2018 Farmington Minnesota 28th Annual T Reunion Tour / Swap Meet and Show

It is 7:45 AM Saturday, June 9, 2018 at the Farmington Minnesota fairgrounds camping area. We pulled in and started unloading. It was a beautiful morning, about 60 degrees F. Wet dew was on the grass. It looked like a perfect day for a Model T tour! The peaceful morning was the perfect backdrop as first one, then two, then several Model T’s puttered, coughed, and snorted to life.

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A Trip To the Gilmore Museum

We recently visited one of the best car museums anywhere in the world. It is the Gilmore Museum, located in Hickory Corners, Michigan. It is not far from Battle Creek or Kalamazoo, Michigan.

A lovely 1908 Stanley sits in front of one of the restaurants inside the Gilmore Museum.

With over 300 cars on display and 300 other cars and trucks kept in storage for rotation on site, this is a massive facility. Marque museums are operated and cared for by the Model A Restorer’s Club (MARC), the Classic Car Club of America (CCCA) the Pierce Arrow Society, the H.H. Franklin Club, and others. The grounds encompass some hundreds of acres. There are multiple buildings, each devoted to a theme. Let’s take a look at a few of the wonderful things in this first class collection. I can’t even come close to showing all of the buildings or all of the automobiles. We will look at a few of my favorites.

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Restoring a Model T Ford Steering Column Part 2

Above we see new 1915 Model T Fords coming down the assembly line at the Highland Park plant circa May 1915. The firewall assembly is installed with the steering column still wrapped in its protective brown paper. The horn tube is secured to the steering column with a bit of twine so that it will be out of the way when the body is dropped onto the chassis. Photo property of the Henry Ford museum.

When we left off in our last installment (here’s a link:)

Restoring a Model T Ford Steering Column Part 1 the steering column was disassembled for restoration. In this edition of Model T Ford Fix we finish the job.

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Restoring a Model T Ford Steering Column Part 1

The scene above is from the firewall assembly area of the Ford Highland Park Plant circa May 1915.  Towards the left side of the picture the steering columns, wrapped in brown paper, are installed in the firewall. The firewalls would be installed into the chassis fully assembled with coil box, steering column, speedometer, wiring and timer as a unit.

The Model T Ford steering column is a pretty important item that often gets neglected to the point that it is dangerous to drive the car. Particularly the earliest versions used from 1909 – 1914, which have the gear box riveted to the steering column upper bearing. Even the columns used from 11915 – 25, or the unique 1926 – 27 versions can become dangerous if the rivets come loose that secure the upper bearing to the tube.

In this edition of Model T Ford Fix we show how to overhaul a steering column both for safety’s sake and to improve its appearance to like new again.

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Rebuilding A 1909 Model T Ford Water Pump

 

Ford built the first 2499 Model T Fords with water pumps. The brand new 1909 above is one of the first 2499 cars equipped with a water pump. The crank ratchet is made to hold the crank in either up or down position, a feature that was deleted during the redesign for all Model T’s serial number 2500 and subsequent.  While the water pump idea didn’t work out for most Model T’s, it does make the earlier cars more interesting and valuable to collectors. Few were built, fewer exist, and those that do exist for the most part are never driven. The ones that are in private hands do get used, some more than others. As a result many of these cars that are driven have to be repaired frequently because the water pump design is not very good. Let’s take a look at what it takes to rebuild one.

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