Our 1917 torpedo has developed a bad habit. It likes to shimmy, especially while slowing to a stop for a stop sign. Once it is above 10 MPH, no problem, but every time we slow down it happens, the dreaded death wobble. It begins about 10 MPH, the steering wheel flopping back and forth slowly and gets worse as you slow down. This happened only occasionally until the recent 2017 Texas T Party, where it began to do it nearly every time we slowed down. Not good!
One night at the YO Ranch Hotel a friend helped us inspect the steering components to look for looseness caused by wear. While Tim rocked the steering wheel left to right without moving the front wheels, I was under the car looking to see what moved. The only place that was moving was the bottom of the steering column where it goes through the frame bracket. Apparently the bushings in the steering bracket are completely worn out. We finished the tour carefully, slowing down well before stop signs, and never close to another car.
One of the most photographed Model T Fords of all time is this 1927 touring, serial number 15,000,000. The car is on display at the Henry Ford Museum in Greenfield Village, Dearborn, Michigan. Henry Ford’s design concept, from its introduction in the fall of 1908 as a 1909 model to the final day of production in 1927 was responsible for making the entire world a better place. Whole industries revolved around the Model T Ford. Businesses such as The Pep Boys in Philadelphia, Chicago’s own JC Whitney company, Western Auto stores of Kansas City, Kansas, KR Wilson of Buffalo, New York and many others were started and indeed were thriving on the Model T Ford by 1927.
Restoring a Model T Ford often is an exercise in determining what parts are correct for a certain year, locating those correct parts, and then restoring said part so that it can become part of the finished product. Wheel hubs are on display right in the center of each wheel. Anyone who has knowledge of what is correct will notice a glaring error in this immediately. It is embarrassing to see a restored “Stynoski winning” 1909 two lever with 1918 or later wheel hubs. It’s scary that a big error like that would elude the judges eyes. Note – the car above has the correct hubs. Owner: Milt Roorda
Above, the earliest Model T’s from 1909 – June 1910 had small 5 1/2″ diameter hubs. Note the short area inboard of the hubcap which is typical of 1909 – 1917.
A brand new 1914 Model T Ford engine is mounted on the “burn in” stand, one of many in the nearly new Highland Park plant. The large electric motor turns the engine for a minute or so, in order to establish sufficient bearing clearance for the oil to circulate. Prior to the burn in process the engine was filled with oil for the very first time.
An early 1926 touring – notice the headlight mounting arrangement with no headlight cross bar – with an unusual passenger in the back seat. The new 1926 – 27 Fords were “built Ford tough” as the saying goes.