Hi, I bought my first T engine number 11755014. Is it a 1924 or 1925? Former owner says it ran last week. It turns over, won't start, only goes chuff every 3 or so revolutions. Has gas, carburetor seems to be leaking. See picture. I opened the drain valve and gas came out. The needle valve top something seems broken off on the top. See picture. I pulled the plugs and put a little gas in which made it go chuff, chuff, chuff. I think it is not getting any gas to the cylinders but don't know what to do. I could really use some help.
It did not come with the convertible top. What is the best source for a convertible top?
Many thanks in advance for the help.
Ignacio, need a little more info about the settings you are using to start your T, sounds like you might be flooding it. Do you have the timing fully retarded with the gas lever down slightly? Also how much are you choking the engine before you attempt to start it?
Yes, timing fully retarded, gas lever down slightly. Choke it for about 3 revolutions then none.
Ignacio, have you tried adjusting the needle valve ? Run it gently to bottom, then open it a full turn and a half. What is missing is that U-joint connection to a control rod at the dash so the mixture can be adjusted from the driver's seat. I think those U-joint types are supposed to combine the choke with the mixture control - pull out for choke, turn to adjust mix. Sounds like she'll "go" when you find the right combination . . .
Your engine assembly date is Wednesday, May 13, 1925. That's two and a half months before the end of the 1925 model year.
Yes, the needle control rod is missing. I haven't used a Kingston carburetor, but I'll guess that it operates much like a Holley NH. Turn the spray needle all the way in (clockwise), gently so you don't damage the tip. Then open it up between 1½ and 2 full turns. Three revolutions may be too much choking. Try two.
Here's a full list of things to check when getting a T ready to drive. http://dauntlessgeezer.com/DG93.html
And here's a shopping list: http://dauntlessgeezer.com/DG80.html
See Hap Tucker's post here for a lot of good information for the new Model T owner: http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/599638/696360.html?1480213219
I forgot to ask about the top. Are you missing the whole thing (sockets, bows, and cover), or just the cloth?
Is the gas turned on ??? Is there gas in the tank. ??? Don't ask me how I know. lol Are the coils buzzing ??
Thanks, I snugged down the needle valve then opened it 1 and 1/2 turns. It now goes chuff, chuff, chuff more than it did before but still does not start. Tighten the needle valve or loosen it? If so, how much?
Missing everything on the top.
How do I turn the gas on and off?
There are two pegs on the floorboard, one is the starter, the other towards the passenger side does what?
Ignacio, do you have a valve inline from the gas tank just before the carb? If so, turn it so that the lever handle is in line with the tubing.
If you're getting more action (chuff, chuff) try opening the needle another quarter turn or so.
Gas shut off valve is on the bottom of the gas tank.
Let's get it running, then deal with the top. The starter button is easy to figure out. I don't know what the non-stock other thing on the floor is. follow it and see where it goes.
Try the needle open 1 turn, 1½, 2, and 2½. If none of those works, leave it at 1½ while we try other stuff.
Tried it at 1.5 2 and 2.5. Goes chuff, chuff then the starter disengages and goes whirrrr and I have to start over again. Coils sometimes go buzz, sometimes not when I have the switch turned on. See my other post for loose wire on the firewall?
Whether the coils buzz when you turn on the ignition depends on where the engine happens to be stopped in its rotation. Just for fun, and to cover this base, let's check the timing.
What is busted off appears to be the mixture control. No gas = no run. I am in Ron Patterson's camp about the timing. I would use about three notches of "advance" on the spark lever. The spark is still ATDC, but not as much as fully retahded. My T absolutely will not start with the spark fully retahded.
Ignacio, the coils won't always buzz depending on where the engine is in its cycle. Try this. With the key on batt, slowly turn the crank handle and listen if you can hear all 4 of the coils buzz in interval while turning the crank.
I wonder if the other button is a cutout but Steve is right let's help get it started. As much as I hate to suggest this, you may need someone to spray starting fluid in the carb while you crank it. I would do this outside though. your mileage my vary.
Tried the spark advance 3 notches, no chuffing at all. Moved it back, does chuff, chuff then starter disengages and spins and I have to take my foot off the peg and start over.
Checked the other floor board button and it goes to, wait for it, nothing! Also the loose wire on the firewall goes to nothing.
How do you spray starting fluid into the carb? Is it the opening up by the exhaust manifold?
It sounds like the tabbed lock washers on your Bendix of the starter are not keeping the spring in place. That is an easy fix. Removing the starter cover can be a pain and be sure not to lose those four small screws. I would imagine that all you need to do is to tighten the screws that hold down the washers and then the starter will not spin as you were describing
In the carburetor opening where the choke is located. As you turn over the engine have someone spray just a little in the opening. If you have fuel, spark, air & compression it should fire up sometimes literally so have a fire extinguisher ready. Seriously if you know anyone in the area that has a T model they could help you out. I'm in Houston every few weeks. Perhaps I can help if no one closer helps you before then.
You might also want to check and see if your choke plate is sealing all the way.
"There are two pegs on the floorboard, one is the starter, the other towards the passenger side does what?"
Might be the exhaust valve foot pedal allowing foot operation of the exhaust whistle or cutout valve
Welcome to the mtfca site, glad you are here.
How do you spray starting fluid into the carb? Is it the opening up by the exhaust manifold?
Is this what you are referring to being near the exhaust manifold?
I take hot air pipe off when working on engine.
Here is a link to an exploded view of the Kingston L4 carburetor. http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/411944/428364.html?1394125609
Here is a link to an image of each part with labels.
@Jason Yes that's it on the mystery pedal on the floorboard. Yes that is it also on the hot air pipe carburetor intake.
@John will try and keep fire extinguisher around.
Try tapping on the top of the carb with a small wrench or screwdriver, on my L-4's they only require about 1/2 to 3/4 open, it would leak badly at 2 turns open, you may have a stuck float not allowing gas to get in. Just another opinion.
You need to be specific on your top! You haven't even told us if it's a touring or roadster!
It states touring in his profile if you took at least one minute to look Larry. Your typical comment
As soon as it goes Chuf advance the spark. Be sure to retard it again before you try to start it again. Sometimes when the engine is cold it will not run very long after it starts unless you quickly advance the spark. Also try pulling the gas down a little farther on the quadrant before you start. I have a suspicion that it is misfiring on one or more cylinders and so it begins to start on one cylinder but it is not spinning fast enough to fire again on the cylinder or cylinders which are working. Maybe you can get someone to pull you with a long rope and get it running. Then you can determine if it is firing on all cylinders and then you can work on getting all to fire.
Looks like my fuel on off has been bypassed at the bulb under the tank. Wondering how to keep the rigid pipe from leaking gas while checking float?
Jam a golf tee in the end of the line.
@Mark great idea!
Why are radiators that fit so expensive ($799)? The previous owner did the aluminum one that is too big so the bonnet doesn't fit.
New Model T radiators are costly because the cost of making them for a limited market is high. When for starts making millions of Model T's again, the price will come down.
You may get lucky and find a workable used one, but most aren't replaced until they're toast.
Where in Houston are you?
I will be staying in Pearland for a couple nights next week. I might be able to help if you are close
Where in Houston are you?
I will be staying in Pearland for a couple nights next week.
It depends on my final schedule but I might be able to help if you are close
@Fred I am near the medical center off of Stella Link.
Try cranking it without using the choke...not a long time..just a few revolutions and see if it does more than chug.
One of my cars does NOT start well using the choke..it floods very easily.
Fred's a "good guy" - you will enjoy your time with him.
Started! Pulled the plugs, one of the coils is iffy. Ran rough then started running smooth. 1st time driver, had a minor encounter with a light pole. No worries, light was straightened back with a hammer. I thought the gear shift stick all the way back was neutral? Didn't think about the throttle in the moment. Won't forget in the future. Successfully piloted it back into the garage without incident. Are T headlight bulbs available from the FNAPS? (Friendly Neighborhood Auto Parts Store)
Congratulations, sounds like your first drive was an adventure, glad it was minor!
Is your T running its original, 6 volt negative ground electrical system, or did someone convert it to 12 volts in the past?
You might find appropriate bulbs at a well-stocked local parts store, but I doubt it. The vendors sell headlight bulbs:
So what is a good source for convertible top hardware and software?
The good news is that a new cloth top kit is under $500 from the best maker.
Less happy is the news that new sockets & bows will run you over a grand.(See here https://www.modeltford.com/item/7941E.aspx)
That's why I've been buying originals at swap meets. The price of the new ones makes the work of restoring the old ones pretty attractive.
Don't feel bad about hitting the pole. I just about put my car might work since the first day I brought it home and drove it into the garage. I panicked and could not figure out how to stop and fortunately had all three pedals at once and killed the engine - 3 inches away from the bench.
If you have a stick shift lever I would venture to Guess that you either have a Warford transmission or a Ruckstell. I have no experience with the former, but do have a Ruckstell on my car. Neutral can be found one of two ways: pressing the clutch halfway in or putting the hand brake lever straight up. The car can still go into low but will not go into high when you press the foot pedal down have the handbrake straight up. That is a great way to practice before learning to drive in high. It takes awhile to get used to the break being on the right and the throttle being on the steering column.
Can you show us a picture of your touring car to confirm that it is 1924 or ?
I have an extra folding top bow assembly for 1923-25 touring that does not need a lot of work. It would be about a third of the price of the new reproduction, but the shipping would be difficult.
@Jim sure, here it is. The former owner from Minnesota with no title says it is a 1924 but the engine is 1925. What year do I say when I go to get it titled in Texas?
Your touring is 1922 or earlier. It has a straight windshield and needs a 2 man top assembly. It looks like a nice car.
Here is another.
So what do I tell state of Texas for the title? 1922 body, 1925 engine.
Take the car outside and get more photos in the day light. Take some of the inside showing the dashboard with the switch and coilbox, too. Also take some of the rear corners of the body. It could be as early as 1917 that was powered with a 1925 engine with the electric starter. More photos will help to pin point it.
I also have top assemblies for 1918-22 tourings, but the shipping is difficult.
I do not see the front bow mounts in the arm rest for the 2 man top. Might have the wrong windshield.
I don't see any body/top iron supports any where for either top.Those would have to be installed before putting a top on.
I agree with Jim Rodell. Get it out in the daylight and take a lot of good pictures so everyone can see the details. You want information based on what you actually have, not guesses.
Here you are.
Previous owner hacked the switch to not need a key. 53 key is on order and I will be un-hacking it.
Goofy Amateur Mechanic.
Couple of neat things, very late 12-14 rear axle with closed spool, nice much sought after rear axle support. Can't tell about the year though without seeing a good picture of the front, it appears to be earlier than a 24 based on the windshield & front fenders which are narrower and have the bead fully visible and not obstructed by the splash apron. Ignacio if you measure the firewall side to side, at the widest point and give us the measurement that will help narrow it down a little.
(Message edited by Jtt3 on December 03, 2016)
@John Firewall measures 24.5 inches. Here is a picture of the front.
I'm about 3 hours west of you but try very hard not to ever go to Houston - BUT - one of the most active MTFCA clubs is in Houston and I'd highly recommend you become active with the Space City Ts. Google that title. Jerry Davis of that club is a sometime poster here and can give quality hands-on help. He has also recently navigated the state auto title office.
Your touring is interesting. I say the body is an early 1923 low radiator 3 rib firewall because the steering column is not supported to the dash AND I see a factory cover over the top bow support bracket hole over the right rear fender in the pic you posted at 12.50 today. Your differential halves are, indeed 1913-14 and you have 2 much earlier brass top coils in your coil box. The touring top you'll need is for a '23-'25 and I'd recommend Jack Daron - above - as a source. But I would think you'd first need to get a '23-'25 windshield assy.
Now, about your stated gearshift. This could be very dangerous for you. You don't have a Ruckstell rear end so you must have an accessory transmission. If, when driving, you get that tranny in neutral - you'll have no pedal brakes and will have to rely on that emergency brake... Do you have an accy transmission
@george me and my boys joined Space City T's in August and have been looking to make an acquisition since then. Clint Allred of the club helped me get it started over the phone and identify the iffy plastic box cover coil you see in the picture.
Fascinating information on all of that. How do I get a '23-25 window assy? How do I know if I have an accessory transmission?
Why are the 1913-14 differentials sought after?
Pretty easy to make changes to that aluminum radiator, if you or your friends can weld aluminum. I put one in my car but haven't tried it yet. Nice T! Dave in Bellingham,WA
The dash board on the car is the 1922 and earlier type that doesn't have the taper on the ends and has the exposed bolt where it meets the windshield mounts. Since you don't have a top now and you do have a 1922 type windshield I would call the car a 1922 for the DMV and get top irons and 2 man type top when you can. That radiator is made for a street rod and looks like it has the pressure cap on it. The stock Model T isn't designed for a pressure system. Leave the cap loose so it doesn't pressurize and get a real T radiator, good used or new, as soon as you can or modify this one to a stock T filler and cap.
So, is there such a thing as a 'late '22 transitioning into a '23'? We've generally considered model year 1922 as the last of the 2 man tops but would a 1 man top fasten to the earlier windshield? Would the front top bow not have the 2 brackets that slip over the tops of the '23-'25 windshield stanchions and have 2 footman loops with Blackened cotton web hold down straps and hooks that fasten to the windshield hinges? I've never seen such but guess it's possible.
Ignacio, not all touring and roadsters were shipped from the factory with tops - altho' most were. It's really kinda unusual to still find those rear quarter body plugs where the top saddles brackets fasten. When you remove those 2 covers you'll find about a 11/16" coarse threaded receptacle built into the largest metal body brackets. You'll need 2 top saddle support arms -Lang's part #3858B, 2 top now saddles (3314BX) and the hold down straps and saddle pads (3314XN). Sure, you can buy these from parts suppliers but it's more fun to get them from local hobbiests. That's all I haveta say now.
Accessory transmission question: What does that "gear shift stick" attach to ?? You might have to crawl under the Runningboard to get a well lighted picture.
I won't answer everything now but I'll cover a couple of things. To the left of the driver is the hand brake lever.If there's some other handle sticking out of the floor, it's an extra transmission. The early rear axle is desirable because it's scarce. By the time your car was made, Ford was turning out several thousand cars a day, so rear axles correct for your car are a lot easier to come by. You can certainly use the early axle, but I'd sell it and use half the money or less to buy the correct one.
There is only one lever coming out of the floor so I doubt there is a second transmission.
@Jim the starter still disengages quickly. I have the cover off, see the picture. What do I tighten so that the starter does not disengage so fast?
There are two bolts on opposite sides at the Bendix with tabbed lock washers that hold the spring in place - St picture on link. https://www.google.com/search?q=Model+T+Bendix&client=ms-android-verizon&biw=360 &bih=512&prmd=sivn&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjT6_ServDQAhXowlQKHfq5Bj 4Q_AUICCgC#imgrc=nF6VkeNaIjHJpM%3A
I believe the bolts tighten down with a 3/8 inch wrench. What the lock washer one of the tabs goes up to keep the bolt in place and the other goes down to keep the spring in place. You may also need to check the Bendix head to see if it is still all one piece. Your symptoms sound like mine when I first bought my car 10 years ago and the head was broken on it. If anything is broken, you can buy replacement parts for any of the Model T dealers.
Sure wish that I had better vision....it appears to me that the loop on the gear side of the bendix spring has broken off from the rest of the spring...what is that "thing" that appears to be a piece of the spring at about the 9 o'clock position of the shaft between the gear and the spring?
Here is another picture.
So, the spring is not broken. Thanks.
It doesn't take much time to take out both bolts, inspect all the parts and put it back together. Just make sure that when you do that the bolts are tight. If you do remove the Bendix then you could easily take out the starter and inspect that, as well.
Ignacio, That picture is very revealing. You do not have the correct locking washers on either bendix bolt and the front bolt is the wrong one. The thickness of the head on the front bolt is too much. It looks like the head of this bolt might be rubbing on the inside of the cover. The correct locking washers have 2 tabs. The first tab fits the gap at the end of the spring so the washer does not turn. The other side of the washer has another tab that you bend up to lock the bolt once you have it tight. The bolts and locking washers are special for starter bendix applications.
Don is 100% correct; the Bendix bolts are special headed, shouldered bolts and the lock washers, when new, are flat washers with tabs across from each other. One tab is bent down to fit in the gap you see between the end of the spring "eye" and the spring itself. The other tab gets bent up against one flat of the washer so the bolt cannot loosen.
Different bolts were used in different years/makes of cars, as the springs were different thicknesses, so be certain you're using the right bolts for the Model T.
This is a critical area, so use the right stuff!
BTW, looks like the front bolt doesn't have any washer under it. The front bolt has a shorter threaded portion in it, so it doesn't clamp down on the shaft.
The other bit one has to inspect is on the gear itself; there is a spring loaded pin the helps keep it disengaged when it's not in use, make certain the bits are there and the the little spring isn't broken or missing. You can see it in your top pic, so the pin is there.
Would these Bendix errors produce the starter disengagement symptoms?
Any other reason it would be hard to start? I have:
. Fixed the leaking carburetor.
. Changed the bad coil.
I have the spark advance fully retarded, gas in the tank, throttle at 1/4. Battery charged. It still seems to have a great deal of problems starting.
No sign of rubbing on the inside of the can.
My car did not run all that well when I first got it either and I ended up replacing all of the primary parts in the carburetor - meaning the nozzle, the seat, the needle, etc. I was running a Holley vaporizer and apparently what I did worked because I have been told by many that have old Model Ts for years that it is the best running vaporizer that they have ever driven. I just recently put on a Kingston vaporizer and it is having a difficult time starting from the fact that the choke plate is not sealing all the way. Since new ones are not available I'm going to have to make my own. If your car will run, and it sounds like it does once you get it started, it would indicate to me that fuel is not getting to the engine.
If you do not already own one a Ford service manual is a must-have for working on your key. That is what I used when I first repaired the Bendix on my car.
I tightened the bendix bolts and it seems to disengage less.
But it still isn't starting. I get about 3-4 chuff-chuffs and it quits. I've tried starting it a lot and it almost does. It has about a half gallon of gas in the tank. Help.
A little either gas or oil seeps up around the spark plug at cylinder 1 and bubbles slightly when the key is turned. I took the plug out. It doesn't look cracked inside. I put it back, still does it.
If the plug smells of gas, you are getting gas into the cylinder and it is an ignition problem. If it doesn't smell of gas then it is a carburetor problem and gas is not getting into the carburetor.
Ignacio, Your year car has a oval gas tank under the front seat, and although the 1/2 gallon should be enough gas, try adding another gallon of gas to the tank and make sure gas is getting to the carb OK. The gas line or sediment bulb could be blocked with crud.
You need to join the Space City T Club. Get help from the local members. If there is less than 3 gallons in the tank it is empty.
Contact Luke Cordes in the club, he can get the guys to help you.
@Royce been a member for 5 months now :-) Rescue requested.
Pulled the plugs they are all firing. Sounds like we are back to carb. JB welded the cracked carb. Leaks less but it is still leaking. Carb body has been ordered from Dave Huson. I hesitate to put 3 gallons in because it will end up on my garage floor.
If you can't have plenty of gas in the tank, fix that first. As Royce says, a half gallon isn't enough. You may find that sufficient fuel will solve your non-start situation. No guarantee of that, but finding other possible problems depends on it.
VERY, VERY, EXTREMELY important what Steve just wrote....
FIX THE GAS LEAK FIRST.
Ignacio, If your carb is leaking from a crack as badly as your make it sound, do not try to start it. A backfire could be a disaster. Think about ordering a carb mounted gas shut off from a T parts vender and add it to your replacement carb. Carefully check the gas flow to the new carb, you really don't want a lot crud getting into the new carb.
I brazed the carb needle valve seat tonight and it leaks much less now.
I checked the timing. it is good and has been good, no adjustment needed. Have 3+ gallons of gas.
Not starting! Ugh! Turns, sounds like it is going to start. Have cranked the hell out of it and it still won't start.
Have emailed Space City T's.
I suspect that we are not getting gas now. I cranked it this morning, pulled a plug and it is dry. Carb did not leak overnight with 3 gallons of gas in the tank. Float lever pin stuck? What is the easiest way to check with 3 gallons in the tank?
Put a pan on the floor under the carburetor and open the valve on the bottom of the carb. If gas keeps flowing beyond what the bowl will hold, the needle valve is open.
I don't understand what you did to the needle valve seat. What is there on it to braze? Maybe a photo would help.
@Steve Jelf Thanks for the tip I will try it. The needle valve seat was cracked in 2 places and leaked a lot so I brazed the cracks. Not leaking anymore. But car not starting either :-(
It sounds like you have a working carburetor on the way. I would wait for the new carb, install it and see if your starting issues go away. I have an idea that if fuel isn't getting to the engine that it is because of the damage to the carburetor.
Having been in your shoes several times over the past ten years, patience is the key. One example was a steering issue that frustrated me for nine years. I replaced balls, caps, bushings, spring perches, shackles, put on an APCO wishbone cap, pitman arm, triple gears, the drag link, even the steering column, checked bearings and races and kingpins (all of which were good), checked the frame for alignment (and it was only 1/16" off), and the car still shimmied over 30 mph. The problem was the front axle. Even though it appeared straight, following the instructions in the MTFCA book, it wasn't. Once I replaced the front axle, all of my steering issues went away.
If you really want to keep and repair that carb, I would contact Stan Howe. He is the resident carburetor expert.
Engine compression test shows:
Cylinder 1 25 lbs
Cylinder 2 25 lbs
Cylinder 3 25 lbs
Cylinder 4 0 lbs
What do I do now?
Ignacio, Now try a wet compression test with a little oil in each cylinder to see if cylinders 1,2 3 come up from 25 lbs. Cylinder 4 with 0 lbs. probably has stuck open valve and compression won't come up. Next step will be to pull the head to free up stuck valve.
Wet test made the pressures go up.
Pulled the head and freed the stuck valve.
Trying to button the head back on. Having a very difficult time re-aligning the head the gasket and the bolts. Is there a trick? Right now some of the bolts thread but most do not. Wiggling the head does not help.
They are 7/16 coarse thread bolts. Get a couple at the hardware store. Cut the head off to make a stud bolt out of them. Cut a slot in them with a hack saw. Thread them in to the block. Put the gasket on. Put the head on. Screw the head bolts in loosely. Stick a screwdriver in the slot you made and screw out the studs. Put the last two bolts in. Tighten them starting in the center and going both ways, then in the outside row center going both ways. Do this two or three times cold and again after you get it started and warmed up.
What is the final torque value?
Dumb question maybe Ignacio but has the head gasket been flipped end for end since pulling the head off?
They fit both ways but do have a correct way to fit. IF I have my head on square, the front and rear curved water passages are just a bit different. One is larger than the other. Maybe something to do with it??
Gasket as far as I can tell is on correctly.
So I wire brushed most of the carbon build-up off the pistons, valves and head but there is still some residue that I don't know a good way to get off.
There was rusty crud in the water passage that I took out but I wonder how to clean it out good while I have the head off.
For the hard starting problem I would revisit your broken mixture control. The broken part has no effect on the starting, however the position of the needle does. In manuals I have read, it was recommended the control be open 7/8 of a turn to start and then move the control to one full turn (an additional 1/8) after it starts. With this setting I have no starting problems, however if I forget to return the control valve to 7/8 prior to the next starting it will not start. One day some uninvited children got in the car and moved everything including the mixture control valve and I spent 1/2 an hour trying to start it, I got the odd chuff but that was all, I scratched my head for a bit and decided to check the mixture control valve to find it open about 3 turns. I returned it to 7/8 turn and it instant fired up.
Final torque is just before the bolt strips or breaks with an 8 inch wrench. Seriously, about 45 lbs seems to be the general consensus.
Other than make me feel good, does getting the carbon build-up off the pistons and valves make any difference?
Duey is right about the water passages being different sizes. It's easy to get the gasket on backwards.
Some products are advertised as getting rid of carbon, so that must be a good thing.
Flushing block video:
Here's the "improved" one made a couple of days later: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TJ3nkPm87X0&t=7s
Whoa is me. Valve is unstuck. Cleaned all the surfaces with wire brush. Flushed the metal flakes out of the head and block. Got it all back together and tightened down I think. Now it leaks coolant and air at several locations and it really doesn't start. I reused the old head gasket which was intact because I don't have a new one.
Order a new copper head gasket from Tom Carnegie.
I torqued it down to 45 foot/lbs and it seems to not leak anymore. I have a borrowed Holley NH carburetor. Somehow it leaks from around the bowl gasket. Bowl gasket looks good, new. Still not starting.
Here is the block cleaned up, the gasket in place and my home made alignment bolt in place.
It was the coils.
So, is it running now? Don't post the answer here, start a new thread in the 2017 forum for your updates, thanks!