This note came from a friend that does not have an account.
The Brown Model 115 rear oil lamp on my T blows out when under way.
The vent openings in the chimney are vertical which seems to be contributing to the problem.
I have an equivalent Lucas oil lamp where the vent openings are horizontal and that is OK.
The Victor Model 2 side lamps are of a similar design and show similar symptoms, but stay lit.
Thousands of these lamps were made and I canít believe there is an inherent design flaw.
Any ideas from anybody as to the cause/solution?
I find the rear light blows out easier than the cowl lights. However, since I switched to Ultra-Pure lamp oil made by Lamplight, I find they stay lit much better. I understand that it may not be the best choice in cold climates, as it can freeze or at least gel up, but I have no problem with it here in GA. You might try it and see. It smells like a candle burning rather than kerosene.
I have that John Brown 115 on my car and it will stay lit at all speeds. The most likely problem is the rear door or the font closure. Rear door should lay flat against the housing when pinned and the font slot is closed when the font is locked on.
The lamp needs no outside air getting in except from the top. The square kerosene's are easy to keep lit even at 35 mph into a headwind if they are not damaged and close properly.
When I first saw your thread title I assumed you were talking about the round lamps. I checked a clip I have for the round lamps, 1915 and later. I will add that clip even though the square lamps ('09 - '14) don't need a felt gasket, many of the '15 and up round kerosene lamps do. The gasket went around the rim door next to the glass.
You will be surprised the attention those cowl and tail lights get.
I just use regular kerosene.
Ken in Texas
(Message edited by drkbp on October 17, 2016)
Funny this would just post.
I mounted a round version under my home built, extended pickup bed, and lit for the first time. We drove several miles in various directions, and stopped for supper. It stayed lit the whole time. I left it lit while we were in supper, after turning down the flame a bit, as it was smoking a little). We took off for home, and was out when we got there. I didn't check to see if we ran out of oil, or maybe I turned it down too far, and it snuffed itself out.
So, your 15 has a square brass lantern, by the sounds of it?
Can standard felt be used? Probably not much room in the rim for the cotton headlight cord.
Silly question ... is 'lamp oil' (like that used in tiki torches) pretty much the same as kerosene? We have several bottles of that we could use up. :-)
I've been stopped by the Highway Patrol for that same reason. All I told him is, am I supposed to get out of the car every five minutes to see if it is lit? He let me go after I relit the taillight. By the way, it is a 115.
The John Brown 115 I use is on a '14.
When you set the flame on a lit wick, have the door closed. The lamp will smoke if: the door is open, the wick is too high or there is too much outside air getting in the lamp.
To snuff the lamps, I open the door and a quick puff will put the flame out. That way, when you re-light, close the door as soon as you light the wick. As the lamps warms up for a minute, the flame goes right where it was before without having to set the wick height again.
I imagine a full font will keep round or square lamps burning 8 hours or so. It sounds like Lamp Oil would work just as well as plain kerosene but I haven't tried it.
Ken in Texas
Very good ... yeah .. it was smoking until I turned it down some.... but I don't have felt on the door... but did have it 'held fast' with a plastic tie ... (didn't appear to get hot enough to even come close to melting the tie). ... as I did have the door plop open on one of my pre-lit trips with the car.
Dennis in Michigan
Even if it stays lit, the kerosene tail light is inadequate for practical use. Today's drivers aren't looking for one dim little light. They expect to see a glaring display that will get their attention. A pair of accessory LED tail lights you can stick on the car at night is a good idea.
In my case, the kerosene tail light was just put on for conversation, really. It wasn't on as long as my dad had the car (30 some odd years), nor for the last 4 or 5 since I've had it. I added a temporary 'stick' bracket, until I can make something a bit more robust. The last 2 + weeks have indeed been spent getting the new LED tail, turn and brake lights mounted, and working properly. Finally, they ARE! I can use turn signals and be reasonably expect them to be as visible as most modern cars.
James -- You probably already know this, but the only SAFE solution if your friend is going to drive the car is to electrify it. And while he's at it, he can add a stop light (or two). Turn signals are optional, as far as I'm concerned, but a working tail light and stop light are mandatory.
My kerosene rear light is if the 1917-23 round style, and it stays lit if I'm driving around town and at speeds lower than 40 mph. When going longer distances at 45-50 mph it almost always blows out. Putting some tape in the lid for a seal helped a little.
It's so dim so it's hard to see - I've put an electric light on the RH side and a couple of battery LED bike lights too so the modern drivers has a chance to see me..
Seems to me that I once heard that an old trick for getting bright lamps was to burn gasoline and use an asbestos wick. Anyone ever tried that?
I am all for using ALL of the original Ford systems, but given the consequences of being rear-ended by someone doing 70 at night, the tail lamp is one area that I make a concession for safety and use one of the little 9V LED clip on lamps. It helps a lot, but some drivers wouldn't see you and slow down if you had a red-lensed air raid searchlight mounted back there.