Many T's have been on trouble trailers but whats the most "damage" you have taken and still finished the tour/run.
I'll start with my speedster and its first endurance run which turned out to be a real shake down trip. Getting the car started for the first time a few days before the run just goes to show how new it was.
On the trip up the to the starting lie a leak was found in the fuel tank which was patched with gum then JB weld in time for the tech inspection (this repair never failed). Before lunch the fan threw a blade into the radiator. This was "patched" with rags, bailing wire and bars leak. On the rough roads a headlight lense dissapeared and the steering came loose from the dash. Over the steep roads the brake faded and then the reverse.
Lunch time involved readjusting bands, securing the steering, and removing a fan blade to retain the fan. After working out these "bugs" most of the afternoon ran without mishap until a few miles from the fiish lie when there was a bang and it continued no matter what was done. Limping across the finish we put her on a trailer and took her home. Upon dissassembly I found a 39 tooth ring gear!
How much worse would it have been if it wasn't "Lucky 77"?
Two things have happened to me on tours. One was the low band which kept slipping. I spent the afternoon in Palm Springs replacing the band. (I had a spare along). Finished the tour and drove over 100 miles home.
The other was when I was running only on battery and the engine stopped. I was loaded onto the trouble trailer. While the rest of the group was in a museum, I found a loose connection and drove the car off the trailer, and finished the tour.
The first problem was caused by worn notch and cam on the low pedal shaft. This was soon after I got the car. I also relined the band wrong. I used Scandanavian band lining and went from rivet to rivet and cut off the "excess" material at the end. I should have started at the ends and then pushed the material tight against the band and riveted. All this was a learning experience back around 1990 when I got my first T.
PTSD talking here .... just one example. Don't think some minor
mechanical breakdown comes close to what some will do in their
The sound of AK rounds pinging off your armor puts everything else
in life in proper perspective. Yes, those white marks on the glass
are bullet pings.
Motor T had this dog back in the fight in 3 weeks.
The funniest one that happened to me, the pin that I had installed to hold the U joint to the drive shaft worked its way out and cut off the torque tube. I suspect I had installed a hardened roll pin.
Another one. Back in 87 I was on a speedster run at Spokane. As I drove the car back onto the trailer after the event was over the drain plug hooked the edge of the steel deck and a "oil change " occurred in the parking lot !!
My big adventure was last spring on a drive to the Model T day at Gary Paulsen's, about 125 miles north. Recent rains had turned some of the Marion County roads into a muddy mess. I was trying to maintain enough speed not to get stuck when I hit a sandy patch and slid off into the brush.
I ended up with a broken top socket and a couple of radiator cracks. But the words of Jeter Lester's nephew in Tobacco Road applied: "It don't hurt the runnin' of it none." I phoned Gary and a couple of the guys who were already there came over to help. I started up the car and they pushed and we got it back on the road and moving. About a half mile with the low pedal got me out of the mess.
And then, about a mile from Gary's place, I hit another sandy patch that took me off the road again. I got on the phone, got another push back on the road, and went on to Gary's.
I enjoyed the rest of the day, and that afternoon and evening drove the 125 miles home (on better roads) with no more trouble. One lesson I took from the misadventure is that I need to carry ropes with me to wrap the rear wheels for mud or snow.
A mate and I were about 45 miles from home driving through hilly country, when the U joint rivets let go.We did not know that was the problem until the rear end was pulled later. The din was terrible, but the car still drove, so we continued on our way.
About 10 miles from home, things were getting so hot under foot that we stopped to survey the scene. The attempt of two young fellows using what they had in hand to cool things down a bit resulted in a dreadful stench!
On inspection, the two yokes of the U joint were grinding away at each other, but still driving the car. The heat had melted most of the white metal out of the 4th main cap. A replacement u joint and ball cap were fitted and the car was back in service.
This was my first road registered model T, a crudely repainted cut down tourer buckboard, re-built using all original parts as scrounged up from different sources. It was later broken down for parts.
Allan from down under.
I had been working on my speedster and just gotten it really running right. New coils, rebuilt carb, cleaned out gas tank, rebuilt front end and rear end, new timer, new radiator, rebuilt coil box, everything was in great shape. She'd start easy as you please on magneto and ran like a champ.
Drove about 20 miles and heard this crazy rattling sound start out of nowhere in the transmission and then the engine died. No more magneto. Started back up on battery, but wouldn't run on mag. Limped the 20 miles back home on battery and at 25 mph. If I drove any faster the rattling would go crazy again, but under 25 she wouldn't make any noise.
Got home and discovered that my new driving had somehow freed a coil box key (I'd only ever had one key, but now had two!) from wherever it was hiding in the oil pan and it tore up my magneto coil. It was stuck across the end of a magnet. Driving too fast would make it turn loose and rattle around, but slow enough it would stay stuck to the magnet. Lol, apparently at some point my granddad dropped a key in the transmission cover and never fished it out.
As someone new to Model T's, but who's been around other types of old cars for a long time, I have to say that I LOVE seeing these cars being used, in ditches, being repaired, etc.
That's the purpose for which they were designed.
Burger a haunting photo,I hope some day they can all come home and tour with us. I may have to re-think 77 Lucky?? I had a similar problem to Les, All was ok until re-loading on the trailer to come home. I had already been on the trailer with it, but the ramps weren't as steep. &%$$$@##!! When it hooked the transmission drain plug and broke the bell housings,It throttled up and really took off up the ramps, luckily I had enough brakes to get it stopped before we ended up in the truck. Whew.
Early days with the Coupe near Vista, I needed low up some hill when heard a HUGE rattle. Once back in high the rattle reduced to ok-ish levels but not much power. I had to leave the car at a friends home and hitch a ride. Later I found bits of the two piece valves in the cylinder and muffler.
I had driven my '24 coupe from Keene, NH to Bethel, Maine (about 180 miles) to attend a Mainely T Tour. The tour was a hoot (Mainely T Tours always are.) and aside from a bit of lint/stuff on the mag post and a broken wire at the timer the tour was trouble free.
The trip home on Sunday afternoon was fine for about two thirds of the way.
Darkness and fallen and with the headlights on I was continuing to enjoy my pleasant journey until I noticed that the ammeter was indicating discharge. I momentarily considered disconnecting one headlight to reduce battery draw, but as I was over seventy miles from home I had doubts about the battery providing good power for two hours or more.
I found a well lit parking lot in which to park and began to diagnose the problem. After some testing I concluded that the generator wasn't producing any voltage. Drat. Attempts at cleaning the commutator brought no joy. Heavy sigh.
So, off comes the generator and using the running board work bench I proceed to disassemble the generator. I found a broken wire from the field coils. As any of you who have had a generator apart know, those leads (pigtails) from the field coil are only just so long and no longer: there is not enough length to allow twisting the broken ends together and have them reach to where they need to go. I looked into the traveling parts department and found a suitable gauge of wire. An appropriate length was twisted on and well wrapped with friction tape. I reassembled the generator and mounted it onto the engine. With the engine running I increased RPM and was gratified to see Charge indicated on the ammeter. I walked around the car to ensure that all tools were picked up, performed an abbreviated Happy Dance, and motored home with bright lights. Total mileage for the trip up, the tour, and the return was about 625.
There had been numerous fuel stops over those few days. On the day after my return I was in the modern car and had to fuel it. As I drove into the station I lined up the right front door with the gas pump and after I shut off the engine I laughed out loud. Oops, wrong car.
2015 Montana 500. Broke the camshaft, drove it 35 miles like this pulled in the parking lot, swapped cams and was back in to finish the last day in 3rd place.
1988 mtfci tour in mackinaw city Michigan. I was 18 years old this was the first tour I drove my own car on . 1919 pikes peak racer , was half way out on a 80 mile run when the milled head cracked . I ran on 3 cylinders 40 miles back to the host hotel . Another local t person at the tour had an old rusty head in thier barn. Changed out the head in the parking lot and finished out the rest of the weeks tour. That head is still on my racer today