First Drive 1926 Roadster

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Model T Ford Forum: Forum 2016: First Drive 1926 Roadster
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Gerald Blair on Friday, November 25, 2016 - 01:18 pm:

Here is a video
It was such a blast

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mark Strange - Hillsboro, MO on Friday, November 25, 2016 - 01:31 pm:

Congratulations! :-O

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dennis Seth - Jefferson, Ohio on Friday, November 25, 2016 - 01:37 pm:

Great to see another car back on the a I mean yard! :-)

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By James Glenn Fisher III on Friday, November 25, 2016 - 01:55 pm:

Beautiful. Though at the beginning my heart skipped a beat thinking something was wrong when you ran off the road. She sounds wonderful.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Warren Henderson, Dunbarton, NH on Friday, November 25, 2016 - 02:24 pm:

Great video, just wondering if this is your first Model T? Be sure and join your local Model T Ford Club, as they will provide great help, information and the pleasure of touring locally in a group. You can checkout my YouTube ( for more Model T videos.

Happy Motoring,


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Steve Jelf, Parkerfield KS on Friday, November 25, 2016 - 03:02 pm:

Glad you had somebody there who can handle a camera. :-)

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Tim Lloid on Friday, November 25, 2016 - 05:02 pm:

Great video!!! Cool car!! Tim

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Gerald Blair on Saturday, November 26, 2016 - 04:01 pm:

Well it just keeps getting better. So I changed the oils again after I got it warmed up good and did take a drive down the road about a mile or so. Now I have just did my first hand crank and it started on the first pull. I am so happy.
Another video of it going down the road.
Now I need to start tightening, greasing, oiling and changing the differential fluid.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Don Booth@ Bay City, Mi on Saturday, November 26, 2016 - 04:11 pm:

Ain't that fun....nice car !

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Norman T. Kling on Saturday, November 26, 2016 - 05:46 pm:

What was that sound like thunder? Did it rain on you? That looks like a fun car.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Hap Tucker in Sumter SC on Saturday, November 26, 2016 - 09:20 pm:


Welcome to the forum. Great job on getting the car going! I missed your other thread at where you commented that you were new to Model Ts and that you had just purchased your 1926 Runabout. From you posting it sounds like you are familiar with cars etc. as you knew to check things, change oil, etc.

As Warren mentioned, joining the local Model T chapter can be a big help to you as well as letting you be a help to them. The Model T Ford Club of America chapters (the site you are on) are listed at: and The Model T Ford Club International (many of us are members of both clubs and many of our chapters are chapters of both clubs) chapter listing is located at: 31FDB20580&disposition=0&alloworigin=1 Remember if you are located close to the state line, a chapter in the nearby state may be closer than one in your actual state.

I routinely post some safety items for new folks. You can learn firsthand by experience, but I like what someone told me, “Experience is the hardest kind of teacher, because it gives the test first and then the lesson afterward.” For folks who are familiar with the T’s they often already know these items from either firsthand experience or from the experience others have had. None of this is to scare you. The T is a faithful servant but just like you shouldn’t run up fast behind a horse, there are some known items you shouldn’t try with a T or that you should check and make sure they are correct on your T.

First – take your time. It is very different from most other cars we drive (about the same if your other car is a 1906-1927 four cylinder Ford). See the posting at: where a new driver had a learning experience even at a slow speed. You can drive thousands of miles without an issue – but the first 50 hours in the car you are learning how to drive it. And if an emergency comes up during your first 30 or so hours you will probably react like you would in your normal car. That can cause problems if your normal car is a standard shift with a clutch.

If you are married and desire to stay married, don’t ask your wife to hand crank the car for you while you forget to retard the spark. I can still see the photo from the antique car magazine of the wife with a cast on her arm next to the T. She didn’t look very happy. And the other thing when you ask someone to retard the spark – visually look to make sure they did it correctly. When I was about 6 or 7 year old, I was running the spark & gas levers while Dad cranked the car. He said retard the spark and I moved the gas lever up. He caught it in time – but when you ask someone – look before you hand crank.

I would encourage you to ask the previous owner if the Babbitt rear thrust bearings were replaced with bronze thrust bearings in the past. If he doesn’t know – I would highly recommend that you check and confirm what they are made out of. There are also some roller bearing thrust washer/bearings. I personally would recommend the bronze – but the main thing is to make sure they are not the original Babbitt thrust washers. When they fail [not if but when]– they tend to go quickly and you no longer have a transmission brake, or low or high or reverse gear. You are freewheeling because the pinion gear is no longer making proper contact with the ring gear (also called crown gear). Those rear axle thrust bearings if they are babbitt (originally bronze in the 1909-1915 cars and then switched to babbitt on the cars during 1915 ref: see part number 2528 ) can fail with minimal warning leaving the driver without the normal transmission brake (the main regular brake on a stock Model T). See the discussion at: If you lose the brakes and you are on a flat area with minimal traffic – it is not nearly as bad as losing them while going downhill towards a busy intersection. See the rear axle babbitt discussion part way down in the following thread: With the 1926-27 larger rear emergency brake drums, if they are working well and you pull the lever back quickly – you are better off than the 1925 and earlier cast iron emergency brake shoes against an eight inch brake drum. For folks with the earlier 8 inch rear drums I recommend the new accessory lined brake shoes.

Below are some additional safety items and links that are helpful to a new T owner. Many of the items below are issues from a part being repaired and then installed incorrectly (such as the front spring perches – which can cause the T to be a wild ride and even turn over. )

If you are driving slowly on a farm where it doesn’t matter if the brakes fail, the spokes fail, car turns over, etc. – then you can ignore them all. I would encourage you to review. Getting an experienced Model T person to help you learn about your car can save you lots of frustration and possible expense. For example, if you fail to retard the spark and you push down on the starting crank at the front of the car to start the car, you could easily break your arm. That is a known safety issue with Model Ts. And it isn’t dangerous as long as you understand what causes it [spark lever advanced [that is the left hand lever on a left hand drive car or the right hand lever on a right hand car] should be pushed up], commutator adjustment rod installed wrong or bent improperly so that even with the spark lever up, the spark is still too far advanced, shorted wire on the commutator, etc.. And if you use the electrical starter that your car has – if the spark is advanced and the engine back fires – it can damage the starter and/or bendix drive. For additional details please see:
and there are other related threads.

Some other safety related items:

And be sure the car is in safe working order. An engine that burns oil is not a critical safety issue (at least not in my book) but the front-end castor if it is set up negative can flip the car. Those and similar items are well documented "oops" for the T. But if you have never been around one -- they are probably new "data points" for you. Some of them are listed below – not to scare you but to let you learn from others rather than discovering all the lessons on your own.

Safety Glass is nice:

Use safety wire and not lock washers or cotter pins on the two studs holding the wishbone to the underside of the engine. Why? Because even if the nuts have cotter pins there have been cases where the studs back out. That allows the wishbone to be loose and the steering can become useless.

Lots of safety items

Over center steering – shouldn’t happen on the later Ts (Ford added a stop inside the steering gear housing. The change was approved Oct 28, 1921 and would have taken a little while to be put into regular production. Ref: )– If the steering gear is original to the car – that can also be used to establish it was before or after that change. Note there would have also been a period of overlap when both designed were used as the old stock was used up. If someone replaced the steering gear housing or rebuilt it without the lock pin – or installed the wrong length drag link etc. the over center steering might happen: as well as:

Types of safety wire:

Example of loss of brakes caused by drive shaft failure:

Top T tips – many of them are safety related also:

Tour safety check list:

And if you have a gas hot water heater in the garage – be very very careful. The float in a Model T Carb will sometimes stick (or trash in the valve) and the carb will leak gasoline. Not too bad if there are no sparks. But several homes, garages and cars have been lost when a gas hot water heater was nearby and someone started the dishwasher etc. that caused the hot water heater burner to turn on at the wrong time. Note gas fumes tend to be heavier than regular air …. so they tend to hug the floor. If you adjust your garage door to let the mice in and the air out – that is a temp work around. But replacing the gas fired hot water heater with an electric heater or having the gas one relocated away from the garage is the best thing. Note there are also gas/propane fired hot water heaters that are supposed to detect the presence of gas fumes and not light their burner. I’m old school – I would not want to trust the computer technology to work perfectly every time….

Even with a perfectly good and properly adjusted front steering system – if you back up quickly, the front wheels can go full left or full right and pull the steering wheel out of your hand – so remember to back up slowly. It is caused by the caster of the front wheels similar to the casters on the front of the shopping cart – designed to be stable in one direction but not so stable in the opposite direction. If someone rebuilt the front axle and it is was really difficult to keep the car going straight they may have inadvertently swapped the front spring perches. There is a left and a right spring perch that tilts the axle so the bottom of the axle is slightly ahead of the top of the axle (5 1/2 degrees positive caster – although there is some discussion that it is a little less but still positive for the balloon tires). If it has negative to neutral caster it can cause a wild ride and also could cause the car to flip even at a slow speed see: that shows the spring perch installed incorrectly and how the front axle looks then. Also see: Note even with the spring perch installed correctly a bent or shortened wishbone could cause neutral to negative caster.

Wood spokes work fine – but they need to fit tightly, not be split or wood rotted, made of quality wood (pine is not a good choice and yes some folks have offered pine spokes for sale) and the bolts etc. need to be tight without too much wobble in the wheel. see:

Again a T is a faithful servant but it has some known issues that the driver needs to be aware of and to take proper precautions about.

I would also encourage you to check out the local Model T Ford club(s) near you. If there is not a club near by, there may be some members or other Model T owners near you. See: and They can be a real source of encouragement and help you as you learn to maintain the car.
Steve Jelf has an excellent set of books he recommends for new owners on his web site at: with the T section at: and the recommended books listed at:

Note there are also free “how to books” on the internet such – see: 56bbT2W68C&hl=en&sa=X&ei=tdpWVMi4PMOjgwSAhoC4Ag&ved=0CBcQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q&f=fa lse and there are others – on the net. And the Ford Service is online at: and does include the starter equipped cars and even the 1926 -27 “Improved car” features. The owners/instruction manuals are at: and the 1921 would work great for your 1923 car. Also the Ford Instruction Course on that same page the link is: And to help you with parts identification etc. I like Lang’s Old Car Parts on line catalog (you can also down load it as a PDF) available from: 16 mb so on a slow connection start the down load when you are going to do something else. Many of the photos are in color. Many but not all of the part numbers are the same as those used by Ford. They also have some helpful tips in the catalog. They are also great folks to deal with.

Also if you may want to review Milt Webb’s excellent “How to remove a T from mothballs” see the posting at: and scroll down to Tom Mullin’s posting the third posting from the top. While it was written for a T that had been stored for a long time – running the checklist on any T can help you know what to look for.

Also Milt has a great article about how slow cranking may be caused by poor 6volt electrical maintenance see Milt’s Six-Volt Battery Performance From your video, it appears your car is cranking great. But if it is using a 12 volt battery, that is very hard on the starter Bendix.
Have lots of fun with your new Improved Ford and welcome to the forum. [What is an “Improved Ford?” The term that Henry had his USA dealers use when refereeing to the 1926 model cars when they were introduced. It was still a “T” and was not a new design. And Henry wanted to emphasize that. See: for additional details.

Respectfully submitted,

Hap l9l5 cut off

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Gerald Blair on Sunday, November 27, 2016 - 04:07 pm:

That is a lot of information and I appreciate it very much. Looks like I am close to the Columbus, Ohio, Dayton, Ohio and Tipp City, Ohio clubs so I will need to get in contact with one of them and see what I can find out. My plan it to work on it over the winter see what I can get done. I would like to take the fenders and running boards off first since there are a few missing bolts and just make sure things are tight and the way they should be. I do not want to have an accident or someone get hurt. My wonderful wife bought me the service manual and a few other books so I have some reference material. I am located outside Urbana, Ohio and Gas Light Auto is just up the road a few miles so I have a good source of parts. Sure glad there is a place like this that people can ask questions and get experienced advice.
Thank you

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Gary Schreiber- Santa Isabel Ecuador on Sunday, November 27, 2016 - 04:38 pm:

Great fun. You'll have a blast

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Duey_C on Tuesday, November 29, 2016 - 11:46 pm:

Yeehaw! Good on you Gerald! Liked the clips and loved the tracks on the grass. Practice runs.... I leave marks on my neighbors grass... :-)

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