Thursday, February 26, 2009

Back in Business

I got two parts orders in this week. The first included the fan belt, radiator hoses and a few small parts for the emergency brake. The second had most of the wiring looms. I was able to install the radiator and radiator shell after putting on the fan belt and the crank, so that was a significant event. This picture shows the engine and radiator. Of course, the carburetor from Mac's is still missing, but hopefully it will be here by the time I get the wiring in place.

Here's a picture of the coil box with its cover. There were a couple more coil box covers in the stuff Bob and I found in the garage on the farm. This one was in good shape, and had rounded corners. The other two had square corners. I don't know which one (if any) was on the truck originally.

This afternoon Ed and Charlie came over and we lifted the body onto the frame. It's bolted onto the body mounts, but I still have to install the bolts that fasten the body and firewall together. Then I can install the support rod between the firewall and the radiator so the hood fits properly.

This was a short "work week". I had a doctor's appointment in Albuquerque Tuesday and Galena had an appointment in Farmington yesterday afternoon, so that pretty much shot a day and a half. I decided to go back to Albuquerque this morning to get some new tires on my pickup, as they were getting pretty thin. Tomorrow I'll go to Santa Fe for a military and veteran appreciation at the state capitol. So far next week is looking better, so maybe I can get more done then.

Friday, February 20, 2009

I Need More Parts !!!!

I've been working on a lot of little things, but don't have much significant progress to show. I'm waiting on a couple of parts orders so I can get on with it. The first one is due in Monday, and will include the fan belt and radiator hoses so I can finish up the front of the engine and install the radiator and radiator shell, as well as a pawl and a couple of pins that will allow me to complete assembly of the hand brake and related parts, and to finish hooking up the steering mechanism. Once I get that done, I intend to call on a couple of the neighbors to help me lift the body onto the frame. I also have an order due in later in the week that includes all the wiring harnesses. I've rebuilt the coil box and bolted it back to the firewall. The coils that Dad had in it appear to be in really good shape, so I intend to use them as they are.

I talked to Bill, one of the tech support people at Lang's Old Car Parts in Winchendon, MA. He was a great help and provided a lot of information on which wiring parts I need for a Model T that doesn't have a starter, generator or battery. He also suggested that I install a "hotshot" battery, which is just a six volt dry cell battery, to use when starting the engine. It is switched in for starting, which means that you don't have to spin the engine so fast to generate the initial spark with the mag. Once it starts, you switch the battery out and it runs off the mag. Sounds like a good idea to me. That's what the "Batt" and "Mag" positions on the switch are for. My intention is to keep things as much like they were originally as possible.

That's it for this week. I'm sure getting tired of sandblasting little parts like nuts and bolts, but the blasting cabinet is really a big improvement over trying to clean them with a wire wheel. Hopefully I'll have more progress to show next week.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Slow Going (and Cold !!!)

Well, it's Friday and I haven't got as much accomplished as I had hoped, but I am making progress. The weather has turned cold with lows in the single digits and teens, but yesterday and today were clear and sunny, so it warmed up enough that I could work in the afternoons. I bought a light fixture when we were in Farmington Wednesday, and installed it yesterday in the sandblasting cabinet. It made it a lot easier to see what's going on in there. I've mostly been cleaning and painting parts again. It takes the paint a long time to dry with such cold weather. I bolted most of the engine parts on, but I'm going to have to wait until I get some parts to complete it. The gas tank is in place, as are the firewall and steering column. I received a rebuilt carburetor from Mac's, but it had been handled pretty rough. The choke lever and the mixture adjusting screw were bent, and the throttle was really hard to open and close. I'm sending it back to see if they can't do better.

Here's what progress so far looks like.....

I'm aiming to have the body on early next week, and then can work on it while I'm waiting on the next parts order to get here.

So, that's it for this week. Happy Valentine's Day to all.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

One Step Back . . . . .

Slow progress so far this week. I have managed to paint a lot of parts so they're ready to bolt on. The weather has turned cold again, with around eight inches of new snow, which translates to a lot of time on the four wheeler pushing snow around. Yesterday, my air compressor went down. After a little investigation, I found that the pulley on the motor was loose and spinning on the shaft, and the key was missing. I happened to have some 3/16" key stock, so was able to make a new key, clean up the shaft and the slot in the pulley, and tighten the allen screws as tight as I dared. The compressor is back on line, so I can get back to cleaning parts. This morning one of my neighbors called to ask if I could help him troubleshoot problems he was having installing a winch on his ATV to raise and lower his snowplow. Turned out that the winch control relay was bad, so we'll have to wait until they send a replacement to get it working.

It's supposed to be sunny tomorrow before another winter storm front moves in on Thursday. Tomorrow will be a short day as Galena has an appointment with a chiropractor in Farmington, meaning I'll leave early to go with her. In the meantime, here are a couple of pictures of the snow. The first one is looking south from the deck toward Bluebird Mesa.
And the second one is looking out the upstairs window down Senorito Canyon to the west.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Engine and Transmission Installed

I bolted the engine and transmission into the chassis this morning. It went smoothly. Then I spent the rest of the day cleaning parts so I can paint them Monday. Right now my back is sore from bending over the sandblasting cabinet for so long, but all the major parts are now clean. Next week I hope to get the rest of the parts on the engine, the radiator and steering column installed, and maybe the firewall.

Until next week .....

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Model T Re-assembly is under way at last !!!

My Model T Restoration Project

This blog allows you to follow the progress as I reassemble a 1924 Model T Ford C Cab Ton Truck. This truck was purchased new by my Grandfather and used by him and my father and uncle as they farmed in western Kansas from 1924 until it was retired from use sometime in the 1940s.

Here's what the Model T looked like when I brought it back from Kansas in 2004. As you can see, it was in pretty good shape and all complete. It was virtually all original, and was last driven in the early to mid sixties. It had been stored indoors from then until I brought it to New Mexico, but had set outside on the farm prior to that. Bob and I used to play in it when we were growing up in the fifties. I don't know if it was garaged in its early life or not. My Grandpa, Arthur Wiles, bought it new in 1924, and my dad, Earl, drove it on the farm when he was growing up.

I started taking it apart about two years ago. This picture shows it with the hood and bed removed.

And this one shows all the sheet metal removed. The cab is still sitting on the chassis, but it has been unbolted from the frame and moved to the rear.

A closeup of the engine and transmission just before they were removed.

I found a retired machinist who specialized in rebuilding Model T engines and transmissions. This shows him with the engine when I went to pick it up after he finished rebuilding it.

I took all the sheet metal parts to a company called "The Gentle Stripper", where they bead blasted them. Then they went to Sunport Restorations, a body shop that specialized in restoring sheet metal. There all the parts were straightened, the rusted areas were cut out and repaired, and everything was painted gloss black. Here's the cab after I brought it home.

I also took the larger pieces like the frame, front and rear axles, springs, etc. to be sandblasted at Albuquerque Monument Company. Unfortunately, they were not quite as gentle there. The parts were clean when I brought them home, but the rear axle had been handled pretty roughly. The radius rods were dented and the brake backing plates were bent.

After I brought the chassis parts home, I painted them black with POR15, a specialized (as in EXPENSIVE) paint that dries very hard.

Finally the weather warmed up enough in mid-January that I can work in the garage without freezing. I started the reassembly process. After mounting the tires and reassembling the wheels, I finally have a rolling chassis !!!

Today I cleaned up the Warford auxiliary transmission and bolted it on behind the Model T transmission.
So, that brings us up to date. The project for tomorrow is to install the engine and transmission into the chassis. More to follow .......