Looking to learn what I can do to make it easier to start my 1916 touring when cold. Ill start with what I think the culprit is and thats the nondetergent 30 weight oil that had been 20 degrees all week regardless of the 50 degree day I went to start it. I have a 6 volt battery wired up to the switch and cranking resulted in a single fire with every quarter turn of the crank. I thought it was the carburetor so let that sit in cleaner overnight since pulling the plugs showed dry spark plugs when it should've been flooded with all the choked cranking. Rear wheels were up on jack stands and i tried both neutral and high gear. Gas is fresh and spark is strong in the correct sequence. With gas dribbling out of the carburetor I was starting to think there was a dead mouse in the intake manifold. As a last attempt we pull started it behind my buddys truck and it fired right up and ran terrific. What do I do about the molasses oil that isnt letting the crank get momentum? I dont want to break my arm by turning it over in full revolutions
20 wt oil would be a better choice at anything below the freezing mark. If you were getting a single "Chuff" with each 1/4 pull then the engine was trying to fire but couldn't rotate fast enough to get to the next cylinder
What about a multi-weight detergent oil, like 15W-30?
My only hesitation with the multi-weight oil is based on a lot of threads that talk about cleaning out the engine with kerosene prior to switching to a detergent oil. It runs great when the oil is warm enough so not sure itd be worth it since down the road i dont imagine ill be driving in freezing temperatures in my touring
I run 5W-30 in Betsy on the advice of Royce Peterson. Seems to work fine.
If you store the T with the parking brake pulled back, try leaving the lever in high (fully forward) and chock a front wheel instead. This keeps the oil squeezed out between the clutch plates while the T is sitting. Pull the lever back before starting, of course!
Some folks jack up a rear wheel in cold weather so that the clutch plates don't have to slip relative to one another at first.
You can switch over to detergent oil without flushing. I would suggest a fully synthetic oil like Mobile 1, it should be less prone to becoming molasses, I run it in my T, tractors, and cars.
Gas should not dribble out of the carburetor, your float is bad or the float valve is sticking open. If it is sticking open it may also be prone to stick closed, particularly if you do not have much fuel pressure because of a near empty or low gas tank level, that will cause starting problems too.
Put 2 drops of MMO on the handle...
Many years ago, there was an article in the VF that discussed oil. As I recall, the author was both a T guy and a petroleum engineer. Much of the article was too technical to mean a lot to me, but the phrase that sticks with me was (approximately): "If you set out to create the perfect oil for a Model T, you would end up with a modern 5W30 detergent oil."
If it's a planned trip, and you have a little extra time, try putting one of those 300/500 watt shop lamps under the crankcase. You only need 300watt setting, for about half an hour, an hour at most. Warms the oil up enough to make things work almost like normal.
Kyle...methinks you are believing that a Model T engine has to "spin fast" to begin running on its own....not true !
See this video courtesy of Mr. Thrifty, Forum member:
Set your timing correctly...a few different ways...
I like this one, courtesy of Mike Robison:
I have printed a copy and keep it in my tool box - works slicker than______.
Proper timing makes things easy.
I think i would leave the lever forward and 5-30 oil.Bruce said he thought 10-30 but many like the 5-30.Myself i would avoid the heat lamp.Oil is cheap while engines are not! Bud in Wheeler,Mi.
Now is a good time to try starting with one rear wheel off the ground. Leave it in high gear. That way, when your cold oil wants to rotate the transmission drums, it will instead rotate the rear wheel that is off the ground. Usually less resistance that way. Just be sure to chock your other wheels, so it won't run you over. Let the wheel stop spinning before putting it back on the ground.
For a cold start in cold weather, open the carb 1/4 turn to richen the mixture.
Thomas,did you [fergit] to mention to place the brake lever in the middle position for nuteral,be fore letting the wheel back down.
I like Tim and Mark’s suggestions best. Something that Royce taught me is to choke it 4 times with the ignition off. Then turn it on and pray for a free start (spark retarded)
Kyle I used to live in NY and always toured on January 1 regardless of the weather. I always used 30 weight oil and my car sat in an unheated garage. Even at temperatures in the teens I was able to start the car. First I opened the throttle 1/2 way, then I richened the carburetor by 1/2 turn. Next I pulled the crank through 4 pulls with the choke out. With a rear wheel jacked up and a front wheel blocked and the lever in neutral I would turn on the switch and cranked her over. My car is timed properly and I will admit that if it didn't start with the first pull of the crank the next time I spun the crank a full revolution and it never failed to start. If the car is time correctly and the spark lever is in the full retard position it won't kick back and by spinning the crank you get 2 cylinders to fire and that should almost always be enough for a cold weather start.
Lose the 30wt. 5w or 10w/30. Your choice. Worked for me and I had a starter car! Enriching the mixture, jacking a rear wheel, batt connected to the proper post on the coil box... all necessary.
Richard G, Good point. The idea is to get the engine running, but have the car stay where it is.
Here's another version of how to set timing: http://dauntlessgeezer.com/DG97.html
This video shows starting in single digit weather with 5w 20 oil in the crankcase. It's with a starter .. but hand ranking would be similar. Crank four times with choke pulled out and key off .. then turn key to mag or bat.
Thank you everyone for your advice! I had replaced the pivot joint on the spark control rod and just screwed it on there without timing. I went through the procedure that David posted above and although still difficult, it started up much easier than the last two times I had to pull start. I did not like the fact that it chugged quite a bit before it leveled out and was pretty apparent oil wasn't splashing anywhere for a while. Many more adjustments to go but Im learning and driving came marginally more natural this time
Ford specified a "light, high grade of gas-engine cylinder oil". What is "light"? In today's grading system it's 20 weight. So I use 5W-20.
I think that some use the same reasoning to use 20W-50.
I'd like to hear one or more of the experienced engine overhaul folks weigh in on the oil debate.
Have any of you guys who have torn down numerous T engines ever noticed either severe wear or exceptionally good condition in engines and asked the owners what sort of oil they had been using ?
I'd be afraid of the 50 being too thick to splash well in the splash oiling system.
Yes, Steve. I feel the same way about such a heavy weight, thick viscosity oil in an engine with no oil pump. I worry about that thick oil having a hard time migrating between the triple gear pins and their bushings, among other places.
I do realize that many people choose to use that weight and their engines have not blown up, yet.
My two cents worth, perhaps overvalued. Bill
When printed in 1955 Tin Lizzie by Stern said the modern equivlent oil should be SAE-10. Bud in Wheeler,Mi.
Me too, Steve. I'm a 5W-30 guy myself.