Cost to get an engine and transmission rebuilt

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Tom Hicks
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Cost to get an engine and transmission rebuilt

Post by Tom Hicks » Tue Mar 19, 2019 11:30 am

For a first class rebuild job, using a worn block and transmission, to have it professionally rebuilt starting with new babbit, bored, new pistons, rings, SCAT crank, Stipe cam, high compression head, stainless valves and seats, new clutch pack, balanced, etc. etc. no shortcuts, test run and ready to install, how much would one expect to pay?
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Re: Cost to get an engine and transmission rebuilt

Post by MWalker » Tue Mar 19, 2019 11:33 am

About $6K.

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Re: Cost to get an engine and transmission rebuilt

Post by Ruxstel24 » Tue Mar 19, 2019 11:46 am

I can hear the old man saying..."How much ya got ?"
Sorry, I couldn't help myself. :lol:

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Re: Cost to get an engine and transmission rebuilt

Post by Inthegarage » Tue Mar 19, 2019 1:07 pm

Keep in mind speed cost money. Maybe 6-8 grand. Then you must spend money on brakes cuz you gotta beable stop the damn thing :o it just never ends. Have fun!


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Re: Cost to get an engine and transmission rebuilt

Post by George Andreasen » Tue Mar 19, 2019 1:16 pm

The estimates given are spot on. Unfortunately, I based my rebuilding cost on 1970's prices (the last time I worked on a T) and BROTHER did I get surprise! My engine is almost done at this point and I can start planning my speedster frame........after I sell a couple of my grandchildren.

The cost is worth it though. We have machinery these days that does a superior job of align boring, etc. and the shops that do it take pride in turning out a good job. Think of it this way, you won't have to touch that engine again!


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Re: Cost to get an engine and transmission rebuilt

Post by Erik Barrett » Tue Mar 19, 2019 1:22 pm

With a Scat crank you are looking at close to $7500

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Re: Cost to get an engine and transmission rebuilt

Post by Henry K. Lee » Tue Mar 19, 2019 1:56 pm

I am with Erik. But that’s if nothing major comes up.

All the Best,

Hank


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Re: Cost to get an engine and transmission rebuilt

Post by Tom Hicks » Wed Mar 20, 2019 9:38 am

Thanks for your replies. Ballpark about 7K, maybe I can get a rebuilt starter and alternator too for that price, but I figure 7K will get a reliable engine which I only have to do basic maintenance like oil changes on.

Then I need a large drum rear with a Ruckstell in 1st class shape. How much would that run me?
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Re: Cost to get an engine and transmission rebuilt

Post by Ruxstel24 » Wed Mar 20, 2019 9:47 am

Tom Hicks wrote:
Wed Mar 20, 2019 9:38 am
Thanks for your replies. Ballpark about 7K

Then I need a large drum rear with a Ruckstell in 1st class shape. How much would that run me?
1st class shape ? $2500-$3000 ;)


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Re: Cost to get an engine and transmission rebuilt

Post by Scott_Conger » Wed Mar 20, 2019 3:16 pm

What is amazing is, while these numbers are absolutely true, now after spending $10k on engine and rear end, all you have to do is wrap a car around it and you're good to go...while at the same time, a spiffy looking car with 3 y/o drive trains cannot sometimes fetch over $8K on the market place. Go figure.

My motto in T's is to spend as much as you can afford on your first T and get a good one and drive the wheels off it, as a cheap project car consume 1/2 your retirement years and will send you to the poor-house to boot.
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Re: Cost to get an engine and transmission rebuilt

Post by Henry K. Lee » Wed Mar 20, 2019 3:27 pm

Amen Scott, and still there is no cure for this disease.

Buy high sell low, didn’t I make some money? What happened?

Hank

My wife just throws her hands in the air, I believe it would be cheaper being married to a crack addict!

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Re: Cost to get an engine and transmission rebuilt

Post by Ruxstel24 » Wed Mar 20, 2019 3:39 pm

This is exactly why my dad and lots of other old timers did everything themselves. Babbit, painting, upholstery, at least some did everything. Or a buddy did paint and traded for some upholstery...whatever !!

Still, if you do most things yourself, it's affordable. Certainly cheaper than most other makes, and you usually can't get back what they cost to restore either. :(


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Re: Cost to get an engine and transmission rebuilt

Post by Tom Hicks » Wed Mar 20, 2019 4:00 pm

Henry K. Lee wrote:
Wed Mar 20, 2019 3:27 pm

Buy high sell low, didn’t I make some money? What happened?
This is not a financial investment for me in that I do not expect to get more money from it than I pay in. The question is do I get enough enjoyment to justify the cost. I don't have a boat, play golf, gamble, etc. And I have learned a lot. There are those smart enough to make money in T's. I suspect they rebuild engines and transmissions, do body and paint, or upholstery, etc. I don't want to work on T's full time, I want to drive a reliable car.

So, 10 K for engine, transmission, and Ruckstell. I'll put a 3:1 in it, that won't cost much if any more. Then, I need a few more things like a good radiator (fortunately I don't have to buy a waterpump), good wheels, new tires and tubes, 12 volt wiring with turn signals, so forth. A couple more grand?
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Re: Cost to get an engine and transmission rebuilt

Post by Adam » Wed Mar 20, 2019 4:15 pm

If your hobby is playing golf, one round of 18 with a cart at a nice place, with lunch, and a couple drinks will run about $250. If you play once every week or two during the regular season (maybe May thru September), you might spend $3k-5k, plus whatever you spend on clubs, balls, and funny socks.

AT THE END OF EACH YEAR, ALL THAT MONEY IS GONE!...

If your hobby is Model T’s; At any given time, what you own is probably worth about half of what you have into it. That’s actually pretty good for most any hobby!


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Re: Cost to get an engine and transmission rebuilt

Post by will » Wed Mar 20, 2019 5:22 pm

If your going to do it, do it right, New balanced crank, cam,valves & springs, Either high comp head or pistons, balance anything that turns. Switch it over to 12 volt and do away with the magnets. That's just unneeded weight and a possible big problem in the future..The coils will run just fine on 12v, Iv run mine for ten years without any problems with a carbon brush timer. Complete block work. Stitch weld any hair line cracks in the block. Your looking at $10, to 15. But take to someone who knows what to do and will do it right the first time. In the end you will have an engine/trans that will serve you well into your grandchildren. J & M machine Iv heard do good work, There's another fellow in Texas Iv heard good things about. I had George King do mine ten years ago and Iv had no problems, I don't think he can balance and he farms out the machine work. Flathead engine in northern NY I wouldn't take my dog to, He's the reason I had to have my engine done twice.
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Re: Cost to get an engine and transmission rebuilt

Post by Kaiser » Wed Mar 20, 2019 5:49 pm

As the old saying goes; A car can be cheap, fast and safe, but you can only pick two of these... :D
When in trouble, do not fear, blame the second engineer ! 8-)
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Re: Cost to get an engine and transmission rebuilt

Post by Tom Hicks » Thu Mar 21, 2019 9:37 pm

OK, if I get it done right, the whole shebang, I would estimate 15 - 20 grand for a 1st class running vehicle which I should only have to do standard maintenance on. If I drive it for 15 years it would probably average $2,000/year after adding gas, oil, etc. The up front cost is big, but for a long term hobby a DEAL!
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Re: Cost to get an engine and transmission rebuilt

Post by Scott_Conger » Thu Mar 21, 2019 10:35 pm

It is of course your money and what you want to do, but you could sell what you have and buy exactly what you're GOING to have, for about $12K for a2 year old restoration. Black T's typically sell for about 1/2 of what they cost to restore, about 2 years after they're restored. Plus, you save about18-36 months of restoration time and start enjoying it NOW. If you're attached to what you own now, it will be a very expensive attachment.

I don't think you're inclined to take this advice, but it will save you big $$ and get you on the road a lot sooner. If you're retired, that could be a significant factor.

FWIW
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Re: Cost to get an engine and transmission rebuilt

Post by Tom Hicks » Fri Mar 22, 2019 8:04 am

Scott_conger wrote:
Thu Mar 21, 2019 10:35 pm
It is of course your money and what you want to do, but you could sell what you have and buy exactly what you're GOING to have, for about $12K for a2 year old restoration. Black T's typically sell for about 1/2 of what they cost to restore, about 2 years after they're restored. Plus, you save about18-36 months of restoration time and start enjoying it NOW. If you're attached to what you own now, it will be a very expensive attachment.

I don't think you're inclined to take this advice, but it will save you big $$ and get you on the road a lot sooner. If you're retired, that could be a significant factor.

FWIW
So the most inexpensive way to get into the hobby is to buy a two year old restoration. Sorta like buying a two-year-old modern car vs. a new car. Good advice!

My only problem with that would be the fact that I don't know how well the car was maintained. Did the owner change the oil regularly, etc.


Does anyone know of a recently restored black T that has been well maintained with a Scat crank, Stipe cam, High Compression head, 1st class Ruckstell, relatively new tires, tubes, wheels, tight steering, overall excellent driving condition and good body for sale?
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Re: Cost to get an engine and transmission rebuilt

Post by Bill Robinson » Fri Mar 22, 2019 8:59 am

Tom, I think you are close, but looking at the wrong side of the coin.
I personally think that most Model T owners tend to do the maintenance as needed.
The big question should be "how well was it rebuilt?".

All rebuilds are not the same.


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Re: Cost to get an engine and transmission rebuilt

Post by Tom Hicks » Fri Mar 22, 2019 10:28 am

Bill Robinson wrote:
Fri Mar 22, 2019 8:59 am

The big question should be "how well was it rebuilt?".

First class all the way, machine shop, balanced, engine, Ruckstell, everything first class and dependable.
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Re: Cost to get an engine and transmission rebuilt

Post by Charlie B in N.J. » Fri Mar 22, 2019 10:42 am

8 to 10K. I believe it. I'm just not doing it. Sorry but I have my limits.
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Re: Cost to get an engine and transmission rebuilt

Post by George Andreasen » Fri Mar 22, 2019 10:51 am

The OP asked for estimates based on a "first class" rebuild and are correct. I anticipated at least SOME of my engine components would be usable......nope. It became a long project, as time and money permitted, so it stretched out to over a year. Since I'm going to be 70 this year, I'd better get my rear in gear and build the frame a LOT faster!

Now you know why the occasional "rebuilt" engine advertised for 3k or so sells so quickly...................

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Re: Cost to get an engine and transmission rebuilt

Post by George Mills » Fri Mar 22, 2019 12:11 pm

All good comments

Now you know. Look at the parts catalogues and add up where EVERYTHING possible is new as that is what the first tier rebuilders do. They learned a long time ago that salvaging something for the sake of a dime or two was false economy to their own reputation. Then figure the guy might have to put in 40-60 hours depending on the condition of the parts to be reused. Even at 8-10K it is still a bargain!

There are others where the real definition would be 'overhaul' rather than 'rebuild' but this hobby is not into much more than single word categories. To me, this requires special understanding between the overhauler and the buyer. You want to save a grand or so with used parts that show no outward defect or wear? Your choice, they will do the work and offer up that grand savings but in the end what do you have? An 'overhaul' where the wear integrity is on you, not the overhauler. It sort of comes akin to an old adage...you can do a ring and valve job pretty easy, there are tricks to line boring and finishing that are not rocket science, and 95% of the time, the 'thing' will run for another 20 years of average driving with proper routine maintenance.

Back when he still had lots of open time, Ora Schwalm use to do up a stock higher end quality build from time to time and offer it at his high end price with the understanding he would not change or file serial numbers. He'd carry it for a few months as they usually sold, but if it got to 3-4 months of idle inventory, Era himself would drop the price by 25% and drag it to every show possible with him and they would sell quick. Today, guys like Ora do not need 'hedges' to their expenses, last time I heard Ora was working from a 2 year backlog, so stock rebuilds from inventory are a thing of the past now too

What you are buying is the better parts of road worthy stability in an "everything rebuild". Take a shortcut and have to do it all over again a year later? Groan! This too can happen albeit less frequent with the noted rebuilders as poop happens sometimes just because.

I look and advise that a rebuilt engine in a car or a crate with no miles on it is worth 1/2 what a full rebuild costs unless I know the rebuilder work and only then will add another 20% or so. That's me, it works for me and so far I've never been burnt. Others looking for that great leap need to satisfy their hunger for expected trouble free operation. That adds money...can't help but.

For someone in your position seeking while owning 4 existing T's I'd suggest that you maybe heed Scott Conger advice. Join a local club, wait for someone who has done the deluxe rebuild to decide they want to move on from it, and buy it for a fair price from them. Sure, some try to get every penny back out, but then they never sell their car unless its good enough to run through Mecum... :lol: Most know the facts...their period of stewardship, while good intentioned, has now changed and there is a price to pay for that...just the way it goes. As for wishing and waiting for an Estate sale of something you like from a fellow club member? NOT your best option as these usually sell for a bit above street value for a known running machine. Sort of a parting gift to a 'friend' to also help his wife a bit. I share that little fact not because I get beat out at estate sales...I'm usually the guy who steps up and does what he feels is the right thing on a car I already know is totally sound and roadworthy.

Good luck


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Re: Cost to get an engine and transmission rebuilt

Post by Loftbed » Fri Mar 22, 2019 2:08 pm

Interesting thread, here’s my approach to buying cars. When I retired in 2005 I Had several cars (6) mostly Model A’s and “T”s. as of today, I still have 6 cars but not the same ones. I found out that I could go online and buy a fairly nice car, generally because the seller was downsizing or he had a car built but did not have the inclination or ability to care for it properly. After purchasing the car, I would repair everything, detail it and resell it, sometimes turning a profit. I would take that sale price and use it to purchase the next car and on and on it went. The beauty of doing this is that I have been able to have and enjoy these cars for several months before the next one came along, not to mention that the value of the collection has steadily increased. The initial 6 cars had a value (sold for) a total of $82,000.00 the current collection has a value of 165,000.00. I usually turn over about 2 cars per year so several of the 7 current cars have been with me for awhile. A lot of those past cars were built from the ground up by people who put a lot of $$$ into them. My advice is don’t build it-----FIX IT.


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Re: Cost to get an engine and transmission rebuilt

Post by R.V.Anderson » Sat Mar 23, 2019 3:38 pm

It's expensive, but the facts are that a properly rebuilt T engine and transmission, correctly maintained with modern oils and driven recreationally within its designed parameters, on today's roads, will last a lifetime.


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Re: Cost to get an engine and transmission rebuilt

Post by Tom Hicks » Sun Mar 24, 2019 7:45 am

R.V.Anderson wrote:
Sat Mar 23, 2019 3:38 pm
It's expensive, but the facts are that a properly rebuilt T engine and transmission, correctly maintained with modern oils and driven recreationally within its designed parameters, on today's roads, will last a lifetime.
So they are appropriate for certain types of drivers. I broke a crank at 55, not fun. But I like driving 55-60. and it is my daily driver. Properly rebuilt is expensive compared to an overhaul using old parts, but the peace of mind is worth it for me.

No one can give you a firm quote on an overhaul using old parts because they don't know what parts need to be replaced until they pull the engine apart. And then they are making a judgement call on the parts.

BUT, how much is the labor to rebuild an engine/transmission, just the labor? Shop rates around here are around $90/hour. Would that apply to a T engine and transmission?

How many hours to rebuild a T engine and transmission properly by a professional?
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Re: Cost to get an engine and transmission rebuilt

Post by Scott_Conger » Sun Mar 24, 2019 9:56 am

$90/hour is cheap. I can say for certainty that if someone were to tell me they planned to drive the car 3x faster than it was designed for, I'd refuse the business. No one can guarantee a T engine at those speeds. RV is a good man, but his advice and wisdom apply, as he said, for vehicles driven within designed parameters. Driving a T at 60 MPH over distance is ludicrous. There are guys with highly modified cars that have a few T parts in them, that will do 60MPH, but they are at the stage of their life in the hobby where they are not asking rudimentary and basic questions and have pretty much full knowledge of the mayhem they may be involved in. I don't think you're there yet. I think you need to glom onto another marque. This one isn't for you.
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Re: Cost to get an engine and transmission rebuilt

Post by Tom Hicks » Sun Mar 24, 2019 10:37 am

Scott_conger wrote:
Sun Mar 24, 2019 9:56 am
$90/hour is cheap. I can say for certainty that if someone were to tell me they planned to drive the car 3x faster than it was designed for, I'd refuse the business. No one can guarantee a T engine at those speeds. RV is a good man, but his advice and wisdom apply, as he said, for vehicles driven within designed parameters. Driving a T at 60 MPH over distance is ludicrous. There are guys with highly modified cars that have a few T parts in them, that will do 60MPH, but they are at the stage of their life in the hobby where they are not asking rudimentary and basic questions and have pretty much full knowledge of the mayhem they may be involved in. I don't think you're there yet. I think you need to glom onto another marque. This one isn't for you.
"I think you need to glom onto another marque." Not sure what you are saying, but I am open to suggestion.

I suspect I can find a lot of guys who will build an engine that I plan to run at 60 mph! I already know of two. It is not a matter of how fast I drive, it is a matter of rpm. The way I look at it, with my 3:1 rear, the engine is doing a little less than 2000 rpm at 60 mph. Can a properly rebuild and balanced T engine with Scat Stroker Crank, Stipe cam, and Prus head run 2000 rpm for an hour straight with no problems?
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Re: Cost to get an engine and transmission rebuilt

Post by Steve Jelf » Sun Mar 24, 2019 11:22 am

...I am open to suggestion.

If you want to go fast, get a Packard. :D
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Re: Cost to get an engine and transmission rebuilt

Post by Tom Hicks » Sun Mar 24, 2019 11:58 am

Steve Jelf wrote:
Sun Mar 24, 2019 11:22 am
...I am open to suggestion.

If you want to go fast, get a Packard. :D
Now that IS good advice!

But Packards are way expensive.

It was suggested that I find a 2 year old rebuild that fit my specs, it would be way less expensive than having someone properly build an engine. I haven't been able to find a black car with what I want for sale. Maybe they do exist?

Is it safe to run a properly rebuilt engine and transmission at a steady 1900 rpm?

And, what would it cost in labor to get an engine/transmission rebuilt using old but servicable parts?
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Re: Cost to get an engine and transmission rebuilt

Post by Burger in Spokane » Sun Mar 24, 2019 12:55 pm

When I got my truck, it remained an original, unbalanced factory-built engine. Or, if
any rebuilding had been done, it remained unbalanced. The truck would roll down a
hill in neutral at 50 pretty smoothly, but would shake itself apart at any speed over 15
under its own power. This was with the standard 7:1 farm gears.

The rebuild included a meticulous balancing, with a counterbalanced SCAT crank and
a few other performance goodies to push the top end out. 5:1 gears were installed, and
on a few speed tests, it can hit just shy of 50, wound out, and 35 is a comfortable cruising
speed (RPM). Now, I have no clue what number that "comfortable" represents. Without a
tach, I have no way of dialing that in. But I could drive it at that level of RPM's all day long
without hurting it. In fact, it seems "happiest" at that speed and RPM.

To my thinking, the key was balancing the engine and transmission. It began to fight itself
internally before it ever got close to a max RPM, before the rebuild. However, these engines
are anything but power dynamos in stock form, and geared high for top end road speed, the
stock engine will not have the punch to make those high gears go, so some go-fast "pep" is
needed to match the high gears. This is where a good carb, cam, hi-comp head come in.

Is there a way to balance budget and performance ? That is a case of personal taste and
cash flow. Generally speaking, speed is all a factor of how much money a person wants to
throw at the problem. These vehicles were built for rutted dirt roads. To make them into
something they never were takes some careful thought and a fair chunk of shop time and/or
money.
More people are doing it today than ever before !


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Re: Cost to get an engine and transmission rebuilt

Post by Tom Hicks » Sun Mar 24, 2019 1:29 pm

It was suggested that I find a 2 year old rebuild that fit my specs, it would be way less expensive than having someone properly build an engine. I haven't been able to find a black car with what I want for sale. Maybe they do exist?

Is it safe to run a properly rebuilt engine and transmission at a steady 1900 rpm?

And, what would it cost in labor to get an engine/transmission rebuilt using old but servicable parts?
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Re: Cost to get an engine and transmission rebuilt

Post by Scott_Conger » Sun Mar 24, 2019 3:13 pm

It was my suggestion to purchase a 2 y/o restored car. I withdraw that recommendation. I had no idea it was your plan to run 55-60 MPH. Anyone with any sense that has driven a Model T knows how safe it is to run at 55 MPH. If you're running the MT 500 with a stripped down '267-27 roadster at 55 MPH and you've done all the work yourself, you know how safe it is, and if you're driving a '19 touring that you bought from an estate, at 55 MPH, you know how safe that is, too. Or maybe not.

Here's someone else who had the dumb idea to do this, with zero knowledge, too: http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/11 ... 1290483766

In 2010, I think there were a lot more conservative T owners on the forum than now. Today, you may find a few that think what you want to do is a great idea. To each his own, and be sure to put a nice thick piece of steel plate between your feet and the transmission.
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Re: Cost to get an engine and transmission rebuilt

Post by Tom Hicks » Sun Mar 24, 2019 3:44 pm

Scott_conger wrote:
Sun Mar 24, 2019 3:13 pm
It was my suggestion to purchase a 2 y/o restored car. I withdraw that recommendation.
No problem, I couldn't find one at your price anyway.
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Re: Cost to get an engine and transmission rebuilt

Post by Tom Hicks » Sun Mar 24, 2019 3:44 pm

Is it safe to run a properly rebuilt engine and transmission at a steady 1900 rpm?

And, what would it cost in labor to get an engine/transmission rebuilt using old but servicable parts?
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Re: Cost to get an engine and transmission rebuilt

Post by George Mills » Sun Mar 24, 2019 8:09 pm

I don't know how safe it is....

But I'd look at some of the dyno data gathered at I think a recent Montana 500 on the mods...

On a stock Ford, you go over 1600 RPM the car behaves like a modern car in overdrive...it is diminishing in horse-power AND torque available...everything is going into spinning and maintaining forward motion.

With 3 to 1 rear, 1600 would be just a tad under 50


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Re: Cost to get an engine and transmission rebuilt

Post by Tom Hicks » Sun Mar 24, 2019 8:25 pm

George Mills wrote:
Sun Mar 24, 2019 8:09 pm
I don't know how safe it is....

But I'd look at some of the dyno data gathered at I think a recent Montana 500 on the mods...

On a stock Ford, you go over 1600 RPM the car behaves like a modern car in overdrive...it is diminishing in horse-power AND torque available...everything is going into spinning and maintaining forward motion.

With 3 to 1 rear, 1600 would be just a tad under 50
Good insight, but not stock. Scat Stroker Crank, Stipe 280 cam, Prus HC head, all balanced and built by a professional with new pistons, stainless valves etc.
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Re: Cost to get an engine and transmission rebuilt

Post by Scott_Conger » Sun Mar 24, 2019 9:09 pm

No problem, I couldn't find one at your price anyway.
so you looked for a whole two days! What patience, my friend!

I'll follow this thread with curiosity. History has shown that folks that start threads like this typically disappear within months. Maybe you'll be the exception. At least so far, you've beaten the odds. Best wishes, and I still think you need to glom onto another marque.
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Re: Cost to get an engine and transmission rebuilt

Post by Original Smith » Sun Mar 24, 2019 9:38 pm

That is a pretty dumb question! Every T engine needs different things, and therefore the cost will reflect that. I happen to do my own rebuilds, and always have since I was 17 years old. The bottom line is pay what you have to, to get it right, and no cutting corners either.


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Re: Cost to get an engine and transmission rebuilt

Post by Tom Hicks » Mon Mar 25, 2019 1:05 am

Is it safe to run a properly rebuilt engine and transmission at a steady 1900 rpm?

And, what would it cost in LABOR to get an engine/transmission rebuilt using old but servicable parts?
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Re: Cost to get an engine and transmission rebuilt

Post by Adam » Mon Mar 25, 2019 10:01 am

I did some rough figuring on paper a couple years ago using formulas from Machinery’s Handbook to determine the maximum safe operating speed of the Model T flywheel. The MPH equivalent with standard rear axle gears was 55 MPH. If I remember correctly, that included a 2x safety factor.

Age, existing cracks or defects, or drilling into the rim will seriously downgrade the maximum safe speed.


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Re: Cost to get an engine and transmission rebuilt

Post by babychadwick » Mon Mar 25, 2019 10:04 am

Here ya go, while the price may be high I'm sure you could take the wheels and head and sell to get to where you are thinking . . .

viewtopic.php?f=5&t=2398

Gearing, suspension, and body drag may be more of a consideration than the effort you are putting into the engine. By the time you are done you will have an expensive car. It is entirely possible to have a car that will run at 55 without spending a fortune if you address the car as more than just the engine/transmission.

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Re: Cost to get an engine and transmission rebuilt

Post by DanTreace » Mon Mar 25, 2019 10:41 am

Tom Hicks wrote:
Mon Mar 25, 2019 1:05 am
Is it safe to run a properly rebuilt engine and transmission at a steady 1900 rpm?
And, what would it cost in LABOR to get an engine/transmission rebuilt using old but servicable parts?
Respectfully, if the 'safe' means the longevity of the drive line of the T, the answer is NO.

At steady 1900 rpms the T will be rolling its wheels over 600 times a minute, that's twice the amount of the 1908 technology design performance. Sure the Montana 500 guys and gals run a fast avg. of 50+ and roll down hills above 60, with all stock Ford parts, flywheel magneto too, but this is one week of runs. Most go over the motor and drive line before the next race, just like all racers do :P

The labor to rebuild a complete T engine, less bolt on accessories like manifolds, carb, water inlets and outlets, gen. and starter, if you supply a good core, is included in the est. already stated, $5-6k. Add extra $, but not labor, if you supply high compression head, new cam, new trans drums with gears. These will add another $2000, but would be installed in lieu of std. Ford parts, for same labor cost. What a new Scat crank? Add $2k more ;)
The best way is always the simplest. The attics of the world are cluttered up with complicated failures. Henry Ford
Don’t find fault, find a remedy; anybody can complain. Henry Ford


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Re: Cost to get an engine and transmission rebuilt

Post by Tom Hicks » Mon Mar 25, 2019 11:31 am

I thank everyone for your input. I should be able to make some informed decisions now.
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Re: Cost to get an engine and transmission rebuilt

Post by Steve Jelf » Mon Mar 25, 2019 2:34 pm

It's been interesting following this discussion. Among the most knowledgeable and experienced hands the consensus is that without extensive and expensive alterations, driving a Model T regularly at high speeds is a fool's errand. Millions of people have used these cars as daily drivers without ruining them, but not fast.
The inevitable often happens.
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Re: Cost to get an engine and transmission rebuilt

Post by Ruxstel24 » Mon Mar 25, 2019 2:53 pm

That's about it in a nutshell, Steve.
Anything can be accomplished if you throw enough money at it.
Running a T engine at 1900 rpm, for anything other than a short burst...will cost mucho dinero !! :shock:

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Re: Cost to get an engine and transmission rebuilt

Post by Jeff5015 » Mon Mar 25, 2019 6:56 pm

Alright, Help me out here...
I understood the top speed was 45 MPH. TOPS!
I had my T up to 40 (using a gps speedometer) and it felt good but also like there was not much more.
How fast would the RPM's be at 45 MPH? Does anyone know the math?

Thankful newbie,

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Re: Cost to get an engine and transmission rebuilt

Post by Mark Gregush » Mon Mar 25, 2019 7:21 pm

With a stock 3.63 rear end that would be about 1800RPM with peak HP just dropping off and well past peak torque. Peak HP is between 1400 and 1600 RPM and peak torque around 800 to 1000 RPM. Taken for the chart in Henry's Wonderful Model T, Floyd Clymer, page127.
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Re: Cost to get an engine and transmission rebuilt

Post by Jeff5015 » Mon Mar 25, 2019 7:27 pm

Thanks, Mark.
I want to stay within the limits of what the engine was intended to do.
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Re: Cost to get an engine and transmission rebuilt

Post by ewdysar » Mon Mar 25, 2019 7:45 pm

Not sure of the RPMs, but my Dad's "15" Touring that was built from a number of donor cars in the early '60's runs smooth right up to 50mph on level ground. The engine is a wide brake drum, 4 dip, electric start engine with cast iron pistons, stock crank, stock high head, one-piece valves, unknown cam, stock manifolds with a basic NH and a Ford timer with brass top coils. I've added a Ruckstell (stock ratio) and Rocky Mountain brakes. Friends that have driven her have said that she's a "runner".

My '14 Touring with a fresh '26 engine is finally loosening up to run at 45mph with no complaints. Z-head, Scat "stock" crank, 270 cam, aluminum pistons, stock manifolds with a basic NH, and a Ford timer with brass top coils. The '14 has a Ruckstell and A/C brakes on the small drums. When freshly rebuilt, the engine felt like it was working hard to go 40, but seems to be settling in. The car's original '14 engine was rebuilt to stock for more than I had hoped due to less re-usable innards. That engine is waiting patiently on a stand in the garage, in case I get an "original" wild hair situation happening.

I've done plenty of messing around with fast modern cars, I find that my T's are truly individuals and overall performance is less predictable. There seems to be a lot of "soft" variables that add up to each car having it's own personality. This is just my opinion and as they say "your mileage may vary".

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Re: Cost to get an engine and transmission rebuilt

Post by John kuehn » Tue Mar 26, 2019 9:39 am

This post started as getting an idea of the cost of rebuilding a T engine. Then it drifted into engine improvements that runs into more money and turning a T into something that has its limits.
Speed, performance and etc. is to each his own.

Engine improvements for speed, higher RPM, and etc. translates into improvement into the rear end, wheels, front end steering and on we go meaning more money.

If I wanted to spend around $10.000 for all the improvements that can be had with a engine rebuild I would rather find a good running T for $15.000 that has a lot work already done to it.
The guy that has a T for sale for $15.000 has probably over $20.000 in it and besides you would get the whole car to boot.


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Re: Cost to get an engine and transmission rebuilt

Post by Erik Barrett » Sat Mar 30, 2019 1:42 am

I have a very nice 1924 touring available with everything on the list at the top of this thread minus the Scat crank. Fresh build for the Santa Rosa tour last year. Can’t get a T guy to give me $10,000 for a black era T, the cost of restoring the chassis equipped as this one is.
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Re: Cost to get an engine and transmission rebuilt

Post by Mindless Automaton » Sat Mar 30, 2019 5:36 am

Tom Hicks wrote:
Mon Mar 25, 2019 1:05 am
Is it safe to run a properly rebuilt engine and transmission at a steady 1900 rpm?

And, what would it cost in LABOR to get an engine/transmission rebuilt using old but servicable parts?
Ok this thread goes on & on, i can't be bothered reading it all. I can answer half your question though.

So a speedster guy who used to be well known around here once said, 1,900 is the redline for a T engine. For a steady 1,900 RPM you may want to use a SCAT crank that has the model A spec' mains & rods.

As for labour costs, I wouldn't have a clue.

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Re: Cost to get an engine and transmission rebuilt

Post by aDave » Sat Mar 30, 2019 8:21 am

To each his own...

"Your marbles, you get so set the rules"...

and other thoughts.

The fact remains that each of us are different, and many of us have different ideas of "fun" in owning a T.

Sure, there are those who enjoy jumping out of a perfectly good airplane (hopefully with a backpack that opens with a parachute upon command), and those who relish jumping off a bridge with a rubber band attached to their ankles.

Then too, there are those who love to take the "slow road", drive a T the speeds it was intended to be driven, and "smell the roses" along the way.

What makes me a tad concerned is all this talk about speed, and not really that much talk about stopping. We have a disease in this country that imperils all of us - slow driver, or the speedy one - and that disease is the OTHER driver - the distracted one - talking on the phone, texting, even (HORRORS) reading a magazine or newspaper while driving (YES - it happens). Problem is, frequently the Model T driver needs to stop FAST...even with 4 wheel hydraulic brakes, the relatively tiny footprint of the tires negates a short stopping distance.

Sometimes parachutes fail to open...sometimes the rubber band breaks...sometimes the T crashes and the headlines read "MODEL T driver (or passenger) killed in auto accident"...and ALL Model Ts are therefore deemed unsafe. But look closely, oftentimes it is not a TRUE Model T, often it is just a "shell" of a '26 with a "souped up V-8 under the hood, and a modern drive line and chassis. Sometimes it is a "jazzed-up" mostly Model T, but with numerous accessories NOT original to the car.

Bottom line - your marbles, your dollars, you can spend them as you see fit, but when you need to stop fast, quickly, in a short distance when someone "cuts you off", you may not be able to...you and your vehicle may become another unwelcome statistic.


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Re: Cost to get an engine and transmission rebuilt

Post by Dom Denio » Sat Mar 30, 2019 1:26 pm

As Leo said...

We offer three kinds of service:
GOOD – FAST – CHEAP
You can pick any two
GOOD, FAST service won’t be CHEAP
FAST, CHEAP service won’t be GOOD
CHEAP, GOOD service won’t be FAST

Feel free to copy, paste and print for the uneducated. :-)
Enjoy,
Dom

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