|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:
308 Cottingham Court
Allison Park, PA 15101 (412) 364-0561
Barbara Mccalley <email@example.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.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org