I know this isn't the right place for this but I didn't see anyplace better. I know nothing about Model Ts, I have As, but am looking to make a T panel delivery out of a good frame and a Babcock type body from Maine.
My question, in looking at pictures of Ts for sale sometimes there is a "pan" next to the engine on either side that goes between the block and the car frame, but sometimes you can see through to the ground. What is the difference
Those are engine splash pans. A lot of them are removed but the left one if left in place can keep the steering arm from overcentering or reversing and make your steering work backwards. I am not sure how it effects cooling.
Many people take the pans off as they are a bit hard to put on and take off. A lot of them were lost over the years. The early cars also had pans around the transmission as well.
Is there a chance that without them water could splash up and short out the plugs?
It would have to be a mighty big splash, but yes.
Model A Fords have the same thing on them too!
Bill is right. An A is supposed to have them as well. I've heard they aid in proper flow of the air through the engine compartment and help cooling, but couldn't say whether it is true. Probably don't make THAT much difference either way. They do provide a good place to lay tools when working on something under the hood.
Don't you think it's ironic that Ford tried to aid proper air flow for cooling and today people paint that Glyptal all through their T engines, it's designed to with stand continuous temp of 135c.
Makes heat transfer of the oil temp control a little redundant in the cast iron of an engine that is only 1/2 water cooled.
Frank that's akin to the heavy finned aluminum valve covers that were sold for VW Bugs. Touted as "extra cooling because of the fins" it was proven that the fins did cool and set up an oil layer inside the cover that actually insulated the oil from the pan adding heat instead of adding cooling. It was slight but it was there.
Pans catch the tools you drop so you don't have to crawl under the car to retrieve them.
They help direct the hot air and blow by up through the floorboards.