I was wondering what most of the experienced model t
owners prefer to use in cowl lights. Kerosene or lamp oil, and any brand preferences.
I have never used mine but want to try them out. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Hi I tried both !
Lamp oil is a little less smoky.
I don't know US brands, so can't help there.
A long long time ago, when I was a penniless teenager, I put 5 gallons of cranberry scented lamp oil in my old VW bug. Got where I was going, and back, but in a cranberry haze. That car stunk of cranberry for a year.
They sell good lamp oil at the ACE hardware store, I use it in lanterns during hurricane season. even inside the house, very little smell.
Lamp oil is simply a more highly refined type of kerosene. It burns cleaner and has less (or no) smell, but costs a bit more. Aromatic additives make it smell like cherries, blossoms, etc. which reduces complaints from the wife. Kerosene is authentic, but lamp oils are a lot more pleasant!
If you're determined to use kerosene, check out Walmart online. They carry K1 kerosene in quarts and gallons which is priced reasonably and is good quality.
I tried to buy kerosene at our local oil bulk plant once and they looked at me like I had two heads. Their best offering was JP jet fuel, so I bought a quart and put it in a lamp in the house. BAD mistake...that stuff has a strong. oily smell even when not burning. I finally used it to start fires in my shop wood stove and bought some lamp oil instead.
I like lamp oil, and most Walmart and Target (chains) sell it on site. As a kid we had kerosene, and it smells, smokes and stains. My two cents....
I used lamp oil in my 15 before electrifying the lamps for both safety and somewhat hidden front directionals - I found it took longer to spot over the lenses keeping the lights a bit brighter for a longer time.
Soot over the lenses... I hate spellcheck!
I use K-1 kerosene. The lamps do not smoke if the wicks are trimmed/adjusted properly and the doors and other openings are closed as they should be.
The kerosene lamps will not blow out at 35 to 40 mph if the doors are shut right. The square lamps don't seem to need any gasket around the doors but the round lamps ('15 up) may need a gasket inside the rim if the doors don't close flush against the lamp body. See the March 1915 note:
This gasket was offered for the first '15 to '17 cowl lamps with the holes around the chimney. I don't have a photo of those but probably wouldn't hurt to put a gasket on the later ones either if they blow out.
I drive my '14 regularly with the kerosene lamps lit even when I don't have the acetylene headlights on. The kerosene lamps make excellent running and parking lights. You will be surprised how the other drivers notice them. Set correctly, they'll stay lit for more than 20 hours on a font of kerosene.
I don't see why lamp oil wouldn't work too but I seldom notice any kerosene smell when driving and certainly don't leave them lit inside the shop.
Ken in Texas
My old Dietz lanterns work well on charcoal lighter fluid. I assume the T lamps would too. jb
Seems like all discussions on Model T fluids yield a wide variety of things to use, and all of them seem to work for the folks who use them. Only thing I haven't seen is a recommendation for using MMO in the kerosene lamps !
(I wonder if it works ?!?)
MMO does work but it puts off a red smoke. (;-)
Look at what the lamp oil is made of. Some is paraffin base and clog the wick. I don't mind the smell of kerosene so that is what is in all my lamps, home and car. No "lamp oil" for me.
Thank you very much for your opinion, I see basically it's a matter of preference. I guess ill probably try them both and see what works best for me. Maybe even try kerosene on one side, and lamp oil in the other to first see the visual difference,and go from there.Thank you again everyone I do appreciate it.
Here's what I use. May not be good if you get way cold, but I've never had it cold enough to not work for me.
Richard, part of the problem is that both kerosene and "lamp oil" are not always the same stuff everywhere you go. K-1 kerosene is jet fuel, if it's identified as such, meets a standard and is reliable. It's water clear, burns clean and is not particularly odorous. Lower grades veer into something like diesel fuel. You can burn practically any flammable liquid that will rise in a wick, but your mileage may vary. ; )
Yes we do get some very cold weather here in northern Michigan so freezing and gelling up is a consideration. We do have K1 kerosene available by pump from several service stations. I have the kerosene for my garage heater and for supplemental heat if we lose power to house.
Thanks again for your input.
I go down to the local fuel supplier and buy "pearl Kerosene" - burn it in all my Kerosene lamps, you don't have that heating oil smell like the straight, or red dyed K1. And it costs $5 a gallon, not $7.99 for, what is it, 26 ounces?
Interesting. Red dye indicates diesel fuel. My bulk oil distributer told me over 30 years ago the refineries had quit making pearl grade. Very little difference between pearl and
K-1, but if I could find pearl I'd buy it !!
Susanne, what fuel supplier did you go to? Pearl was exclusively a Standard Oil product, but when I asked about it at the local supplierI got blank stares. I'd love to find some too!
Over 40 years ago we'd buy pearl by the barrel from the Phillips distributer, but it was a Standard Oil product.
I sell kerosene for a living and there are several grades and varieties, depend on your State requirements. K-1 is available in red or clear, the only difference being clear has to charge road tax and red is non highway. All K-1 varies on the ppm sulfur content depending on the State, 500 ppm is legal in SC but in NC it is 400. However we only use 15ppm K-1 known as Ultra low sulfur. While it is very similar to JET-A there are some small differences. Confused?
yes! Uncolored K-1 is what is sold on the shelf in stores for use in heaters in Oregon.
Thank you for the update information Mike. It's great to have a professional response !! So - there are vehicles that run on kerosene ? (Besides Gil Fitzhugh's Stanley) ; )
Well Rich they are some that could run on it but probably not well. It is used in certain northern states to blend with diesel fuel (usually no more than 10%) to lower the cloud point in winter to prevent fuel from gelling in really cold temperatures.
Mike, thanks again for the information. Diesel gelling used to be a problem in this northern state, nowadays not so much. We just use what they sell us, no details on the wherefore !