reached a point where I wonder if I really need two cars since I can only drive one at a time. I'm also have other financial priorities and may be looking at a move in the not-to-distant future. So, I am at a crossroads of wondering how much time and cash to invest in the Tudor, or just to sell off the project to someone with deeper pockets and more time than I have. What I really wish I had done was just to wait and buy a car that didn't need much or anything. I would probably have spent far less and had considerably less aggravation. Lesson learned.
Fixin' 'em up is half the fun!
My first T is now mostly where I want it to be. We have MOT evey 8 year and I have just grounded it in order to redo the frontaxle and steering. At the last MOT 8 years ago I got a oral remark that the bolts at the tracking rod had a slight play. After 1000's of miles and 8 years it still have the same play, but the ball and pitman arm are bad, så are the gear in the steering, så it will now all be overhauled. Parts just received from my local "pusher".
The rear is leaking at the left wheel. I thing the bearing is done but I have a brand new original. So new sleeves are on hand as new inner and outer seals.
Mechanical it just starts right up after months storage and it goes 65 - 70 km/t with no problems. Alupistons and ballanced flywheel and transmission drums.
I've pulled the engine 3 times during my 10 years and everytime with improvements.
Now last year I bought my second T. Another adventure starts - so far it runs, but I have already plans. My target is an as reliable T as my first T.