I recently inherited my grandpas 26 model t coupe and I am wanting finish his restoration process. One thing I was wondering was how much work it would take to install an electric starter and generator on the car? Would anyone be able to explain the process to me? I know this was his intention to do to the car because he already bought the semi converter and generator gasket for the car. I'm still looking around the farm to make sure he didn't already buy the starter and generator as well but I haven't found it.
(Message edited by Alagrow on July 20, 2017)
It would be very rare for a 26 to have come from the factory without a starter and generator. If you have not done so, get catalogs from the parts suppliers also a copy of the Service Manual and owners manual for your year. When you find the missing parts, do not try and just install the starter. The bendix HAS to come off before the starter is installed then reinstalled after it's mounted. Good luck with your project and welcome to the site.
I would think all the enclosed Improved cars came with a starter/generator system. The only exception might be an extremely rare special order car, or one that had a engine from a non-stater car transplanted into it. If you can post a couple pics of engine compartment and both sides of the engine, I'm sure the folks in the know on here can help you out.
Austin, welcome to the Model T Ford forum.
If you decide to do the upgrade, keep the generator and starter block-off plates, they can be hard to find.
Austin - As president of the
Oklahoma Special T's, I would invite you to join our club. We have a work day every Thursday morning and would be glad to help with your project. Who was your grandfather, we may know him. Contact me through e-mail or call 1-580-237-6717. Ed
I really appreciate all of the positive replies from the members here! Thank you for all of the help; this is definitely a new experience for me. Ive got a couple of parts catalogs and the service manual ordered now. Ed, I emailed you and would really like to join. I posted pictures below. Due to size restrictions I had to make multiple posts for them.
(Message edited by Alagrow on July 21, 2017)
Nice car! (except for the water pump).
There is a file size limit of 250K per picture, but no limit to the number of pictures that can be attached to a single post.
See the manual. If your car has a starter ring gear, the starter should fit right on. You need to put the starter on without the bendix gear or spring from the front. Then install the bendix and spring from the rear. Be sure to use gaskets and seal well as this is a source of leaks.
The generator with gear should bolt right on. You will need a cutout to take the generator out of the system when the engine is not running. Be sure not to start the engine with the generator in place without a cutout in the circuit or you could fry the generator. See electrical diagrams in the manual for wiring connections. Most important when connecting the generator and battery is not, even for a moment, connect the battery to the magneto post. Be sure the switch and ammeter are correctly installed so that won't happen. See also the wiring diagram in the manual. The starter switch is mounted on the frame just in front of your left heel and you will need a round hole drilled into the floorboard for the button.
Could be a rare bird, a non electric improved model. Does it have oil cowl lamps and taillight?
As Norman said, above, the starter is best installed without the bendix on the shaft. It might be possible, but one takes a chance hitting and ruining the insulation on the magneto coils and if that happens, you'll never run on magneto regardless of how well you have other things set up. Besides the block off plates, there are other tell tale signs as to whether the car had a starter and generator, originally. Does the floorboard have a small round hole near the left side forward of the seat riser? if so it had a starter switch at one time (unless the floorboards have been replaced). With the floorboards removed, is there any indication that a starter switch was ever bolted to the left frame rail? Also, if the car was not starter and generator equipped, I think it would have had a resistor panel installed in the switch plate, instead of an ammeter.
Gary, it does not. There are cables in the trunk where he had a battery hooked up at one point. All of the wires from the ignition switch seem to be missing for some reason though and the headlights are on the car but they just have the spring, reflector and lenses on them. No sockets or wiring running to them. I know the car ran well about two years ago, but I'm not sure what he was doing to it after that.
Thank you for all of the info Norman!
Mark, forgive my nativity, what is wrong with the water pump? Haha.
Thank you for the info terry! I'll look into that when I get back to the house. I believe the ignition switch has an ammeter though. The other stuff I'll have to check on. The key was stuck in the ignition switch so I sent it off for repair yesterday.
(Message edited by Alagrow on July 21, 2017)
Model Ts didn't originally come with one, and if you have a good radiator, you don't need one. Some use a water pump successfully to squeeze a little more service out of an old radiator.
It's probably a blessing that all the wiring is missing, that way you can start clean with new harnesses and not be tempted to patch up the old stuff.
The block off plates are there for the starter and generator
One more thing you will need if it doesn't have it is a battery holder which would be located under the left side of the trunk opposite the muffler. The holes should already be in the frame for it, so it will just bolt into place.
Concerning the water pump. There is nothing wrong with using one if it doesn't leak. However the T was designed to keep cool without a water pump. And due to the location of the pump, if it does leak, you will lose all the coolant out of the block even while parked, so be sure to check fluid level every time before you drive the car.
Thanks for all of the help everyone. Yes, there is a battery holder and there were cables in the trunk to hook to the battery as well but I haven't checked yet if the cables run where they're supposed to attach to. Is there anything special about the 6V battery I need to buy? What's a good price for a generator and starter with bendix if I end up not being able to find one at the farm?
Austin, just be certain to order a "Group 1" 6 volt battery! Don't ask how I know this. :-)
Silly question: Why not just crank it? First times are gonna be a BXXch but after you get to know it, just a couple of flops and it's running and away you go. :-)
I got my 6v from A.Zone and it fits great inside the space provided, with a wood board and rubber mat underneath. However the metal top which is held down with clips seems too close to the electrical posts to me, so I added a rubber insulator just inside the lid.
Hit a local farm store and they should have 6 volt batteries at a decent price. I don't think I have ever paid more than $65 for one and lots of times catch them on sale for under $50.
Those block off plates do look original to the car. What size wheels are on it? How about photos of the whole car? Another clue that the car may came without starter, would be no amp meter, would have a blank plate with a dimmer coil mounted to the back side in it's place. Too bad all the wiring is missing from the terminal block.
Austin, Just a reminder. When you do put a battery in, it is negative ground. Also from you pictures it appears the wiring harnesses have been removed. There are no wires on the firewall terminal block. You will need to pick those up and do search this forum for Ron Patterson's schematic for the improved car. Also it wouldn't hurt to replace the terminal block if is is made of wood. The new reproduction units are an improvement in my opinion.
Improved car wiring schematics for cars with starters:
Wow thank you so much. The culture on this forum is outstanding. So much positive feedback in very quick fashion. Thank you mark for the schematics. My harnesses that I ordered should be here Wednesday and I intend on installing them then!