Found a nice T chassis locally.
Appears to be in good shape, unmolested. Engine ran a few years ago and was driven, oil still in it and turns over smoothly, kept indoors.
Paint is flaking off everything, and there is light rust.
This is my first T. Where exactly do I start?
Is the rust bad enough to need sandblasting for sure or do you all think I could get by with a grinder or wire brush or something? What do I remove first??
Is that a Holley NH carb? The data plate is covered in a lot of grease so I can't really read it. It looks like one to me.
Thanks guys! And yes, before anyone asks, I have the service book.
Looks good. I guess you could start pretty much anywhere. I'd try to rig up a gas tank of some sort so I could find out how the motor runs. It shouldn't be too big of a deal to get it started if it ran a few years ago. Maybe clean out the carburetor and make sure you have a good set of coils.
The guy who had it gave me a gas tank, but used a milk jug for his test.
I also ordered a compression tester and adaptor to check that.
Right now I'm thinking lift out the engine and trans, unbolt the frame, etc etc I guess.
Looks like great start with your 1926 chassis!
What's the engine number?
Using a power drill and wire brush will do the job, and good rust proof primer, there are lots of new ones today, POR15, Rust Bullet, etc. Years ago did the '24 chassis with wire brush, red primer, and black enamel and still looks good.
If there is so much rust you have pits and ragged spots, sandblasting is faster and better. But you should strip the chassis.
That carb is the Holley NH with the late '25-'26 universal joint carb adjustment for choke too.
Thank you Dan! Just what I needed. The frame is in very very good shape, along with everything else pit wise. There are none. It's just a light powder. Gotta drill those holes in the engine stand adaptor plate now to get it lifted to start the work!
once you get it running,you can always build a body like I am.Or you might even find 1 complete like the nice 1 like Brent may be selling at some point and have fun much faster.
Figure out which type of body is best suited for what you want to do.I feel in my case for example,a truck is useful and can be fun at the same time.
Looking at the mixture of rust and deteriorating paint on that chassis, I'd be inclined to take it apart and blast it if you have a big enough compressor. For chassis paint I use rattle cans of satin black Rustoleum. No primer needed, and it's quite durable.
What to do with it depends on what you want to end up with. So what's your goal?
John, you could get it running and do some smokey burnouts (take it for some spins) in your driveway before you tear it apart. :-)
That is exactly how I started!
I imagine you are working on a budget just like me.
Here is my advice.
First get the engine running. Check in the transmission inspection area. Change the oil. Take out plugs clean them and look in engine. Get the spark going. Then add gas.
From there I would check everything mechanically...
Sheet metal and the body maybe easier to find than you expect. A friend gave me mine.
I would strip it all down. You will have to open the rear-end anyway and now is the time to do it. Be sure to check the frame for being straight and true. Then the rebuild process can begin...
I already have a plan for a speedster I am building, and yes, on a budget.
I am getting a quote for sandblasting the frame today, and a friend has a smaller sandblasting cabinet for the smaller things.
For now my plan is to get the chassis all taken apart and painted along with the wheels.
Will update on what happens!
If you are doing a speedster I assume you are planning to lower it. If so it might be best to get the chassis all mocked up before you blast it.
I'm in the process of building one myself.
Unfortunatly we are still trying to rebuild after the hurricane so I haven't worked on it for a while.
That is a great shot of you & your T.
Chad, surprisingly no, Id like to keep it stock height for now!
By the way, opened up the transmission cover. Looks good, seller was right and it IS still filled with oil.
Got a wire brush and brushed off a few spots to see how bad rust is. It's just dust, comes right off, so I will be going wire wheel brush route.
Also tried loosening some bolts all around just to see if they are frozen or not, everything is free and loosens right away! just gotta get those holes drilled in my engine stand adaptor plate, then I can start taking it apart.
Depending on atmospheric conditions, sometimes freshly cleaned steel or iron will start forming new rust as soon as they're wire brushed or blasted. Once started, rust can develop and spread under paint, especially where fingers have touched the bare metal. The answer to that is a 50/50 mix of phosphoric acid and H2O. Spray it on, wipe dry, and let it air dry before painting. Wear rubber gloves.
What body style do you prefer? I noted yesterday, there were several '26-7 bodies for sale on ebay. Also, Mark Freimiller has a lot of that stuff.
What about a title for it? How much work are you willing to put into it and find out you can't get one or is going to be too costly.
When using phosphoric acid, do it OUTSIDE on bare dirt or weeds. DO NOT use phosphoric acid on grass or concrete. DAMHIK.
I agree with Steve. Phosphoric acid will neutralize rust extremely well. It also etches the surface enough for the paint to get a really good bond. I recommend it. You can find it in the paint departments named Kleen and Etch.
Yes, should have mentioned I was planning on using acid since it will also get at any rust in tight spaces and neutralize it as you said.
Mark, here in NH you don't need a title!
Larry, if I were to have a body, I would want a roadster or touring. Only thing is, is that with a body comes the interior work, plus the cost of the body, then painting it... etc. I'm trying to do this on a budget! Of course eventually, I'll probably buy an entire project touring or whatever. I will look on eBay now to see what's for sale!
If you want a low buck speedster get mocking up a body(?) like this from scrap wood and cardboard until you like the look.
In the meantime what you have needs a thorough inspection including the integrity of the wheels, determining for sure if the differential has babbit or bronze thrust washers, and the general condition of the engine and electrical system.
Tim,do you have more pics of that speedster? As in a rear view?
Just checked front axles/wheels. They do not move at all back or forth and have no play which I think would mean bearings and washers etc are fine?
Off with the steering column now!
John, you can't check the condition of babbit thrust washers without splitting the differential.
Yes, your right however I was checking the front wheels, I don't think the differential was going to affect the front ones?
Anyways, removed the steering column, coil box, horn, manifolds and carb. Now I think my next step should be removing the engine. Right now I have it sitting in my barn, which has beams perfect for hoisting the engine up and then bolting it to the stand. For removing the engine, I see the four bolts for the ears of the pan, and then one in the front under the crank. Take those out, and from my understanding, the driveshaft should slide out??
Where can I find one of these.
John, you are right, my bad. I just read wheels/bearings.
That's fine Gary! Haha. Once I get off the frame and everything else then I'll be sure to crack it open and check...
Daren, a chassis? I found this one on Craigslist.
You could do like Carston and I did and build a little Hot Rod pickup out of it. Most fun I have had in a long time. Made out of free stuff and a running chassis. All model t.
My other speedster built from left over. The green one. The black 1926 roadster is Clayton's built from a forgotten about chassis. All model t as well.
No restored Model T's were harmed in this post.
Love the green one!
I'm probably going to end up doing a speedster pickup.
Taking apart the steering column for now since I am not able to lift the engine out yet. Once again, once the transmission and everything is unbolted, the engine slides out and the driveshaft stays in place?
As for the steering column, how do I remove the gear box and the throttle and spark rods? What was original nickel plated, rods and gearbox or just gearbox?