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First Name: Len
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New to forum & Model T

Post by LDB C5 » Fri Oct 09, 2020 11:41 am

Under the heading Please Help The Dummy! I ma new to both the forum and Model Ts in general. I just purchased a 1926 coupe, and should have it back in my garage in a week or so. I looked at the car where it currently is and it appears to be in great shape. it was my neighbor's grandfathers car. he had 2 nearly identical cars, and both ran when stored 7 years ago. The other has been purchased, and was running the day it was brought home.

I have (as you might imagine) a number of questions. I plan to drain the gas tank and refill it, check the spark plugs, change the oil etc, prior to trying to start it. I will get a new 6V battery & charger. What, if anything else should I do before trying to start it? Recommended oil? Do I need to add zinc? Synthetic ok? I am a fairly accomplished mechanic, I have a couple of non stock Corvettes that I have built, so I am pretty comfortable around a tool box, but I have no clue about cars of this vintage. Any and all advice will be greatly appreciated!!

EDIT: I am in northern Illinois, about 30 WSW of Rockford.

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Re: New to forum & Model T

Post by ChrisB » Fri Oct 09, 2020 11:52 am

First welcome to the affliction! Here are a couple of links.

A similar situation to yours here: ... 1244325718

There is quite a bit of detailed info in this document: ... 762335.doc
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andrew o sullivan
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Re: New to forum & Model T

Post by andrew o sullivan » Fri Oct 09, 2020 12:01 pm

Welcome to the T seen . and best of luck with your T . you will have loads of fun driving a T there great ........

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Re: New to forum & Model T

Post by HPetrino » Fri Oct 09, 2020 12:13 pm

As they say, welcome to the affliction!

Lot's of good information the links provided above. If you're mechanically inclined, which you say you are, don't over think it. It's a T. Compared to modern cars it's very simple. If it has fuel, spark and air it'll run.

You should post any questions on this forum. In some cases you'll get conflicting answers, but you should be able to sort out what's right for you and your T. Just one specific comment based on your post: Do NOT use oil with any metal additives. The engine and transmission use common oil. This includes the magneto. Oil with graphite or metal additives will eventually short it out.

Good luck and have FUN!!

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Re: New to forum & Model T

Post by Steve Jelf » Fri Oct 09, 2020 12:20 pm

As Chris says, welcome to the affliction.
While the Model T is relatively simple, it does contain some surprises, so It's a good idea to read the Service Manual before beginning a procedure. Example: Just unbolting the starter and trying to pull it off can do serious (expensive) damage to the magneto. There are several other books that will also be useful:

Another potential surprise is here:

Here's a version of the "Mothballs" checklist you don't have to download:

If there are a quarter million T's still running, there are a million opinions on oil:

It happens that you are only about 30 miles from one of the leading Model T parts dealers, Bob's Antique Auto Parts in Loves Park. Bob manufactures some of the parts sold by all the dealers.
The inevitable often happens.
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Re: New to forum & Model T

Post by Phillip » Fri Oct 09, 2020 12:22 pm

Welcome to the very unique world of the Model Ts. I got my first T almost 2 years ago and that was the first time I had been near a Model T. Read lots, ask lots of questions. The forum has been invaluable to me. Don't get in a hurry to do anything, just enjoy the experience and take to heart the good comments. The biggest thing to me " Take time to learn and enjoy the magnificent world of the Model T."


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Re: New to forum & Model T

Post by Jonah D'Avella » Fri Oct 09, 2020 1:11 pm

I am 14 and just got my first T. It is a 1926 Touring and I just got it running. Welcome to the awesome hobby!!!
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F: first F: find
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Re: New to forum & Model T

Post by Norman Kling » Fri Oct 09, 2020 1:26 pm

Welcome. If you have not yet gotten your car home, you should be very careful to measure the height from the ground to the highest point on the top of the car to be sure it will fit through the garage door. It would be a very bad thing to bend your car or break the windshield when you first get it.
About starting the car. When you install the battery, with the car in neutral, and the spark lever up all the way,turn on the key counter clockwise to batt. Turn the crank slowly and you should hear a buzz every half turn of the crank for two complete turns. It should buzz in 4 positions during the turns. If it does, your ignition system is probably working. I say probably, because even if the coils buzz, there could still be a problem between the coils and the spark plugs.
The most important thing and the thing which causes the most problem with cars which have been parked a long time is the fuel system. If the tank and carburetor were drained when the car was parked, the most common problem would be a sticking float in the carburetor. However if it was parked without draining the tank, your gas may have solidified. Unfortunately, the gas tank for a 26 is not being reproduced. So First thing to do is to open the petcock at the bottom of the sediment bowl on the firewall and see if any fuel drains out. If none drains, pour a little in the tank to see if it will drain. If it does, you are lucky. Then all you need to do is clean the sediment bulb and the carburetor, and you might be able to start the car. If the gas in the tank is solid, you could try running a wire, bent upward toward the tank and possibly get an opening so the gas will drain. Worst case would be to remove the tank and clean it out. A good radiator shop can boil out the tank and seal any leaks. This will work unless the tank has rusted out and there are a lot of pin hole leaks. In that case, your might need to search for a good used tank. The fuel line should also be cleaned out. When all those things are repaired or replaced. turn off the fuel valve which would be the handle horizontal. Then put in some gas and while you watch, open the valve handle pointing down. (Note, the handle can be reversed, so if it does not flow with the handle down, it might flow with the handle up). Watch the carburetor. When the float chamber is full no gas should pour out of the carburetor, but if it does flow, out, you could have a stuck float, or some small particle of dirt in the needle valve.
When you get the fuel to flow into the carburetor, you can now turn the key to battery with the spark lever up and the throttle down about one inch and pull out the choke. Hit the starter and if you are lucky, it will start up. After you get it running smoothly on battery, at idle turn the key to magneto. If the magneto is working, it should pick up a little speed. Rotate the choke rod to adjust the fuel mixture leaner or richer, and find the spot where it runs most smoothly.
One other thing which could cause a problem would be sticking clutch disks in the transmission. If the car had been parked with the hand lever back, the disks will be separated, and oil flows between the disks. Over the years the oil can get thicker and cause the disks to stick. If you jack up at least one back wheel, and start it you can then work the pedals low reverse and brake and usually un stick the clutch disks.
Good luck and keep us posted about your progress.

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Re: New to forum & Model T

Post by RustyFords » Fri Oct 09, 2020 1:52 pm


I was new to T's four years ago at this time. All of the above info is great.

I'll add this....I've come to discover that, once the car has been properly revived and is running, my "job" is to be a constant observer and adjuster of lubrication on my T.

Many of the issues I've seen with other's T's have arisen because folks are used to modern cars and drive their T's many different times without checking various lubrication points. I obsessively check mine all the time, probably too often, but this is a car that needs that kind of attention. Add to that the fact that a lot of this metal is nearly 100 years old and I think my obsessiveness is warranted.

On my newer vintage cars, if I have an oil leak at a lubrication point, I consider it a problem and correct it. On my T, the four corners of the suspension and a few other places, are always a bit wet with oil or grease. A T shouldn't be bone dry at those places. I lay under the car a lot and wipe up a lot of this excess oil to try to keep it clean but I also see it as a sign that the old girl is lubricated.
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Re: New to forum & Model T

Post by Oldav8tor » Fri Oct 09, 2020 7:28 pm

I strongly suggest you contact a nearby Model T Club and see if some of their more experienced members might be willing to join you in ressurecting your car. I've found Model T people to be incredibly helpful and a wonderful source of information and advice.
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Re: New to forum & Model T

Post by KWTownsend » Sat Oct 10, 2020 7:10 am

Welcome to the affliction.
Become friends with Bob.

: ^ )

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Re: New to forum & Model T

Post by John Codman » Sat Oct 10, 2020 9:17 am

Welcome, Len. Getting the T started and driving it are two different animals. I go along with what Norman Kling said about getting it started, but you need to do a safety inspection before driving it. The front suspension and steering need to be thoroughly inspected and lubricated and repaired as necessary before driving the car. Model T brakes are minimal. You can get into trouble very quickly. Check the wheels for trueness and condition. I have forgotten whether the wheels are wire or wood on your car, but bear in mind that either are 90+ years old. If you are not an accomplished T driver, spend a bit of time in a large empty parking lot. The gas tank is a bit of a bear to remove, so whatever you can do to get clean gas into it without removing the tank will save you a lot of time and sore knuckles. Most importantly, have fun!

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