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ModelTDipstick
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Questions from a newbie

Post by ModelTDipstick » Mon Dec 30, 2019 9:02 am

I inherited a 1927 Fordor from my grandfather a few years ago and am just now getting around to trying to fix it up.
It’s been in my family since it was new. My grandpa’s grandpa bought it brand new in OKC.
My uncle’s are telling me that it was the last Fordor assembled in the OKC plant. The serial number is OC-20860. Does anyone know how I could possibly get documentation that would validate whether or not it was the last one built here?
We’ve been working on it the last few months...and we are hoping to be ready to go to the body shop in a couple of weeks.
The starter needed new brushes, but after installing them, the starter turns really slow and not enough power to crank the motor. We have checked the grounds and the power and both are good. Anyone have any suggestions?

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Re: Questions from a newbie

Post by DLodge » Mon Dec 30, 2019 9:15 am

There will no doubt be other answers, but you will surely be told to contact a local Model T club. In addition to the cameraderie, it will be a very useful source of information.

https://www.mtfca.com/clubpages/chapters.htm#ok

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TWrenn
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Re: Questions from a newbie

Post by TWrenn » Mon Dec 30, 2019 9:27 am

Maybe the Benson Ford library would have some info?

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Re: Questions from a newbie

Post by George House » Mon Dec 30, 2019 9:58 am

You’ve come to the right place Danny. Where do you live ?- if still in OK, one of the best T mechanics is in Tulsa. Battery dead cell? How does the starter spin without the bendix drive ?
Compression readings each cylinder? Welcome to the club !!
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Re: Questions from a newbie

Post by Autie » Mon Dec 30, 2019 10:55 am

In regards to your question about the (original 6 volt system?) starter being weak, make sure the battery cables from the battery to the starter switch AND from the starter switch to the the starter are 1/0 gauge. If you have purchased off the shelf cables from your local auto parts store those will not work, and your battery (even if new) seems sluggish or weak, this possibly is the reason. Even with a new starter, the wrong gauge cables will not be sufficient enough. Also be sure to check the ground cable. How does it turn by hand crank with the brake handle pulled back/neutral? If hard to crank by hand, jack up one or both rear wheels, again make sure the brake handle is pulled back and in neutral, and try turning it over that way. Start simple and cheap, then start trouble shooting your way up to bigger more expensive things.


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Re: Questions from a newbie

Post by Norman Kling » Mon Dec 30, 2019 11:25 am

One thing to try is a ground cable from the starter (where it bolts to the hogshead) to the frame. Scrape the frame clean where you bolt it on. Often on an old car there is corrosion between the parts of the drive train and the chassis so it does not conduct very well. Also things to check is the connection of the clamp at the end of the cable with the actual cable where it connects to the battery. This is crimped on and sometimes corroded. It helps to clean everything up and solder that connection as well as crimp it. The battery ground connection works best if you get the solid copper strap rather than the woven connection. Scrape and sand the frame clean at the point of connection to the frame.

Another thing about the engine turning over slowly, sometimes in cold weather there is drag between the clutch disks, especially with single grade oil. A multigrade oil works better in cold weather. I us 10W 30 in mine. Try jacking up one rear wheel when you start the car. take the parking brake off and block the front wheel so it won't go forward. This will eliminate the clutch but will turn the rear wheel.

When you park the car on level surface leave the parking brake lever in the forward position. This will force the oil from between the clutch disks. Then when you pull it back to start the car, the disks will not be stuck together.

If none of these things help, you might need a rebuilt starter.
Norm

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Re: Questions from a newbie

Post by Steve Jelf » Mon Dec 30, 2019 11:31 am

As we often say around here, welcome to the affliction.

OC-20860 is not a Model T serial number. A 1927 Ford serial number would be eight digits beginning with 14 or 15. It would have no letters. Ford supplied complete replacement engines with serial numbers. Bare replacement blocks were left unnumbered, with the expectation that the users would stamp them with the numbers of the presumably ruined blocks they were replacing. Not all customers followed the plan. Sometimes they made up their own non-Ford serial numbers. That's probably why your engine has a non-Ford number.

It's very common for people to be mistaken about the year of a Model T due to paperwork errors or memory lapses. I have a 1923 touring the seller thought was a 1922, and a 1924 TT that also was thought to be a 1922. So I would suggest that first we confirm the year of your T.
1 post pictures here on the forum. This page on selling a T suggests what pictures to take for that, and the same pictures apply for identifying the car.
http://dauntlessgeezer.com/DG100.html
2 If the car was made December 10, 1925 or later it should have the original engine serial number stamped on top of the frame rail under the floorboard. This is usually on the right rail, but sometimes is on the left one. You may have to dig through some dirt/paint/crud to find the number if it's there. If you can post that number here we can find the assembly date of the original engine, and the car would have been assembled within a few hours or a day or two after the engine.

As you are new to the Model T game, here's a good place to start: http://dauntlessgeezer.com/DG80.html.

Milt Webb's list may help you get the car going: http://dauntlessgeezer.com/DG93.html.

I don't want to overwhelm you with too much info at the start, but every new owner should know about this: http://dauntlessgeezer.com/DG79.html.
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Re: Questions from a newbie

Post by jiminbartow » Mon Dec 30, 2019 12:34 pm

There were over 15,000,000 Model T’s manufactured between 1908 and 1927. The engine serial number, which is stamped into the smooth area on the drivers side of the engine above the water inlet, is recognized as the chronological order that that Model T was manufactured. Ford kept meticulous and detailed records whereby one can determine the date and even the time of day of that particular serial number.

On the 1926 and ‘27 improved Model T’s, Ford started to stamp the engine serial number into the chassis under the floorboard (mine is stamped next to the emergency brake quadrant) during the manufacturing process whenever the engine was joined up with a particular chassis. Many Model T owners prefer to have a Model T with matching numbers which means that the engine in the T is original to that Model T and they left the assembly line together. My 1926 coupe has matching numbers and I like that my T has matching numbers, but on a car this old, it is common for a Model T to have a different engine than what it left the factory with because Model T engines commonly wore out and needed to be replaced and it isn’t such a big deal, but it does cause some confusion as to the actual date of manufacture. Jim Patrick


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Re: Questions from a newbie

Post by ModelTDipstick » Mon Dec 30, 2019 12:37 pm

Thanks everyone.

To answer a few of your questions...
1. We put the starter on the bench and removed the bendix then connected it to the battery...we used two different known good batteries...and it turns so slow that my dad was able to keep it from turning with one hand.
2. When it is connected in the car, it tries to move the radiator fan, but doesn't have enough power.
3. The engine serial number is 14738107. The OC number I listed in my original post is to left of the brake handle and tells the assembly plant location and the number it was finished in production.
4. The compression is good on all 4 cylinders.
5. We have tested the ground and positive wires from the battery, switch, and starter.
6. I can turn the crank handle pretty well. I did not try to actually start it that way.
7. I am still in Oklahoma. Tulsa is 3 hours from where I live. The other Model T club is about 90 minutes away.
8. The number from the engine and title match the stamp on the chassis.
Thanks again everyone. I'm looking forward to being involved here.

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Re: Questions from a newbie

Post by RustyFords » Mon Dec 30, 2019 12:50 pm

Welcome to the forum Danny. This is the right place to be for technical knowledge.

As others have said, we'd love to see some photos.
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Re: Questions from a newbie

Post by Scott_Conger » Mon Dec 30, 2019 12:56 pm

You've recieved good advice from respondents. I will add that you MUST own and use the Ford Manual, listed as PN "T-1" at virtually all suppliers. This will get you past almost any rough spot that you may encounter. Other links that others have provided amplify certain aspects of what is discussed in the manual.

I am really hoping that you removed the bendix BEFORE you took the starter out, though reading your last post you may not have. There are a few serious traps when working on a Model T and that is one.

With respect to checking cables and grounds, an Ohmeter is insufficient in determining quality. Once you run current through a circuit on the order of a starter, things behave in ways you may not expect and you're finding that out. Your bench test results are common, and an indication that there is more needed than just brushes. There are people on this forum who can supply rebuild services which will put your starter in like-new shape (it is no small task).

Finally, really, please buy the Manual and save future grief.

Good luck.
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Re: Questions from a newbie

Post by TRDxB2 » Mon Dec 30, 2019 1:05 pm

Since the starter turns so slowly when it is out of the engine and your Dad could keep it from turning by hand - the problem has nothing to do with the engine at this point. As suggested the battery cable size should be verified, to thin a cable would cause a voltage drop. You may have more issues with the starter than just new brushes.
Here is YouTube video on repairing one https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tCRdm6YiinM
Another text with pictures explanation on repairing one https://modeltfordfix.com/repairing-a-c ... r-problem/

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Re: Questions from a newbie

Post by Steve Jelf » Mon Dec 30, 2019 1:37 pm

The engine serial number identifies it as #1999 of 2331 engines produced on February 17, 1927, just three months before the end of Model T production. At this point sagging sales had Ford making engines only four days a week. A year earlier they were working six days a week, often at a rate of over 7000 a day.
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Re: Questions from a newbie

Post by jiminbartow » Mon Dec 30, 2019 2:10 pm

Unsure of the exact number of Model T’s that were made (I thought more than15 million were manufactured), I did some reading on the internet. It says that on May 25, 1927, Henry Ford announced that production of the Model T was coming to a end. The next day, May 26, 1927, which was officially the last day of production of the Model T, the famous photo of Henry Ford and Edsel driving off the assembly line in the 15 millionth Model T was taken. While the 15 millionth model T rolled off the assembly line on the last day, it is my opinion that there were more Model T’s that were in production behind the official 15 millionth car that continued being built until completed, so I believe more than 15 million total were manufactured overall. Jim Patrick


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Re: Questions from a newbie

Post by ModelTDipstick » Mon Dec 30, 2019 2:26 pm

We did remove the bendix before removing the starter. Sorry I confused that point.

We do have the manual mentioned.

I will check out the video and other links about repairing the starter.

Steve, where did you find that information about the serial number of the motor?

I will try to upload some photos...if I can figure out how. :)

Thanks
Danny


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Re: Questions from a newbie

Post by Scott_Conger » Mon Dec 30, 2019 2:29 pm

Danny

outstanding!
you will get this whipped, in time
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Re: Questions from a newbie

Post by ModelTDipstick » Mon Dec 30, 2019 2:39 pm

Let's see if this attached a couple of pictures.
Attachments
trailer.jpg
taking_apart.jpg
motor.jpg
interior.jpg


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Re: Questions from a newbie

Post by jiminbartow » Mon Dec 30, 2019 3:12 pm

Beautiful! Very clean. The paint job, while dull and oxidized from age, looks nice enough to be brought back to a mirror shine with Meguire’s rubbing compound and a coat of Meguire’s paste wax. Jim Patrick


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Re: Questions from a newbie

Post by ModelTDipstick » Mon Dec 30, 2019 3:16 pm

That is actually a black primer that my grandfather put on it before I was born.
The original color is gray and is under that primer. We are planning to put it back to it's original gray color.


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Re: Questions from a newbie

Post by jiminbartow » Mon Dec 30, 2019 6:02 pm

Are you sure the black is not the finish and the grey underneath, primer? Primer from that period was usually either grey or rust red. That black looks too good to be primer. By 1927, Ford had the paint inventories under control so that virtually all Fordor bodies in 1927 were painted Windsor Maroon while the fenders, running boards, splash shields and radiator apron were black. I don’t believe grey was a color in Ford’s 1927 Fordor color selection inventory. Jim Patrick
Last edited by jiminbartow on Mon Dec 30, 2019 7:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.


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Re: Questions from a newbie

Post by tdump » Mon Dec 30, 2019 6:24 pm

i would have had a hard time taking that car apart if it had my granfathers.In that good of shape.I woulda cleaned it up and drove it !That car is in good shape!
If you can't help em, don't hinder em'


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Re: Questions from a newbie

Post by ModelTDipstick » Mon Dec 30, 2019 7:55 pm

Both of my uncles confirmed that the car was gray and that the black is primer that my grandpa put on before he got sick and couldn’t finish it.
They both, at different times, said that it was the only Fordor in the country painted gray in 1927.
I am trying to find documentation to validate that for certain.

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Re: Questions from a newbie

Post by Steve Jelf » Mon Dec 30, 2019 9:48 pm

Danny, the serial numbers and dates are listed in Bruce Mccalley's Model T Encyclopedia. It also tells you about paints. As you can see here, yours would not be the only gray 1927 Ford.

Paints 1.jpg
IMG_1974.JPG
This cutaway at Greenfield village shows the original engine color for 1927.
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Re: Questions from a newbie

Post by ModelTDipstick » Mon Dec 30, 2019 10:02 pm

Thanks for the info.
Does anyone have any kind of photo that shows the fawn gray color?
If it is what I think it is, it is way too light compared to what my uncles are describing to me.

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Re: Questions from a newbie

Post by Steve Jelf » Mon Dec 30, 2019 11:07 pm

Click on Gallery at the top of this page and go to the 1927 cars.
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Re: Questions from a newbie

Post by AdminJeff » Thu Jan 02, 2020 10:45 am

You might have one or more problems going on with your starter. It could be the terminal bolt (very common), bad brushes (not likely), bad armature (Also not likely), shorted field coils (likely) or binding of the shaft somewhere, or a combination. I've seen all of the above on various starters I've rebuilt. Assuming the nose bearing is ok and the shaft isn't binding , New field coils and brushes are actually pretty easy to replace.

Here is a great video on rebuilding the T starter. You can get new field coils and brushes from any of the vendors, or even on eBay.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tCRdm6YiinM

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Re: Questions from a newbie

Post by ModelTDipstick » Sat Jan 04, 2020 2:25 pm

It was a shorted field coil. Got that fixed.
Now having trouble getting it to stay running correctly.
It is backfiring now when it runs.

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Re: Questions from a newbie

Post by Susanne » Sat Jan 04, 2020 2:57 pm

Sounds like it could be carburetion, maybe too lean? check your vaporizer for cracks, and make sure you have good crush gaskets under the maniforld hookups.

Beautiful car... trying to chase the history of a "branch" car (one built at a branch, not at Highland or Rouge) is always interesting and a challenge, as the branches didn't always follow the "absolute truth" of the home office.

There is also the possibility that, to move the car, they painted it gray (possibly even fawn gray?) so it would stand out as a "new, improved" car... even though it was not one of the "original" colors that came off the line, it would make that car pop. Somenone mentioned that you can look under the gas tank mounting straps to reveal the original color of the car, as usually these were neither removed nor molested when and if a car was repainted... it might also give you a color match for a modern paint maker to go off of...


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Re: Questions from a newbie

Post by ModelTDipstick » Sat Jan 04, 2020 8:39 pm

We had an issue with the fuel line it turns out. Got it fixed.
Running better but still can’t get it to idle down as far as I think it should.


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Re: Questions from a newbie

Post by Scott_Conger » Sat Jan 04, 2020 9:30 pm

Holley NH and vaporizors will idle poorly if

1. the idle passages were not properly opened up and cleaned and replugged when rebuilt
2. throttle shafts and casting worn such that excess air enters where it shouldn't
3. heat plate or other fittings exhibit vacuum leaks
4. float setting improper

properly rebuilt, vaporizors run just fine...the trick is to find someone who does the rebuild properly.
Scott Conger

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Re: Questions from a newbie

Post by Brent Teltow » Sat Jan 04, 2020 9:49 pm

So true Scott, I had Russ Potter rebuild three of my NH carbs. Excellent workmanship, and to talk "shop" with him on the phone is a true joy!

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