My dad's model T engines

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Model T Ford Forum: Forum 2016: My dad's model T engines
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Ron Satzler (Illinois) on Wednesday, December 07, 2016 - 08:28 pm:

My dadís name was Earl Satzler. My name is Ron. I was born in 39 and when I became old enough to be aware of what was happening on dadís farm , I noticed three model T engines that were well into their 2nd life. Dad was also a blacksmith, a mechanic, and good at retrofitting. Dad had retrofitted one Model T engine to power a buzz saw. A second engine was retrofitted to power a feed grinder. A third engine was a parts engine. I have no information about the cars these engines came out of. Knowing dadís financial situation, it is a safe bet he got them from a salvage yard. This is a story about the model T engine used on the feed grinder.

I remember the feed grinder input shaft being mounted in line with the engine in a model T main frame. The body of the car was gone but the steering wheel, and most items forward, were still in place. The running gear of this model T was mostly there except the drive tube going back to the rear axle during its 1st life in a car. A feed grinder now occupied that space. Dad had made a drive shaft to connect the engineís transmission to the feed grinderís input shaft.

When I was about 8 years old, I remember dad moving the hand lever, used for high gear, and the feed grinder would start making a loud noise. I would help dad throw ears of corn into the grinder.

Later, the model T feed grinder was replaced by a different feed grinder driven from a tractorís belt pulley. The model T feed grinder sat idle behind the chicken house for several years. As a teenager, I wanted a motorized vehicle but we were poor folks. I made the feed grinderís running gears into what is generally known as a doodlebug. The model T engine then began its 3rd life powering a doodlebug.

My younger brother, Carl, would become active in the 3rd life of this model T engine. Carl became the keeper of the doodlebug and often drove it in the local parade each year. He still lives local to where we grew up in eastern Kansas. In 1968, he moved about 15 miles to a different farmstead. The doodlebug ran fine when driven these 15 miles. That is the last time it ran. (The 93 date on the pictures is the date we copied 8mm film onto digital)---After then being parked outside for a few months, it was towed to a shed and has set under roof ever since. From the pictures, one can see the rats, mice, birds, bugs, and time have done their thing to it.

This engine is not stuck so it is capable of a 4th life. It has a starter but we never used it. It does not have a water pump. Carl is contemplating whether to restore the doodlebug or to let some other model T enthusiast help decide its future. We hope this engine will stay intact and not become a parts engine.

PS I have four pictures to post but I have not figured out how to post more than one picture with this text. Watch for three more posts with the other three pictures. Doodle bug  1


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Royce in Dallas TX on Wednesday, December 07, 2016 - 08:39 pm:

I think I would try to preserve it in the form that it was when you and your brother last used it.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mack Cole ---- Earth on Wednesday, December 07, 2016 - 08:47 pm:

Save the shortdog as is,make it run and play with it some more!


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Zachary Carrico on Wednesday, December 07, 2016 - 10:50 pm:

Doodlebugs are a joy for adults and kids alike to ride on and no one needs to worry about a scratch or ding. Their nature points to a time when things were re-purposed again and again rather than tossed out. My vote is to keep it as a 'bug maybe there are some grand kids or neighbor kids around to appreciate a ride.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Ron in Central Massachusetts on Thursday, December 08, 2016 - 06:19 am:

Ron - all I do are A and T doodlebugs and conversion tractors (click on my profile and you'll see some of my Ts). Between Ts and As, doodlebugs, conversion tractors, saw rigs, power units, etc - I'm up around a dozen (including my first, made from a 1928 A, that I've had for 40 years now). Your doodlebug definitely needs to be saved!! If you and your brother were closer, I would be happy to help you - or take her off your hands and save her myself if you wanted to part with her. She's perfect. Plenty of Ts around, but not many T doodlebugs anymore.

(Message edited by Conversiont on December 08, 2016)


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