Ford Model T: 25mpg?
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  1. #1
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    The Detroit News
    Model T

    Article mentions Sierra club addvertisement.

    "After depicting technological advances in other industries, the ad says that Ford's Model T, which went 25 miles on a gallon of gasoline, was more fuel efficient than the current Ford Explorer sport-utility vehicle -- which manages just 16 miles per gallon."

    Did the Model T really get 25mpg? probably under ideal conditions?
    If its true then why hasn't fuel economy improved with advanced technology.I know the Model T was/is small and light but the tech advances should more than make up for it heavier contemporary vehicles like the explorer.

  2. #2
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    first the t was lighter. the t did not have power steering or breakes. the t did not have air conditioning. the t did not have all the other power robbing anti polution devices the moderion cars do now. and the t did not have to use the gas mix we have today.

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    Bob308,

    My wife phoned me from the country home of Arkwright of the Spinning Jenny. So we are well into engineering and manufacturing.

    Her 2.7 litre Merc fully loaded did 52 mpg in 250 miles from Newcastle and Northampton in the UK. You don't think that paying £30,000 sterling denies all the bells and whistles.

    Somebody has got it wrong- and it wasn't Henry.

    Norm

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    Dunno about the model T, that was before my time.
    I do know that I could get 25 mpg on a trip,in my 1967 Falcon, with a 200 cubic inch 6, right after tuning it.

    My 1977 F-100, weighing 4000 pounds, with a 300 cubic inch 6, gets about 18 mpg.

    My wife's 1988 Olds with a V-6, gets about 28 to 30 mpg.

    My 2005 Nissan Fontier (2WD) gets only 21 to 22 mpg.
    Good question why automakers worldwide cannot do better.

    Thermo1

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    The T did not even have power robbing but silent Hypoid rear axle gears - just plain old easy to make noisy straight cut pinion and big bevel gear.

    Did not have front brakes slowing those wheels down, either.

    The engine drove absolutely nothing but the car. If you even wanted a water pump, it had to be after market, and was driven by a flat belt.

    Yep, good progress we have made, but at great cost. We have completely forgotten what basic trasportation consists of.

    (early Ts were the plainest. towards end of production early in 1927 they had progressed to a few more niceties, like a generator.)

    John

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    The amazing thing is that whatever milage the Model T got, it did it with a very low compression ratio, before gasoline even had octane ratings.

    Thermo1

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    Thermo1,

    This is a less than 5 year old Mercedes and capable of doing 146mph until the governor kicks in!

    I again repeat 52mpg but English gallons.

    This thing was full of musical instruments including a bass saxophone. Nope, it did have a turbo compressor- but for the car!

    There is what the roadsweepers in Austria and Germany are driving.
    There is nothing magic in it. This is Chrysler!

    Norm

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    Even with power robbing accessories, I still can't see how an Explorer can be soo much worse.
    The T also did not have the lower friction of modern bearing.
    Engine tech comparing T vs Modern Ford.

    American cars were gass guzzlers before the Japanese started making ecnomobiles, only then were American big 3 forced to work on better economy.
    Why is it the Japanese were first on the scene with Hybrids?

    Also diesels like VWs get similar mileage to gas hybrids (prius) so why not put a diesel in a hybrid for even batter mileage.If the VW diesel can pass Emissions then a diesel hybrid certantly can't be worse.

    I keep trying to understand why Toyota hasn't put a diesel into their Prius.

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    I have driven a Model T. I don't care if it gets 100 mpg. The about 50 miles in my lifetime was plenty. And as Johnoder mentions, the '27 T's were a vast improvement over the early T's. Windows, doors, heaters, and electric starters are taken for granted in todays cars.

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    The T did have modern roller and ball bearings
    in some locations.

    And I *think* it had hypoid gears in the
    differential.

    I would not be suprised if it got over 25 mpg.

    Jim

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    Norman,
    I think I initially understood your post. Over on this side of the pond, Merc is short for Mercury, a brand of the Ford Motor Company, aka, "blue oval". As in, I learned to drive on a '57 Merc station wagon.

    I thought it rather strange an Englishman would drive a Mercury. Thanks for setting the record straight.

    Two countries, separated by a common language.
    Winston Churchill

    Thermo1

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    I used to drive an E93A 1172cc Ford Side Valve in the UK. I had the best fuel economy in the fleet with 22mpg. No heater, no air conditioning and the wipers were vacuum driven. The 22mpg was with economy jets!

    It was a heap and the V8 Pilot did 12mpg.

    Time you all read up what the specs are for for cars. This Panzerwagen has four air bags, AC and the usual refininements butthe Audi is better and the Chrysler 300C which is much the same price is 9mph faster and does 22.6mpg.

    The figures speak for themselves

    Norm

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    Sorry Thermo1. Our posts keep crossing.

    It is odd to think that a half American would arrive at the same conclusion as the rest of us Limey bastards about the language.

    I think it bad enough to have to drive - well, two German, one Czech, one Spanish and Well- a -ugh- dare I say it -korean( shhhhhhhh)
    British cars are almost non existent now.

    Again, I apologise for the confusion which- for once-was unintentional.


    Norm

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    Here we go with the miles per gallon thing. Thermo, I am surprised that you went for this bait.

    The Ford engine got .5 lbs. per brake HP hour it probably got worse than that but that is the best figure that you can expect from a gasoline engine.

    The model T didn't have a whole lot of weight to move and it didn't move its weight very fast. Of course it got 25 MPG, it took more than an hour to drive it 25 miles!

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    Have any of you ever driven a model "T"? I would not drive one home if the thing had a full tank of gas. Brakes on a "T" were a joke. The transmission was something that had no gears. Your legs went numb pushing on the pedals. Every six months you had to open up the slushbox and rebuild the tranny. It had ball bearings and cage rollers because that was the cheapest thing they could think of. There were no oil seals anywhere. The rear axle grease was kept in with spirals on the rear axles. Any one with a lick of sense carried every part in duplicate. The low tension ignition, with four wood vibrating coils, would die in a rainstorm. Starting the thing was a crapshoot. If it started, you ran the chance of a broken arm or jaw. Not retarding the spark was an instant broken bone. Only a drunken fool cranked one in a fog. Henry sold you a cheap car and then he screwed you while you owned it. While the purchase price was cheap; the cost per mile broke your back. When GM started building cars with that drunken, whoremaster, race car driver's name on them; people beat a path to their door. Chevy had a heater, transmission, brakes, starter, waterpump, and everything that Ford omitted or charged extra for.

    The fuel in those days was closer to kerosene than gasoline. Straight gasoline was around fourty octane and 'HI test' was a whopping seventy octane. The price for fuel was super high, considering what a man made. Most cars were designed to run on only one type of fuel. Mixing fuel was disaster. Very few machines had the necessary adjustable manifold, variable compression, and multi-fuel carbs to handle the range of kerosene, distillate, regular, and "Hi test".

    Power in a Model "T" would have been improved if it had a good lawnmower engine. Backing up hills and pushing were normal methods of getting up hills. The car scalded the owner and froze him on the same day and, if you turned your head, killed the poor fool outright.

    There were better cars built, in the seventies that beat today's hybrids. Companies like Elcar and Citicar built cars with Kohler engines. They used tube aluminum frames with resin skin. The tranny was a varidrive and things were kept to the KISS principle. I have a friend that bought one to drive to work. My buddy bought one Citicar and drove it for ten years. He adored the thing. It was a step up from a motorcycle and it was good in the winter. Some idiot ran a red light and plowed into him. He about cried when he realized he had to scrap the car. He was beaten up, in the crash, but the tube frame kept him safe in the crunch.

    Someone should think about the the term, 'cost per mile'. Today's hybrids eat you up on maintenance. They also are a severe tradeoff in performance and weight carried. They do not use diesels, in hybrids, because the engine would weigh too much and how are you going to get reliable rapid starts and shutdowns? What happens when the diesel must run full throttle from a cold block?

    Let us all raise a glass to the good old days. MAY THEY NEVER RETURN.

    Charlie Biler
    www.molineparts.com

  16. #16
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    JimK,
    Every now and again, many of us jump at the bait.

    Actually, the car I cannot explain is my wife's 1988 Olds. That has a V-6, plenty of power, and yet gets 28-30 mpg. I don't particulary like the car, I don't generally like GM products, and that one belonged to my late mother-in-law. Given that, I have to concede the gas milage is darned good, even today, and quite good for 1988, 18 years ago. My wife's 2005 Toyota doesn't do any better, and it appears to be a smaller car.

    Thermo1

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    Charlie,
    I was giving Diesel figures! You obviously haven't driven a modern, modern car.

    A few years ago, my wife and I struck black ice on a hairpin bend in the French Alps near to where the film, the Italian Job was filmed.
    The car plunged 50 feet on its front end, sprung into 5 somersaults and ended in the river. The altitude was 6500feet and the temperature was minus 10C. My wife broke 4 ribs and had a trapped foot and I broke a finger.

    The car was replaced- with a new Mercedes Benz 270 Diesel in lieu of the Mercedes C250 diesel that had saved our lives. On that bend there are flowers in the little altars to those less fortunate than us.

    I would repeat my earlier assertions. The consultant who examined my wife's injuries asked whether it was a Mercedes or a Volvo.
    No other cars could take the pounding.

    You see Charlie, I was a mountaineer, skier and Mountain Rescue man. I went back into the Hell Hole after the snows has melted. I can tell you the makes of the cars which were less lucky or worse built.

    Oh, yes, Charlie, on the 19th December each year my wife toast each other.

    Norm

  18. #18
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    Wow, there's a lot of myths about the T around.

    No bearings. No gears.

    Yes, the transmissions have gears in those.
    Planetary gears. What you had to re-build
    were the band clutches. The pedals operated
    those.

    Yes, they were often backed up hills. Anyone
    know the two reasons why?

    Jim

  19. #19
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    Gravity feed fuel, and better gear ratio

  20. #20
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    Thermo:

    It is the weight, the cars are light. Tires are very good, the rolling resistance is low nowadays.


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