Just a Word
One Word More
The Ford Models
The Runabout and Touring car
The Town car
The Delivery Van
Fords for Heavy Loads and Special Purposes
On Ordering and Taking Delivery
The Hire-purchase System
Taking delivery - 1
Taking delivery - 2
Before Starting the Engine
Starting the Engine
Driving the Ford
Note on the ignition-lever Advance
A Few More Hints
What You Have Been Doing
Common-sense care of the car
Attention Regularly Required
The Grease-cups, etc.
Greasing the Differential
Lubricating the Steering Gear Internal Gearcase
Lubrication of the leaf Springs
Filling the Radiator
Filling the Petrol Tank
Cleaning the Bodywork, etc.
Removal of Tar Splashes
Cleaning for the Sake of Efficiency
Cleaning the Ignition System
Cleaning the Electric Wires, etc.
Cleaning the sparking-plugs
Cleaning the Commutator
Cleaning the Coils
Cleaning the Water System
Cleaning the Petrol System
Draining the Carburetter
Cleaning the Fan Belt
Cleaning Inside of Bonnet, etc.
Removing carbon from the Combustion Chamber
Cleaning Out the Crankcase
Cleaning the silencer
Cleaning the Wheel-bearings
Refurbishments, Adjustments, Repairs and Replacements
Refurbishing Enamelled Metal Work
Rain leakage Round the Screen
Mechanical Adjustments, Repairs and Replacements
Adjusting Nuts, Bolts, Split-pins and Screws
Adjustment for Wear in Steering and Front Radius Rod Attachments
Fan-belt Repairs and Replacement
Fan-drive Pulley Repairs
Play in Main fan-bearing
Foot-brake, High-speed, Slow-speed and Reverse Adjustments and Replacements
Back Wheel Brakes: Adjustment and Replacement
Removal of Back Wheels
Hand-brake-lever Pawl Replacement
Front Wheel Adjustments
Front Wheel Repairs and Replacements
Valve Adjustments, Repairs and Replacements
Valve Repairs and Replacements
Valve-guides and Tappet Guides
Internal Carburetter Adjustments
Adjustment of Ignition Devices
Trimming the Platina
Replacement of Coil Platina
Commutator Fibre, Roller and Spring
Removing the Radiator
Radiator Holding-down Bolts
Leaks in Radiator Tubes
Other Radiator Repairs
Internal Engine and Transmission Repairs
Troubles: Their Symptoms, Diagnosis and Cure
Rattles, Rumbles, Thumps, Hisses and Squeaks
Engine and Transmission Noises Due to General Wear
Sudden Noises from Engine or Transmission
Trouble with the Pedals
The Engine Declines to Start when Cold
The Engine Declines to Start when Hot
The Engine Stops while Running
Engine Starts, but Stops Again
Engine Fires, but Jerkily and Badly
Misfiring in More than One Cylinder
Valve Troubles as Contributory to Misfiring
General Weakness in Running
Car Develops Swerving Tendencies
Grease Exuding from Back Axle
The Electrical Ignition System
Lamps and Tyres
The Motor House
Care of the Hands
Improvements and Accessories
Extension of Radiator Overflow-pipe
Securing Silencer Nuts
Spare Tyres, Etc.
Special Ford Tools and Spares
Battery for Easy Starting
Battery for Testing Ignition
A Simple Coil Tester
Just a Word
This book has been written mainly because, in my early Ford days, I often felt the need of such a book myself. I judge that "there are others" in like case.
I know, of course, that the Ford Co. issue their own Instruction Book, and also a Manual. While both these books are exceedingly useful to the novice, they seem to me, on the one hand, to omit necessary guidance on many matters of vital importance, and, on the other hand, to deal with some points far beyond the scope of anyone but a skilled mechanic. It has been my object in this book to tell the amateur owner all that he can do for himself, and to discourage him from trying to do anything that he ought not to do for himself.
In so writing, I have, of course, assumed a certain standard of mechanical knowledge, ability and aptitude – just about that standard that qualifies a man to do odd jobs about the house. For example, I have assumed ability to use very simple tools, such as the hammer, screwdriver, pincers, wrench, adjustable spanner, file, bradawl, gimlet, pliers, vice and soldering-iron, as well as a few special tools recommended. I have also assumed general knowledge of the construction and operation of the motor engine. On the other hand, I have not assumed ability to braze, drill, use a lathe, or rivet (except in one or two cases where riveting means mere unskilled pounding with a hammer).
I have, of course, also assumed a certain amount of mechanical gumption. If you are, mechanically speaking, a born fool, better leave this book severely alone. But don't assume your own born folly too readily: maybe you have never tried.
Most Ford owners are men of very moderate means, and want to do their own work whenever they have time for it. If not, they want their own handy man (chauffeur – ahem!) to be able to do it. This book shows how. Further, many Ford owners have never before owned a car, and while this is rather an advantage than a disadvantage when it is a question of learning to drive, it is a distinct disadvantage when it is a question of giving necessary attention. In such case, "a little knowledge" goes a long way.
In writing such a book as this, I am confronted with one great difficulty – I am in danger of giving the impression that the Ford car must want a lot of attention if it needs a book like this to cover the subject. A friend of mine, after reading my draft, said that, notwithstanding his past wholly satisfactory experience of the Ford, it left him with the impression that his car, in future, would always be going wrong, and cited the old story of the reader of a patent medicine pamphlet, who reached the last page with the rooted conviction that he suffered from every known ailment – except housemaid's knee.
If this book leaves a similar impression on the reader, I shall deeply regret it, for I have the greatest respect and admiration for the Ford car, and its unwavering reliability has inspired me with a faith beyond all cavil and question, so that I should be the last person to libel it – even unintentionally; but it remains a fact that the Ford, in common with all other cars, needs proper attention all the time, and repairs sometimes.
Further, the attention required is usually of a kind that the amateur owner can give. Such a book as this would be altogether useless in the case of most cars, unless written for the skilled mechanic, since it would call for ability and equipment altogether beyond the amateur range. With the Ford, most of the work required is of a simple kind, and any amateur can do it, once he knows how.
No individual Ford car will need anything like all the attention and all the repairs referred to herein; but it will need some of them, and my idea is to tell you everything that you may have to do – and can do – at some time or other.
It has probably been fear of creating the wrong impression that has deterred the Ford Co. themselves from issuing such a detailed work as this (though their recently-published Manual is a step in this direction). Such a book must, in the nature of the case, deal largely with possible troubles. And why advertise possible troubles – especially when any individual trouble is quite unlikely to arise?
One Word More
This book has been written mainly with the 1914, 1915 and 1916 Ford models in view. Some instructions therein may not, therefore, be applicable to earlier models; but the Ford has, in essentials, been kept without any considerable modifications for many years past, so that the information given will generally apply.
As reference is continually being made to the Ford Instruction Book (F.I.B.) and to the Ford Parts List (P.L.), you should have a copy of each of these by you. The 1916 Parts List has mainly been used for references, though, in some few case's, earlier editions have been used – generally because the 1916 P.L. omitted mention of the parts described, and earlier editions showed them. Any 1914, 1915, or 1916 P.L. will, however, enable the reader to follow my descriptions.
The numbers in brackets after the names of parts are the official Ford numbers given in their Parts List.
It is necessary to point out that the information given in this book requires occasional modification in view of war conditions. For example, the price of Ford parts has increased by, roughly, 33 per cent. Other points requiring modification – e.g., use of petrol for cleaning purposes – will be obvious as they arise in course of perusal.
When the terms 'right,' 'left,' 'front,' 'back,' and other expressions of direction are used, it is always assumed that you are looking at the matter from the point of view of the driver in the driving seat.
The Ford Models
There are four Ford models:-
The official specifications of these are as follow:-
Weight, 13 cwt. 2 qrs.
Length, 10 ft. 11 ins.
Width, 5 ft. 6 ins.
Height (hood down, windscreen folded), 5 ft. 3½ ins.
Height (hood up), 7 ft.
(2) Touring Car.
Weight, 14 cwt.
Length, 12 ft. 3 ins.
Width, 5 ft. 6 ins.
Height (hood down, windscreen folded); 5 ft, 3½ ins.
Height (hood up), 7 ft.
(3) Town Car.
Weight, 17 cwt. 3 qrs.
Length, 11 ft. 7 ins.
Width, 5 ft. 6 ins.
Height, 7 ft. 2 ins.
(4) Light Delivery Van.
Extreme height, floor to roof, 52 ins.
Extreme width, 51 ins.
Length behind driver, 50 ins.
Width of well, 35 ins.
Length, 11 ft. ; width, 5 ft 6 ins.
Height, 6 ft. 6 ins.
Capacity, 750 lb. and driver.
Body constructed in sheet steel, weather-proof and indestructible. Supplied in priming (grey) colour only. Chassis weighs 11 cwt. 2 qrs. One type only.
The Runabout and Touring Car
The runabout is, of course, the most suitable car for those who do not require to carry more than two passengers. It affords much more ample accommodation for spares and luggage than the five-seater, but, on the other hand, it is. not nearly so useful for general purposes as the touring car. Moreover, running costs are about the same as in the case of the touring car, both as regards petrol and tyres. It would appear that the lighter complement of passengers effects savings as regards both these points, but in point of fact it does not do so, the Ford travelling best with the additional weight of extra passengers on the wheels. A five-seater body is, therefore, generally to be preferred, even if it means travelling most of the time with the back compartment empty.
The Town Car
The town car is, as indicated by its name, primarily intended for city use. It has a permanently closed body, which will seat four, and two more can be carried at the front. Its upholstery and general appointments are somewhat superior to those on the touring car and the runabout. It is, however, not as handy for most purposes, the majority of passengers preferring to have the benefit of the open air.
The Delivery Van
The delivery van has, by this time, become very popular for light loads. In upkeep, speed, and ease of management it has many advantages to offer over the horse-drawn vehicle, though the main advantages of motor delivery are gained in cases where deliveries involve runs within a radius of not less than 10 miles from a centre. For short runs in crowded thoroughfares, involving numerous stops, the motor vehicle does not show its many advantages. The Ford Co. offer this van only for loads not exceeding 750 lb. plus the driver. They do not consider that the chassis is really capable of carrying greater weight. Nor do they consider it advisable to extend the dimensions of the body over those named in the foregoing specification, though there would be no practical objection to extension in height and length in cases where only very light loads were contemplated, e.g., cardboard boxes.
The Ford chassis is now supplied when required without body, so that purchasers may have a special body fitted. A reduction of £10 is made from the price of the delivery van if the standard Ford body is not taken. Most users prefer to buy a body specially adapted to their needs. The standard Ford body is, however, suitable for most purposes, and is entirely adequate. It is not finished in black enamel, as in the case of the ordinary car, but in grey priming only. Most purchasers, however, will desire to have the body painting finished locally, not only for the sake of appearance, but for the sake of the advertising value given by the bright display of the owner's name, business, and address. The cost of finishing in this way will be anywhere between £5 and £20, according to the work involved. Some extremely attractive delivery vans are now to be seen on commercial rounds.
The illustrations on the opposite page show the 1916 models. The 1917 models – not, however, yet on sale in this country – are modified in some points; e.g., the bonnet tapers from the scuttle dash, while the radiator is of larger dimensions, and is somewhat differently shaped; further, the wings have been improved.
Fords for Heavy Loads and Special Purposes
Some efforts have recently been made to adapt the Ford delivery chassis to carry larger bodies and heavier loads. For instance, there is the Ton-Lode, which, as its name indicates, is built to render it possible to use the Ford engine with a heavier chassis, body and wheels than officially supplied by the Ford Co. Another development is the Dixie convertible body.
This consists of a chassis on which can be mounted any one of seven bodies – (1) wagonette, (2) delivery van, (3) ambulance, (4) hearse, (5) lorry, (6) pig and sheep dray, (7) hay and straw and furniture removing vehicle.
The Dixie is not offered to the public so much with the view of increasing the load weight capacity of the chassis as increasing the internal dimensions of the body, and adapting it for various purposes.
Before Starting the Engine
1. — Before starting the engine for the first time, see;
(a) That the radiator is full of water
(see 58, chapter 7).
(b) That the engine is charged with sufficient and suitable oil
(see 7, chapter 7).
(c) That the petrol tank contains a sufficient supply of petrol
(see 66, chapter 7).
(d) That the petrol tap is turned on
(see 121, chapter 7).
If your car has come by rail, there will probably be no oil in the engine, no water in the radiator, no petrol in the tank, and the petrol tap will possibly be turned off. In that case, you simply won't, be able to start the engine, but don't try to do so until you have made sure of the above four points. Neglect of the first two will almost certainly land you in big trouble and expense – a discouraging start. Don't even have the car run down off the railway truck under its own engine power until you have verified the first and second points above named.
If you take delivery at the Ford works, the Ford people are not likely to let you start without a proper supply of oil, water, and petrol in their proper places: but raise the question, or verify for yourself.
If you take delivery of a local agent, there will certainly be some water, oil, and petrol where they should be, because he has had to attend to these points in order to get the car home by road; but they may be running short. In any case, raise the question, or verify for yourself.
Starting the Engine
You will now be able to start your engine for the first time, perhaps the most interesting experience in your whole motoring career.
I assume that your new car is the regular standard Ford, without extras or special fitments of any kind.
If it is on a railway truck, you had better get an experienced man to run it down to ground level. The task is too tricky for a novice.
2. — The following are the immediate preliminaries to starting the engine:-
(a) See that the hand-brake lever (3455) is set right back – hard back – as far as it will go. This lever is of black metal, is about 2 ft. long, and extends upwards through a long slot in the back removable footboard in front of the driver's seat. It is on the right-hand side of the car, and conveniently located for use by the driver's right hand, when he is seated in driving position. It will probably be hard back already, but if it is not, make it so. It can be moved either forward or backward if it is grasped by the handle, and if its release¬lever, pivoted to it, is grasped with it. This backward position of the hand-lever puts the back wheel brakes hard on, and also frees the engine from the car, with the result that, when the engine starts, the car will not start too (see 56, chapter 9).
(b) See that the throttle lever, on the left-hand side under the steering wheel, is pulled backwards (i.e., towards the back at the car) to the fifth or sixth notch of the quadrant. This lever is of coppered iron. (In recent models this is brass finished, while in some old models it had a vulcanite knob.)
(c) See that the ignition-lever is pulled back in the same direction to the third or fourth notch. The ignition-lever is also situated under the steering wheel, but on the right-hand side. This lever is, in appearance, the counterpart of the throttle lever.
(d) Preferably, in the case of a new car, place a stop, or block, under, and in front of, one of the front wheels, to prevent the car from creeping forward when the engine starts. A brick, or a big stone, will serve. Theoretically, the car should not creep forward when the hand-brake lever is hard back, but practically, a new car sometimes does (see 56, chapter 7). If the car does creep forward when the engine starts, lean hard against the upper part of the radiator, and you will easily stop it.
(e) Switch on. The switch will be found in the middle, and in front, of the coil box, which is a few inches below the middle of the glass screen, and on the driver's side thereof. It is usually of brass, though it formerly had a vulcanite knob. You will see three possible positions for the switch indicated – Magneto, Battery, and Off. Set the switch hard over to Magneto position – usually over to the left.
3. — Now go to the front of the car and you will find the starting handle hanging vertically downwards below the radiator (3925). Grasp it firmly with the right hand (assuming that you are right-handed), and push it well inwards – that is, towards the body of the car. Then pull gently upwards clockwise, until you encounter considerable resistance. That is the resistance of compression. It is best met when the starting handle is slightly below the Horizontal – at "twenty minutes to." At that point, pull smartly, still keeping the starting handle pushed inwards. You will then get over compression. It is in getting over compression that the engine generally starts. It may fire then and there, at the first pull, but it probably won't. It will most likely need three or four pulls.
This action is largely a question of knack. The first time you try it, you may feel as if you can get no purchase on the starting handle. You may not be able to keep it pressed inwards, and the upward pull will then he wasted on the air. Above all, the question of meeting compression at "twenty minutes to" is pure knack. After a little experience, you will find it at the right point every time. If you meet compression at any other point, you are not nearly so likely to get the engine to fire.
4. — Never, never, never push the handle down: always pull up – at least, during your novitiate. Pull a little beyond the top position of the starting handle by all means, but you won't be able to pull far, since the pull will soon become a push – which you must avoid. The expert "swings the engine" – that is, alternately pulls and pushes the starting handle round and round with continuous motion – but don't try that. If the engine backfires (and it may backfire), when you are pushing the handle down, you may get your wrist sprained or broken. This practice is not nearly so risky when the engine has been limbered up with a few hundred miles running, provided that the ignition-lever (see 2(c), above) is only a notch or two back. If you pull properly, the engine will ordinarily fire on the third or fourth pull. But, as a novice, you will possibly not pull properly, and some of your efforts will then be wasted. Don't get the idea that it is a question of brute force. It is almost entirely a question of that smart pull over compression. Watch the "old hand," and see how easily he starts her.
5. — If the engine does not fire after four good pulls, try the effect of "priming the carburetter." At the bottom right-hand corner of the radiator, there is a copper wire ring. Pull it towards you as far as it will come, and keep it towards you with the left hand, while you continue to pull on the starting-handle with your right. Don't pull the ring harder than is necessary to hold it home. At each upward movement of the starting handle, you should now hear a swish. That is the sucking of petrol through the carburetter. Don't keep the ring pulled out after one or two such swishes, or you will over-prime, and charge the cylinders with too rich a mixture.
6. — The swishes show that the petrol is getting to the carburetter all right, whence it will certainly get to the engine. Don't, therefore, jump to the novice's usual conclusion, should she fail to fire: "She isn't getting enough petrol." Any starting difficulty in the early days is probably entirely due to your inability to get sufficient pull on the starting handle at the critical point – over compression. That will be partly owing to your lack of knack, and partly to the fact that a new engine is a little stiff.
7. — If you fail to start the engine by any of the methods so far described, try the effect of giving a quarter turn to the brass disc which you will find on the dash, to the right of the coil box. In the F.I.B., this disc is called a "button," but the term is misleading – at all events, to the English reader. Officially, it is the carburetter adjusting rod head. It is of about the size of a five-shilling piece. It is usually stamped with an arrow, or a file mark is made on it, and you will probably find this indicator pointing vertically upwards, Note the direction in which it is pointing, so that you may afterwards be able to re-adjust it to the same position. Give the disc a quarter-turn, or at most, a half-turn, anti-clockwise. In the unlikely event of the disc having been tampered with, so that its setting is altogether wide of the mark, screw it right down gently, and then screw up for a complete turn.
8. — Now pull on the starting handle again. The turning of the brass disc sometimes facilitates starting by supplying a more generous allowance of petrol vapour to the engine, if "she isn't getting enough petrol."
9. — If you fail to start the engine by the methods here recommended (though that is entirely unlikely), see supplementary instructions, Starting Troubles.
10. — It may be assumed that the engine will have fired after the third or fourth good pull. It may race at first – that is, run very rapidly, with a good deal of noise and fuss. Don't let it go on racing: it is bad for it to do so for any length of time. Check it promptly by going to the side of the car, and gently thrusting forwards the throttle-lever, i.e., in the direction of the screen. Then advance the spark a little – i.e., pull the ignition-lever a notch or two in the opposite direction – towards the back of the car.
11. — Don't overdo either movement. If you close the throttle too much, or too suddenly, you may stop the engine. If, on the other hand, you advance the spark too far, you may get a knock. At first, as you advance, the engine will pick up speed somewhat. Stop advancing directly the engine ceases to pick up speed. Knocking, by the way, is a curious metallic sound produced in the engine, which ought to be checked – and that promptly – whenever it arises. If it arises at this juncture, you can check it by slightly retarding the ignition – i.e., by pushing the ignition-lever a notch or two in the direction of the screen (see 30, chapter 4).
12. — Remove the block (see 2, (d), above) which you placed under the front wheel to scotch it, and you are ready to enter the car.
13. — Open the door on the left-hand side of the car – that leading to the driver's seat. Pull back the little lever which you will find behind the door, hold it back and open. To close the door, slam gently. Now then!
Common-sense Care of the Car
This chapter is mainly concerned with negative hints on points which ought to be obvious to common sense, but often are not:-
(1) Drive carefully, and don't run things down, or get run down.
(2) Don't grate your tyres against the kerb.
(3) Don't lean on the doors in entering or leaving the car. It strains the hinges.
(4) Don't scratch the metalwork or the woodwork with your boots, especially the dash.
(5) Don't pull the cushions up roughly. Lift them back end first. Don't replace them back to front. (The curved corners go at the back.) Neglect on these points is apt to tear the cushions.
(6) If you have a five-seater, don't carry luggage or impedimenta thrown in anyhow in the back portion. Pack so that they can't toss about and scratch upholstery and metalwork. A travelling rug jammed in is a good protective.
(7) Don't fill up your box under the back seat so carelessly that tools and other things stick up and resist the closing of the lid. You may close it by force, but the hinges will generally break if you do. This applies only to the five-seater.
(8) In fastening the hood cover straps, don't pull with brute force. Just be content with slight tautness. Brute force pulls the straps out – generally from the bottom end. They are only nailed on.
(9) Don't carry bottles or other hard things inside the folds of the hood; they only wear holes in it.
(10) Don't wait till a heavy shower comes on before learning to put the hood up. Get it up once when it is fine. Two of you must work together. If you try it single-handed, you will probably strain the bolts and scratch the bodywork with them. Two of you ought to work "in parallel," that is to say, one on each side of the car, doing the same thing at the same time. Note that the back end of the front stay ought to go to the top hole of the front long support – not to the bottom one, where it was when the hood was down. If its bolt is in the bottom hole, it makes it very difficult to get to and from the driver's seat. The top part of the screen that bends down should come inside the hood, to prevent the rain drifting in. Get the hood properly taut by means of the front straps, which will have to be adjusted for the purpose. Don't forget to insert the retaining split pins into the holes provided for them: otherwise the hood sticks are apt to jump out of their sockets. The bolts on the sticks are easily broken if you put an unfair twisting strain on them in getting the hood up and down, the leverage on them being very great. When lowering the hood, see that no part of the material gets nipped by the hood stick separators, or there will be a hole there in no time. Similarly, practise getting the curtain up.
(11) Don't strain any part of the mechanism by application of tools or otherwise, unless you are sure you are doing rightly. All tool work, of course, involves some force, but know what you are doing. Read this book.
(12) If you have to move the car about by hand, don't shove it by pushing on the radiator, the lamps, the hood brackets, or any other apparently convenient projection. You may loosen, strain, or break something if you do. Moreover, it is really hard work moving a car that way. There is only one way to move a car by-hand. Pull on the spokes of the back wheels, having, of course, first set the hand-brake in neutral (see 29, chapter 4). You will be agreeably surprised at the ease with which the car moves, even up a slight incline. If you can't get her up the incline in this way, you are certainly not likely to do so by shoving or pulling in any other way. If there is steering to be done, i.e., if it is not a question of moving the car in a straight line, get a friend to sit in the driving seat and steer, or, alternatively, set the car in the right direction by simultaneously twisting and turning one of the front wheels. (N.B. It is not easy to move the car wholly by means of a front wheel, for it twists out of the straight whenever you pull on it. You can, however, pull the car round a corner wholly by means of one of the front wheels.) When pulling on a back wheel, preferably choose the right-hand wheel: you will then be able to go quickly to the hand-brake lever and apply it if, on a down gradient, the car threatens to get out of control. This method of moving the car often comes in useful on the road, when, after stopping the engine, you find it necessary to budge for a few yards, and it does not seem worth while starting the engine again.