Introduction: My New Project a 1920-23 Model T
here is my newest project. a model t he hasn't been out of the trailer since I got him ( his name is henry) but I know the engine isn't seized. there is no water in the radiator and he has a crank on the front. the guy I got him from was about 2/3 the way through restoring him so he is all nice and painted and the engine has been taken apart and cleaned I cant wait till I get the time to take him out. the windshield piece is original the wood support running the length of the truck is original and most all the metal pieces like the fenders and the metal support running from the engine all the way back is also original . I would appreciate any advice that would be given.
Step 1: Finding the Year
we struggled with this a little and still are not certain of the year. we think its is around 20-23 because the frame has no serial # which they started putting on in 1924.the engine serial # is the one in the photo. we think the # before the 6 is possible a 3 or 5 and before that we couldn't see.
Step 2: Getting Him Started
here are some pictures now that its out of the trailer. so far I have taken the starter out and kind of tested it. so before I said it did work but we tried again and it doesn't. the carburetor also needs to be re-built so eventually I will do that. right now its just sitting in our workshop waiting for parts.
Step 3: Starting
we got the carburetor and replaced that. the problem with the starter was we didn't have a good ground, so we fixed that. after all this we put some gas in the tank and turned it over a few times and he started right up. the next day we took him out of the workshop and started him up again to drive. the only other problem we ran into was an oil leak at the front end. after that is fixed we will enter him in parades and things like that.
Step 4: Driving
ok so we can start him up with ease now. the first time I drove him we found an oil leak where the starter meets the transmission and the cover for the shaft. we put gaskets in and ABRACADABRA ALAKAZAM! no more leak. the next time I drove him (the most recent) he overheated due to operator error. the trouble I had is I have no experience driving a model t so I will explain what I have to do so the reader understands what is so difficult.
to go forward you have to push the hand brake forward, which takes it out of neutral, then push the "clutch" in to be in first/slow. to shift you let the "clutch" out to be in second/fast. to brake you push the clutch in halfway and apply the brake which doesn't exactly stop you quickly. to go back you push in the clutch halfway and press the reverse petal.
sounds simple right? wrong. while doing this you constantly have to adjust the throttle and spark retard level. if the spark is too early the engine will overheat. too late and the engine will overheat. you have to find the spot where the engine runs smoothly. it also changes on different terrain like going up a hill. you have to retard the spark.
I think for the most part this all will come with driving more and more. tips from other model t owners would be much appreciated.