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Ford Model-T Auto

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Manual for Ford Model-T Auto
LaFarr Stuart was explaining to a friend how to buy stuff on e-bay, and bought a manual for Ford Model-T Auto dated 1919 for $9.99. You know, what the heck? (And he had a Model T back at his farm at the time.)

The manual is so charming that I decided to present it here. This file is Adobe .pdf and 6.4 megabytes long.

I have not obtained clearance from Ford Motor company, figuring they could use the advertising more that the I.P. revenue. ;-))

Just Relaxin
Then Norman Paik, a classmate from Nike missile school of long ago and far away, heard I was interested in 1920s period costumes (for a different project) and offered these pictures of his Model T friends, who like to parade in period clothes. The pictures are from "Vintage Ford", official publication of the Model T Ford Club of America. The issue is September/October 2011, pages 34 and 35.


Model T tours can be exhausting. Driving (riding), eating shopping, walking, sight seeing, more eating, ice cream and lots of fresh air can sap the strength of the most physically fit.

Exhaustion can come in various degrees from minor, to moderate, to complete or extreme. It is important to know how to relax. And, we Model Ters are professionals. We know how to relax. Here are some examples for normal to moderate to extreme.


by Robb Wolff
[publication and date unknown]

When Barnyard Cruisers Were Born
Early in 2010 several members of the Foothills Model T club come up with the idea of building some racers to mimic the Model Ts that were raced on dirt tracks in the 30x and 40x in Alberta. the idea was to use parts that everybody had laying around and to assemble them into a Barnyard Cruiser.

The first rules to be decided were that they had to be mainly stock Model Ts; no Ruckstells, no distributors, no auxiliary transmissions, etc. ...

A Different Ignition System
In 2012, Tom Johnson mentioned that he just saw a Model T, and the four high voltage wires for the spark plugs came out from the fire wall. I, having played with 1950 type autos, figured this was - improbable - what was going on ???.
Stan Paddock came up with this diagram and these URLs.
This is from the Ford manual (above) These are two of the four spark coils in the upper left of the picture, apparently behind the "fire wall". Each spark plug had its own spark coil. The spark coils have little buzzers to break the current, giving an "Inductive Kick" ;-))

Conversion to truck, magneto
- added Sept 2012
Yes, I had a Model-T Ford which my father converted into a truck. It was the first "car" I ever learned to drive, probably when I was about 6. And I inherited it when he died.

Dad had a Black Smith shop, and unfortunately, when he had nothing better to do he would modify the Model-T. He removed the body, then to make it shorter so he could load it in a 1941 Fort Truck (which is still in Clarkston) he cut about a foot and a half out of the frame & drive shaft. Only about 3 or 4 years ago I gave it to a cousin. He hasn't done much with it, so I think I could still take a photo of it.

Regarding Model-T coils: If a spark-plug wire got disconnected very often the condenser inside would short out--even if it was on 6-volts. (I never considered 12-volts on a T) Dad, and I think many others, removed the magnets from the fly-wheel destroying the magneto. Dad thought the magneto would ruin the coils. There was a "Magneto" position on the ignition switch, but it was never used. The Magneto was gone before I was born.

The box that held the coils had spring contacts for the three connections, I would suggest anyone using such a coil should make such a box (possibly out of plastic) rather than solder onto the contacts.

LaFarr with someone else's Ford Model T Truck, pretty much as manufactured.

1914 Station Wagon, 1928 Service Post Card added Jan. 1, 2013
1914 Model T Ford Station Wagon.

May 31, 1927, the last Ford Model T rolled off the assembly line. It was the first affordable automobile, due in part to the assembly line process developed by Henry Ford. It had 2.9-liter, 20-horsepower engine and could travel at speeds up to 45 miles per hour. It had a 10-gallon fuel tank and could run on kerosene, petrol, or ethanol, but it couldn't drive uphill if the tank was low, because there was no fuel pump; people got around this design flaw by driving up hills in reverse. Ford believed that "the man who will use his skill and constructive imagination to see how much he can give for a dollar, instead of how little he can give for a dollar, is bound to succeed." The Model T cost $850 in 1909, and as efficiency in production increased, the price dropped. By 1927, you could get a Model T for $290. "I will build a car for the great multitude," said Ford. "It will be large enough for the family, but small enough for the individual to run and care for. It will be constructed of the best materials, by the best men to be hired, after the simplest designs that modern engineering can devise. But it will be low in price that no man making a good salary will be unable to own one - and enjoy with his family the blessing of hours of pleasure in God's great open spaces."

If you have comments or suggestions, Send e-mail to Ed Thelen

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