The first Model T parts every new owner should buy are these:

The Model T Ford is relatively simple, but it's different from other cars. If you just dive right into working on it without any warning of what to look for, you're likely to be surprised by something you don't expect. In some cases you can unwittingly do damage that will cost you lots of expense and hassle.

The wise approach for a new T owner is to get the Model T Ford service manual, available from most of the parts dealers, and the MTFCA books on The Engine, The Transmission, The Electrial System, The Front and Rear Axles, and others. The MTFCA books are available from most of the parts dealers, and from the MTFCA website.

Equipped with these books, the new owner has detailed step by step instructions when he works on his T.  If there's anything you don't get from the books, there are dozens of experienced Model T guys and gals ready to share their knowledge with you. They're waiting for you on the online Model T forums:


Ford Barn Forum

Model T Ford Fix

An editorial comment: Going online to ask questions is a wonderful convenience that earlier generations didn't have. While good information is avalable online from several sources,  in my opinion the MTFCA forum is still the best. Many of the regulars there are true experts who have decades of Model T experience. Of course the most experienced tend to be the oldest, and of a generation with little interest in Facebook or other sites that may deal with Model T in some way.  Part of that is because  of the format, which  is ancient in  IT  terms.  It has its limitations, but  it's very popular with  the old guys who know their Model T stuff.  You can get bad advice there, of course, but there's less of it than you'll find elsewhere, and when it does crop up you're likely to get the other side of the story, often several sides.

When you get into your new T and start becoming acquainted with it, you may want to learn about the history of the car and how it evolved over the nineteen years of its production.  Probably the most important resource in this field is Bruce McCalley's magnum opus, The Model T Ford Encyclopedia. A truncated version is available online at the MTFCA website. The complete work, with a lot of extras, is available on CD from:

 Barb McCalley
308 Cottingham Court
Allison Park, PA 15101              (412) 364-0561     

Barbara Mccalley <gourmetbarbara2@gmail.com>

The extras in the disk version include owners manuals for all years, parts books, sales literature, Ford cars before the Model T, etc., etc.

Also useful in determining what's "correct" for a particular year are
two volumes by Gail Rodda, the Parts Identification Guide, Volumes I and II.

Gail Rodda
2230 Camp Road
Solomon, KS    67480-8825        (785) 655-3937

Also good for finding what parts and features belong to what years are the Model T Ford Club International judging guidelines. Contact the president for information: president@modelt.org

As a leading scholar in the field, Trent Boggess has done a lot of model T research, and he recommends this book. I'll let him explain why:

I am surprised and dismayed that one of the most frequently used books in my library has not made it on to any of these otherwise fine reading lists. The book I am referring to is Murray Fahnestock's The Model T Ford Owner. Fahnestock was a staff writer for Ford Owner and Dealer magazine, which later became Ford Dealer and Owner,  from 1914 through the 1920's. The book is based on the articles Fahnestock wrote, and covers almost every aspect of owning a Model T Ford.

For those who are wondering why I advocate the inclusion of this book, let me explain it this way. The Ford Service manual is very, very good, but was written for the benefit of a Ford Service mechanic. The underlying assumption is that the person performing the work has a fully stocked Genuine Ford Parts room only a few steps away from the service area. Oh, if that were true today. Most of us do not have a full line of New Genuine Parts at hand, Larry Smith being a possible exception to this, and when the Service Manual says to replace worn parts with new, that really doesn't help us a lot. For example, if the connecting rod journals on the crankshaft are worn, the manual would have us replace the crankshaft. Yeah, right.

Fahnestock often wrote with the typical Model T owner in mind, one who did not have immediate access to a dealer's stock of new Genuine Ford Parts at hand. He would often times describe fixes when a new part was either unavailable or difficult to change. This is the situation most Model T owners find themselves in when they have a broken or worn part. They will benefit as much from Fahnestock's book as they will from the Ford Service manual.

There is more than one way to fix a Ford.

Fahnestock's book is available from many of the Model T parts dealers.