Model T Safety Tips for the Road

Being relatively new to the hobby of driving a Model T, there are a few things I have found that have helped me prepare my car for touring. This is information I have gathered from seasoned mechanics and veteran Model T drivers. This list is by no means a complete list, but just some obvious areas of concern to help insure you of a safe trip and preventable breakdowns.


  • Tires are in good condition and do not show signs of excessive wear.
  • Tires do not have dry rot.
  • Tires are properly inflated.
  • Wooden spokes on wheels are tight and sound and have no cracks.
  • The wheel nut is tightened properly and the cotter pin is in place.


  • Brakes are capable of stopping car and holding it on an incline.
  • The hand brake holds in place.
  • The brake handle holds in a locked position.


  • Clean and grease the wheel bearings.
  • Tighten the wheel bearings properly.
  • Be sure not to over grease the rear wheel bearings.


  • Check the condition of the springs.
  • Make sure there are no broken leaves.
  • Check to make sure the spring shackles and bushings are in good condition.
  • Check the condition of the radius rod ball.
  • Check condition of the steering linkage.


  • There should be no knocking sound.
  • An excessive amount of oil should not be used.
  • There should be good babbitt.
  • The engine and chassis are lubricated properly.


  • There is no excessive amount of rust sediment in gas tank.
  • There are no gasoline leaks.
  • The cut off valve works.


  • The transmission bands and drums are adjusted properly and show no signs of excessive wear.
  • Universal joint is ok and properly greased.
  • All bolts and nuts are properly tightened and secured with cotter pins.
  • The radiator is capable of cooling the engine.
  • The fan blade is in good condition and has no cracks.

These are just a few areas of attention that can help make your trip more enjoyable while not having to worry about any preventable incident.

Remember, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

Contributed by Tommy Supak

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