Changing the Oil on your Model T Ford

First thing we did was elevate the front wheels so that most of the oil from the dips in the pan will come out. You could also drive the front wheels up over a curb, or park on a steep incline with the nose high.

Touring season is upon us. One of the things we do every year to get the cars ready for extended driving is to change the oil. Our cars are all equipped with an oil screen in the transmission, so this is also a good time to clean the screen as well.

We drove our ’15 about 750 miles last year. Close enough.  This page in the Ford owner’s manual reminds us how often it should be done, and why Ford recommended the front wheels be elevated during oil changes.
We removed the floor mat, floor boards, and very importantly, the ignition key. Anything that can fall into the transmission when the cover is removed will! We remove the six screws securing the cover (arrow).
We pulled the cover and the screen, and set them in the parts washer nearby. The screen was full of crud, mostly band lining material. Our transmission works well but as you can see the low band is nearly out of adjustment. Probably time for new bands at the end of this driving season.
The 8 quart drain pan is under the engine. We loosen the plug with a 15/16″ wrench (earlier cars use a big slotted head screwdriver). Rubber gloves make this a lot better job but we still have a rag nearby.
With the oil draining we carefully clean up the drain plug and set it next to the pan. A new copper gasket is a good idea.
We cleaned the transmission door, screen and screws in the parts washer. Then we used some Brakleen and a rag to wipe it all off. The gaskets were still good so they went back on the car with the other parts.
The drain plug is reinstalled and tightened just snug enough that it won’t vibrate loose. Be careful, the threads are easily ruined.
The jack and jack stands were removed so the car would be level. We poured in 3 quarts of 5W-30. This 5 quart jug was the least expensive brand at the auto part store. We opened the top petcock on the crankcase. Then added oil a little at a time until oil began to dribble from the petcock. It took about 3 3/4 quarts total. We shut the petcock, reinstalled the oil cap. Floor boards and floor mat went back in place.
After working on a Model T you generally need to clean up before you can take the car out on a nice drive. We did that, and double checked the petcocks, then went off to putter around the lake.