The car was a 1925 Model T Ford. I acquired it from Melvin Leui a former Plainview Academy classmate.
He agreed to take my 1937 Ford in an even-up trade for his 1925 Model T four-door sedan.
The trick was to transport the “T” from a grain shed near Martin, South Dakota to Lincoln, Nebraska where I lived at the time.
Cranking the “T” for the trip back to Lincoln was a near disaster.
Model T enthusiast Cliff Taylor, who made the trip with me, adjusted the spark and throttle levers on the steering column as Melvin Leui gave the hand crank a quick jerk. The engine fired once and then locked with a loud noise.
The last time the transmission bands were tightened, a small band wrench was not removed. When Melvin cranked the engine the mislaid wrench broke off one of flywheel magnets.
A Model T flywheel has 16 “V” shaped magnets that help the magneto supply current to the spark plugs as well as add the needed weigh to the flywheel. We had to remove 7 more magnets for the flywheel to balance.
Magnets are shown on the left. The flywheel with magnets attached is shown on the right.
The car had been modified to run on a regular car battery instead of coils powered by the magneto. That meant removing half of the magnets didn’t prevent feeding current to the spark plugs.
However, as we found out the hard way, the magnets ‘splashed’ oil to the connecting rods. The Model T engine did not have a pressurized oil system. With half of the magnets removed the front two rods were starved of oil and began knocking. Not a sound you want to hear while on a desolate road in the middle of the Nebraska sandhills during a blizzard.
We stopped three times on the way back to Lincoln to ‘take up’ the rods. This was done by taking off the inspection plate under the engine and removing the rod caps and filing down the babbitt bearings.
This is not an easy job when out on the road but in that Nebraska snow storm it was a real challenge.
Needless to say Cliff Taylor and I were relieved and happy when we finally got back to Lincoln.
I have not seen either Melvin Leui or Cliff Taylor in many years.
It was difficult to license the 1925 Model T because the title was for a 1923 Ford Roadster.
The wood in the body of the car was damaged beyond repair. There had been leaks in the roof of the car and the wood framing was mostly rotted.
The engine bolts could not be removed. They had been cemented down for some reason and snapped off when removal was attempted.
I eventually sold the car to a man who was mostly interested in the Ruxtal 2-speed rear axle. The axle was an aftermaket product not made by Ford.