I've been spreading the progress reports on my 24 Touring over several threads and sites and it's getting to be too much to keep track of.
I've come to the conclusion that, even with its limitation, this is the best and most active of the the Model T forums so, I'm going to consolidate everything here.
To recap what's occurred and what I've accomplished thus far:
I bought the car from John Mays last month after seeing him in Otis, his 14 cut-off Touring at a local gas station.
John pulled the car out of a barn near Comanche, TX in November 2016 where it had been sitting since roughly 1969.
Here's a photo of the car (that my family has named "Daisy") in John's garage.
I brought the car home the first week in February and jumped right in.
Did some superficial things like installing new glass and headlight lenses but I also wanted to see if I could get it running...if only for a few seconds.
I went through the carburetor and, much to my surprise, it started up.
In spite of the short time that it ran, it leaked a TREMENDOUS amount of oil out of nearly every gasket surface on the hogshead.
So, that had to come off.
I found transmission band linings that were so rotten they were falling off the bands. The hogshead was filthy so it got a good cleaning and the addition of an exernal oiler.
Don't ya just love it when they fire up after so long of resting in a barn!
Great work Don. Enjoy it!!
Alan in Western Australia
After work this week, I rebuilt the key/switch panel.
The lock wouldn't turn so I bought and installed a replacement key and cylinder from Langs. I've purchased a lot from Langs lately and it's all been good quality....except for this key cylinder.
I had to machine it A LOT to get to fit.
As of tonight though, the whole panel is cleaned up, reworked and ready to reinstall and wire.
Thanks Alan....it's been a lot of fun so far.
I hope to have it moving under its own power in the next few weeks.
I'm carefully going through the vital systems before that however to make sure the car is safe and that I don't damage it by being too hasty.
There's been a few things that I've missed in this consolidated thread. I'll post them here over the next few days.
One of the things I've been doing as I have a few spare minutes here and there is attempting to bring out the old paint. It sure has the look of old factory original paint. I think it is, but there's probably no way to know for sure.
I've been cleaning the car with dilute soap and water then rubbing in a paint additive called Penetrol. I rub it it sparsely, the immediately dry it off with a cotton rag.
This leaves a dull shine without a greasy or wet residue. Plus, it has almost no smell.
Here is a photo showing the treated body vs the untreated splash apron.
The head that came on the car had a hairline crack in the water outlet area.
So....that was replaced with a high head from a 26 model.
Here's my 11 year old son torquing down the head bolts on the "new" head.
That roughly brings this thread up to date.
Thanks Don. You'll be rolling soon
Don, it's fun watching the progress. Looking forward to more.
Sounds like fun family project. They will remember things like that the rest of their life. My son is 27 and started taking an intrest in Ts in the last few months. Hope it sticks. Glad you post progress here. Keep it up and the whole gang will be tooling around in no time.
Drive safe and often
Here's how she sits as of a few days ago...new glass, hogshead removed, engine degreasing underway.
I'm currently putting new bands together, finishing the Texas T external oiler, installing a new timer and fan pulley and finishing up the key/switch panel.
Thanks Dallas. My 11 year old is my car nut, but even my 16 year old son and 20 year old daughter are enthusiastic about this car.
They like the raw, "Grapes of Wrath", farm car vibe that it has and all the stories that the dents and repairs seem to tell.
I'll be leaving most of that intact and will be concentrating on making it safe and mechanically sound. I'll also be at Chickasha in a couple weeks, looking for appropriately weathered pieces for the few things missing on this car.
Thanks for the update and photos. I'm anxious for warm weather so I can get out in the garage. Seeing this gets me ready for some T time.
Looks good Don. Sure hope I get a ride when you have Daisy (Velma) ready for the road.
You can count on it John. It's an easy drive from my house to yours.
I'll probably have it putting around the neighborhood later this month. Then ready for higher speeds by the summer.
Higher speeds! Thats a good one Don! I know what you meant. Just a little humor.
Ha! Yes...one has to be specific with a Model T.
"higher speeds", not "high speeds"
Besides, I think even with new wheels and tires, anything over about 30 in this car will be terrifying :-)
Yes, yes it will be Don. I can't wait for you to do it.
It is exhilarating.
The three pedal support cams were showing a lot of wear and the related slack was excessive so I replaced those today as well as the slow speed notch.
Doing so required that I remove the slow speed notch pin, then the notch. At that point the support cam was accessible.
The pedals and hogshead have now been cleaned and partially refurbished. Next comes new transmission bands and re-installation of the hogshead.
One photo below show the wear present on the old set vs the new set.
(Message edited by rustyfords on March 04, 2017)
Waiting for a couple parts to arrive for the transmission.
So...I'm cleaning up and replacing wiring in the meantime.
I'm tired of the car not running. I want it to drive for the first time in 47 years but I know it's best to be careful and cautious to avoid tearing something up.
Bah. The only thing you could tear up would be the rear end or the front wheel bearings now. ;-)
Listen to the engine. It'll tell you what it knows.
You have the engine and transmission taken care of right now plus more oil for the engine. :-)
They'll tell you.
Go out for a spin and enjoy it.
Then rip that rear axle apart. Please?
Did I lip off about this yet? Perhaps install 1" spacers under the radiator mounts for the time being. Yeah I know it ain't that darned easy to do but then your rad can pretend it's a tall rad for awhile... The hood might even fit. :-) True.
The hood on my Short rad/tall firewall TT truck is so misshapen it refuses to relent and fit even with the 1" spacers under the rad. I've some re-forming to do.
You're probably right Duey.
Although I do need to put band linings on and install the hogshead.
As for the radiator, my wife and daughter like it with the short, honeycomb radiator, even if it isn't the right one for the car.
So, I'll run it like that....with no hood for a while.
The honeycomb radiator being newer than the car, it may be OK. But it may not. You'll find out when you run the car. I fought the good fight with the honeycomb on my 1923 touring for a couple of years, trying all the usual remedies, but it remained a boiler. The final solution was a new Berg's.
Good to know Steve. I'm hoping this radiator is in good shape internally.
It looks very solid and unmolested on the outside. That doesn't always translate into good internals but I'm cautiously optimistic.
Good information about radiators Don. Old radiators are notorious for 'looking good' but not cooling. After trying to repair the original in my 24 Coupe, buying a nice looking original, cleaning it out the best I could I finally spent the money and bought a new Bergs. Man what a difference. The radiator gets warm and that's it.
I have an original 1n my 1919 Roadster and finding out a recore is close to the cost of a new one. Still looking though.
Don't know about the honeycomb radiators when they get to the point of not cooling well. You'll find out when you start the car and wait a while when its sitting still. Hope its still good.
Here's a video I shot of the transmission.
I'd appreciate any opinions of the overall condition that y'all have to offer.
Don, the transmission looks fairly normal to me. I would have grabbed each one of the triple gears and tried to somewhat check the play between the bushing and the flywheel pins. If any one of the triple gears is much too floppy when trying to tilt it, then that would be a reason for pulling the transmission, not otherwise.
Thanks for the feedback Roger. I appreciate it.
Hey Don, where did you get that nifty wiring schematic?
Here you go Doug.
Installed a new slow speed notch and cam a few days ago.
Had a few minutes tonight so I installed the new pin and peened it into place.
The white stuff is white lithium grease....just to give it a little help as it's broken in.
My pedal shafts have O-ring seals that almost eliminate oil leakage, so I spray the outside notches & cams occasionally with lithium grease. Spraying the low notch & cam prior to first start-up seems like a good idea too.
Mark's comment sent me to the owner's manual. As I thought, the lube charts don't include the pedal cams and clutch cam. That goes for the wishbone ball too. Those are some items to include when doing a grease job.
Good info....thanks Mark and Steve.
Since they were so cheap, I had Langs throw in a set of 3 O-rings, but I'm not seeing where they go on the shafts.
Don, according to one of Mike Bender's videos on YouTube, he uses a countersink or chamfer tool to put a bevel on the shaft hole in the hogs head. The oring sits in that chamfer and is held in place by the pedal cams when bolted in.
This is something I will be doing myself this year hopefully, especially on the Doodlebug, as it leaks really bad, but at least it keeps the notches oiled while doing so.
ok....good to know.
I guess for now, I'll just be wiping up leaks.
I'm going to get this Touring car running and driving this weekend and putt around slowly in it this year.
Then, late in the year, I plan on pulling the engine and rear axle and will go through them and a few other critical systems so that I can run safely at higher speeds on the county roads around here.
At that time, I'll do some more machining and install the O-rings.
It's one of those rare weekends where the only commitment I have is church on Sunday.
So....my boys and I are going to try to finish all the repairs on the 24 Touring and at least get it to the point where it'll putt around the neighborhood by Sunday afternoon.
Here's our To-Do list:
- Recharge magnets
- Finish band liner installation
- Install bands in transmission and install hogshead
- Finish wiring
- Button up everything on the engine
It's an ambitious list, made more so by the fact that I've never done most of it. But we're gonna go for it.
Hope to have a video posted of us driving it.
Sunday will be your big pay off for all your labor. You're gonna have a blast
Good luck with it Don. Let me know when and I'd like to be there.
Waiting on video! Sounds like a fun weekend project with the family.
Drive safe and often
Best laid plans of mice and men...
Here I sit at the eye doctor, waiting for my wife, who scratched her eye at work last night.
The Model T will have to wait until I get home.
As an aside, if anyone in the The Woodlands/Conroe area needs a good Optometrist, we've been friends with Dr Greg Breaux for a long time. He's a talented Optometrist and overall great guy. I highly recommend him
Hope your wife is ok. Thanks for the insight! Couldnt resist. The T will be waiting on you.
Always the optimist...I'm using this time to run by Autozone, buy the pieces for, and construct my battery connections for magneto charging.
The eye doctor/pharmacy excursion knocked out about half the day, but we got started on the T as soon as we got back home.
We charged the magnets by using three 12V batteries in a series. I didn't have a scale to conduct a real test but before the charge, the magnets would just barely tug on a wrench. And by that I mean they had almost no magnetism whatsoever.
The hogshead was off so I held the positive jumper cable end directly on the magneto post and flashed the negative cable to the transmission case 8 times.
After doing this, the magnets strongly pulled on the same wrench. So...that's a qualitative measurement and not quantitative, but it's good enough for me at this point. We'll see soon if it runs on magneto.
We then installed new band linings. There was a learning curve. I bought the installation tool from Langs and found it just made the job harder.
So...I then tried the method that the Australian guy used (I think his name is Mitch) in his YouTube video and it was MUCH easier....almost enjoyable.
Then I tried to install the hogshead. What a nightmare. I ended up having to remove the exhaust manifold to make it easier but by the time I did so, the RTV I'd applied to the gasket was dry.
So, it'll come back off and I'll try it again tomorrow.
My son and I got home from church and worked the rest of the day on the T.
We pulled the hogshead for the second time and successfully re-installed it and the new bands.
To facilitate the hogshead installation, I removed the exhaust manifold. I think I was a little hasty during the reinstallation of the manifolds because when we fired the car back up at the end of the day, there was a vacuum leak and an exhaust manifold leak.
So...they'll have to come back off. I think I may need new gaskets for the manifolds.
Also....I've massaged the old NH carburetor as much as I can, but it really needs a total rebuild. So, I'll either do that or just take it to Chickasha with me and swap it out for a rebuilt one. (hopefully there'll be a vendor there with carbs)
So at the end of the day, we had a running car (poorly running...due to the carb and the vacuum leaks), but we did successfully button up the transmission...which I consider to be a big accomplishment.
The bands seemed to be way out of adjustment. We had a rear wheel jacked up while it was running and I couldn't get the rear wheel to stop spinning with the brake or with the clutch pedal.
This coming week will be busy for me at work, then we'll leave Thursday for Chickasha. So, I don't think that first drive will occur for at least a couple weeks.
We're undaunted though....pressing forward.
A little at a time Don, the payoff is coming. The smile on the faces will be worth the wait. The sense of pride you and your family will have in bringing this 100 year old car back to life is something you all will never forget. The smiles from everyone you meet is just a bonus.
Drive safe and often
When you adjust those bands with those new orings make sure the peddles come back properly and releasing the band properly Kevlar holds heat more. They last longer than most, adjusted right they will last along time. If they don`t release properly they get hot and crack your drum ,and cause the band Kevlar to catch in the crack and wad up around the drum. you know what that means! I saw this happen to a friends car.
Thanks Dallas....we put in 7 straight hours and didn't get the first ride we wanted. But thanks for the encouragement. It means a lot.
Thanks Rick. I installed cotton bands this time around.
I know they're probably not the best choice, but my plan is to run the car very gently and slowly around the neighborhood until next winter (if we have one in SE Texas).
At that point I plan to pull the engine, do a valve job, rebuild the rear axle, maybe a Z head and maybe upgrade the bands....I'll know by then whether I like the cotton bands.
oh yeah one more thing....
I did the dental floss thing...where you tie it to the band adjustment nut and washer when you install them.
It saved my bacon not once, not twice, not three times, but FOUR times! Yes, four times I dropped either the nut or the washer into the hogshead, but was able to fish them out easily with the dental floss.
We got in a big hurry on Sunday to get the car to the point where we could drive it.
Part of that included me quickly installing the exhaust and intake manifolds.
In my haste, I didn't get one of the little round gaskets installed correctly and in caused the both manifolds to not quite seal up....the result being exhaust leaks and vacuum leaks.
Obviously, the car wasn't running well...with massive vacuum leaks. So, it forced us to take a step back and slow down.
We're headed to Chickasha tomorrow so it'll be several days before I can wrench on it again.
Now that our self-imposed deadline has passed, I'm going to take the time to do a few other things before the first drive. I think I'm going to pull the valve cover and I think I'll pull the head again and maybe lap the valves...and a few other things.
(Message edited by rustyfords on March 15, 2017)
Had a great time at Chickasha.
It was simply awful getting through Dallas construction on Thursday...which made what should've been a 6 hour trip, an 8 hour trip.
So, I was wondering about my sanity. But that all disappeared within seconds of stepping into the swap meet.
I made a nice haul of properly weathered items for my 24 and got to shake Steve Jelf's hand and meet Ross Lilleker. I'll be back next year.
Nice haul Don those will look great on it. Wish I could have went but Im stuck here at work. I guess you and I have something in common. Im stuck doing construction!
Drive safe and often
Nice goodies! Love that tool box.
What is that 15 holed gizmo just in front of the steering wheel nut?
It's an NOS accessory windshield heater.
I was buying some other parts and the guy offered it to me for a few dollars. Heck, I'll buy anything NOS from that era for less than 5 dollars.
Don't know if I'll install it or not. I may pass it on to someone who really wants it.
Don how does it heat? Electric?
Yes Dallas. 6v electric
The original box with instructions is there with it...in pieces but it's there.
Too cool! I wondered if...
Very cool piece. I have a rag folded and hanging on steering column with a cloths pin on the ends so it doesnt blow out . People ask all the time what its for. I tell them the clean side is to wipe moisture and fog from windshield and the dirty side is to wipe my a$$ when I have to try and stop fast.
I arrived home with the toolbox and positioned it on the running board under the driver, and almost too amazing to be real....the box had four holes already drilled in it that perfectly lined up with the front four running board mounting bolts!
This toolbox was almost certainly on a Model T in this position at one time.
So, I'll just go get some longer bolts and mount it there. No holes needing to be drilled in anything.
I gave it a quick Penetrol treatment and it matches the car nicely.
Please forgive the poor photo quality. The sun was just about down and I had to lighten the photo quite a bit to get things to show up.
I've been working on the wiring for the last few days in short time I have after work. It's so very simple...shockingly simple...especially compared to some of the bumper to bumper wiring jobs I've done on later model cars.
I have the head and the manifolds removed currently and, while they're off, I decided to check the exhaust manifold for "straightness".
I've heard that a high percentage of them will warp or sag over time.
I checked mine for trueness on the horizontal and vertical planes with a straight edge and it's very straight.
Don, it is hard to tell from the picture but you want to measure across the bottom of the exhaust manifold ports not the bottom of the manifold itself to be sure the holes line up. If it had the rings and glands in place when you took it off it is probably OK but if not chances are that it is warped and getting a good seal will be a problem.
Thanks Val. I'll put the straight edge on it again after work today.
It did have the rings and glands in place when I took it off.
The battery cables you have look like they are 12 volt size.
Which ones are you referring to Larry?
Don- the exhaust manifold is one item I always just buy new. I found that often even minor warpings will cause seal/leak issues so Lang's has them for under $100 bucks- then done.
Thanks James....that'll most likely be on my list when I do the rebuild.
For now though, I've ordered enough new stuff from Langs. Daisy's getting buttoned back up after my valve lapping session tomorrow and getting driven with what's on hand.
I had about 30 minutes of each week night this last week, to work on the car and decided to tackle the wiring.
I have to admit that I really get a kick out of properly wiring my old cars. I love the way automotive wiring looks when it's properly spliced, soldered and covered in heat shrink, then carefully and artfully routed in neat bundles.
I have yet to hook up the wiring associated with the headlights and taillight, but all the wiring associated with the battery, coils and magneto is properly done in the proper color-coded wires. And...the cherry on top is that my reworked switch now works and is installed.
(Message edited by rustyfords on April 01, 2017)
Today, we had exactly two hours to spend on the Model T so we decided to lap in the old valves.
My son Jon and I were able to complete the job in about and hour and a half.
Getting the first valve out was all learning curve and the following seven were easy-peasy.
(Message edited by rustyfords on April 01, 2017)
Many thanks to Peter Adey for the use of his nifty antique valve spring compressor.
(Message edited by rustyfords on April 01, 2017)
The goal for today was to finish the valve lapping procedure by cleaning up the head and block deck, then installing the head and we were not going to let the foul weather deter us.
So we buckled down and got it done.
Now to get the manifolds installed with new gaskets, then the carb and exhaust. Then I think we're down to just adjusting the new bands and we should be able to take a ride.
The top material is on it's way and should be there by Friday. Looks like you and your son are having fun getting this car back together.
We are Dan....and we're eagerly awaiting the top material. It's really going to help complete this old car.
For the seats, we're going to start looking for an appropriately aged leather couch that someone's throwing away, or giving away. They're constantly being listed on Craigslist around here. So, we'll have a good selection to choose from.
I had a few minutes of free time tonight that I used to pull the bottom end inspection cover.
The connecting rod on #1 is almost comically loose. I'm glad I didn't run it any more than I did. I'll pull the cap on Saturday and see what I'm dealing with.
Hopefully I can tighten it up some.
This poor old girl....she's tired and thoroughly worn out. I'll really have to take it easy on her until I pull the engine for a rebuild.
On the bright side, what I'm also discovering is that she's pretty unmolested, and that the body and frame are rust free and almost certainly wearing plenty of original factory paint.
That's good....and what I was looking for in a Model T.
I'm wondering if, when Ross Lilliker rebuilds my engine/transmission, if I can request that the block be left raw (unpainted). I don't want a perfect appearing engine sitting in my Grapes of Wrath farm car....wouldn't look right.
Don, I sympathize with you on the "comically loose" rods. Mine too were all way out of wack. I had to resort to putting the caps on the beltsander, going too far so I could add shims back in for some future adjustment. Definitely not ideal, but sometimes you just have to do what you have to keep some old parts running.
I might also add you probably want to check the center main cap also while your there. I think mine has to much clearance and I didn't check it. Thus it is what hopefully is causing the knock I hear. I will be going back in this weekend to check it out.
Here may be some helpful ideas from when I had to get to #4 rod to adjust it.
I did what you did and put the cap on a belt sander. It's now fitting pretty snug....it'll do for a while.
We got the car buttoned back up and fired it up...and the carburetor started flooding. I'm pretty certain it's the needle and seat. I really need a new carburetor but my old car funds are tapped out until next month. I think I'll try to lap in the needle and seat with valve lapping compound.
On a positive note, I am loving the fact that everywhere I look, the original Ford script parts are still intact. The old girl may be a worn out old farm hand, but she is fairly unmolested.
Made it home with a carburetor courtesy of a forum member and had time to install it before heading to Boy Scouts with my sons.
I did have time to see if Daisy would fire up...she did...right away...effortlessly.
Then I quickly threw caution to the wind and switched over to magneto and she kept running!
I even hand cranked her and she fired on the first pull.
That's very exciting!
Feels real good eh?
I do hear what I think is a connecting rod knocking just a bit, so I'm going to pull the inspection cover and adjust the cap on #4 cylinder.
It's the only one I didn't adjust the other day.
Then I need to adjust the new transmission bands and she should be ready for a spin around the block.
I have to say, I was really surprised it ran on mag....I was hopeful that it would, but wasn't going to be surprised if it didn't.
Can I buy just the rebabbitted rod caps or is that not a good thing to do?
One catalog I just looked in says no, ya gotta buy the whole rod, ready to go. I've thought about it but zoiks at $90 bucks a rod.
Hey Don, when you do that 4th rod, I wanna see your Marchees tray!
(Message edited by Duey_C on April 10, 2017)
Yeah. I'm thinking about saving up and eventually buying new rings, valves, connecting rods and caps.
The babbitt wears more in the rod part than in the cap, so changing caps doesn't help much. Different case for the mains - they wear the cap more and can sometimes be shifted to rebabbitted without a full line boring (but it's advisable to check for straightness in the block so the second main isn't worn in the block compared to the others)
If the babbitt isn't cracked from fatigue, it's often possible to file the old caps to fit the babbitt for a few more thousands of miles. Just measure the crank journals so they aren't worn oval, (if oval, adjusting the babbitt won't last)
I thought about that too for the '19 engine in my '24 short box pickup. In the late 1990's... :-)
Bah, no funds then. I ran it, and still haven't even filed my caps yet. :-) It rattles a bit. OK, a lot.
I'm thinking about it again. Mine needs it. Gutless nearly unkillable old thing.
Snug up that 4th rod and enjoy Driving Miss Daisy until the funds are in hand. :-)
The ripper's, racer's, climber's, perfecto's and speedster's need tight engines. The putterer's don't really and I've ripped on mine pretty hard.
The birds in the woods here would prefer I put rings in at the least.
Sorry about the babble Don.
Chad, I hope you don't mind I named your #4 rod plate.
I gotta get back to the shed. :-)
Thanks for the props Duey!
Don, if the rest of the rods were as loose as mine, #4 is certainly going to be near the same.
I am chasing down a knock myself, Tonight I finished up what I started yesterday, adjusting #2 main.
I hope those O-rings the proper one`s for that shaft. If they`re to tight on the shaft they won`t let the shaft return properly. The bands have to open up all the way, or they will drag on the drum then over heat the drum, causing the drum to crack. When you get together and you push the peddle all the way forward. When you release the pedal it should come back rather quickly. And the shaft female and male cams should slide together with out help from your foot or hand. If you have to help it O-rings are to tight. This happened to a friend with a brand new rebuild. the drum got so hot cracked causing the band to catch on the crack it wadded up around the drum. I guess you know the rest. After that I fixed mine and another guys before that happened again.The most common material for this to happen with is Kevlar. It last longer but it retains heat more. Just my two cents worth.PS Love the car Your going to enjoy restoring it!
Also check your toe-in it might be the picture. It look`s like your tires are toed out it might be my eyes, again good luck on the car
I haven't installed the o-rings on the car yet Rick....and probably won't until the transmission gets rebuilt.
Will do Rick. I think it might be the photo though.
From straight-on, with the wheels straight, the toe-in/out looks at least presentable. (I haven't measured it)
The latest thing to reduce pedal shaft leakage is little neoprene seals instead of O-rings. Mike Bender used them on my hogshead. He can tell you which ones they are.
better to leak a little than to drag a lot . I buy mine from Langs, Rather than a hardware store. Just a heads up!
Model T parts being machined....that's a thing of beauty Steve.
I got the car running yesterday....it even ran on magneto.
However, I can't get the connecting rods to quit knocking and refuse to run it for any length of time (and now I've quit running it altogether) for fear of destroying something.
The connecting rod caps have no shims left in them so I filed down one of the caps on the belt sander and it seemed to snug up but after running the car, it was loose again.
I'm thinking I'm going to pull the engine and go through it. I'm guessing I'll need and entirely new rotating assembly, valves, etc. as well as taking the block to Ross Lilleker to have it inspected, etc.
I'm pretty disappointed. We've put a lot of hours into this car to make it a runner, but I'm going to press on.
Sorry to hear that Don - I know you and your boy have been hard at work!
Maybe Ross or someone he knows has a running engine that you can borrow and swap in while he's going through your original engine?
Don, sorry to hear that. I know the exact disappointment you speak of. I just had my pan down to do the center main and all my rods still seemed tight. I went a little father on sanding the caps and added a few shims back in. It's not ideal, and they are the heavy style rods, so it's not like I am messing up real good parts.
Marks suggestion above is a good one.
Take your time and figure out what your going to do. You have come a long way in short order. Some of us (including me) haven't done that much work in 5-10 years.
Thanks for the words of encouragement.
We're down but not out. I want the car to be enjoyable and having it knocking and running badly wouldn't be something I'd enjoy.
So, the engine will come out in the next few weeks for a rebuild.
In the meantime, we'll continue to improve it cosmetically. We'll install a better rear door, an interior and a top.
In keeping with that, I installed and wired a horn and horn button today. Here's a video of it in action.
(Message edited by rustyfords on April 15, 2017)
Thats a great sound isnt it? I installed the horn on mine this past winter. I cant drive anywhere in the county without the Amish kids pumping their arm for me to toot the horn. Sorry to hear about the motor but you will get to enjoy it with a sound motor. Push on and you will be tooling around at ease.
Drive safe and often
While Ross has the engine, I'll go through the rear axle.
My plan was to have the junky engine/trans/rearend version of the car to drive around the neighborhood for a year or two. But now it looks like we're shortcutting to the finished product.
Well, at least the horn works right.
And that's something Steve....you gotta accentuate the positive :-)
Sometime during the 24 Touring's 48 years in a barn, someone painted the barn and got white overspray on the back of the car.
I'm removing it by applying paint stripper then removing it after 10 seconds.
It's revealing a nice patinated finish underneath.
We're going to keep moving forward on the project while the engine is down.
This weekend, I'm going to weld up two cracked fenders and finish stripping paint overspray.
Upcoming tasks include:
- repairing and painting top bows
- installing the used top I just received
- making seat back tack rails
- finding a donor old couch for used leather
- making and installing seats and door panels
- rebuilding the rear axle.
- installing lighting wiring harness and fixing headlights and tailiight
- straightening out headlight stalks
- finding new/NOS spring perches
- rebuilding front end
So....there's lot's to do while the engine is out. More than enough to keep me busy for quite a while. My plan to drive it as a clunker has been abandoned and the plan now is to put it together in a much more buttoned up, mechanically sound fashion.
My kid's activities should lessen in June and I'd like to start attending the local Model T club's meetings. I know there's a lot of knowledge there that I can tap into.
Don, that is plenty to keep you busy. And the fact it will be mechanical sound will be better in the end.
I fought old spring perches front and rear. I ended up buying new front ones and lucked out on a set of NOS rear ones. Don't be surprised if the bushings don't fit in the spring eyes. Some generous fellow on here made a set of custom bushings for my front spring eyes as the openings were a larger diameter.
Good to know on the perches Chad. The fronts are worn so badly that the bottom of the spring eye is actually touching the axle.
It is a long To-Do list and almost all of it should be really enjoyable. I have, however, found in the past that if I have a car that I can drive while I work on it, I tend to stay more motivated. Having one static tends to have the opposite effect.
But, I'm a big boy and as we say in Texas, "this ain't my first rodeo". Plus...I've wanted a weathered old Model T touring car for probably 30 years and now that I have one, I'll stick to the project.
Don't know how many forum readers are following this thread, but I'll continue to post updates and photos.
My guess is there are many following the thread. I certainly enjoy watching the progress and seeing each new thing you accomplish. Almost as fun to watch others as it is to do it myself.
Keep it up, I am following and enjoying your progress.
Same here Don! Let me know if I can help in any way. I need to tear down my rear end (no comments from the peanut gallery!) at some point to see those darn washers -wish there was an easier way!
Thanks everyone...it's good to know that you're following along.
Peter, I'm also going to take apart the rear end on my car (see...I said that more cautiously) and it'll be a learning experience for sure.
I tackled a project today that I've been avoiding...welding up the two cracked fenders (front and rear driver's side).
I've been avoiding it because I'm sure there are 7 year old girls who weld better than I do.
All things considered though, it turned out OK, and looks like something that would've been achieved out on the cotton farm back in the day...so it's in keeping with the theme of the car.
That's called character Don. And as you said, it goes perfect with the look. We have previous repairs (before me) on our fenders too, and I would not change a thing about them even if they are ugly to others.
Count me in. Always watching your thread too!
Threads like this keep me motivated to press on with my own projects. :-)
To Don Allen" I met Steve Jelf in May of 20 2012, as I headed back to California from Missouri and Iowa and Kansas. He is a very colorful guy and his projects are endless. I took him to lunch and had a good visit with him. I would say that if you are in his area and have the time stop and visit him- he is very informative to say the least.
Don, welding has eluded me for 50 some years. There are many things we do but don't get enough practice to become proficient at. Isn't it nice that doesn't stop us?
Your T has an abundance of charm that I enjoy.
Sorry about the nD luck Do just don't give up. You have a neat car. Tim
Should have said don't give up neat ride. Tim
Thanks everyone....I sincerely appreciate the encouragement.
More progress updates and photos to come.
Until I resolve my engine situation, I will continue to improve the car in other ways.
Today I removed the improvised farm-fresh terminal block and installed a new reproduction terminal block and a lighting wiring harness. I have to admit that, of all the aspects of old car restoration, wiring is my favorite. I creating the neat, soldered connections and neatly routing wires. (I'm sure there's some amateur psychoanalysis that can be gleaned from this.)
The old terminal block had a cool, homemade look to it but it only had five terminals...so it had to go. Here's are "before and after" shots.
Don I am a professional psychiatrist and what you are doing is a 'healthy defense mechanism' called sublimation. How is your health insurance? :-) *
*if the answer is good then you are very ill and need to see me in my garage immediately. If it is bad then you are doing much better just continue what you are doing. :-)
I guess I'll be headed to your garage then Ignacio.
Do you take electrical work on a Model T as a form of payment?
Will take chickens, flour, and Sigmund Freud action figures: https://www.amazon.com/Accoutrements-Sigmund-Freud-Action-Figure/dp/B0006FU9DC
Great times ahead when yours is back together and working. It was a long struggle for my touring but very fun and worth it when it is done. Model T's are tough and reliable when all the restorations are completed.
Hey Don, I see on an earlier post that you needed to straighten your headlights. I have two good ones that you can have, just come by anytime and get them.
It's been a very busy couple of weeks so the T hasn't received a lot of attention, but I have managed an hour here and there.
I mostly spent it removing more of the white barn paint overspray. I've sort of mastered a technique for getting it off without hurting the old (probably original) black paint and it's almost all done.
I received a much better rear driver's side door in the mail a few days ago and will be installing it soon. It's become apparent that the body is sagging a bit in the middle because the door fitment is way too tight at the top of the doors.
So...I'm going to try shimming the body at the mounting point just in front of the rear doors to see if that will flex it back into shape.
Lots going on...not even considering giving up on this old girl.
Finally, my kids school year activities are drawing to a close and I'll get my Wednesday nights back. And, I plan to start attending the local MTFCA club meetings. I'm hoping I can get some advice on my engine dilemma or maybe even find a good running used engine to buy or borrow.
(Message edited by rustyfords on May 10, 2017)
You're chipping away at it. I really like your last sentence! :-)
I had some time with the 24 today and worked on the new rear door and shimming the body to make the doors fit better.
I'd like to get the interior and top installed by the time I start deciding what to do about my engine (sometime next month).
Here's a photo from my work session today.
I had Daisy sitting out in the driveway for a few hours today and had a few folks stop their cars and chat with me about her. This T draws more attention that all my other old cars combined.
Don - I have nothing useful to add, but wanted to say how much I enjoy reading about your progress, trials and tribulations. Sharing your experiences benefits us all. I have a '24 touring also, kind of a jalopy. It's been sitting for about 3 years and I'm now starting to get back to work on it. Your progress is inspiring. Keep at it brother!
Don, every where that car is, will be your own personal car show. I have heard this many times on the forum and finding it to be true myself. My only regret is I waited 12 years of having this car before seriously getting it going.
You have done a tremendous amount of work, and it has really come around. No one on here really does "project threads" like other car forums, so it is refreshing to see and watch your project. Keep up the great work, I too enjoy reading your progress.
Thanks for the comments Steve, Duey and Chad.
I really am having a blast turning this terribly worn out old thing into something that'll run, drive and make people smile.
The goal is to make it look like I used a time machine to pluck it off of a farm during the Great Depression. And by that, I mean something that you truly would've seen on a working farm...simple and battle-worn. One occasionally sees comically overdone versions of this, with a hundred different things loosely hanging off the car. I'm looking for something more realistic and practical like I've seen in many period photos. It helps, of course, that this car actually was a Texas farm car during that period (at least that's what the forensic evidence is pointing to). I was raised around, and worked on, Texas cotton farms and have never known better people. I guess this is my little way of remembering and honoring them.
I wanted to drive it around while I perfected the look, but the driving part will have to wait a little while longer. In the meantime, I'll keep improving the body by making all the doors work, adding a top and interior and a few more weathered, appropriate accessories as I find them.
Great work Don! Space City Ts awaits your arrival.
That depression era look is what I am going for also
As I mentioned earlier, my '24 touring is a jalopy. It has body welding, patches, bumps and bruises. I like it this way, no worries if it gets another scratch. One interesting repair that I would never change is at the junction of the right front fender and running board. Many years ago someone used a 1931 Maine license plate as a patch. It's still holding up just fine!
OT - many years ago, a friend of mine had a Fiat X 1/9 with totally rotted floorboards. He got some free asphalt shingles and roofing tar from a friend and made new floorboards out of them!
Ignacio....I'm looking forward to attending my first meeting. I think my school activities should be at an end by the end of this month.
Kent...I LOVE your touring car. The look is spot on. I don't know that I'd change a thing.
Steve...that is a brilliant repair. And how cool is it that it's sort of dated like that. Yeah, you'd be insane to remove that. That's the kind of stuff you can't pay for.
I really like completely restored cars (my '54 Ford Mainline) will be 100% gone through when it gets painted) but i LOVE unrestored cars that show their use and have stories to tell. To me, they're so much more interesting.
Mark...that sounds like the Subaru that a friend of mine, and I, bought while in the Air Force, stationed in North Dakota.
It was a totally roached out, opposed 4 cylinder car with nearly no floors left in it. We made floors out of plywood and left a big hole right over the transmission and exhuast.
We'd get out on Highway 2 next to the Air Force base, get the car good and hot, then pour used motor oil right on the transmission and exhaust. The exhaust plume it would create could probably be seen from outer space. People would come up along side us, after having emerged from the massive cloud of smoke, amazed to see that a car losing that much fluid was still running.
Of course, the inside of the car was almost unbearable while doing this so we starting doing this while wearing our military issue gas masks. People would come up along side us and see us in this smoke filled car that was just absolutely gushing the world's largest cloud of smoke and they'd almost wreck their cars as they stared at us in amazement.
Man oh man...the stuff a couple of 21 year old guys will get into when stranded in North Dakota with nothing to do.
One of the things I really like about this old touring car is what I believe to be the original factory Ford paint that it's wearing.
Don't get me wrong...I'm not putting this car forth as a preservation/originality candidate. It's been used and used hard on a Texas cotton farm in its life and has been modified and changed quite a bit over the years.
But I do believe that the paint striations on the body show evidence of the original "garden sprayer wand" drip paint method that Ford used on the bodies of the black era cars.
Other evidence that I believe supports this hypothesis is the fact that this car was put into a west Texas barn around 1969. And...the wear on this paint would simply have taken too long to get to the point where it's at if it had been restored in the 40's or 50's. Also...the lacquer repaints I've seen on cars done in the 40s-60's era tend to crack as they get old, whereas the dripped/flowed paints on the original Model T's I've seen tend to get sort of a freckled look and have this horizontal striping.
As I've mentioned before, I totally geek out on original factory painted cars. I have a 66 F100 that is low mileage and original through and through, wearing original paint and zero rust. This Model T isn't in that class. It's been "rode hard and put up wet" as my Papaw used to say. However...it is almost entirely rust-free, it has a lot of farm repairs and I'm fairly certain that it's wearing Henry's original Gilsonite black paint....and I think that's pretty dern cool.
Still making incremental progress.
Added these used top saddles this evening.
2 thumbs up!
The driver's side rear door was the worst panel on this car. It looks as if it was removed from the car in the past and maybe used as a sled and possibly a BB Gun target.
I secured a much better door and will use the old one for sheet metal patches (more on that later).
The frame on this old farm car is sagging and the rear door openings are too narrow at the top for a door to open and close properly. While I have the splash apron off for some repairs, I decided to put some shims between the rear body mount and the body.
I was doubtful that it would accomplish much due to the very thick body framing, but it ended up working great.
My new door measured 18 3/4" at the top and the pinched door opening measured 18 3/8"....it need to move a lot.
I jacked the body wood frame up slowly near the rear body mount until the gap measured 18 7/8" then placed thick washers in the space between the wood frame and the body-to-frame mount.
That should do the trick. If not, I can come back later and adjust it.
I'm treating the underside of the fenders and splash aprons with phosphoric acid, which creates a chemical reaction that turns iron oxide into iron phosphate. This creates a coating on the metal that is more dense and less reactive than iron oxide.
In this application, it creates a dark brown color that goes well with the patinated paint on this car.
I'll be removing both rear fenders so that's the time to treat them. Here's the driver's side fender after treatment. It's hard to tell from the photo, but it really does create a good result. I'll post a before and after of the other fender.
Don, Is the phosphoric acid what's in the "rust converters on the market. The ones that turn the rust into a blackened material? I am just wondering if it is a cheaper alternative. Do you need to wash it when done?
Looks good as always, keep up the great work.
Yes Chad, that's usually the chemistry of those rust converters.
I use one called "Ospho" because it creates a dark brown finish that lasts for quite a while. Some of the others create a white chalky finish that I don't like on things that I want to keep an old look on. There's probably some slightly different chemistry going on with those but I haven't taken the time to examine it.
Ospho is available at most Ace Hardware stores.
And no. You don't need to wash...just let it dry/cure thoroughly.
The finish it creates isn't perfectly smooth, so it's good for areas that won't receive a pretty finish coat.
My latest progress report:
- Pulled off the passenger side running board, Treated the bottom of it and running board brackets with phosphoric acid.
- Welded up a crack in the front fender where it attaches to the running board. Then put it all back together and treated the area with Penetrol.
- Next I removed both hood shelves and rust-treated the underside of both.
- Replaced the wood blocks that go under the shelves with used ones I found at Chickasha.
- Routed wiring under the hood shelves
- Hooked up both headlights with new connectors.
Next will be to complete the wiring on the car. All I have left to do is connect the lighting harness to the switch and run the twilight wire...then the car will be wired 100%.
It may already be too late but your really must NEVER spin up the generator with nothing connected to it for a load. As strange as it sounds the generator will "self destruct" because internally the field connection is wired to the output. Your generator armature and field is what you need to try and save. The YELLOW/BLACK new wire coming out of the harness near the generator is HOT all the time - yes ALL of the time so tape it off so that it doesn't touch ground until you decide what to do with your generator. Then oddly as it sounds - connect that wire that is coming OUT of the generator directly to one of those 2 cutout mounting screws in the side of the generator housing. That will GROUND the output of the generator and then you can spin up the generator without hurting it. You won't have any charging until you get that generator working properly and it is missing a stud and insulator that normally brings out the single power connection to a cutout mechanism that sits on top of the generator. The generator can be an expensive item so until you learn about it, make those 2 simple temporary mods so as to save the generator if it by chance is still good.
Thanks for the advice John...I appreciate it.
No worries though. The battery is disconnected and is out of the car.
And...the engine hasn't been turned over for quite some time (long before the generator was disconnected). I pulled the missing items (including the cutout) off a few days ago.
The engine's about to be pulled...hence the current state of "disconnectivity".
Starting to sort out the top irons that came with my car.
They were very dirty and corroded/stuck in approximately the closed position. After soaking the pivots in penetrating oil, I was able to free them up with a lot of coaxing.
I have a new set of top wood bows that looks like (judging by the box) they were bought 50 years ago and never used.
Both sets of irons need some repairing and straightening but they look fixable.
I do need a pair of the clamps that connect the windshield posts to the top if anyone has a pair they're willing to part with.
For what it's worth, I believe my top mounting posts are the 26-27 type that got added to my car sometime on the farm and I think the top bows are too.
It would bug me if I was restoring the car, but I'm not....so it doesn't.
I think they used that style windshield post 23to27. Someone correct me if Im all wet. Should be right for 24.
That the top mounts to.
Dallas....I was referring to the posts that stick out of the body in the back...that the top mounts to.
Engine's going to come out soon.
It's all new ground for me (pulling a T engine).
Don, you might want to take the bolts out before pulling the engine. Otherwise you will hurt your back. But seriously, it's only 4 bolts, how hard could it be? Ohhh, you mean all the other stuff you need to take off before removal.
I'll be here all week, please be sure to tip your waitress!
P.S., your still doing a great job on your preservation.
Good deal, Don!
I'll be learning like you later this year. I've put one in... an empty frame... 20 years ago... :-)
If I had some loose top clamps, I'd send 'em.
Thanks Chad and Duey.
Despite all the setbacks, I'm still having a blast with this old thing.
I'm having to restrain myself in the spending dept, because I'm considering taking the rear axle to Ross Lilleker and having him convert it to a Ruxtell. I'm just wondering which one of my kids can do without food for a month or so to finance it.
I REALLY want it to be able to drive super-slow for parades, swap meets and around the neighborhood when various and assorted kids are behind the wheel. The two times I've driven a T, I've noticed that low speed is not as slow as the uninitiated might think. I want granny-gear slow.
Don, my doodlebug with a '24 Buick trans in first gear behind the T engine and a TT 7:1 rear axle is still too fast at times for some of the tractor show parades.
The ruckstell rear in low and the T in low will help you for sure, but I don't believe it will be crawling slow like it sounds like you want.
Have you found a used and useable engine yet? Or are you going to rebuild what you have?
Chad....I haven't found a replacement engine yet.
I think I'll be pulling the rotating assembly out of my engine and seeing if I can rebuild what I have.
Or, I may just take it and the rear axle to Ross all at once....and robbing a bank on the way over ;-)
Don, I think by "convert it to a Ruxtell" you mean replace it with one. The Ruckstell uses the Ford right housing and a few other Ford parts, but it's mostly different. I haven't studied the percentages of Ford vs Ruckstell parts, but I believe it's generally a matter of removing the Ford rear end and installing the Ruckstell.
Don, I was also thinking, and to me it would matter if I owned your car, if that is the original block, I would try to keep it if it was good.
It definitely would be breaking the bank, but a nice Scat crank and floating trans shaft would make a nice pair in it for doing all the driving you want.
Steve....you're correct. It's probably not so much a Ruxtell conversion as it is a Ruxtell replacement.
Oh, and for what it's worth, I really enjoyed the 4th of July video and photos you posted on FB.
Boy oh boy Chad, wouldn't all that stuff be nice!
I've seen several Model T's that run pretty dern smooth, and I dream about mine running like that. I do plan to drive it a lot once it's up and going. I'm saving my nickels and dimes.
Cosmetically, the car is really turning out great. It has a really cool, genuine weathered look about it that's not overdone or cartoonish. In fact, I had a local Model T guy visit a few days ago and offer to buy it on the spot. It was pretty flattering.
Getting the top in order while I save my $$ for engine work.
The top irons that came with my car were in pretty rough shape...probably too rough to save if I were doing a restoration. But they're plenty good for my "grapes of wrath" vibe Touring Car.
I'm doing one side at a time, then I'll join them with new wood bows. First I had to do some welding, then straightening. Then, I treated them with phosphoric acid. Next, I'll paint with semi-gloss black, then mount the used top I have.
The car came with a box of brand new hardwood top bows...they were in a box that looked like it had been sitting with the car since 1969. They're beautiful and look to be of the highest quality.
Don, I'm itchin' to see the top on that old relic!
You get nice looking bows when I'm stuck with older original bows that want to pull the body apart as they're a bit wide...
Thank you for updating! Too cool.
More work on the top bows this weekend.
My life has been somewhat consumed by my job. We received damage (at work) from the flooding related to Hurricane Harvey, but fortunately, my home came through just fine.
This weekend has been the first time since the Harvey chaos that I've had a spare minute to devote to old car stuff.
After trying several different approaches to making the curved portion of the top bows, I was about to give up and buy a set. But, I found that PVC board will work just fine and will curve if you heat it a bit. It also accepts tacks and nails.
I managed to make and install curved inserts for most of one side yesterday.
It's good to be back at it with my old iron. It's especially therapeutic after the last few weeks.
Don, Good to see you back. There was an older post that discussed using PVC, but I believe that person used strips so they were easy to bend and laminated them to the desired thickness.
Great job and glad you got it back together. I really need to remember all the stuff as I get farther into mine.
Thanks for the update Don
My pleasure Gary. It's really nice to be wrenching again.
Chad, here's what I used. What's nice is the thickness is just about perfect so all I had to do was cut it to the right width. A jigsaw with a coarse woodcutting blade slices through it like butter.
One board should be enough to do the all the curved pieces on both sides.
I see you have to order three to get one. Do they come in a blister pack?
Yeah, I don't know what that's all about Steve. Must be an online thing. If you go into the store in person you can buy just one.
It's been a while since I've posted, but I have been pecking away at the 24.
My latest project has been completing the wiring....100%.
I'm finishing up the wiring to the headlights and taillight, and cleaning up the connections on the firewall. I'm pretty picky about wiring so I'm soldering everything and using heat-shrink and I'm trying to use correct color cloth covered wire whenever possible.
My car also came with a hole in the dashboard to the left of the steering column and I've wanted to fill that with something since the first day I saw the car. So....I found a vintage pushbutton that I wire to an "ahoooga" horn that I'll mount to the frame rail, under the car.
I also picked up a couple spotlights in order to make one good one that has the right appearance and am wiring that up as well.
Today's project was making the headlights work.
I ran new wires to the headlights but they weren't working, so I checked for continuity between the socket and the chassis and there was none. Actually, there wasn't even continuity between the sockets and the and headlight buckets.
That indicated what I've come to know as the most common electrical problem with old cars that have been stored for a long time....bad grounds.
First I removed the old sockets. The contacts in them were worn and bent and the springs weren't springy.
Then I used a Dremel tool and small wire wheel to remove rust, etc from the inside of the bore where the headlight socket goes. That left it nice and shiny and ready for new sockets.
Then I checked for continuity. It was excellent.
And...VIOLA....the 24 has working headlights for the first time since at least the 1960's...probably longer.
Don, Great work. I went through this on both of my T's with the head lights.
I did all the cleaning that you did, but I took a tip I heard on this forum a long time ago. I soldered a wire from the new socket to the headlamp housing itself. I don't expect with all the cleaning I did to have much of a problem again, but I figured I was in there, so why not. My lights are very bright, and never had an issue. Just something you may want to consider down the road.
Always enjoy reading about the progress that you and Jon are making. We need to get together soon for a T ride down by the San Jacinto River.
Definitely John. My youngest and I will be calling you to schedule that sometime before Christmas when the weather's nice. He's spending the weekend with a buddy....otherwise we would've called you yesterday. It was beautiful outside.
I'm about to pull the rear axle apart and may even build it into a Ruckstell.
Then I'll pull the engine and go through it...and replace what needs replacing. Then hopefully the old girl will be back on the road. She's come a long way since you pulled her out of the shed.
Thanks for the tip Chad.
If mine start to fail, after this repair, I'll go back in and do that soldering trick. Did you use a propane torch to solder the wire to the bucket?
Seems to me that a soldering iron would get the bucket hot enough.
Don, I used my trusty Weller PSI100 Iron. It is a cordless Butane powered iron that has far exceeded my expectations through the years. I had the first one for 20 years until it broke I believe due to freezing one year. So I'm on my second one now and had it 5 years.
Anyhow, I just cleaned the area good on the headlamp housing, used a good flux, and a broad tip on the iron and heated it until I could tin it.
The pair I posted above were for my doodlebug, but what I did was do an area that would not be seen, that faces towards the radiator shell and towards the bottom. I actually have the left and right housings swapped in the pics above. It did minimal paint damage to the outside, I may have just blew a quick spot of black back on from a spray can, I don't really remember though.
I then used dielectric grease between the new bulb socket and housing sleeve so it hopefully wouldn't rust again---being it sits outside. Been fine for 3+ years now.
Anyhow, enough of my thread detour. Great job on keeping this vehicle in as found condition.
Bought this recently from a forum member.
I've discovered something that I'm sure a lot of you have known for years....the joy of building a collection of Model T specific tools.
Is that a band tool? To hold the ears together for installing the hogs head?
Yes, it is. The parts book calls it the transmission band clamp. Maybe Don will post the measurements so those who don't have it can make one.
I'll be happy to Steve. I'll get some measurements made and posted tomorrow.