Texas T Party 2021 Day 3 Temple Texas

The day started with a steady rain pouring on us. While we decided to take the modern vehicle many hardy souls took their Model T’s. The first destination of the day was Salado, Texas.

While workers were tearing down an old house in Salado in 1986 they came upon a log cabin that appeared to be quite ancient. Some serious research followed. It took a few years to piece the story together that the house had originally been built by Benjamin Bowles (or Boles) around 1835, making the oldest known structure in Salado.
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Model T Fords Built in Canada Part 1

Ford initially contracted with a company known as the Walkerville Wagon Works in 1904 to accomplish assembly of 1904 Ford AC vehicles in Canada, necessary to avoid taxes on imported vehicles. Ford ultimately purchased Walkerville Wagon Works and built a huge manufacturing complex on the site in order to carry out full scale manufacturing of the entire vehicles.

Ford was the world’s leading manufacturer of automobiles by the time the Model T began production near the end of 1908. Early in the history of Ford Motor Company a Canadian businessman, Gordon McGregor, wanted to invest in the Ford Motor Company. McGregor was the owner of the Walkerville Wagon Works located on a large parcel of land on the south shore of the Detroit River. Most of us think of Canada as being North of the USA. In fact Walkerville (known as Windsor today) was entirely south of Detroit, with the Detroit river separating downtown Detroit from what was then a tiny Canadian town.

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The Competition 1920 – Model T Ford in the Marketplace

The year 1920 was extraordinary in many ways, yet we don’t seem to remember many things about it today. Ford production increased significantly from the prior year, but most automakers had results exactly the opposite of Ford. Many auto manufacturers went out of business. The depression of 1920 – 21 is hardly; if ever; mentioned today; but it was severe and profound for those who lived through the time. Much of the economic trouble was caused by the end of World War I (simply known as The Great War at that time). Returning soldiers came back to find there were no jobs available, exports to Europe fell due to strife and hardship in that part of the world. Meanwhile the Volstead Act went into effect on January 16, 1920 ushering in a shadow economy of smuggling, speakeasies, and liquor trade that was not taxed yet cost the government lots of money while trying to enforce the unpopular new law. President Wilson had been incapacitated since a major stroke October of 1919, never to recover. A flu epidemic had been sweeping the world since 1918. By December 1920 it had killed about four to five percent of the world’s population, as many as 100 million people. It was the worst epidemic in recorded human history.

A 1920 Model T Ford Coupe sold for $850. Ford sold more than 60,000 of them that year. This one is fitted with a custom salesman’s trunk and a spotlight, bumper and running board rack photographed in downtown Dallas TX.

Ford built about 941,000 cars and trucks in 1920 model year, easily holding first place in the industry. Model T body styles continued from the previous year, with the touring being easily the most popular body style, available either in the basic hand cranked version with magneto powered headlamps and kerosene tail and cowl lamps, or in the fancier and more expensive version with starter, battery, 6 volt headlamps and tail lamp, and demountable wheels including a spare rim (a spare tire was optional at extra cost). Prices for the Model T touring started at $575 for the basic crank started version, or $675 for the fancy Model T equipped with electrical starter. Ford continued to supply its cars with the two speed planetary transmission controlled by foot pedals. The rest of the industry sold cars with 3 or more speed manual transmissions. The Model T engine continued as before, with 20 advertised horsepower from four cylinders and 176 cubic inches.

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Adjusting the Model T Generator Brushplate Null Point with the Generator Installed by Ron Patterson

In many cases the Model T generator brushplate lead (Null Point) has been changed by people who do not fully understand what they are doing. The usually results in a generator that is charging excessively, not charging at all or will not “build up” to starting charging on its own (a detailed description of the term “Building up” may be found at https://modeltfordfix.com/the-model-t-ford-battery-charging-system-by-ron-patterson/ ). Brushplate lead should not be used to set the generator charging rate. The brushplate lead should only be adjusted when the generator is rebuilt or repaired and would not normally be changed when doing normal maintenance by the vehicle operator. Here is a procedure that will allow you to correctly reset the brush plate lead with the generator mounted on the engine as opposed to removing the generator and setting the brushplate lead on a test bench. (This is not the procedure for setting the brushplate lead on a dynamic generator test stand) To help familiarize yourself with brushplate lead adjustment procedure Figure 1, shows the location of the four brushplate clamp ring 6-32 X 5/16 machine screws (This 5/16 length is critical to prevent the end of the screws interference with the Commutator) and Figure 2 shows a brush plate installed in a brush cap, a clamp ring and the brushplate mortise which the brushplate moves within.

Figure 1. Generator Brush Cap Clamp Ring Screws
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Repairing a Common Model T Starter Problem by Ron Patterson

By far, the most common Model T Ford starting motor failure is the internal connection between the 3/8-16 terminal bolt and internal buss bar that connects to the ends of the two adjacent field windings as shown in Figure 1. When I disassemble starter cores for rebuilding, I usually find 90% of them have this problem.

Figure 1 Failed Starter Terminal Bolt to Buss Bar Connection
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