Repairing a Model T Ford Front Spring

A 1916 “Wide Track” touring shows its unique clipped leaf front spring. Car belonged to Julius Neunhoffer of Kerrville, TX when photographed in 2015.

The front springs used on the Model T Ford evolved over the 18 model years. In this issue we will look at the evolution of changes and see what it takes to rebuild a worn out original for 100 more years of use.

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Safety and the Model T Ford

In this issue we are going to look at many of the things that can be done to make your Model T safer to operate. Many of these things were done to the car originally, and for good reason. You don’t want expensive parts falling off unexpectedly, and you probably expect the car to steer, stop, and go when needed. In this case the word “safety” has two meanings; first, to make the car less dangerous; second, to secure something so that it cannot loosen or become disconnected.

Back in the day a mechanic uses the shop’s chain fall hoist to lift a car (not a Ford) up for servicing. OSHA was still decades in the future. The idea of using extra railroad timbers to support the car in case the hoist failed was probably in the interest of “safety”.

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Suspended Animation – Storing your Model T Ford

With fall weather approaching many Model T enthusiasts face the last ride of the season. If you live in an area with snowy winter weather the Model T will probably be off the road until spring time brings more favorable driving conditions. This leads us to the subject at hand which is an in depth look at the best practices for keeping the old Model T in shape for that first ride of the next driving season.

Above we see Henry Ford’s personal car in the winter of 1914, a custom built 1914 Couplet. We see snow on the ground next to the driveway – straw hat season is over. Needless to say he would have driven the car to work that day with a bowler hat!

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The Highland Park Powerplant Story by Paul Rentz

When we wrote about the Highland Park Plant in a previous issue of Model T Ford Fix we got the attention of Paul Rentz who has researched the subject to a greater extent than we have. The building existed until after WWII, but the smoke stacks were silent from the day that power became available from the River Rouge plant’s generating station.

WWII era photo showing the Executive Offices in the foreground and the silent smoke stacks of the Power Plant Building. The clouds in the sky make it appear that the smokestacks are operating, when in fact there are no engines in the plant to produce smoke!

Below is Paul’s story of what actually happened to the huge DC generators inside, and why they went silent in the 1926 time frame.

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The Model T Ford Battery Charging System by Ron Patterson

The Model T Ford battery charging capability is a subsystem of the Ford FA Starting and Lighting System designed by Mr. Fred Allison at the Ford Motor Company electrical engineering department and introduced in late 1918 for use on Model T Ford cars and trucks.

Many people have trouble with the charging system on their Model T and need help repairing it. Here is an electrical (not physical) schematic diagram and technical description of how it works.

Above is a Model T Ford generator rebuilt by Ron Patterson equipped with a Fun Projects voltage regulator in place of the factory cutout.

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