Brand new to this site; thank you all in advance for the advice! My grandpa left me this '26 or'27 pickup when he died nearly 20 years ago (any way to tell conclusively what year it is?). It's been sitting at my parent's house and in my garage since then and I'd like to get it going again.
It hasn't been driven in over 20 years but my dad and I started it a few years ago and the engine ran but it leaked fuel so we killed it pretty quickly. I'd really like to restore it but don't really know where to start. Over the last few weeks I replaced a stripped petcock valve on oil pan and replaced the o-rings and gaskets on the carburetor to hopefully fix the fuel leak but beyond that I'm not sure what to do next?
I'm not a mechanic but know my way around a tool box and am fairly handy. I added a few pics below and would greatly appreciate any tips, advice, or resources on where I should start.
thanks again for the advice!
You will get lots of good advice on here. Start by joining the santa clara valley model t ford club. Lots of good people in the club.
Chris welcome to the affliction. Very nice roadster pickup. Just judging by a few things I believe it's a 27. The windshield stanchions and side rail pocket location on the bed makes me think that. I really like the exhaust pipe and the product of Argentina casting really adds to the story. There is a wealth of information that these guys and gals have you'll have it up and running fairly quickly
Thanks for the info guys. I'll look into that Santa Clara model t club.
John - thanks for the year estimate. I fought I always remembered my grandpa saying '27 but at one point my dad thought it may be a '26. I've always wondered about the made in Argentina exhaust but never had any backstory. Are replacement parts from Argentina common?
Weren"t some crown wheel and pinion sets coming from Argentina some time?
Allan from down under.
Chris, that ole' truck looks pretty good to me just like it is. I would clean it up, check out the drive train for mechanical condition, (there are a few things that are VERY important, just keep tuned to here) drive it, and enjoy it. Take it one step at a time, don't tear it all down to a pile of parts. Do your research and don't be afraid to ask questions, someone on here will have an answer to anything you ask. Have fun with it! Dave
Chris, the 1st thing I would do is get a metal fuel line to carb. My roadster pickup had a setup similar to that and the heat from manifold melted fuel line. I cought it before anything bad could happen. As stated above, any questions you have can be answered here . The answer isnt always what you want to hear or do but the knoledge here is years in the making . I myself am fairly new to Ts and just finished rear axle rebuild on my RPU. They can tell you step by step how to and even how to make tools and other tip such as what parts work and what doesnt. Daves advice is good. Fix one thing then move to the next thing. Drive it in between. Prioritize saftey issues and enjoy every minute. Great looking truck the way it is.
Drive safe and often
Back in the 1970s there wee several reproduction Model T and Model A parts being manufactured in Argentina. Likely the car was restored using some of those items then.
Looks like a great car. I think the headlight mounting bar is another item that is typical for 1927 in addition to the items mentioned by John T.
I'll be in Gilroy in early April going thru my Mom's '26 Speedster getting it ready to go back on the road if you want to come by and see whats going on etc. The car hasn't been run in about a decade and needs a going thru to say the least.
Chris you mentioned it hasn't been run in several years. If that's so you need to drain the gas tank I believe. Going by the picture you have the gas bowl looks to dark. That's a sign of old gas.
Like Dallas L said it would be better to use the original original style gas line set up but that's your choice of course. The line is probably a steel line. Since a gas line filter was installed on it years ago that could mean there was a fuel tank problem in the past.
The original ignition system was replaced with a more modern single ignition coil and distributor going by the engine compartment photo you have.
The distributor has a ID plate on it so you may be able to get some new points and a new condenser if you need to.
T's originally had a 6V system on them. Since it has a distributor on the car it could have a 12V battery in it. You can check the battery to find this out.
Hope this helps and good luck!
Here are three pages to get you started.
You probably won't need all of this one, but it's a good checklist: http://dauntlessgeezer.com/DG93.html
Nobody mentioned serial numbers for dating. The engine serial number above the water inlet will tell us when the engine was made. Beginning December 12, 1925, there should also be a number on top of the frame rail, under the floorboards. It's usually on the right rail, but occasionally is on the left. If the two numbers match, the car has its original engine.
Chris, The previous comments are excellent and I cannot add a thing. I just wanted to say you have a fantastic, beautiful T pickup there. Drive it and have fun.
Welcome to the forum. You can get all the first hand info from people who know these cars front to back. Also by some service manuals. Tim
Hi Chris, First of all WOW what a nice looking pickup. As mentioned drain and flush the tank, that could be to blame for the fuel leak to start with. If a little piece of crud, my tank had a mouse living in it so a whole nest of crud, can cause the needle and seat in the carburetor not to seal and overflow. The glass bowl is a wonderful item to have. The in line filter will probably give you problems because there is not enough fuel pressure for them to flow properly. As also mentioned, change the fuel line. You can see into the tank fairly well when you drain it to look for contaminants. As you have read, most of us think your fuel is your no. 1 challenge. Absolutely don't take your car apart until you get it running and enjoy it some, most of our cars don't look as good as yours and you may find that you don't need to restore it. I love it as is and would just clean it up an get it running. I would't mess with the distributor unless it is not working. Give your self a chance to get acquainted with your wonderful Model T. You will read that the rear end will need to be looked at, because if it has the original thrust washers, they can fail with dyer consequences. For now put the back of the car on stands, make sure that the hand brake is off ( the wheels should turn freely)and see if you can get any in and out play on the wheels. There shouldn't be any. It looks like your grandfather must have loved the car and it may have the updates. Send us photos of the rear axle so we can see if you have the two speed ruckstell axle and auxiliary brakes. Thanks for sharing.
Cool pickup! My recommendation is to just tidy it up and drive the wheels off it. The articles from Dauntlessgeezer are great for that and of course the forum is perfect to fill in the parts that aren't obvious.
As for dating the car, the least hassle is to call it whatever the title says it is. Beyond that, you could get a rough idea from the encyclopedia elsewhere on this site. It lists the changes made to the Model T and roughly when they were implemented. That was immensely helpful when I bought a 26 with no paperwork, using the change records I narrowed it down to October-November 1925 production.
Thanks Everyone. So much great info!
I'm on the same page as most of you. Not trying to make a work of art, just want to get it back on the road, relive some of the memories of when I was a kid, and make new ones with my kids.
I checked the engine and frame serial numbers and they match! SN # 13966184. Is there any standard coding for these SNs that indicates when this was built or any other unique info?
John - Here are some pics of my rear end. Based on the nameplate, it looks like it has a Ruckstell Axle. I remember my dad and grandpa talking about rocky mountain breaks but mine looks different than your pics. Not sure what to make of this. No auxiliary brakes?
Looks like I have some reading to do - a couple of initial items will be ordering some manuals, a new fuel line and fuel system check, and checking out the rear axle and thrust washers.
I also have some loose spokes that need to be addressed before driving. I'd like to keep as much of it original as reasonable. Is it best to replace spokes/rebuild the wheels or am I best just replacing?
Thanks again for all the advice and please let me know if I'm missing anything critical
Chadwick - Thanks for the invite. I'm just up the road from you in San Jose and would love to come down and shadow you going through yours. Let me know when and if I'm available, I'll be there.
It has the ruckstel, looks as if he was thinking of the rockies brakes in case there was ever a neutral in ruckstel? It has never happened to me but some say it is possible. I would change out the fuel see if it sparks and jack up the rear axle before trying to start it just in case , so it does not run over you the first time or hit the garage!
It is a small drum Ruckstell.
Chris - go the home page of the MTFCA and go to the right hand side. Click on parts suppliers and get you a Lang's, and Snyder's Model T parts catalog. They will send you one. Also get The Model T Ford service manual. Its the one all Model T owners consider a must have to start with.
The catalog's are great for identifying parts and will give you an idea of what you might need from time to time. Lots of basic T information is in them too.
You have a nice solid T to start with and getting running it will be great fun. Good luck!
Chris: A friend of mine here in Redding as a 1914 Roadster with Turtle deck It had sat for (HE SAID) 45 years and never ran. Between he and I we now have his running and new front tires. He is working on the rear brakes. I think he is going to put new sleeves and seals and new brake shoes and drums and maybe other parts.
When we started it the first time the engine sounded a lot better than mine that was rebuilt by a pro!
The FORD SERVICE MANuaL is a must have. I have two or three, 1 here by m\y computer and two in the shop. To repeat what some has already said ask question's and remember that no question is a dumb one.
Lastly WELCOME to the disease of owning a "T", as I have two, how ever one has a broken axle., and I am working onit.
Like Royce said it is a small drum ruckstell (pre 26) but it does have the drums installed for the rocky mountain brakes. With the ruckstell, there will only be one thrust washer and I'll bet that it already has the brass one. Still preform the in and out play test on your axle. For now, I would not shift the rear axle any place that would put you in harms way ie: on a hill or coming up to a stop sign. As said sometimes the ruckstell will 1/2 shift into neutral and that will leave you coasting with no brakes and your first reaction is to step on the brake pedal which will kill the engine, that will leave you with your only option, coast to a stop (see the danger) in your case it looks like you still have the emergency,hand, brake that may help slow you down. So, with a ruckstell, it is very important that you have good wheel brakes. I tell you this from watching my friend attempting to shift his going down hill coming up to a red stop light and watching him and his wife go through the light through traffic. I'll tell you that he, we were certainly blessed that day. He had the rocky mountain brakes that were not adjusted correctly. There is a lined brake shoe option, for the small drum, that could make your hand brake be more effective as long as you have a good axle seals.
Welcome to the affliction; I cant believe no one has said this so (Tongue in cheek)You should start at the hand crank handle and work back to the tail light!
I would suggest the improvements to the fuel system as posted above and the addition of the Rocky Mountain Brakes. You can contact the Rocky Mountain Brake company and get the parts you need without the drums. you might need to polish the drums to remove any rust which might be on the surface. As for rebuilding the rear axle, it is not necessary unless it malfunctions, because the Ruckstell has a large ball bearing on the left side which replaces the original babbit thrust washer and most of the pressure will be on that side. There is a thrust washer on the right and if you do need to open the rear end, you can check that one out and if it is babbit replace it.
The gas tank on your car is not presently being reproduced, so if it needs to be cleaned, you will have to do it or find a better tank. I had mine boiled out at a radiator shop and sealed with epoxy. Don't use any sealer which can be diluted by gasoline or alcohol. Must be epoxy.