I have two model t’s that I inherited many years ago. They are currently in many pieces and need to be rebuilt. I am now at the stage where I am looking to start this project. As somebody totally new to a project like this I am looking for information and wisdom on about how long this will take, the expense to complete the project and the mechanical skill level to complete this exciting and I bet challenging project.
Thanks in advance for taking the time to read the post and repling with your wisdom from your own experiences.
Hard to say without knowing exactly what the condition of the cars is, other than disassembled. Also key would be whether you have done this before, or if this is the first time to work on old cars or specifically Model T Fords. Are you a competent machinist who also knows how to paint and upholster cars? Or will all of those things need to be farmed out at extra expense with extra time needed?
Finally, we don’t have any idea what the amount of missing parts or the model year of your cars, or the body style. All of these things will profoundly affect the amount of time and money needed.
Looks like you may have a wonderful trip ahead!
Auto Inn is correct, although beginning with a running car is an advantage, there are many aspects of a reassembly that are a real plus.
You will become very knowledgeable about the components of the Model T.
Post a picture of each side of one of you engines and let us see if we can get started by determining when the engines were built.
This is fun stuff and look forward to the hobby.
There is a lot of very good literature available but let’s see if we can just get a start.
It also depends very much on what level of restoration you are wanting. Wanting a Stynoski winner? One could easily spend thirty thousand dollars on a basic black era T, without being stupid about it. Yet, a decent car could be made nice and safe to really enjoy for about two thousand dollars. Mostly tires, a simple engine refresh, and basic repairs including touching up paint and interior. Many decent cars have been returned to the road for even less. Cars in worse conditions will likely cost more, maybe much more.
So many variables, what you can do? What you have? What you can afford?
As for my “stupid about it” comment? I have seen "restorations done badly and very wrong where more than $40,000 was spent to get a car worth about one fifth that when done. A little “smarts” goes a long way.
One of the best resources you can get is the original (or reprinted) book “Model T Service” by Ford - you can find reprints, and even originals pop up for a decent price… depending on the restoration level of the parts, once everything is usable or better, this will show you how your car gets taken apart and put back together. Probably the best reference material a T owner could have…