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1917 Model T Light Patrol Car


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Hey jack,

I thought the in car method of recharging couldn't possibly work, and the way you did it is better, but I did not want to disassemble the engine. I was suprised how well it worked, the T starts easily on mag now, and before it was difficult to start it cold on mag. I think I will remove the hidden battery, as it just adds weight to the car. My headlights work better too.

Gus

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Gus,

 

We did a little work on the running boards/fenders and splash guards today - I'll post a short writeup on that, tomorrow.

 

We did however come up with an issue on the wooden blocks between fenders and running boards.

 

I've done a search on the MTFCA Forum and get some confusing info. I realise there are blocks under the running boards (2 per side) at the running board brackets, but are there similar blocks sandwiched between fenders/mudguards, both front and rear, ie a total all up, of four per side ?

 

I gather from the MTFCA folk, that while there definitely was a third block at the rear (between running board and fender), there might not be at the front. Opinions vary, as they say.

 

What is the setup on your T ?

 

 

Jack

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Hey Jack,

The only wood blocks on the running boards were the ones between the running boards and the support brackets. I have heard talk of blocks being between the boards and fenders, but do not think that Ford did that, as it is unnecessary and adds the risk of corrosion. The Ford service manual does not mention anything about blocks other than the mounting bracket blocks, so I do not think there should be any others.

Best

Gus

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I had a quick look at the Running Boards on my Model T "s" : 1914 : Wooden blocks between front and rear fenders to running boards. 1918 and 1923 : No blocks between front fenders and running boards but rear fenders do have wooden blocks. All have wooden blocks between running boards and support brackets. I checked in the Snyder's catalogue and they state that 1909 to 1916 used 8 blocks which corresponds with my 1914. 1917-1925 only used 4. The rear fenders on my 1918 and 1923 did not fit properly without the wooden blocks. There is a bracket on the rear fender that bolts to the splash apron and these did not line up without the block. My 1914 and 1923 are Canadian built and the 1918 is a mixture of USA and Canadian parts collected all over the show. I must also add that there was plenty of rot on the fenders where the blocks are!

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We concentrated on the LH side today and trial fitted the splash guard, running board and mudguards (fenders).

 

ModelTLHside10Jul_zpsc4a0ed14.jpg

 

I’ve removed the firewall/bulkhead to allow us to nail the forward edge of the door sheetmetal to the wood frame, so at the moment, the T is shamelessly showing off her underwear.

 

ModelTwithrearguard_zps6ac09ab9.jpg

 

 

Most of the trial fit went well, but I still have some uncertainty about the wooden blocks which I understand go between mudguard and running board. There is apparently general consensus that a wooden block is used at the rear, but the jury remains out, on the validity of one at the front. Everyone is agreed that blocks are used under the running boards, where they mount to the brackets.

 

More research required here.

 

We finished off the sanding needed on the LH sheetmetal forward of the door and added a certain amount of body filler to the RH side sheetmetal. There’s still a good deal of preparation to be done to the front mudguards, before they can get the body filler treatment, but that’s a next week possibility. The rear guards are more or less 100 years old and look their age, but can and will be re-introduced into 21st century service, with some well trained elbow grease.

 

We should also be able to trial fit the panels on the RH side next week.

 

Gustaf and Tom,

 

I've done a search on the MTFCA website and found conflicting views about the mudguard to running board blocks. It seems to me however, that there were no front blocks on the 19197 model, but that the rear blocks were used. As you say Tom, the tags holding the rear mudguard to the splash guard don't seem to line up, unless a block is used. The other thing about a block at the front, although it's hardly conclusive, is that a step up from the guard over a wooden block, to the running board would look pretty awful.

 

Thanks for the help.

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Hey Jack,

Your signature line "I used to be indecisive, but now I'm not so sure." pretty much covers my understanding of the wood issue. My service manual is a later one.

A question about the radiator shroud, it looks odd, but maybe it is just the red paint.

This is going to be a fun machine to run around in.

Best

Gus

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Hi Gus,

 

You've a sharp eye for detail.

 

The radiator shell is a "Peerless". There's a bit of info about the item, from MTFCA contributors here -

 

http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/257047/320955.html?1352430496

 

This shell is only temporary - the one I'll be using has been painted and is on the shelf waiting to be installed when the time is ripe.

 

 

 

Jack

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During the week, I’d been thinking about the hood shelves and the wooden blocks under them. While I am aware that these blocks (2 per side) were all that was used, I thought it might be stronger, if the two blocks became one long one. As a result, I made up this wood piece to fit under both hood shelves.

 

ModelTLHhoodshelf_zps0b280465.jpg

 

I know I’ll have to let in some of the bolt heads where the guard/fender is secured to the chassis rail, but that won’t be a problem.

 

We began our day, by trial fitting the RH side sheetmetal and curing a few ills, where bolt holes didn’t actually match up or where metal needed the slightest of tweaks, to fit properly.

 

The RH guard in place …

 

ModelTRHGuardon_zps8d62c129.jpg

 

The front section of both guards seemed to be drooping a little over the tyres, so some gentle persuasion was provided and the guard front, is now at acceptable levels on both sides. This readjustment resulted in a metal tear or two, which was MIGed up.

 

The result, with both guards on, looks like a significant step along the way of this 4 year restoration (so far).

 

ModelTBothguardsfitted_zps005495ee.jpg

 

 

This pic shows the part-finished RH side sheetmetal – a little additional elbow grease during the week, will see this panel just about ready for undercoating.

 

ModelTRHsidepanelfilled_zps0b0cc350.jpg

 

 

Gustaf,

 

The possession of any weapon has become much more difficult here in Australia - but I do have access to a Lewis on the rare occasions when I need it.

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...it starts to look better an better :-) About the tires - are they still manufactured today?

 

Yes, the tires are still available, but they are made in the orient and do not have a long life, so for a static displayed car, old tires will last longer, if you are going to put new tires on the car, then it should be driven as much as possible to wear the tires out before they disintegrate from age.

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Gustaf,

 

The possession of any weapon has become much more difficult here in Australia - but I do have access to a Lewis on the rare occasions when I need it.

 

I have a firend woth a live Lewis, I am sure he would let us play with him if you want to bring the car over:)!

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G'day Kuno and Gus,

 

Gus - I saw a thread (http://www.forgottenweapons.com/lewis-gun-at-the-range/) recently from a fellow in the US who stripped a Lewis and explained its workings, before test firing it on a range. It was a first class weapon in its day and far better than the French Chauchat, that your soldiers were issued with on arrival in France in 1917/18. Was Pershing a Francophile ? Whatever the reason, the "doughboys" were done no favours by that decision.

 

http://www.americanrifleman.org/articles/that-damned-jammed-chauchat/

 

As an ex infantry soldier, I'm sure I would enjoy the experience of handling a (heavy) gun like the Lewis.

 

 

Jack

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Hey Jack

There were politics involved in not adopting the Lewis. The Chauchat was adopted because it could be produced qheaply and in enough numbers to equip a large force. Unfortunately, the 30'06 version was a failure due to poor machining, but the 8mm Lebel version in properly trained hands changed the nature of warfare. The Chauchat was the first assault rifle, and assault tactics employed with it caused the Germans to rethink their tactics. The poorly constructed 30'06 version and the lack of proper training of US soldiers in the use of the Chauchat is the main reason for its bad reputation, but in trained hands it was a very effective weapon. It is interesting that many of the complaints that naysayers put against it are shortcomings of the P'08 as well, and the Pistole Parabellum is considered to be a fine weapon, when it cost considerable more to produce than the Chauchat.

My friend's only complaint about the Lewis is that it makes it difficult for him to keep .303 ammo on hand.

Best

Gus

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Thanks for that, Gus.

 

I know we're getting a little off topic here, but do you find it intriguing that after nearly four years of the European War and the fact that the machine gun was more or less an American invention, when the almost inevitable happened, the US Army still had to forage among foreigners for an LMG ?

 

I suppose parallels could be drawn to the British invention of the tank in WW1 and their near complete disregard for armoured progress after WW1, with predictable consequences in the next war.

 

 

 

Jack

 

 

P.S. I was involved in a live firing exercise on one occasion at what was once our Jungle Training Centre and we used Vickers MMG to provide overhead fire, as troops scurried below carrying out contact drills. The .303 ammo we were using was made in India and very poor quality. Some of the rounds fell short in among the troops and we were obliged to call off the practice. That maybe the only source for .303 rounds these days, but I would hope that quality control has improved !

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Hey Jack,

Most bulk .303 ammo is Pakistani, and is of dubious quality, but then we are not firing over the heads of our mates, and an occasional jam is not something that is life of death.

 

It is true that it is a puzzle as to why the US military was so slow to embrace advancements (some could argue that the aeroplane was an American invention as well, and no American aircraft were used in the war either). I think the biggest reason was because the military was controlled by elderly soldiers that wanted to keep war a game rather than admit it was serious.

 

I do not think we are getting too far off topic, as this is all history that is related to your Motor. With out the history, these old machines are not nearly as interesting.

Best

Gus

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Some days you don’t seem to have much to show for the hours worked - and this is one of them. However, we did actually get a fair bit done today, but it took a while.

 

Firstly we trial fitted the two rear guards and made sure that we had the right curves and shape in the guard to match the running board connections and the fender iron. That took longer on one side than the other, due to the fact that the LH guard had been broken away at the skirt and another skirt had to be enlisted to make up the shortfall. That required a good deal of bending - you can see the results of the bending process in the three welds on the guard lip. We also had to unroll the 3/16th rod in the guard and open up the roll sufficiently, to allow us to insert the “new” skirt and then secure it in place, by re-rolling the metal over the 3/16th rod in the “new” skirt.

 

That may sound confusing, but here’s a couple of photos of the new skirt going in …

 

ModelTLHrearmudguard_zpsdf0ca2cc.jpg

 

ModelTLHrearguard_zps7716b0d6.jpg

 

The “new” skirt was not without its own flaws as you can see around the elliptical opening for the body stay. Although the photos don’t show it, we’ve now cut out the piece which was let into the skirt and are in the process of inserting a new heavier piece, which will have the correct elliptical hole and be rivetted to the fender iron bracket, integral to the guard. I’ll try to have a photo of the finished article, in a week or two.

 

We also did a bit of undercoating on the front panels and the product looks very good.

 

Firstly a photo of the RH side panel with the false door -

 

ModelTRHpanel_zpsa9867f40.jpg

 

And a reminder of what it was made from …

 

ModelTRHside23Oct12_zpse577766f.jpg

 

…. and now the LH side panel …

 

ModelTLHpanel_zps1eb5ba21.jpg

 

… and again – where this originated …

 

ModelTLHwelded_zps4ae6132b.jpg

 

 

We’re at the stage now, where we can finish off the front guards, fill whatever needs filling and prepare them for the undercoat.

 

It is starting to look pretty.

 

 

Jack

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  • 2 weeks later...

Kuno, tires are surprisingly easy to find for most classical vehicles that are popular to restore. There's some British soft skin vehicles that used tires of a dimension not used anymore, and these can be hard, sometimes impossible, to source.

 

This Lucas brand model T tire costs 99$ and that's a decent price considering that the manufacturer cannot expect to sell tens of thousands of these:

 

Model T import tire.jpg

 

The web page here: http://www.snydersantiqueauto.com/modeltparts/tirestubesmisc

 

Goran N

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Hi Kuno,

 

Gustaf responded with some information about tyres and Goran is quite right - the tyres are readily available, though the ones he identified (Lucas @ $99) would seem to be suspiciously cheap !

 

I obtained mine (the Wards Riverside variety) from a fellow here in Perth West Australia, who imports quite a number of different tyre sizes. They retail at $152 from the US suppliers, but I paid $160 here in Perth. A very good deal.

 

All these Model T tyres are made in Vietnam and that fact is embossed on the side of the tyre. As Gustaf mentioned, there is significant comment on the US Model T forums about their quality (or lack of it), compared to tyres that used to be made in the US, but I've no first hand knowledge of that, yet.

 

Jack

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The $99 Lucas tires are for the newer Ts with the 21 inch wheels for the balloon tires. I have had a great deal of experiance with asian made tires on irrigation equipment, we had on pivot that was installed in the 1970s that still had a few original tires. When we had a tire failure, it was seldom one of the older tires, but one of the tires replaced in the past 5 years. The sidewalls break down quickly and cracks will also develop in the tread area.

Best

gus

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Concentrated on the guards (fenders) today. By knock off time, we reached the stage where, after a final check of fitting, some further welding and a little panel beating, we had fully prepared both front guards and laid on a coating of body filler where it was needed.

 

ModelTRHguardboggedfront_zps28d8c4d4.jpg

 

ModelTLHguardbogged_zpsf1dd3b75.jpg

 

I was advised by those who know on the Model T Forum, that the tapering lip on the front of my guards was incorrect for a 1917 model. That lip only arrived with the 24 model. So I removed the lip and took one of Henry’s products back a few years to reduce the likelihood of “well meaning” folk telling me I’ve done it wrong when they see the T at a Show.

 

The old guards ...

 

ModelTBothguardsfitted_zps005495ee.jpg

 

If you compare those guards to the ones above, you'll note the removal of the lip.

 

The rear guards also came in for a bit of attention, but they’re not as far along as the fronts. Last time, I left the story at the point where we had almost tacked in the new panel around the LH rear guard. This was the old guard...

 

ModelTLHrearguard_zps7716b0d6.jpg

 

…we have now removed the old patch, inserted a new one, cut the fender iron hole where it is supposed to be, trial fitted the guard to ensure it fits and given the rustiness a good scrub.

 

ModelTRearLHguardcleaned_zps6ed02e35.jpg

 

I haven’t finished removing the rust yet and hopefully will get some time before next Wednesday to do a little sanding of the front guards as well as more rust removal on the rears.

 

We’re at the stage now, where we can finish off the front guards, fill whatever needs filling and prepare them for the undercoat.

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  • 2 weeks later...

The guards have now been undercoated - in some cases a fairly thick coat has been applied to cover the rust pitted areas, particularly on the rear guards.

 

The front ones look good at this stage -

 

ModelTprimedRHfrontguard_zps28f4b3d8.jpg

 

ModelTprimedLHfrontguard_zps276a74d5.jpg

 

All four now required a good sanding down to provide a decent base for the top coat and I'll hopefully get to that, this Monday.

 

As I mentioned, the rears will be harder to get smooth due to their very average start point, but I think there;'s enough primer on them now, to allow me to sand them smooth.

 

Depending on the weather we hope to wheel the body/chassis out into the sun next Wednesday and give it a top coat of "Sand Glow". That'll be obvious progress and worthy of a few photos !

 

 

Jack

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