November 9, 2022

1924 Ford Model T Maintenance and Repairs

1924 Ford Model T

Updating the "wedding car"

    This 1924 Model T has a lot of sentimental value for the owner and his family. It was restored a few decades ago in a home garage completing paint and mechanical work to get it ready for the owners wedding. The body was re-painted and interior updated around 1990 and for a 30 year old paint job on an almost 100 year old car it's still in good shape. The only major defect is on the cowl, which needs some TLC after years of the hood scratching it to shut the fuel off for storage.


1931 Ford Model T on arrival to Driven Restorations LLC for a variety of mechanical and body work

There was a long list of things to take care of mechanically. A full tune up with plugs and wires and a carburetor rebuild was first on the list. Oil change, coolant flush and fuel system clean out were also high on the list of priorities. The fan bearing was very wobbly, steering was loose and had a shimmy when turning, brakes were in good shape but wheel bearings needed replacement and rear axle needed new seals as it was a leaky mess everywhere it went.  If you're ever in South Central Wisconsin you just might see it in a parade.

Fresh from a storage shed, the Ford has a significant amount of dirt built up. Underneath it all is an older lacquer paint job completed 15-20 years ago. The cowl and mirrors will be repainted and the rest of the body will be touched up 

Continue reading for more details and completion photos...

Some aspects of mechanical work were re-done about 15 years ago keeping the original appearance and parts. We have routine maintenance to complete before we can test drive this Model T

The interior needs a lot of cleaning, but the upholstery and finishes are in great shape overall. Drivers door glass was cracked and required replacement

New tires and wheel refinishing on the list of updates for this car

A closer look at the dash gauge and ignition

This Ford has the spare tire mounted at the rear and also had a homemade bracket for tail lights to be mounted. The taillights will be moved and updated to operate as both brake and turn signals with the license plate light remaining in the original location.

The original style interior had a significant amount of mouse droppings and was acting as storage for extra parts. A thorough cleaning and new drivers window glass is all that's really needed as even the seals and window channel felts were in excellent shape.

The original steering wheel still in place and a better look at the dirty carpet. Significant stain removal was required to get the it looking(and smelling) like new again

Driving the '24 is a bit different than the muscle cars we typically test out! The biggest challenge was operating the foot pedals without stepping on more than 1. Work boots were not meant for driving this vehicle

1924model t
The '24 is cleaned up and ready for repairs to begin 

After draining the fuel system we rebuilt the carburetor and relocated the fuel line shut off valve to under the passenger seat. 

The 6 volt electrical system is in working order 

Original lenses are in great shape. They just needed some cleaning and new bulbs

Steering and suspension repairs underway as well as new tires and wheel refinishing

We had a very difficult time getting the right rear wheel off and all the wheel pullers were backordered! Luckily we were able to call in a favor from another customer of ours and we borrowed the tool. We highly recommend having one on hand if you own or work these model cars.
Preparing to refinish the original wheels

Numerous parts were sourced to update electrical, steering, rear axle, fuel system and cooling. 

A look inside the center section as it was being cleaned and rebuilt. 

Interior fully detailed with turn signal lever operational and ready for test drives

New tires are mounted on the refinished original wood spoke wheels

With all the mechanical work completed, we moved on to paint touch up and detailing. The cowl was completely repainted in black to match the existing paint. To prevent recurring issues of scratching the paint with the hood we moved the gas line shut off to inside the car below the passenger seat and we added hood corner protectors. 

The 6 volt system was still operational but had some glitches. Every time we pressed the horn the dome light turned on, and we had to wire the car for turn signals.  The new location for the tail lights and new light assemblies themselves make them better integrated to the overall design and still very visible to other drivers.

Ready for a test drive!

Restored Model T
Ready for a test drive! 

Work is complete. This antique car is ready to head home.

We hope a closer look at the Model T provides some value to others interested in preserving the original characteristics of these antique cars. Automotive technology has come miraculously far in the last century, yet there is something refreshing about the simplicity of design and operation of the early Ford cars.

Comment below with any questions or feedback! Thank you for looking

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