I bought a 21 this weekend that i have been in love with since i met it as a 8 year old back in 78. Finally was able to buy it it is a nice car but hasn't been run in in a few years. I want to get it going soon. I think at least 2 of my coils are weak or bad. When i turn the key to batt i only see 2 of them sparking.I checked at the plugs and just those 2 have sparks. (got a hell of a shock due to being a bit careless) Im looking for somebody in Minnesota to test them before i replace them. Im pretty sure they are original. they are wood and very nicely built (dovetail corners) I will replace them if need be but id like to check them 1st. One other question There are 2 controls in the cab that go to the carb 1 is the choke i get that but the other is a rod that goes to a t shape that turns, seems like a needle and seat setup. Is this a fuel shut off?
Welcome to the wonderful world of T's
There is a kind of distributor at the front of the engine called a timer that grounds the coils to get them to fire one at the time. Take it off, clean it and check what type it is - originally it had a roller that needs frequent oiling, but there are many aftermarket types. You may also check and clean all the bronze contacts where the coils sits in their coil box - and the wiring. Maybe it's just lack of electrical contact that stops two of them from firing?
The carb needle controls the main jet in the carburetor to adjust the gas/air mix for best running - the best setting varies from car to car, but you may start by carefully closing the needle and open it up one turn.
Here is some good free reading - the owners manual
There are lots of other good books you may want - someone will surely soon give suggestions
First of all, read the owners manual that will tell how to operate the controls without folks having to rehash it on the forum.
Don't be so quick to start spending money and replace parts. The timer just may need to be cleaned, coils adjusted, etc.
Book suggestions: See Mark's first link above.
Somebody in MN to check coils (AFTER you check timer and all contacts):
323 W MN ST
St Joseph, MN 56374
Buy the T books and read them. Buy yourself a reprint of the owners manual. Also buy the Model T Ford service manual. Every T owner should have this one.
If your completely new to Model T's learn the basics from the owners manual. This tells owners basic driving techniques and lever settings.
No kidding. You can save yourself time, money and misery by doing the above as others have already stated. Have fun and take your time.
Jeff, I would suggest contacting John Pole (651) 768-8888. He's right down in your part of the metro area (Cottage Grove), and has a vast knowledge of Model T's and expertise to help you deal with your issues. Also consider joining one of the local Model T Clubs. The membership is usually a good resource and are more than willing to be great mentors.
Do as Kevin suggested.
Nothing beats a trained set of eyes onsite.
Jeff - Welcome to the hobby and to this forum!
You've already received excellent advice from Erik Johnson and others.
To elaborate a bit on what Erik said, think of it this way:
Most often, a car that has not run for a long time was probably not run again because of just one problem. If you start tearing into things before you have a basic understanding of the mechanical aspects of Model "T's, or better yet as suggested, some help from an experienced "T" guy, you will probably just add more problems to that just one problem that kept the car from running all those years. And that "just one problem" might be something very simple.
Again, as you've already heard, take your time, and don't make more problems for yourself,....for what it's worth,.....harold
Jeff,feel free to call me at the above number or email me at aloso@qdotcom.
Hi Jeff & welcome to the affliction. You have apparently had it, although dormant, for some time now!
Harold gave you some of the wisest words yet regarding your car not running. However, it may not have been run because of its human not being well enough to run it! Read the books/online articles, and get an experienced set of eyes looking it over--you may have it running in very short order. My barn-fresh 25 started after decades of sitting with just basic cleaning and prep--and on the coils sitting in the box! I did have to wiggle them around a bit to get good contacts though. Heck, I didn't even clean the carb (not that I would recommend skipping that to anyone else--I was just lucky!). They are amazingly resilient cars (until they break a crankshaft, but that's hopefully for another day).
Be careful who you listen to! Everyone has an opinion. Some are good, and some are not. You be the judge, and weigh what you hear with caution.
Never listen to me.
I have a bumper sticker on the back of the trailer:
" I go the extra mile ...
Mainly because I am lost ... "
Thanks all for responding. I appreciate all advice. I know the car was driven in the last couple years. It wasn't parked do to any particular issue. It just didnt have anyone who really loved it. I do. I have started the learning experience and im reading alot. I do plan getting involved in owners groups. I would really like to put it on a trailer and bring it to an enthusiast who is well versed in the model t and willing to mentor me a bit. Im willing to pay for a couple hours of training and info sharing.
You and I are aboard the same ship.
Here's a pic of my "new" car
Jeff - I'll tell you how much I treasure this hobby of ours, and the friends I have made, both in my club and on this forum, and I'll also make a prediction. If you want to, you'll quickly make friends, you'll get as much help as you want, and you'll not pay anything for it, except that as you learn and gain Model "T" knowledge and experience, you'll be expected to share your own future knowledge, experience and friendship, because,....that's just how Model "T" folks are, and you're about to become one of 'em! Trust me on this one Jeff,.....harold
And by the way, forgot to say, nice photo of you and a great little Model "T" roadster pickup. You're sure gonna' have fun with that one,........harold (retired UPRR Sr. Special Agent)
She looks great!! Yer Gonna have FUN!!
Nice car Jeff! I have a 1919 Roadster just like yours. The 17-22 T roadsters look identical except for a few differences but they are generally alike.
I notice you have the rear wheel chocked.
This is just a reminder but Model T's don't have 'real brakes' like modern cars! They do have brakes and will stop but not quite the way you may think. You'll learn how to drive and bring the car to stop. It takes a little practice.
But enough for now! Have fun and be safe.
Welcome to the hobby. You're in a great place. Minnesota has very active Model T clubs that offer lots of opportunities to tour with a group of Ts, as well as informational meetings over the winter months. The T Totalers are very active in the south metro. Several of their members live within 20 miles of Hastings. Check out the website: http://www.t-totalers.com
Two weeks ago, all four of the Minnesota Model T clubs held the annual All T Reumion in Farminton. As usual, there were about fifty Model Ts in attendance, a small swap meet and all the free advice you can stomach.
As mentioned, Andy and John are each good resources. Andy does a ton of mechanical work for local people and he stocks new and used parts. John's been into Model Ts forever.
The next local tour is on Monday July 4th. It's the 13th annual tour and potluck picnic hosted by my wife and I. We typically have 15-20 Model Ts show up for the tour. We drive scenic back roads and enjoy a potluck lunch along the way. Nicole and I always provide old fashioned hot dogs off the manifold cookers. If you'd like to join us, we meet at 8:30 am, at the Hasty Truck Stop located between Clearwater and Monticello. It's at I-94 exit #183