Last updated:  4/14/2008

I Found this "Speedster" in a barn in Canby Oregon, a true "barn find."
The engine hadn't been run in over 7 years and didn't want to start when I got it home (no spark, no fuel and no go.  I retimed the distributor, added a new coil along with solid state ignition and got spark. Then added a new carburetor and got fuel. Hit the starter and we have a running engine, but alas with a noticeable knock. Not to worry the sale included a newly rebuilt engine, so in it goes. First though that blue color has to go, so why not a complete frame off restoration?

What the Speedster looked like after a few hours of elbow grease.  4 photos

On the right is a spare engine that came with the Speedster. It is supposedly a completely rebuilt powerplant, we shall see, as it is going to replace the knocking engine. See repaint job below.

02/21/2008
Body
off!

02/21/2008
Everything except the body.

02/22/2008
Engine removed & frame pressure washed

02/24/2008
Engine paint scheme.

02/25/2008
Frame & running gear painted.

02/26/2008
Body prep (sanding); Gotta get rid of all those rock chips etc.

02/27/2008
More sanding! I've decided to remove all the old paint.

3/4/2008 A little "Tech" here.
I have seen some discussion on the "T" Forums regarding use of the crankshaft pully "Pin" as a reference for setting the timing (getting to TDC (top dead center) on the #1 cylinder. As you can see, when the pully pin (in red circle) is horizontal the #1 cylinder is indeed at top dead center.

3/4/2008 (3 photos click on thumbnail.)
Engine is in (on?) the frame and connected up to the differential. Next up is installing the new distributor and then converting it from a "points" system to solid state electronics.

3/5/2008
"TEXAS T" Distributor installed.

3/6/2008
No photos today, just sanding, sanding, sanding,.

3/18/2008
Time for some updates:
I took a break from all the sanding and decided to ck out some other issues.  Before I tore it all apart and when giving the wife a ride, she mentioned that the front wheel was wobbling.
After checking on the MTFCA Forum (Thanks Hap & Seth) I took the advice given and started checking from steering components. It looks like the Spindle body bushings have seen better days, so new ones are on the way.

3/20/2008
The "cocoon" AKA a paint booth.
Utilizing the hoist as a roof/support structure, I draped 6 mil  visqueen all around it and on the floor. Then I sealed all the seams with duct tape, and laid plywood on the floor
(less tracking of paint overspray). I'll now cut in venting holes and cover them with furnace filter(s). The idea here is to have equal pressure inside and out of the booth, while the dust collector is running (The dust collector -2800cfm- is connected on the back of the booth, click photo for more views).

3/22 -23/2008
Regular primer applied and sanded

3/24/2008
Yellow lacquer is on, now the buffing begins, then mount it to the frame.

3/25/2008
1/2 the body is buffed

3/26/2008
Still buffing, but started wheel painting just to break up the projects a bit

3/29/2008
New plan!   While the new paint job is buffing out nicely I have decided that additional coats would be even better. Therefore, I have set up the paint booth a second time, prepped the car, and will be spraying again today.   

4/7/2008
Lots of little details, including polishing Stainless Steel firewall (thumbnail).
Today the body welting will arrive and I should get the body back on the frame.
Hopefully I'll have it running by the weekend?

4/2/2008
After 21 coats of lacquer and 16 hours of color sanding and buffing, 
I think it is ready.

4/7/2008
Using the car lift to lower the body onto the frame

4/7/2008 5:22 PM
SUCCESS!!

Now, will that engine run???

Engine update:  4/16/2008

Last week I fired up the engine (it started almost instantly). I also shut it down (almost instantly). The problem was the ticking racket it was emitting.  I pulled the head and discovered that the #1 and  #4  Pistons were just barely striking the head.  This head was from the original engine and was a high compression "Z" model.  I replaced it with the head originally on this spare engine, and that problem was solved (no more piston against the head). However, I now had a water leak at the corner of the head (was reusing the head gasket), A new head gasket is on the way.
Apparently this spare engine had high compression pistons installed when it was rebuilt and also the block was decked. I believe this to be the case because the original engine had both the high compression "Z" head as well as identical pistons. This engine did not have any internal clearance problems, probably because the block was not decked. On the plus side, the amount of interference was very minimal and did not result in any damage to the engine except for some small marks on the corner of the #1 & #4 pistons. Gasket should be here today and I shall light her up again!

http://www.nwvs.org/index.shtml  Northwest Vintage Speedsters site.
http://www.mtfca.com/   Model T Ford Club of America
http://www.fordbarn.com/  A website dedicated to Ford antique automobile enthusiasts.
http://www.modelt.org/  Model T ford club International
http://www.garagejournal.com/index.php?  Garage Junkies site.
http://www.oldcartrader.com/  Old car trader



www.speedsterinc.net/  Emphasis on Model T and A restoration and Speedster building.
Australian Speedster (a great web site).

Rod@customfurniture.net

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