Greetings, First T project- 1913 Speedster I am hauling out of a farmstead near me. Hoping to get help with assessment of restoration or " it's too far gone and you are crazy". Stuck in gear, motor free (motor turns when we pull it.) Was stored in back of open shed. some element issues. Will post pics
Please do post pics......lots of help and advice available in the Twin City area Model T clubs....don't be afraid to ask!
Jake,, Pictures please, we like pictures . Welcome to the affliction, You have found the place to get any answers to any questions you may have. The are many , many, good folks here willing to help. And there are also a few (very few) grumpy old men here, just try to ignore them You may have the car in high gear is why the engine turns over when pulling it. The hand brake lever needs to be in the upright position for neutral. If it is all the way forward, it puts the trans in high gear. One other thing is to never tow a model T. It is OK to pull it around short distances in the yard or shop, but long distance towing can burn out the trans do to lack of oil flowing. There is a short learning curve to learn about the workings of a Model T. They are different than anything you may have worked on before. Nothing really hard to learn, but they are unique. Again ,,,, Welcome ...
can seem to upload the pics I took.
Resize the pictures to a file size under 250K.
Well done and welcome to the forum, nice speedster!
BTW, you can are not limited to one picture per post. Just put a couple of blank lines between each picture to space them out. When you preview your post, some of the pictures may not show up, but don't be alarmed, they will all show up in your final post.
Hope to haul it to my heated garage yet this week. Where can I look to verify the year?
I would expect such a modified car to have all year-matching
parts, but the engine number is stamped on the boss directly
under that water outlet shown in your last photo. From there,
I am lost. Too early for my scope of knowledge. Others here
will jump in for sure ....
That should have read:
I would NOT expect ....
The serial number and date are on the engine block.
Engine block number is a good start. Detailed pictures of the pedals, front and rear frames cross sections, and rear axle will help the pro's pin down what's right and wrong.
In all seriousness, unless you are a true fan of matching parts, a variety is good. Most speedsters built back in the day were comprised of a variety of years of parts. 26 engine, 26 axle, 13 grille, 15 fenders, etc etc. Other brands of parts are normal and good too!
Awesome patina on the t and good luck with it!!
Burger, with all due respect, the engine number is located on the boss just above the water inlet which is on the left side of the block.
Jake, once you know the engine number, you can find the date it was made by going to the "Encyclopedia" on this site.
Hope this helps.
What is meant by "modified" car? first glance is this a Hodge Podge?
The encyclopedia version on this site is much abridged. It will tell you the month, but not the day. The same is true for all the other information. What's online is a portion of the full thing. I contend that the encyclopedia on disk is one of the best investments a model T owner can make, and there are also some other sources of information that are very useful: http://dauntlessgeezer.com/DG80.html
TO my fellow MTFCA members, fellows like Jake can fall into a
IIIIIGGGG VVVVVAAAATTTT of manure and come smelling like a huge bunch of Roses. Congrats Jake treat it with TLC and get it going SAFELY and enjoy the ride!!!!!!!!!!!
Jake, Nice looking car. You are correct about "hodge podge" of parts. Nothing wrong with that, and speedsters are naturally a mixture of parts from different years, and even different makes. You could have a basically correct, stock Model T chassis, with all forms of bodies. Bodies could be home made or even bought from a catalog. Sears, Montgomery Wards, Western Auto, ect. sold accessory bodies. There were lots of different "speed merchants" selling stuff to make your "Ford" go faster and be more "snappy looking". So the chassis could end up anything from "stock" to to full race chassis with overhead valve conversions, multiple carbs, magneto ignition, or ????? The general rule to building up a speedster is try and decide what "era" you prefer, and then try to stay true to that era as much as you can. But that is not even a hard rule. It is mostly a personal preference type of thing. What you have is a nice example of a "brass era" speedster built in the "Stutz Bearcat styling. A lot if not most of the brass era speedsters are in the "flat deck" Stutz Bearcat style. A Stutz Bearcat was a very desireable style of a prestigious car back in the day. So it was only natural that a lot of T owners would try to build their speedster in that style. The car has some nice looking "patina" that may be worth saving, if you like the "as found look". The "as found" cars are really popular at this time. So a good cleanup and conservation may be all you need to do as far as "looks" but you do need to do a "step by step" checkout of all thing mechanical. The main item of safety to check is to see if the rear end has had the babbit thrust washers changed to the brass thrust washers. The old babbit washers get brittle due to age and if they crumble while driving the ring and pinion can become "un-meshed" and you will have no brakes. Which can become a very bad day. You will have to remove the rear axle and split it open to check for them. But that is a good time to clean everything up and replace anything needed. So please check them. We do not want our "newbies" getting hurt. There a lots of folks here willing to help and answer questions. This place is like a large dysfunctional family, for the most part everyone tries to help out and get along. But there is the occasional "grumpy old man". Just try and ignore them Again. You have a nice looking project, keep us posted, and have fun and be safe ... Donnie Brown ... PS .. more pictures are always welcome ........
Very cool find.Lots of bits like shocks and lugage carier makes it even more so.
Drive safe and often
Along the lines of what Donnie said...
Definitely not "Too Far Gone!!"
Nice! I have restored six model T speedsters over the years. The best of them was far more gone than that when I began working on it. Do you have anything that indicates when the car was rebuilt into a speedster?
Many thousands were done back in the days when model Ts were still new cars. They are as much a legitimate piece of automotive history as any other car. Sadly, most of those cars were among the first cars to be tossed into the scrap drives near the beginning of WWII, so few intact examples survive. All six of mine were "resurrected" from remains of original speedsters, but none of them were near the level of being intact originals.
Speedsters were also recreated after the war. Some were done like original cars, some were not. It really doesn't matter a lot. Model Ts are a lot of fun, and a speedster can be more fun than most. Yours may or may not be an original era speedster. Either way, you can restore it basically as such, or any other way you wish.
I wish you were closer to where I am. I would love to spend a couple hours crawling around it and looking at the details!
Drive carefully, and enjoy, W2
Jake, looks like a fun project to me. I like the "look" of you new Model T. As you go through the car be sure to take lots of pictures for your own records-----and post some of them here. As other guys have said many times, we like pictures. Thanks for your post.
I am on tinderhooks waiting to see details of that early chassis. A car like that had to have been built by someone who knew what parts were era-correct. Know any history? That could have belonged to one of the biggie pioneers of the hobby.
Maybe the original Yellow Peril. Dave in Bellingham,WA
Must be hard to drive with the steering wheel aimed at your forehead.
(Message edited by Erik_johnson on November 21, 2016)
David, I thought of the "Yellow Peril" when I saw Jake's car! I think Jake's might be a Severson body kit. I had one of those many years ago.
BTW I actually do know where the original Yellow Peril is at this time.
Welcome to a really fun hobby! Your speedster has lots of great potential!
The dash has a similar shape but looks smaller than the Syverson speedster shown below. Photo taken from Phil Mino’s posting at: http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/29/7542.html (Thank you Phil!).
Below is Jake's speedster:
Note also that the Syverson seats were bucket style seats. The seat on Jake’s speedster appears to be a regular front seat from some early car (or the rear seat from a tourabout which was another front seat). Note that it does not appear to have had front doors. It also has a bead around the seat side and back.
Jake, do you remember if the back and sides of the seat are metal or wood?
Again, it will make a great looking speedster and bring you lots of fun.
Hap l9l5 cut off
Thank you all for the plethora of information today. Here in Minnesota we are expecting some significant snow over the next few days making the extraction and haul home a bit more daunting.
Evidently there is a special low trailer built for this car buried in the weeds somewhere. I recall seeing some fenders and other parts in one of the grain bins.
Due to this forum I've already learned a previous owner's name due to some keen record keeping and a cross reference of the Pioneer license plate.
Welcome to the hobby. You'll find that living in Minnesota is a good thing as you dive into this project. We're one of the most active Model T communities in the country. There are four active Model T clubs with events available nearly every weekend. Consider attending a winter meeting or two. You'll get all the free advice you can stomach.
Your new car looks like it will be a fun project. I hope you'll keep posting photos of your progress
Feel free to contact me with any specific questions: 320-260-7673
Trying to determine the year of the engine. The numbers on the pad just above the water outlet are too faded to read, even after a light spray and rub down. However there is a 19 embossed just to the front of the water outlet, about 3 inches Southwest of the engine number pad. Does anyone know what this "19" means?
Also discovered, thanks to help from Jeff, that the trans top is aluminum.
Take a stiff wire brush and don't be afraid to aggressively clean the pad.
Minnesota Pioneer plates are permanent registrations, and, since the car never left Minnesota, it should still be registered in someone's name at the Minnesota Department of Public Safety. The serial number on the registration should match the serial number on the motor.
I looked up your plate number for Jeff. I believe that when your three digit Pioneer plate was originally issued, Minnesota had only registrations, not titles. If the car changed ownership since the plate was originally issued and any subsequent owner transferred the registration, a title may have been issued sometime along the way.
Thanks Erik, much appreciated. There is a title for this car.
Got the T home today, clean up and is now in the front of the garage in 60 degree heat. I saw a Tag from the Antique Automobile Club Iowa, MN meet from 1953. Here are some pics.
Someone asked if the seat frame is wooden. Yes the entire seat structure is wooden.
Sound like the fun is just begining. Great pics,hope its running soon.
Drive safe and often
Wonderful find Jake! Your first T and you find one like this? Too cool/you lucky scamp. :-)
I was gonna do the "It's too far gone Jake, You're crazy Jake-I'm only a couple-three hours West, I'll give it a home for you" routine but I just can't.
I must admit I'm a bit green tho and I do not have jealousy issues usually. ;-)
Get that engine serial number sorted yet? Sometimes a photograph or angled lighting will enhance things to see more.
I went out in the dark a few months ago, opened the hood and clicked a pic of the casting date on the '19 engine in my crappy '24 roadster and found that the old Olympus D-460 picked up the green paint still on the engine. Green paint? What green paint? I hate green paint. It's as rusty colored as the day is long... And saw some nice details of the casting date to boot. Perhaps try some lighting combos and see what you come up with.
Cool car. Any notions as to why the previous owners stopped using it? My '18 Tin Cup roadster was thrown back together 30 years ago and I wish I knew the why... Wired on body, no cotter keys anywhere and all the bolts were loose.
PLUS! I now know what the 3 Severson Cabinet Company photos I got with my '18's paperwork are all about! It's a good day!
Welcome to the affliction and thanks for the pics!
Wow, that is a nice looking car!...pin striping on the hood and body (probably the fenders too), hasslers all around, tires and wheels don't look too bad (probably need new tubes though), must of been a snazzy little car in it's day, this was somebodies baby for sure.
With a bit of work and a lot of patience you'll have that car looking fit and ready to have fun with by the spring thaw, barring anything seriously wrong of course. Then you'll know what we know, whether working on a T or driving a T, the fun never quits.
Before you start sanding and restoring your new treasure, please seriously consider leaving the appearance and patina "as is." And, if you decided to leave the patina as is, when you restore the mechanical aspects, leave that patina as much as possible as well.
There are a great many shiny cars, including speedsters. There aren't many that sport 60 plus year old patina.
In the end, it's your car and do as you wish. But please don't start messing with the really cool patina until you have decided which way to go as once you start restoring it there's no turning back.
As a barn fresh kinda guy with several "barn fresh" cars in my barn, I implore you to keep it as just do the mechanicals, make it safe and reliable.
I have owned 100 point incredible brass restorations from a 1909 50 hp Stoddard Dayton to a 1915 Packard Twin Six Limousine and many in between, and by far the cars that have brought the most enjoyment and the most public interest are the barn fresh cars.
These cars evoke the most positive comments where ever they are on display. They are truly lots of fun "as is".
Thank you all for the advice and kind words. I am in no rush just glad the car is back under shelter. The car sat in the back of an open shed/corn crib. The elements were not kind. This was once a very nice restored/built car and am unsure why it was left to the raccoons so to speak. I do need to address the mechanicals and the rotten thin wood cover piece that the gas tank sits on. There are some additional parts I am still hauling home, fenders, a homemade trailer etc.
"Patina" is just a fancy word for rust and corrosion...I've never been a fan of rust or corrosion.
This is not a factory made car where preserving it's "originalness" is so paramount as the fad dictates today.
This car was once a real looker, this was somebodies pride and joy. Now it is to be Jakes pride and joy! And you guys are asking him to ride around in a rust bucket that's safe and runs well? Are you NUTS?
This isn't the kind of car that looks good as a "barn fresh" find...this is the kind of car that looks good and turns heads when it's as fresh as the day it was built...nobody is going to oooh and awe over a rust bucket!
Jake, don't listen to these guys about this "patina" nonsense...that may work well for factory original cars, but not for speedsters. They're the flashiest of the flashy, they're meant to be noticed for their style as well for their speed. It's a 1913 Speedster that is yellow with black pinstripe, I can't think of anything flashier than that color combo and with it's brass all polished up and sparkling in the sun...now that's a Speedster!
It's your choice though, it's your car and that's the key thing here...nobody here will think any less of you or your car if you choose to make it look like new or like it did before it put in the corn crib. Everybody here will oooh and awe over it and compliment you on what a wonderful job of restoration you did every bit as much as all the people you meet will when you tell them of where and how you found it.
Bottom line Jake, it's your car...enjoy it.
T- Day One: Merry Christmas all, I finally got around to spending some time with the T today in the garage. I had as much fun getting down and dirty withe the T as I did just being in the warm garage and watching/hearing the cold wind and snow blow outside. While I did not make a lot of progress to some, the purpose of this project for me is a way to pass the time. It's a hobby, and since I can't spell NFL, NBA or NHL for lack of interest sake, today I took extra time getting prepared to work in the garage, sweeping and re-arranging prior to digging in. I miss my old big shop at the previous house, that was not attached to the house that was 40x45, with in floor heat and central air. I keep reminding myself that downsizing into one-level living in the end-up place at the lake is good. My small 12x10 area in the front of the attached 3-car garage is far superior to the dirt floor of the machine shed where I worked on farm equipment as a kid. I recall just being that'll for being inside that shed, out of the wind.
As I spent time with the car today, and not knowing anything about these cars a few questions came up that I will ask here.
I did the nasty so to speak, --cleaned/rinsed out the bone dry gas tank and removed some splintering rotten wood on the back deck. Drained the oil. The fuel line came off with ease. I removed the rear wooden area that was rotten and broken. The frame surround is solid as a rock. I flushed and flushed the the tank with some gas and even put and hand full of pea rocks in the tank. Filled up a 5 gal pale half way with some nasty rusty gas. I now have white vinegar in the tank soaking for a few days.
I moved on to draining the oil, the plug came off with ease and had no sign of water/moisture, just good blackness. I also removed the gear box cover and saw no signs of moisture, just good greasy lube.
A lot of the time was spent just discovering stuff, and noticing stuff. I squirted shots of penetrating oil here and there, felt like a locomotive engineer with an oil can. There are some wires run for temp gauges, now missing and some kind of oil pressure wire atop of the transmission. (see pic- not sure what that is)
Because 3 of the 4 coils were missing along with the key I am beginning to think this car may have been visited by some midnight shoppers out on the farm over the years. There had been a couple of auctions and this car was in pain sight of the auction crowds but were told it was off limits. I found a black coil box cover just one state over on E-gouge and it came this past week. It is oddly a perfect match, even the patina is a match. Very odd. I am also noticing some bolts and nuts are missing off the back of the car. I am curious what would could have been bolder that would have been a triangle similar to a left fender bracket, but on the passenger side?
Also noticing that the right rear fender is a bit different than the left. The right fender is missing an embossed 1" wide line on the inside.
I also noticed where the horn goes. There appears to be a specially formed 2x4 stub on the drivers side where the horn screw holes match up perfectly. Then looking at the pic above I can see where mine will be attached.
Exhaust- There seems to be an exhaust flap that opens prior to the muffler attached to a spring? Similar to running open headers on a muscle car? ha ha? Any thoughts?
I did buy a new set of coil boxes from Snyders. Yes yes I have heard all about the opinions of the coils on the forum here. We shall see.
In do time I will do through the carb and crate a fire in the hole. Have connected with an old high school pal who has some Ts and has offered to stop over this week and provide some guidance assistance. We may get as far as trying to fire but most likely not.
The wire on the hogs head ( transmition) is your magneto wire not an oil sending unit. Learning all this myself as Im fairly new to Ts. I sometimes just sit and look at it and list things in oreder I would like to do. Great to hear from you .Im sure you will get a lot more feedback.
Thanks for update.
As Dallas stated the wire on top of the hogs head is you magneto output terminal. Do not allow any outside power from a battery to feed back thru that wire or you will de-magnetize the magneto magnets. That wire should go to the terminal block and then on to the switch, and then on to the coil box power terminal to power the coils when the switch is turned to "mag" The switch can also feed the coil box from a battery when the key is turned to "Bat". Just be careful that the switch wires do not get crossed up. Inside the transmission looks pretty good to me, I bet the "old girl" is going to start and run with just a little check out time. Yes the thing on the exhaust pipe is an exhaust "cutout" it will give you that "thunderous" roar so many speedster guys crave . This car is just "so cool" have fun and be safe, Donnie Brown ....
The left rear fender is 1914 and the right rear is 1913 or possibly 1912
That is one clean-looking transmission, you may come out smelling like a rose here. Obviously the rear deck was made of plywood and has completely laminated away, If you want to stay with plywood, I'd get some paper-faced plywood--it's used for making advertising signs and is waterproofed glued, and the paper face take paint so it can look smooth as glass. Won't split under the paint later. Be sure and kill any dry rot you find in the wood, so it doesn't spread.
David, thanks for the beds up on water proof plywood. I will take you up on that.
Donnie-I'll see you at the races once I get the cutout free..:0
The reproduction wood coils from Snyders (and also sold by most of the other vendors) typically are not good. The car may run but not well. The capacitors are only part of the problem. They are just not made right. You ought to return them and seek out some original Ford coils.
Royce is correct when it comes to coils. I have rebuilt originals in stock. If need be, I can come over towards the end of the week.
I would take Andy up on that offer. The coils he rebuilt for me made a big difference in the RPU.
Thanks Andy! You can probably have alot of your questions answered as well.
OK, Andy, Im around all week, all the time.
Bob Johnson has a MN list of the Pioneer plate numbers and owners at the time the plate was issued. His son Eric is a poster on this forum. Bob can tell you who had plate 802.
Thanks Bob, Erik was nice enough to provide me with info early on. Great info he has for sure.
It's ALIVE!- Exciting day today as the Speedster came to life. Not without some incredible know how from Andy Loso and Roger who made the trek over to my place this morning bright and early. When they left I had a T that runs, was not stuck and an understanding of what I actually have.
I spent the week rinsing the gas tank with vinegar and gas.
1. The T seemed to be stuck in gear- after dousing the bands with a "magic solvent" and motor oil the band broke loose and the motor could be turned freely with the crank. The motor turned before but only when the thing was towed on and off the trailer. Figured we hit a dead and and they all of a sudden after more BSing the thing was free.
2. Andy pulled the carb and went through it. Installed tank, blew out lines- Fuel system in place.
3. Andy brought along a nice set of rebuilt coils. They were put in place. A 6 volt battery was rigged up for spark, spark checked but there were two valves that were dead stuck. More lube and working the values from the top and bottom, up and down, they eventually freed up. Here again we figured the day was over with these two stuck values. More standing around BSing, working the values and they freed up.
4. A few cranks and we got a pop!- more cranking and cranking and no go.
5. Tow strap and a 4 wheeler and we tow started it and it is alive.
I learned about some trinkets that were in a box- Two '12-'13 speedos, the double barrel air pump, NOS Carbon Generator, also a hub pulling tool. horn reed and horn.
Motor is '13-'14, frame is '19-'21ish, Steering sector is '13-'14, Rear end is '15, Drive shaft is '13-14, hogs head is '14. Based on the plate number and other info it is safe to say that the car was built in the 1950's.
I have some thinking to do on what to do with this thing but making it a safe driver is the plan as of today. I'll craft a new rear deck and battery box, do king pins and some work on the left hub. Go through the rear end. Dismount the tires, inspect / restore the wooden spokes and retube and re-tire.
I can't thank Andy and Roger enough for the help and knowledge. My high school buddy 'Model T-Trent' came over as well and those guys shared some small world T stories.
Sounds like a perfect day! Never have met Andy but he has helped me with parts and coils. I am glad to hear its alive. Andy is a stand up guy in my book.
Drive safe and often
Woohoo, congratulations! It looks pretty good to me as-is, make it safe and have some fun with it!
Congrats Jake!!! Great to meet you yesterday, glad I could help in my small way!
Jeff, yes, thank you. Your hep was in fact "Key" to this success-- Jeff was kind enough to provide me with a Key for the ignition coils.
Yippee! It lives! Congrats!
Even on flats, what a joy! An aside. My '24 TT ran around a bit this fall on flat rears. Don't care. It lives! And it'll be easier to get the old rear tires OFF the rims now! :-)
Happy for you Jake!
Andy's coils are the Northern version of coils that are "ready to go". :-)
Thank the heavens for model T's and the fellows that help make them run!