The Model T from the World Wide Web

As of 13 Jul 00

This resource would not have been possible without the help of countless folks throughout the Internet. Not just T owners, but mechanical sites and others as well. I found it only fair to give credit where credit is due. If I left out specific names I apologize in advance, itís mostly done for brevity of the document. Please let me know if you desire credit in the future and I will endeavor to add you in any revised printing.

Thank you Adrian Winget or

Information and Points of Contact

Important People and WEB links on Tís

(underlined addresses would be "hot links" in the computer.)

Don Lang at (978) 297-2126. Don is a former school shop teacher who now supplies Model T parts to the hobby. He always has a supply of rebuilt coils for sale.

Don Lang, 212 School Street, Winchendon, Massachusetts, USA 01475 Rebuilds Coils: Ron Patterson

MEDWAY, MA Phone 1: 508 533-5222 Fax: 508 533-0484 Mark Williams of Williams Auto Restoration, Chesapeake, VA (757)377-1398 lives in Chesapeake, Va. and rebuilds model T coils, starters and generators.

Magneto Web page: Check out "Buzz Coils"

" Ford-N-More " Spokane, WA at N.2225 Dollar Road, 99212

Phone 509-535-7196 toll free (in '96 at least) is 800-327-1469

Have not contacted yet so not sure about the number!!!!

Tonyís Speed tips "Montana 500"


Factory Drawings:

Thanks to: Trent Boggess, Plymouth, NH TRENTB@OZ.PLYMOUTH.EDU

Copies of the original factory drawings can be purchased from Fordís research center if you send them a request (and $) The parts drawings are identified primarily by the factory number of the part.

The Research Center

Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village

PO Box 1970

20900 Oakwood Blvd.

Dearborn, MI 48127-1970

Example, to order the original full dimensional drawing for:

Wood Body Plans:

Mel Miller

2030 South Geary St.

Albany, Oregon 97321

Include a SASE and be very patient.


Books to buy:

-Send $23.50 US to Vic Zannis at:Model T Powerplant,---735 Montgomery Hwy. Box 337, ---Birmingham, AL. 35217. Ask for his book: Rebuilding the Model T Ford Powerplant-- Everything you need to know.

-Western Auto reprint catalog (1919) that has page after page of every conceivable device to make the T safer, faster etc.

-TT truck owners: "Ford Trucks Since 1905"

-Model T Ford Parts identification Guide volume 2 by Gail Rodda


TT Truck Owners e-mail addresses: Erik & Julie Barrett. I have the high speed gears you need. I just have not been able to pull apart the rear ends I have in stock to give you an accurate description or their condition. The high speed set has 6 teeth on the worm gear. The low-speed set has 4 on the worm gear. High-speed ratio is 5.25:1 low-speed is 7.5:1 Carl W Jenkins (830)303-9385 has truck, needs set of Hasslers for rear. 159 Twin Oak Rd., Seguin, Tx. Brian Davis 208-362-2103 h 208-333-3639 w has TT Truck Howard and Carol Ondersma. Has three TTs. One 25 with a Muncie over under direct aux. trans. This one has the driveline shortened and is standard wheel base. Another is a 27 with a Muncie 3spd, a little different ratio, with the frame cut and extended the length of the Muncie. I have completely over hauled both these worm drives and have disassembled numerous others to get enough parts to build mine. The other TT is a basket case that is in my things to do basket. Has some TT wheels for fixer uppers, might have other parts. C Cab top seeker Mark Golding, Pleasant Mount, Pa. has 1926 TT Dump Truck SN 13,550,607, built April 21,1926 and has a Great website as well.

I am always looking for more stuff to save from extinction. I have been working on restoring center ball tie rods and some of the other early parts, This coming winter I plan on releasing some redone TT parts and special tools. I am working on a "Roadside Rim Spreader" and a TT and T bushing removal punches and tools. I am planning on offering rebuilt TT Axles and NEW Worm and ring gears as soon as I get the time for the engineering. I am working with a gear manufacturer who is trying to come up with HIGHER speed worm set up to fit the original housings. I now have remanufactured steering shafts with new threads and taper and key both 5:1 & 4:1. I have Rebuilt Drag links and Pitman arms.

Marylin & Carl Jenkins in Seguin Texas Friends of Julius & Marvin Neunhoffer (830) 257-8168 that have a 1924 TT C-Cab in Kerrville

Texas. They attended swap meet in Texas, í99 where two brothers had a new C cab wood top for sale. The quality was great. Mark Stewart Bakersfield, Ca, has a 23 TT one ton truck undergoing restoration and a touring car. Tom Osborn, Bakersfield, Ca. May have a truck. Iowa, Has TT Closed Cab Truck heís restoring, 1918 TT gravity dump no cab,1926 TT closed cab flatbed I don't have the stakes the 26 has high speed ruxtell. lots of parts intend to build 3-4 if I live long enough. Web site:

1924 TT C-cab, Bob and Pat Meneely in Santa Clara Valley Model T Ford Club, in Saratoga, Ca. meets in the Cortez Room at 686 Willow Street, San Jose,Ca. Kevin F, Westpoint, Ut. My TT is a 1925, closed cab, flatbed stake sides. Basically original with a brush repaint sometime in her past. She has the Universal transmission, Bennett brakes, a King waterpump, anti-rattlers on the front, and APCo tie rod and radius rod caps. All of the accessories were installed long ago. I use a bent nail to start her, and never mind that whirring sound! Seeking a Universal TT transmission. This is a rear mounted transmission (mounted in the drive line), made in Seattle Washington. Pt. Orchard. Wash. Designed a TT truck body for his TT. will use an 'expess panel body' My own design extrapolated from pictures. Ellsworth township in west central Wisconsin, I have 23 TT sn 7541345. Non Electric, with grain box. The truck is mostly original except for depression seat covers and paint. Has a 3 speed Warford. Jenison MI., I've got a 25 with a milk delivery body on it and a 27 in restoration that will be a flat bed. I also have a 25 basket case. Mark Stewart, 1923 1 ton truck. Bakersfield, Ca.

Was putting outside rear band brakes on his TT. Calvin Watts, Fairmount, Ga. I have a 27 TT Flatbed that I restored in 1980. It was the truck that got me started with Model t's as it was my first old car. I also have a 1925 with the factory cab and bed. I need the stakes for the bed if anyone has any for sale. I don't have my 27 on my web site but the 25 is. I have a 1925 1 ton TT truck with factory made (not Ford) hubcaps with the grease fittings made on the hubcap. The zerk fitting is recessed so it will not get knocked off. Works great! Possible other address: Ed Jeff Miller, Bel Air, MD. Assembling a Ď26 TT . Last year, my brother Jeff and I purchased a rough but restorable '26 closed cab "TT", sans bed, for restoration. After a slow start, we are making some progress. Unfortunately the rear of the cab was rusted out. We opted to sell the doors (very restorable), chop the cab at the cowl/windshield line, saving this section for rebuild, and junk the rest. We have started building a wooden new wooden cab with doors and windows to meld with the steel cowl and windshield. An express bed will follow. Please visit our WEB site and take a look at the truck. (e-mail did not work) Has a 23 and 25 TT maybe Kyle Sands Lyle Hegsted, Olympia, Washington, 25 C-cab, Jumbo four speed trans. (Needs coupling from the engine side) Has five pickup loads of parts, they vary from rusty junk to new in the box. Ruckstell assembling, been apart many years. Gary Winterbottom, 1925 C-Cab (In Austrailia) Red fenders w/white body. (built on car chassis from assorted parts)

(Canít accept LARGE e-mail files)

Rick LeVesque Had TT for sale "under restoration" 714-563-0604 Kurt File, Louisville 25 TT stake bed. It has been in the family for at least the last 35 years. When I was 14 my grandfather asked me if I wanted the old truck that had been in the backyard since I was born. It didn't take long to let him know. YES. About 9 years later he had it about 65% restored (it was in real rough shape from years in the back yard) all the parts were there (more or less). I picked it up about 3 years later. Froze tighter than a drum. I got the truck running, but didn't have time to finish it. Last year I was entered into the Nationals held here in Louisville, KY. The Nationals are for vehicles at least 50 years old or older, and 99% are Hot Rods. I thought that an original would be fun. And it was a blast. I had more looks and stares with my truck than most of the Hot Rods. There is even a picture of it in the January 2000 issue of America Rodder magazine. After the show I started to really enjoy this truck. We go for rides 2-3X per week, but never very far because it's not licensed. Bill B., beautiful downtown Lebanon (Ohio?) I got a beauty. It was voted best of show at the prestigious Mystic Seaport Museaum transportation show last summer.

Jeff J., MPLS, I've been working REAL hard on mine this year and I'll be a lot

closer this year, maybe even win. (responding to the above) Victor & Charles Patterson, Grande Cache, Alberta, Canada 1926 TT Closed cab Grain truck, Engine number,- C691427, Chassis number,- C538707, Restored. Doug Joksch, Marysville CA, Looking for a conversion kit to modify a driveline for a Warford trans. John Lee, Bartlesville, OK, I am working on 1924 TT flatbed. I also have a 1924 TT dump truck with a Warford transmission and power takeoff to raise and lower bed.

alan, wpb, fl. 22 TT with Ruckstell

Herb Iffrig, St. Peters, Mo., I have A 1918 Model TT Hucksters Truck. I've Had it since 1974. I got it right after highschool. It took years to get it running. I remember my dad thought I was crazy to mess with something that. But years later when we were going to a parade he liked to set up front. It's been fun using it in parades and weddings. It's not a show grade vehicle. But it is one where a truck load of kids can have a good time. It's got an original body on it. I've seen one other like it on a horse drawn wagon. When I got this one it had a wind shield and doors so I know it was really a truck. We really get the TT experience as it has solid rubber rear tires. I also have a start on a 1926 TT flatbed with a TT Ruckstell rear. Not much of a cab though. I have a TT era fuel tanker body I need another truck to put under. Model T's are fun. Bob M. Plain City, Ohio, 26 with the steel cab TT has a Jumbo 3 speed transmission with reverse. The overdrive let's you roll on the road, but just don't miss a gear shifting or you lose your brakes. If I drove it much, it would have a set of Rocky Mountain external brakes. I can't find a serial number on the engine so I assume the engine has been replaced at some time. I know the son of the first owner and I bought it from the third owner. I don't know that it has ever been over 20 miles from Plain City where the Chapman Ford agency sold it. They are still in business but at a new location ten miles away. 23 & 25 TT owner. Just starting resto, has WARFORD overdrive. Gary DeRoehn, Mexico, Maine, I restored a 1923 Model TT about 3 years ago now. It took 2 years to restore. It has a 2-speed Ruckstell. The cab and box were made out of ash. It originally was owned by Alden Ice Co. of Gorham, Maine. It was later purchased by Audway (Stubby) Treworgy of Gorham,Maine where it sat in his barn for over 40 years. When I finished the project I took the the truck to Gorham, Maine and took Stubby for a ride in the Old Home Days Parade in Gorham. I believe he was 93 years old at the time. It made his day.

Dave Lawrence, Greer,SC. I got a 27 closed cab grain side that I have been working on for about 2 years. Soon Iíll have a rolling chassis with Ruckstell rearend and engine/trans rebuilt. Ken Burlile, Wasilla, Alaska, I have a 25 TT stake bed. It has a 26 engine. It's the only one I've heard of in Alaska! Clayton Reames, Isabella, OK., Needs help finding C Cab truck doors.

1925 Model T Truck. has complete rebuilt engine and transmission

Jack Putnam, Bluffton, Ohio, asked if anyone could help with the rewooding of a TT C Cab. Plans? or a good picture of a C Cab under restoration showing the top wood would help. Any C Cab owners out there?? Gary Tillstrom, TT 901-837-1608 218 Millie LN, Atoka, TN Steve Schreppel 315-826-5623 771 Old State Rd, Poland, NY

Parts needed for a 1922 Model TT.2 De-mountable rims for 1 ton rear end, 2 lower brake shoes Rt and Lt, Round gas tank,1 Hub cap for 1 ton rear end. tim bailey 765-643-5221 after 5:30pm 2423 sheffield ave., anderson, IN. For Sale: TT truck ruckstell two speed rear end with wood wheels in primer paint shifter no drive shaft good shape $800.00 also have other TT parts call for your needs.

JeffGates@FCLASS.HILLIARD.K12.OH.US Jeff Gates Hilliard, Ohio: I have a 1927 TT- rusty, no interior, no top, runs like a charm, with a Ruckstell and an extra one on the bed. Chris Hansen, Unionville, Mi.: I have had my TT since I rebuilt it when I was 16 years old. I found it in the woods with a tree growing through the frame. All I could salvage was the rear

axle, warford, rear tires, wheels and rims, and frame. I found a steel cab in near perfect condition for $10 my dad had a spare front axle, spring, and motor. The most expensive part was the wood for the bed, which we purchased at the local hardwood lumber mill (white ash).

It was my introduction into restoration of model T's (my Dad had always had one since 1927). I'm now 52 and I don't think I would let my TT go for love nor money. Gary Tillstrom, Atoka (near Memphis) TN: I bought a 22 off of ebay earlier this year for $455. I had to replace the rear tires, radiator, spark plug wires (now using barbed wire fence) and a few other small items. The sheet metal was in very good shape and still had traces of paint. Runs strong and starts on mag with 1/4 pulls every time. All that truck needed was the carb and gas tank cleaned out.

Virginia T Owners Mark Williams of Williams Auto Restoration Chesapeake, VA (757)377-1398 or 451-1992. I live in Chesapeake and I rebuild model T coils, starters and generators if your interested. Also, starting a Model T club in the Hampton Roads area. I know of at least 20 in the area. Jim Harwood, Norfolk, VA. 26 Tudor (Car) Ken Ward in Williamsburg, Va. (Car) Richmond, Va. T owner.

Pete Owens at 757-566-4364 in Virginia, has many "T" parts. Norfolk, Va. Wants to start a club.

Parts Wanted wanted, 5 ea 30x31/2 blk tires new or used. wanted matched pr 1922 va license plates. ken ward < > 800-363-3687

107 rich neck rd, williamsburg, va USA - Saturday, July 15, 2000 at 21:14:25 (EDT) Adrian Winget Hampton, Va. 1926 TT C-Cab flatbed. Beginning reconstruction.




Serial #

On the '26 and '27 models there is a number stamped on the frame right under the front rt. passengers feet. Lift the floor boards out. There is also a number on the left side of the engine, as all previous T's had, by the water inlet.

In late 1925 Ford started adding the engine number, in addition to being for a long time stamped just about the water inlet on the drivers side of the engine, to the frame. It may be found on the top of the frame rail on the passengers side under the floorboards. You may have to look close. Remember they may not match and the engine may not have a number affixed if it has been replaced.

I have 2 26"s, a Roadster and a Touring. Neither one have the number stamped on the frame. I took a tour of Model T Haven in Kansas when I picked up my Touring, and was shown the two different 26 frames. It appears that the early 26 frame, without the re-enforced rear cross-member, will not have the number stamped. The one with the newer cross-member should have it stamped. Both my T's are early

26's, so, no number. The location of the number should be under the floorboards, passengers side at the area of the emergency brake rod, where it bolts to the frame,

and it covers an area of 3 to 4 inches in 1/4 inch numbers, same as the engine number.

On the back spring cover on the left top is a pennant flag with the letters M.S.C. in it. The letters M.S.C. inside of a pennant is the trademark for the Michigan Stamping Company. MSC along with Parrish and Bingham (P&B in a circle) made frames for Model T Fords in the 1920's



The TT had a wheelbase 24" longer, so the frame is heavier, and longer than the standard car frame. If it has the serial numbers, probably 26-27.

The Car frame is 100 inches long. It is 23 inches wide on the out side, from one end to the other. Stock height puts the frame 24 inches off the ground.

The '25 T will have three body mounts on each side. Two of them are little ears that stick out of the side of the frame and the last one is on the rear cross member where it hangs out from the frame.

Measurements are: 9" back from the firewall for the first one.

Then 31-25/32" further back for the second,

Then another 31-25/32" further for the one in the rear cross member. Keith Townsend

Brakes (Car)

Dan McEachern is making new A.C. Brakes. They are for the Small Drum of '09-'25, and priced less than Rocky Mountains, at $375 for the complete set.

Dan is located in Alameda, California and can be reached at (510) 532-8228.

I have my drums off and it looks like the only thing that matters

is that the opening on the shoe goes to the front. The springs, the open side or hook goes in. All looks like it is made to go on either side. Do you still have the tabs on the backing plate that goes against the rear end? The lip of the shoe goes behind those clips. At least they are on both sides of mine.


Fel-Pro FS Gasket set Ford Model T 1909-27 Set # FS7012


Head bolt torque

It's important to clean bolt holes in the block...old grit, oil , birds nests,,, & follow thru with a tap to clean up the threads. Try fitting the head without the gasket & run the bolts thru checking that the bolts don't bottom out in the block due to previous milling of the head and/or block. I use anti -seize compound on the new bolts...some suggest not to use anything on clean threads. Start with the center row of bolts beginning with the middle bolt & alternate front to back....then do the remaining bolts starting in the center criss crossing till done. First go round I set to 30 ft/lbs, second round to 45, & third to 55. Yes do check after running a bit. I refill radiator with good 'ole water as a precaution checking for leaks. Our '26 had a warped head & leaked at the rt. front corner, previous owner couldn't solve problem & thatís how we became Lizzie's new owners. Anti-freeze is more fluid than water & will "find leaks"... yea, we're all cheap...thatís why I run with water at first to check for leaks, and when satisfied, drain & fill with antifreeze solution.

It's important to use a bottoming tap to clean the threads. If you can't afford one, an old head bolt with grooves cut like a tap will work, maybe even better.

Torqued to 45 or 55 ft pounds the bolt stretches; gains much length. As Tom's post indicates it is very important to start with about 1/16 free space in the bottom of the bolt holes. Most of that spare thread will get filled during the subsequent torquings. A properly torqued head bolt is really like a powerful spring clamp. The bolt is elastic, and placed under permanent tension. If not tightened enough the bolt won't maintain sufficient clamping force to seal the head under all conditions.


Head Bolt replacement.

There is always a danger of stripping a head bolt hole on a T. If you are not too fussy about originality, it' a good idea to get some Model A head studs and nuts. The studs you screw all the way down into the block to make use of all the threads. After installing the head, the fine thread upper ends will put more squeeze on the gasket than the coarse thread T bolts will. Just a thought, as I once stripped the rear bolthole on my own T. What a nightmare that turned out to be!


Head gasket

It is easy to incorrectly install. Sure enough, the head gasket will fit both ways! You'll notice the difference when the engine heats up quicker and gets hotter. The reason for this is the water jackets are partially occluded. Look at the gasket and top of the engine with the head off. Try it both ways and see that its possible then match the water jackets from the block to the openings in the gasket to install it properly. Put the two rear head bolts into the head before positioning it otherwise you won't be able to get them in later.

Over the years your T probably was opened up and decarboned, or had the carbon build up scraped off the pistons, valves, etc.. Some of that carbon may have gone into the bolt holes and was compressed by the bolts. But now the bolts "bottoms out" on the carbon in the holes. So what to do? I us a drill bit, smaller than the hole, and carefully drill out the carbon in the holes (no iron) and then go back in with a "bottom Tap" and make sure the threads are clean all the was down. or when you install the head make sure the bolts will screw down tight to the head by finger, then remove the bolt and add a washer then reinstall it. Or insure with no gasket installed, the bolts will screw down snug to the head by finger. The goal here is to insure the bolt is getting tight because it's pulling the head to the block not because it's running into some form of interference.

One more thing that I do after chasing the hole with a smaller drill bit is blow the hole out with as much air pressure that you can get. I use 100 psi. (Use ear protectors.)

Seamed side faces up. That puts the larger oval hole at the rear of the block, smaller hole to the front. Although headgaskets were originally installed dry or with a little grease, I personally prefer a heavy spray coat or brush coat of "copper coat" or whatever it's called. Paying particular attention to wetting all edges and seams. Today's head gaskets tend to seep messy oil otherwise. The one time I installed a truly dry head gasket a slight water leak resulted. That in spite of really clean and true surfaces. The sealant seems to take up any little imperfections and help bond the seal but good. It is interesting to learn that rough milled surfaces are far superior joints. When the gasket is squeezed between the rough surfaces the soft gasket metal crushes and forms right into the cast iron. You see this imprint on any removed gasket. It has the effect of making the gasket blow-out proof. If one carefully buffs and smooths the head or deck to glassy slick condition, he'd better use a gasket sealant! How do I know? Well, I'm the guy who polished his block deck smooth and purty. What a mistake. Rough milled I'd probably get away with a dry headgasket just fine. Smooth----? Fool that I was, I have to apply sticky stuff from now on! But, it's cheap insurance in any event- whether smooth, or good milled surface- to use a sealant.

After the motor gets hot it should be retorqued to 50 lbs.

Manifold gasket: Victor 8357 (a pre-1961 number)

Exhaust manifold

One gasket for all six, Victor Part # 8358

I have a set of McCord 3SS 2-in-1 copper gaskets (No. 8025). These only have the flange on one side.

The 3-in-1 gaskets make putting the manifolds on an easier job. You only need three hands instead of four. Those little copper crush rings work OK too- But I find the flat 3-1 gasket has a larger bearing surface and more crush-ability and is very cheap.

You can make your gland (small connecting tube) out of a 1" copper coupling. I cut them about 1/4 to 3/8 thick and sand lightly. That will make a nice tight fit. I then insert in the block. If the ex manifold is warped I do what you did not want to hear, I buy a new one. Try Snieders or Chaffin's garage. I have one on my Ice Cream Wagon and it works great. They will continue to warp if you do not use the gland. I have tried welding with a cast rod and done it when toasty hot. I had short time success and lots of questionable rides.

Exhaust manifold warpage is usually not variance in the deck height of the ports, it is longitudinal alignment of the port openings. A new exhaust manifold can be expensive. Try this technique, I have never seen it fail even with badly warped exhaust manifolds. Set aside the glands as they are of little use with a warped exhaust manifold. Place two rings in the intake ports and two in cylinder one and four exhaust ports. Now place the asbestos gasket over the bolts and four rings. Place the exhaust manifolds on the two rings and have someone hold it for you. Place the intake manifold over the two rings and place the four ears and nuts on the studs. Tighten things up, start the car and retighten when hot.

If you have a warped exhaust manifold which is very common on a Model T and you want to fix the exhaust leak but don't want to go to the expense of buying a new manifold try this, it works every time. Place four rings (no glands!) in exhaust ports one and four and both intake ports. Place the asbestos gaskets over the four rings. Place the exhaust manifold over the rings and have another person hold it. Place the intake manifold on the rings and add the ears and bolts. Tighten the nuts and retighten after warmed up from running. Ron Patterson-Coilman


Packing nut

Use a piece of copper wire 12,14 Gauge and fit it inside the nut so that when you tighten it up it will seal against the manifold.

The simplest way to cure leaking packing nuts (mine had the same problem), is to go to the hardware store and get some of the asbestos rope seal that is used to seal furnaces. This is the stuff that serves as the gasket on the fire box door. It comes in 2 or 3 thicknessí. Just cut a piece and lay it inside the nut, and when you snug up the nut, it will seal around the pipe. It's simple, neat, and cheap.

I used to use a monkey wrench, but found the pack nut wrench that is made for the nut is a sure grip and the right feel when tightening.

Always back your manifold nut with a muffler clamp below the nut. I have seen guys use hose clamps also.

Chasing die the size is 1 7/8" X 16. KBC Tools and Machinery has it in stock at various locations around the country. Their part number is 1-945-138. They have a toll free number at 1-800-521-1740. The cost is about $53.00. This cost could be shared to keep the price low per person.



Outside oil Line

The hollow bolt replaces the front pan bolt that screws up into the timing cover.

(Well actually it does not screw up into that hole it goes into the hole next to that because other wise you would have the hollow bolt screwed into the casting and no oil will go through it. It has to be screwed into the threaded hole in the front of the pan then the oil goes into the pan.) Run the oil line past the lower water inlet bolt so you can make a sheet metal strap to go around the oil line anchored to the bolt. Reread all the posts about oil lines and oil first.

After you connect the outside oil line to the new mag. post, fire up the engine before connecting the other end to the timing gear cover and see if any oil is coming out of the line. I installed one on my car years ago and all this time I was thinking I was getting plenty of oil to no.1, only to disconnect it a couple months ago and found that not one drop of oil had ever gone through that line. Several post said that the new mag post needed a scoop under it to catch the oil and direct it toward the oil line. The scoop sure did the trick for me. "From inside the car", the flywheel turns CCW,so the scoop would be on the left side. Just use a piece of brass and bend the top over so it is captured under the mag post. Mine is a 25, so I don't know how you would do it on a 26 or 27 with the threaded post.

I just installed one of these kits also, On the front of the engine next to the crank shaft there are bolts that go into the pan, take the driver side bolt out and screw the hollow blot in then attach the oil line I bent the tubing with a fixture not to kink it there, be very careful not to get the bend to high keep the oil line going down hill to the hollow bolt. NO KINKS.

Reid had a good idea... he cut his outside line and removed a little piece. Then he stuck on some clear vinyl tubing. Now he can verify that oil is flowing by lifting up the hood and looking.


If it was rebored and the bearing clearances are tight, I'd use nothing but 5/30 oil the first time. Let there be oil! Less transmission drag too.


Crank seal

The modern seal replaces the old felt seal. There are at least two modern seals that you can use. One is a CR 11740 that must be put on over the end of the crank. One has to take up the slack around this seal with a little silicon sealant. The other is a NAPA JV674 which is a copy of the "wick" type seal Ford used on the V-8's. The are two seals in the package - use the bid one. the ends will have to be trimmed a little. both work real well.


Thrust Bearing repair

Now, before you go tearing that engine down to replace your third main bearing after you do the crankshaft end-play test, let me tell you the easy temporary fix (that'll last for years.) Use a pry bar to move that crankshaft as far forward as possible. Now, take a section of 1/4" cotton rope jam it between the pulley and the pan/timing gear cover. Make a "U" shaped dam with the rope with the top of the "U" just above the crankshaft. Melt down some lead and pour it down between the pulley and the pan/timing gear cover. It'll be tight until it runs in a little, but it will keep that crankshaft pulled forward, which will reduce the gap in your magneto, and give you the maximum output that your existing magneto will give. It is an easy fix that saves hours of tear down, not to mention downtime. If it doesn't take care of the problem, you are not out a lot of time.

Overhaul tips

Ream out the internal oil line with cut off piece of 1/4"x36" thread bar stock. This is turned by an electric drill.

Piston "T" Slot. Power stroke pushes crank away from cam, and hence, piston toward cam, so that needs the full face of the piston. Rdr

I've been at this "T" thing for a couple of years now and my first project is a '26 TT. Do I use the old cast iron pistons or go aluminum? Well, this neighborís husband while rebuilding the 1925 put in aluminum pistons. The 1913 he wanted original, so he kept the cast iron pistons. I always wondered why I like the '13 better - it because of those pistons. That car runs sooooo much smoother than the '25. After taking that out for a spin yesterday it's a done deal - the cast iron pistons are staying! Kyle Sands - Huntley, MN



Piston clearance should be at least .002". Measure just below the center of the piston (near the piston pin) directly opposite the slot that goes toward the driver's side ( opposite cam). I measure the piston clearance with a piston and rod with no rings. I insert the piston up-side-down in the hole with a feeler gage (lightly oiled or with paint thinner or ATF). If I can pull the gage out with very little resistance I stop honing. If there is too much drag on the gage I keep honing. If you end up with .003" clearance you will be slightly on the loose side. If you end up with .001" you will not be able to start the engine when hot. If you are going to build a hot engine that you want to really put out some power I'd recommend 3 to .004" clearance with .006 as a max. for an engine used only for things like hill-climbs. Might also add that .010 to .020 for ring gaps would be in order with at least .010 on the center ones and more on the top and bottom rings. Also the piston pins should be loose enough so that the piston will flop one way when you hold the rod straight out and flop over the other way when you turn the

rod over a half turn.

I would go AT LEAST .015" ring gap on the top ring, especially if the engine will get a hard workout. .010 should be ok for the 2nd, and .008 for the oil ring. Install with oilring gap on the driver's side, the second ring should be 1/3 of a turn from th oil ring gap, ditto for the top. Always try to get the gaps so they are not directly above the scalloped out part by the wrist pin. The crank and dippers throw more oil on the cam side of the cylinder wall, therefore oilring gap on the other side. I have always done it this way, and have had fantastic luck with my jobs. On 3 piece oil rings: the main ring to the driver's side, the spacers go one straight forward and one straight back. Stay a way from oilring gaps on the cam side.Aaron Griffey



4th Main

You have to pull the bolts on the 4th main to bolt on the cover over the universal. If so then

the 4th main be able to move about and lose alignment. The solution is to drill one or two holes through the 4th main cap (after alignment) into the pan and hogshead. I then drive roll pins into them until flush. Modern awareness of the pinning technique came from Louis Rechtor of Towe Museum fame. He lives in Sacramento and is, last I heard, around 96 years of age. He was a young man of 94 when he imparted his wisdom re pinning the fourth main and a few other notable fixes. I have used his techniques on a low mileage 17 and it truly is a super smooth running car. Whether that is due to the alignment or not I am not sure. It is certainly not due to balancing, as I am running the original heavy cast iron pistons which vary considerably in weight. Neither has the flywheel been balanced. All is bone stock. Ricks, SoCalif

Before worrying about 4th main alignment, be sure that there is no runnout in (1) the transmission shaft, and (2) the driving plate tailshaft after its installed. If, after your transmission is set up, you have .006" or less total runout at the tailshaft, you've done a decent job. If not, try reversing the transmission shaft on either the crankshaft flange or the flywheel or both. Turn down the transmission flange only as a last resort. The key to having a smooth running engine, I believe, is insuring that there is no runout in the above measurements and the flywheel (Coordinating your efforts to insure there is no runout at both the flywheel and the transmission shaft is quite an exercise since each runs off opposing ends of the transmission flange. In one case I had to turn down both surfaces differently to achieve the desired results.) I suspect, but am not certain, that running true is more important than balancing. I agree that pinning the fourth main will hold it in place, but it does create a problem when changing bands if you have the non-demountable type and have to remove and reinstall the hogshead. Richard Gould, Folsom,CA,

4th main clearance

Set the clearance to match the total runnout in your tailshaft. When you rebuild your transmission, first make make sure there is as little runnout in the transmission shaft as possible where it enters the tailshaft of the driving plate. Install your tailshaft so there is also as little runnout as possible where it enters the 4th main. Finally check the total runnout. This should be the sum of 1 plus 2. The clearance of the 4th main should be equal to this figure. I have seen decent running original cars with as much as .020 " play. On a rebuild, I try for .004" and am satisfied with .006". I can live with .008" but not .010" but beware, it does no good to set a small clearance in the 4th main if there is significant wobble in the tailshaft. All you're accomplishing is twisting the transmission shaft until it all wears in. Then you're back where you started. Richard


Rods and u-joints:

Ron's Machine Shop

4995 Cincinnati-Brookville Rd.

Shandon, Ohio 45063

Phone 513-738-7353

The most critical part about rebabbiting mains is to use a boring tool that pilots on the camshaft bore. Any other method will leave you with timing gear backlash that is either too minimal or too sloppy, or worse yet, the gear mesh is not concentric.

I started my enquiry into babbitt because it seemed to me engines that were being rebuilt in the last 20 to thirty years were just not holding up as well as original engines. This seems to be especially applicable to the bearings. The babbitt most often used today on the an "A" engine is #2 Babbitt in the U.S. What ever babbitt you use must have absolutely NO lead content. If it does it will be beaten out in a short time. The original formula for Ford babbitt, 86% tin, 7%copper and 7% antimony is no longer available. The best babbitt to use is Astm b-23 #11 Babbitt. Its chemical composition is 87 tin, 7% antimony, 6% copper and must be lead free. The following chart compares the various babbitt formulas.


When I checked about #11 babbitt. I got varying stories. The place where I buy my babbitt did not make it and the salesman was suprised to find it listed let alone that it was not in the lead babbitt catagory. He told me his company had never had an order for #11 babbitt. Another alloy company I called said his spec's showed it contained a lot of lead and he never had made it or sold it. A third company told me what the other two had, everyone uses #2 for engine rebuilding and they too had never had call for #11 babbitt. What it seemed to come down to is #2 babbitt is a standard item which is normally stocked and is therefore pushed as the

babbitt to use out of convience for the alloy makers. I have located a supplier in Canada who makes an #11 which they certify as lead free. I will be trying it out shortly. In making my inquiries I did find Babbitt #2 is domestically the closest to the Ford spec's, with 89% Tin, 3 1/2% copper and 7 1/2% antimony. Recently I have mixed #2 and #3 babbitt in a ratio of 3 parts #2 to 2 parts #3 in my melting pot to get a babbitt that would be closer to the Ford babbitt. #3 babbitt is 84% tin, 8% antimony and 8% copper. By my reckoning the resulting mixture is approximately 87% tin, 7.75% antimony and 5.25% copper which is much closer to the Ford babbitt. The #2 babbitt that is pretty much used in the U.S. today actually is softer than Ford used. From the evidence I don't believe bearings using #2 babbitt will hold up as long especially at higher speeds as the Ford babbitt did. I WOULD NOT HAVE AN ENGINE REBUILT WITH #2 BABBITT ANYMORE. If my rebuilder said thats all he uses I would find a new rebuilder. In doing my research to find the closest thing to Ford babbitt I also wanted to find out what the antimony did in the babbitt. From an alloy manufacturer I found out the copper and antimony where hardeners for the babbitt. What I found out from a chemist is, antimony is one of those special chemicals that expands as it cools just like water. This characteristic helps make the babbitt fill and even up the space its poured into. Never reuse old babbitt. It contains abrasive particles that become imbedded in the old bearing material and may even have been the cause of an earlier failure. These particles can score your crank and lead to bearings melting, cracking and/or seizing. The babbitt should be relatively fresh. As babbitt is heated the tin will oxidize as does the antimony vaporize. The remaining material becomes harder and harder thus the bearing material will start to lose some of its elasticity with this chemical change. Just as lead makes babbitt too soft to use on a gas engine the addition of nickel makes babbitt too hard. Do not use babbitt with more than 1/4% of 1% being nickel. In fact avoid it altogether if possible. Each time you have a new melt you should have a least 50% fresh babbit added to the pot. When babbitting items which are to be tinned make sure the tinning compound contains no lead. If lead is contained in the tinning compound when the bearing gets hot there is a possibility the bearing will let go from the saddle because the lead melted. Steve Ross

See web page on "rebabitting Aís"

Rods and mains should be poured with ONLY "Government Genuine" or "Diesel Marine." It is available from a variety of sources, Syracuse Smelting Works in Syracuse, NY being the supplier for most of the vendors. Doesn't make any difference how they are poured; spun, static, etc.; if the babbitt isn't any good or has virtually any lead at all it in it will fail.

Dippers: I have had dippers on several engines, including the speedster I should be out working on to get it ready for the Glacier Park tour. My next engine, though, isn't going to have dippers. I have come to the conclusion that two holes, drilled at the top of the rod, slightly angled to the rotation side and countersunk slightly to act as a tiny funnel, do more to lubricate the rods than dippers do. Think about the centrifugal force and which way it is attempting to move the oil. This is backyard engineering but personally I think it does a better job than the dippers. The rods for that project are poured and

bored, assembled with a .005 shim and going on a chromed, (hardened) shaft that I had brought back up to standard. I'd like to have a Suremike crank for it but this will have to do. Mains for that block are poured and bored, I usually drill two oil holes in the block for oil, one on each side of the web and cut a groove with a Dremel tool out a ways to the edges. The above block will have pressure to the mains so I babbitted over the usual oil holes in this one. Stan Howe

One should only x cut ("x" cut Narrowly) the rod cap bearing half, it is a mistake to x cut the rod bearing half. This with dippers allows a bit of extra oiling to the journal. John Regan

As a modern auto mechanic I was reluctant to set my T bearings up tight, but I followed the advice of a fellow who has a lot of T eng. knowledge and I used Prussian-Blue to "Blue-In" the bearings to check contact with crank journals and adjusted/ shimmed the caps "till I had a good fit with a fairly good "drag" when turning the crankshaft. I used 12 volts to start the eng. 1st. time, and had rear end on jack stands and let car run in high for about half hr, then shut down for 15 min., then repeated .after a couple hrs. the engine would run cool on the motometer and start easily on 6 volts or the hand crank. Just watch your temp and don't fry the oil. Mark W.

Rod Bolts

If replacing bolts with modern replacements, and you don't bevel the head of the rod bolts it will hit the cam shaft. I don't know how long you can run like that before it breaks the camshaft. Flatten one side of the head to fit up against the rod. grind in a bevel on the opposite side of the head of the bolt (on top

.. away from the threads). You only need to do the four on the cam side, but it probably is a good idea to do all 8 in case you have a Terry moment a few years from now and put them back on the wrong side. I torque my rods to 20 foot lbs. Seems fine and I haven't munched any bolts yet. I believe those original bolts are just not large enough to handle 35 ft/lb. I ran grade 8 lock nuts so I didn't have to do cotter pins and didn't have to drill the grade 8 bolts.... no problem popped up. Terry Horlick

Rod Bolts: Go to the junk yard and scrounge rod bolts. Some Chevy 350's, Rambler, lots of other engines use rod bolts that are so tough you could pull a T rod in two with them and are an exact fit to the T rods. The are usually five or ten bucks for all you want.


Crank Specs

Mains & rods are 1.246-1.248

Possible source from OLD 1964 magazine:

New crankshafts for Model T Fords Immediate Delivery!

$49.50 C.O.D. F.O.B Hampton, Iowa ATMOR CORP. box 422 Hampton, Iowa

Oil Leaks

Remove pan and inside retaining strap iron things, wash clean, especially in the treads and the bolts. Put the pan and gasket up with 4 bolts, but not so tight that the pan can't be shifted. If you use a solid gasket, use sealer on both sides, I like non hardening Permatex 2 or 3 for easy removing next time. On cork gaskets put it on dry so it does not smash & squeeze out. Now with all the other bolts just started a thread or so, cut up some grocery store wrapping cotton string in 6 inch pieces and coat them with black silicone by running the threads through your fingers dabbed with silicone. Wrap each string around a bolt and tighten the bolt up snug. Do it quickly and recheck each bolt. Don't forget to do the first 4 that were holding the pan up to start. This gets messy, so gloves would be nice. After they are all tight, wash your hands and cut off the excess string with a single edge razor blade or good small knife. Even though it is a messy job I don't mind doing it, because it gives good results. And if one leaks you can always redo one or more by spraying parts cleaner at the threads and redoing it. I have never had to redo one, and I have done several cars that way, including my own, several times over the last 10 years.

Aaron G.

Piston pin bolts

All bolts should be on the camshaft side.

Donít use crank weights!

DUNN weights. Some guys swear by them! The weights were a great seller 80 years ago, and many sets were sold. I bought into the hearsay and ad. testimonials. I installed a pair. I put them on right. I spin balanced the crank to 5k. Perfect. I felt the car ran like gangbusters and was very happy and smug for a while. Later on I realized the hidden danger of counterweights on a stock T crank. I took them off. Even though I _thought_ the car ran smoother with the counterweights- once they were gone- what was this? the car ran just as well, if not better. I was fooled by the famous Placebo Effect. But I took the Dunns off for a seriously scary good: I'd finally figured out that the extra mass of the weights, which are nothing but extra flywheels distributed along the crank, caused the bent wire T crank to twist and squirm very severely at certain engine speeds. Twist and untwist as it never did before. Added counterweights can very well wear out a T crank. Meaning, it breaks without warning.

Ask around about a real, aftermarket counterweighted crank made in the 1920ís- it was a big seller, and not Mickey-Mouse looking like the bolt on Dunn weights. It had integral, forged counterweights of much smaller mass than the Dunn weights. This "SureMike" crank promised you'd "Run faster with less vibration", and indeed there was merit to SureMikes's claims. It would be better named, however, "SureBreak" because they have a reputation for letting go sooner or later. Why? Maybe the forging wasn't equal to Ford's work... OR.... Analysis of the problem involves explaining some basics about the behavior of a crankshaft in the running engine. It is long, it is skinny, it is undamped at the forward end. It has crooks or bends and forging flaws and usually, hidden cracks due to long use and old age. The crank throws receive terrific power impulses, reoccuring in a certain order. Each explosion forces a twist into the springy crank. This is a torsional vibration. If the torsional vibration becomes large in amplitude the crank will quickly fatigue, much as when you bend a paper clip back and forth. Hopping up a T engine to produce double itís stock horsepower is a good way to break a crank. The metal only knows twist. More twist less life span. This is why modern cars and quality cars of olden days have much thicker cranks than in the T, to reduce torsional flex.

Another crank-breaker is harmonic vibration. Any object that can be flexed has what is called a "natural period of vibration". A piano string has a natural period of vibration- for that is where it will vibrate with greatest amplitude with minimum power input. So does a wooden yardstick clamped to a table edge and sprung by the hand.

A crankshaft, loaded with reciprocating pistons and rods, and having a number of kinks and changes of cross section along its length also has a natural period of torsional vibration- perhaps several! In practically every engine, the rear end of the crankshaft is loaded (or constrained) by a massive flywheel. The flywheel cannot suddenly reverse its direction. And even though torsional vibrations will not be reduced one bit, the flywheel checks harmonic vibrations. In practically every modern engine, we find a "harmonic damper" attached to the free, front end of the crank. Whatever itís design, the harmonic damperís job is to absorb torsional movements at the end of the crank. The T has no harmonic damper, which is a bit of a shame, because it would really benefit from a damper. Now, what happens when we add upwards of 16 pounds of rotating mass to the flywheel, distributed between the one and two and also, between the three and four cylinders? The harmonic resonance point of the engine has been drastically altered.

When harmonic vibrations occur- and they occur just as they did before, only at different bands of engine rpms- the extra mass of the Dunn weights makes the crank suffer far larger harmonic excursions than before. Like this rough example- extend your arm outward and wave it up and down through an arc of six inches. Do this as fast as possible. Next take a weight of some sort in the hand and repeat the test, trying to get the same up-down speed and keeping the same restricted arc of motion. You cannot- not without using much more muscle! The T crank does not have muscle; only springy steel. And so, the result to the T is that the torsional vibrations increase in amplitude. I found in my own car that at a road speed of 42 mph the harmonic vibrations became so powerful as to make the whole engine and car thrum very loudly. This was a dynamically balanced crank, btw. One night I was out doing a speed run and when passing through that critical speed of 42-45 mph the fiber timing gear suddenly was stripped of its teeth. I had to get a flatbed ride home. The Dunn weights did it. How? Because at the critical speed of resonance the back-and-forth _shimmy_ at the front end of the crankshaft actually turned the steel crank gear into an immensely powerful battering ram- to the fiber timing gear. It fractured a fiber tooth and that spelled destruction for the remaining teeth. Wham! What a noise it made at 45 mph!

When replacing the timing gear with yet another fiber gear I pulled the lower cover to clean out the gear debris. And take off the Dunn Weights. Next ride I found there was no more distress at 42. None at all. As I said, even a stock crank has considerable periods of harmonic vibration. They are made much, much more intense

by Dunn counterweights. On my own car the barometer of harmonic activity in the crank is my fan belt. Yet- seriously. My fan belt runs tight. Itís treated with an anti-slip compound. It runs straight and true on a ball bearing fan hub. I drive with

the hood off, and I can glance at the belt while driving. At several road speeds the belt can be seen to flutter. I avoid steady driving at about 32 mph, for instance, because this is a belt fluttering speed. Close the throttle and the flutter instantly stops. Open wide, and the flutter gets worse- but only over a road speed band about 2mph wide. With the Dunn weights that flutter at 42 mph extended up to 45 mph. The belt whipped and flapped so violently that I thought the loud thrumming noise must be from the belt itself! It was not. I slipped the belt off the pulley and ran up the critical speed again. No belt, and the thrumming was louder than ever. I determined in fact, that a low-slip fanbelt actually confers a very useful degree of harmonic damping to the T crankshaft. Harmonic damping is a good thing. Much more recently I read in a book on vibration theory that close coupled engine accessories do indeed help damp the crankshaft contortions. The harmonic damper is better, however, because it is a full time, purpose built device. If one carries this logic to itís conclusion, it is quite clear that if a crank is so heavy and beefy that it twists very little, it will hardly ever fatigue. If it is twisty as a paper clip, and you force it to twist further than intended it will break sooner than later. Dunn counterweights force the T crank into much larger torsional excursions at resonance. Similarly in a sense, doubling engine HP forces larger excursions at all rpms. But even at double HP, the maximum excursions of the stock crank in a highly hopped engine by my guess are not so severe as those brought on by the heavy Dunn weights in a 20 HP T running at the critical speed of forced harmonic vibrations.

What the T needs is not counterweights. It needs a thicker crank. Reid


In late 27 Flywheels were machined. Flywheel did not require balancing. This is from Model T Ford Parts identification Guide volume 2 by Gail Rodda


Valve Stem pins

Put a dab of grease on the pin before pushing it in the valve stem hole, it works wonders! Larry Wycoff

The Manley part number for the 302 and 351 Ford valve that works well in a "T" is A2223. This valve has a chrome plated stem which gives superior wear qualities as well as a hardened tip on the end of the stem. The stem is 11/32" (.341 actual diameter) and is longer than the Chevy valve stem. Retainers are available from Ford tractor stores only. The Ford part number for this retainer is 8BA6514 (4 retainers per bag). This retainer fits the 8N tractor. Model T valve springs are a perfect fit in this retainer.

The tractor retainer and the 302 valve use the standard two piece single grove keeper. Ford and Chevy use the same keepers for the 11/32" valve stem. Keepers can be purchased at any parts house. The TRW part number is LK-127 and the Pioneer number is PF-555-HD. Check with your machine shop first before you purchase new keepers. Machines shops generally have lots of extras around they will give you. I hope this helps. Steve


A cheap and very strong fix for bad valve guides is to use a "Kay Line" or "K Line" bronze insert. You local engine rebuilder uses them every day. Here's the drill: pull the valves. Find the proper K line insert for your valve guide (there are many) and drill, ream and press the bronze valve guide insert into the enlarged valve guide hole. The next step is to grind the valve stem down until it is perfect. You will not need to remove more than .010" or .012". Then figure the proper clearance for your engine, about .0015 and ream a hole in the bronze insert that allows for that clearance for the new smaller diameter of your old valve stem. Now with the good valve guide you can grind the seat, or replace the seat with a stainless steel one and ground that new insert seat. Grind the valve for proper fit " stem heighten if you are keeping it original, and put it together and forget it. One more step can be added after that is to knurl and ream the bronze guide back to size after it is inserted to aid lubrication. If you want to get fancy, grind a three angle seat and go getum!

Wholesale price for a K line insert used to be $2.25 each and it cost three bucks to grind the stem and fit a valve. You should be out the door for $50 bucks wholesale for a valve job with new guides but the old seats. Seats can cost $15 each. Now those prices are from 1985 and that was with the block on a bench, all ready to go, after the set-up was made for a production run. If you look at time and material piecework with set-up time it could cost a whole lot more. But for the hobby person it can be done at home, is fun and won't cost much but your time. There is a special tool that several people or a club could buy, that will drill - ream and press the insert using an air powered 1/2 inch hand drill.

This is written in response to the item (general loss of power - bad valve guides)

I have been running small block Chevrolet exhaust valves in my T for over 30 years with no trouble. They are almost an exact fit. You have to ream the guides double oversize and use modern keepers. Small Block ford, 272 or 312 or 223 6 cyl, exhaust valves also will work but are a little too long, had to grind the lifter a little to make them work. I use the Chevy valves all the way on both intake and exhaust. John.



A safe rule of thumb is .010 on the intake and .012 on the exhaust. If you like noise you can set them at .013 and .015. If you like lots of noise you can set them at .025 and .030. If you have adjustable tappets just remember that the tappet face gets worn on those little fellows and the cupping make you set them loose if you use a feeler gauge. Remember that the 1/4 x 28 thread on a T tappet gives you .036 for a complete turn. A half a turn gives you .018 and ten degrees give you .001. You don't need a feeler gauge, just lock them up and then back off 100 degrees on the intake and 120 degrees on the exhaust. It should take about five minutes to adjust the valves after you get the side cover off.

Same as for a car- about 1/32". Some people time their valves by piston position because it may bring more useful results, especially with a worn cam

Timing Gear

Fiber gears are quiet, but they will not last as long as a metal gear. I have never run a model T with a generator because of the extra load it puts on the timing gear. Get yourself an aluminum gear. If you have overhead valves and a generator you would be better off with an old original steel gear or a brass repo. Dan Mceachern makes a special heavy duty gear.

Fiber Gear info

I had 1500 miles too on a fiber gear, which when changed out showed no wear. Yet, it could've been _fatigued_ and ready strip so to be safe I put in another identical fiber gear. At that same time I installed a new camshaft- the Shelley billet cam. Actually, the whole engine was taken down and everything gone through- I fitted crank counterweights at that time. Everything was spin balanced- done right. I soon learned that heavy counterweights on the skinny T crank really amplify inherent crankshaft tortional vibrations- at about 43 mph the shaft came into resonance with the weight's moment of inertia. The whole engine thrummed badly, particularly at that speed. Only I did not realize what was happening, really, because the fiber gear is so silent. Nonetheless, the intense harmonic vibrations of the crank travel out to the tail of the crank- which in a T _IS_ the timing gear. One night far from home I was making speed trials on a long, straight deserted road. The fiber gear had just 500 miles on it. While accelerating past 40 mph, and through my engine's period of loud thrumming (due to the stupid counterweights) the gear suddenly shucked 2/3rds of its teeth with an extremely loud "KaBAMMMM". The car coasted to a stop. We required an $85 flatbed ride home. So I did the prudent thing- installed a bronze gear. But the Shelley cam has a small defect in its machining- no shoulder to center the timing gear. The bronze gear as a result ran slightly eccentric. And boy, was it knocking like a boiler shop. Especially going through the harmonic phase of engine rpm. Now I was sure of the real problem and cause of my second fiber gear blowing up at 500 miles: it was the Dunn weights. So I simply took them off. The boiler shop became much quieter and the car seemed to run better than before. There was no more thrumming at 43. Yet, because the cam shoulder did not center the gear I suffered with lots of clattering at various engine speeds. The clattering really taught me a valuable lesson: it came and went at certain very definite engine rpms under load. (not just racing the engine out of gear) So, even a stock T engine has quite a lot of whipping in its crankshaft. And counterweights just make the problem much worse. I avoid driving at steady speeds that I know from experience set up harmonic vibrations. For the T has no harmonic dampener- other than the timing gear and maybe the fan if your belt doesn't slip. This experience has taught me another reason why macerated fiber gears fail in the T- another reason, that is, besides running a fiber gear against an old, used crank gear or generator gear. This "other cause" is harmonic or plain tortional vibration: the repetitious slapping of crank gear backlash against the timing gear's fiber teeth. Eventually this punishment fatigues the fiber material. The Dunn weights make it fail much, much faster.

Because the bronze gear ran noisily in my car- and I hate knocking noises, I've put in another fiber gear. All is quiet and smooth for the time being. I will watch it. You all may not know that there are TWO types of fiber gear blanks. One is cheap and nasty- chopped cloth in a phenolic binder. That's what you buy for your car today. The other type is hugely stronger- laminated layers of linen cloth in a phenolic binder. The difference in strength is like that of particle board to plywood. I wish the suppliers would order up a batch of _laminated_ phenolic timing gears. I think this stuff would hold up a great deal longer. Still, you must have a fresh, smooth crank gear and generator gear or any fiber gear will be short lived. Oh, one other thing: The destroyed fiber gear still retained one third of its teeth. I miked across a section of teeth, comparing to an identical new gear. In 500 miles the failed gear had lost very considerable tooth thickness. Whereas the first fiber gear-at 1500 miles showed about zero tooth wear. The failed gear thrummed itself to death. I'm just glad I did not continue with those nasty Dunn weights- which would've probably caused more catastrophe like a broken crank if allowed to remain in the engine. One other point- It has long been advised when fitting a fiber gear to "double the normal backlash" in choosing the gear. Fahnestock said so in the twenties, and everyone else seems to agree since then. But WHY double the usual backlash??? It seems wrong to me- A fiber gear does not expand with heat or swell in oil. Choosing an oversize if necessary that results in little or no backlash would prevent the _hammering_ on its teeth by the crank gear, when the crank gear sets up those small, rapid and intensely powerful reversals in its forward direction. I think that backlash might just make those blows worse. Or is it the other way around? Should the backlash be set really, really loose so the reversals hopefully do not slap the preceding teeth? I think more the former: Little backlash. But I may be wrong.


I've had good results with my valve facing machine, facing the valve first to 45, then putting a 60 cut top & bottom, so leaving the suggested pencil line contact. Lap that against a 45 seat and you get a really effective long lasting valve.

Rebuilding valves

Erik has recommended Ford 351W valves, which take a .030 oversize reamer

Model T valves such as those available from Snyders work fine and the weight of the keeper assembly is considerably lighter that that of the newer valve systems. Most of the racers in this area use Chevy 350 exhaust valves 1.5", NOT the 1.6" Intake valves. They are cheap, available from NAPA or a zillion other sources for about $5.00 each or less. Also, their diameter is just right for reaming the T valve guides .015 and having the correct clearances. Many T engines used for drivers have been rebuilt with used Chevy intake valves from the pile at the rebuilder's shop; I personally believe the new valves are worth the $40.00 a set they cost. There are several other valves that will work. NAPA has a master catalog that lists every valve available by stem length, stem diameter, head diameter, seat angle, etc. Ford tractor valves are a favorite but cost twice as much as Chevy valves. The main thing is to get a rebuilder who is interested in your project. Any competent rebuilder will ream the valve guides to valve size prior to fitting the hard seats, then center the hard seats off the new guide holes. This is critical to well fitting valves. For racing engines, the hard seats should also be fine-ground and flow checked after the seats are fitted. If you are fitting adjustable lifters, which I assume you are, prior to taking your block in to the rebuilder, check the lifter height with the cam installed and make sure the adjustment screws come (or will come after installation) far enough out of the lifter guide that you can get the wrenches on them to adjust them after assembly when the valve is CLOSED. Otherwise they are miserable to adjust, especially after the engine is assembled and running. If not, you can grind or cut about 3/16 inch off the top of the lifter guide and save yourself much work and swearing later. (Use a fine tooth hacksaw blade in you Sawzall, it's a five minute job.) The little bit of guide that is removed will not affect the longevity of the engine appreciably. You never live long enough to wear the lifter guides out if you drive it to work every day forever. Also, the guide height varies as much as 1/4 from block to block anyway. Some people use later valve springs with the new valves, my concern in the amount of stress on the timing gears with the extra lift pressure; no faster than a T engine turns over I believe the T valve springs are more than adequate to close the valves quickly--which is the reason for more powerful springs. One last thing. Even though most rebuilder shops no longer lap in the valves with grinding compound after hard seat installation, I still think it is a good idea if for no other reason that it lets you check every valve to make sure it is seating all the way around the diameter. Correctly fitted, the seat should leave a ring about 1/3 of the width of the valve centered on the valve face where it has been lapped. Use the finest compound you can find. You T will purr like the proverbial kitten forever. One last thought. If you do use Chevy valves you can reduce the clearances slightly from Henry's "thin dime" setting to about .010 & .012 for a little quieter operation as the Chevy valves don't expand as much as the old Ford ones did. Did you know that the stems of the old T valves were made from the pieces of rod left over from cutting the spark and throttle rods to length? It's a wonder they ran as well and as long as they did.

Ford 302 exhaust Valves can be used.



Radiator info

The perfect heavy duty "O" ring seal for my '15 radiator neck. It fits exactly and is thick enough to crank down to center the dogbone/ motormeter. At your local hardware plumbing dept: #101 o-ring from the Danco company, stk.# 35881B, $.49.

I just looked at my 16, and the rivet is dead center in the back next to the rod support.

In response to where the single rivet is or the three.

Radiator Ralph does brass radiators all the time, and is very reasonable. He even makes them from scratch if need be. He has a nifty rad for a Speedster that he built based on inspiration from the Livingston WindSplitter rad on 77. He works out of his garage in Norwalk. 562-866-3108.

Cleaning inside

An excellent and relatively painless way to clean a gunked core right on the car is to simply drain the coolant and refill with hot distilled water to which has been added a good teacupful of dishwasher detergent such as Sunlight or Cascade. It's important to dissolve it in the water thoroughly before it is added to the radiator. Also, the gel type is probably better than the powder. Once it's in place, replace the cap using some pipe tape on the threads (you want a good seal here as the solution is not kind to polished brass or paint). A good plan is to force some plastic tubing onto the bottom of the overflow pipe in order to carry the belching into a bucket rather than onto the axle. Then drive around the block a few times and park in a safe place where the alkaline water won't damage anything important. Let it run at a fast idle for 15 minutes with the bucket under the extended overflow. You'll see a whole lot of gook come out. Then stop the engine and let it cool enough so that you can remove the cap. Drain and rinse with fresh distilled water a few times. You may have to repeat the "boiling" a few times if the radiator's really dirty. If your system has a water pump, remove it before you do this cleaning. The radiator will be surprisingly clean when you peek in. The combination of the alkaline detergent and boiling water (which is a pretty strong cleaning agent by itself) does a surprisingly good job. R.V. Anderson

Fan Belt

Mark, I too am a novice and I removed the water pump that was on my 26 Coupe. It was a Camel and the belt that was used was a Gates part #K050336. It is 34 5/8" serpentine belt.

I cut off the old belt, I mean the strings that are wrapped around everything and then I work the new one on the crank pulley without pulling the starter handle. If the engine is cool it is rather simple. Some repro belts last a while, others are junk. I think that Russ Furstnow (I apologize to Russ as I am certain I just added another variation of the spelling of his name) in AZ makes leather belts. I plan on trying one of those. Supposedly Gates # 814 will fit, but I do not know if that is for a water pump model or not. If you find a gates belt kindly post the P/N as I am certain others would be interested

As per Terry Horlick [sept.9-98]

1911-1916 #811 1 1/8"X 22 1/2"

1917-1920 #812 " " x 25 1/2"

1921-1925 #813 " " x 26 3/4"

1926-1927 #814 " " x 31 1/2"

This is from a post by Jon Turpin on 5-12-99. That said napa sold me #070319 1"x 32 3/8" works good if somewhat thin. These are all for cars with no water pump.

I need to go buy an 814, as I believe that's about the right length for pre-'26 engine with waterpump. I am running a 5 rib serpentine right side out, and it has been trouble-free for about 10K miles

Ď26 w/waterpump I measured mine and needed 36&1/2 but settled for a 11/16" x 37" or 8mmx940mm for the metric folks NAPA#050365 It is a serpintine, but installed it inside out, it is tracking well, and works just fine.

I tried the local NAPA store, which cross referenced the Gates 813 to an Atlas 813. But that's a Vee belt. So I went to a garage that handles Gates belts exclusively. No listing. The owner calls the distributor, and he couldn't find it in his book either. Both thought it must be a "truck belt", and their books only handled auto belts. Didn't make much sense to me. But bottom line is -I can't get a Gates 813 through the local yokels.

The fellow said the Gates numbers did not match, but when I kept on insisting he found the belts listed in the Gates books under "Antique Vehicle Belts". They WERE in the book but in a different section than the standard serpentine belts.

I just went into a Napa store and they ordered it from Gates, had it the next day. The belt our vendors sells will last 25 to 125 miles. If you grab some piano wire out of your tool box to sew it up out on the road you may get a few more hundred miles out of it. The problem with it is bad design, bad materials, and perhaps bad workmanship. You can't glue a belt together with snot and expect it to last.

The Vendors are not dumb, just misinformed. I bet if we contact our vendors and tell them the quality of the belt they are selling and that it reflects badly on them, then nicely inform them of the source (Gates) and part number of a good quality part which can be had at a reasonable price, I bet they would change their stock.... but not until the shellac is off of the shelf. In the meantime for those who may need a belt, remember if it is brown (tan) it is..... fecal material! I suggest if you order a belt and it shows up as a tan color with a white directional arrow, send it back. It may get you home in a pinch, but I would rather rely on a good spare Gates belt for that. If the vendor wants to know why you sent it back let him know!

Gates in Denver. These are the only 1 1/8 in wide, flat belts they make.

Number 811 is 22 1/2; 813 is 26 3/4; 814 is 31 1/2; and 822 is 36. All measurements are the inside circumference in inches.

I also had this problem with belts on 26 T, ended up taking off the water pump and installed a 180 degree thermostat between two gaskets and it works and runs fine. Went to the local Gates distributor and told him of my problem with the belts, he went in the back and came out with a 2 1/4" X 36" serpentine belt that he said was used on heavy duty air compressors. With a cut of his box cutter knife down the middle of the groves I had two fan belts at 1 1/8" X 36" for the price of one belt, $14.00 total and well worth it, The name on the belt was Jason #PJ838/330J...4298.

NAPA sold me #070319 1"x 32 3/8" works good Ribbed but reversed and it stays on well and looks like it will outlast the car ---till it cracks from age, any way!!!

Tightening Fan Belt

The belt tensioner with bolt on the side and a large threaded screw for adjustment is the early 1926 style and was discontinued because the ears were breaking off the locking portion if it was tightened too much. On the later style adjuster you loosen the lock nut and turn the large round eccentric in the mount to make the adjustment. Ron the Coilman

Try this: loosen the lock nut on the end of the adjusting screw (bolt), then turn the adjusting screw clockwise. This should tighten the belt. When the tension is correct, you can tighten down the lock nut. On mine, I sometimes loosen the lock nut quite a bit and you can rotate the assembly easier. If you have the small black Model T service manual, you will find a narrative and picture on page 273. Bill Schatz

Fan Bolt

There is no nut on that shouldered bolt. Just the ineffectual cotter pin. Here's a suggestion to keep the bolt snug so the fan arm stays true- clean out the bolt hole really well of all oil and gummy grease using a brush and solvent). Then paste in some #1 or #2 Permatex into the hole's threads, and onto the bolt threads, and run in your fan bolt. The large contact surface of the threads and the Permatex will "glue" the bolt's adjustment really nicely. And the bolt comes out later without trouble. Alternately, blue or green Loctite is just as good, if not better.

Fan Lube

Putting new fan hub bushings and a new shaft in my 20 T. The hub had a regular grease fitting on which I used to use a grease gun. Instead, fill the hub with GEAR oil and then plug the filler hole

Hose clamps

The T parts vendors all sell the same, original style clamps. Zinc plated steel strap with overlap, RH screw and square nut. Modest cost, work and look fine.



(Possible)Identification: A is 1" throat, B is 1 1/4", and I believe BB is 1 3/8".

Sounds like a '26-'27 choke rod. They are square and slide in a socket that is the top half of a U joint on the carb needle. The hole is for a pin that holds a small collar with a tap on it. The tab has a hole in it and the choke rod (wire) runs from this hole down to the choke lever. So when you pill up on the choke rod it slips in the top portion of the U joint, but the pin lifts the collar, and choke wire pulling the choke closed. At least it does on my '26.

Unless you're restoring for concours, hang the NH on the wall and get a better carb. As well as newer carbs, almost any aftermarket carb. from the era will provide better fuel mix than an NH. That includes the Schebler FA and Stromberg OF, which by the F means they were built for the T.

Someone said that you could replace the cork float in the Holley G with a John Deere Brass float. JD P/N is 93004/AR-10066R. You have to unsolder the JD tab and put the Holly G tab on it. I think the float is the one used on John Deere ca. 1939 on the Model D. I priced one once and it was pretty spendy, I think in the neighborhood of $40.00


I would take the carb. off and remove the float, and both needles, blow every thing out with air. At the back of the carb. at the flange there is a 1/8" brass plug. Drill the plug out follow the passage down the carb. towards the venturi about 2" is another 1/8" plug that is on the outside of the carb. Drill this plug out also. Now follow that passage down to the venture tube about an inch or so and you will find another brass plug on the side of the venture tube drill this plug out also. These three passages are always blocked. Use air to clean them out. Now take a white coat hanger from your wifeís closet and run it in all three passages. You should be able to see the end of the wire go through all three passages. Now its very important that you locate two very small holes on either side of the butterfly that is on the flange end of the carb. These two holes are about 5/64", take a wire or a 5/64" drill bit and make sure that these two holes are clear. They go into the 1/8" hole that you drilled out earlier. Now go to a hardware store and get some brass welding rod and sharpen the end and cut three plugs to put back into the carb. before you put the flange plug back in take your WD 40 and place the little red tube in the rear of the hole and see if you can spray it through the carb ;and out the bottom of the venture tube. If it is going through OK, plug the flange hole. Next make sure that your venture tube is clear. I always take the valve seat out of the venture tube and run a wire and air up the intake air passage under the name tag. Use you white wire its easier to see. Next make sure again with your white wire that the over flow passage is clear. Your float can't work if its not clear. This passage is located about 1/4" from the rear of the name tag. If you have not done so in the past you may want to bead blast the entire inside to the carb. before you do the above steps. Dave Huson

I have found that the spray on paint remover found in paint or hardware stores will cut old gas varnish fairly quickly. This is the strong stuff that burns if you do not have rubber gloves on.

Carb Float Fix

Many mechanics have been conditioned to ask for a float each time they rebuild a carburetor, due to the reasonable price of modern, mass-produced floats, and the propensity of nitrophyl (foam) floats to absorb gasoline after time. In dealing with older, NON-CURRENT-PRODUCTION brass floats, neither of the above are true, and a mechanic should attempt to 'save' the float if at all possible.

The first step is to clean the float and inspect it for obvious damage. Small dings and dents are quite common, even in unused floats, and occurred when the manufacturer shipped the floats in bulk. Major dents (generally caused by water freezing in the carburetor) are not generally repairable. If one can hear liquid sloshing around inside the float, skip to the next paragraph. If the float looks to be reasonably damage-free, it should be tested. Testing is accomplished by grasping the float arm with a pair of needle-nose pliers, and submerging the float in very hot water. The hot water will pressurize the air inside the float, and a leaky float will blow a stream of bubbles.

If the float should need repair, it is important to understand how the float was originally produced. Virtually all brass float pontoons (the floating part) are composed of two pieces (a few are more) of brass soldered together. The pieces differ in the seam area, as one piece has a male seam and the other a female seam. One float piece will also have a small hole for temperature equalization. This hole will be covered by a small drop of solder, and will be as far from the seam as possible. The manufacturer would solder the two pieces together, allow the float to cool completely, AND THEN close the equalization hole. Soldering MUST be done using a soldering 'iron'. Repair should not be attempted using either a torch, or a soldering gun. If you plan on disregarding this advice, read the next paragraph first! The following procedure works for us (no, we will not repair your float unless we restore the entire carburetor): First, if liquid is present inside the float, find the hole, and remove the liquid by placing the hole down inside the hot water. The pressure will force the liquid from the float. If the float has much liquid, it may be necessary to remove the float from the hot water, allow the float to cool, and repeat the hot water dip. Once the liquid has been removed, and the leak has been marked, open the equalization hole by removing the solder. Solder the leak closed using as little solder as possible. A small piece of tape over the equalization hole will allow the hot water test to be preformed. If there are no leaks, remove the tape, and ALLOW THE FLOAT TO COOL COMPLETELY before closing the equalization hole. A final test, and you have 'saved' a valuable float.

There is usually a small pinhole somewhere else, not near the seam. First, make sure the solder is off the hole, then do the seam, and when it's cool, then solder the hole shut. Trick here is to keep the solder flowing onto the hole sight while the air cools off, then it sucks the solder into the hole instead of out of it. David D.



The MTFCA carb. manual does not list a setting for the H-1 that I can find. On most T carbs I have worked on...with the float at the top of its travel...the top of the float is parallel with the flat surface of the carb body directly above it. In other words the gap between the top of the float and the bottom of the carb body is equal all the way across. Michael


Leaking Needle Valves

A new method to fix a seeping float valve: By Reid Welch.

Your carb probably drips. My carbs used to drip. Almost everybody's carb drips until the float valve is upgraded to a modern neoprene tipped valve. But you may not need to go to such extremes as to spend a dime. For the nearly sure-cure, go to a Chinese restaurant and have a good meal. Bring home a chopstick. What? Yes, a chopstick. You are going to improve your float valve- maybe even make it dripless, with a chopstick. Before proceeding further let me say this is my own technique. Have read every old book in sight and you know the standard line: "grind in a leaky valve" (please, don't try that) or "Hold valve in seat and tap with a small hammer" (never worked for me yet) Here's the problem: These steel tipped, brass seat valves did not leak drip when they were new. The steel cone is actually a type of early stainless steel, Monel metal to resist corrosion. Even though the brass seat is considerably softer it is generally the case that the steel valve shows some wear. Maybe very considerable wear.

What do you do about that? Nothing- only as a last resort would you reshape the valve because the necessary precision requires a good lathe. The valve has to be perfectly round or it can never seal. Even when worn looking the valve may remain perfectly round; it just has become broader contact area on the seat. This is of no advantage, but it's not a fatal flaw either. Years of "yammering" around on the brass seat has polished away much Monel metal, but in so doing the valve probably rotates too. And if it rotates as it yammers it will remain very round. Obviously, we cannot seal a round hole against a fluid so penetrating as gasoline unless the plug is round too. Or made of Viton rubber. But WE are men, and WE like to make things work despite age and decrepitude. The carb's, that is. We do that, and save five bucks on an NH Viton valve. And can live easier with non-NH carbs for which no new float valve is available. It's been frustrating forever- We've turned and trued steel valves and polished the Monel to perfection. Result: carb still dripped. What next to try? The seat. I've tried "grinding" the newly trued valve into the seat, using Simichrome polish and then clean oil. Still dripped.

If the float valve is round, and IF the float valve is getting a square push from the float then leakage owes to some invisible defect in the brass seat.

In clock work(another hobby), steel pivots run in brass bushed plates. When cleaning a clock, the most important aspect of the cleaning is to "peg out the holes" with a sharpened orangewood stick. Orangewood whittles to a very fine, sharp, tough point for pegging such tiny holes as are found in watch plates. We peg and re-peg, twirling the stick in the brass hole until no more stain comes off on the stick. Only then is the hole clean of wear products and dirt. Now a float valve seat is not a clock bushing but in a way it has a much rougher life than a clock bushing- We are going to peg the old brass seat out with a chopstick. And the seepage will almost surely be eliminated. Why?? The float valve continuously pounds and vibrates into the soft seat. Fuel contains tiny bits of solid dirt. Dirt gets worked into the seat. BUT the real culprit is the brass itself. When brass is pounded over and over, what happens?- it spalls and develops tiny fractures. A layer of microscopically rough dead brass resides on the seating surface of the valve. This layer is not only rough, but it is porous. THIS is the #1 reason why otherwise perfect float valves allow the carb and you to suffer with "wet nose" syndrome.

Sharpen the chopstick as needed. Twirl the dry chopstick firmly, by hand, in the float valve seat. Examine the tip of the stick- it became black. Scrape off the stick and twirl again a few times. Scrape off the dirt. Continue doing this "pegging out" until the stick comes out clean. Use magnifying glasses if you need to because you must know the stick is coming out clean- it's rubbing surface merely becoming burnished by the pressure. Now oil the tip of the stick and twirl a couple more times. Done.

Examine the float tip under a strong lens. Normal appearance should be bright and shiny, exp. where the seating occurs. It does not matter if long wear has necked the seating area so long as it has a polish. You might as well polish the tip by hand, or better yet- polish it with gentle rouge on the buffing wheel. Wipe it clean, and "peg" its tip into some soft end-grain wood. Insert the dry float valve, turn carb upside down and do the Suction Test (see MTFCA carb rebuild book. If nothing else is wrong your valve will hold tongue suction until the cows come home, or your tongue gets a hickey. You will not have a carb drip again for a very, very long time- But DO use an in-line pleated paper fuel filter.

Remember- this drippy carb syndrome can be caused by simple dirt pounding into the brass seat. BUT the other endemic cause of leakage has never been addressed before this posting: the "dead" brass surface on the seat. The chopstick removes both the micro-dirt and all the dead brass. IF the carb still seeps, check that the seat has it's fiber seal washer intact and sealing, and the body or fuel elbow is not cracked or defective. (talcum powder helps find tiny leaks). Per old advice read in the club magazine, seal the bowl to the underside of the casting with #1 Permatex sealant. You can remove the Permatex later with alcohol. So will today's fuel tend somewhat to remove Permatex or about anything else short of epoxy. IF a drip remains, and the valve passed the suck test, Look at float condition, float height, and alignment of the float's pusher on the valve- IF the valve fails the suck test (it should be perfectly tight, holding suction indefinitely), be sure the fuel union is not cracked. Be sure the seat is bedded on a good fiber washer. If the suck test still fails the valve tip is out of round OR the seat is out of round. Pegging will not true up the seat. Truing a brass seat is easy- if you have an appropriate size, preferably new, steel bearing ball. Tapping the ball into the seat will can make a band of contact that is very round indeed. The ball must be of a size that will leave a ring that the float valve will seat upon. That is, the ball can't be too small or too big. Don't use an old, rusty, used up bearing ball. Get a nice new one out of some cheap new bearing. Drop the ball onto the brass seat. Use a short wooden dowel punch and a small hammer and give some sharp raps around on the top of the ball. Examine your work with the strongest lens available. Or go see a jeweler and have him look at the seat for continuity. Then repeat the pegging process again. You will find by the new "dirt" on the stick that smacking has re-spalled the brass. Pegging cleans out the fractured metal. Finish with as before, with a final pegging with the stick oiled.

If the new seat corresponds with a round, undamaged portion of the float valve the suction test will be perfect. If the seat corresponds but the test fails, then the float valve is indeed out of round. DO not try to "grind" in the float valve. It has become a small job. Unless you have a good, precision lathe, give the valve to a friend who has a lathe and a talent for detail. If you saw the very worn float valve on my Xenith you'd expect it to leak. But I did not even have to touch it beyond polishing the tip and pegging out the seat. There are no drips on the floor and no gas smell in the garage. And DO use a good inline filter! Reid

Holley NH that caused engine overheating. I found that the brass nut on the top of the carb. was cracked, the one that keep the needle from backing out. So much excess air was being sucked through the top of the carb. that the previous owner had to open the needle 3 turns to get the T to run. The mixture was causing the T to overheat and the tail pipe to get very hot and glow. A new brass nut solved the problem. Have you checked for any intake air leaks in the carb. itself, carb to manifold, or manifold to block? Sucking in excess air could make you need to open the gas needle too much. All three of my cars run best between 1 to 1-1/4 of a turn open.


Fuel lines

I hooked up a steel gas line to the carb. using a compression fitting and the felt gasket to the sediment bowl and double flared the sediment bowl end The original pipe was not flared. The felt or string packing made the seal because when the nut cinches down it exerts large crush to packing. The packing presses into the pipe with sufficient force to neck it down; at least this is true of copper tubing. Primitive system, but it works. Use soap, or Fuel lube, or ? on the packing material to prevent seepage through the fibers.

I need to re-route the fuel line from off the top of the exhaust pipe. I have read Buzz Pounds fuel line route in the 1993 Vintage Ford and intend to take his advice and route the line to the outside frame and then pretty sharply upward to the carb.

The recommended way is down from the tank and under the exhaust pipe to the outside of the frame, back to the inside of the frame near the carb. and up to the carb. with a fairly sharp upward bend.

On both my 1914, and my 1925, (as well as about 10 others I have had the pleasure of owning,,) the fuel line does run inside the "U: of the frame rail. It is held in place with a clamp at the handbrake cross shaft, and sometimes another clamp near the carb end.

Yes, it is close to the exhaust pipe, I think "Henry" was attempting to pre-heat the fuel? ( like he pre-heats the differential grease by pointing the exhaust gasses toward the diffy housing??)) or so I was told..


Postings by John Conley and Bill Schatz regarding a Briggs and Stratton filter, part number on 28090S. Evidently, a screen only filter that is sealed in plastic canister and works well with gravity systems.


Gas tank

The gas tank was originally made from galvanized sheet steel and was not painted. If your tank is typical the galvanizing is long gone. What most folks do is to paint it with a galvanizing paint. Check with your local hardware store to see what they have.


ENGINE assorted Info

Engine Paint

My conclusion that this a '27 engine is based upon the paint scheme of the

motor. All of the parts appear exactly per the factory specifications dated August 1926. That is, the engine block, head, time gear cover, generator mounting boss and intake manifold are all painted the same color, which appears to be a dark olive. The pan and transmission cover are painted black, as is the timer. The cylinder head bolts are domed and nickel plated. So are the manifold bolts and the bolts that hold the generator mounting boss to the block. All of this is, again, is consistent with the factory specifications.

A little bit of information has been found in the Research Center that indicates that moleskin color was a dark olive. This engine appears to be what one might call a dark olive color. Hopefully the pictures at the bottom of this page will show that.

As you look at the pictures of the motor, you may note that the block and head are quite shiny. At first I thought that these parts had been painted with an oven baked enamel. Pyroxlin is another name for nitrocellulose lacquer, and if the paint had been enamel that would have pretty quickly ruled it out. But upon close examination of the paint it appears so smooth and shiny because the block and head castings were ground and polished before the paint was applied. In fact, the paint exhibits some signs of crackling that is so characteristic of old lacquer finishes. So the bottom line is: This is my best guess as to the correct shade of green for the post August 1926 engines. Prior to that, records indicate that they were, of course, black.

Engine Accessories: everything was black, '14 through '25. Aaron Griffey

Exhaust manifold "should" be natural,, there is a good "cast" finish offered by Eastwood company that looks close to unpainted iron,, Intake should be black, Pipe and muffler are left natural to rust with age..

I personally like the looks of "stove black" on my exhaust manifolds. Bill Eads

Engine mounting


I have fixed frames with cracks there and it is because in the past the wood disappeared and they just never replaced. The wood does several things like stopping a frame crush and acts as a damper so the vibration of the engine does not cause a cracking of the frame. Old Henry would not have put that wood there if it werenít needed, believe me he definitely counted his parts and money

-The side bolts go in from the outside, nut on the inside. Torque the top bolts tight, but only finger tight on the side bolts. You definitely need a cotter pin here.

-Let us open our green Ford Service hymn books to page 31. The 2nd paragraph of installing crankcase arm bolts- "The nuts should be run down as far as they will go, but absolutely no force applied in tightening them, as there is a possibility of drawing the crankcase arms so tightly against frame that they become imbedded in that part, eventually resulting in crystallization of the frame at points 'B'".

Point "B" is an arrow pointing to the frame at that point. That is exactly what FORD said. "absolutely no force". all of the T's I work on have no wood block, and the top bolts are finger tight, or finger loose.

Fahnestock wrote in 1924:

"There are two bolts holding each crank case arm to the chassis frame- and it is important to notice that they require different treatments. Let us first consider the upper bolt, which holds the top of the crank case arm to the upper flange of the side member of the chassis frame.

"These upper bolts should be kept as tight as possible- always. The reason being that, if these bolts are allowed to become loose, then the crank case arm will _hammer_ on the chassis frame, with inevitable crystallization and cracking of the steel. While if tight, there is no sharp _impact_ to cause shock, and so there is much less wear and tear on the parts. Push against a brick wall- or punch a brick wall with your fist- if you want to be convinced of the difference between a push and a hit.

"But the lower bolts, which hold the sides of the crank case arms to the web, or middle of the chassis frame, require different treatment.

"Because they know that broken crank case arms often result from loose top bolts, some mechanics make a practice of using too much force when tightening the side bolts. Which is as bad as kissing the wrong girl!

"This is very poor practice, as there is a possibility of drawing the crank case arm so tightly against the frame that it becomes embedded in that part, eventually resulting in crystallization of the frame. Under no circumstances should force be applied when installing a crank case arm side bolt. The nut on the end of the side bolt should be run down as far as it will go on the bolt, but absolutely no force applied in tightening it.

"The only purpose of this bolt is to prevent the crank case arm from spreading away from the frame, and to prevent vibration at this point..."

I believe the 45 degree angle in the wood block is for the gas line on the earlier models, and goes toward the frame. Larry Smith

The fuel line is clamped along the lower inside of the frame, so it would pass the wood block on the lower frame rail. So, the 45ļ angle would go towards the inside, lower edge. Also, Gas lamps have a fuel line that runs the drivers side, thus the notch in BOTH blocks. Bill Eads T-Nut


note from rw: Murray Fahnestock was _the_ premier technical writer on all things "Ford" for over four decades. During his early career he was a Factory employee, overseeing final aspects of Model T production. His technical writing career began in the early 'teens. His clarity and content received the personal approval Henry Ford himself, with whom MF was acquainted.

Fahnestock enjoyed free access to the Ford factory engineering staff during the Model T's heyday. His popular readership included thousands of full time Model T mechanics and a million Model T car owners.

If your proposal of loose or spring-floated top bolts offered safety and freedom from crank case arm breakage, it seems very likely that our ancestors would have recognized the technique and adopted it, for it is easy to set up, and seems sensible on the face of things. Yet, as Fahnestock indicates, there were and are very good reasons for bolting tight on top and not discarding the side bolts.

-In my experience, shouting "NO" does not defend a strongly felt point nearly so well as a rational presentation of the thoughts and ingenuity behind the method.

Bearing out this thought, MF's text presents plain facts and documented procedure which remained standard during the entire 19 year run of the Model T, during which time most parts of the car were refined or reengineered. The bolting methodology seems never to have been changed. Why, is that if its so "wrong"?

Millions of car owners did NOT experience arm breakage. Some did, but this does not prove that tight top bolts were to blame. Before pronouncing your way as best, and me accepting your word, you should document the _number_ of cars that you've treated with loose top bolts, and how many _tens of thousands of miles_ each car has run without arm breakage. Or more particularly, if all cars have runs these long distances without mashing, wearing or and fatiguing the upper frame rail.

Such damage could be considered especially serious, because the greatest percentage of the car's weight bears on those two, small points of contact.

Again, exclaiming "NO" doesn't necessarily make it so.



I made a PCV system out of a BMW motorcycle crankcase breather reed. It lets the crank case pressure and fumes out but not outside air back in. The reed costs $10 and is about the size of a quarter. You do not buy the diecast holder for $45.50, just the reed. It is easily mounted in a piece of pipe cap. In fact, I mounted two of them in a 2" pipe cap for redundancy and they work just fine. Oil consumption is down and now the only oil loss is through gaps below the oil level line in the crankcase. They mount by cutting a counter bore in the cap and then drilling and tapping two or three hole around the edge and holding it down with a washer under the screw head. It looks old because it is made out of waterpipe and it is very entertaining the way it pops up and down with a slight blur. This system ports to ambient air and will not clog the intake air system or spark plugs if you have an old oilburner. BMW has changed the reed design but dealers still have the old ones in stock. The new one is a flapper reed. The old ones I use are a flat disk valve on a spring loaded post and they look like something Henry would have used.


Tom or Richard Carnegie in Spokane, Washington can supply you with a drilled crank for about $300.00


The 26/27 is different but also the late 25s. In late 25 when they went to the Improved brake drum with the 6 lugs they had to use a different (previously These bolts were 1.5 " long, 9/16 cap screw head, and have a collar about half way with threads about half inch from the end towards the collar.) bolt that would go down inside of the brakes drum and connect the clutch plate to the brake drum. At first in late 25 they started using a long 3/8" fine thread diameter bolt with a slot for a screw driver in the upper end. These were obviously unsatisfactory and then they went to the Bolt you described with the apron. these bolts are much easier to tighten ,I never use the slotted type. As far as I know the early 3/8" stud is the same one used in more than one place including bolting the Magneto Field coil to the black. If you don't mind the hole in the head for the wire you can also use them on the cam gear cover and underneath the left side of the hogs head near the starter. These bolts were wired, but could be finger turned. Looking at the threads, the bolts weren't tightened enough to have the collar seat against the clutch plate. The part # for the '09 - '25 bolt is 3323 The part # for the '26 - '27 bolt is 3323B Bob Jablonski & Dave Huson

Low speed shaft dimensions for RHD

Perhaps a good idea- OR one more small thing to drop in your transmission! - while pedal shaft is out of the car, drill the very end of the shaft for a cotter pin. After reassembly of the band washer and nut install a cotter pin very securely through that hole. In the example of Terry's case, this cotter pin can't prevent the brake failure, but it will prevent the nut from escaping and falling into the transmission with destructive results.

OTOH, it is hard enough not to drop nuts and washers into the transmission without worrying about $#% cotter pins. So take extra care when changing bands next time.

The transmission triple gear pins of a Model T are an odd size. Furthermore, the factory recommended that the bushings be reamed with .003 inch clearance. Failure to provide that clearance results in triple gear bushings that seize to the pins. Using reamers designed to finish the hole in the bushing to factory specifications can eliminate the need to go back and fix it later. This reamer is marked Mayhew and the number 3022 1/2.

The Genuine Ford 5Z324 transmission band ratchet adjusting wrench for the Model T Ford is designed to make the adjustment of the brake and reverse bands a quick and easy job. The 5Z324 is a much scarcer tool than its later counterpart, the 5Z829.



Pulling drums without factory puller:

-I did this once by placing a very large washer inside the drum to fill the space to the lower edge of the side holes. I then installed two close fitting pins through the holes to rest on the washer. Then I used a large gear puller on the outside ends of the pins. A little heat on the hub where the set screw mounts helps a lot. Kenneth Bove

-What I do is put 2 short bolts in the holes you speak of, then I put the jaws of the puller on the head of the bolts then pull the drum out. Larry

- After removing the safety wire I remove the square head bolt. Then I put my 2 jaw puller into those two holes and crank on the bolt center. The drum always seems to come off, there are two Woodruff keys inside there. My drum may come off easily because I seem to be removing them every other week. Terry Horlick

- Be sure to take the square headed lock bolt all the way out before you try to pull on it.

- My gosh, I don't see what the average person can do to rebuild a transmission! The disk drum is generally press fitted with such and interference fit as to require a 20 ton press. At least mine was- Wow, what a booger to get off. I gave up and went to the machine shop. Well, really the main thing that stymies us homeboys is the bushings. We can't just pop in new bushings and call it a job. Say you have the tooling to align ream the bushings on the true center(How, without factory repair tool or a machine shop?).... Then what should be don when the brake drum shaft is necked down from wear, and the "003" fit of the bushing becomes an oval .009 fit on the drum shaft? Not to be a wet blanket- but it would be a great service if the average T owner could just bundle up that transmission and send it off to a reliable professional shop-

one with full equipment and a keen interest in doing the best that can be done with worn parts. The aim of balancing the various drums is noble indeed. But I see in the MTFCI video the gentleman balances the drums by drilling holes in the slender, break-prone spokes. Really, is there enough metal there that this method won't increase the chance of drum failure? The alternative to spoke drilling is painstaking grinding of the inside surface of the drum. Few would have the patience for that- there's very little metal to work with. Average Joe (me, really) gets his transmission apart... he somehow gets the old bushings out without breaking anything. He somehow manages to pound in new bushings to the correct depth. The transmission bushings naturally require reaming. So he hones them with what? A brake cylinder hone? (I did). And gets a "fit" of sorts. Real marginal. The nice "fit" soon wears loose because the new bushings, which are not of the correct Ford bronze, and not running on truly round, cylindrical journals, and had to be reamed "oversize" to get them over the unworn portion of the journal- soon loosen up considerably. Now- how about the triple gear pins- always worn. And the triple gear bushings- usually best (I think) to leave them original. How is the average Joe gonna change chose triple gear pins? And whose pins should he buy (since the various sources seem to vary in diameter, hardness, etc). Sorry I'm such a wet blanket here- but there are many loose old transmissions which are better off being left alone if they cannot be rebuilt by an experienced shop. And checking the drums for cracks... There's an advertisement for the value of a competent Magnaflux inspection. You want someone to do that check who has checked Ford drums many times before. And cares about the T. Reid

Adjusting the forward gears

posted by Willie Strickland

"I have noticed that low gear does not engage as well as it did. I have successfully adjusted for free neutral as well as adjusted the brake and reverse levers. But I donít know how to adjust the forward gear pedal. "

I assume you took a good look at the band linings when you had the cover off to adjust the reverse and brake bands. I am assuming they were ok. If the linings were worn too much, they will not grab the drums. Assuming they are good, there is an adjusting nut which protrudes out the right side of the transmission cover near the exhaust pipe. Loosen the lock nut and turn the adjusting nut one turn to the right. Push on the pedal and feel how much resistance you feel when depressing the pedal. It should "feel" some better. Just continue until everything "feels" right. The only warning is don't tighten it too much. They will drag on the drum, act as a brake and overheat it and the engine.


Look at the right hand side of the hogshead. See that large "bolt" sticking out the side? Loosen it's locknut with a crescent wrench or 15/16" end wrench. Turn the flatted end of that bolt clockwise one half or more turns. Lock the nut and try the pedal. The more you turn in the bolt, the higher the low pedal will feel. No higher than necessary. On many cars when the low band gets a bit worn the low pedal goes down so far that it abruptly "overcenters", and LOCKS the car resolutely in low. Juggernaut T will plow throw walls, haystacks and day care centers. YANK the pedal back up with a free hand. And go change your shorts. (grin) But even if it does not overcenter, a slipping low band quickly wears out the band lining. So, go ahead and adjust it now.




If you hate the Kevlar idea then get wooden bands, nothing drives better than wood bands.

Don't soak them first as it just makes it messy. Do not trim them to length. Put one end on and rivet it. Put the other end on and rivet it. Now compress and push the lining down so that it fits tight. If there are any raised portions, move another part up and slide the lining this way and that until it is all down flat against the band. Then rivet the lining through the center. There are two sets of thinking on the direction of the split of the rivet. One bunch of people think that the split should go across or perpendicular to the band. This makes the spread rivet touch lightly all across the drum and the wear is even. The other bunch of guys say that the split should be in line with the band so that you only muck up a small portion of the band. I prefer the spread across the band rather than in line with it. After you have the band properly compressed and riveted, soak it in fresh oil. The reason they want you to soak the lining first is that in the old days, they were in a hurry and car was to be driven as soon as the job was done. Today, we have time to rivet clean dry lining and soak it afterwards. Then the next day install the band according to proper procedures and enjoy driving with a new set of bands. Frank

I have seen people install bands incorrectly by starting the riveting at one end and working around the band to the other end. This leaves excess material that they cut off- WRONG. First one end should be riveted flush with the band then the opposite side. Of course next you work the material towards the center packing the excess down into the lower section of the band. Possibly yours were not installed correctly and are grabbing. Sounds like a simple matter of replacing but not so simple of a job! I usually soak my new band material overnight in oil and rivet it in the next day. Its a mess but they always drive well. I did one car 15 years ago and have never changed them since.

If the bands are not properly done and you have to rivet them make sure you get the rivets ends going perpendicular to the band for better holding

Changed a transmission band tonight and got to use my new "Band nut and washer tool". This is a tool prevents the nut and washer from falling into the transmission. It holds the band nut and washer in a burled knob, with a spring loaded fork. The tool has a handle that fits inside the inspection hole in the tranny. All you do is put the nut and washer into the tool, and flip the spring loaded fork over them. Then take the tool by the handle and lower it into place over the stud. Then just spin the knob until the nut is snug, release the spring loaded fork, and lift the tool out. The nut and washer are on! The tool is available from "Lang's Old Car Parts" for $16.95 and is well worth it. It's catalog number is 3416TNW. Another band changing pointer I got from the "Tinker'n Tips" book is how to hold the band in place on the stud while you get the nut and washer on. You just loop a piece of mechanic's wire around the ears of the band, and then tie the wire to the break pedal shaft. It holds the band in place, while you fiddle with the nut and washer. After the nut is on, you just slip the wire out. I Drilled a hole in the tail end of my tool, and strung a piece of safety wire through it, so the tool can't drop out of reach down in the tranny.

New Bands

I like to rivet them as described, but I also keep a spare set of freshly re-lined bands soaking in fresh oil. A set of bands can be had at a swap met for $10 or less, and a cheap plastic bucket is perfect for the job. I've not had to have any emergency band changes since I switched to Kevlar but it pays to be prepared nonetheless.

Some postings farther down discuss the possibility of using brake adhesive to secure the linings to the steel bands. With the right adhesive this could be a great idea. Besides its adhesive qualities it would have to penetrate some distance into the woven material as it would seem that non-penetrating stuff, holding as it were only the first layer of fibers, would not get a sufficient grip into the material to be a safe bet.

Personally, I don't worry about the effects of brass rivets scoring the drum. The main reason is because I try not to allow band slippage. Some folks start their Ts in motion by trying to "feather" the band like a modern clutch; a real uh-uh. Slipping drums will quickly build heat and have a sort of annealing effect on the rivets which could harden them and allow scoring. If the rivets are properly cinched into the lining and minimal slippage occurs, the effect on the drums will be negligible.

As for riveting technique, I have cut a 7-1/4" circle out of 2" thick pine, clamp it in a vise, then after driving the end rivets and compressing the lining, I clamp the band around it and drive the rivets clean through the lining into the wood. Removing the band, it is turned over and rivets are spread with a large cold chisel. A small ball peen hammer finishes the job, but you have to be careful to curl the tines over and lock them back on themselves, burying the ends in the material. It takes longer to write about the process than it does to actually do it.

Ran into a band changing problem. With a new low band installed, take up almost bottomed out the band, like the drum was a smaller diameter than normal. Initially, I thought it needed new bands because the take up was all took up. Trying to figure out what to do, I read in one of the books that you can grind off a couple of turns of the spring, and add a shim behind the left ear, to keep the band from bottoming out. This I did and she performs beautifully.

You can also put a sheetmetal "shim" between the under-sized drum and the lining material, which brings the working mechanism out to the standard "size" without modifying the springs or adding washers.

NEW Wood bands

Wood bands are being made by John Hale in Anaheim , California His phone # is (714) 779-8507

Jim Guinn makes wood bands. He bought out John Hale, he can be reached at (714) 779-5438.

Creeping transmission

-That's what you have: classic symptoms. As Michael says, first check your neutral on the linkage between the low pedal and clutch lever. However, even a correctly adjusted stock clutch can drag when cold - the plates get lapped together with use and then the cold oil helps glue them together. This is why you can buy accessory clutches like the Watts, or use automatic trans plates. Some people suggest parking the car with handbrake off to squeeze the oil out of the assy. Also check you don't have your low speed band adjusted too tight; that's always a temptation.


Brake Band adjustment

Take the inspection cover off the tranny by taking out the machine screws and you will see the three bands. Push on the brake pedal so you see which band does the braking (the rear one), there will be a bolt, spring and nut on that band. By tightening the nut the slack in the band will be taken up. You want the band loose

enough so it doesn't grab the drum with the pedal up, but not so loose that the pedal goes all the way to the floor board on a hard stop, just about an inch above the board. Be sure to put the floor boards back in and try the pedal before you make any final decisions.

Clutch drum surface

There are lugs for the 26-27 brake drum side of the large clutch disks. If you file the lugs smooth and use a Watts Clutch no steel will ever touch your lugs again. If you use the jack rabbit or the original clutch disks then you will have trouble with the lugs getting cut again. When you use the watts clutch the only steel left in the disks ride on the clutch drum, which is steel and will not be effected. Just remember that the drum is made of soft cast iron while the clutch drum is steel. I have even seen the steel shoes in the late 25, 26 and the 27 be cut in half with the steel disks. Also I would never cut the running surface of any of the drums to make them smooth they are two thin now and subject to cracking. If they have not been run for awhile put them in your lathe and polish them but don't cut. The groves that you see from someone using non brass rivets won't hurt a thing, but if they are too bad other wise get a good used one they are cheap. By the way I have just a little short of 50,000 miles on my center door (2220 Lbs with no one in it) and my coupe and have never had a moments trouble with the Watts Clutches. I even use the Watts Clutch in my Montana 500 car and have had no trouble with it. I had the motor out the other day and checked the disks and they look like they were almost new.

The factory drawings for the transmission brake drum call for the outside diameter to be 7.495 - 7.505. Regards, Trent Boggess

We "machine" the lugs by filing them so that they will accept the steel lug shoes. You can do this yourself if you are patient. Do one lug and then quit for awhile to do something else (unless you really enjoy drudgery).

R.V. Anderson:



It is imperative to check the drum rivets as a routine overhaul procedure. Tighten with a center punch (use a crossing pattern). Twixt ye and me, fluxing a T drum for cracks is overkill, and unreliable overkill at that. In my experience, the way to find cracks is to soak the drum in mineral spirits or run it through your parts washer, shake or wipe off the excess solvent, then dust talc powder all over the drum using a dust bag like bowlers use. Solvent will "weep" out of any cracks and the powder will make it readily visible. R.V. Anderson

While rebuilding my most recent trans, I had no choice but to have 2 drums that each had 2 cracks, welded. I have more drums with cracks, than any man should own! With over 1000 miles now on those drums (kevlar bands)I see/feel nothing wrong. The cracks were down around the webs, so are now not visible through trans. cover door. Also, for what its worth, cast iron welding, in my estimation, is not as mysterious as I was led to believe, and being a half as-ed welder would not bring iron welding to a shop again, but would do it w/out hesitation. Mike Bartlett




When you put the U-joint pin back in the driveshaft, first find an old main bearing bolt or similar (I think it's 1/2" fine), and start it in the bottom hole in the housing (where you drove the pin out through). Align the pin holes on the u-joint with the shaft hole and tighten the bolt a little, so that when you drive the pin in, the bolt will keep the shaft from slamming against the bushing with every blow. It'll also helps wedge the pin. I Learned that from Les, a fellow T'er.

Gaskets that go between the spool & torque tube and the spool & rear axle housings are typically about .004 thick. You can put more than one in between the spool and housing in order to back the pinion out a bit.

Fun projects sells a replacement pinion that eliminates the need for adjustment.

The u-joint must be completely cleaned of old grease and rust before you can judge it's wear. Then, if it has 10 thou. inches of slop it is at Ford's wear limit. But many or most u-joints continue to run with far more slop. The downside of that is probably more vibration and wear of the broached square hole in the output shaft. The male portion of the u-joint is hardened steel. The broached hole is softer. When the joint is worn it will dart about it's axis of rotation.

I think (this is my opinion) that the male end of the joint will beat up the female hole in the output shaft. Ultimately could even crack it. Think of a wedge. Of course, a worn joint adds vibration too. Regular weight book paper is very nearly .005 thick. Newsprint averages .003". Stack up several pieces to make what you need. 010" is very easy to see and feel- it's a definite looseness. Paper shims can help measure the actual space, within a few thousands. Cut very narrow shims because they are fitting into an arced gap. Note that the wear is lopsided- the journals and holes wear most on their sides. Which shows the futility of trying to take up the slop in a badly worn joint. I'd look into a Moog joint if there is any doubt. It is _promised_ to be made to Ford specs, fully forged and all that. Probably is. Reid

Several corrections and amplifications on Reid's comments.

First, the u-joint is made up of four drop forged pieces, Ford factory symbol numbers T-46-B (Female end), T-47-B (male end) and T-49-B (Ring - two used). The Ford engineering drawings specify that all four pieces were to be made from Type N steel and heat treated. So all four parts are hard, not just the male end and the rings.

Second, original factory tolerances on the bearing parts was 0.000" to 0.004". The pins in T-46-B and T-47-B were specified to be machined to 0.996" to 0.999" while the holes in the rings were to be machined to 0.999" to 1.000". Some came out of the factory very tight, while others came out rather loose. Apparently the Ford engineers did not feel that especially close tolerances were needed here.

Finally, I saw 1 (one) of the new u-joints. The unit I saw had the male end machined too large so that it would not fit into an unworn transmission tail shaft. Also the female end's square hole had been machined too small so that it would not fit over an unworn Model T driveshaft. Other than those flaws, they looked great. Trent Boggess


The John W. Stoltz Company manufactures and sell modern bearings for Model T Fords. There are several types to choose from. You can check them out on our web page at The Model T supply houses carry these bearings; i.e., Lang's, Snyder's, Smith & Jones, Birdhaven, and others. John Stoltz, Model T Ranch


After putting new brake linings on, I checked the Ford Service book and it states that the brake hand lever should be in a vertical position and both brake rods set so brakes are tight in that position. Works fine and brakes set tight. My question is: When the brake lever is in that position, that should be neutral. How can reverse work then since brakes are set? What I ended up doing was adjusting the brake rods so the brakes set firm just behind the vertical position of the hand brake lever and the wheels turn freely with the lever in the vertical position (neutral)

Steering wheels

"Hardwood steering wheel rims., "15. "16, & "17 O.D.

Made from 8 pieces finger jointed together. $ 60.00 plus

shipping. Russ Raymond 12670 Manastash Rd, Ellensburg, WA

zip 98926 Phone 509-925-5283

I have drilled into both sides of the broken pieces, and loosely fit a piece of steel, then filled the two holes I drilled on opposing sides, with epoxy,-inserted the steel and pressed them together . After the epoxy set I would use body filler to make the crack (pretty) and after sanding, paint the whole thing, using several coats of urethane for a topcoat. Seems quite sturdy. I think the epoxy alone is stronger material than the original stuff, which appears to be sawdust mixed with some type of binder

The binder seems to be hard rubber. Sawdust is an extender/filler/strengthener also used in many Bakelite product. Edison's thick, flat Diamond Disk phonograph records were surfaced in pure "Condensite" (really a Bakelite patent dodge) and underneath were laminations of Condensite and "wood flour", which was the trade name for powdered sawdust used in many molded articles, especially imitation wood named "Repwood". Repwood was used for bookends to table radio cabinets. Really just sawdust and phenolic baked to a golden mass produced simulation of carved wood. And I'll wager money that Fordite was simply an economical re-use for scrap rubber- and old Ace pocket combs.

Radius Rod Ball:

The ball should be 1 ľ" in diameter.


Rear Axle poop

Rear axle taper is 1.500/12.000 (1-1/2" per foot). The key way dimension is .247/.248 wide and .126/.128 deep at the axle end according to the archived drawings.

I always check any tapered fit (wheel, steering arm...etc) by torqueing up and then removing the nut and tapping gently and wiggling the device to make sure it is seated on the taper and not on the key. Dirt behind the key has caused many a taper fit to not happen because the keyway was bottoming on the key. John Regan


OK, stand at the rear of the car, looking forward at the rear axle. There will be, starting at the left side axle, nearest the brake backing plate, one left, outboard, one right, inboard, then move past the differential, one left, inboard, and one right, outboard. Bill Eads

Know which ones are right sleeves and which are left sleeves. The V notches on the outside have to be in the bottom and slightly to the back. The "V" notch must point up and in the direction the bearing turns when the car goes forward. That is so that when you are driving forward the grease is always pushed to the center of the bearing. And the load and thrust is not on the "V". The inside sleeves should go in with the "V" toward the top, because the bearing lays in the bottom of the sleeve carrying the weight of the differential center section. The "V" should again point in the direction the bearing and axle turn. Aaron G.


Standard ring (crown) gear = 40 teeth,... with standard 11 tooth pinion (11/40) or 3.6 : 1, with optional 10 tooth pinion (10/40) or 4 : 1. Non Ruckstell using two new brass thrust washers.. try.. assemble with the left hand axle housing on end (I us a pair of 4x4s across a 15" spare rim to do this) install the steel-bronze-steel thrust washers (make sure they are on their pins) Then, after installing carrier and axles, attach drive shaft with u joint end supported with a saw horse or something similar. Check gear backlash (ideal .005-.006".... used gears .010"max) IF ok, add the right hand steel -bronze-steel thrust washers and right hand axle housing (best to stick the last steel washer over the pins with some heavy grease) is all ok? can the pumpkin be bolted down and the gears still turn freely? if so try adding a .005 shim behind one of the steel washers. If this makes thing to tight, good.. remove the extra shim and put it together... the goal here is to have .005" clearance for carrier end play. But, If it still turns free add another .005" and try again. Forgot to mention that the inner roller bearings must also be installed to be able to test backlash and end play. Hope this helps

Axle bearing surface 1.062

Axle bearing roller dia. 0.500

Axle gear bearing surface 1.807

The left axle is worn quite a bit at the inner bearing. The bearing has so much radial play that the ring gear started to machine a groove into the top of the differential housing.

That wear you mentioned probably was the result of a disintegrated babbit or bronze thrust washer on that side of the carrier assembly. Both of those thrust washers were "gone" on our differential.....just that I didn't know the difference until I tried to stop and got one heck of a shudder as the pinion gear was grinding the tops off the teeth on the ring gear. Guess we learn by the seat of our pants. The carrier flange the should have supported the thrust washer was ground down to the steel washer....needed to replace carrier assembly. This action also caused some grinding into the axle shaft itself, which also was replaced. I don't think I know anyone who hasn't had to replace the babbit thrust washers in their T rear end with bronze. This was truly an Achilles heel of the T. Of course, no one expected these cars to last this long in the first place.

The bronze thrust washers come about .205" or so. Maybe thicker. The correct thickness in a rear end that is in good condition should be about .198" to almost never more than .200". They need to be sanded on a flat surface or taken down on a belt sander. Try to keep them both the same thickness to keep the ring gear in the center. Best to put the thinner one on the rt. side if there is a difference in them. When you get the thrust washers fit so there is no ply, but you can still turn the diff by hand, you can change the steel spacers around to move the ring gear if it's no close enough to a good mesh with the pinion. The steel washes come in various thicknessí. Usually equal thicknessí will be close enough. If the ring and pinion are meshed too tight you will get a howl, and too too tight will cause it to spit teeth! It's not rocket science, but if you get it right the thing will last forever. If you take too much off the bronze thrusts and can't find thick enough steel washers to make it up, just assemble with black silicone instead of a gasket between the halves. The driveshaft will take a gasket though, some times 2 if the gears seem a little snug in spots when you turn the gears and driveshaft.

Put the thinnest on left side so that the ring and pinion are not meshed too tight. Usually moving the ring gear any amount to the rt. will make it mesh too tight. Usually. There have been slight differences in some well used model T cars from time to time. Aaron G., Ca.



Raise the rear of the car at the diff. center and remove both rear wheels with drums. Let the car down on 2 jack stands placed on the frame near the radius rods, left side forward a couple inches. Remove left outside bolts that go through the radius rod on left side, loosen rt. side spring perch nut until it only is holding by a couple of threads, remove left side spring perch nut. Remove all bolts holding diff. halves together. Remove only driveshaft bolts that go into left housing. Loosen the rt. ones a little bit. Put a block under rt. housing near diff. center. Slip the left housing off the axle shaft. Easy job, not that hard. Now take out the left and rt. outside wheel bearings, unless the seals are good. This step no required, but makes assy. easier. Do check to see if the side spacers are babbit or brass (bronze). Clean the diff. mating surfaces the best you can. Do not disturb the driveshaft-housing gasket. If it broke, just silicone it back together. Patch it the best you can. Quickly though, and put a nice bead of silicone on the diff. halves, both. Use black silicone. Be sure you have enough fresh stuff before you start putting it back together. A helper would be nice. Now slide the removed housing back on and get a bolt in without too much juggling. Leave all center bolts a little bit loose, but put in all bolts including the driveshaft bolts. Quickly get the two bolts started in the radius rod, tighten one and tighten all bolts in the center section and driveshaft housing. Take a break, wipe off excess sealer, and make sure you did not forget to put in a bearing or spacer! After finishing the assy., let the silicone dry for an hour or more and fill the center with new gear oil. If the spacers were brass, fill with 140-gear oil, GL 4. If they were babbit, use 600 or SAE 70 motor oil. The 600 can be used in any case. $$$$. I have done this with good results every time. It's important not to loosen the forward nuts on the radius rod, as this will cause you to loose the adjustment that keeps everything square in the rearend area. I have NEVER used a gasket between the diff. halves. It will make the side clearance about .001" tighter, which is probably desirable in most well used rear axles. Besides, it is too hard to get it in there and not have leaks. There is not time for that kind of fiddling when you use silicone.

Truck worm

You need to know what ratio rear axle you have. There are two ratios that I know of, one has a four tooth screw and the other (high speed.. preferred) has a six tooth screw, but the ring gears are different and have different numbers of teeth..... Tom

Ratios and gearing:

To all who have inquired about the TT rear end gears: do not despair! I and taking apart more rear ends and I believe I can accommodate all parties who have asked. You will all hear from me presently. The TT high speed ratio is 5.25:1 The low speed is 7.5:1 You can tell them apart by counting the teeth on the worm gear. High speed WORM 6 teeth low speed 4 teeth. Low speed RING has 29 high speed ring 31. Another quick way of telling if you have a high or low ratio truck diff, is by looking at the cap on the back of them. Most will have a number stamped into them, being either 5 (high) or a 7 (low). But, this only stands true if they haven't changed the gears at some stage. Counting is possible with the rear end in the truck. Take the cap off the back off the worm case and take out the bearings. Peek in with a penlight and count. The 3:1 ratio is a special ratio for the car chassis and is best reserved for speedsters and T's with modified engines. There were no aftermarket rear end gears for TT just auxiliary transmissions. Erik Barrett (and others)

OK hereís one which is better for touring and driving on the TT rear axle gears 5 to 1 or 7 to 1 we have a lot of hills but I have over under in the driveline and have Ruckstell to put in I would really like a truck that would run on the flat around 35/40 mph the engine I have is very good and thinking of the high compression head any other ideas bob

-Use the 5:1 Gears. With the Ruckstell and overdrive and 6.50/20 or 33x5 tires you can push that TT to almost 50MPH. My dump truck will do over 45 easily on that combination. I can also chain it to a loaded 80,00 lb semi truck and pull it. (Did it once in a parade) Fordially, Erik

-Use the high speed rear end. With Ruckstell and over/underdrive Warford you have 12 speeds ahead and can climb Mt Everest unless you run out of oxygen.

-5:1 and an overdrive will give you close to 4:1. I didnít think you could do 40 mph with the 5:1. (what can a car with 4:1 run? (mine's still in the making) The Ruckstell is an under drive. What would probably help is less friction loss in bearings and gears, and less weight. Well you asked for ideas. Regards Tom

-Tom, 55 Mph with the 5 to 1, the tires are a pretty tall gear.


Rear Axle Bearings Stolz Type II Floating Rear Hub Bearings

I'll do a complete write up later on. Just wanted to note that I pulled one rear wheel tonight to inspect the Stolz "Safety Hub". Have racked up 1,200 miles on this hub so far.

There was no looseness at all in any plane, in the single, large ball bearing in its carrier. There had been no shifting in the slightest of the carrier unit fastened against the hub. The thin paint I applied over the carrier and brake was intact at the mating place.

Solid as a rock- I am very happy with this product and confident it will last damn near forever with no deterioration. Besides the better engineering solution, reduced wear and safety afforded by this old time design re-created by John Stolz there are no more axle sleeves to wearing out every 500 miles and much less stress on the axle shafts.

I'll "prove" these statements later on. Meanwhile those of you with copies of Dykes' encyclopedia, read up on the different forms of rear axle construction. Particularly the several methods used then and now for supporting the highly loaded outside ends of axles.

If curious to see and feel them, order a set of Type II bearings and get them in hand. IF you don't decide to install them they can be returned for full refund. That's the basis upon which I've bought all my Stolz bearings. Only keeping them after hands-on inspection, research and carefully weighing the pros and cons of departing from stock Ford parts.

The sleeves for the TT are similar to the T (from pictures in the parts book) but I suspect they are larger (different part number). Thus the T sleeve puller probably will not work. If one really wants the sleeve out then one most resort to some less than factory methods. I have removed T sleeve by driving a putty knife under an edge at the split in the sleeve and then slowly working up in size what I drove under the sleeve. I than worked it loose all the way around and then drove a piece of metal back next to the bump in the sleeve that locks it into the housing. I then used a slide hammer to extract it. The parts book lists only a right and a left sleeve, so I suspect that the same type of sleeve is used on the inner end of the axle as with the T. The MTFCA Ruckstell book mentions how to make a sleeve puller. Same type but built to TT size is probably the ideal.

A larger version of the puller in the ruckstell axle book will do the job just fine. Use a 1 3/4 OD pipe 12 inches long. Use a twisting puling action to collapse the sleeve. It should come out with ease. Inner bearings on TT are roller bearings, also there is an oil seal at that location.

Car rear axle shaft diameter specs:

Axle bearing surface 1.062

Axle bearing roller dia. 0.500

Axle gear bearing surface 1.807


Ford did not pump 600W in the differential at the factory. They used GREASE- because oil leaks out onto the brakes. Too bad, grease is not a very good lubricant for rear axle- grease tends to channel away from gear teeth leaving them dry.

Ford filled the rear axle with 600W oil. 600 W is steam cylinder oil, and is compounded to adhere to the sliding surfaces of hot, wet steam engine components. It does a decent job in the "high speed" Model T rear axle

140 GL 4 if you have brass/bronze spacers, or 600W. If you still have original babbit spacers use 600W only, do not use Gl 4 or GL 5. A good second choice is the heaviest motor oil you can find. Like SAE 60 or 70. Could also add some STP. Don't use a lube containing sulphur/phosphorus EP additives. Which is just about any lube you find at the parts house.

Standard T's cannot be fed modern EP lubricants because of babbit or bronze thrust washers. EP gear oils contain phosphorus and sulfur based additives, which are corrosive to bronze and brass. See page 26, May-June 1997 Vintage Ford for the whole story. I used Lubriplate when I rebuilt the rear axle.

The Vintage Ford article talked about Lubriplate SPO-255 (90 WT)

SPO-277 (140WT) I used the SPO-277 to fill the differential after the rebuild.

Lubriplate makes a gear oil that my supplier says is the equivalent of 600 wt. Its not the white lithium base that you might think of when someone says Lubriplate but a heavy gear oil less the ep additive. I have used it for several years with no problems.


Molly Lube

Check out the FAQ section for a simplified, but accurate description of moly's lubrication effect. The T.S. Company offers moly fortified GL-4 gear lubes that would appear fully compatible with bronze washers in the T rear axle. The moly should reduce the wear factor far beyond plain 600W oil. They accept credit card orders over the phone- and seem pleasant and helpful with tech questions. I have just ordered two types of moly grease for use in the u-joint globe. One is an NGLI 00 semi-fluid, one-gallon. If this proves too runny to keep in the joint, the engineering dept. tells me I can thicken it by admixing their NGLI #2 moly grease, which is in cartridges. Both lubricants are temperature stable and waterproof. Provided one can keep the lubricant in the globe (mine is nos and seals well), a thinner lube is generally better for such a fast moving part as a u joint.



If it is a sheared axle key you should take the hub cap off of both rears. You should do the jack up thing and turn the both sides. If it is an axle key the wheel will turn, but the axle nut will not! If it is not an axle key then the next step is to pull the rear off of the drive shaft. Try turning the pinion, if it turns and the nut doesn't then it is the pinion key. Then if both the pinion and axle turn together then it is the universal. If you still haven't found it then you have to pull the wheels and split the rear case. Terry Horlick


Front Axle

The spring perches must be installed with the lath dimple on top of the spindle positioned to the rear to be correct.

The part the spring mounts to is offset to the front, causing the axle to tilt back at the top.

The Right. hand spindle is left hand threaded.

The left hand spindle is right hand threaded.

The top of the spindle part of the axle should be about a pencil thickness farther back than the bottom spindle part of the axle. (Bottom forward) the left hand

thread spindle goes on the right side, etc. The bearings are held in the correct place by just the jam nut.

The bearings should be installed so they will try to loosen, as the car is moving forward. Be sure to check both sides. The indented lathe-centering hole on the top of the spindles should be to the rear of the car

The hole in the spindles for the steering arms are "straight" holes, no taper--BUT!!!! one side has a nice beveled end. This is the end Henry intended for the steering arm to go in, with the nut on the other side!! Yes, you can put them together backwards, but it ain't right!! BTW, if you wait and tighten that nut after the steering cross rod is installed too, you will have a better alignment of the pivots. Just don't forget to tighten it and put in the cotter pin! I might mention here too, that there are many different versions of the steering arms


Steering gear



The castor allows the car to track and not hunt when driving down the road.

More castor = straighter/harder to turn, Less castor = easy to turn/wander.

Too much TOW in, wheels wear on outside, too little TOW in, wheels wear in inside.

Spindles on the correct sides? Look for a number 274 stamped on the right and a 275 on the left one. Also, each perch has a forged-in projection or raised point on it, these should be on the back side of the axle.

If you need a bit more caster on the front axle (car steers to one side but everything else is aligned). Put the car on a flat level cement or wood floor or whatever, and use a framing square to determine if both sides have the king pins leaning back at the top the same a mount. If it pulls right, I would give the right side more caster. Any car will pull

toward the side with the least caster.

Place a big pipe wrench on the front axle near the spring perch and put a long piece pipe on it bend to change the caster. The caster should really be equal on both sides of the axle. And don't get too carried away and add too much. It makes the car harder to steer around a corner.

Using Plumb Bob method it was found that the Left spindle had a little more inclination than the Right spindle. Looking real closely at the radius rod, the left side was true as an arrow. The right side had a downward bow of about 3/16". This could be seen by eye and measured by straight edge. Because there is plenty of caster on both sides, and because the Right side radius rod is already close to rubbing on the tie rod when the steering is banked, I did not want to increase the caster on the Right side. Instead I followed Eric's for this reason, and set out to reduce the downward hook in the Left side radius rod. I have a 36" pipe wrench. I could not make a bend with it- too short. Plus, I really wanted to get the graceful hook to straighten out. I felt that if I _could_ bend the radius rod with the pipe wrench, the bend would likely concentrate just behind the spring perch. So I took a trusty Ford jack. Set the parking brake. Placed the jack under the radius rod midlength, which is where the old bend was centered. I had to lean the jack slightly to make it 90 degrees to the rod so the jack couldn't slip. Then I jacked her up. And up some more. The rod flexed upward. I unjacked and checked: the hook remained almost unchanged. So it was jacked up again, this time raising the wheel off the floor. Unjacked and checked: Needed more oomph; that steel IS good. So, up she went again, and while the wheel was dangling I applied the pipe wrench to the axle, next to the spring perch. Just a firm pull. Checking the results, I found the bend had been erased. The inclination of the two spindles was virtually identical. A test drive on our crowned roads showed a great improvement.

So I went for Eric's observation, and removed even more tilt from the Left side. Now the right side has about 1/16" more inclination than the Left. This is judged by the distance of the string from the upper spindle bushing, when the string is _just barely_ touching the lower edge of the bottom yoke. Well, it's amazing how sensitive the T is to a few degrees of spindle inclination. The car has ever so slight tendency to drift right on a crowned road- in fact I can pretty well judge how much crown is present by the drift, or lack of drift. I hope it's slightly _left_ of neutral, for the reason Eric mentioned.

The T has such _reversible_ steering. If a car has a constant, moderate pull to one side it can be an extra source of driving fatigue during a long drive. I have other things to check- like to see if the wheelbase can be measured accurately by RD's method. Obviously, the front wheels must be pointed dead ahead. I know for certain that the rear axle assembly is true and not sprung. However, some rear axle tracking error could surely result from rear spring or perch asymmetry or un-square chassis frame.

It was interesting that erasing the downward hook _decreased_ the inclination. It has to do with the attachment point of my late style radius rods- under the axle. Adjusting this type of axle for inclination is really more a matter of bending the rod down for more inclination, and up for less inclination. I don't know how it works though on early type radius rods... Another thing this adjustment cured: the radius rod ball had been tugging forward with some force on the crank case socket. This tug had worn a ridge in the ball and a sharp lip in the socket. I cleaned up the ball (not very worn), smoothed off the sharp edge of the socket, covering the socket lip with a real narrow strip of thin buckskin leather glued on with epoxy. I mounted a Zerk fitting in the crank case socket, just above the ball- a simple drill inward where the new hole met a Ford hole in the top of the socket; as if Ford had this mod in mind. The socket was packed with graphite grease. The radius rod ball still strained forward a bit. So I undid the spring clamp and hoisted the car off of the spring. With the top leave of the spring handy to work on, I cemented a narrow 1/16" strip of brass to the _forward edge_ of that top leaf. Just a strip about as long as the late style spring clamp plate is wide. Lowering the car back down on the spring (and being very sure of the tie bolt finding its hole in the crossmember), the spring clamp refitted and tightened. Result: the slight rearward inclination made my ball joint seat really nicely into the crankcase socket. This will surely stop the forward pressure that was cutting into the ball. It should also help improve the fore-aft alignment of the spring eyes to perches: the whole spring seemed a tad too far forward before when I remounted the front spring last week.

Ideally, the wishbone (radius rods) should be perfectly straight- that will be where they are strongest. You might find that one side is bent. Then it would be best to make the correction at that radius rod. If the axle itself is bent, that is were it should be made. And yes, make these bends cold. If you need just a slight correction, get out that pipe wrench and go for it! Remember that you are dealing with the finest steel available at that time and still excellent by today's standards. The car will pull toward the side with the top of the king bolt farthest toward the front of the car. (Negative caster). If your car is hard to steer, bend one side forward on the side you wish it to pull towards. (If the T pulls right, bend the left one forward at the top.) On the other hand, if the T seems too easy to steer and is a little squirrelly and darts unpredictably, bend one side toward the back. (If the T pulls right, bend the right one back at the top.) BTW, most new cars are built with a little caster lead to the left to track straight on crowned roads.

It sounds like you have a bent axle. If you have a four dip pan the ball socket may not be in the center. These bend from side to side. If the pan has been in an accident the center of the socket is most likely off center. Three dip pans are more ridged. Check the spring perches. The script should be toward the front of the car. Early perches have a radius on the back for the radius on the wishbone stud. Perches are set at 5.5 degrees of caster. Most are not any more for one reason or another. These can be fixed without too many problems.

Axles do not bend well with a steamboat wrench. The wishbone will bend before the axle will. Axles bend well in a press. You need about thirty tons to do the job well. The four holes in the axle should be in the same plane and should be parallel with each other. The factory drilled the holes in a multiple spindle drill press. Cones and rods like in the book can tell you if the axle is off. I like to use four rods through cones in each hole laid on two parallel straight edges (ground I beam on its side) to see how the holes are. I made gauges to slide over the rods to check parallel.

Most axles are not very straight. You bend and check, bend and check, bend and check on and on. The real pro people will probably screw it up. It takes time and TLC. They do not have the time. Do not use heat to bend the axle!

RD said to measure the wheelbase. This is a good suggestion. Remember the rear end can steer the car. Unequal length rear radius rods can change the wheelbase. This is call thrust angle. The centerline of the driveshaft should be perpendicular with the centerline of the axles. Frames that are not square can also be a problem.

Camber is the angle a wheel pointing straight ahead is tilted (top of wheel in comparison to bottom of wheel). Camber will not cause as much problems with tire ware as toe in or toe out. Caster is very important for the tractability of the vehicle. I use lots of caster when running a high power engine in a light car. If the caster is wrong the car will hunt and never track properly. If there is caster the wheel should turn back to a straight froward position when the steering wheel is released in a turn. I have a 51 MG TD with a 327 Chevy under the hood. I run 14 degrees of caster. The car is light and still easy to turn. It tracks very well at high speed and will straighten right out when the wheel is released. I have a 53 Chevy Truck with 12 degrees of caster, It tracks great but is difficult to turn in a tight parking spot because the engine is heavy and the truck is heavy. What happens when there is allot of caster in a vehicle?? when the wheel is turned the front of the vehicle is being lifted and therefore makes the steering hard. The only reason I run such high caster on this vehicle is because I run or ran a bias ply tire and they were terrible for tracking and with the tall tire side wall the tractability was even worse. Improper Toe in or toe out will tear up a tire faster than any of the other adjustments. it the outer wheel is being worn funny there is too much toe in. If the inner wheel is being worn funny the toe out is too much and wheel must be towed in.

I have seen the Model T axle installed backwards which will make the caster wrong. The camber can be adjusted with a jack in the center of the axle and both sides of the axle tied down and the jack raised. Toe in and Toe out is obvious how to fix. I am going to explain this any way because the sales gimmicks of lasers and latest techniques is ^*^&%& B.S. Jack the car up and spin the wheel. Using a jack stand as a rest use a screw driver and etch a line on the spinning wheel. The line must start and stop in the same spot with out any variance of the line. Do the same to the other wheel. No with the car down on the ground measure the line from the back side of the tire and measure the lines on the two tires from the front of the tire. You will want about 1/4 inch difference of the lines showing that the wheel is towed in. 1/4 is only a rule of thumb.

On a four wheel alignment the alignment is done the same, except there is a string used between the front and the rear of the car to make sure all tire etchings properly and the rear sits square with the front. Rear on some cars can be towed in or out. On some of the later ford front wheel drives I use a positive toe in on the front end because the torque of the engine will cause the tire to toe in. I will only answer this problem is asked because it does not pertain to our beloved T's. Now some of you are probably thinking, "Yeh right, what does he know". Next time you are in the pits of Indy cars or CART cars or even at Bonneville look at how they set their toe in and alignment. Next time at the drags look at how the caster is set on a dragster. It is very steep because the car is not supposed to be turned. Bill Bamber If there is any more problems on front ends give me a call I will help if I can.

Spring perches - left and right?

There is a centering spot for turning the bolt (during manufacturing) on the top side of the perch. It goes to the rear.


For what it's worth. Consider installing a cap on the top of the ball as well as on the bottom. It tightens it, except for the ball ware. It also lowers the radius rod a little, adjusting the castor forward and makes your car easier to steer. I did it on my 23 a long time ago. It's been a while since I did mine, but I think I worked a brass cap a bit so that it would "bed" in there a little tighter. I don't think you have to. You may have to install some longer studs though. If you install new studs, make sure you drill the ends for safety wire, and DON'T use cotter pins because the studs can back out. USE SAFETY WIRE running through both studs.

Wishbone mounts on the bottom. It prevents the steering from reversing on you when you hit a bump. (The castor can reverse with just the standard upper wishbone.) I have heard that the engineers kept telling Henry about that but he resisted a change until he was in an accident caused by this problem. Then the wishbone moved to the bottom of the axle. Double wishbone Top and bottom is stiffer, but the lower wishbone should be your minimum for driving a T.

Re-wire radius rod cap studs. As a suggestion, those studs are often wearing loose in their holes. This might be a good time to fix them. I like to install new studs- cemented with Loctite 272. If made 100% firm, the studs do not continue to wallow out the hard to replace ball socket. The stud holes must be thoroughly cleaned of all oil and dirt. Safety wire is a must- and you are right to use it- because cotter pins will not prevent loose studs from unscrewing themselves from the socket.

I cemented new studs into my ball socket about 4,000 miles ago/fifteen years ago with Loctite Stud 'n Bearing mount, and they are still solid. However, a newer Loctite product, "272" is available from you NAPA store. It is pricey, but far stronger than the old red Loctite. I use it for many things where I don't want to permit creepage, vibration and the resultant wear to important parts- Such as spindle bolts passing thru the yoke holes, Timken bearing cups, ring gear and so on. It often requires heat to release these super-strength thread lockers. 272 is rated at over 350 degrees F, so it is plenty good for most T applications

Steering column

If the car is going to be judged, paint the wheel and spider black. If you are going to drive and enjoy and show off your pride and joy, paint the spider black and varnish the wheel whatever color you like. My spokes on the wheels and my steering wheel are both varnished. People that are more into today's appreciation for wood grain are more impressed by "the beauty of wood".

The grey felt doughnut (LANG part #3544) of about 1.25" od and 5/8" id to use when rebuilding the steering column and gear, stuffs into the bulbous top end of the steering bracket- The steering bracket is the bronze-bushed casting bolted to the chassis frame rail at the bottom of the steering shaft. The felt is a dirt seal. Grease it well, fit it into the recess and then install the steering shaft. It is a good thing to have. Alternately, for those who like to get fancy- it is possible to set a modern grease seal into the bracket, as I did in my car- to protect the needle roller bearings custom fitted in the bracket. A Zerk fitting hidden in the grease cup greases the unit-which also keeps any and all dirt/water out. Another seal is in the bottom of my bracket. It is a donut of 1/4" thick, medium dense piano felt. The felt donut fills the gap between the steering arm and the bottom of the casting. When I grease the bracket, some grease oozes out both ends of the bracket so I know it is well lubed and sealed for a _lot_ of wet and dirty driving.


Spark and Throttle Rod repairs

Rods up to 1916 were brass plated. Then, in 1917 nickel replaced the brass on the rods and quadrant. From 1919 on the levers were zinc plated, however, the quadrant remained nickel.

Nickle, to just past where they disappear into the column. Painted black steel under the hood. Unless you have an early T, then it would be brass...

On the post 1914 models, when you take the steering column apart, take out the pins and rivets, take off the spark and gas short arms from the lower end and slide the whole thing out of the tube. Then, be very careful when you un-bend the "ears" that hold the rods in place. They are part of the bronze quadrant casting, and you will get only one chance to un-bend them and re-bend them because they will break off.

VERY CAREFULLY !!!!! Some folks have mentioned using a little heat.

I did mine cold, and survived with only a little bit breaking off.. Also, be careful when bending them BACK....

Should those tabs break, I found a quick fix for it. Use a strip of .032" brass long enough to go around the casting. Solder one end to the casting; wrap around tightly and solder the other end just past the other tab. Grind away the excess. Then apply the grease to the moving parts. This will still fit in the tube.

It's hard not to break that cast brass. If it does break kind of badly may I suggest this thought for reassembly: With clean surfaces, lightly lube the two rods. Fit them back in. As the assembly is tamped down into the steering tube, press in on either side two balls of epoxy putty admixed with flake graphite. Then tamp the rest of the way home and form the putty. When the putty is hard set it will be found that the levers rotate very fine and without slop. Go ahead and oil the joints now and keep oiled just like they always should have been oiled- but never were! Removal is no problem either- there's no real bond but if it is tight, apply a little heat and she'll come apart again.


Steering Feels Loose

Easy first inspection:

You can unscrew the nickel plated cap atop the steering gear box, lifting it off with the wheel still attached. If the cover is obstinate, cut a circle the size of the cover in a suitable scrap board. Split in half. Clamp across the cover. Squeeze and unscrew. HEAT will help release goo-ed up old cover threads too- I'd try heat first, donning rubber gloves to get a good grip on the @#$% cover. Inside are the three planet gears. They sit on pins press fitted into the top of the steering post. Very often the pins have worked loose. Loose pins require repair- You must pull the post clear out of the column. First, remove the steering arm from the bottom of the column.

PROBLEM: In an open car it is very easy to withdraw the steering post. In a coupe like mine or yours- the post cannot be removed so easily- the damned roof is in the way. Solution: remove body. Or disassemble and remove firewall... I think! What a pain. You may also the gears excessively worn- the central pinion too. In which case, try to find a better set of original 4:1 gears. I'd look for original gears not repros. The repro gears are soft machine steel poorly dimensioned. Original gears are case hardened. Often, the worst wear is on the three pins. Perhaps you can replace the pins with hardened, precision ground replacements. Point is all sources of lost motion add up to give you the total lost motion you note in your steering wheel. Clean out all the old gunky, dried grease. Mineral spirits and an old toothbrush are useful for that job. Another source of lost motion which you may not have noticed is the steering bracket bushings- even the slightest looseness there adds to the lost motion in your steering wheel. I like to pack the gear case with soft graphite grease. You can make your own graphite grease by mixing flake graphite into a soft grease- such as lithium grease. Or mix some oil into a grease along with graphite to obtain an almost runny mixture. A semi-fluid grease penetrates and keeps the three pins lubricated. Few steering boxes ever saw fresh lubricant. So they wear out. I bet many, many Model Ts are running around today with absolutely no lubricant in their gear boxes. A cup of "prevention" is less work than pulling off a coupe body to remove the steering post, any day.


Some Steering info

When the steering is operated, a twisting strain transmits from the steering gear box, through the top of the column and down into the firewall. If you have a wooden firewall like my car has, it is easy to see the firewall _flexing_ if the steering wheel is pulled one way and then the other. Flex, flex- and this same force apparently split your column. BTW, welding the hairline splits will be much stronger than brazing. I don't think brass would hold up unless heavily puddled over the surfaces. Yuck.

The other place where steering forces deflect things a lot is at the _steering bracket_. Tug the steering wheel one way and the other- notice how the left front frame rail twists in response! So there are many points of "give" in the Ford steering mechanism. The main ones are:

-the torsion bar that is called a steering post!

-the drag link

-the firewall

-the left front portion of the frame rail

-the tie rod (hollow, rolled, open seamed steel)

These are the biggies- Because of these factors, some "softness" of steering response always exists no matter if every moving joint is perfectly free of lost motion.

It is interesting to jack both front wheels off the ground, placing jack stands under the front axle. Waggle the steering wheel. Feel the inertia of the heavy front wheels as you try to reverse their direction rapidly. Notice all the flexing of various parts mentioned above. This flexing shows Ford's genius for economy: the steering is largely self-protecting and shock absorbing. It's almost impossible for a sudden blow to a road wheel to break any one part- If hammering could break a Ford steering part, it's like hammering into a pillow. Ineffective. The most common way that drag links get bent is if the steering over-centers and locks, which can happen on some of the earlier cars. My car is of the vintage where a long pin is used in the steering box to limit maximum swing of the front wheels. Not the best place to limit motion, due the large flex factor in everything below that pin. I noticed that my car's front end can never over center because the spindle arms _bank_ against the axle yoke before that critical point. So I feel safe in omitting the long pin from the gear box. It's not needed on my car, did not "do anything", except limit travel and turning radius on one side of steering wheel bank

Shimmy solution

I use a compact, VW damper with home made mountings- the rubber bushed end pivots from the front axle. The plunger end is pivoting near the tie rod end of the R spindle arm. The brackets are worth the price in terms of time saved. I like mine because they are minimal in size, easy to mount or remove. I DID elect to drill for a pair of 1/4" screws thru the I beam axle. U bolts would've worked too but kind of clunky and. These two small holes can be filled by the next owner and thus erased from view. I don't think they compromise axle strength.

The axle bracket was made sandwich style: An iron strap, a block of rock maple, and iron strap. The two straps are longer than the wood block. A 3/8" hole drilled thru the to metal ears, and the damper donut captured in between. When the bolt is tightened the donut bushing is locked solid to the bracket. The 1/4" FH screws go thru the front of the I beam, thru the maple wood, and thru a cap piece of strap iron. Nutted on that side. The bracket is bedded in epoxy to to "polygrip" it to the axle- this makes a true form fit. It is very solid. The spindle arm piece is made from an oblong block of mild steel, slotted to slip over the spindle arm. The in-side has a hole bored to accept a Rulon self-lubricating bushing. The damper plunger arm is crooked, and fits thru the Rulon bushing. The other end of the block (the slotted side) is secured to the spindle arm with a pair of #12 RH screws that run right thru the slot arms, and capture the block to the arm. The block is made immobile by filling the slot cavity with epoxy paste, and filing off the excess. Painted black, the block blends in quite well. You might think that epoxy is not up to such a job, but it is- I fitted these brackets 15 years ago, and they stay put. To remove, use a heat gun and pick out the epoxy as it softens. Very easy. To remove the axle bracket, just unbolt the two screws and give it a sidelong smack with a mallet. Off it pops.

After persevering for almost a year I have finally solved my front end shimmy problem. It was so bad that at low speed the car would almost shake itself to pieces. Over about 15 kmph (8 mph) it disappeared completely. I sought advice from various quarters but nothing helped. I discovered that there was about 1.5 mm ( 1/16 ")end float in the steering column and that it moved up an down quite freely. Due to the slight angle from the steering arm to the wheel I believe that a slight wheel wobble induced a synchronized vertical oscillation in the steering column which became self energizing.

After I placed a shim in the steering box to eliminate the end float the shimmy completely disappeared. Greg Angelo

Tie rod Modification/replacement

Swap out the jiggly, hollow Ford tie rod and drop in Mark Golding's solid steel tie rod with Ford endings. Oh man- a wonderful improvement! I bought this rod six months ago but never bothered to install it until now. I had no idea what I was missing. Highly recommended upgrade for those who like steadier steering. With two hundred miles driving in three days I can say the fatigue factor is less than ever before thanks to this rod. My car feels bone solid whether going 20 or 50. There is much less vibration feeding into the steering wheel than with the cheesy stock tie rod.

Steering Yoke overhaul

If you have never taken the king pins out , you must unscrew the nut at the bottom then unscrew the king pin from the axle , if the king pin just pulls out your axle needs to be fixed also , the thread and the hole in the top of the axle have a lot to do with how your car will handle.

New spindle bolts are machined to exactly .500 inches in diameter. Ford factory specifications called for the spindle bushings to be reamed with a .003 inch clearance, or to .503 inches. New reamers generally are not available in that size. The original reamer will open the bushing up to the correct size. Reamer was made by Alvord-Polk Tool company. It is marked 2713-14. The upper, larger diameter cutter near the top of the reamer is for the tie rod bolt bushings.

Spindle Bushing Replacement: I forget how lucky I am that my axle yokes are in perfect condition. If axle yokes are damaged, as Mark and David describe, then better send your axle to Mark for remedial repairs. But, my yokes are A-1. The thrust surface (bottom side of upper yoke) is smooth as glass and true- no wear. Maybe I hand-lapped it fifteen years ago; I do not recall now. Yes, slight wear ridges can dressed off, being very careful to maintain the face perpendicular to the bolt line and parallel to the upper face of the lower yoke. It can be done by hand using a lot of care. Ideally, the finish should be as smooth as a crank journal, for that small area supports the weight of the car via the top of the bronze bushing. If the steel is rough chewed, it will bed down into the mating surface of the bushing, if not chew and keep chewing. My old bushings- about 4k miles on them had no problem with the thrust surfaces. Only a few thousandths of wear and the steel is still perfect. Presuming that all is well with an axle: smooth yoke, intact threads, remove the old bushings from the spindle body. For a precision job it probably pays to obtain new, hardened and ground spindle bolts- get them if the old bolts are the least bit rough or imperfectly round. Only ground bolts are likely to be round and uniform along the whole length. I even like to polish the spindle bolts with tripoli on a buffing wheel. Smooth, smooth, smooth. The new bushings-not yet mounted, should be a very nice slip fit on the spindle bolt- with room only for the oil film.

Traditional mounting: The bushing, oversized on its OD, gets squished to a smaller ID, or out of shape, or both, when the bushing is force fitted into the spindle body. The bolt no longer fits through- it jams because the bushings are tight and mis-aligned. Line reaming corrects the fit. It is done with special, long reamer such as the one Mark owns. The reamer makes a straight, round hole through the two bushings. The hole is slightly larger than the bolt diameter. Factory clearance spec is .003", which seems wide. But with rolled-steel bolts such a clearance may be necessary just to get the bolt through.

My method: The new bushings, yet unmounted fit the new bolt just so nice. A shame to lose that, especially if no reamer is handy (anyway, it must be an a line-ream job)- I turn down the OD of the unmounted bushing by about .005", or until it is a very easy slip fit into the spindle body. The bushing is so loose that it may even rock a slight amount. Next step is to measure the difference in space between the yokes and match that to the spindle arm with bushings slipped in place. The new bushings thrust collar is thicker than the old so one or both bushings must be faced down on the lathe. I prefer to leave the upper one alone, and do all the facing down on the lower bushing. That way any slight deviation from squareness in the cut does no harm- the unmolested upper bushing has it's collar exactly square with its bore. Having faced down the lower bushing to where the spindle body will just slip into the yoke, it is time to secure the bushings into the body. With the parts scrupulously clean of oil, butter some Loctite 272 or similar anaerobic stud mount onto the upper bushing OD and the underside of the thrust surface. Slip the bushing, with the bolt inside the bushing, into the spindle arm and get it seated with a light twist. Immediately, slip the lower bushing DRY into its hole. Rotate the bolt by hand. If there is any binding, rotate either or both bushings to where any slight binding is minimized. If your OD cut was true and adequate, there will be no binding. But if there is a touch of tightness, when the lower bushing (still unsecured) is rotated to its best spot, mark that position with a Sharpie pen for the next step. Withdraw the lower bushing, butter bushing and hole with a film of 272 Loctite (Napa) and reinsert the bushing with a light twist, orienting again to your Sharpie mark. Let the cement set up for a half-hour. I heat the spindle until it is just hot to the touch. Heat cures the Loctite much faster-in minutes. Withdraw the bolt. Try the spindle body in the yoke again. Perfect fit there.

Now, test the bolt for fit in the Yoke, without the body. The upper yoke has a smooth hole which should be a perfect, no-shake fit on the bolt. But it will be loose to some extent. If the loosenes is really a hugely wallowed hole, send your axle to the machine shop. If the looseness is on the order of .010, make a shim collar out of shim stock. It need not be tight. The last remaining looseness will be taken care of another way: Loctite again. See that the oil hole communicates with the bushing junction, and not just way up in the yoke area where the oil would be trapped. If this is a problem, grind a shallow lengthwise slot in the bolt from the oil hole down to the bushing area. Install the spindle body and carefully, carefully run in the bolt. Your parts are all still very clean and dry- no oil. So take care not to snag the bolt threads on one of the bushings. Light tapping helps line things up. Screw in the bolt by fingers if at all possible.

Important part: As the bolt gets close to home, while the head is still about 3/8" or 1/4" from seating, take your super Loctite and squirt a couple drops on the exposed shank below the bolt head. Continue screwing in the bolt. Then immediately screw it back out a few turns to be sure of distributing the viscous Loctite into that loose junction of bolt and yoke. And run the bolt right on down. NOT tight. Just seat the head. The spindle body should rotate with only minor drag at this point.

What happens here, is the Loctite soon hardens and makes the bolt absolutely immobile. Not only is this good for the goal, but it prevents any possibility of further axle yoke wear. The joint is sealed from water and movement 100%. Now, treat the bottom of the spindle bolt- the threaded end. This is different so use a different kind of Loctite- the "wicking" green colored grade. First, though, fit the castle nut in place. Turn it down to where it beds. Turning tighter yet will actually pull the yoke closed a tiny bit, enough to bind the spindle body. Don't bind it hardly at all. If the castellation won't line up with the "right" adjustment, reface the nut until it does. Take off the castle nut for the next step. Castle nut is OFF at this time. Apply wicking Loctite (or equivalent brand) to the bottom of the yoke so the stuff sucks up into the threaded end of the bolt. Wipe off the excess. Let it set up (heat speeds the cure) NOW run your castel nut back down, to the castellation you chose earlier. Cotter the nut, and apply another liberal dose of green Loctite to the nut- both the threads and to the _base of the nut_ at the yoke. These anaerobic sealant cure very hard, and very permanent. In this job we have used them to lock parts which are under a great deal of stress and hammering vibration. Now it is OK to add oil. Because the joint is new and tight, apply a dose of penetrating oil first. Let it seep in and work the joint until some oil begins to seep out the lower bushing. Now fill either with your favorite oil- or use the grease fitting mod that Ted described last week. The finished job will be better than factory new. And probably longer lasting too. The joint is absolutely firm, yet after the first drive will be absolutely free. Good spindle joints go a long way: Make the steering feel better and safer and true up the camber, provided the axle is not bent or the original hole position "lost" to horrible wear. My steering has never been better. Yet the other day I made another repair, and it's better yet! I'll tell about this in another posting. Reid

I use a VW steering damper- mounted from front axle to R spindle arm. I like it a lot- have run thousands of miles with it. When I take it off (for reference to stock steering) I get a sense of less security- but I must admit that stock steering when perfect feels pretty secure. With the damper I have no qualms about driving at any speed over any surface. It gives the certainty that nothing is going to jerk the wheel out of my grip. Another accessory- easily added is the old time "Steady steerer" for the T. It's a felt-lined pair of semi-circular nickel plated iron castings. They clamp around the smooth Ford steering gear case. Their two jaw extensions come up through to grip two spokes of the spider. A pair of wing nuts sets the tension of the greased felt pads from nil to "autopilot". No mods to install this device- and the drag it affords takes all jitter out of the steering wheel. Add this to a steering column brace and your Ford steering feels like a modern car. The Steady Steerer is one of those old accessories that's still floating around in NOS form. I've seen several go for sale on eBay. I bought mine there for only $27. And it's just so cool looking, even if it were worthless it's still a great looking little device. Sometimes I slack it off completely. Other times- like during long, straight runs I adjust it very firm and can drive with one hand casually on the wheel. Or no hands at all!

Reidís Ford Steering control

Written all over the box sides and top:

PAT'D Oct. 28, 1919

Ford Steering Control

Eagle Mfg. Co. Stanberry, MO.

With this steering appliance you can absolutely derive the same pleasure and safety in driving a Ford as you experience in the highest priced cars. [diagram on the box illustrates the interlocking of two half-rings on the Ford steering gear box. Two jaws extend upward from the rings, grasping two spokes of the steering wheel spider. A pair of bolts with wing nuts afford adjustment to the clamping pressure]

We have a great number of testimonials as to the merit of the Ford Steering Control. One of our patrons writes: "I would not part with my Ford steering control purchased from your agent, for $25 if I could not obtain another just like it."

Another: "I am driving my Ford with one of your Steering Controls. I want to say to you that I just finished an all day drive, and the difference in driving the car with one of these devices is beyond description. I would not make one day's drive without same for the $3.00 this device cost me." A traveling salesman writes us as follows: "My company wrote me to make a test of how much gasoline I was using per

mile as a comparison basis for other salesmen. I made a trip of 65 miles and back as test and knew just how much gasoline I used. Next day your agent asked me to test same with one of your Ford Steering Controls. I bought one and made this same trip next day and used 1 1/2 gals. gasoline less. The car simply travels in a straighter line. It is remarkable what this device really deoes, and with what wonderful ease you can drive a Ford car."

-How to attach Ford Steering Control-

Remove thumb nuts and bolts. Take 1/2 section in each hand, clamping oval shaped part containing the "WOOL FELT CUSHION BEARING" around the bell shaped gear box just below the steering wheel. The claws of the upper part will fasten on each side of a spoke of the steering wheel. Insert bolts, tightening thumb nut to reasonable tension. The Rule of Tension: when you cannot push either of the front wheels without making an extra effortwith hand one way or the other, your tension is OK. Coat surface of the fasce of felt cushion with graphite grease or graphite hard oil once every ninety days, to keep the operationg of the Ford Steering Control perfect. You will find it does not require the thumb nut very tight in order to obtain the proper tension. In case of rough driving, tighten just a little.


There must be a goodly number of these steering controls floating around. That seems to be the case with several other period accessories. Luckily the Ford Steering Control is made of cast iron or steel. No defect in its construction that I can see. It works very well, looks very machine-age with its bright, nickel curves encompassing the Ford's nickel steering gear case. The wingnuts are nicely cast and proportioned for easy adjustment.


Front Wheel Seal

Modern grease (dust) seal for the front wheels. Lang's has this on the box company TCM, part number #1682713SL replaces 16854

Tapered Roller Wheel Bearings

The number on them was Timken 14120 for the T205B.

I have found buying the bearings from vendors is cheaper than from a bearing house. check the price before you buy. Lang's always beats my bearing suppliers prices. Mark


NEVER (in regards to hot wiring)

Never connect any voltage of any kind the magneto post on the hogshead. If you do you will surely demagnetize the internal magnets. If you want to supply voltage to the coils to run the car on battery remove the wire from the hogshead magneto post and apply 6 volts from a car battery (or charger if you like) to the wire which goes to the coilbox, but NEVER apply voltage to the magneto terminal. Coilman

When Fred Allison designed and patented (assigned to Henry Ford) the FA starting and lighting system for the Model T he followed Ford practice to make as many parts common as possible to facilitate the manufacturing process. The pole shoes and their screws and the large brush holders connected to the brushplate are common to both the starter and generator.

The front plate and brushplate cap screws are common. The case is common except for the two screws holes added for the generator cutout mounting. The brush cap is the same stamping except a hole is added and tapped for the generator oiler. All other generator and starter parts are unique to each unit. Coilman



You buy an Anderson to have a car that runs all the time reliably without all of the missing, shorting, bucking and going dead you get from other timers. You get a timer which runs all the time reliably. If you put oil into it, it does it's best to imitate those other timers. In other words it shorts out and gives you fits... try it! The nice thing is that as soon as you clean out the gunk it will run right again. Don't you wish you could say that about the other timers?

I never use a measurement on the timer because of the slight differences found in timer covers and rod configurations. I bend the control rod to where the #1 coil buzzes when the #1 piston is at top dead center on the on the compression stroke, with the control lever all the way up. The way your T appears to start and run well at anything above idle leads me to believe it may not be the timer, but the carb. The idle adjusting screw may need to be tweaked a bit or the float adjusted slightly to raise or lower the fuel level in the bowl. Also check to see if you might not be pulling in extra air through a small leak in an intake manifold gasket or the connection between the carb. and intake manifold, causing a lean mixture at idle.

The measurement for timers will vary a little. The New Day timer is, okay if you replace the brass brush with a carbon brush. It will wear better that a Tiger timer with the roller. However, I am really sold on the Anderson type of timer for real touring.

Bill, I'd forget the instructions and the measuring, especially the part about the lever being at the "normal" driving position. At 30 mph my Coupe drives best with the lever only half way down, the Touring ALL the way what is normal? Get your number 1 piston at TDC on compression stroke, lever all the way retarded...then turn the cover on the timer clockwise until the #1 coil buzzes...bend the rod to fit here. If this is all done everything is all set for the spark to go at tdc on every cylinder with the lever all the way retarded. I like this method cause there is no guessing...Michael

I removed #1 plug, brought # 1 piston up on compression, & stopped just as the piston started to move down. At this point, the spark lever was full up, & adjusted rod to fit timer. No kickback on starts. I too replaced a fiber gear with an original Ford steel gear. Visited a T friend last Saturday...Horror Story.., He started engine as usual (reg. Tiger timer used for many miles) , heard some noise, & engine quit. Fiber gear stripped 1/3 section of teeth, inside oil tube blocked, & broken crank between 1 & 2 throws.... On '24 Runabout with starter.

Bruce, cleaning the timer is a piece of cake. Do apply lots of fresh, light oil at frequent intervals to a roller type timer.

Removing the timer cover does not upset any adjustments. However, when changing the timer or brush- or just to "see what's what", it is wise to check the timing. It is very easy.

Firstly- earlier camshafts are drilled clear through for the timer brush-locating pin. So if that's the case in your car (unlikely) pay attention to which side the headed pin is inserted or your timing would become 180 off and won't run.

A good OLD New Day, not the new black ones, (they are junk. If you've bought one of those send it back and get your money back if you still can.) should run at anything less than 2000 rpm without problems. A hint for your New Day. Slightly round the edges of the brush before you put it on. Then either buff it smooth or sand the rounded corner and the face with 1200 grit sandpaper. The contact area of the timer is copper, the insulation is Bakelite, both are softer than the brush and will wear faster. Rounding the edge of the brush helps keep that from happening and making a rough spot for the brush to bounce on.

Remember that at 1000 rpm the brush is making 2000 contacts a minute. That is about 30 mph. (I'll do the math again. 1000 rpm is crankshaft speed. The cam, which the timer brush is mounted on, turns half of engine speed, 500 revolutions per minute. The brush makes 4 contact for every revolution or 2000 contacts per minute.)

Timer adjustment

How to adjust a timer: Remove the front most spark plug. Put your thumb over the hole. Hand crank engine over until you feel definite air pressure escaping around your thumb. This is the compression stroke! Now, remove thumb and peer into the spark plug hole with a penlight. If you cannot see the piston head coming up this way, you can use a feeler instead like a screwdriver. Go ahead and slowly pull the crank until the piston is at its highest point and just starting to go down. That's "TDC" or top dead center. This is where the spark should occur when the spark lever is fully up/retarded. Now, fasten the plug wire to the number one plug, which you removed and lay the plug on the block so you can see it spark. Turn on the switch to "battery", presuming you have a battery. A coil should buzz and the spark plug display a continuous sparking. IF there's no spark, move the spark lever down a bit. Does it spark now? OK, then make the pull rod a bit "shorter" by bending it at the curve near the timer case. If on the other hand the spark lever does not move the timer case sufficiently counter clockwise (viewed from the front of engine), make the wire longer.

All that happens here is the timer should connect the #1 coil primary to ground when the piston is at TDC or a tad past TDC. This makes for safer cranking and still leaves tons of room for spark advance.

Hope this helps- it's really simple when you visualize what the timer does: simply switch the coils on and off in turn. Simpler than a distributor, even. Just needs more upkeep. Wipe and oil the roller type timer regularly. Reid

Repeated instruction: On the upstroke as you feel that compression with your thumb you are "BTDC"- before top dead center. Near and AT TDC there is little relative motion of the piston. Find your TDC by sight and with your spark lever UP, make the coil buzz, as you did, by bending the wire. You pull your spark lever DOWN all the way- and adjust the timer pull rod to make buzz when the piston is 3/8 BTDC. This gives something like 40 or 50 degrees maximum advance for high speed running- and is about right for T's and their slow flame speed. A good method I think, because once you're underway you basically just yank down the spark lever and don't worry about it again until a hill appears. Reid

Turn the engine slowly with the crank, when the piston is AFTER top, go till it is 5/16 inch down. After Top Dead Center! Next with the timer retarded a bunch, turn on the key and advance the timer until the points buzz, or your test light comes on, and bend the timer rod and connect it. The timing is to be set slightly after TDC so that when you crank start it, it can not kick back, providing it's set right and the lever is all the way up. After setting it once, recheck to make sure that it is a little after TDC. Cars with starters and a distributor is used can be set at TDC, but when you hand crank, you better give it a serious pull on the crank. If you set your timer initially Before TDC, you will be over advancing when you pull the lever down. Aaron G.


Rhode Island Wiring Services, Inc. P.O. Box 434 West Kingston, RI 02892

[401] 789-1955 [401] 783-0091-FAX They have 4 catalogues. Ask for the "SUPPLIES" catalogue. In it you will find 8, 10, 12, 14, 16, and 18 gauge cloth covered wiring in approximately 100 colors and cross hatch patterns per gauge. They also will have all sorts of vintage "wire ends" etc. Alex J.

Gen /Magneto/ Battery /Tail Light/ Rt. Head /Left Head Lamp that's the way my '26 Runabout is connected....looking at the wiring block mounted on the firewall

Term # 1 Generator - yellow with black tracer

Term # 2 Magneto - Red

Term # 3 Battery Ė Yellow (straight to the Ammeter)

Term # 4 Tail light - black

Term # 5 Head lights High beam - (both lights) black with red tracer

Term # 6 Head lights Low beam - (both lights) black with green tracer

If you hook up a stop light, power could be tapped from # 3 Term.

Horn wire gets power from # 3 battery terminal - for battery horn only ,magneto horn gets power from mag terminal


Ammeter wired in backwards?

The faster the RPM's the more the ammeter registers a discharge. To find out then shut off car and turn on only the lights. The ammeter should show a discharge. If no reading at all then check wiring since you have headlights wired to wrong side of ammeter which is likely if ammeter is wired in backwards too. If turning on headlights shows a charge then simply reverse all wires on ammeter. Heavy yellow wire only should go to one side of ammeter and this wire should be traced to positive post of battery. If it goes to yel/black wire to cutout (or alternator if you are running that setup) then you have it backwards.

Coil Box

Location of coil box , It is located on the left side of the motor head mounted on the 2nd and 4th head bolts


Coil tester

Hello Gary, Thanks for the reply. I followed a home-made schematic from a gentleman that had built & demonstrated his tester to me. He replaced & adjusted the gap on my points, & then put them in his tester & adjusted the amps. They buzzed & adjusted very well. He went back to where he lives & sent me the schematic. It is very possible that the schematic had an error on it. I have checked my wiring several times & have followed the schematic exactly. The coils have not had the capacitor replaced, at least to my knowledge. But as I mentioned before, the coils perform very well in my 1922 Roadster. The points are gapped at .030" & there is a very small gap under the bridge at the upper floating point. I know that is supposed to be .005", but I don't have a gauge that small yet. But, like I mentioned, they buzzed real well on his tester. I don't have a website, so I can't post a copy of the schematic to show you, but I sure can scan it & e-mail it to you so that you can check it for errors. Just send me your e-mail address & I will be glad to do so. I have not had the chance to look at anyone elseís schematics, so there is probably several ways of doing the wiring. Thanks for any help that you can offer. My e-mail address is:

I just recently built a coil tester & I have a question. The tester works just fine except the coil points don't buzz. They just emit a very small spark once in a while. The tester is one that you plug into 120 volts a.c. running through an a.c. transformer that reduces the voltage at the center tap down to 6.3 volts a.c. The transformer is also rated at 6 amps. I get an excellent spark across the 3/8" gap at the nails, simulating a spark plug. The points on all my coils are new & adjusted, & the coils perform well in my Model-T. The amp readings on all coils are very stable at 1.3 to

1.5 amps. I am suspecting that the transformer I am using is incorrect. I have even tapped on the bridge of the points with the back of my screwdriver to make the points buzz, but no luck. Does anyone have any suggestions, except using a hand-crank tester? I would greatly appreciate any help. Michael Pittman


Coil Info

The fact the coils buzz only means the primary winding is good, the points are making contact and the vibrator spring is moving. The most prevalent failure of the Model T coil is an open secondary winding which usually cannot be repaired. The coil may buzz, but if the secondary winding is open you will not get any spark. Most coils faults are repairable during rebuild with the exception of the open secondary winding. To check the secondary winding use a volt/ohmmeter on the X100 Ohm range and check across the two terminals on the long narrow side of the coil. It should read 3250 Ohms plus/minus 20%. If open and the wooden box is nice you have a good paper weight. If not open there is a very good chance that it is rebuildable. There are some other catastrophic faults in coils but they are very uncommon. As Ken indicated the point adjustment is the critical element after replacing the capacitor and that requires a hand cranked coil tester to properly set the points. Good luck Ron the Coilman

What you need is a film/foil rolled polyester or polypropylene dielectric capacitor.

The metallized film capacitors are most common today- they work OK in most applications. But not coils. The sole advantages of metallized film construction are cheapness and compactness. The reason they are more compact is because the film (dielectric) is plated with vacuum deposited aluminum on one side. It is microscopically thin. It's current resistance is somewhat higher than the old-style film and FOIL construction. Foil is much thicker, handles more current.

When voltage spikes exceed the film's dielectric strength the film will puncture at that point. With metallized caps the burn thought destroys a tiny bit of capacitance with each punch. Eventually, the capacitance will decrease and the cap may even become leaky.

Punch through is why you need a 600V cap. The reactive voltages seem by the cap are very high in Ford coil service. Current handling is why you want a foil cap. Film and foil- bulky, but better than even the original Ford capacitor by far- it's paper becomes leaky with use. On that count alone the modern cap should last about forever, mainly because it has no perishable paper inside. Paper _always_ becomes leaky with time. All original

Ford capacitors have either become leaky because of that paper dielectric. Or, at the very best, a NOS coil cap will begin getting leaky soon after being placed in service. They also have a tendency to short out if the paper gets punctured by high voltage. The carbon track that forms creates a leakage path. That, and "hydrolysis" are the most common failure mod in paper caps. The other failure mod is an "open".

Coil Tips

From the readings you obtained (I assume you are using an analog ac voltmeter?) it sounds like your magneto is ok, but just to make sure check the output power using John Regan's simple light bulb magneto output test.

The coil internal capacitor check using an analog ohmmeter should be done using the X10K scale not the X1K scale. You will see a kick of the meter needle as the capacitor charges and it will settle down to infinity. If leaky is will show indicate

lower resistance. Reverse the meter probes and retry and it will act the same.

I have a question. Do your black plastic coils have yellow stickers on the cases marking the three terminals? If so you better start looking for some new coils. Every one of these coils I have ever seen doesnít work reliably on magneto. I don't know why? There are black plastic coils without with yellow stickers, which can be made to work fine. In either case you will find the black plastic coils will have .1 Microfarad capacitors in them unless they have been replaced. The .1 Mictofarad capacitors inside these coils are usually good. Coils will work with .1 Microfarad capacitor, but the points won't last as long. I always replace these with the proper value .47 Microfarad caps. My guess is the poor running on magneto is because the coil points need to be properly adjusted. That is a bit tricky. In 1997 I posted a Forum message on this subject. I have had several calls for it so will add it below again.

Model T Ford Ignition coil Points Date: 24 Oct 1997 Comments

Lets discuss the coil points that are available new today and cost about $5 a set. Iíll bet you thought you just mount the points and they will work fine, right? Wrong! There are several problems that need to be addressed before you can effectively use them. 1.) Before doing anything clean both parts of the set by rinsing them thoroughly in new lacquer thinner in a small jar with a lid. Carefully shake the jar to make sure the thinner flows through the space under the cushioning spring on the upper point. The problem is that these points are made with dies in stamping machines and those dies require lubricant to work properly. Apparently the manufacturer is not removing all traces of lubricant. Many times you will find this lubricant under the cushion spring. Try to imagine the surface tension effect of this lubricant on cushion spring operation? 2.) Inspect the space under the cushion spring for any metal filings or flashing from the stamping process. If present carefully remove it so as not to damage the cushion spring. 3.) Check the rivet for being cocked and not allowing the cushion spring to move freely. This can sometimes be corrected by lightly tapping the rivet with a small hammer. 4.) Adjust the rivet to limit the total cushion spring movement to about 10 to 20 thousandths. This requires a special home made tool which is a two part die welded into a pair of vice grip ® jaws which also has a nut added to the adjustment screw that lock the grip distance. These dies have holes in them to clear the contact and can move the rivet back and forth depending upon which way you place the part into them. You have to be careful not to move the rivet too many times or it becomes loose and the part becomes unusable. 5.) Tension the cushion spring. The cushion spring needs to be resting on the rivet head with a small amount (just enough to hold it there) of tension and can be pushed back the distance with a very small amount of pressure. To add tension you can roll a nut driver transversely across the cushion spring at the point where there is a small hole near the two small rivets that mount the cushion spring. Go easily with the nut driver and add a little tension each time. Too much tension and you will render it unsalvageable. You can easily add tension but taking it out is very difficult. 6.) Inspect both parts carefully to make sure the contact is properly spot welded. Sometimes they are missing, cocked or loose. You rarely see a failed spot weld on the upper part, usually only the lower. Sometimes you see cocked contacts on both parts. Sometimes you can correct a cocked contact with a light (very lightly, the contact is hard and brittle and fractures easily) tap of a small hammer on the contact with the part on an anvil. 7.) Inspect the mechanical connection on the lower part between the blade and the foot. Hold each piece in one hand and check for a loose joint. If any movement can be detected place the lower part over a square punch handle on an anvil and carefully brad over the stamping on the top of this joint with a small hammer. Now, the points are ready to mount, but first the top of the coil must be prepared to accept the points. Check the coil top for indentations around the bolts and shim as required. Make sure the coil winding iron core has not shifted. Use another coil as a sample to check the proper height of the core. Usually a light tap with a small hammer will push them back into the winding to the proper height. By the way, I did not originally find and develop the solutions to all of these problems. I have learned many of these techniques from others that went before me and the credit rightfully theirs.

To Test Secondary Winding:

Set volt/ohm scale to "x100" and zero meter

Touch the leads to the terminals on the front of the coil (between the two terminals on the long narrow side)

Reading should be 3,250 ohms +/- 10-20%

No reading would indicate an "open" circuit

To Test Primary Winding:

Set volt/ohm scale to "x1" and zero meter

Touch one lead to the terminal on the bottom of the coil and

the other lead to one of the screws that hold the top point on

(one screw will be dead if the points are removed)

Reading should be about 1/2 ohm

No reading would indicate an "open" circuit

To Test Wire from the Point to the Terminal:

Set volt/ohm scale to "x1" and zero meter

Touch one lead to the top terminal on the front of the coil and

the other lead to one of the screws that hold the bottom point on

(one screw will be dead if the points are removed)

No reading would indicate an "open" circuit

To Test the Capacitor:

Set volt/ohm scale to "x10,000" and zero meter

If there are points on the coil insulate the point contacts from each other.

Touch one lead to the top terminal on the long narrow side of the coil and

the other lead to the terminal on the bottom of the coil

If the capacitor is ok the meter needle will jump quickly toward zero ohms as the capacitor charges and then settle back to infinity. If the meter continues to read any dc resistance after the kick the capacitor is leaky by the amount of the reading.

If there is no needle jump the capacitor is "open" circuit.

Reverse the meter probes and the jump sequence will occur again

If the reading does not go to infinity, the capacitor is bad

Assuming that you are going to replace a capacitor, the coil only needs to pass the first three tests. We really had a hard time finding a volt/ohm meter that had a 10,000 ohm scale. The only thing we found was an old Simpson. But what the heck, the if it is an original condenser, it is probably bad anyway. Also, it says in the video to put a piece of plastic (to electrically insulate) between the points while performing the test or remove the points from the coil. Original coil capacitors with few exceptions are always leaky of open. This test does not check the uFarad value of the capacitor. That has to be done with a capacitance checker. It is possible the capacitor has been replaced with the wrong type/value.

Ron Patterson-Coilman

For rebuilt field coils, contact Wally Szumowski at 773-586-4485 (Ron the Coilman)


Coil Box

If your coilbox wood is wet (soaked) then it is not finished properly. I had problems years ago like you describe. The wood was sealed with "marine spar varnish" and the problems ended. Take the coilbox apart and remove everything from the wood. Strip it of whatever finish there is (if any). Let the wood dry thoroughly (you may be better off with new wood). The first coat of varnish is thinned about 25% with paint thinner. Be sure you get it down in the screw holes for the insulators. Let it dry a few days then follow with a second coat full strength. This stuff is not fast drying but will last for years. Don't use Varethane, polyurethane, urethane...etc. The local Lowe's has marine spar varnish in our neighborhood. Verne Shirk,

I solved my problem by putting a bead of black silicone in the crack between the firewall and cowling. Make sure you fire wall has a good paint job so that it does not absorb so much moisture. I have been in some gully washing rainstorms and never had a misfire. If you plan to leave the car out overnight and know that it will rain, either take your coils out or cover the car. One thing that will happen to all T's in sitting up all night in the rain is the spark plug

holes are directly below the hinge in the hood and water will collect in them and might cause the engine to misfire if not wicked out and mopped clean. Ken Swan


Ohms law. If the voltage increases the amperage decreases. 1-1/2 amps for six volts and 3/4 amp for 12 volts. BUT if your compression ratio is four to one and you use a .032 spark plug gap, you should test in open air with a spark plug gapped to .128 in order to check performance. There is a difference between running on a set voltage from a battery and running on a mag. which increases voltage with the speed of the engine. Voltage can be 25 or even 27 at high speed with a good mag. A.C. or D.C. does not matter on Ford coils.

If you set your coils on 6 volts and 1 1/2 amps, you can run them on 12 volts (13.4) and they will just draw the proper amperage and run just fine.

There is no change in settings. When on magneto, the coils operate from around 5v ac at idle to around 25v ac at cruising speed. They will just perform better at 12v dc than at 6v dc.

Are you planning to run the car on a 12-volt battery or is it that your buzz box coil tester is set up to use 12 volts? The buzz box coil tester will give you only a rough coil point adjustment, but it will not allow you to properly set the cushion spring balance with the vibrator blade because you cannot see the time space relationship of the spark output. The cushion spring balance adjustment allows the coil to output sixteen individual sparks one at each positive and negative peak of the magneto output. The hand cranked coil tester allows you to see the time space relationship at the spark ring and facilitate the cushion spring adjustment whereas a buzz box will not. If at all possible after you have replaced the capacitors in your coils, which I can assure you are bad if they have not been changed, you should find someone near you who has a hand cranked coil tester to fine tune your coils.


Voltage Regulator

Looks the same but really acts as a voltage regulator. You won't have to worry about overcharging and losing electrolyte from the battery. Instead it charges at a high rate when you need it and a trickle charge when the battery is charged. Only disadvantage is you can't polarize the generator with the regulator in the circuit

(that would damage the voltage regulator). And no, I don't own stock in the company making it.

Try the manufacture@ Ron Patterson recommended his product. The voltage regulator works great just like the coilman's rebuilt generator.


12 Vs 6 Volt

Some problems when using the Model T Generator and starter with a 12 volt battery. The Model T generator is capability of about 100 watts. Because the charging rate for a 12 volt battery is about 14 volts you should try to keep the maximum generator charging rate lower than 7-8 amps to save your generator. Otherwise it will simply destroy itself by running at higher rates of charge for extended periods. You may also want to consider using a voltage regulator instead of a cutout. This device shuts down the generator after the battery is fully charged. When using 12 volts on a Model T starter the increased torque slams the bendix drive gear into the ring gear with such a force that it will ultimately chew it up pretty badly and possibly bend the armature shaft. I am of the opinion converting the Model T to 12 volts has a too high a downside risk associated with it. The Model T 6 volt charging and lighting system and coil ignition system works fine when in good condition although it is sometimes hard to get it to that point. Ron Patterson-Coilman

I have three T's running on 12 volts and there is no problem. You must obtain a 12 volt generator (SEE BELOW TEXT) off of a 1956 or later car and modify it to fit the T mounting. These are available in the Vintage Ford magazine. A proper voltage regulator rated for the generator is also required. Go have fun as I do or crank the car and use kerosene for lights or get home before dark. Just hit the starter and the engine will be running before you can get your finger off of the button.

Not required to get a 12 volt generator. The stock T generator will do just fine. No need to use a voltage regulator either, but it may overcharge if you drive a lot of long trips. Generators do not charge "Voltage". The battery will help decide the voltage. I have had trouble with the T generator charging a little too much when using a 12 volt battery. One way to solve that problem is to ground the generator wire where it connects to the cutout after driving long enough to charge the battery up some. Or like on long tours. Caution: only do it on the wire that comes out of the generator itself. The T generator is made well and it fits without modification, so use it, and keep you T a little more "T".

I've used them with 6 volt, 8 volt and 12 volt. Only difference I see is that 8 volts with 6 volt cable makes them turn faster and longer, but 12 volts only has 1/2 the cranking amps as a good 6 volt battery, so with cheap 12 volt cables it really doesn't turn over with that much more gusto. If the mag works I'd stick with 6 volts. A new Interstate 6 volt battery and the shortest/best 6 volt cables fron NAPA or the like will amaze you. And the horn will sound good!

I have been running a 12 volt conversion for several years. At first I used the original generator with no problems. I am now using a modern 12 Volt conversion by Randy Johnson. Randy advertises in the Vintage Ford. The starter is the weak link on 12 volts. Do not crank it very long as the starter will get very hot. But short bursts seem to be fine. Also I have had trouble with the Original Bendix Spring breaking. Several years ago I went to a Model A spring, which is much heavier. Then I began breaking the 1/4" bolt that holds the spring on. Then changed the bolt to a grade 8 and have had no more trouble. One big advantage is the 12 volt batteries last much longer. John Saylor

You've got several options in going from 6 to 12 volts. First, the existing three brush generator is capable of charging 12 volts. The sticky wicket is that it will only charge at half the amps it does at 6. If you only rarely venture out after dark that ought to be ok. The existing starter also will work on 12 volts but again turns at twice the speed of 6 volts. It's harder on the starter and bendix but it will work. There are other generators/alternators that you can bolt on as well that quite a few of the T parts suppliers sell. As for 12 volt bulbs most of the T parts supplier handle these as well. The only ones that you probably can't get at your local auto parts store are the head light bulbs. If all you want is turn signals and extra lights you can stick with 6 volts. I know Texas T Parts makes a 6 volt turn signal kit that attaches to the spark lever. Any lights you added could also have the 12 volt bulbs changed to 6 volt as well. Chuck Brant

12V really spins the engine. And it starts up really fast that way. Note how fast your modern car spins the motor- that helps a lot! I re-wired my starter fields in series instead of series-parallel. Not sure, but this tip from John Stolz seemed to cut down the violence somewhat, but still a very husky spin.

12V still lets me use the Ford generator- with one of John Regan's Fun Projects, Inc voltage regulator. Downside is the limited current capability from a T generator. So I run an alternator disguised to look a bit like a generator. Lots of current there, but these bolt on alternators are really junky conversions. You have to re-engineer them (TTP and Performance T Parts = junk alternators).

12V has not damaged my bendix- I mount the bendix parts with Loctite-and do not use the crappy repro grade 0 bendix spring bolts. Ried


Magneto as the Generator

For the "regulator" you use a 12v light bulb. It acts as a variable voltage resistor to use some of the juice as to not overcharge the 6v battery. If using a 12v battery, simply eliminate the light bulb. I think John Regan was the mastermind behind this charging system that I have used successfully for many years.



Restoring a 19-24 T pickup. Bag of mixed years! I ordered new fields, brushes, bearings and cutout for generator and gave parts to local club member to repair generator. (He's in the business) After repair and checking out on his machine I installed it on car. It didn't work. After investigating we discovered that it was turning the opposite direction on his machine when it worked but would not generate when tuned clockwise (as viewed from front). He can't figure out how to get it to charge when turned cw. Can anyone help. The car is neg ground per wiring instructions.

Check the rotation of the generator when its off the car. Rotation is set by rotating the brush holder. See page 224 in "MODEL T Ford Service" book.

-You can move the brush holders by backing off the 4 screws on the rear cover about 1 turn, do not remove them, and rotate the brush holder until generator just starts to rotate in proper direction.


The genuine Ford 5Z806 special adjusting wrench for the Model T Ford generators large end measures 1/2 inch and will fit the generator to cutout contact nut. The smaller end was originally 5/16 inch for adjusting the third brush holder.


Generator inspection

Remove generator from engine, connect a jumper cable from frame of generator to minus post of 6 volt battery, connect a heavy wire to generator side terminal of cut-out, touch the other end of this wire to the positive post of the battery. If generator is good, the armature should start to rotate, as it functions as an electric motor when connected this way. While being tested this way, you can start by holding the gear with a gloved hand, make the positive connection, and allow the gear to slowly turn, by doing this you can detect a bad winding in the armature. If the armature doesn't even try to rotate, you most likely have open field windings. As a matter of rote, we used to check any generator this way before it was installed on the car, serves to polarize it also.

Check to see if you have electricity at the front terminal of the cutout. You should have (with engine stopped), take the terminal screw out and check it again, it should have spark all the time. scratch it against the terminal-shouldn't see a spark.

Start the engine and run at a fast idle with the wire connected, see if you get spark at the rear(gen) terminal. Should. If you do, and it still doesn't show it on the gage-jump the cutout like you did when you polarized the gen. If that makes it show a charge, the cut out is at fault.


Generator output bolt

The sequence of items on the generator output terminal bolt is as follows: First, the output brush wire to terminal bolt wire end which has a square hole in it to fit the terminal bolt head, second, the inner terminal bolt insulator, third, the terminal bolt outer insulator with the rounded side down (this insulator has a rounded portion to fit the case terminal bolt slot and is flat on the other side fit the end cap and insulate the bolt from the case, it also has place for the end cap cover to fit under), fourth, the flat brass washer, fifth, the lower terminal bolt nut and sixth, the upper terminal bolt nut. The cutout terminal fits between the two bolts.


Just run a short jumper from one side of the cut to the other, in other words, use some of the handy electricity on the front terminal and jump it momentarily to the gen. side of the cut out. The handles of a pair of pliers work nicely. Leave jumper on about 3 seconds. Polarization is done with the engine NOT running! Make sure your battery is put in negative ground, with positive going to starter switch.

First of all, make sure that the T is wired for the negative ground. Second, make sure you have a cut out, and NOT a voltage regulator. The following will destroy a regulator.

Now, to polarize the gen, Take a pair of pliers, and briefly short across the 2 contacts at the cutout. The Gen output, and the cutout output.

Third Brush

Set Third brush just right to deliver 8-10 amps and or check for problems. Typically set for generator to kick in at 900 -1000 rpm.


This is why you MUST! Always look at the amp meter when you shut off the engine and always have a tool to smack the cutout with, if it sticks.

I agree with all that has been said but one word of caution. Whacking the cutout to free it up when it sticks shut is OK ONCE! but do not continue to operate that way because as soon as the cutout starts sticking closed, it will shortly later stick OPEN and that is disaster (yes even once) for the generator. If your cutout ever sticks closed (ammeter registers a discharge of 6-10 amps when engine and everything in car is off) service/replace the cutout immediately. The penalty for a stuck cutout is a burned out generator because the generator MUST have a load on it or it will burn out its own field winding due to the fact that the T generator is a shunt field device.

The yellow w/black tracer wire does go to the terminal block first but as the book shows, it goes next to the battery post on the ignition switch and then to the discharge side on ammeter. The yellow wire on the charge post of the ammeter then goes to the foot starter on the battery side post.


Within reason don't worry about the gap. The cutout is nothing more than an off/on switch and there is no critical timing so long as it goes on and off at the approximate correct time. Coilman


The Model T magneto consists of two parts: a stationary coil and a rotating field of 16 magnets mounted on the flywheel, facing the coils but separated by an air gap of about .030". The only things that can go wrong in the coil half of the magneto is an open or ground in the windings. Repair is only effected by removal from the engine and a mechanical repair made. The rotating part, the magnets, can lose their magnetism suddenly when a DC electrical current, such as from a storage battery, is inadvertently applied to the magneto; it can also lose magnetism gradually due to age.

For rebuilt field coils, contact Wally Szumowski at 773-586-4485 for a quality rebuilt model T magneto field. Coilman

Don't remove your magneto if you plan to use the original coils! The Model T engine was designed to run on the magneto and actually runs about 40% better than on batt due to the higher voltage output of the magneto. The generator/batt was designed to support the electric start and lights.


By Warren Roberts

The "red stuff" is probably Glyptal #1201 Red Enamel, a varnish-like coating that is heat and oil resistant. It best applied by dipping after making the ring totally oil-free, not an easy thing to do. The best option is to install a rebuilt unit even if yours checks out fine as the original has trapped so much dirt and debris over the years. If this junk can worm its way in it can also work back out and score a bearing or two. Since you've already got the engine apart it just makes more sense. However, if you're determined to reuse it, wash it thoroughly in mineral spirits with a stiff brush. Then let it soak completely covered in CLEAN mineral spirits for a few hours. Don't use lacquer thinner, xylol, MEK, toluene, or any other solvent stronger than spirits as they will soften the remains of the original coating which could come off later. Then let it air dry for two days. Now, in an ELECTRIC oven (not the wife's!!) put the mag face down on a rack and bake at 250 degrees for 2 hours. Put some tin foil on the bottom of the oven as the heat will force out some more oil and it will smoke and stink like crazy. Let it cool for 4 hours. Now--the only way to seal the remaining dirt and debris (and there is always some remaining) is to DIP the mag in the Glyptal and let it SOAK for 15-20 minutes. This will take at least a gallon of the stuff and a tray big enough to let the mag lie flat. Before dipping, give the poles, contact, and mounting bosses a coat of Vaseline so the dried Glyptal is easier to remove. After dipping, let it hang and air dry for at least 6 hours, after air-drying the dipped mag, the dried Glyptal should be wiped off the poles, bosses, and the contact BEFORE baking. Then back to the oven where it is again baked 2 hours at 250. Be prepared for more dirty oil to leach out. If there is more than a negligible amount, dip and bake again. This is the most effective way I know (and I have rewound more than 1,000 mags) to make an original unit serviceable. You can see that it is a lot of work and Glyptal is costly to boot. It really is best to replace the original; one of those deals where it is more cost-effective in the long run.

Rebuild tips

If you are rebuilding your engine contact Walley Szumowski at 773-586-4485. You will get a quality rebuilt magneto field ring and be worry free. Coilman

One from RV Anderson, has the very great advantage of fiberglass cambric and polyester insulating tape instead of paper. And coated in a proven, heat resisting insulating varnish. I bet Wally's must be done similarly well. Reid

Another source is Glen Chaffin in the LA area (Corona, Ca.) Phone # (909) 735-4791 exchange.

Had the flaking problem with my magneto. The engine needed a rebuild anyway so out it came. I unsoldered all coil connections, removed coils from frame, peeled all of the old insulation off coils, soaked coils in lacquer thinner to clean thoroughly, blow dried coils, went to local electric motor shop and purchased fiberglass field winding tape, rewrapped the coils (this is the time consuming part), remounted coils to frame and soldered all connections. When this was all done I took the coil ass. To the electric motor shop where they dipped the whole unit in insulating varnish and then baked it in their oven overnight. It turned out fantastic! The old ignition works like ol' henry intended and best of all, by doing the work myself it came to a grand total of $10.00 for materials!

-Inspect magnets for cracks with dye penetrate. Assemble them to the flywheel with the greatest of care.

-Ask supplier to clamping screws out of stainless steel instead of brass. Stainless is much stronger and reliable than brass screws. When a magnet throws who can say it wasn't a failure of a screw? The centrifugal forces developed on the magnets is huge. The engine cycles from cold to hot. Constant vibration fatigues any metal. Magnets are ultra-hardened steel in order to better retain magnetism. Unfortunately, this hardness increases the rate of fatigue enormously, especially if the magnets are physically strained (as they are by the method of adjusting their heights). The best assembled magneto is less likely to explode through the hogshead. But it may do that without warning.

The field coils windings are merely "pressed" onto cast iron lugs. Originally, the assembled field coil was vacuum impregnated with baking varnish. This accomplished two good things: The vacuum pulled out most all the air. The varnish sucked into the voids. The varnish had a cementing action which helped hold the field coils in place. Wherever varnish penetrated- those places could never be contaminated with metallic sediments and thereby create leakage paths for the current. Over the decades many original field windings have lost their tenuous bond to the lugs. And they walk off, flaking bristol board along the way. When a coil eventually catches on a clamp plate the coil is terminated. At worst, the fouling breaks a brass clamping screw. Then a magnet breaks and that's the end of a nice day! I have a working, rebuilt magneto in my car. I have mixed feelings about it. It's _there_ if I ever want to return to the timer and coils. But I think about it failing just about every time I drive. Neurotic? Nope- just realistic. Because the unexpected can happen! Gee, I wish they made those clamp screws out of stainless! "For want of a nail, a shoe was lost", and so on! Brass is better suited for other things than clamp screws.

The thickness of the copper ribbon ranges from about .015-.019 on single stack units. Generally, the earlier 1/4" wide windings were toward the thicker end. Double stacked, oval windings were thicker (.025 or so) and double round windings were thinner (about .011). Generally, the cheapest solution (although far from the best one) is to locate a second field coil for parts and cannibalize it. Really, though, if you're going through the trouble of R & R, it's best to install a rewound unit and eliminate: a).Potential future trouble, and b). A whole lot of bearing-grinding dirt. It is next to impossible to get all of the dirt and metallic sediment out of a used mag.

Possibly, the same thickness as the flat copper you can get at stained glass supply shops but measure it.

Rewinding mag assemblies

Try your local electric motor rewinder / repairer for tape. They also will have the insulation paper you will need to cut 3 donuts per coil from. To wrap each coil I use Ĺ inch cotton tape and super glue to hold the ends. Then let the same motor rewinder dip the completed set of coils in varnish and bake them (it) like he does a newly rewound electric motor. When you rewind the coils you will not have as many winds of copper as the original, but 1 wind short will not effect the magneto. Use (thin) insulation tape on both sides of the copper. Before applying the tape to the copper, use a flat sanding block on a flat hard (particle) board and clean up (sand) BOTH sides of the copper (lightly). Use a woodworking clamp to hold one end of the copper as you work toward the other end.

Cutting out on MAG?

Time to remove the magneto post & clean it. You'll find bits of band lining, babbitt, carbon & such . You may even need a replacement post with a stronger spring. If that doesn't make an immediate cure, better pull the transmission inspection plate. Look for the presence of copper colored linguini. It has happened that a coil walks off its lug and into the flywheel. The early symptom is mag cutting out. The much later symptom is pounding noises, as the copper fragments have destroyed the engine bearings. Just a warning, because there's a bare chance this can happen to you.

Checking Voltage

Remove the post and use a volt meter on the output contact of the field coil. Actually, check the post first, if no voltage, THEN remove the post and proceed. See if you are getting any AC voltage there,(with the motor running of course, expect a lot of oil so use a rag around the probe) If so, the problem isnít in the magnets. Did you have the motor/trans opened during the restoration? If so, what did you do around the field coil that might have shorted it out?

Checking Output of Magneto Simply connect a 12V brake light bulb (such as 1157) from mag. post to the chassis. A good mag. will make the lamp burn very bright at idle; burn it out at higher rpms. An old sealed beam or modern halogen headlight bulb makes a fine tester. These, being heavier filaments, will not necessarily burn quite as bright at idle- but revving the engine _should_ blow either one out pretty fast.

With the engine running on battery put an analog volt meter, positive lead on the mag post, the neg. lead to a good ground. Do you get a reading there? If not take the post out and clean it up making sure there is no lint caught on the tip, then try the meter again. I hope it is this simple of a problem only...Michael

Recharging Magnets

The desirability of recharging magnets individually OUTSIDE the car are correct for two very important reasons:

1. Danger. If your engine has been running at all rich there's a good chance that unburned fuel has contaminated the crankcase oil and if any grounds are present in the mag coil, LOOK OUT when that high amperage sparks in the midst of potentially explosive vapor!

2. Cracked magnets. As the magnets are hardened steel, one or more may have cracks in them, especially if a dropped washer or two over the years has been rattling 'round in there. Very weak magnets are most likely cracked. When I charge a set in my shop, if a magnet won't juice up after a repeated effort, it gets junked. NO EXCEPTIONS. The most likely cause is one or two small cracks. Some of our posters can tell you what a broken chunk of steel will do to a transmission. R.V. Anderson (PS: pulling the engine to charge is the only way I do it.)


My magnets were charged while in the car. A friend did it by using jumper cables from a golf cart (battery powered).Easy process that took 2 minutes. It is explained in the mtfca elec. manual. A compass was used so read that part carefully.

There are three popular methods of magnet charging which I am aware of. The first, and perhaps the least desirable as far as the quality of charge, is the method whereby you charge the magnets while in the car. The next method is to charge them out of the car, still attached to the flywheel with a field coil laying directly on the plates themselves. The third, and most desirable method as far as the strength of charge, is to take the magnets off of the flywheel and do them individually on a magnet charger. The "pro's" of doing them in the car is the fact you don't have to tear it down and, of course, the time element. The second method gives you a little better charge but when you are down that far, why not go ahead and do it right? Something to consider is that the screws that hold the magnets on are brass and they tend to age crack. Many of those screws I have stripped off of a flywheel have broken rather than unscrewed. This is an excellent opportunity to check the condition of the magnet and see if it is cracked particularly at the "U-bend". I have been able to charge magnets to hold a 4 lb. sledge hammer. Have heard of some that have held more than that. The magnets only have to hold 2 lbs. according to the "old timey" books. Most books also say that the magnets can be charged to hold more than 2 lbs but they tend to quickly (how long quickly is I am not sure) loose their magnetism down to the 2 to 4 lb range. A lot of the quality of your magneto has to do with how close you set the gap. The closer you get, the more juice you get at lower rpm but it is awful close to the magnet clamps. I would be sure that you indeed have a problem such as the other postings indicate before you go jumping to conclusions about the quality of the charge. My '14 still has the original magnets as far as I know and they work OK. But then, I have seen some magnets that were really dead.

There are two variations of charging in the car. The one where you use the magneto coil may not work too well if the coil to magnet spacing is excessive. The other method of removing the hogshead and doing each magnet individually can yield as good a result as charging off the car if you use enough power. A sharp pulse of 2 KW is sufficient.

I remagnetized a set of magnets for a friend of mine last winter. I set them on an electromagnet I built and use a Schoumacker recharger set on the 12 V, Boost setting. When I hit the switch on the recharger, I tap the magnet a couple times. One of them split right in two and you could see where the thing had been cracked for quite a while most of the way through. I just finished the job with my little hammer. They should ring just like a tuning fork if they're solid.

I did not invent the device; it is described in the MTFCA Electrical Book. It has 2 magnets, joined by a metal bar, made of 1 in dia. wrought iron. Each coil is 200 turns of #18 magnet wire. They are wired in parallel and with 24V it draws 100 AMP. Pulses must be very short as it gets hot quickly.

When installing a set of individually charged magnets on the flywheel I don't beat on them as suggested with a hammer to get the alignment. I work with the spacers and adjust them to get the gap needed as "beating" on a magnet, as you suggest, is not good for the magnetism. As for charging them while still on the flywheel, the charging ability will be absorbed in the surrounding metal, not necessarily that the surrounding metal becomes charged, just that it absorbs some of the power of the charge. That is why a very high energy source is used to just overwhelm everything.

If all your magnets are sound, there is no reason to remove them for recharging. I did mine in the vehicle and got them up to full charge. Do one at a time and use lots of power. I used 24V at very short bursts of 100A.

Here is something to try: Take about 6 feet of 14 or 16 gauge wire and completely wrap a magnet, leaving an inch or two of wire at each end and remove some insulation. Then zap the exposed ends between the + and - of a good 12V battery (maybe zap it a few times). Make sure that you keep the

polarity the same as what the magnet was (use a compass). I found this gives the magnet a stronger charge than most other methods, but it's a slow process. I usually get a magnet to lift a 3 lb. crankshaft pulley. My 2 cents worth. BTW, the shim/file method of adjusting the spools is a good one. I tried the tap (or pound) method and wound up with cracked spools. Aluminum spools, not to mention the effect it had on the magnets.

T'iz wouldn't run hardly at all on the mag. Ragged at most any RPM and not at all below a fast idle. Voltmeter showed about 4VAC at slow idle and just shy of 10 at generator cut in speed. Got out the MTFCA Electrical book, turned to the "how to recharge the magnets in the car" instructions and got busy. Put my truck, Kay's car, a good 12V battery and the T all near one another, but NOT touching. Split two sets of jumper cables into four heavy jumpers and - carefully! - jumper from the T manifold to car negative, car positive to truck negative, truck positive to battery negative and battery positive to inside the T. With the mag post removed, a 1/4" socket extension stuck through a cut-off RTV applicator made a well insulated heavy-duty contact. Compass positioned as directed by pulling slowly on the crank, the magnets were in position.(as per book instructions) Handbrake off and wow! The book doesn't mention that the car grunts when you zap it. Actually, it was the crank moving forward (loose) with all that attracting going on inside, but it was like ol' T'iz was waking up when all that energy hit her. And don't forget to close your eyes against the spark. Lessee...36V x around 35A = 1260Watts we're switching here. Enough to generate an eye damaging flash. Six zaps at each 90 degree point finished the fireworks then back together.

Eureka! She runs really great on the mag now, with 10VAC at low idle and better than 18 at generator speed. I even got her started with the Armstrong method on

the now fire-breathing magneto. John Blewster

If engine is apart, lay the flywheel magnets up on a 15 gallon steel can or other supporting surface. Lay the coil ring right onto the magnets, paying heed to polarity. Zap (Zoot) the coil ring with 18 to 36 volts. That means a short strike with a very fast break. The break is what shocks the steel molecules into alignment, not length of contact. The sub-ohm DC resistance of the coil winding allows hundreds of amps to flow. Zoot. Zoot. Zoot. (Steve's descriptive word) Pry the coil ring off- it will be like glued. With no air gap to overcome and the heavy current- the result is a very strong recharge-as much as the magnets can accept, IMHO. Steve's red roadster magneto puts out fifty volts with a normal air gap. On the other side, the factory practically commanded the dealer's shop to install only a factory recharged set of magnets. Perhaps because Ford had trouble with shops recharging magnets in reversed polarity, or poorly charged, or reassembled wrongly. Although a magnet can be charged off the flywheel to its absolute maximum, when it is set aside without a keeper it loses the "top" of the magnetism. More magnetism shakes out, so to speak during the assembly (mechanical stress) and then during initial running of the engine knock off a bit more. By Ford method the spool heights are adjusted with a mallet- magnetism is lost there to, I would think. Net result- the magneto may not be as strong as when recharged by Steve's method. And perhaps little stronger than the usual in-car recharge where there is an air gap between coil and magnets. In an in-car recharge more voltage should be used if more output is wanted. The voltage makes for more current, and current is what creates the intense magnetic field that realigns the steel molecules.

The difficulty of recharging in the car includes obtaining accurate positioning of the magnets in respect to the field coil. Worse is the existing air gap, which may be wide. An air gap twice as wide as it should be puts the coil ring at a great disadvantage to affect the magnets. Double the distance and the field strength is cut to one quarter. This explains why a _direct_ contact of coil ring to magnets out of the engine works so well even with quite moderate battery voltage. The air gap and a possibly worn thrust washer make it desirable to have the brake handle forward- so the flywheel can float forward, or even to lever the crank forward by prying behind the fan pulley to ensure closing up that air gap as much as possible. Of course, the first Zoot ought to pull the flywheel close to the coil frame, provided the brake lever is forward, not in neutral. And because of the air gap, use as much battery as possible. 36V seems to be safe. Battery current being so large will burn out any metallic contaminants from the field coil or between its bobbins. If the coil wire/tape opens (has this happened to anyone here?) I'd blame a bad connection. If the soldered joints are good, it will take the guff. Whether one prefers recharging en mass with the coil frame, or individually off the flywheel, etc. hardly matters so long as the finished result works. If a good recharge obtains from an in-car shot then that must be as long lasting, IMHO, as a recharge of the individual magnets. I wonder if Ford rated their recharged magnets after assembly by the average shop, and the mechanic whacking the magnets into level? Reid

I tried the in-car method once and got terrible results. I ended up taking all the magnets off and doing it "right", as well as replacing the third main. I didn't put two and two together, now I realize the clutch spring kept me from the best results! Good tip on the e-brake handle, I will remember it if I ever need to try again! Terry Horlick


Magnet replacement

There are two ways to do this. One is correct and will last, the other is at best third rate and you may be back fixing it again later. Remove all the magnet bolts, brass screws (throw them away), spools and keepers and clean them. Thoroughly clean the flywheel especially the magnet, spool and flange surfaces. Obtain a new set of brass screws. Do not reuse old brass screws! Have each magnet recharged with a proper magnet recharger (speak to Joe Quinn about this step). Loosely reassemble the magnets, spools (rotated 90 degrees) and keepers. Use the gap gauge and set the height of the magnets using the lowest tightened magnet as the standard. Beat the rest down to this level and tighten the magnet bolts. Peen the ends of the brass screws. Check for any broken magnets. Recheck with the gap gauge. Lightly touch up the keeper flat surfaces with a large mill file. If you decide to have the flywheel balanced, I suggest you do it with the crankshaft, flywheel and transmission as an assembled rotating unit. Drill the flywheel (or the crankshaft counterweights if you have them added to the crank), but please. Please do not use solder wound around the spools as a balancing weight. After the solder disintegrates, what is not roaming around the inside your engine doing it's damage will come out with the first oil change anyway! When reassembling the engine use a properly rebuild field ring. Don't skimp on this step! If you need help with a quality source let me know. Ron Patterson

It's always best to remove the magnets for recharging. Debris that might cause trouble can be removed, magnets can be checked for cracks, and a better charging is obtained. When replacing magnets, it's much better to shim the spools than whack the magnets, which could: A) break something, B) compress the spools too far and C) weaken the magnets. Be sure to balance the flywheel after it's all assembled. When balancing an assembled flywheel, I like to wind soft solder around the spools, similar to balancing T wire wheels, then crimp and melt it together rather than drill the flywheel unless it has a really heavy side in which case I use a combination of the two methods.

I agree with your observations. I rebuild field coils and find that the looks of a field coil do not necessarily impede its performance. If a coil wire is separated that will render a field coil inoperative. Generally the coils around the cutout for the Bendix drive are the coils subject to most abuse. This is because individuals try to remove the starter without removing the Bendix gear. Also your theory of "ain't broke don't fix it" is a good rule. As for replacing a field coil when you rebuild an engine that is excellent advise. Why would you want to contaminate a clean rebuilt with a dirty field coil? Modern oil will wash the accumulated debris out of a dirty coil into the clean engine environment.

Magnet Gap setting

I am not sure the instructions you get will tell you, but to use the K.R. Wilson magneto gap gauge you have to drop the shaft of the transmission stub shaft onto the mounting flange hole and then place the gap gauge on the stub shaft and bolt it down. Otherwise the gap gauge cannot be properly adjusted for the magnet keeper height adjustment. The adjustable distance between the two tips of the gap gauge end that flips is calibrated in such a way that after setting the height of the magnets and locking the height screw if you flip the head and bolt the tool flange to the flywheel flange you can appropriately shim the field ring to get a very close adjustment of the magneto magnet to field ring gap. A final check to fine tune this gap with the engine standing on end transmission up is necessary prior to final engine assembly. Ron Patterson-Coilman

When I mounted the magnets on the flywheel I leveled all of them so they measure the same thickness. So they all should have the same air gap. But when mounting the coil ring and checking the coils as shown in this book, the coils measure slightly different at each coil. The closest being the top coil and that measures .840 the one to the right is slightly smaller and so on, but then every once and a while there's one that measures .010 different than the previous one. What is the min and Max of the air gap? Does any one have this number?

The critical clearance is between the magnet clamps and the spool cores on the big ring of coils. There should be .025" to .040" gap. There will be some differences in height of the coil cores as well as the magnet clamps. The top "should" be closer than the bottom by up to .010" to compensate for the "flex" of hanging a heavy tranny and future wear of the 4th main bearing. The closer the gap, the more powerful magneto you have. The closer the gap the more potential for a "magneto fettuccini" disaster. To get the proper gap, you need to shim the coil ring out from the block. There should be a metal shim that goes over all four(?) holes. Then use shim stock (I save peeled off rod cap shims) to get the proper clearance. You will need to measure in many different places, the turn the flywheel and measure more. Some will be closer and some will be wider. When I did mine I got about .025" on top and about 0.35" on the bottom.

Reason for stating the coil flex is greater than any conceivable flywheel droop: Set the coil to flywheel .025" at its bottom. With one hand grasp and squeeze the coil frame into the flywheel. The gap entirely closes up. Wiggle the coil frame- it is flexible. Like every other non-rigid part of the T, as certain engine speeds that ring will flutter

like a T headlamp. The gap decreases- and if there's not a minimum clearance of at least .025, the coil ring may rub the flywheel. This can happen even if the forward endplay remains nil. My coil ring is the thick, sturdy cast iron version-the heaviest of the several types that appeared over the years. I once saw a coil ring that had three or four cracks in its lower half- the cracks had been recently repaired by brazing. IMO the cracks developed due to coil ring vibration. When all is said and done, the usual spec of .040" at the bottom is best because it is safest. Check the cast iron coil ring for cracks across the lower half's webs. And consider what might happen if more webs crack. Each crack renders the frame more flexing and places more repetitive stress on the remaining webs. One crack leads to another. I believe coil frames should be very carefully examined for cracking in the lower, unsupported half.

It is not necessary for the clamp plates to all be perfect. BUT your highest plates determine the minimum safe clearance. And the low ones just reduce the magneto output; in inverse square proportion to their lowness.

I have the coil and the magnets back together, at the top I have .020 and at the bottom I have .025-8 Is this good enough to give me a good mag. reading when the engine is running or should I try for something better?

That's OK if your 3rd main thrust is set up as it should be; i.e. exactly parallel surfaces, ground flange, and correct (.003-.004") clearance. You want to be sure that the thrust surface will hold the flywheel in alignment and not allow it to

move forward, especially with the top clearance at .020 which is a teensy bit close (but OK if it stays there, courtesy of the thrust).


Identifying type of Magneto

A starter type mag coil can be identified by a small half-moon shaped notch near the "ten o'clock" position when the coil is face up. Non-starter versions do not have this notch and the copper ribbon is 1/4" wide to boot. A '25 uses 3/16" copper. '25 would have used a single stack magneto field coil with a notch for a starter, even if it did not come with one. Most restorers today use the starter type; it makes no difference in operation and a starter can be easily added later. The double stack field coils were used with different magnets than your '25 had. All magnetos after about 1917 were the single-stack type.

Flywheel (Running Stripped)

If you are planning on making a flywheel without the magnets, yet still want it to be able to "move the oil around," here is what my dad did on his model T, and I did on mine. Remove the magnets and spacers from the flywheel. Save yourself the attaching bolts. Then take some angle iron (one inch on a side) and make them long enough to fit right over the holes for the magnets. Drill two holes in each, and bolt on. It works great, and even gives you more "splash" because the angle iron is bolted FLAT on the flywheel.

Flywheel was a scrap piece with heavy rust where it had sat in water. Aaron Rogahn generously lightened it for me, using the facilities at Texas Tech, in between his finals. He made a 36 pound clunk into a beautiful 22 pound flywheel. It has a bunch of 1 1/2" lightening holes between drum area and ring gear. Not only do the holes lighten the wheel where strength is no longer needed (no magnets), but they provide natural impellers for the oil. For an aux oil line, I found some really neat fluted stainless tubing at Ace. It is 1/2" gas water heater supply line with really great flare fittings. A flare union screws right into the '27 hogshead in place of the mag post, and then I installed a half-inch to quarter-inch reducer by drilling a 7/16 hole into the side of the pan, low and forward of #1 rod. The effective angle is about 40% - enough for most any T. I expect the cam gear and #1 main will get splash from the rod on grades steeper than 10% when the internal line flow stops. The 1/4" fitting at the lower end makes a flow limiter, so that the 1/2" pipe can accumulate oil when it's plentiful and still provide flow for some seconds when supply is low. Of course, there are other means to accumulate oil for feeding to the front, but this one is simple. Testing: As mentioned (in latest VF?) somewhere, removing the right forward bolt from the lower pan cover allows you to verify oil flow through internal tube. At idle, there was a fair amount of oil spattering out. Revving the engine made a mess in the driveway. For testing the external line, I merely disconnected it from the pan at the lower end. There was no flow at idle, but plenty as the engine revved. I hope and expect this flywheel and pair of tubes to provide adequate lube, while minimizing power lost and heat generated by excessive slinging of oil. Rdr



All Ford springs of this era are wound left handed, as a left hand thread would appear on a

bolt. The wrong spring can be readily installed, but after only a few attempts to start, the spring is ruined from being unwound by the direction of rotation of the starter and the load it sees

when you hit the starter button. Mike

The first problem would be to find a good gear, either used or new (NOS). Newly manufactured ones aren't available that I know of. Be careful of a used gear to make sure it fits the threads of the shaft and then, that the end of the teeth have a good bevel on them. The counterweight needs to be quite secure to the gear. check the service sleeve on the spring end of the shaft for cracks and ability to turn. Then don't loose the antidrift pin and spring in the counterweight. With all that said, slide the gear shaft on a 1/2 inch shaft and lay the collar (on the end of the shaft)with one of the holes down on a hard surface (vice, etc.). Insert a hard punch in the hole that is up and drive on the crimped part of the shaft to free it from the hole. Once that is done insert a 5/16-24 hardened bolt in the threaded hole in the opposite end of the shaft and clamp in a vise. This bolt will be used to keep the gear shaft from turning. The collar is very hard. In one of the holes of the collar insert a hard pin or punch and clamp on the collar with large curved jaw

Vise Grip so the smaller (lower)jaw contacts the pin when trying to turn the collar off the shaft. The threads are standard right hand threads but don't expect it to come off easily. Turn counterclockwise to remove. Wear safety glasses as the pin could snap. Reinstall the drift pin and spring and screw on the shaft. When installing the collar set it with a drift to make sure it is seated against the threads, then on the inside reset the staked areas with a chisel. It can be done OR you could find a good used drive or spend the $60. or so for a new one. Joe

Starter not engaging?

Check to see if the entire Bendix is locked to the starter shaft and not turning freely on the shaft.

At the end of the starter armature shaft is the Bendix head. It is secured to the starter armature shaft with a bolt which goes through one end of the Bendix spring and has a machined tip that fits into a blind hole in the shaft. (Caution, this bolt is different from the other Bendix spring bolt which looks the same when installed, but does not have the machined tip.) The Bendix head bolt is held from unscrewing by a lock washer with tabs which are bent against one of the hex sides of the bolt. If the machined tip of the bolt has sheared off and the head is not locked to the shaft the Bendix will not spin with the shaft as intended and the gear will not throw into the starter ring gear. This is a common problem with reproduction Bendix head bolts because they are of poor quality and shear easily. If it turns out this is your problem try to find an original NOS Ford Bendix head bolt. They are of superior quality and this little bolt takes a lot of strain when the starting motor is energized. Ron the Coilman

Remove the bendix before removing the starter to prevent damage to the mag coils.

Why 2 screws? They are supposed to have different ends on them, where they press against the shaft. One screw will be flat on the end, while the other has a pointed end that sets into a hole in the shaft? This is to limit the movement of that end of the spring.

Remove the starter for disassembly and check out the bearing clearances. The front bearing is a babbit affair with no lubrication. When it gets worn out it lets the front heavy end of the starter shaft wobble. Don't be surprised to find .030 slop in the bearing, I did. The shaft will be beat up and will be loose in the new bushing that is available. The bearing lets the shaft wobble and the brushes just sit there and weld things together up in the front end of the starter. The fix is to chip out the babbit, turn the armature, cut the insulation back. And put in new brushes and springs, or sand them to shape if you wish. The hard part will be to make a bushing to replace the babbit, or you can buy a replacement one at a repro house. The shaft will be too small to fit the new bushing and might look like corduroy when you take it out.

Go to a bearing house and take the shaft along with you. Find a needle bearing or a small roller bearing and turn the shaft down to fit the smaller inside diameter of the roller bearing, don't take off more than about .020" or you will weaken it. For the next step, I bought a bronze bushing and reamed it to fit the roller bearing sleeve, lubed it and assembled it. Also got a seal to keep oil out of the starter at the back end and drilled a small hole into the starter frame at the square portion so I could put a drop of oil in there from time to time now that the thing was sealed off from the transmission.

It works like new and cost me less than $25 and was a lot of fun on a few rainy nights.

A Model T generator ball bearing will easily replace the brush-end babbit job. The shaft end needs to be resized but the OD of the bushing recess is perfect for the ball bearing. Actually, the very same size as the generator's brush end. Why is that no surprise?

There is a brass bearing replacement available from the Model T parts suppliers. It must be driven into the cap and if loose simply dimple the cap from the outside with a center punch to make sure it does not spin inside the cap. Having done this the bushing must be align reamed to match the starter case which takes some special tooling. I can help you here if you get to this point as I have some Model T era Allen Electric starter alignment and reaming tools. After reaming, I use a good amount of anti-seize to lubricate the new shaft/bearing. It is just my opinion, but am not a fan of turning down the starter shaft to accommodate a roller bearing because it already weakens the end of the armature that is subjected to major loads. Coilman

Ron Patterson told me his Re-Manufactured starter is done to factory specs draws 68 amps on bench (no load) and torqueís out at 11 foot pounds on test at bench.


Starter Oil seal

Eugene Wright, 1349 Country Club Road, Hood River OR 97031, has been making, and selling, Starter Seal Kits for several years. His price, less shipping, is about $15.00. His phone number is (541) 386-3286. The kit includes a new shorter bushing, a bronze spacer washer, and a seal. The installation is not difficult if you have a press and it works.

It consists of a new bronze bushing about 1 15/16" long and chamfered at one end to facilitate pressing in to replace the old bushing. The new bushing is driven 1/4" beyond flush with the starter housing to allow a seat for a regular oil seal. (no, I don't know the seal part number but the outside diameter should be 1" and the inside whatever the shaft diameter is). The oil seal is held in place by a 1 5/32" bronze thrush washer 1/8" thick

I bought one of those kits. The seal was fine, but the washer was out of round and dished. The bushing was too large to press into the housing. I have a lathe, so I could make things fit and the result is excellent. The existing bushing can be modified and all you need to buy is the seal. I posted this a couple of years ago and Coilman concurred with my remarks. He knows the seal part number to buy.

I don't know the seal number, but it involves cutting the starter bushing in half, shorter too, with the seal sandwiched in between. The inside portion of the bushing, and it's thrust face get no further lubrication- which is not ideal to me either. What I did many, many years ago and still works for me: a home made neoprene flat washer lipped on the starter shaft. The washer is a tight ID fit on the shaft. It spins with the shaft actually. To mount this arrangement (which stops any oil at all getting into the bushing!), the bendix has to come off and its best to put the starter on the workbench. Then make or obtain a weak spiral spring- long-ish, which slips on the shaft and thru the babbitt bearing bore to push the neoprene washer up into the bushing. The spring is kept under tension by the bendix journal. The neoprene washer works against the cone edge of the starter bushing.

Now- how about some oil for the bushing- I made an oil hole. Dismount the front bracket and drilling a small, deep hole from the middle of the upper side mounting flange, deep right into the bushing. Tap the top end of the hole for an 8/32 capping screw (the flange is too thin to put in much larger a screw or oil cup. Anyway, your drill will go thru the soft cast iron, and pierce the brass bushing right at its oil groove. Makes a nice reservoir. Reinstall bracket, put some oil in your oil hole, install the cover screw which certainly is inconspicuous, and reinstall starter. Re-oil once in a while. If the home made seal gives any trouble it can be replaced pretty easily. Come to think of it, an O ring might work as well as a home-punched neoprene washer. Maybe better. I'd make a small, grooved pressure cup for the O ring and have the spiral spring pressing lightly on the cup. Very, very lightly- just to keep the seal up against the bushing.

I rebuilt two of them last year and wound up with a lot of trouble on the front bearing. The problem was that the shaft had wobbled in the front babbit and had galled the shaft as well as mucking up the babbit. In order to clean up the shaft it got too small for the stock bushing. I pressed in the stock bushing, turned the shaft down to the size of an available needle bearing and reamed the stock bushing to press fit the needle bearing. The needle bearing cost $2.18 with tax and the stock bronze bushing was about $7.00. The transmission to starter seal cost me a little over $11.00. I trued up the brushes and put in new brush springs. I cleaned out the oil and grease. They both work beautifully now. They did make contact before I took them apart. They had been "rebuilt" not 500 miles before I got them. If there is no contact or continuity, you may run into rewiring the unit. That is why you go to an expert if you don't have your own machine shop in your garage. I get paid 50 cents an hour for my time now that I have

been retired for 11 years and so the cost of rebuilding two starters was under $40.00 not counting research and hunting for parts. The bearings must be tight in order to have the shaft run true. The true running shaft lets the brushes transmit enough power to run the starter. A starter seal, National #40416 keeps the oil out of the starter ($11.00 or so) but then you must drill a little hole in the top of the flange in order to put a few drops of oil in that bearing once every ten years.

By design. The front (snout) bushing on the Model T starter is lubricated by oil from the transmission. It runs into the bushing and out a hole in the snout casting inside the case and out the hole in the bottom of the starter. It also very nicely soaks the starter field windings with oil. Go to the auto parts store and buy a Chicago Rawhide part number 6595 seal. Remove the starter (Bendix first!), take out the six screws in the snout and carefully pull it off the armature leaving the armature in the case. Press out the bushing in the snout, chuck it up in a lathe and using a cutoff tool remove the thrust surface making it into a washer. Reinstall the bushing pressing it into the snout to a depth below the casting about .250 thousandths. Press the oil seal, lip toward the transmission, into this area created by depressing the bushing into the casting. place the washer over the armature shaft and reinstall the snout with the six screws. Install the starter. No more leak and it only costs $5. Coilman


Did you replace the bushings in the starter? I bet you did! If you did, check the bushing in the snout. The depth sometimes is too great and causes drag on the armature.

This will stop a starter from turning over right now. That starter should turn over with little hand pressure on the shaft that holds the bendix. If there is good smooth operation of that shaft, check for shorts on the brushes. I installed a napa seal in reverse in the front of my starter bushing. I had to machine it down a little to allow for the seal. This seal does a great job of keeping the oil from going out that little hole in the starter. It works better than the little O ring installation done years ago.


Use #00 gauge wire on the starter. I bought 6' of the heaviest wire I could find (#0 gauge) and ran it from the ground strap to one of the starter mounting bolts. Man

does that car start nice now! All that rust and the starter paper gasket was causing too much resistance to allow me to start the car easily.

Testing Starter

Ford specified two starter tests for their FA (Fred Allison) starter using the FB starting and lighting test stand provided to dealers during the Model T era.

The first test was very similar to your applying 6 volts to the starter to see if it runs as a dc motor, but the test stand included an ammeter in series to measure the current. With the starter free running as a motor without the Bendix the current draw is supposed to be less than 70 amps. The second test was a torque test. The test set had a one-foot bar that was clamped to the end of the shaft and a perpendicular lever, which pressed upon a scale. When the starter was energized the armature should press the lever at 11 (foot) pounds on the scale. You probably donít have a FB test stand (if you do I will buy it!) so lets talk about simple practical bench tests we can all accomplish. If the starter case tries to torque significantly and it runs freely with 6 volts applied, the shaft is not bent and you can place significant load with your gloved hand on the armature without stopping it, I would install it and give it a try. If it runs laboriously or the shaft is bent, fix it before using, as it will not work well with a Bendix installed. You may also try taking it to a starter repair shop for the current and torque test. Coilman



Before sending them off with a big check, try this:

Get a plastic bucket, line the bottom with aluminum foil (shiney side up. Lay one reflector in the bucket. Mix a batch of hot water with a spoon of backing soda and a spoon of salt.

Pour in the bucket to cover the reflector. It will remove tarnish and crud without wearing down the silver, if there is any left. Use new foil for the second reflector. Hot water works faster too. Aaron

Silverplating: Dan Hatch at The cost for silver plating a pair of T reflectors is $95.00 plus shipping. Keith

Need the reflectors replated? Check with UVIRA, 310 Pleasant Valley Road, Merlin, Oregon 97532-9732, they are advertising a 5 year guarantee on replating. PH 541-956-6880, FAX 541-476-9096 e-mail: But no need to call- just send your work. Five year warranty against tarnishing.

Our Phone for the headlight reflector department is 541-956-6880, FAX is 541-476-9096. We would prefer that these numbers be used for the headlights. The corporate number for technical/medical instrument information is the 541-474-5050 number. Oregon had an area code change about 3 years ago, and for a while the 503 area code was a Chinese restaurant (not much help for old cars unless you are hungry). We have a little flier we can send you if you have a mailing address. All that is needed to prepare your reflectors is to remove any clip-out type sockets and be sure the reflectors are brass (non-magnetic) if they are steel (magnetic) you would need to have them nickel plated with a polished nickel before sending them. Let me know if you need further info. Sincerely, Bill owner, UVIRA

I had the reflectors in the headlights of my '29 Nash done by UVIRA. They don't silver them, they were surgical tool plate specialists and did the same thing on the reflectors. It seams silver starts to tarnish immediately and in no time is down to 70% of it's new reflecting ability. Sealed beams prevent dulling because they are sealed. The UVIRA process has not dulled in the 13 years I have been using the car (since 1986). They truly shine like sealed beams, better actually, because they are bigger. They can be cleaned with cotton and alcohol if needed. Aaron Griffey, Ca.

If the reflectors still have their original silver plate, some old-fashioned silver polish will make a big improvement. If the plate is worn off, re-plating is the best answer. Caswell's makes a rather unique kit that you can use at home that will re-plate a reflector. It has no cyanide so it can be mailed to a residence. You could also have it professionally re-plated but it will probably be expensive. I took an original pair about 15 years ago to our local platter with instructions to re-plate in chrome, but he saw the original silver and re-did it. When I went to get them the price was $120 rather than the $25 it was supposed to have been. Check out Caswell's web site (which you can order online from) at R.V. Anderson


Bezel Removal

You have to push in with both hands on the rim, then turn to the left. If the rims are really stuck, squirt a little WD-40 or other product on the back side of the rim between it and the bucket at the places you see the rivet heads sticking up. This will help loosen any rust inside. You may want to have someone supporting the back side of the bucket so you can push in and to the left really hard without bending the headlight bracket. There were some home made contraptions mentioned earlier on this months forum for turning the rims,


Reply to: Headlamp sockets- OK, with these reservations posted by Reid on October 04, 1999 at 13:39:58:

There are perhaps more late style Model T's running than any other single make of antique car.

So, why isn't there a proper Tu-light repro bulb available.

It's been noted in print by Bruce McCalley that today's bulbs suit other cars, but not the Model T. The Model T with twin-contact socket orients the bulb so the filaments are side by side. This is incorrect- it gives only a beam spread to one side or the other. The filaments should be one over the other. When the upper filament burns, the reflector kicks most of the light ahead and with a downward tilt. That's low beam. On high beam the lower filament burns, tending to project a higher beam.

I use halogen bulbs in my own car. I remount the lamps in old bases. The 45 W low beam get set above the centerline of the reflector. The 70W high beam is set ON the centerline of the reflector. This gives me excellent headlights fully on a par with any modern car for safer nighttime driving. That big, silvered reflector is very efficient, and the "H" lens is as wonderful a diffraction today as it was in 1921. It neatly flattens the beam into an efficiently oblong rectangle of white light.

Restoration Supply sells a variety of 6 and 12V halogen lamps in old sockets. They are made in Australia. Alas, the filament orientation is wrong for the T. So I have to brew up my own. Good headlights increase the utility of the car enormously for me- a nighttime-only driver.

A forum reader, I forget whom, said _oiling_ the contacts would help.

So I worked a shot of synthetic motor oil into the plungers, and since then have not had a failure. Every now and then I unplug the plugs and "exercise" the plungers with a finger tip. The reasoning being to wipe off any tarnish that might be developing.

I used synthetic oil because it is completely stable over time- will not create tarnish (high resistance) on its own. Apparently, on their own, without the sealing effect of oil, the brass telescoping plungers tend to develop a bit of corrosion or tarnish. And this presents a resistance, creating heat. Which speeds the process, soon creating a runaway problem as the internal springs then overheat, de-temper and the lamp flickers to a stop. Anyone contemplating running high power headlights such as 35, 50 or more watts should take care that these lamps don't destroy a perfectly good headlight socket. New sockets are not cheap. I was losing them beginning in mere hours, before trying the oil trick.


Bulb burnout prevention

A reactance core will limit the voltage to 6 or 7 volts. Simple to make. You will need a section of 1 inch hollow bar stock about 5 or 6 inches long {found in most hardware stores} and no. 14 or 16 varnished copper wire {found at commercial electric supply houses}. Wrap the bar stock 50 times with the wire. Then wrap the entire assembly tightly with black electrical tape and leave enough extra wire hanging out to make connections. Install in line from mag. to lights being careful not to short against body metal. Lights must be wired parallel after resister in circuit. I left out

a important detail. Whatever type core you use to wrap the wire around must form a complete loop. I used hollow bar stock then made a U shaped piece of 1/8 by 1/2 soft iron and bolted it to each end. This formed a continuous core and also served as a way to mount the unit on the wood firewall. How exacting this type coil has to be is uncertain to me. The instructions I received called for #14 insulated wire. After calling around to some old timers I settled for #16 varnished. One person used a large washer for the core because it formed a loop already. Another used varnished wire striped from old electric motors or solenoids. George, Stanwood, Wa

On a car like the 1918 Roadster that has only magneto (No generator or starter) it should have the combination horn/headlight switch. The headlight switch has 3 positions: off, on, and on. One of these on positions ran through a "dimmer" which was essentially a resistor that was in one of the light circuits. From the factory, I think your car used 8v bulbs, which in series worked well on the mag until high speeds, when the "dimmer" was used to prevent burning out the bulbs. Usually these dimmer units are history. If that is the case, you can do a couple of different things:

1) Use 12 v bulbs wired in series and have relatively "dim" lights at low/reasonable speeds. That way you can go up to 24v of magneto output before burning out the bulbs.

2) If using a 12v battery for starting, you can use 6v bulbs wired in series (or 12v bulbs wired in parallel) and power your headlights off the battery only. That way you have constant headlight brightness. Presumably, you will be using headlights for only a short period of time and infrequently. However, You can NOT use the same combination switch for the horn and headlights if you are using the mag to power the horn and the battery to power the lights. You will have to wire in a different headlight switch.

3) If using a 6v battery for starting you can use 6v bulbs wired parallel with all the above presumptions and restrictions.

I had the same trouble with old bulbs, and then "in spades" after recharging my magneto, so I now run F-308 bulbs which are rated at 28 volts (aircraft bulbs) and re-wired them in parallel. My mag puts out about 30+ volts at 50 mph, but I have not burned them out for maybe 2000 miles. I run the headlamps and a spot light all the time in order to make Lizzie more visible. Got the bulbs at the friendly auto parts supplier. They are not as bright when tooling slowly around town, but then I do not drive my Ts too much at night. Roland Palmatier


New Sockets

It's a very simple thing to make an adapter to re-orient the currently available 12 volt headlamp bulbs. At your friendly local hardware store buy several heavy duty 11/16" washers, these will be around a 1/4" thick and have an O.D. of somewhere around 3/4". Get a couple of 10-32 X 3/8" screws and nuts, also some #10 toothed lock washers. The hole in the washer is just a tad small, a couple of strokes with a rat-tail file will resize it. Remove the headlight lens, bulb, retainer wire and reflector, measure the distance from the forward end of the socket to the back of the bucket,( this is so you can set it at this measurement on reassembly and it will be in focus). Remove the cotter pin from the end of the focus screw and unscrew the focusing screw from the socket, taking care not to lose the little spring that's on it, take the bulb socket out of your headlight bucket, use the rat tail file on the washer to give a snug fit of the socket in the washer. Insert the socket, and using the tang on the socket as a guide, mark the washer so you can drill a hole that aligns with the hole in the tang, rotate the tang 90 degrees and mark again. At one of these marks, drill a 5/32" hole and run a 10-32 tap through it. Drill the other hole slightly larger so the 10-32 screw passes freely through it. Having done that, insert the socket in the washer, run the 10-32 screw through the untapped hole and thread it into the tang on the socket and tighten, put on the lock washer and thread on the nut and tighten it, slip the washer/socket back into the bucket, put the spring on the focusing screw and run the screw into the threaded hole in the washer, insert the small cotter pin in the end of the focusing screw, adjust the focusing screw to give the same measurement you got before removal, and reassemble the lamp. You will have to wait until night fall to determine which way the wiring plug goes so you can get it plugged in right in order to get both lights to agree with the switch position. Now you have true high and low beams and no alteration is visible. Kent


Building a Station Wagon? Wagon Works out of Ankeny, Iowa. They have hardware available when you by the plans from them I'm not sure if they will sell hardware only but it might be worth a try. The owners are Jay and Pat Cramer. You can reach them at, Phone 515-964-5085, e-mail


On a '26, the front fenders go on first, then the hood shelves, then the radiator.

Body mount bolts

Trent wrote an article a few years back about the assembly of the 1923-1925. I'm not sure if anything changed since 1915, but the specs were for six 7/16" x 20 thread x 1-1/32" long bolts, six 7/16" plain spring washers, two Body to Chassis

spacer Washers: 1/2" x 1-1/8" diameter flat washer, and six 7/16" x 2 thread nuts, 11/16" across the flats, 3/8" thick. I used 1/2" x 1" long for my body to frame bolts. The splash aprons are screwed to the body with #12 round head wood screws 1" long. Hope this helps.

Frame to body spacers

Nothing, That sounds strange,, but true. The only time anything is placed between the frame and the body mount is when you need to shim one place or another to get the doors properly aligned. Washers work well here. Bill Eads

25 and earlier did not have the wood blocks, the 26/27 DID have wood blocks.

Firewall Brackets

The brackets go on the engine side of the dash. There is a right and left. The top bolt on the steering column side picks up one of the lower bolts at the steering column flange. The brackets will be pretty much hidden by the hood former.


1926 T Channel Green formula: Ditzler No. 546 Formula DAL: 27=68 4=148 17=534 2=744 46=1102


If I understand what Trent has said in the past, it would be a semi-flat black paint, thin, sloppily brushed. Some paints back then were no more than carbon black in boiled linseed oil with the addition of Japan drier. Really a varnish at that. Other paints were similar, but heavily loaded with white lead for much increased durability and tinted to suitable color. However, black paint that Ford used probably had little lead in its composition- the lead being white, and Ford's black being so jet black. You cannot get a true black unless all the filler and tinting is black as well. The components of old fashioned paint are still available- an idea: beat a cup of lampblack into marine spar varnish. I should try that someday- perhaps it'll make that elusive "true black" so important to a sharp looking car. Or, the result may be a lumpy, blotchy mess!


The pinstripe on the body was still visible on my 27 coupe - about 1/4" below the belt around the car, and the same distance back from the leading edge up the side of the firewall outside - next to the hood. The natural wheels carried no pin-striping only many coats of clear varnish.

On the '26 tudor, which had a Highland green body, the pinstripe was "emerald green" or "cream".

I believe there was a single stripe 1/2" below the belt and also 1/2" back from the front edge of the "Coupe Pillar" or front door post. Pictures showing this are in the Model T Restoration Handbook by Henry.

Fender Braces

My TT came with front fender braces as a "rough road" option. They have a Ford logo imprinted on the bracket that attaches to the fender, and are held together with a long horizontal turnbuckle. Even with this arrangement, the fenders still suffered many stress cracks.

Running boards

Ref to a 26 Tudor running board nut question:

If you really want to get down to authenticity you need to get square nuts that are 1/2" across the flats since that was the standard size of square nuts used on 1/4" bolts in the T era. They also would be chamfered on one side only and be 1/4" thick. Interesting standard was that square nuts were chamfered 25 degrees while hex nuts were generally single chamfered at 30 degrees with a 1/64" washer face under the head. Square nuts were not washer faced. Unfortunately somewhere along the way the standard square nut became 7/16" across the flats and are often chamfered on both sides like hex nuts. But they should be square. On a Stynoski car you gotta make the dern things from scratch. Did you know that the standard head size for a 5/16 hex headed fastener was 19/32". A very common wrench size in the old days. Try to find one now. I have an old Sears Craftsman tool set I bought in the early 60's and it came with 19/32 wrenches and sockets.

1920 Wood blocks under the boards: 7-5/16" long, 1-1/4" wide, and 5/8" thick. I like to use oak or ash.

Cone Nuts

Need a good tool for removing and installing the "cone nuts" on the model T wood framing? Go to your local sports shop and get a "Phillips removable golf spike wrench". It is a "T" handle wrench and fits perfectly.



On the 25 Touring, the front doors hinges are different than the rear ones. I went to install the front door using a hinge like what I have on the rear and noticed the hinge-mounting pattern (body side) was different than the rear. The body at the front door has more taper that at the back door. To make the hinge plane even, the bottom part of the hinge sticks out more on the front than the back.

Glass dimensions

The parts catalogs list the front windshields as 37" x 10 1/4" for the top, and 38 1/2" x 10 1/8" for the bottom. I have an original assembly somewhere and I remember the top was not quite as wide as the bottom.

On our TT closed cab the windshield is 38", the hand operated wiper is 11" from the drivers side. Vic

All 1925's had the hole for the hand wiper drilled from the factory. All you need to do is find an original 1925 and measure it, and you will have it, exactly where it needs to be. Larry Smith

General body info


Square corners go in front, rounded corners go in back. The same way as the front seat cushion.

The rain gutter on my coupe is 45 inches long and it starts 1/2 inch beyond the edge of the door.

The splash aprons can be taken off without removing the body. You do, however, need to take off all the body bolts and pry it up. You can then rastle the splash apron out from between the body and the frame.

You can get white rubber in a diamond pattern in various widths. I believe that 48" is the widest but it might only be available in 36" widths now. It is about an eighth of an inch or thicker and comes in 50 foot rolls with a cutting charge for short orders. Get in touch with my old favorite store, West Marine Products, they are all over the U.S. and you should be able to look them up on the web and order it today. You will not have the plain surfaces around the pedals as it is full diamond from edge to edge.


I have a '26 Tudor with the original boards. Rear area most are about 10-1/2" X 1/2" laid 'front-to-back'(running with the length of car). Front area most are running between 5-1/2 and 6" X 1/2" laid side to side (running with the width of car). There are two 'angle-brackets' as well as three separate sections to facilitate removing the boards from around the pedals. As "Isabell" was originally the 'new green' - the boards are still the 'green' color. There are also metal 'frames' both top and bottoms to go around the 'pedal slots'. They also have 'finger holes' drilled into them to aid in getting them up. Don Larson

I have the factory drawing for T-1404B front floor board #3 Assy. Touring 1911-25, Roadster body 1912-1925 and Coupe Body 1919-23. Here is what it says about materials: Ash, Hard Maple, Soft Maple, Birch, Magnolia, Sycamore, Sound Oak, Beech, Hemlock, Spruce. Thoroughly dried must be free from warp. It is unlikely that scrap wood from crates or some other source was ever used on this assembly. Scrap wood was used in some applications (e.g. running board blocks), but in those applications the material specification will include "Scrap Wood".

The drawing also specifies that "Linderman stock permissible. No open joint." Lindermand stock was made by using a Linderman machine to joint the ends of boards together to make long boards out of shorter pieces. Finally, this drawing specifies "Paint black as per paint specifications." The drawing shows the spline inletted into the side edges of the floor board assembly. The board was also reinforced by two cleats 1 1/2 inches wide and running from the front to the rear of this board. The cleats were to be attached to the board assembly by 6 #14 1 1/4 inch wire nails. The 1 1/4 length caused part of the nail to protrude out the bottom of the board. The drawing then specifies that the nail was to be clinched over with a hammer (they weren't coming back out). Trent Boggess

I found the reference:

"Bascom's Touch Typist", Macmillan, 1928 pg. 28 exercise #3 find a steady rhythm do not look at keys "The quick brown fox jumped over a pile of scrap Ford floorboards. The quick brown fox jumped over a pile of scrap Ford floorboards. The quick brown fox jumped over a pile of scrap Ford floorboards." A semantically misinterpretation? As I read it the floorboards were scrap. But they were not made of scrap wood. Reid


The "standard" '17 dash was nominally 11/16 thick. Drawing actually calls for it to be .677/.697 so the thing could have been +/- .01 on the thickness with .687 (11/16) as the center. It was also beveled 3/32 from back to front around the outer perimeter. Ready for this big revelation - the COLOR WAS BLACK. John Regan


Canvas work

Substitute tacking material. A "tacking strip" is a piece of light, thin wood (Ash?) that is screwed or riveted to the steel top bow. You then drive a tack (usually through some "hydem" welting), through the stretched out top, into the tacking strip. When the tack hits the metal, it bends over, locking the whole thing in place. "Hydem" is a piece of welting that has a thin strip of metal sewn into it. As you finish tacking the hydem (and top) down, you go back and bend the hydem over to cover your rivets. You also have small end caps that dress up the ends of the "Hydem" with a small screw or tack. I couldn't find tacking strip for a W.W.II 3/4 ton Command Car I have, so I used the self stick car side molding (available in assorted thickness and colors) I peeled and pressed it in place, then riveted several areas to be certain, then painted it. Once the tops in place, it's hidden forever by the top, and best, it's rot proof, and soft yet strong enough to hold the tacks in better than wood ever could.

ORIGINAL tack strip from the REAR of my '26 touring. It is about 3/4" thick, a fat 3/4" high.

I do upholstery on collector cars for a living. I have never driven tacks into the metal parts of the top bows, only into the wood. Where the top goes over the metal parts where the top irons curve you will find small slots cutout in the irons where the tacks go into the wood bows that fit into the irons. You do not need to add any tack strips to the irons.


Interior upholstery

Go with JV Group. Good instructions, nice guy to deal with. Vince will take care of any problems-pronto. No fooling around. And the vinyl he uses looks very good. Been there, done that. Check out his website, as Keith says, it's listed off the homepage under "parts suppliers". JV Group

Another thumbs up for Vince of JV Group. I purchased the "Closed Car Interior Installation" video and learned a lot. Vince was relly helpful- a good man to deal with. Joe of Carter Cut and Cover was similarly friendly over the phone. But after two requests for fabric samples that never arrived ("Oh, I mailed it but it must've gotten lost") I had better look elsewhere. Since authentic interior cloth for a '22 is just not available I will comb the catalogs of local upholstery shops. 9 yards of absolutely perfect-match panel cloth was found at the local fabric store- a close out at $4.88 a yard. The weave, weight and nap are dead on to the original. But the darned color is quite different: denim blue. Very handsome but not authentic. But when I consider that the so-called perfect repro panel cloth is of a rough, open weave...and costs $60 per yard... denim blue looks pretty good! I bought the bolt. Now to find some wool broadcloth that harmonizes. The grey with white stripe repro cloth isn't remotely like the original. Again, $60 per yard. But while it is nice looking, the weave is very soft, open and fuzzy. I don't think that bodes well for last well for hard service. But, back to JV Group- I like em! The installation videos are enormously helpful and cost peanuts compared to the mistakes you will avoid by video lessons.


CAR Top measurements:

I measured the top on my brothers 25 touring which is a very original car and as far as we know the top irons and wood are original as Henry made them. The width of the front bow is 51-3/4 inches. The length from the pivot to outside of the bow is 34-3/4 which is more or less an estimate as it is hard to really measure to the outside of bow just by eyeballing it. Anyone else care to verify my dimensions on their car?

My 25 Touring, needs a front top bow. The width of the apparent original measures 52 inches. The front irons measure 33 inches from the pivot point to the front bow.

The 26 top irons are curved where they meet the pivot bracket on the body. the earlier ones are straight. Jim (responding to someone looking for í26 roadster pickup irons)

Fuel tank Cover

My 1925 Fordor has a cardboard cover over gas tank, tan in color, thickness between 1/16 and 1/8 in, it is 18"x31" in dimensions. It has a oblong opening for filler neck that is 4"x5". Front edge just tucks under front of seat riser, rear slides under four raised triangular tabs, that are under the backrest cushion. This car is original in that the upholstery, headliner, floor carpets have never been replaced and still in good shape. Still has original paint on exterior. Gene Pyeatt


Handbrake Off

The lever position you want is usually straight up. The clue is to look at the brake cross shaft. You will see a cam on it which catches the bolt in the clutch arm. What you want is to pull back until the little bolt rides up on to that cam and then stop there. If you pull farther you will be setting the parking brakes.



Reverse is simple. You want it to be in neutral first... that means if it is doing the forward thingy (low or high) stop it and put it into neutral. You do this with 1/2 on the left pedal or 1/2 way back (straight up) on the lever. It doesn't matter which since both do the same thing. Then give it a little throttle and mash down on the middle pedal.

Once you have mastered this there are a few skills you can add:

1. Turn your head and look over your shoulder first.

2. Make an annoying beep-beep noise, you may want your wife to do this so she feels she is contributing.

3. Move the throttle lever up and down to actually change speeds.

4. While holding the clutch (low) pedal 1/2 way down, and the reverse pedal down, release the reverse pedal, back off on the throttle, slide over onto the brake pedal and stop, while starting to step the rest of the way down onto the left pedal pull the throttle down, and let off of the brake pull the advance down a tad, swivel your head around forewards all without looking at your feet or hands... don't forget to make a beep-beep noise! Once you get this maneuver down pat then take it off of the jack stand and try it again!

Hey Mark, I hope this all hasn't confused you! A week from now you'll be laughing at this once you have gotten the hang of how all this works. My first couple of post to this forum where about this very subject.

Let's start with basics...The T will creep forward for four reasons...

(1) When the engine and oil are cold, even in neutral, the cold oil spinning between the clutch plates will cause enough friction to move the car forward.

(2) If the bolt at the bottom of the brake lever is not adjusted correctly or enough the clutch plates will not be separated enough for you to be in neutral.

(3) If the band on the low trans. drum is adjusted too tight it will grip the drum as if you are pressing on the left pedal.

(4) If the linkage at the base of the left pedal has no play in it when the pedal is all the way up, it's as if you are pressing on the pedal a bit with your foot.

Solutions for the above problems...

(1) Keep the hand brake or foot brake applied until the engine warms up for a few minutes. Or block a back wheel.

(2) Adjust the bolt at the base of the hand brake so that as it rides to the top of the steepest part of the incline the clutch plates separate. Take the cover off the tranny and watch this happen if necessary.

(3)Loosen up the low tranny band belt a bit, when adjusted correctly the left pedal should almost go to the floor in low. If the pedal travels very little when the foot is applied you might have the band a bit too tight.

(4)With the left pedal at rest, all the way up, adjust the linkage below so there is about 1/16 inch of free play.

A few tips on driving the T for the first time.

(1) Start the T with the brake lever all the way back, this is both neutral and rear brakes. Let the T warm up.

(2) With no feet on the pedals slowly advance the brake lever forward, feel carefully, if everything is adjusted correctly...just as the bolt at the bottom of the lever starts to go down the incline at the base of the lever the car will start to creep forward. Don't go any further forward, pull back about an inch and leave the handle here. This position separates the clutch disks, and takes the rear brakes off. You can practice with the lever in this position, it will only allow you to go into low and reverse.

(3) Once you have tooled around enough in low and tried reverse, it's time for high gear. Push the left pedal to the half way point where you are in neutral and keep your foot there. While in neutral slowly push the brake lever all the way forward. It is no longer holding neutral for you. Now push the left lever all the way down as you give the engine a little gas and spark advance. When it's time to go into high, let up on the gas, release the left pedal, then give her more gas.

(4) Note...To go into reverse you have to be in neutral, either with the brake lever in the neutral position, or by pushing in the left pedal to it's neutral position. Then step on the center(reverse) pedal. I prefer using the brake lever for neutral when backing up so I don't have to use both feet at the same time, there isn't enough room for both my feet!

Hope this helps...Michael

For new drivers:

Pull brake lever back to where there is little tendency to creep forward. That is neutral.

Look at the clutch lever protruding from the side of the hogshead. When it is moved even a small amount by the cross shaft cam, the clutch inside is released, or in the process of releasing. IF the clutch shaft bushings are perfect, the clutch fully released with practically NO movement of the clutch shaft. In other words, you need some rotation, but not much. A certain and excessive movement is given by the low pedal. This is OK and unavoidable.

NOW, you see how the brake lever secures neutral. Go ahead and drop the lever forward. The cross shaft cam should well clear the clutch lever. Study the low pedal linkage. See how the toggle joint action of the link also forces the clutch shaft to turn- at the correct time if the link length is more or less correct.

When you depress the LOW pedal it will almost immediately disengage the clutch. So you are in planetary neutral, just as if you'd done this with the brake lever.

It stays this way, even as the pedal goes farther down to the floor boards.

BUT something else begins to happen during the pedal travel: a cam-lug inside the hogshead on the low pedal shaft next begins to force the low band to tighten and this gradually engages the low speed planetary gearing.

There is latitude for adjustment. The best adjustment advice is found in the Ford manual.

However, if you have the BRAKE lever cross shaft cam adjusted to disengage the clutch... _and_ the pedal similarly disengages the clutch early in it's downward travel, _and_ your low band is adjusted no firmer than necessary to prevent slipping or going "overcenter" (and jamming the pedal down), you are in the ball park of correct adjustment.

I finally learned how to drive my Model T after years and years. I used to push in on the low speed pedal while simultaneously increasing throttle. Now, while the car is at

rest, I push low speed pedal (and I mean push, quickly), THEN increase throttle. Stall the car you say? No, idle it sufficiently to prevent stalling. Same technique for reverse. I have found that band wear is minimized this way, less jerking, chattering, etc. The important thing is to prevent those bands from slipping. My technique is to "punch" low and reverse Model T pedals, and "pump" the brake. I got 10,000 miles on a set of Scandinavia that way

The levers on the T steering column are spark advance on the left, gas control on the right. Crank the T with the left lever all the way up and the right at about 3-4 o'clock. Choke just a bit with the pull lever on the dash, once she sputters start pulling down a bit on the left lever till the engine smoothes out. NEVER try to start the T with the left lever down, the engine might kick back and break the starter bendix, only pull the lever down

when the engine is running. One the pedals, the left one is low/neutral/high. All the way to the floor is low, part way up is neutral, all the way out is high gear. The middle peddle is reverse, the right pedal is transmission brake. You must start the T with either the left pedal in the neutral position, or easier...use the brake lever for neutral instead.

The brake lever does three things. All the way forward it does nothing and the T is in high gear. Part way back it put the transmission in neutral. All the way back puts the transmission in neutral AND applies the rear brakes. Most folks pull the lever all the way back when starting. It allows you to be in neutral and not have to use your feet when starting the T. Also the center or neutral position is used when pushing the center pedal for reverse, that way you don't have to use your left foot to find neutral with the left pedal. If you watch closely, when you pull the brake lever back a bit the left pedal also moves down into the neutral position.

Spark advance/Mixture

Your exhaust should not get red hot. That's the temperature for bending steel, not using it. Hot exhaust means retarded spark. If this is happening with the lever full down, then you need to make some other adjustment.

Run the engine with the spark advanced more. Also, once the engine warms up try adjusting the carb. For the best performance with the firewall/dash knob. I always have to start my T's a bit on the rich side, then lean down when warmed up. On one T this is almost a 1/2 turn difference

Advance the spark. When I was a kid and ran my '26 hard for a relatively long period, I could light a cigarette on the manifold/exhaust pipe. We considered that normal then, even left the top floor board out for just that purpose.

Hill Climbing

---The Vital Oil Feed Pipe---

By Murray Fahnestock- transcribed from the Nov. 1922 issue of "Ford Owner and Dealer" magazine.

The oil feed pipe is certainly a vital part of the Ford engine, for, when this pipe goes out of action, it may be five minutes or perhaps longer- until the suffering Ford goes to the repair shop. The oil feed pipe seldom gives trouble, but when it does- Oh, the results are apt to be tragic! Since the oil feed pipe is located in a protected position within the cylinder block, there is little chance for external injury of the oil feed pipe while the car is in use. Though the car owner or repairman should avoid putting "dents" into the oil feed pipe with a wrench or other took. When tightening the connecting rod bearings or making other crank case repairs. Since clogging of the oil feed pipe is the "almost-every" trouble that occurs, letís consider the causes and defects of a clogged oil feed pipe. Lint and threads, from the transmission band linings, are often carried by the oil into the feed pipe. And if the lint stops there, it soon collects solid particles of dirt that entirely clog the pipe. Tough or scored transmission drums- tearing of shreds of band lining, may tend to cause this trouble. Or else trying to use transmission bands that are really worn to shreds-an-tatters, and which really should be replaced. However, if we drain the crank case oil at fairly frequent intervals much of this lint will be carried off with the dirty oil and so will cause no trouble. Also, when we have the transmission cover off for band repairs, it is a good plan to pick off as much of the lint as we can from the corners of the magneto coils and other places where the lint is apt to collect. The use of good quality transmission band linings, which gradually wear out, instead of tearing apart into shred, will also be helpful in keeping the oil and , consequently, the oil feed pipe clean. Particles of carbon from burned oil on pistons, or bits of metal worn from the pistons or bearings, are washed around with the oil and may eventually lodge in the oil feed pipe. These heavy particles are most apt to lodge in the bend or "elbow" of the oil feed pipe, as this is the lowest point in the pipe when the car is ascending steep hills. The use of too thick an oil may tend to cause clogging of the oil feed pipe- especially in cold weather. Notice how emphatically the Ford Motor Company insists on the use of a good quality of light oil for the Ford engine. If the oil gums and congeals in cold weather, this will easily restrict the flow of oil though the feed pipe, so that the engine gets practically no real lubrication. We may therefore find that keeping the oil clean is of vital importance in keeping the oil feed pipe clean, as all the oil flows through the pipe, and the dirt may eventually collect in the oil feed pipe. We are thus back to the inevitable starting point of going to the trouble of draining the oil from the Ford crank case every 500 miles or so; if we wish to be reasonably sure that we shall have not trouble on the road with a clogged oil feed pipe.


When the Ford oil feed pipe is in its location in the cylinder block; a line, drawn from the funnel at the top of the oil fed pipe to the front end, is at an angle of about 10 degrees. This means that when the Ford car is ascending a hill of 10 degrees or steeper, the oil will no loner continue to flow through the standard oil feed pipe of the Ford car. However, hills of 10-degree angle are comparatively rare. Grades oar measured in percentages, and a 10-degree angle is about the same as a hill having a rise of 20 feet in a base line of 100 feet, and this is called a one-in-five grade. Such a grade is usually spoken of as a 20 per cent grade and is about twice as steep a grade as a Ford car will usually make in high gear. Of course, a Ford car will climb shorter hills without injury, for there is sufficient oil in the troughs under the front connecting rods to supply the oil spray for a short distance.


If the engine suddenly seems to "drag" and lose power, or if the engine develops a "squeak" in the front cylinders- stop at once and investigate. If the oil supply is sufficient to allow the oil to run freely out of the lower petcock, then it is probably that the lack of lubrication in the front end of the engine is due to a clogged oil feed pipe.

With a clogged feed pipe, the logical thing to do is pour sufficient oil into the crank case so that the pans, or troughs, in which the front connecting rods dip, will always be filled with oil. If the oil flows out of the top pet cock, the an extra gallon of oil should be poured into the engine. This will flood the front part of the crank case and ensure an adequate supply of oil to prevent further injury.

However, even with lots of oil in the crank case, one should be very careful when ascending long, steep hills on high gear, when the oil feed pipe is clogged. For the oil will all run back to the rear end of the crank case and transmission, and the front end of the engine will lack an adequate supply of oil. Occasionally turning the car crosswise across the road, or using glow gear, may be necessary to splash enough oil into the front part of the crank case to protect the bearings and the cylinder walls.

If the driver ignores such symptoms as squeaks and loss of power, or apparently un-called for heating of the engine, then a clogged oil feed pipe may quickly cause such serious troubles as burned out connecting rod bearings or main bearings, or scoring of the cylinder walls, thus making reboring of cylinders and an expensive engine overhaul necessary. When the front main or connecting rod bearings burn out, this is nearly always evidence of a clogged oil feed pipe.


Aside from the general performance of an engine, which causes us to suspect a clogged oil feed pipe; a reasonably easy test is to remove the cap screw from the front corner at the right-hand side of the crank case lower cover plate. This is under the end of the oil feed pipe and, if the engine has been running, a few drops of oil will run out. Now start the engine and run it idle at a moderate speed. In a few seconds, the oil should begin flow through the oil feed pipe and should begin to drip out of this hole from which the cap screw has been removed. If the oil flow out in a steady stream, this is fairly conclusive evidence that the oil feed pipe is not clogged. Of course, in making this test, the oil level in the crank case should not be higher than the upper pet cock in the crannk case.

If the engine is cold and the oil is fairly heavy and sluggish, then the oil will only drop out of this opening in the front end of the crank case, even though the oil feed pipe is not clogged. Consequently, it is a good plan for each-and-every owner of a Ford car to make this test- while the engine is in good normal working order. Then one will have a standard-of-performance for that grade of oil and that particular car, which will enable one to determine whether or not the oil feed pipe is clogged.


One method of eliminating the trouble caused by a clogged oil feed pipe, is to install on of eh special auxiliary oil feed pipes that operates outside of the crank case. These supply oil to the front end of the crank case, irrespective of whether the regular Ford oil feed pipe is in working order or not. Such an auxiliary oil feed pipe can often be installed with less trouble than the regular oil feed pipe can be cleaned. And they form a reliable and easily tested means of ensuring an ample supply of oil to the front bearings of the Ford engine. Another method of cleaning the oil feed pipe, without removing the transmission cover of the cylinder front cover plate, is to install a Shurflo Valve through the crank case lower door. This ingenious valve is clamped around the oil feed pipe, (a small opening having been previously cut in the side of the pipe), and operates on somewhat the same principle as the cut-out on the exhaust pipe of the engine. With the obvious exception that this device is used to pump air through the oil feed pipe, and thus "blow out" any dirt or obstructions. With the Shurflo valve in place, a tire pump is attached to the connection of the valve which extends out through the side of the crank case. And a few sharp strokes of the tire pump suffice to exert sufficient air pressure to blow out the dirt. Of course, if the car happens to be at a garage where a supply of compressed air is available, this is an even better method of blowing the dirt out of the oil feed pipe.


It is interesting to notice that the Hudco Ford transmission cover, with the detachable section for the easy removal and replacement of the transmission bands, has a convenient pipe plug threaded into a heavy boss, cast on the top of the transmission cover directly over the funnel of the oil feed pipe. By this arrangement, it is easy to unscrew the plug at any time and run a wire down through the oil feed pipe, thus effecting a trough cleaning. It is hardly feasible to drill and tap a hole for a pipe plug in an ordinary Ford transmission cover, as there is not sufficient thickness of metal at this point- unless the metal is built up by welding or in some similar manner. However, some of our readers have drilled a hole in the transmission cover, an then fitted a small pipe flange to the cover, using a gasket on the rounded surface of the cover. The under side of the flange is filed to conform to the contour of the cover. This flange is then fastened to the cover with small screws tapped into the cover, or with small bolts extending through the cover. Of course, it is necessary to remove the transmission cover from the engine while drilling this hole in the cover. Otherwise, the bits of metal might clog the oil feed pipe, or get down into the bearings and cause cutting and scoring of engine parts.


Whenever the transmission cover is removed- for the purpose of relining transmission bands or making other adjustments- every conscientious repairman will run a soft copper wire through the oil feed pipe, as a precautionary method of cleaning out the oil feed pipe. An old speedometer drive shaft, of the coiled wire spring type, may be used togood advantage in cleaning out the crank case oil tube. In fact, one would have to search a long time for something better. The spring is flexible enough to conform readily to the bend in th oil feed pipe, and the coiled spring is large enough to completely scrape out the inside of the pipe. After forcing the dirt down into the front end of the engine in this manner by the use of a wire, some kerosene should be poured through the oil feed pipe funnel, and then the crank case should be drained of the old, dir-containing oil, and fresh oil put in. If the engine is on the bench for repairs, or if both the transmission cover and the cylinder front cover plate are off, then one can tie a small bunch of strong rags, or a small bunch of wire, in the middle of a piece of wire about five feet long. Then , by holding one end of this wire in each hand, the wire or rag scraper can be pulled back an forth through the oil feed pipe.


After one has drilled and tapped a hole in the top of the transmission cover, a useful pipe cleaning tool is a brace made of hollow tubing. This flexible wire cable is slipped down through the hollow brace, and into the oil feed pipe. When the end of the cable is stopped by the obstruction in the oil feed pipe, the cable is clamped in the chuck of the brace. Then the brace is rotated so that the wire cable practically "drills" its path through the dirt. After the first part of the dirt has been cleaned out, the wire cable is shoved further down through the oil feed pipe and, if any other obstructions are encountered, then the drilling process can be repeated.


The removal of the cylinder front cover plate, from over the timing gears, makes more or less accessible the front end of the oil feed pipe. Yet the front end of the oil feed pipe is not so very accessible, as it is still somewhat obstructed by the timing gears. On Fords equipped with the spiral timing gears, which have been standard equipment, it is necessary to use care in lining up the teeth of the timing gears with the end of the oil feed pipe, so as to permit access to the pipe. The trouble in removing the cylinder front cover plate is due to the fact that it is practically necessary to take off the radiator and break all the hose connections, in order to get at the cylinder front cover plate. While not absolutely necessary to remove the radiator, still time will be saved by removing the radiator, rather than by fiddling and fussing with inaccessible bolts and parts. With the cylinder front cover removed, we can use a piece of speedometer cable to shove up through the oil feed pipe and force the dirt, or other clogging impediments, back into the crankcase of the engine of course, the crank case should then be flushed out with kerosene and drained. Otherwise, the dirt will still float around with the oil and will eventually be carried back into the oil feed pipe.


With the cylinder front cover plate removed, one can easily stick a copper tube into the end of the front end of the feed pipe. Then a piece of hose from a compressed air line or a tire pump hose can be attached to this copper tube, and the dirt blown into the crank case. Sometimes, the pressure is applied by using a powerful, quick-acting grease gun to force gasoline or kerosene through the oil feed pipe. The grease gun will no need to be attached to the copper tubing, if the large camshaft gear is pulled off. However, pulling off the timing gear is hardly a job for the amateur mechanic, as a gear puller is necessary if it is to be done easily. With the cylinder front cover off, on can drill a small hole through the cover plate, and then tap this hole for a 1/8 inch pipe size plug. A pipe thread plug is recommended because the tapered threads of pipe fittings make oil tight joints, so that there will be no trouble with oil leakage after the plug is screwed in. This hole should be drilled about 5/8 inch above the bottom of the front cover plate, shown in the sketch. These dimensions should be checked to ensure accuracy, as this hole will act as a guide, when entering the wire through the cover plate. Now, if at any time one wishes to clean out the oil feed pipe, it will be easy to remove the pipe plug and shove a wire through, without the necessity of removing either radiator or the cylinder front cover plate. Transcribed by Reid



Helpful hints

Oil Filtration

I find the flywheel magnets are not much good as catchers of ferrous filing. The oil turbulence wipes the magnets fairly clean. However, there are many other places for magnets to catch filings in the engine. The easiest location and one of the best, imo, is in the drain plug. I epoxied a high strength neodymium slug into the drain plug recess. It's a very strong magnet! Makes replacement of the drain plug a comical job- clank! it grabs to the right of the hole. Clunk!- to the left. Ah, there she goes finally threading in. At oil change time the magnet is pretty well furred over with filings. Being at the very bottom of the crankcase, protected from the rawest turbulence of centrifuging oil, the plug actually filters out such fines as wash their way through the slotted baffle plate above the plug.

Another place where I really like a good magnet is in my outside oil line- at its bottom slope is a "T". This is 1/8th" black iron pipe. The oil diverts at the T, through a hole into the block web just above the oil hole of the #1 main bearing. An alnico rod magnet fitted to a pipe plug gets washed by the flow. when ferrous wear occurs I can spot it in short order by the amount of smudge that I can wipe off the alnico cylindrical magnet. After running petroleum oil for, say, 100 miles I get quite a good wiping of iron fines. But after the same distance running 5-50 Castrol Syntec synthetic oil the magnet remains virtually clean.

Other safe places for magnets are inside the valve chambers where oil pools and drains. And on the inside of the transmission cover, where a lint catcher is also employed. No chance of chewing an errant magnet that way. Ceramic magnets are a bit on the weak side for me to trust there without a lint screen. Super magnets are safer- but I wouldn't put them anywhere if they can conceivably get loose and ruin something, such as the whole engine.


Transmission Bands

To prevent the problem of crossed bands, Ford eventually offered a transmission band clamp and labeled it a 5Z445. It is a simple piece of 3/16 by 1/4 inch steel formed in the shape of a "U". To use it, you slip it over the ears of the three bands from the rear. It keeps the bands tight against the drum while you put the cover back on and put on the springs, nuts and washers. It was narrow enough that once the hardware was attached, it could be pulled from the rear and out the transmission cover door opening.


Thread pitch

Has any one put together a list of non standard or uncommon threads that Henry used on the Model T? A few that come to mind are the 11/32" bolts holding the driveline to the differential housings, the screws holding on the starter drive cup, and the brass screws holding on the magnets.

11/32" is close when measuring with a ruler, but they really are #22 bolts. I have never seen a 11/32" tap, but Mark Golding may have.

I thought that the driveshaft studs are 13/32"?? R.V. Anderson

Coil point nuts, commutator linkage "swivel," and the early threaded throttle rod uses a 7/32" x 32 thread. These taps and dies are pretty spendy!

2"x20 t.p.i. on the radiator neck/and cap's!! Water is usually a pipe/tapered thread, so was this made thus to reduce the amount of brass used in the two pieces?

Seems to me the threads on the 4 posts and their corresponding nuts on the top of the coils are 12-32 threads.

How about the 11/16 " nuts on shackles & ball caps

The bendix cover bolts are standard for the era, 1/4 x 24. 6mm screws are the preferred substitute for the oddball screws holding the bendix cover.

I believe 1/4 x 24 for the brass screws that hold the magnets on to the flywheel. These screws also hold the ring gear for the starter on the flywheel. So far I haven't been able to find a tap or die (in my sets) that matches them exactly. Stan Howe

I used SAE 1/4-28 screws on for the starter ring gear, and they're holding. (The ring gear threads are 14-24, the same as the bendix cover.) A guy who rebuilt the other tranny used 6mm metric bolts. . Luckily, I had a 10mm wrench when I needed to change them on the race this year. RDR

6mm screws are the preferred substitute for the oddball screws holding the bendix cover.

The drivelive bolts to the diff housings are 7/16 bolts which fit tight in the spool, but the end that goes in the diff are turned down and threaded with 13/32 thread. I guess that was Ford's way of making a shoulder bolt. Some early years used studs with a nut, but the end that screws into the diff is still 13/32. Aaron G.

The spool holes are 0.432 so 7/16 bolts at 0.4375 will not exactly fit. 13/32 at 0.40625 is close for the threads, but the standard for the era was #26 at 0.398. Kenneth Bove

You're right Ken, I went and looked up in my Machinery's Handbook and this is what it said. The A S M E (American Society of Mechanical Engineers) had thread listings for screw up to 14/24. The A S M E standards became obsolete with the adoption of the S A E standards beginning in the 1930's with final adoption in 1949. There are, however, many other screw thread systems with their own standards which are also used including Unified Screw Thread system which lists ľ diameter screws (bolts) in 20 threads per inch, 24 threads per inch, 27, 28, 32, 36, 40, 48 & 56 threads per inch. The old A S M E standards, which is what Henry probably was using when he made the T, listed 14 gauge as the largest of the gauged threads and those were available in 20 & 24 threads per inch. The diameter for all 14 gauge rod is .242 so the diameter of the screw is .242 or .008 smaller than a quarter inch. (.250) They listed a free fit drill size as .2570 and a close fit drill size as .2460 (clearance) and a #10 or .1935 tap drill for the 20 thread screw and a #7 or .2010 tap drill for the 24 thread screw. The 6 mm screws mentioned are close to the same diameters, if you do the math the actual threads per inch comes out to about 25.1, which is probably close enough to work. 1/4 by 24 will also work and those bolts are still available from a few industrial suppliers in grade 8 hardness.

Lowenhertz--which is one of the German Metric Systems-comes with a tpi of 25.4 and a diameter of .2362 The angle is 53 degrees, 8 minutes as opposed to the US 60 degrees, but would probably work if somebody could figure out where to get them. A Mercedes dealer??? Probably so. This was a common size at the time but time moves on and like a lot of things on a T, seems a mystery to us today why they did it they way they did. Stan Howe

Harley (and I think Indian) used some of the 1/4"-24 least in the 20's. These taps and dies are still obtainable as I just bought some not too long ago. Try Manhattan Supply Co. They have all kinds of odd sized taps and dies. Mine came from a local tool supply house here in Wichita. You might even be able to purchase bolts and nuts with the special threads from them also. Verne Shirk

If you are after authenticity then be advised that modern square nuts are much smaller than those used during the model T era. Hardware specs were different back then. Most notably the 1/4-20 square nut of today is 7/16 across the flats and often double chamfered (chamfered on both sides). They are also thinner. Correct 1/4-20 nut was 1/4" thick with 20 degree single chamfer on top side only. It measures 1/2" across the flats. Old spec that was

in effect called for the head of a bolt and the thickness of the nut to be the same dimension as the diameter of the fastener. Thus 1/4" bolt had 1/4" thick nut. Hex nuts had a 30 degree chamfer and generally also had a single washer face (1/64" thick) on the bottom with a single chamfer on the top. TFor "standard" fasteners there was a formula that determined the dimension for the head width based on the bolt diameter. This formula derives the 5/16 bolt to have a 19/32 head width across the flats and of course a 5/16 thick head. For the 1/4" square nuts I just use 1/2" square stock and drill, thread, chamfer and slice em off. You can make one car's worth in an evening if you have a lathe. John Regan, St. Charles, IL



Benjamin Moore Impervo High Gloss Metal and Wood Enamel Black C133 80 on the quart can. Also available in half pints. Color test: painted a little C133 over the POR-15 Blackcote presently on my rear axle. The Benjamin Moore is many shades blacker in comparison. I painted some C133 over another surface previously finished in black DuPont Imron, which is a very good black. The C133 is not quite as deep and true. But it is far, far superior to Rustoleum black gloss or the POR paints. Benjamin Moore black is a good brushing enamel for undercarriage parts.


Metal Guage

Much of the Model T was 20 ga., called out on drawings, at least pre 1920. Would assume it stayed so throughout production. BB

Plating Metals:

Web site for supplies:


The Ford babbit was: 85-86% tin, 7-7.5% copper and 7 to 7.5% antmony (?) with a max of .1% lead (that's one tenth of one recent)(1/1000).So forget about leaded babbit.

Some debate still exists about "tinning" prior to pouring babbit. Some of the old hands I have talked to insist that all you need to do is clean the area and flux it with a little acid prior to pouring. I have found that as long as the surface area has been bead blasted clean that babbit hold with no tinning necessary. I do not tin the block at all, but I do drill four 3/16 holes about 1/4 deep into the block bearing surface prior to pouring the babbit. So far I have not had a problem with the babbit coming loose. My concern with using acid core solder to "tin" the area that is going to hold any babbit is that acid core solder is somewhere in the range of 50/50% tin/lead to 30/70% tin/lead. I am concerned about getting lead in the babbit. Most references I have looked at say that anything over 1/2 of 1 percent of lead will ruin the babbit and cause bearing failure. Incidentally, I am buying babbit from American Metal refining in Chicago for about 8 bucks a pound. 10 pounds is a LOT of babbit, enough to do several engines.

Most folks I know recommend the "Tinning Compound". Composition, 75% 50/50 solder, 10% zinc chloride, with the remaining 15% a mixture of zinc chloride and water. Similar to the acid flux with powdered solder you find in the Hardware stores. Bearing babbit is approx 89% tin, 7 1/2% antimony, 3 1/2% copper. Recommended pouring temp. 725 degrees. ASTM grade 2. Both are available from McMaster-Carr, Atlanta Ga. 404/346-7000. Roughly $13/lb on the Babbit $29/lb on the Tinning compound.

I have been doing some babbit work and have found out

a few things by reading old manuals, talking to old timers who

are finally giving away their trade secrets, and old fashioned

trial and error. (and error and error, etc.) I have no plans to

do this commercialy, as this would leave little time for me to

play with my own stuff. I just want to be able to do my own work

affordably without waiting 6-8 months.

First of all, don't try to tin the block. It is not

possible or neccessary. (Did you know that the first T blocks

were not even babbited on the main saddles?}

On main caps, rods, and rod caps, I start by

cleaning thoroughly, then tinning with solder and tinning

compound. Now for the secret 2ND step: I melt up a pot of old

babbit from rod & block cores. (don't use new babbit) Then I

hang the rod or cap from a long wire and dip it into the pot.

Wear long gloves and a face shield! The old babbit has a higher

melt point and will bond to the cap and also boil off the residue

of the tinning compound and lead. You will see this happen. This

is all trash that will have contaminated your bearing had you

poured it without this step. Now, set up and pour your nickel

babbit bearing, which in turn has a higher melt point than the

old babbit and will bond to it, ensuring a tight bond to the cap

essential for heat transfer.

Another tip: when you have poured, hang a rod from

a string and tap it with a small hammer. I should ring. If you

hear a dull thud, the bearing will fail after short service. It

means the bond is compromised and heat transfer will not be

sufficient to cool the bearing. This goes for machined rods as

well. Do not install a rod that sounds like you smacked an over

ripe tomato. Make this test without the rod cap bolted on.

Fordially, Erik

Rear Main Cap

The version that doesn't require machining uses a larger ball bearing, fitted with a sleeve to step the ID down to the diameter of the output shaft. The problem with the first style is work.

The problem with the second style is the widely variable size and out of roundness of the typical output shaft. Not only do you want a good, barely slip fit here- but you want the shaft centered and running true. Many or most output shafts run eccentric. AND, if the adapter sleeve is not pressed in by the maker perfectly true, and bored true, this eccentricity forces the output shaft to do a wobble with every revolution. I bought one of these "no machine" units from TTP. The sleeve was eccentric to the tune of .020". It wasn't pressed in straight. The replacement unit TTP sent was no better. So I returned both, paying all postageís of course. I ended up buying from Model T Ranch a genuine Ford drive plate with machined shaft, including a genuine Ford steel ball cap fitted with a sealed ball bearing. To be doubly sure of the bearing, I spent another $12 at the local bearing house for a Fafnir brand bearing with very good double-lipped seals.

This unit's bearing ID is a slip fit on the machined shaft. I elected to use a Loctite product to lock the ID to the shaft. Which will make it harder to take apart some day- but I'd replace the bearing at any rate during a teardown. It's under pretty severe service, imo, what with all the vibration. By Loctiting the bearing to the output shaft, and the bearing being a press fit in the ball cap- what interesting and beneficial property is obtained? One you would not expect! The ball cap ball bearing now takes the place of the babbit rear main thrust bearing- relieving it of all real pressure. The main cap no longer has to constrain the 100 pound rearward pull of the clutch spring when the car is in neutral. The ball cap now does that job- right at the best place. The existing end play of the crank is not really constrained. A very worn babbitt thrust surface will still allow the flywheel/crank to float forward towards the magnets, or bobble back and forth depending on the clearance between the steel thrust washers just ahead of the brake drum. Think about it: ball bearing ball cap- install it the hard-to-take-apart way, and you no longer have to worry about excessive wear occurring on that wholly inadequate third main thrust face. I had to cut 3/8 off the ball on drive shaft, or something like that- at a bevel to match the torque tube angle It's just to give clearance from the bearing and does not harm the function of the globe or ball. The globe is made of cast ductile iron- it is very easy to cut. Reid


Penetrate oils

I think (disclaimer) that Marvel Mystery Oil has extract of wintergreen in it (judging by the strong mint smell). When I was in the Navy working on Jet engines we would use wintergreen as a penetrating oil. One drop of this stuff on a rusted bolt/stud and nut and these would come apart in minutes without any noise. Failing to use this would almost always result in many broken studs that would have to be fixed later. Any penetrating oil would have worked, but not as fast and probably not with 100% positive results. I think wintergreen can still be purchased at drug stores (you have to ask for it). Be careful when using this stuff as it can

be absorbed through the skin and there was a warning that it can cause either kidney or liver failure if in the blood stream. For this reason I used the same care around Marvel Mystery Oil.


Bearing removal

The rt. one is left and the left one is rt.

So get a crescent wrench and turn the left one counterclockwise to loosen and remove.

Turn the passenger's side clockwise to remove.

The inner race of the outside bearing is threaded to the spindle.

The right is left hand thread.

When you put it back together, tighten just a little with a wrench and spin the wheel and loosen off again. Next tighten just till there is no free play sideways and back off a little, because when you tighten the nut it will push the bearing in a little bit. If you leave it to loose you'll have a loose wheel. If you get it too tight, you'll have a lost wheel!

Recently I had some problems in replacing front hubs. I had some that I was unable to screw a hub cap on. The threads were ok or so it seemed. In checking them out I found that the thin threaded portion was distorted into an egg shape. One even had a small crack going into the threads. Upon reflection I believe this all happened when removing the race with a punch and letting one side of the bearing to get ahead of the other side. Take your time and keep the race square with the bore. As mentioned arc welding a bead on the wearing face of the bearing will allow it to shrink and fall out. Especially nice on the early hubs where the ball bearing race was replaced with a roller race and no lip extends in to hit with a punch. When installing put the race in the freezer for a bit.


Wheel removal

Invest in a wheel puller - it is well worth it and makes the job much easier. You will it more than once for brakes, seals, etc. If you find the felt seals leaking, you will probably have to replace both sides anyway. The wheel puller saves a lot of banging and risking damage. Once you get the wheel off you will have to take the axle housing cap off to get to the felt seal. It sometimes comes off hard too. It pays to buy new felt seals and housing caps. When you are in there, you can check the roller bearings too. You may want to check the rear axle grease level. In past forums we have been discussing crankcase oil seeping back past the Ujoint, down the drive shaft and into the rear axle. It fills up the rear axle and forces the excess oil out the axle and hubs. If that isn't present, count your blessings that it is probably just worn felt washer seals. There are also inner axle seals, but you would probably have to do a rear end overhaul to get to them. Likely it is

the outside seals leaking. Good Luck.

If you do invest in a wheel puller, be sure to buy one that also chases the hub cap threads, I bought one from Texas T Parts and have one wheel I cant use it on because the threads were screwed up. After I bought mine they came out with one that does both. Ah well, story of my life. While your spending all your money, might as well buy a sleeve puller because it;s usually the sleeve that sustains all the wear, not the bearing

You might also want to buy new rear axle nuts if yours have been on there a long time. I learned the hard way that the threads on older nuts aren't so good. Almost stripped the axle threads with the old nut. It is a cheap item and the new nuts thread any bad spots on the axle thread and tighten nicer. Cheap insurance.

Hey matt, Someone earlier on a past post mentioned loosening the rear nut on the axle one whole turn and driving around for a while VERY slowly, making circles and turns. They said you'll know when it comes loose. Don't know if this works on a TT, but if you try it be VERY careful...Michael

Matt, do you have a wheel knocker? If you do, jack up the other side of the truck leaving the leakey wheel on the ground. Screw the knockey on tight and smack it real hard until the wheel comes loose. Then jack up that side and remove the wheel. If you don't have a knocker, your gonna have to get one. Don't hit the axle without one or goodby axle. Almost every model T supplier has all kinds of seals and other items to stop rear axle leaks

Use of rear wheels for front

Using the rear wheels with front hubs: Changing is not only possible but relatively easy. Just take the bolts out, take a rubber hammer or soft blow plastic hammer, knock the rear hub out, and reinsert the front hub. The holes all line up. Don't let the spokes swam on you or get out of position in the process. It will be best to use new nuts and bolts when you reassemble. Check the condition of the wood that is behind the plates after the hubs are out and before you make the switch. Be sure you balance the wheels before you put them back on. It is as different as daylight and dark with balanced wheels all the way round the car.

You should be able to unscrew the nuts and remove the brake drums with out messing the spokes up. I would recommend that you order a set of NEW wheel bolts and then you have the material to pein over again when you finished installing the drums on which ever wheels your going to put them on.

Hub Caps

The car threads are 2 1/8 X 24.

Building Wheels

You want hickory for strength like the original.

I have built several sets of wheels for all kinds of cars and other things. Don't let these guys out there scare you off. Simple steps to follow if problems contact me

1. On a typical 21" T wheel you have a steel fellow that is a blessing for you.

Count the number of spokes (12) divide that number in to 360degrees. Your answer for a 12 spoked wheel will be 30 now divide that number by 2 that will be the degrees the mating surfaces will be on each side of the center line of the spoke. (If you added them together 15+15 you would get 30 )

2 now you know that you have a straight spoke at a given length with a 15 degree mating surface on each side of the center line of the spoke.

3. I like to draw the fellow being used and then draw the spoke in the felloe ( like all 12) this will give you an idea of how the spoke is to look and a very close size

4 turn your spoke on a wood lathe to match the drawing.

5 measure the length of the spoke and the nipple diameter

build your spoke to the length and the nipple to the size of the hole in the felloe There is a given size for the nipple, but throughout the years the holes may have been chanced due to the use of a spoke tightener. I usually make my spoke about .01 to .015 longer or approx 1/64 of an inch longer than the one in the pict

6. After you have the desired shape of the spoke in a finished form take the spokes and stand them in a TEPEE formation and use duct tape to hold them there

7 Take a piece of 3/16 metal plate maybe 4x4 or so (size not important) set the wheel under your vehicle and use a bottle jack on the plate and then jack up the truck or car. This will push the spokes together and into the felloe making a wheel.

8. Now take your hub and measure the center of the hub and get a hole saw the appropriate size.

9 set the wheel in a drill press table and figure the center. This can be done by figuring intersecting lines or just by playing with the lines.

10 drill the center for the hub to go through. This should be a nice clean snug fit

11 turn the hub so bolt holes in the hub fit in-between the spokes and drill the appropriate size (the hole drilled will be shared by two spokes because the hole is on the mating surface.

Use the proper bolts to hold the wheel together. They are available at your T store. They look like a carriage bolt.

12 when tightening these bolts I use lock tight on them (I prefer the blue)

What I failed to mention is that I prefer to use Hickory or a good straight grained oak. I usually take the material and cut to the appropriate thickness for the wheel that I am building. I also make extra spokes for that mistake that will happen.

Figure how many spokes you are going to make for each wheel and then take the cut straight grained hard wood and cut it all together and then plain it all at once so each spoke thickness is the same. THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT!!!!!!

If you have any problems with the mating surfaces I have found that a good polyester resin with fiber in it makes a great filler at the time the wheel is pressed together, but I seldom have had to do this, except for when repairing a wheel where there is original spokes and new spokes or a wheel that has ran loose for a long period of time and just been allowed to rub and wear away material.

Since you don't have a tracer lathe (most don't) after the wheel is put together you will have to hand finish the curves down by the hub with a large round file and sand paper.

If you have a wheel that is loose I will post a drawings of a spoke tightener I have built which works rather well and will shrink those worn nipple holes. This will be posted only by popular demand and not right a way cause I am busy building my next project.

For your information I have used 3/5 x 2 Ĺ carriage bolts for the wheels and have had good success. They don't look original, but I have had a hard time finding good bolts and I swear that the ones I have bought lately are made in some 4th world country because the threads have been real junk

On my 1913 before putting the rivets back into the non-demountable rims I put the wheels on the car and put a dial gauge on a stand on the floor. Then I tapped (with a big mother hammer) on the rim until it ran true. Then I removed the wheels and riveted the rims. All four now run without wobbling.

Don't paint the spokes or the inside of the hub or the hub plate where they clamp together. If you do this, you might as well grease them. I have a rear hub with the od cut down 1/8" that I put in my wheels when I painted them to keep this area free of paint. Got my hub bolts from Snyder. Did a check on them here at the plant, and they were much better than the 85 year old bolts I took out. The wheels off my car that were never taken apart had nice flat hub plates, and the spokes were rusted fast to the spokes---very tight fit. Some other wheels I picked up looked much better at first glance, but the plates were crushed by the bolts, spokes painted inside and loose around the hub. go figure..--Len

Spoke removal

To change a hub using the original spokes. Remove the bolts, clean any paint or rust from behind the threaded part then place the wheel on a board with the threads down. then using a block of wood and a hammer just tap on the spokes near the flange, working around the wheel. just go a little at a time and you will not knock the spokes out. to install, just reverse this procedure. Only move the spokes about 1/4 in . at a time.


Checking them out

The spokes should be good and solid, no rattling, pulling back and forth with your hands especially near the felloe should produce no movement. Also look for dry rot, open cracks or shrinkage. Soaking the wheels in water is a very temporary cure, and when they dry out makes them more dangerous than ever. Not recommended.


SPOKE Wood renewal

West Marine Supply sells wood bleach known as oxalic acid. It is in powder form and mixes with warm water in various strengths. It is sold in a one pound plastic container with a safety lid for under $4.00. A pound will do the decks of an entire 60 foot yacht. It works best on bare wood that is weathered, but will work on paint or wood stains as you get near the end of the paint removal process. It does not destroy the fibers of the wood. It is used to bleach the teak decks of fancy yachts, but will work on any wood. You can turn an old dirty blackish gray oak bench into a new looking piece of furniture in about ten minutes at a cost of 3 cents. Wear plastic or rubber gloves. Don't wear gloves and you will have lovely soft clean hands with no calluses (grin) Just rinse with plain water and agitate the wood with a bristle brush to stop the acid

from working.

The spokes on your car will have paint imbedded in the grooves of the wood and the acid will work on that but you should use steel wool and elbow grease to get the acid to clean out the final stains.


Who Rebuilds

I had a set of T wheels done last year for a 1912 T - two 30 x 3 and two 30 x 3 1/2 by George Garrigan of the Vintage Wheel Shop - 19842 Via Redondo - Sonora, CA 95370 - (209) 533- 0468. The workmanship was excellent. They come sanded and ready to paint. New hub bolts, felloe plates and rivets. He uses hickory and steam bends the wood felloes. The wheels are tight and true. The cost was $225.00 each. Give him a call

Jim Kaane of West Linn, Oregon (just South of Portland) does wonderful work.

(503) 638-5275 Tell him I sent you, Keith Townsend

Johnson's Wood Wheels, Inc. Rt.4 Box 113 Ardmore, OK. 73401 580-371-3642 580-371-2901

A shop in Kerrville texas $70 per wheel, you provide metal

There are many types of filler stains available that are mostly filler and partly stain. They are available natural (no pigment or 'neutral' pigment) or in various shades of mahogany, dark walnut, even yellow-ish for oak things. The filler stuff lets you end up with something that looks like a gazillion coats of varnish when in fact there may be only 4 or 5. This stuff seems like a tin of hard putty in oily varnish. Mix it up with a screwdriver first until it's kind of creamy. After sanding with 100 grit paper, wipe it on with a course cloth AGAINST the grain and wait for it to flash. Watch it carefully...when it sort of goes from a satiny wet look to a dull appearance, it's flashed....meaning the solvents are

evaporating. Now, quickly but gently wipe it off AGAINST the grain, lightly buff it out with a piece of flannel. Don't wait long to wipe it off once flashed or the final finish will look sort of muddy. Wait a day and apply two coats of varnish with even brush strokes. Don't play with it or you'll disturb the stain, and don't sand between coats or you'll cut through it and into the stain or worse, the raw wood. Any good marine varnish will do, but for the first time be sure to use the same brand as the filler to make it fool proof. Build up another 3 or 4 coats with light sanding between. Ever been to an antique boat

show? This is how they get them to look like floating furniture. The real showboats have sometimes dozens of coats put on like this but you have to a practiced eye to notice the difference.

Another real good item is something called Famowood Mahogany Wood Putty for filling knicks and such. Unlike most wood puttys that are hard and don't accept stain very well, this stuff does.

I like to use Pettit products because it can be found virtually anywhere. If you can't find it locally, call Classic Boat Connection in Spring Park, MN (612)471-8687 and ask for a free catalog. You'll find all this stuff on page 3. The catalog has a lot of good tips too.

To get familiar with it I suggest getting a new spoke or other piece of wood with square corners to practice on. Try not to round off the corners of the wood when sanding.


Don't soak wheels in water. Yes, the wood will swell, but then they will dry out. To refresh old dry spokes, clean them down to clean wood and give many liberal coats of linseed oil. Boiled drys faster.

I have refinished several with good results. Be aware that several manufacturers supplied wheels to ford, and they do not all interchange parts. Keep the parts to each wheel separate from each other. I take the flange off the hub, and using a die grinder or dremel tool, scribe a number on each spoke, behind where the flange goes, so the numbers won't show later. I put the valve stem hole at 12 oíclock, and number the spokes like a clock. Then I take out the spokes, sandblast the metal parts, and sand the spokes on my belt sander, which has the same contour to the drum at the end of the belt as the contour of the spoke at the hub end. This lets me clean the spoke nicely, and remove old paint and dead wood. I start with coarse, and finish with fine. Then I install a staple in the hub end of each spoke, about half way, so I can hook a wire in the staple, to hang the spoke by. I dip each spoke in spar varnish and hang to dry. Dipping allows the varnish to penetrate. Use a plastic sheet under the work area, or your floor will suffer. If natural finish is desired, 3 coats of varnish will do, steel wool to take off the fuzz between coats. If color is desired, one coat of varnish should be enough to seal. Refinish the metal parts. Then reassemble when thoroughly dry. Some spokes have a square end when viewed from the hub end, and some are trapozoid shaped when viewed from the end. The trapezoid shaped ones go back together easier. Use new bolts and nuts.

Those spokes have to go back exactly as they came out or you wheel will be out of round and wobble. The best way is to send them to a wheelwright ,but they are expensive. This is the way I did mine. Take a metal stamp and stamp each spoke under the hub flange and a corresponding number on the back side of the rim. Press out the hub, clean the spokes, sandblast and paint the metal. I filled a few vertical cracks in the spokes with quick-poly before sanding. Some recommend soaking the spokes in boiled linseed oil. I didn't because I wasn't sure how long afterward I could paint them. If I was going to leave natural, I sure would have. The spokes will have to be pressed back in. Teepee the spokes in the rim under a door way, use a board and a jack to press them home.

Spoke tightening

It is hard on spokes to drive when they are loose. I have taken a wheel apart with loose spokes and wrapped the nipple with string and epoxy. That will thicken up the nipple and allow a tight fit in the fello. I have also taken a spoke and used a piece of fiberglass cloth (not mat) and laminated it to the v at the other end of the spoke which will make the fit very tight. Bill Bamber

Use an impact socket wrench, (regular socket may shatter) of the correct size, placed over the spoke nipple extrusions, and then strike with a hammer, in order to reduce the size of the extrusions, and hence, tighten the spokes in the felloes. Kent

I began with good solid wheels that were a little loose at the hub and loose where the fellow meets the rim. One or more of the rivets had become loose and you could move the fellow back and forth on the rim. I first drilled out the rivets so that I

didn't damage the wood. I then removed the two halves of the wood assembly (spokes and fello) from the rim and hub being careful to mark the hub and rim and wood so that they would go back exactly how they came out. I next cut a piece

of steel shim stock as wide as the outer fello .008" thick and long enough to cover each half. Actually I made the shim a bit narrower so that it would show when the job was finished. I nailed each shim to the outer fello with tiny nails using an anvil as support. I also cut .008" shims to insert between every other spoke, not the spaces where the wheel bolts go through. I next assembled the two halves on the hub and placed the wheel on the rim just as it came out. I used a rubber mallet to hammer the two halves in place and aligned the rivet holes with punches. Once lined up, I redrilled the rivet holes

oversize and used oversized rivets after turning the heads to match the original. I used a large drill bit to widen the outer rivet hole in the rim at an angle so that there would be a place where I could flatten the end of the rivet to hold against the rim. I shortened the rivets so that they initially stuck out about 1/4" from the rim after being inserted through the fello. I used the anvil to hold the rivet head as I flattened the end against the rim with a hammer and punch. I have used this technique on about a dozen original wheels and it works very well. Through trial and error I found that .008" seems to be about the right amount of shim if the wheel is pretty good. If you're careful, the fix is darn near impossible to detect. Great for keeping with original pieces. This technique also works if you are completely disassembling the spokes for painting, just make sure you mark them so they go back in the same way they came out. Richard Gould

If a spoke jack is needed, I just got a super home made one at a swap meet. I haven't used on my 1913 yet, but will need to soon. So It is currently hanging on the wall, if You need to use it I will send it to you, use it and return it. You pay shipping. It is the sort of thing you will need once in 4 years if you heavily use your car, once in a lifetime if you only drive a little. I shimmed the 1913 about 4 years ago and it is time to do it again. When you shim, remember the rule is to work on spokes opposite each other and shim them the same amount. Then go 90 degrees apart to do it again. That's how to keep the wheel round. I use valve spring washers from the auto parts store (not model T washers) and cut them into a "C" (or "U") shape. That is so they slide over the tennon. If you let it go you will be ruining your spokes. Terry Horlick

I've experience on two cars. You must use a spoke jack. It has a pointed end which goes between spokes at the hub and a flat end for the felloe. There is a screw in the middle which you turn to produce a ton or two of force separating the felloe from the spoke... making a space large enough to slide the shim into place. Then go to the other side 180 degrees away. Then do the 2 spokes 90 degrees away and so on until you have done them all or untill you cannot fit in any more shims. If you do all the spokes and there is still looseness then do it again with 2 shims on the spoke. Thin shims all the way around is much better than thick on two or three spokes.

I use exhaust valve spring shims with a slot cut into them.

You do not use any adhesive. The force of the rim contracting against the spokes is what holds the wheel together, and holds the shims in place. If you can budge those shims even .0001" when you are done it isn't tight. This will save your spokes and wheel... it may even save more! It is cheap and easy insurance. You get the spoke jack by building one, or finding one at a swap meet. I got one for my Buick at a swap meet for $15. Last year I got a really fine one at a swap meet which was hand made by a machinist for a 1910 Overland, it is long enough for the T and only cost $10. A friend has mine on loan now (that's the best way to get one), I can ask him for a photo for the web if you want.

Don't use epoxy, it isn't strong enough to support a spoke. The shimming job should be so tight that any epoxy would squeeze out before it cures anyway. If it doesn't you don't have it tight enough. Try the little steel electrical panel reducers (reduce a 3/4 hole to 1/2) I have heard those are good. You press or hammer them flat then cut the slot with tin snips. Don't worry about the slot, if you stack two washers you might want to rotate them so the slots don't line up. I have shimmed my steel felloe and my metal felloe wheels this way. If you have wooden felloe wheels and you need lots of shims I would take the rim rivets out and push the felloe out of the rim. Then cut some galvanized sheet (an airconditioning shop will do that for you) and wrap it two or three times around the felloe as needed. I hold this in place with wire nails. Then using the bigest Rose-bud torch tip you can find heat the rim as hot as you can get it and drive it back over the felloe and shim. Then true the wheel and re-rivet it. Don't forget to remove all those spoke shims before you do the rim shim. Then in 5 to 10 years if your wheel loosens you can add more spoke shims. At least that is how I did mine and it worked nicely for me. The felloe shims are the width of the felloe and you cannot see them when the wheel is painted (which you will have to do). Terry



Itís a big clamp that catches spoke side of the rim and then applies force down on the tire side so that the rim is "bent" in towards the center of the wheel. It has several cup shaped attachments that can be used for various sized spoke ends, and two fingers that insert around the outside edges of the spoke. By applying pressure via a big square nut thread, the cup is pushed toward the center of the wheel from the outside, bending the hole a little further in toward the center radius and tightening the spoke. Tom Carnegie and


Shaffers Machine in Central Point, Oregon manufactures a line of

high dome bolts. These are heat treated bolts that I have used for

several years on wooden wheel safety hub setups. They also make a GREAT

line of reproduction Hartford shock absorbers.

Shaffers Machine, Jay Shaffer

3400 Valley Vista Drive, Central Point, Oregon 97502 (541) 855-7509

They have grade 5 carriage Screws in 3/8-16 2 1/4 length in packages of 25 for 33 cents each. They also have the half height nuts in grade five but you have to buy 100.

Wheel Rims

Paint: Premium Rust-Oleum #7213 Silver "HAMMERED METAL FINISH"

It is the BEST - TRY it on some of your metal - GREAT ! !

Most rims have four welded-on ears.

Another style, less common, is the Kelsey rim. No ears, but four short, sharp indentations instead. Also a noticable ridge in the inner circumference. Kelsey rims use loose "C" shape lugs. Will not fit a Ford wheel intended for the ear-rims. Repro rims have NO ears and no indentations. Mark Golding mounts ears on these repro rims and I bet they are as good as any originals. It's unlikely that Kelsey rims will ever be repro'd. So if that's what you have, perhaps you should save them or trade them. Kelseys are getting very hard to come by. I for one would be interested- my '22 has Kelsey rims.


Wire rims:

Ford welded wire wheels

I like to put the hubcap into the wheel and then flip it over so that the wheel is siting on the hubcap. Using a long punch I then hit each of 4 tabs at 90 degrees to each other (hit the punch with a hammer). Go around twice and it will be nice and tight. Only do 4 as if you ever need to remove the cap they may break off. That way you still have 12 more tabs so you can do the job about 3 times, more if you are careful. There is really no reason to pull the cap off once your wheel is painted and ready to mount. If you bugger it up and are sicko enough to want something shiny on your car, chromed repros are available... I don't know if they are supposed to be (or are available in) nickle.

I'm not familiar with the 27 hub caps, but on my Model A I install the caps, bend back only 4 tabs, then put a large drop of clear silicone caulk on each tab. This keeps them on and rattle free. Naturally this has to be done with the wheel off the car so the silicone can be applied through the hub from the back side. A long dowel with the silicone on the tip works well.


Source of wire spokes

Get a machine shop or welding shop to order rod of the correct diameter and hardness to replace bent spokes. They might also cut them to length and true the wheels when finished.


Mclaren Mfg. inc. at 3581 Greemans Point Road Cheboygan, Mich. Zip 49721 Phone 231-238-9080

Rim Repair

So many of the rims have been distorted over the years by the use of the wrong tools on them, and from forcing ill-made tires, with insufficent bead diameters, onto them. A distorted rim can be "trued-up", using the rim spreader and a piece of stout chain wrapped around the rim and drawn taut, after which the spreader is used as a jack to reconform the rim.


Tire Sizes

The measurements are taken across the rim from inner flanges in the rim, this makes measurements very tough. I'm gonna catch some flack for my simplistic gloss over of the rim sizes for later models but here goes. Wooden spokes, non-demountable, probably the 30 X 3 tires. Wooden spokes, demountable outer rim, probably the 30 X 3-1/2" tire. Latter Wire spokes or Wooden (demountable rim has definite split or seam to collapse the rim), probably the 21 X 450. The wire spoke rims are like a modern car rim, changing the tire on the wheel without a demountable rim. Truck rear 20x5" tire.

In the old tire size of 30 X 3 1/2, the 30 designates the OD of the tire. The diameter of the rim for this tire is 23" measured at the bead seating surface.

Tire Pressures:

-Clinchers need 55-60 lbs because of their construction so that the tire does not revolve on the rim to cause rim cuts & shave off the valve stem in the process.

-I believe the recommended pressure for the 30x3-1/2 is 55 psi. That's what I run. Dick

-I am running 55 to 60 rear, 45 in front on my coupe with 30 x 3.5" oversized Universal T drivers. This obtains a better ride by not pumping the fronts so hard.

-The 21 x 4.40-4.50 tire is a modern tire with wire in the bead & sets in the rim just fine with 30-35 lbs. Balloon low pressure tires!

-'improved' tire I like 35 front, 40 rear on my '26 touring. Aaron Griffey

-A minimum pressure is needed for a given load. Otherwise there is great risk of rim cutting the clincher bead. Because the front end of the T is lighter than the rear, 45 PSI may be safe for some 30 x 3.5 tires in the front. But the rears really should have 55 PSI. Not only do the rears have more weight on them, but they must not creep under the strain of braking. As sidewall profile bulges out more the risk of rim cutting increases a lot. 45 or 55 is really low- in the days of fabric tires you were expected to keep a bare minimum of 60 PSI in the tire. And up to 90 PSI if the load was heavy! Hard tires make a hard ride, don't they? I run 45 in front, 55 in the rear. Reid

Tire mounting

I have a solid rim with split ring to hold the tire on to it. I lay the rim, flange (back) side down on the floor. I take a can of spray silicon and spray the tube, the inside of the tire and the tire bead. I put the tube into the tire then play the air game to get all wrinkles out of the tube, then I fit the flap into the tire over the tube so it will protect the tube from any rough spots on the rim then I spray the bead again and push the tire (with tube and flap inside), down onto the rim. Then I put the snap ring on (that creates the outer flange of the wheel that holds the tire on.) Then I spray some silver paint into the silver spray can lid and dip an artist brush into it and fix the scratches I made while mounting the snap ring. That's it !

Don't go too crazy with the lube on the tire !!! I knew a guy who used grease on his tire bead. Mounted really slick ! BUT when he started to move the car, the wheels spun INSIDE the tire and tore the stems right out of the tubes!!! I prefer a little liquid dish washing soap when I mount mine.

I know this will sound strange but I like to install the tube and flap in the tire before I mount it on the rim. I first put just enough air in the tube so its full but slightly wrinkled. I then place it in the tire making sure it's evenly placed in the tire.

Then starting at the valve stem I gently start placing the flap into the tire, cupping my hand like the letter "U", making sure the flap is equally inserted around the tire. When done with this the tube is surrounded on its outer side by the tire, and on its inner side by the flap. When done properly no part of the tube can touch the rim. Then, with the rim flat on the ground, on cardboard or an old blanket I place the tire assembly on the rim tilted so I can start pulling the valve stem through the rim hole. With the inner bead of the tire soaped down the inner bead can be pushed on by hand, with tire tool, or by walking on top of the tire. With the lower bead in the rim I then make sure the stem is positioned straight and begin working the upper bead into place just a few inches at a time with spooned tire irons. I generally use three irons, holding one in place with my left knee, while I work the other two with my hands. With experience this gets easier but is always a great challenge. Good luck!...Michael

KY Jelly (doesnít hurt Rubber!) helps slip on tires.

After I placed a slightly inflated tube and flap into the tire and then put the second bead on the clincher. I then aired the tire a couple of times to 35 psi and then removed the valve core each time to get the wrinkles (if any) out of the tube. Then I with a deflated tire bounced it equally on all 4 quadrants to set the bead with the clincher. Then aired it to 40 psi and was ready to drive the T. Dave Ireland

Metal Stems

Go to a truck tire or farm dealer, and it's easy and cheap!


With the spreaders two pivoted legs set about 4"-6" away from, and on each side of the split, and the threaded leg opposite the split, the two sides of the split should just "glide" into place opposite and abutting each other. Leave the spreader in place, and use it to control the securing of the latch. The rims, as originally made, will close with ease.

(Another view) On most of the three legged spreaders you don't use the bottom legs at 4 and 8 o'clock to spread really tough rims back out. If you look at the butt end of the spreader there is a hole (slot) the exact shape of a wheel lug. You place the butt end of the spreader on the lug furthest from the split, then crank out the threaded opposite end just to the side of the split, then crank out. Check out your spreader to see if this lug shaped opening is in the butt of your spreader.

(and a response/warning) That's a very novel use of a design feature of the spreader that's there for another reason. The double key-ways in the opening at the base of the leg of the spreader that houses the Acme threaded rod are there for two small lugs to fit

into. These are extruded from the side of the rod, fit into, and travel in these key-ways. They are there to prevent the rod from merely turning when the internally threaded collar, driven by the bevel gearset, is activated by turning the crank. If you doubt this to be true, remove the hook from the threaded rod, run the rod out of the tube, grind off the protrusions, reassemble the spreader, and see how well it performs. I checked all three of my spreaders, the smaller, light-weight one would be hazardous to use in the manner you describe, as it just barely gets a purchase on the end of the lug, although it works perfectly fine when used in the manner I described. Perhaps there is no "right" or "wrong" way to use one, just pick one that works, and is safe to use, and does no damage to the rim.


Tire removal:

1. Remove the valve stem

2. Go around the tire with a 2 lb. sledge hitting the sidewall

3. Turn the wheel over and repeat step 2

4. Put some type of lubricant (liquid soap works) along the bead area

5. Push 2 tire irons under the sidewall opposite the stem

6. Use the 2 tire irons to maintain your progress as you walk a third iron toward the stem side of the wheel.

This method works best with two people.

Another technique

1. Remove valve stem.

2. Using a heavy hammer, beat the sidewall to break the bead's grip on the rim.

3. Begin opposite the valve stem. Using one iron, pry the bead down away from the rim.

4. Stick the other iron between the bead and the rim, and pry the bead toward you and away from the rim.

5. Take the first iron, and stick it diagonally in between the tire and rim, so it can grip the inside of the bead and pry the bead up and over the rim. The first time you do this, you will need to pry into separate places about a foot apart, to start the tire over the rim.

6. After you get the first side off the rim, work from the other side wall, and work your largest iron over the side of the opposite rim (the one you just crossed over), and pry the other half of the tire off the rim. Once you get this started, you can just wrestle the tire off the rim.

By the time I got to the 6th wheel, I could dismount a tire in under 10 minutes, without much effort.

More advice:

I found that after the first side bead was pulled from the clincher, then as best you can get the tube {and the flap if there} out of the way. Then with the largest pry you have get the back bead started of the rim and with a large mallet work your way around the rim by force beating the tire off. The tires we removed were last mounted on the clinchers in 1961 and had turned about as hard as rock but with work and liquid soap and horsepower they came off. At times 3 and even 4 hands are needed.

Spare Tire

26 roadster pickup spare tire had a left side running board mount that blocked the drivers

door. They now seem impossible to find. I have seen pictures of under the bed mounts that are homemade. I carry my spare in a box in the bed. Kenneth Bove

A guy in Reno for $350.00. He had built several as proto types which were there being shown. I don't know who he was, but his booth was selling coil testers, and split rim spreaders for mounting 21 inch tires. lane McMahon

C Cab Specific

The TT had a wheelbase 24" longer, so the frame is heavier, and longer than the standard car frame. If it has the serial numbers, probably 26-27.

Prior to 1924 Ford only sold the TT as a rolling chassis. Ford considered any 'commercial' vehicle to be a truck so station wagons, sedan deliveries, etc are included. Some military and special use vehicles also.

The rear brakes on the ton truck are larger than the car large drums. On my 21 the front spring/motor mount is the same as the cars, but they may have changed in later years.

The front springs are the same except for the addition of one or two leaves. I have come across a different front spring clamp that I think was especially for the TT. It is one size bigger on the studs and the clamp is also bored bigger. It also has longer studs. I believe that it was for 26, 27 because it has the cast in boss for the 1/4 inch bolt that secures the radiator apron in the middle. The car one will work fine even if you add the two leaves because the studs are usually too long anyway. I only added the one leave and I arched them a little extra to make the front stand up a little . It's never going to haul that much weight anyway. Howard

FRONT SPRING TO SUIT TRUCK 31-3/8" to 31-1/2" 8 or 9 leaf eye-to-eye (see posting on Springs)

The front spring is different only if your going to carry a lot of weight, mine has 10 leaves, I have been told to remove some of them but I left it original as I could. The perches in the front are the same as cars. The rear is different a lot heavier and wider, the rear spring is a two piece spring one set of 8 leaves per side of the truck.

The rear shackles are heavier than the car ones and wider also. The rear Brake shoes are bigger than the cars large drum shoes also. There are a few different rear axles out there I have a High speed single speed Ruxstall in the truck now, it came with a low speed two speed Ruxstall when I got it but I wanted to be able to do at least 30 with mine down hill ,(just kidding) on a flat. down hill it flys. Especially when loaded Glad I have rocky mountain brakes besides the internal ones. I do not have but wish I did have a aux. Trans. for more gear shifts.

The front axles I got were the same as car axles..same spring perch..the rear spring perches are much heavier. Bought a set of springs for the truck several months ago from Bob in Nevada. He might have some truck parts left. Lyle

Rootleib catalog, C cab lower panels are available at $35 each.


TT Rear

The TT has flat backing plates, and the AA has dish shaped backing plates.

TT rears had spring perches similar the T's, AA rears had spring perches that clamped around the axle housings.

I have two rear ends for it. A Ruxtell and a plain one..haven't looked in the plain one..both are worm drive. Lyle

TT Ruckstell

I have a 22 TT truck with a Ruckstell rear end and I blew a set of spider gears out. I replaced the gears and I am now having trouble getting the rear end housing halfs to bolt back together. I talked to a TT mechanic that told me I have to have the shifter (sleeve?) in a certain position. but its been so long since he rebuilt one that he didnít remember what I have to do to get it together.

I have never worked on a TT Ruckstell but from my experience with car ruckstells one thing to watch for that will lock up a Ruckstell as fast as any thing is you mentioned you replaced the spider gear. In a car if you donít machine off about

1/2 inch or better of the end of the spider gear bracket (the three armed bracket that the gears turn on) it will lock up a ruckstell right now. The ford bracket arms are longer than the ruckstell brackets. There are a couple of other things but check the spider gear bracket first (make sure they do not stick out past the interior housing ( It is called P202 differential housing assembly in cars). You may not have to do this in a TT?

When you get the internal gears all back together and ready to install in the housing, make sure that the notch in the flat plate that the sliding gear goes through is lined up with the bolt or "pin" that comes in from the outside of the TT housing.

You may have better luck assembling the entire unit if you replace the plate in the housing and tap it into place prior to inserting the center carrier assembly into the housing. If this plate is even a little off from going into its place true and straight it will jam and keep the rest of the assembly from going together. Often times there will be a little burr in the housing that will keep the plate from seating in it's place as it should. Fix that and it will slide right together. Make sure you have the plate lined up so the pin will fit in the notch in the plate as there is little chance of turning it after you get it back together.

If the truck is the same as the car there are two notches on the plate. The bolt on top of the axle housing goes into one. Be sure to set it so that the other notch goes forward. If you do not then the bolt which holds the shifter on won't go to place.

Most likely it is a three speed (underdrive, regular directdrive and overdrive). Warn Gear (War. for Ford) called them 6 speed , because it changed a Model T from 2 to 6 speeds. Use gear oil in them. There was also a 2 speed (regular and overdrive). Some were aluminum, others were cast iron. Some had a U joint in front of them.

Some were made special for trucks and had a cover to take off for a power-take-off. Auxillary transmissions are the only way to get a TT to go over 25mph.

Ruckstell overhaul

I am converting the stock rear to a ruckstell.I had already rebuilt the stock unit with new brass washers, new ring & pinion, etc. I will change outer brg's to the sealed type from Stoltz.I am just trying to determine if the ball bearing I have is the same as the p211 bearing from Chaffin's & the T suppliers.

Mark- the bearing house sold you a "max" type bearing- These will withstand higher loads than a standard

bearing because of the extra balls- hence the need for a loading slot in the side of the race. This is not a radial contact bearing and I would not recommend it for a Ruckstell.

If you are trying to save some $$, the get a Timken #394 and #397. These tapered roller bearings are the same bore and outside diameter as the original bearing. The height is about .010" different- not enough to worry about. Cost is about $50 for the set. I have used these for years and have a higher load capacity than the radial contact ball bearing. Dan McEachern



The purpose of the springs is to protect the chassis by absorbing road shocks, and to improve the riding qualities of the car.

FORD SPRINGS: are of the semi-elliptic transverse type. They are transverse, because placed across the chassis, and semi-elliptic because they form just half an ellipse. These semi-elliptic springs are built up of a series of laminations to give greater flexibility, with the longest leaf at the bottom and the shortest at the top. The lower leaf is turned at the ends to form the eyes. These eyes carry the bushings which secure the springs to the shackles.

SPRING CLIPS: are the "U"-bolts which fasten the springs to the cross members of the chassis frame.

REBOUND CLIPS: are the small bands of steel, surrounding the ends of the leaves, to keep them from separating under the rebound.

SPRING SHACKLES: are the steel loops which fasten the ends of the springs to the spring perches. The shackle forms a sort of hinge joint, which is necessary to provide for the lengthening of the spring as it deflects and straightens out under load.

Spring Perches: are drop forgings of "AA" Vanadium steel and form the supports for the ends of the springs. Front spring perches also hold the front radius rods to the axle, while the rear spring perches are secured to the rear axle housing flanges.

The springs should be inspected frequently. See that all clips and bolts are tight, and that the cotter pins are in place. Keep the springs well lubricated. When overhauling the car, disassemble the springs, polish the surfaces with emery cloth, pack with grease and graphite, and reassemble. Keep springs painted to prevent rusting.

Graphite is particularly desirable as a spring lubricant. The continued use of graphite seems to form a graphite plating that prevents rust, and allows the spring leaves to slide easily over each other without squeaks, even after the oil or grease which has been applied with the graphite ahs been washed away.

Grease stays in place better than oil, but is more difficult to apply. When springs are disassembled, grease and graphite should be used. When one wishes to apply grease and graphite to springs assembled in the car, then jack up the chassis frame, so that the weight of the car is taken off the springs. This makes it easier to pry the spring leaves apart with a screwdriver, while the grease and graphite are applied with a hacksaw blade. Follow this plan when overhauling and you will find that it works very well.

Causes of Broken Springs

1. Poor driving

2. Overloading

3. Rough roads

4. Lack of lubrication between leaves

5. Lack of oil in shackles

6. Loose spring clips or U-bolts

7. Loss we or broken rebound clips

8. Broken tie bolt

9. Spring perches out of alignment

10. Twisted cross member of chassis frame

11. Broken cross member of chassis frame

Rightly enough, the driver is usually considered one of the most important factors in causing broken springs. The reckless driver bangs into a cross ditch at speed, and the springs get an awful bump, while the more careful driver has sense enough to drive slowly over rough roads. Even the careful driver sometimes gets bounced on a "succession" of bumps, which add up into a bouncing motion which may snap a spring. Both care and skill are necessary for protecting the springs on really rough roads.

Every spring has its limit. This difference between a good spring and a poor spring being that the one may last five times as long as the other. But in any case, there is just so much resiliency packed into a piece of steel (just as there is a certain amount of wear packed into a rubber tire) and the car that is driven regularly over rough roads will naturally "wear out" springs more rapidly, just as tires are worn out more rapidly on rough roads.

In commercial use, overloading is often a contributing cause of spring trouble. If a box body is fitted to the rear of a roadster body and heavy lads are carried, it may be advisable to replace the regular Ford rear spring with a Sedan type spring, while even heavier springs are also made. Or auxiliary coil springs may be fitted between frame and axle.

Instead of the usual Ford 7-leaf front spring, one can purchase "heavy-duty" front springs having 9 leaves, thus giving extra strength and thickness. While in place of the usual 8-leaf Ford rear spring, one can install 9-leaf Sedan type springs, or heavy duty rear springs having 10 or even 11 leaves.

Where auxiliary coil springs are used to assist the regular leaf springs, it is customary to install conical coil springs between the front axle and the middle of the cross member of the chassis frame. In this location, the coil springs do not interfere with the relative flexibility of front axle and chassis when one of the front wheels rolls over a bump. The coil springs at the rear are placed between the axle housings and the ends of the rear cross member of the chassis frame.

Lack of lubrication between the spring leaves is a prolific cause of spring breakage. The spring that is not oiledó-rusts! The rust glues the leaves of the spring together, making them act like a solid bar. And when the road shocks come, this too-solid spring fails to yield gracefully, and so is broken. It is the old story of the reed which bowed easily before the gale, while the big oak tree (which was too stiff to bend) was broken by the blast.

Oil drained from the crank case contains more or less kerosene, which thins the oil and makes it more penetrating. This crank case oil is an excellent lubricant for the spring leaves and, as it costs practically nothing, the driver is more apt to use the necessary amount.

Some drivers keep the oil in a Mason jar, together with a paint brush and simply "paint" the oil on the sides of the spring leaves every few days. While more or less trouble, this method gives good results. Due to the penetrating qualities of the kerosene-thinned oil, it is not necessary to spread the spring leaves, if the spring are painted with oil often enough.

On our own Ford cars, we take a handful of waste, roll it up it into a ball, and soak this waste in oil drained from the crank case. The oil-soaked ball is then stuffed into the recess between the top of the spring and the channel in the cross member of the chassis frame. By punching the waste snugly into the pocket formed by the spring and channel frame, the waste can usually be made to stay in place. Then, as the springs are deflected when the car is driven over rough roads, the oil is squeezed out of the pads, and flows down over the spring leaves. About once a month or so, the pads have to be re-soaked in oil. Two pads for the front, and two for the rear springs are needed.

A much neater method of oiling the springs (without oiling the garage floor) is to fit the special spring oilers that are made for Ford cars. Some of these spring lubrication devices consist of felt pads wrapped around the springs, with pockets to receive the oil. Others include special tie bolts, which are hollowed to receive the oil and distribute the oil at the center to the spaces between the spring leaves.

Special spring leaf spreaders, somewhat on the order of a C-clamp with wedge-shaped points, make it easier to spread the spring leaves for applying the lubricant. But even when these are used, it is desirable to jack up the chassis frame, so that the lubricant will get a chance to penetrate more deeply between the leaves.

Graphite, mixed with crank case oil, makes it even better as a spring lubricant, but tends to still further blacken the garage floor.

Special penetrating oils are made which are designed to have a creeping action causing them to work their way between the leaves of the springs.

Tie-Bolt Hole Weakness

When we wish to break a steel rod, we file a notch in the rod. This concentrates the strains in the smallest portion of the rod so that when the rod is bent it breaks easily.

There is a tendency towards the same weakness at the tie-bolt hole, which acts as a notch in the middle of the spring, thus making it weaker at this point. However if we keep the spring clip bolts sufficiently tight, this will bind the weak center portion of the spring into a solid mass with the relatively stiff cross member of the chassis frame. By preventing bending of the middle of the spring, we also prevent breakage at this point. When a spring breaks at the center, this is usually an indication that the spring clip bolts were allowed to become loose.

To keep the spring clip bolts tight, it is necessary to tighten them from time to time, say after the first thousand miles, and thereafter each 5,000 miles or so. The packing between spring and frame beds down, and the spring clips bolts stretch, both tending to cause looseness as the car is used.

The breaking of many springs can be traced to the failure to keep spring clips and clamps properly tightened. When these parts are loose, the spring leaves are allowed to get out of alignment with each other. Also, greater side play occurs at the tie-bolt, causing the bolt to shear off. This may allow the body and frame to shift to one side, as well as cause the spring leaves to break. This is particularly true of front springs.

When spring perches are incorrectly installed or are out of alignment, they can throw a mean "twist" into the springs, thus causing the spring leaves to break. When we wish to tear a pile of cards, we give them a twist. The same principle applies to the springs.

A twisted cross member of the chassis frame can also cause an unfair strain on the spring. The chassis frame can usually be straightened when the spring is out, or a new cross member can be installed if the cross piece is twisted or broken.


The front and rear spring use a pad, and repros are available. In later years, Ford used scrap top material for these.

Polishing rear spring leaves

To polish the rear spring leaves, suspend the car by means of hooks attached to the chassis frame. If the wheels are off, remove the spring perches, while if the wheels are not to be removed, then disconnect the spring shackles. Run the nuts off the spring clips or U-bolts. The spring may now be removed by tapping it with a hammer or forcing a chisel between the spring and the frame.

Remove the tie-bolt which holds the leaves together. The leaves are now cleaned on a wire scratch brush, and then polished on a buffing wheel or rubbed down with sand paper. Before assembling them, rub a little grease and graphite on the surface of the leaves where they rub together.

Assemble the leaves and clamp them together in a vise or with a pair of C-clamps. Insert the tie bolt and draw the leaves together by tightening the tie-bolt nut. When the nut has been drawn down properly, square up the head of the bolt with the sides of the spring, so it will position properly with the square hole in the middle of the cross member of the chassis frame.

Replace the spring in the frame, driving it up with a hammer. When it is in position, assemble the clips and draw the spring up tightly by means of them. Assemble the shackles to the springs and perches, and let the weight of the car down onto the spring. Examine the rear end to see that the body sets squarely with the axle. If it is all right, wipe the oil from the leaves of the spring with a rag, moistened with gasoline, and give the spring a coat of paint.

It will be found that the paint is very effective in keeping the oil in and the water out. A painted spring will usually go twice as far as one not painted, before requiring lubrication. As shellac is less affected by oil, some mechanics shellac the springs before applying the paint, thus securing even better results.

If the body is out of line, raise the weight of the chassis off the axle and pad up the low side as here directed.

The sagging of the body at one rear corner is usually caused by the padding between the spring and the frame wearing out. To straighten the body up, loosen the clips and force the spring away from the frame by driving a chisel between them.

Insert a new piece of leather between the frame and spring, forcing it well up towards the tie-bolt by means of a chisel or drift. Tighten the spring clips and examine the work. If it is alright, insert the cotter pins.

If, in drawing the clips up, the cotter pin holes are above the castles or slots in the nuts, place washers under the nuts. Then the slots will line up with the holes in the bolt ends, and the cotter pins will hold the nuts. It is important that they should not work loose.

One or two broken leaves in the front springs may affect the steering, sometimes causing front wheel wobble or shimmy, or making the car hard to steer. As Ford front springs are now covered by the splash shield, it is now more necessary that drivers should inspect the front springs, when the rubbing of the fenders on the tires (as the car is driven over rough roads) indicates the possibility of a broken spring leaf.

If the tie-bolt of the front spring is sheared, this will allow the front spring to shift to one side. This may allow the ball arm at the bottom of the steering column to pass over center and jam, thus locking the steering gear when the car is turning a corner. Keep the spring clips tight to prevent this shearing of the tie-bolt.

On more expensive makes of cars, where the springs cost real money, the springs are sometimes heat-treated or re-tempered every year or so, to restore the elasticity and prevent breakage. Springs are tempered at 2,200 degrees Fahrenheit, and then quenched in oil. With a Ford front spring selling at only $2.50, it is usually cheaper and more satisfactory to install a new spring rather than to reset and temper an old one. In the case of the more expensive rear spring, it is sometimes advisable--it all depends on the skill of the blacksmith.


Spring Spreader

Golding's sells a spreader, it has a "U" in the middle to clear the pumpkin, and safety guards to prevent the spreader from slipping off sideways. For what you get the price seems more than fair.

Spring installation

Cut a couple of 2X4 blocks about 6" long. Place them on top of the axle housing under the spring shackles. Grease the blocks where the spring eyes touch them. Jack up on the axle, forcing the spring eyes apart. You may have to tap outward on the spring eyes with a hammer and have a helper push down on the frame a little, especially on light cars such as runabouts and speedsters. This works well for both installing and removing axles.



Why do so many Ford front springs break, and comparatively few rear springs? The rear springs carry the greater load, and there is often enough overhang due to spare tires, etc., to cause the rear end of the car to take some hefty bounces--yet few rear springs break.

Undoubtedly the answer lies in greater length of the rear spring, which gives more available metal to absorb the shocks and prevent breakage. This greater length also makes the rear spring more flexible and easier riding.

In order to increase the available length of the front spring, (to secure easier riding and freedom from breakage) special front springs are made with spring perches, which clamp to the ends of the axle. This makes it possible to use a spring that is 12 inches longer than the regular Ford front spring, which is a very considerable difference and markedly affects the riding qualities of the car.

In order to prevent breakage at the center of the front springs, the Titanic spring is made with a "hump" center which holds the spring leaves from shifting out of position. With the hump center in the leaves, it is unnecessary to punch any holes through the leaves to cause weakness, and so such springs are guaranteed by their makers forever against center breakage.

Another interesting feature of these Titanic springs is that the individual leaves are tapered, becoming thinner toward the ends, thus distributing the strains and giving an easier riding spring which is less apt to break.

To secure easier riding of the Ford roadster (which is regularly fitted with the same rear spring as the touring car), it is our custom to remove one or more leaves from the rear spring, as there is much less weight at the rear of the roadster body.

We also drove a Ford coupe for many years with the third, or second from the longest, leaf removed. This made the coupe ride much more smoothly. However, it is doubtful if any leaves should be removed from the rear spring of a coupe, as the enclosed body of the coupe is rather heavy, even if the weight is carried fairly well forward.

If more than one leaf is removed from the rear spring of a Ford roadster or special racing car, then such leaves should be removed as will leave the spring most nearly in its original form. Never remove two adjacent leaves, but rather remove the third and seventh leaves. On racing Fords, three leaves are sometimes removed from the rear spring.

The Jenkins Vulcan springs include an easier 8-leaf front spring for the Ford that gives improved spring suspension because it has thinner leaves. This spring is interchangeable with the regular Ford front spring, without altering or substituting spring clips or shackles.

Fitting springs to axles

Replacing spring shackle bolts is a mean and pesky job, unless special tools are used. However it can be made a little less difficult if a block is cut which will just go under the perch. When the car body is then lowered to connect the spring, the block will hold the end of the spring in the proper position to make the connection.

Truck springs

What spring should you have in your T.

Years Leaves Front / Rear Tapered / Square Model Part No.

1918 - 1927 9 9 no yes truck F-TT1151


1926 - 1927 8 no yes truck F-T3800C

TT truck part numbers rear springs come as left or right.

18 to 27 front 9 1152 1153 xxxxx 1154 1155 1156 1157 1158 1159 1160d

18 to 27 rear 9 1078a 1079 xxxxx 1080 1081 1082 1083 1084 1085 1086

26 to 27 front 8 3801b 3802c2 xxxx 3803c 3804c 3805c 3086c 3087c 3087d xxxxx

"U" clips or brackets to hold springs into the chassis frame

Truck Clips Or Brackets

18 to 24 front 3808b rear 1088

21 to 25 front 3076b rear 1088

25 to 27 front 1165 rear 1088

The distance between the eyes ?

There is no recorded dimension in any of the books or dealer bulletins that I have read but from questions I have asked the spring reset shops leaves me to wonder if they know what the dimensions are. I think they take the distance between the eyes of the spring that you bring in and reset it about 1-1/2" to 2" less than what you have now. This is a good rule of thumb that a blacksmith told me when I asked him about resetting my springs when I did not have the distance. After a few phone calls that I made, Peter Kable came back to me with these dimensions listed below. {This will be the only time you will ever see them and remember that it is center of eye to center of eye}


31-5/16" to 31-1/2" 7 or 8 leaf


31-3/8" to 31-1/2" 8 or 9 leaf

The following is a chart I compiled from some front springs I had laying around. This list, most certainly, isn't complete and will probably leave a lot of unanswered questions which someone may be able to fill in. There were several of the 7-leaf springs in the pile and the ones shown on the chart are an average of those leaves. The leaves only varied about 1/16" to 1/8" at the most on similar sizes. Some literature I have seen talks about how the 26-27 is lower as result of a dropped spindle and a front spring which doesn't have as great an arch (same thing holds true for the rear??). If you have a big pile of spring leaves, the individual leaves can be laid across a Model T frame or sawhorses and from that, you can generally discern which are earlier and which are later. The earlier ones have more of an arch. Of course, these are all the "clip end" taper leaf.

7 leaf (early: 1918?-25?) - an average of several springs measured Length of Spring Leaf Overall Height of Leaf

9-3/4" 3/4"

13-7/16" 1-1/8"

17-7/8" 1-5/8"

22-5/8" 2-7/16"

27-3/16" 3-1/8"

32-1/2" 3-7/8"

33-1/4" 4-11/16"

8 leaf (late: 1926-27)

Length of Spring Leaf Overall Height of Leaf

8-13/16" 9/16"

11-15/16" 13/16"

15-1/4" 1-1/8"

18-5/8" 1-7/16"

22-5/8" 1-13/16"

27-1/16" 2-5/16"

31-9/16" 2-11/16"

33" 3-5/16"

8 leaf (late: 1926-27) - just another one

Length of Spring Leaf Overall Height of Leaf

8-13/16" 9/16"

11-9/16" 13/16"

14-13/16" 1-1/8"

18-5/8" 1-7/16"

22-5/8" 1-7/8"

27-1/8" 2-1/4"

31-5/8" 2-11/16"

33" 3-5/16"

9 leaf (late: 1926-27)

Length of Spring Leaf Overall Height of Leaf

8-3/4" 1/2"

11-1/16" 3/4"

13-1/2" 15/16"

15-13/16" 1-3/16"

18-9/16" 1-7/16"

22-5/8" 1-15/16"

27-1/8" 2-5/16"

31-9/16" 2-11/16"

33" 3-1/4"

I used a tape measure to find the over-all-length of each leaf. I let the tape follow the contour of the spring (laid it over the top). To find the height, I sat the spring on a level surface and measured from the level surface up to the top of the leaf. I would be interested in your comments. Perhaps a larger, more complete, list can be compiled from this. by Verne Shirk on July 29, 2000



I have installed over 100 A cranks in T blocks. If you would like more info, give me a call after 6:00 pm PST. 510-532-8228 1914tman

I made a air cleaner for my speedster's NH by using a lawn tractor air cleaner and a couple of flat brass ends and a short piece of sink drain tube fastened on with a couple of short springs. Ken Chapman



I have a Western Auto reprint catalog (1919) that has page after page of every conceivable device to make the T safer, faster etc. It is not generally known that later in the run of Model T cars, Ford endorsed (and apparently profited from) dealer installation of aftermarket accessories. Not just the Ruckstell axle. Look at this partial list of dealer supplied accessories, taken from the 1926 "FORDEX" dealer/salesman manual. The first list below is stated as being Ford-manufactured:

-FORD scripted vacuum motor windshield wiper

-windshield wings

-gypsy curtains

-top boot

-all-steel nickeled bumpers

-drop center rim wire wheels

-inside rear view mirror

-manual windshield wiper

-dash lamp

-stop light

-stop light switch

This second list is non-Ford, authorized for dealer sale:

-foot accelerators; Williams or Fulton

-aftermarket brakes; four brands, six types

-bumpers; three brands

-cut-outs; four brands

-lever extensions; Hughes and Apco

-gauges; Carter oil (dash), Apco oil (dash), #42 crankcase oil gauge.

-horns; three brands, various models- Klaxon, Sparton, etc.

-ignition systems; Bosch, Delco, Utt distributors

-lights; numerous brands and types of spot, stop and others

-locks; many brands and types

-mirrors; FORD

-motometers; Midget and Aristocrat

-oilers; F&F and Yale

-pedal pads; Fulton, Surety, Slip On

-pumps; Klondike, Yale, Climax

-nickel plated radiator shells; FORD

-shock absorbers; Lincoln, Gabriel, Ford snubbers

-speedometers; two models of Stewart, AC

-steering wheel; four models each from Bauer and Fox

-step plates; rubber, aluminum, combination rubber and aluminum, rubber flap

-Clymer accessories; spotlight, tire gauge, headlight control


Quite a list, eh? OK, presented next are two consecutive "items" from the weekly trade magazine "Motor World Wholesale", issue of July 8 1926:


PHILADELPHIA, July 7---A report is prevalent here that the Ford Motor Co. plans to cease selling accessories. The change, it is understood, will be gradual, in order to clean up accessories now on hand. Dealer dissatisfaction is reported to be the cause of the contemplated change. The Ford plan is said to have reduced profits Ford dealers

previously made on accessories."

Second item, a denial: "DETROIT, July 8--The Ford Motor Co. denied it intends quitting the accessory business when rumors of a change were cited."

Well, gentle readers- how about that? My interpretation, subject to correction:

Henry Ford tried long and hard to discourage the accessory makers, even so far as voiding the new car warranty if any accessory were fitted. Later years found sales slumping. Dealers crying over an outmoded, rigidly austere product. Ford relented. The company partially embraced the accessory concept. _But only so long_ as the Ford got a monetary CUT of the profits. EVEN for independently produced items not manufactured, advertised, distributed, stocked, installed or guaranteed by Ford. Apparently, Henry Ford wanted a stiff profit, even from other people's business.



A person doesn't need so many adjustable reamers. What is the inside diameter of spindle arm bushings or perch and spring bushings? 9/16"?? If so, a "B" reamer goes from 17/32 to 19/32.

For the record, here is a list of adjustable reamers A through H with the sizes they cover. Remember, the reamer is tapered along its length- for a straight hole the reamer must finish the cut by passing entirely through the hole.

A 15/32" to 17/32"

B 17/32" to 19/32"

C 19/32" to 21/32"

D 21/32" to 23/32"

E 23/32" to 25/32"

F 25/32" to 27/32"

G 27/32" to 15/16"

H 15/16" to 1 and 1/16"

Those are the reamers in my drawer. Looks like a T'er would do just fine with a "B" for perches, spring eyes, spindle arms (if these are all 9/16" as my faulty memory thinks they are. The crank bushing of course needs a large reamer. The steering bracket needs better than a too-short adjustable reamer. My reamers all have straight blades. Unfortunately, each blade is exactly opposite another blade. These two factors lead to scalloping into a bushing of whatever

metal if too heavy a cut is attempted. Like I noted earlier, the reamer tells you when it's cutting and when too heavy a cut is attempted it will complain and start to ruin the hole. I think better reamers are fixed size reamers with spiral flutes in odd, not even numbers. They don't chatter or tend to scallop. But an adjustable doesn't either if you cater carefully to the work. Reid









Then the A -O sizes from 15/32 to 3 11/32

Makes one wonder of the gap between 13A and 8A, and why the interrupted sequence. Kent



Donít use the rear pumpkin, as too much weight is placed on the center, allowing development of leaks. Do use the outside edges of the axles, and lifting by the oil drain on the pan might be an option, but under the axle is preferred. Always use jacks.

Steering wheels

There are many accessory steering wheels out there. There are two basic hub designs for a Model T Ford. One of them comes with the keyway to fit a ford shaft and replaces the stock wheel by removing and replacing the nut. The wheel has a locking pin or lever which allows the wheel to; slip, slide, or swing, or drop in some manner to let the occupant get in and out of the vehicle more easily The name "Fat Man" wheel was born. The more tricks the wheel does, the more it costs. Some of these wheels have key locks and can be locked open or shut. When the wheel is locked open, the car can not be driven. Some other wheels require removal of the stock steering wheel cover and steering reduction gears in order to install the new upper short steering shaft. This type of wheel has a retractable locking pin on the steering shaft. A lever is on the steering wheel hub and the locking pin comes out of the shaft. When the pin is locked out, the wheel simply revolves around and the car can not be driven. This type of wheel does not tilt but is an anti-theft device. This is a locking or free wheeling steering wheel but is not a "Fat Man" wheel. Now for the real high end steering wheels. The hub and gear cover assembly is changed out like the rotating one mentioned above, but the wheel also swings, slides or tilts. This wheel can be locked open or shut. This wheel can be swung out of the way so that you can get out and then put back in the driving position. The key is placed in the hub and the pin retracted. The key is removed and the wheel just rotates in free wheeling. This type of wheel is a freewheeling locking fat man wheel.


I made a reed for the 12 Buick in 1959 out of a .009 feeler gauge leaf. t was just right. Take the reed out of the horn and put it on the work bench. Heat it slightly and pull out the bad reed. Press the new one in and soft solder it to hold it so it won't shake out. The thicker the feeler gauge the deeper the tone. Don't use a .009 just because I did, measure the old one and replace it with the same thickness. You should look carefully at the surface of the cup where the reed flaps up against to be sure that no light shines though any warped surfaces. The cup, as I call it must be true. You can carefully burnish it back to shape with light pressure. The reed should curve up ever so slightly and this is done much like you curl ribbon on a present by dragging with pressure to make it lift up, never kink it. The air must find its way through that .003 or so air gap at the far end in order to start the vibration. Use a good gauge, not an old rusty one. You can buy a new reed for less money than a feeler gauge so don't mess up a good tool like I did. Now that I told you how to make your own reed, NEVER take the reed apart unless it is not working at all. IF it squeaks with a little high tone or sounds like a love sick canary simply lower the tone by slowing down the vibration. How you ask? add a little soft solder the top outer upper end of the reed and the thing will slow down and give a deeper tone. When you get a dab of solder on there big enough to brush your teeth with, it will sound like a love sick bullfrog with only two hind legs (Hurk?). Some of the newer replacement reeds are quite short (1 1/2") while old originals are about 3" long. In the case of reeds, longer or thicker or heavier will give a deeper tone. Short, thin light gives a higher tone. Thin reeds start up quick and work with a leaky tube but thick ones must have a good tight tube with no leaks. Remember, we are just here to have fun, don't break anything messing with it. You can buy a new reed for $10.00 or so, so give it a try. Posted by Frank Harris

Interesting fact: The louvers on the sides of the hood were introduced so that the magneto horn could be heard from inside the engine compartment. Jim Cook.

The mag. horn mounts on the firewall using one steering column mount bolt the lower one closest to the engine and a separate bolt. The rear part of the horn fits in the recess for the bellhousing. Jim Sims.

1915 bulb horn installation:

The "usual" horn hole from 1912-1914 was drilled 3" in from the left edge of the dash and 10" above the very lowest edge of the dash. The hole was 7/8 diameter for awhile in 1912 as I recall my research but later was 1" in diameter. For the new 1915 dash, the release info is silent about any horn hole and the drawing does not show any horn hole drilled. The release info merely states that for early 15 the horn mounting holes are to be drilled by Ford Motor Company and not the dash maker. The release info on the dash shield calls for the left end of the shield to be notched on the lower edge for the air tube. This notch first was designed in on

10/10/14 but the dash shield was altered completely on 1/15/15 by clipping the left end of the dash shield off at a 45 degree angle making a clearance for the air tube. It would appear that the air tube never passed through the dash but under it and through or under the edge of the dash shield. I have not seen the drawings for these dash shields but do know that the 1913-1914 dash shield drawing does not exist in the archives. I have been researching the 1913-1914 dash shield and just finished reverse engineering it from original samples along with release info. Luckily I was able to reconstruct it exactly. Hopefully will have this correct part out by Hershey along with correct early '14 dash lamp brackets. John Regan

The firewall arch should be high enough so the air pipe goes just underneath it. The horn (3/4 twist Rubes, Standard, or ?) should mount "upside down" with the loop on the top. I am unsure of the correct mounting hardware. The bulb will mount on a block that is under the top rail of the driver's side. This block should be mounted with long screws coming down from the under side of the top rail under the metal panel. On my car the metal was already in place so I ended up making the block go all the way from the underside of the top rail down to the cross piece. I used long screws up from under the cross piece and the screwed it to the top rail with the screws installed in a toe-nail fashion. Since it all gets covered up with upholstery, no one except you and me will ever know the bulb mounting block is not the right size. Keith Townsend

Just a note, you will also need a 90 deg. elbow to screw onto the horn where it comes through the dash to turn the hose to the left and up to the bulb. Ed henline


5Z152 "L" wrench for the rear axle housing and crankcase lower cover bolts.

A special wrench for the front and center main bearing bolts of a Model T Ford. These bolts have square heads that measure 9/16 inch. To tighten them usually requires a square socket or a tool like this. It is designed to fit the heads of these bolts and is bent so as to clear the crankshaft journals. It could be used to adjust the main bearings while the engine is still in the car. This tool was made by Walden Worchester and is marked with their number 1881.

Axle Sleeve tool

Take an old, rusted outlet connection pipe, #3939. Drill a small hole near one end, and install a 1/4" bolt and nut. This can be adjusted if you use 2 nuts, one inside the pipe, and one outside, so you get the right amount sticking into the sleeve. Then, drill 2 holes in the other end, across from each other, Install a large screwdriver into these holes. There you have it, a custom built sleeve removing tool. Courtesy of T-Nuts.


Hub Zerk fitting modification

Looking for an easy way to pack front wheel bearings and a guarantee to keep water out of the front hub, I made a modification yesterday by fitting a Zerk grease nipple in the side of my front hub. The small, press-in size. Just a 3/16" hole and tapped home. A Zerk on a T is a little unauthentic looking (grin); doesn't "belong" on a T, much less in a hub. But it's actually not so very noticeable. The nipple is sort of just there like...a .."Bub". Hence, I call it Hub Bub. No doubt it was done this way in the old days- I dunno, I just figured it makes some sense, and is not necessarily permanent- the fitting can be pulled by the next owner and the little hole filled up.

Grease Cups modification

Install Zerk fittings inside all the grease cups on you car or TT. You still have the original look but you can use a grease gun to grease your rear axle and the drive shaft and U-Joint areas, also any other place where you have one of the screw down cap grease cups.



I bought a Schwinn bike unit and lengthened the wire. I initially had trouble until I used shielded (microphone) cable. I used two conductor wire, and hooked the shielding to ground. I mounted the pick-up unit on the rear radius rod, and epoxied a small cylindrical magnet directly to the rear drum. This of course would not work if you had outside brakes. The magnet came from the pick-up of a Fender Stratocaster electric guitar. The mounting of the pick-up on the radius rod is very slick, easy and unobtrusive. Since I shielded the wire the speedo has been totally stable, and very accurate for two seasons.

Once you have got one installed on your T it needs calibrating. Roll the T until one of the valve stems is directly at the bottom. Make a mark on the ground and then roll the T straightforward until the valve stem is again at the bottom. Make another mark. Measure the distance in millimeters and that's usually what gets input during setup. You will have a speedo that will be very accurate.

I have used these bike speedos, and currently have one on my '25 touring.

I took an old bike spoke, bent one end into a loop, installed a hub bolt that was made for a speedo gear, so it stuck out further than the rest, installed one nut on that bolt. Then, placed that loop over the stud, and installed the second nut to hold it in place. I then mounted the stock magnet to the piece of bike spoke, and cut off the leftover. I mounted the pick up onto the spindle and, made the adjustments to get the spacing needed. Be careful what brand you buy, these speedos need to be calibrated to the outside diameter of the rubber tire, mostly in cm's, not inches? Make sure the one you buy will calibrate to the size of your tire. Some will not go that far up the scale. I bought a "cateye" brand, and it is GREAT. I shift from low to high at 7.2 mph, ( for reference only.) Making the wire longer is no problem, like said, just cut, and make a good splice. Bill Eads



just did a model 11 they might be the same. The bezel should have 3 pins on the side and you push them in and work the bezel off. If it has the mounting bracket it has to come off also. There should be 3 screws for it. Behind it there is another screw. When you get it out the inside should come out. Once you get the dial off the trip changer is simple to remove. Mine had dirt daubers nest in it and the grease was dry. After I removed the hand and dial I put it in water an let it boil for few minutes. It removed all the old grease and dirt daubers nest. You might want to put a drop of penetrating oil on the hand. Mine was pretty stubborn about coming off. Joe


Adjusting Rocky Mount Brakes

Adjusting a set of old running brakes.

The rather inviting nut at the top is the one. The rules are as follows: lefty loosie, righty tighty. I do not know if your installation is for a brand new set just installed, or an old set with some miles on it. There are many things to consider and we are 8000 miles apart so I can't look at it.

1. The two jam nuts on the long bolt are used to set the heel of the shoe and if they have not been adjusted, leave them alone. Also there are a couple of flat straps that can rotate radially on the backing plate. These have cotter pins and

springs holding the lining. These can be rotated about in order to attempt to maintain equal spacing of the brake lining as you adjust your brakes. After you get them adjusted, lock them down.

2. Loosen the rather inviting large nut until you have about .020" clearance all the way around. You check this by passing a feeler gauge all the way around the drum between the drum and the lining. It will not be exactly equal all the way unless

you have earned a spot in heaven or the sun starts coming up in the West. This is when you swing those flat straps about. After you have them adjusted as best you can at rest, try the foot pedal and see if someone can push you when the brakes are applied. If not it is safe to drive. There should be no drag when you rotate a wheel that is up in the air.

3. Now comes the fun part, get on a quiet paved road with no traffic and drive at a slow speed for about a half of a mile without stepping on the brakes at all. Roll to a stop or use only the hand brake. Stop the engine and get out to feel the

temperature of the brakes. It there is any heat at all you must loosen the screw about a half of a turn (three clicks) and try again.

4 After you know that the brakes are loose, then you can apply them to see if they stop the car. Keep adjusting them one click at a time until the car can be stopped reasonably well.

5. After you can stop the car reasonably well and the brakes do not run hot, you can try a panic stop. You should be able to lock up the wheels and make a skid mark on the pavement with each wheel. Both skid marks should be of equal length.

If not, adjust them until both are the same.

6. After the brakes are adjusted for maximum stopping power, cool the brakes and then run the car to check for heat again.

Adjustment of new brakes requires loosening the parking brake, setting the R.M. brakes to work properly and then attaching the emergency rods so that they are uningaged when in neutral and grab when you pull past neutral to set them.

With the Modern set. I assume that you did not get a new pedal with the set. The weld on the pedal attachment MUST be done with an arc for safety sake, not gas welding. If you are new at doing this type of installation job, it is best to be sure to actually release the front end of the hand brake rods and let them drop to the ground so that that system will not disturb you main braking system while adjusting it. Then adjust the R.M. brakes. Be sure that the R.M. yoke clears the rear of the engine pan and the hand brake yoke. Be sure that the foot pedal travel allows the new R.M. yoke to travel without binding against the pan in any way. Then adjust the two new brake rods to proper length so that the rear brake bands are at rest when the foot pedal is released. This R.M. yoke can be adjusted forward and backward for best performance. That adjustment is made by adjusting the new R.M. rod length. In short, you adjust pedal travel with the rods, and brake clearance with the big inviting nut.

With the hand brake lever in neutral, roll the car to be sure you are in neutral. It should be noted that the hand brake lever may be in a different position than you are used to, this is normal. Do not attempt to keep the hand brake neutral setting exactly where it used to be. Then hook up the brake hand brake rods, this will usually require a different setting than you had before you installed the R.M. brakes, again, the lever may be in a different position. After the hand brake rods are assembled, you should have neutral with the lever in neutral when you step on the foot pedal but the car should not roll. When you pull on the hand brake, you should have neutral but the car should not roll. With the hand brake on the foot pedal should work without binding.

Take it slow and safe, till you get them adjusted properly. test it carefully and keep feeling for the heat. I put a set on a T speedster last year and then went on a one week long 700 mile tour right out of the box. They are a good product. Remember, you may get a different story from different people. Frank

Good report. Presuming the RM equalizer is in place, let's note add equal braking/equal skid marks is not available by adjusting the bands. With an equalize both brakes must be in identically good condition. By its nature, the equalizer insures each brake gets the same pull. Therefore, making one band a bit tighter than the other has no effect in practice. When RM brakes are firmly applied the equalizer yoke should be "square". If it cants, the trailing side has too long a brake rod (adjust clevis) or the band on that side is tighter than the other band. I wish the RM brakes were made like they were in the '20's- that is, with anchor to the rear/semi self energizing.

Mr. Williams, proprietor of RM Brake Co. is quoted in the recent Vintage Ford saying that their total self energizing feature today is a great invention over what was done in the past. That is nonsense- there were fully self energized brakes in the old days. And there were sane, safe brakes that worked as well in reverse as they did in forward motion. The original RM brakes were of the latter persuasion. Another advantage of center-anchored brake bands (like the old Rockys) is they

are much more positively centered off the drum and less liable to drag. Trying to adjust modern Rocky Brakes for adequate band clearance, yet still retain adequate pedal for panic stops is often difficult. And the bands are liable to reseat differently on the guide strips, resulting in sometimes equal clearance and more often a light rubbing. Not enough to heat the drum. Just an annoying swish that sometimes comes and sometimes goes. The lack of reverse braking is a terrible drawback to these modern Rocky brakes in hilly country. I for one would much rather have a higher pedal effort, gaining the assurance of brakes when backing, and less tendency to band dragging. When adjusting Rocky bands for clearance, don't be afraid to experiment with band strut springs of different strengths. Sometimes that helps. In fitting on the brakes, first make the band conform as truly to the drum as possible. Let the springs do all the work of springing away the band from the drum. Try adjusting band seating while one or both rear wheels are up in the air and spinning slowly- neutral, engine running. actuate the brake. Aim to get the entire band to come into action at the same time. If you can do that, you distributes the wear most equitably and prolong lining life. Otherwise it is entirely possible to wear out the top half of the band before the lower two thirds is even 1/4 worn. Its not a good thing. Now wouldn't it be nifty if one of the clevis rods could be moved closer and farther from the equalizer pivot point. Not a lot of adjustment, but just some- like a half inch either way. This is the only way -if an equalizer is used- to actually compensate a pair of Rockys that offer different braking efficiencies. If the car pulls, either fix the oily brake band or... unequalize the equalizer. Reid


Hydraulic Brakes

I have hydraulic drums on my '15 touring. They are made by Roger Lee of Mass. The kit comes complete with EVERY item needed, right down to the exact number of ties to keep the brake lines from rattling. The complete installation took me about 8 hours of work. No expensive tools needed. Everything is first class. Years ago Roger had his brake sets in Lang's catalog. He has "retired", but seems to still crank out a few sets each year. They really are brilliant. Complete set with clear directions include all brake lines, new machined cast iron drums, all brake shoes and cylinders, springs, master cylinder, linkage, etc. cost about $700 for small drum kits and $900 for large drum kits. If interested, I'll get his phone number for you. Alex Joyce

The brake shoes are made up by him (I believe) and the material is bonded, not riveted.

Roger Lee

2625 Maple Swamp Road

North Dighton, Mass 02764



When I was on the MTFCI tour in July, Everitt Hites had a set of Subaru disc brakes on his 1915 Touring.


4x4 conversion

Peter Kable wrote a nice article in the Sept/Oct 1998 (V 33 #5) issue of the Vintage Ford about the Livingood Four Wheel Drive. Jesse Livingood II, son of the inventor, is making units today. Price: $3200. He can be reached at:

Jesse Livingood, P.O. Box 125 Graysville, PA 15337 (412) 428-3618

General Info


The quick way of telling the 26,27 shell has round holes for the hood lacing. 23,25 shells have a rectangular slot for lacing. Originally 26,27 shells came metal painted black and brass were nickel plated they were never chromed . When I restored my 26 coupe I used a metal shell and chromed it instead of nickel . Chrome is easier to take care of and the metal does not stress crack like the brass. Ralph Walker

The 26 and 27 shell is definitely different than the 25. They open wider at the back to match the hood which goes to a much wider cowl than a '25. The hood lace holes are round on the Improved Ford, rectangular on '25 and earlier. '25 Fords could also be had with a nickel shell. I think closed only cars. Aaron Griffen

The term "Hot Rodder" came to us as a naughty term sort of like "shade tree mechanic". The cheap guys heated the rods on the stove after mom went to bed because the shops charged 25 cent a pin to press them in or out back when I started. That was when I started to have fun! Frank Harris.



A Palm (in Australia) is basically a Model T with "every" Ford removed. When I bought my pile of rubbish, the Palm motor was part of it. The motor and all of the running gear as I said is Ford but the body was made in Australia, so they were all RHD and the spark was on the left and the gas on the right. When I pulled the motor down, someone had actually gone to the effort of even grinding the Ford off the triple gears also off the inside of the transmission drums. You name it, there was not one Ford to be found, and believe me, my father & I looked. The Palm Motor Co, used to advertise their product by flying and bi-plane aircraft around and dropping leaflets from it. Needless to say not many of these pamphlets still exist. One sold not too long ago over here for $500.00. Basically the only way that you could tell a T from a Palm was the radiator badge. Over here in Australia the great majority of cars are right hand drive, therefore we have the brake and reverse adjusters on the outside and the clutch adjuster internally. I actually have a Palm (an Australian version of the T, but had every Ford ID ground off it) transmission cover, and someone had actually gone to the effort of converting it from LHD to RHD by cutting the RHS out of it and replacing it with all of the pedal assembly, and plugging the holes where the pedals were on the LHS with brass plugs. It was quite a piece of work. James D. Wotherspoon East Ringwood Australia

Wide Track cars

There is quite a variation on the earlier vs the later wide track cars. On the earlier cars (1912 and prior) the running boards and splash shields were made so that they were in line with the wider fenders. On the 13-18 cars the fenders were wider but the splash shields and running boards were the same as the 56 inch tread car.

Other items which were different on the 60 inch tread cars included the front axle (but not the front spring), drag link, tie rod, rear axle and spring, rear radius rods, and fenders. I am sure there are some other differences as well. I am not an expert but I have a learned a bit about them over the years. BTW if you know of a 60 inch tread rear clamshell 12 rivet axle is available let me know. I have a buddy who is looking for one. Alan

Running board supports were the same. The car was not wider in the middle, only the fender and wheel track width.

The fenders were each 2 inches wider. I'm not sure, but I think all fender irons were the same. 1916 was the end of the wide track cars.


The hoods on the 1910-11 Torpedoís were 2 inches longer than the regular Ford hoods. The cars used special dash to frame brackets that moved the dash back 2 inches. To prevent interference with the pedals the Torpedo pedals are different from the regular ones, as is the emergency brake handle.



Overdrives and special transmissions

Langbein was a Los Angeles company that built small underdrives and overdrives that mounts in the driveline just forward of the spool bearing in the T. I believe they were early, as the two we have match the closed spool bearing. The smaller tranny adds just 20 pounds, and provides direct, neutral, and .57:1 underdrive. The other one adds maybe 25 pounds, and is direct, neutral and .63:1. They can drive any R&P, for some interesting gearing.

Chain Drive

I actually think these started becoming popular in the mid to late teens. I see where they are calling this the Henricks unit (An E-bay sale item was discussed) I wonder if it is any relation to the Hendrickson Suspension that is available on trucks today? The benefit to having this set-up was that you were able to use the 1/4 ton rear end (since the 1-ton had not been thought of), and be able to have the additional "downward" weight capacity without transferring these additional stresses to the axle shafts and housing. In other words the axle housings could be bolted solidly into the frame to avoid flex-ing and thus cut down on axle shaft breakage. Chain drive axles that don't have brakes (I can't tell whether this one does or doesn't)are kind of bothersome to drive. Do to the nature of this design you must run the chain with some slack in it. When you accelerate the slack of the chain goes one way and when you brake with the regular (trans.) brake the tension goes the other. Kind of has the feeling of a car on a trailer that is not properly tied down ... it un-nerves you as it jerks. Also another problem, most T's did not have the radiator capacity to handle these type of loads drivers were trying to carry, nor did the retro-fit kits that turned the T into a farm tractor. Loads are also "harder" to roll & pull with solid rubber tires. All this adds up to an inferior piece of equipment trying to compete against the more expensive Macks, AutoCars, & Packards. Brent L. Terry

Warford transmission

I've installed a few TT Warfords (cast iron) and would like to comment. Cut the driveshaft and torque tube on a lathe the exact length of the Warford from front collar to back casting. When re-welding the torque tube it is extremely important to maintain the juxtaposition of: Top grease hole in the u-joint "bell", Bolt collar on the bottom where the large bolt goes that fastens the 2 radius rods and the 6 bolt holes in the rear flange that bolts to the differential housing. Imagine how dissapointed you'd be if, when welded, any of these 3 components were out of line. As mentioned in another post, this string, Warford also included the "shortening collar" and radius rod ends in their kit but are mostly unavailable nowadays hence the welding. Need to know how to shorten and weld the radius rods? Write me:

Now; when you increase the speed of your TT by 30-40% you might find the driveshaft whipping around in the middle. Some have solved this by installing a modern bearing in the torque tube located by set screws. If you aim to keep your full length 'shaft and torque tube with this greatly increased speed; you'll definitely need this intermediate bearing. Good luck !

Warford disassembly

The bottom shaft is held in by the triangle shaped end plates. You adjust the gasket thickness to get the end play. The top shaft, as I remember it, has a threaded adjustment on one end which, when you get it where you want it, is held in place with a jam nut and lock ring. I found every bearing, except one, for the Warford down at the local bearing supply house. The one went in between the two top shafts. It is a special Timken bearing with a tapered hole in the center of it. The reason I tore mine apart was that it was noisy. Well, it didn't help it any...even with all the new bearings. The problem is all of the straight cut gears. They just whine and that's all there is to it. If your bearings look good, I would go ahead and use them. It will save you a bunch of money. I have been many miles with mine since that time (and before that also). If you have a fleet of T's I would put a Warford in one of them for the fun of it, but my favorite is still the Ruxtell. The Warford, in high gear, takes a lot of power to run it...going through the lower shaft and all of the drag there. I never shift mine on the go. I always pull to the side of the road to shift. As for adjustments...I just adjust the load on the bearings during assembly so they are not

loose but then not real tight either. You will probably find some wear on a gear or two where they were ground while shifting. I didn't worry about that. By the way, mine is an aluminum case. Verne Shirk

Performance heads

Excerpted article, circa early '30s- reprinted in Clymer's "Model A Album", 1960.

"Another Thrill- High Compression Heads for Increased Power and Better Fuel Economy" by Murray Fahnestock.

ÖWhen we first started to write for this magazine in 1914, the boys who wanted to pep up the Model T Ford to obtain increased speed and power used to take their Ford cylinder heads to a machine shop and have from 1/8" to 1/4" planed or milled from the bottom surface of the head, thus increasing the compression ratio. In those early days, the regular Ford cylinder heads used to "ping" and knock easily, as soon as a little carbon accumulated- due in part to the poor, "keroseney" gasoline then available, but to an even greater extent to the fact that all automobile cylinder heads in those days were of the wrong "shape".

When these early Model T Ford cylinder heads were planed off to increase the compression and power and speed, this also increases the sensitivity of the engine to carbon deposits and increased the tendency to knock because the "shape" of the combustion chamber was fundamentally wrong.

Then along came an inventor named Ricardo, who realized that the shape of the combustion chamber was a most important factor in allowing the compression to be increased, yet without making the engine sensitive to carbon deposits and detonation or knocking. This writer, convinced that the principle of "turbulence" incorporated in these heads was fundamentally correct, bought and installed one on his own 1915 Model T Ford sedan, and it was still giving splendid results when we traded that car in on a Model A Ford in 1930!

ÖThe Ricardo idea in combustion chamber design has since swept the country, with practically every valve-at-the-side engine having some modification of this type of combustion chamber- including the Model A Ford. Even the overhead valve head engines have been influenced, as is evident by the shape of the combustion chamber in the latest Chevrolet.

Our experience with the Ricardo high-compression head on a Model T Ford sedan, as compared with the regular Ford head, included: 1) a very noticeable and much appreciated increase in power. 2) Much more speed on hills and some increase in speed on the level. 3) Greater fuel economy. 4) Not nearly so sensitive to carbon deposits and less liable to knock. 5) Model T Ford magneto spark advance had to be set more accurately. Transcribed by Reid

The "Z" head (Ted Head) is an honest to goodness Ricardo- available today.

Lowering a T

Well hereís how I did it:

First I took some angle iron (3" X 3") and cut 2 6" long segments. These two pieces I then welded together to form a kind of Z (it is easily seen in the picture which gus should post as a follow up) this then fits on top of the spring and under the frame.

Second drill holes into it so that the plate which fits on top of the frame will fit on the top of the bottom section of the plate with the frame underneath.

Third you will need to make or find some that fit spring clamps so that they hold the spring to the top section of the fabricated plate you made, and the frame to the bottom of the fabricated plate and the T plate (the piece the nose of the pan fits in) to the top of the fabricated plate.

This plate drops the front end nicely, the only things left to do are change the steering (this is changed in most speedsters anyway) and wish bone. The wish bone is cut and bent up and attached to the frame using ball joints. Any questions you might have on what I have written please post them and I will answer them to the best of my ability. I realize that what I have posted is slightly unclear so feel free to ask. As a last not for you fellow speedster enthusiast there is a speedster forum you might want to know about.


Other uses

Coil connections: (for running a stationary engine)

Bottom coil box terminal to battery positive, upper side coil box terminal to battery negative via the timer contact (these two may be reversed and probably should be every other time you run the engine to preserve point life when running on dc voltage) and bottom side coil box terminal to the spark plug. Ron Patterson-Coilman


General information


I just measured our 25 Tudor Sedan. It is 80 inches with 4.40/4.50-21 tires


-Cooling system: 24 pints, Rear axle: 1 1/2 lbs. Grease (but use gear oil here), Crankcase: 4 qts.

-On the high radiator, mine holds about 3 gallons, I use one of antifreeze and two or almost 2 of water

-Cooling system capacity 23 1/2 pints until 1917, when it was increased to 25 pints. This is according to Tin Lizzie, which was made from info from the Ford archives, and it calls for S.A.E. #10 wt oil.

-I prefer 5W-50 synthetic because Castrol sells it in a handy five quart juge. Syntec flows _cold_ like a 5W petroleum oil. That means no drag, easy cranking and good high temperature viscosity. At high temperatures Syntec behaves like an

SAE 50- meaning it has lots of film strength without being "thick". The oil, whether heated or cold just floods through my external oil pipe. The pipe has a window section of clear tubing so the flow is readilly observed. Only 10W-30 synthetic flows faster in my experience. Multivis 10W-30 and 10-40 petroleum oils I've tried are notably slower to circulate when cold. But when warm they zip right through too.

-How full to fill the rear axle? The proper amount of lube will be when the level stands at 1 1/2" below the filler plug with the vehicle parked on a level surface. Any more than this will cause leakage out of the axle "seals" when the car is run down the roadway, or parked on the side of a crowned road.



Here are the simple solutions- try them first.

-No hot air pipe? Then install one

-A25 plugs? Then install Champion X (at least, borrow or buy one X and put it in the #1 hole.

-Rebuilt engine? Rings are not seated yet.

-Running engine slow 'n easy? Don't idle for prolonged periods. Idling creates the highest manifold vacuum, which vacuums oil up into the combustion space.

-NH carb tends to run very, very rich at idle. IF you must idle for protracted time try leaning down the adjuster. Just plan on richening the mixture again before driving off or she'll cough and stumble.

General thoughts: The Ford intake manifold has a dogleg bend. It acts as a sluiceway for unvaporized gasoline (of which there is plenty). The #2 and, particularly, the #1 cylinders get almost all this raw gasoline. So the mixture tends to run very rich in those cylinders- especially, _especially_ #1.

SO you must use a hot plug. The A 25 is not so hot as the X plug. Most people find their fouling problems abate if they go to X plugs.

For my car the final traces of "sooty" #1 plug went entirely away when I switched to distributor with super high energy coil and electronic breaker. Why? The hotter the spark the more surely the spark sets fire to marginal mixture. The mixture in

the front most cylinder is always wetter than in the others. Once the plug misfires a few times it quickly snowballs into a shorted plug condition. And you either have to clean the plug or drive faster for an extended time to dry off the plug. Even then, it stays black and leaks away much of the vital spark energy.

With all that you've checked, faulty spark/rich mixture is the only cause remaining. And always the first suspect. Nothing wrong with Ron's work or the Ford ignition except it isn't capable of a super hot spark temperature. But it can certainly work OK, bearing in mind the perpetual tendency of #1 to foul first.


Spark plugs

Champion "X" set of 4 in the box. Supplied by Ford as original equipment in the Model "T" Ford Automobile. Unique take apart design is exactly the same as the original plug, and a must for show quality cars.

I put the "EXPENSIVE" Champion X plugs in and no more fouling!!

Spark Plug Gap

The Model "T" Service Manual says: approximately 1/32" which is roughly .031 Is this what most folks are running or has there been a trend to go with a wider gap?

With the low compression of the Model T engine, propensity to pump oil and relatively low voltage spark I recommend using 41 thousandths for a spark plug gap. It'll burn a bit hotter.

From my experience it will last longer between plug cleaning. Ron

-I buy "modern spark plugs in boxes of four for $3.40 a box, or 85 cents each. Champion Copper Plus 405 series are very good but you will have to get RAJA wire connectors. These plugs come in a VERY WIDE heat range. I don't know the full range but is something like this: RN6YC on the low end and RN18YC on the high end. I have from RN9YC through RN14YC and that is plenty. The full set of six heat ranges amounting to 24 spark plugs cost me just about $20.00 plus tax.

-By various personal experiences reported on the forum, champion X plugs seem to be best for those cars with stock, low-energy Ford ignition. Champion A-25's, at any rate, did not work for me. Frank's range of hot to cold plugs sound interesting.

Now that my car runs distributor ignition, no doubt modern plugs would work A OK. However, I enjoy the appearance of the old X plugs, and have several sets- so will continue with them.

T5201X, for the champion "X" plugs, and T5201 for the champion "25" plugs. (T Nuts) Champion A-25 modern, Champion X original take-a-part style.

Original find, NOS Champion #31, 1/2 inch, 15/16 hex plugs worked great.

Snyder's lists the 1/2" pipe to 14mm adapters and recommends using Champion N16YC plugs with them, in their catalog.

Champions work better. If you get a set of the take-apart style Champions, they work even better! I've set both style plugs to .025 gap & work great with magneto. The Motorcraft seem to soot quick with Henry's system, but may work OK on distributor systems.

Model A use standard threads, not pipe threads like the Tís standard 1/2" pipe thread.. The Fronty head for the T uses same plugs as the Model A, however, so that standard goes back to at least 1920.

I have some old champion 3x and they are the correct thread for a T.

Blow by on the plugs? Try some gasket sealer around the base of the plugs if there is blow by. DONíT OVERTIGHTEN to seal.

Using a NPT tap to clean and renew the spark plug threads in the cylinder head. I used a 1/4 - 14 tap ($16.00)and it worked great. No leaks now. I used a little "anti=sieze" on the plugs prior to inserting. Also, I made an attachment to suck out any small amounts of debris through the spark plug hole with a piece of hose attached to my shop-vac with Duck Tape. Bob Curry

Chaffin's plug wires are an extra dollar or two, but the terminals are soldered as well as crimped, and look better and are more reliable.


Engine Oil

Use detergent oil of 5W-30 weight.

And keep your handbrake lever all the way forward when parked!!

Windage in the T crankcase purportedly plasters oil to one side of the case at higher speeds. Ford recommended that about 3 quarts was ideal. If the oil fell below two quarts that was dangerous. The lower petcock is at about the two quart level. I notice that my outside oil line ceases to deliver low-speed oil when I'm down even to three quarts. That is, the pick up at the 10PM position of the hogshead gets less and less supply as either engine speed decreases or the oil supply

diminishes. However, I have an oil filter that takes something less than a quart, and an oil dam holding 1.5 quarts in the crank case. Holding the oil, discounting windage. (I wonder what the dam does at high speed, perhaps not much of anything) This shows the "smarts" of the regular oil pipe, which catches "falling oil". As long as it is unplugged by waste or band lint, I bet Ford's skimpy little oil pipe delivers a rather steady amount of oil regardless of other conditions such as rpm or oil level.