So I'm the guy that bought a model T (26 touring) in February but my driving of the car has been limited to one trip in the yard. I found a magnet keeper screw in the oil and send it off for repair at a reputable machine shop. I had the head pulled and determined there were still cast iron pistons and while running the engine was ready for a rebuild. The mag wasn't functioning and the rear and still had Babbitt thrust washers so those pieces as well as the transmission were sent from the machine shop to specialist in those areas. I know many in this forum are very capable of doing all this work themselves but I'm not. Here's my question. Assuming all the work was done properly, can I expect good reliability out of the T? I plan to drive and enjoy the car but wouldn't anticipate driving more than 1000-1500 miles per year. I guess I am hoping to hear that I will get 10 or 20 good years out of these components assuming proper maintenance. I'm looking forward to joining you fellas on the road soon !!
some last 100 years, if done right, should never have to be no more than normal up keep for a long time Bob
Given the amount of driving you contemplate, I would expect a properly done engine and transmission to last twenty years or much more. The one fly in that ointment would be an original crankshaft, which is now ninety years old. It's been said that the question isn't whether it will break, but when. It could last another ninety years, or it could go tomorrow. That's why my touring's engine rebuild includes getting a new one.
(Message edited by steve_jelf_parkerfield_ks on December 20, 2016)
If you don't whip it like a rented mule it'll last a long time. My 26 Fordor engine was rebuilt in 1987 and driven the 1000 - 1500 miles per year you plan to drive. Still going strong with no troubles. Maybe 30,000 miles. My 21 Roadster, engine was freshened up maybe 1990, no troubles at 25,000+ miles, (although the transmission needs a rebuild). My 25 Touring engine was rebuilt in about 1975, still running strong, who knows how many miles... You'll be o.k.
Just NEVER RUN IT LOW ON OIL, don't beat on it, check coolant level regularly and take care of the little stuff that pops up from time to time.
Oh, and just realize a T crankshaft is already probably way past it's life expectancy, so.....
If it was done properly, just drive it like a T should be driven. You never know for sure when something will break. But, they do seem to be quite dependable when you don't abuse them. On tours, what I've noticed is that more problems happen with non stock parts. For example if you raise the engine power, the drivetrain tends to break. Anyway, if you are going to worry about it you just waste your worry, because if it is like mine, I have had good results for many years. But I do make repairs and adjustments when they seem necessary. It would be a good idea to learn some of the repairs yourself such things as proper band adjustment and how to take up the rod bearings or how to change flat tires etc. Then you can do the small things yourself and leave the major repairs to more experienced people.
Everything said above,plus DO NOT LUG IT.None of this nonsense of seeing how slow you can go in high gear.Shift to low,or slip the high speed clutch a little on corners.Unless you have modern clutch discs.Don't slip those.
Its all in how you drive and maintain it. This is pretty much how it is with any vehicle.
It should last a lifetime if you take care of it., Regular oil changes, driving carefully, not jammming on the brakes at the last moment possible.
My T is 89 years old and mechanically pretty much original. I'd guess that if driven reasonably, you can expect any major rebuild issues to be your grandchildren's problem.
Thanks for the encouraging feedback. I was hoping to hear that better days are ahead! I know the crankshaft could be an issue. I am reading how to make adjustments and do simple repairs. I believe I can handle anything not "internal" to the car. There is nice man pretty close to me who has several model ts and I'd like to spend more time with him learning! I'm printing various threads from this forum which are very helpful as well. I'm sure I'll have more questions when it's time to reinstall the engine. Taking it out was simple. I'm a school superintendent by trade so antiques (including this car) are a hobby. Some of what I've seen other members accomplish by themselves on this forum is very impressive to guy like me who can't fabricate metal or rebuild engines. While I've been waiting for the car components, I've built a new garage (that work I can do much of myself). Merry Christmas!
Merry Christmas to you too Rick. Welcome aboard!
Merry Christmas Rick! BTW: as a retired teacher, I like the concept of a school superintendent who is willing to get his hands dirty.
3rd February 1917 article, even Dean Yoder isn't in the race for this one!