1911 project


I posted a WTB ad for a 12/13 and purchased this 11 Touring. It has an engine number of 81417 which puts it into October 1911. It is an unfinished project with a rebuilt engine, transmission, rear axle and from axle. It has been painted Maroon,(should be blue) , has been upholstered and has a new top kit. It also has all the brass lights and carbide generator, two new tires and rebuilt and painted wheels.

The paint and upholstery looks fresh. Does it just need assembly?

Yes, It really just needs assembled. It is missing the four coils, but has the Kingston coil box. There is a new firewall and other parts, but the firewall is listed on a suppliers invoice with other 11 parts but the firewall part number was one suffix off and is for a 13/14. Art

That is really a nice one!
Please post your progress as this one goes back together.

Once it’s back together, if you find you just can’t stand the maroon,
I may be able to store and drive it for you while you work your way through that dilemma.


Wow, congratulations, you have a real winner there! :slight_smile:

I am sure this is a dumb question but why does the coilbox have a BAT position? Art

In those days everyone had extra batteries at the house if they had a telephone. Telephones had a 9 volt battery (or two!), a round one about 3" diameter and 9" tall. These telephone batteries, also called “Ignitor” batteries, could be placed under the seat of a Model T and connected to the “BAT” terminal of the coil box. You could then use the battery when starting your Model T. This would give you a hotter spark at cranking speed, whereas the MAG position gives much better performance at all other speeds.

Many of us put a 12 volt battery under the front or back seat for exactly the same reason. A battery also can be used to power brake lights, or halogen headlight bulbs. Here’s what mine looks like in my '10 touring:


Here’s a picture of original Ignitor Batteries used in telephones:


I used to buy those size cells many years ago to heat up the glow plugs on my model airplane engines. :slight_smile:

You have to use that timer with the early style timing cover. With those covers, there is no way to use a modern seal. You have to use a felt seal.

If you look at these photos you can just see the felt seal behind the flat brass plate. The felt seal must be inundated with grease before installation. It is a seal unique to 1909 - early 1912 T’s like yours. The timer roller goes in to hold the plate and seal in place. The camshaft is drilled all the way through, so you will need to be sure of how it goes to avoid installing it 180 degrees off. After the pin, the pin retainer and finally the nut are installed. The camshaft nut is the only thing holding the timer in place.

The thing that looks like a pointer to you is actually the cover for the oil hole. Ford originally recommended that the timer be packed with petroleum jelly (Vaseline is one brand) and then putting a few drops of engine oil in the timer every time that you fill up with gas.

Your car is just early enough in the 1912 model year that this would be the appropriate timer. If it were mine I would pack the timer with red synthetic grease and not have to worry about oiling it between cleanings.

I did not look close enough to see what I was calling a pointer is to cover the hole to put oil in. Thank you for explaining the installation. Art

This is the carb that came with the 11 project. According to Royce’s article it is a Kingston L for A 15/16. It has been cleaned but not rebuilt, no gaskets,etc. Some have suggested a 11 Holley 2 Screw or a 12/13 Holley 3 Screw saying they are the best performing. Would you rebuild this Kingston or go with something else, and who would be a good rebuilder/supplier? Thanks, Art

What is the best option for a battery, 12 volts? I was told the type of battery used for the lighted EXIT signs as a back up for power outage is a choice.

I use an 18 volt drill battery. Good hot spark for cranking, lasts quite a while and easy to recharge.

R/ Roger.

Early cars without a magneto used those batteries for running, not just starting. They usually had 2 sets of batteries and a 3 position switch. One position turned the batteries off. The other position powered on one set of batteries and the 3rd position was for the other set of batteries. You ran out on the first set and when they were exhausted you switched to the other set for the return trip. Those batteries have the capacity to recharge themselves to a limited extent when allowed to sit but keeping a few spare batteries on hand was fairly standard. On my 1907 Autocar I now run a single 12 volt sealed rechargable battery like the ones they use in kids electric toys. I keep 2 of them in place but have never had to switch over to the second battery. I am running a model T coil for spark. I would expect that a Model T would run all day on one of those batteries.

I have my engine and trans sorted out and even drove down the lane and back. Currently I am working on the top bows. The bent wood bows need shaped to fit inside the metal bows and be cut to the length needed for the correct overall shape. Here is a picture of the bows wired together at the correct hieght and shape with the exception of the front bow that needs to be shorter to be closer to the windshield. Art

Very nice! :slight_smile:

Beautiful car Art!
I have been following your posts…

Great start on the top.
I put the top on my 1914 touring several years ago.

I have a shop similar to yours so I could leave the car sitting until I finished. It was my first T top so I wasn’t sure what issues I would run into.

Some items I found to be particularly helpful were 8 of the Irwin clamps and some black chair webbing (below). Also, a six foot carpenter level and a very straight 10-foot #1 pine 1x4 were really handy while setting the profile of the top.

I set aluminum scaffold on short saw horses (about 22 inches high) on both sides and rear of the car. That way, I could walk around the car and work at a convenient height the whole time.

I installed the top kit by myself on two weekends.

Thanks for the compliments. I think I need to shorten (lower) my two center bows two inches. A new top kit from J V auto group interiors was included with the car and I compared the width at the bows compared to the measurement across the top of the bows to the metal sockets. I have read lots of posts about bow height and shaping the bows but it is hard to figure out where some of the measurements are taken from at the lower end. Art