Tag: henry ford

How to Drive a Ford Model T (Part 7)

In normal driving the two speed pedal operated gear change works very well. It gives a very simple easy gear change enabling you to nip up and down the gears with a minimum of effort. However it does have its drawbacks. The obvious one is the large gap between the gears, there are some circumstances when bottom gear is too low and top is too high. A Ruckstell two speed rear axle alleviates this to some extent.

Places where you may find difficulty are:

1. Changing up a gear on hills.
2. Going into junctions or roundabouts (traffic circles) where top gear is too fast.
Or
3. Going over rough ground or grass.

All that can be done is to grind along in low gear until top gear can be used again. The only other answer is to install an auxiliary gear such as the Ruckstell two speed rear axle.

In practice a bit of coasting around obstructions and then with a quick burst of low gear before going back into high again will negotiate most of these situations with ease.


How to Drive a Ford Model T (Part 6)

The steering on the Ford Model T is very direct and lively by today’s standards. It is a direct ratio of the sun/planet gears in the steering column below the steering wheel.

Direct steering is common with most cars of this age. The Ford, with a transverse front spring, is subject to “twitching” over lumps and bumps in the road. As the front wheel hits an obstruction it causes the front axle to move sideways on its shackles, “twitching” the steering. You can fight the steering every time it jumps, holding the wheel with a vice like grip in which case you will have arm ache after a twenty minute drive, or you can relax your grip and let the steering wheel twitch rather than the road wheels.

It goes without saying that there should be no slack or play in the steering linkage. The camber, caster and toe-in of the front axle should be checked carefully for correct steering geometry.


How to Drive a Ford Model T (Part 5)

A Model T Ford will climb an 8% (1 in 12) gradient in top gear with full throttle, and will come down it in top gear with no throttle and no brake application. They can safely negotiate 20% or more grades in low range, so hills should hold no fears for Model T Ford owners, but a few words of advice at this point.

Going up is relatively easy, just give the Lizzie full throttle and retard the ignition a little as the speed falls, and she should slog up the hill in fine style provided there is a reasonable amount of fuel in the tank. The T needs about a quarter tank full to climb a 20% grade, as the gravity feed system becomes less effective the steeper the grade. It was common practice, if the grade was too steep and the engine starved for fuel, to back a T over the grade.

As a general rule going down hills should be done at about the same speed as going up. However, the real secret is to successfully use engine compression to slow the car speed on a hill. Move the throttle lever up to minimum or to a setting which will maintain a safe down-grade speed. As there is no return spring on the throttle lever it can be set as slow as necessary, and will hold position. If braking is still necessary, let the pressure off the pedal every so often to prevent burning the linings. Reverse pedal can also be used to brake for added effectiveness if needed. (see “Saving Your Bands” below).

If you need to stop on a steep grade, use low gear as you brake, but be careful to not over speed the engine in low gear. Be aware that there is no engine braking, if the left foot pedal is held in neutral between high and low gear positions. Jamming all three pedals down will stall the engine and skid the rear tires, not an acceptable solution to emergency braking, except on dry pavement, and even then not recommended. NEGOTIATE HILLS AT SAFE SPEEDS, do not allow the car to “Roll Out.”


My 1925 Ford Model T – A Closer Look: Coil Boxes (Trembler Coils)

In this video, we take a detailed look at the Ford Model T ignition system, more specifically, the coil boxes, also known as trembler coils. We take a look at how they work, and also how to test them and set them to achieve the correct current output.


Wingham Rotary Town and Country Expo + Show n Shine

This annual events returns this year over three big days!  Wingham Rotary Town and Country Expo covers everything that’s good about the town and country lifestyle from craft, recreation, health, livestock, finance, solar, books, food and wine, DIY, lifestyle, leisure, fashion, home and garden, outdoors and much more.

There will be a full music program including five local bands plus a great range of exhibits and other attractions for young and old

Family friendly event includes live music, fashion, leisure, food and classic car show. 

Concludes on the Sunday with a Ute Muster.

This is a major fundraiser for The Rotary Club of Wingham. ‘A day where the town meets the country.’ 


Gloucester Chill Out Day – Show n Shine

Another car show … 

Farley Gates Sports Oval

Boundary St, Gloucester, NSW

Saturday, 27th July, 2013 – 9:00am – 3:00pm

Chill Out as a festival in Gloucester evolved because the local business houses saw it as a way of developing a fun event that could celebrate a sense of community and potentially attract visitors to shop in Gloucester. The event generally brings in a number of market stalls that set up in the main street and create, with the childrensactivities a real family festival atmosphere.  This year the Chill Out event will be held on the 27th of July.

In many respects this event is still about celebration of community and recognising the value of the commercial and retail centre as well as providing a carnival type atmosphere as the street closures allow for the entertainment and small stalls that bring a variety of new products into the town centre.  This year we will once again have the wine and cheese as well as a couple of brewerys.  To make your experience that much more enjoyable we will have a jazz trio to entertain you while you taste test the fine wines our region has to offer as well as cheese platters. There will also be a band and a number of other performers. 

Last year the Show and Shine was a major attraction drawing historic and modern cars from the Hunter and  North Coast with the largest participation yet, and was held within the main street. This year it will be held within the Farley Gates area in Denison Street.

The event is about fun and in keeping with that the event organisers have looked at increasing the number of activities for the younger generation.  There will be the ever popular Dog Show, Donut Eating Competition and carnival rides – Donut Ride, Giant Tiger Slide, Jumping Castles, Fairy Floss and Dip n Dots Ice creams to name a few.  And don’t forget to catch a great lunch at one of the many cafes in town.

This time we will have a Chain Saw Racing Competition with a number of competitors.  This will be a great new addition to the entertainment on the day.

And don’t forget the playground of artificial snow for the kids within the Billabong Park.

However what we should not forget is that the event is primarily a showcase of the local shopping precinct and the wide array of unique goods and services that are available and the opportunity to engage in that experience amongst the bargains that local businneses will provide as part of the event.


Taree PCYC Craftathon Show n Shine

I will be showing my car at the PCYC event – Craftathon 2013

Taree PCYC, with Taree Historic Motor Club

95 Commerce St, Taree

Sunday 4th August, 2013 – 10:00am – 3:00pm

On Saturday and Sunday, August 3 and 4, Taree PCYC will come alive with more than 40 craft exhibitors all under one roof ready to wow you with their exquisite craft and huge range of craft supplies.

And the best part is, these experts in their fields are willing to share their skills with you, their patrons.

This is the 15th annual Craftathon for Taree and the huge PCYC auditorium has proved to be the ideal venue, being able to accommodate the whole show indoors, including workshop areas and a kiosk providing good food and refreshments.

There will be craft give-aways throughout the show and one lucky visitor will win a sewing package of sewing machine, sewing table and Tutto trolley bag valued at $1000. This amazing prize has been sponsored by Janome and Just Patchwork of Tuncurry, and will be drawn at the show on Sunday at 3pm.

On Sunday, members of Taree Historic Motor Club will display a selection of their amazing veteran and vintage cars for all to enjoy. The club has about 140 members who own more than 500 historic cars, and these include a 1925 T Model Ford, a 1938 MG TA Sedan, a Fiat Spyder, a Studebaker Hawk and a Chev Corvette.

With many on-site demonstrations and a program of workshops on both days, there is the opportunity to explore and learn new crafts.

There is also a knitting competition on both days with a prize for the fastest knitter, and an encouragement prize.

 

Opening times are 10am to 4pm on Saturday and 10am to 3pm on Sunday. Entry fees are adults $5, under 16 years $2, under 12 years free (with adult).


How to Drive a Ford Model T (Part 4)

Making the Car Move…

Taking what you have learned so far in both hands and both feet, hold the high/low gear pedal half way down in neutral position with your left foot and let the handbrake off, holding the car in position with the right foot on the brake pedal. Increase the engine revs and gently press the gear pedal down, letting off the brake pedal. The car will move forward. Hold the gear pedal down firmly and increase engine revs up to near full speed, this should only take a couple of seconds. Let the gear pedal off to engage top gear, slowing the engine with the throttle lever to get a smooth gear change. (This will take a little practice to perfect, but there is no cause for fear of crashing gears. The transmission bands may be slipped by relaxing foot pedal pressure to control smoothness of engagement.)

Stopping

Having learned how to get the car in motion, now might be an opportune moment to learn how to stop it! One of the odd things about bowling along in a T is how you have nothing to do with your feet, unlike an ordinary car where you are always on the accelerator pedal. I like to have my right foot beside the brake pedal so it is ready to transfer onto the brake as you would with standard controls. So far the right foot is doing the same as it would in normal driving, it is the left foot which (provided it is not an old dog) must be taught a new trick. In its simplest form this consists of just holding the gear pedal half way down to get neutral as you come to a halt. One of the nice things about driving Fords of this age is that they can start and stop with reasonable speed so as to keep up with modern traffic, extra braking being easily obtainable by pushing the gear pedal further down to engage low gear. It follows that having engaged the gear it has to be disengaged to actually come to a stop. After some practice it becomes second nature to ease the gear pedal down and up again as you roll to a halt.


How to Drive a Ford Model T (Part 3)

Starting the Engine

1. Raise the right side of the engine hood and check that the engine oil level is adequate, within the limits prescribed. This is done by opening the lower petcock at the rear of the engine. If it does not flow, close the lower petcock, open the upper petcock and add oil until oil flows from the upper petcock. Close the upper petcock, lower and latch the hood.

2. Remove the radiator cap and top off the radiator with fresh water and/or antifreeze solution in freezing weather. A 30-40% methanol (wood alcohol)/ water solution may be used, but a 50% ethylene glycol/water solution is recommended for all seasons.

Please observe that the hand crank is located in the center of the car below the radiator. To crank the engine, one must stand in the path the car will take if the engine starts while in gear. The car is NOT OUT OF GEAR UNLESS the Emergency brake/neutral lever is all the way back and the rear brakes set. This must be done FIRST, or you will get run over by your own car should the engine start, MOST EMBARRASSING!

NEXT, move the spark advance/retard lever all the way up to retard position. Move the throttle lever down approximately ¼ of the quadrant.

Observe that the Magneto/OFF/Battery Switch (or key) on the coil box or dash panel is in the OFF position. The Model T may be started in either Magneto or Battery position, usually in Battery position unless the battery has lost charge.

Observe the wire ring at the lower left corner of the radiator as you face the car. This is the pull wire of the hand choke. PULL IT OUT.

With the switch (or key) OFF, push the crank in and crank the engine over one or two turns, finishing by coming up against compression and just past.

Turn the Magneto/OFF/Battery switch to Battery. The coils will buzz, and sometimes the engine will start without further cranking, especially if warm. If it doesn’t, the engine must be cranked through one more cycle of intake/compression. Do this carefully with your LEFT hand, pulling up ONLY by ratcheting the crank as necessary. Do not grip the crank handle but cup it in the palm of the hand with the thumb on the same side of the handle as the fingers. As the cylinder begins to come up on compression, ratchet the crank down to the bottom. Now pull up swiftly, and the engine will start. If not, repeat the process.

NEVER start the car with your right hand. If the engine were to misfire or kick back, you would likely suffer a broken wrist and/or arm. The right hand may be used for priming the engine, as you need your left hand free to operate the choke, but when ever the ignition switch is ON, you MUST use your left hand. again, do not grip the crank handle but cup it in the palm of the hand with the thumb on the same side of the handle as the fingers.

In cold weather the choke may need to be left out until the engine warms. It may be released (or set) from the driver’s seat by pushing down the choke/carburetor adjust knob to the right side of the dash panel.

Speed up the engine with the throttle lever, advance the ignition with the advance/retard lever about half-way, then return the engine speed to an idle. It will now chuckle over smoothly at about 400 rpm.


How to Drive a Ford Model T (Part 2)

The lever to the right is the throttle lever, there is no foot pedal like a modern car. Up is idle speed, down is as fast as it will go. Maximum performance in a Model T is like with a mule, with both ears laid back.

Next, the foot pedals on the floorboard – The left foot pedal changes your forward gear ratios, up is high, down is low. The Model T has just those two forward ratios, high gear and low gear. Midway between high and low is the neutral “out of gear” position of the left pedal.

To engage first gear, let the handbrake lever off and push the pedal all the way down until it becomes HARD. Pull the handbrake up and feel how the lever holds neutral position on the gear pedal.

The center pedal is for reverse gear engagement, but either the hand lever or the left pedal must be in neutral position before engagement, or the engine will stall. All the way down HARD is reverse position.

The right pedal is the brake. It engages a band around a braking drum in the transmission, operating in the engine oil bath. Therefore, to avoid burning off the oil due to friction heat, and wearing out the band quickly, apply the brake in relatively short duration thrusts to allow the oil to wash and continue lubricating and cooling it.

Note: The Ford Model T only applies braking to the rear wheels.

Braking by right pedal is via the driveline to the rear wheels only, does not actuate the rear drum brakes, and can cause dangerous skids in slick road conditions, as the differential will allow one wheel to spin forward and the other backward. Therefore, in slick conditions, use the hand lever to apply braking to the rear drum brakes.

Get the feel of the controls, they will become familiar quickly.


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Ford Model T