Repairing a Model T Ford Roller Timer

 

This drawing shows proper location and colors of the wires leading from the timer to the coil box.

The Model T Ford roller timer is the most reliable and best performing timer available for your car. Please do not take this to mean any roller timer or every roller timer. There are some very useless reproduction timers both current and from the past. The ones that work well are those made by Ford, and a few of the replacement brands such as Bull Dog and old stock Tiger timers. There used to be some awesome reproduction roller timers made by Howard Cascia, but since his death several years ago there have not been any good replacement roller timers made by anyone. Let’s take a look at what it takes to repair a roller timer that has been damaged by lack of lubrication.

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Fixing a Flat Tire

We all try to be prepared when setting out on a tour in our Model T’s. The photo above shows Edsel Ford’s 1915 touring just prior to departure from Detroit on his epic drive to San Francisco to visit the 1915 Pan American Exposition. Edsel and the crew at Ford Motor Company tried to think of everything he might need on the trip. We can see many period accessories on his car, including wire wheels, rope, and even a rifle scabbard secured between the spare tire rack and the driver. We know that Edsel and his car suffered several flat tires as well as ruined wheels on his month long drive. It really puts things in perspective when you have a flat tire to fix on your Model T.

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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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