Front Axle Alignment for the Model T Ford

Alignment is critical to control of the car. It also is a big factor in tire wear. Obviously having tires that are the same brand and size might also help! In the depths of the great depression a person might have to decide between buying food or tires. The photo above shows the result.

With several Model T’s in the garage we get to drive a different one often enough to be able to compare them to each other. I started noticing “hmmm the ’15 doesn’t drive as nice as the other ones.” It was sort of squirrelly at higher speeds. It seemed to dart one way or the other on bumpy roads. Something wasn’t right. I thought about putting the car together about 25 years ago, and couldn’t recall ever checking the alignment. Maybe I never had? With that thought I started researching what the various Model T  manuals around here said in order to make a decent job of it.

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The 1915 Model T Ford Part 4

A Canadian built 1915 Model T Ford touring. Notice the typical black background on the hubcaps. This car is RH drive. As was the case with all Canadian built Model T’s it has fork mounted headlamps and opening doors on both sides of the body. All four wheels are the same size, and use 30 X 3 1/2″ tires. Notice the body feature line above the rear fender is straight to match the profile of the earlier “1914” style rear fenders.

As the 1915 model year progressed cars began to come out of the factories with the new touring bodies. Generally the cars built in Walkerville, Ontario just a few miles away from the USA main Ford factory in Highland Park, Michigan were the same. A few basic features were different on the Canadian built cars and we will take note of them in this article.

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The 1915 Model T Ford Part 3

An upside down 1915 touring is wrecked early in the car’s life. Many interesting details are visible such as the asbestos wrapped muffler, straight tail pipe, wood blocks between the running board brackets and the running board, and the 1913 – 1914 style rear axle assembly.  The new “1915” rear axle assembly was approved for production as early as August 1914, but there are so many surviving examples of 1915 cars using the earlier version that it is clear to us that the new design was not implemented until months after it was designed.

The 1915 touring body style is a complicated subject indeed. We have spent a lot of time at the Benson Ford archives trying to identify when the new “1915” body style was introduced, and how the new cars appeared. A fortunate set of objects exist in the Benson Ford archive, which are the (so called) Cost Books. This collection of volumes is incomplete for most model years, but for 1915 it is very nearly complete. The Cost Books are leather bound, typed reports that show the actual costs incurred by Ford Motor Company during each month. The amount of detail is staggering. The accountants provide a cost for every item in the car’s construction. Even cotter pins are detailed by quantity, size, price and location.

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Repairing Block and Cylinder Head Cracks on the Model T Ford

A friend has had this lovely 1910 touring since about 1960. If you look closely at the lower part of the engine block just forward of the intake manifold you can see where water constantly drips between #2 exhaust valve lifter and #3 exhaust valve lifter, staining the block.

Our friend owns this beautiful 1910 touring. Its open valve engine has a water leak from the center of the block where the water jacket has rusted through and cracked. If it was a later block with enclosed valves this would cause water in the oil. Since this is an early block, it mostly causes a big mess.

We decided this was a perfect defect to repair with fairly easy methods. Read below to see what we did to repair this common problem.

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