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nickg112

1906 Ford Model N

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I have an opportunity to purchase a 1906 Ford Model N located in Tuscon Arizona. I am planning on making a trip to check it out. The car that I am looking at is a 2 passenger car. There are no running boards. Were these cars made without running boards? Could running boards have been an option?

Also, it looks like the car has three pedals like the Model T. I am not going to start the engine but need to get it in neutral. How do you put this car in Neutral? Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated. I have only owned Model A's before so this is really new to me. Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated. What else should I look for to show originality?

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Model Ns had step plates only. No running boards. Models R and S had running boards. There were 2 operating pedals - reverse to the far left and transmission brake to the right of that, and another pedal to the far righ to set the rear wheel parking brake. There was a lever to control low and high speed. Neutral would be in the middle of the motion of the hi/low lever. Pull back for low, push forward for high.

There isn't much available in writing about the pre-T Fords. There is one book available through the Model T Ford Club of America's website called Pate's Early Ford Automobile Encyclopedia. It's a fantastic reference, and include a CD that has copies of the owners manuals, sales brochures,etc. Here's a link to that book.

http://modeltstore.myshopify.com/products/pates-early-ford-automotive-encyclopedia-1903-1909

Edited by Pete O (see edit history)

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Thank you for your help. I really appreciate it. I am going to Arizona next week to check the car out.

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Good luck. A Model N is a REAL antique and would be great fun to own.

Another unique feature of the N was its force fed oiler. It was mounted on the right side of the engine and was cylindrical shaped, and was pressurized by a fitting coming off the exhaust manifold. The R and S had a mechanical oiler that was rectangular and driven by a pulley at the front of the engine.

Unlike later cars like the Model T, where the oil was added to the crankcase and splashed around by rotation of the flywheel and connecting rods, the N (and R&S) had these separate oilers, where oil dripped from them onto the critical parts, and the excess oil that collected in the crankcase had to be drained out occasionally.

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Good luck. A Model N is a REAL antique and would be great fun to own.

Another unique feature of the N was its force fed oiler. It was mounted on the right side of the engine and was cylindrical shaped, and was pressurized by a fitting coming off the exhaust manifold. The R and S had a mechanical oiler that was rectangular and driven by a pulley at the front of the engine.

Unlike later cars like the Model T, where the oil was added to the crankcase and splashed around by rotation of the flywheel and connecting rods, the N (and R&S) had these separate oilers, where oil dripped from them onto the critical parts, and the excess oil that collected in the crankcase had to be drained out occasionally.

Hi Pete, yet again...

Can you tell if there are any known variations of mixing of features between a N and R?

I don't own one, but there is one here that does not add up to your specs;

It has rear fenders that don't curl up at the tails, the fronts do have a slight inner mud shield angled at the rear. It does have full running boards that appear to have always been attached to the fenders and braces(not looking like farm applied boards)

It does have the exhaust pressure fed, cylindrical oil tank, two drip glasses, and no signs of a pulley at the front of the motor, or a place that might have held it.

There is a fairly large N cast onto the left rear side of the crankcase.

It has a matching engine stamped number, that matches the brass Ford makers tag at the front center of the seat riser; mid-#1200 range, number.

and some questions on the oiling:

I did have to replace the piston rings because there was severe oil flooding of the valve pockets in barely 10 seconds of running time, and a lot of oil spraying out of the tailpipe. So, I did see the insides of the motor. As far as I can tell, the one drip glass that feeds the motor, only refills the crankcase to compensate for how much is burned? There is that central oil draincock, but it has a short standpipe attached to it's threads, that goes up inside the crankcase. When you fully drain the draincock, there is still exactly 1 quart of oil in the crankcase. I measured it when I refilled it with the side covers removed.

From looking at this, at that oil level, there is a huge amount of splash feeding, as the rods go very deep into the oil. Being that I never removed the engine and verified where the drip oiler feeds, I am now wondering if this engine was modified back then? Does the heavy splash and standpipe sound original? The reason I ask; The rings are certainly not broken in yet, and there is some blow-by at the rear filler/vent tube, but as I barely drive the car on uneven ground, oil was gushing up that vent tube. Apparently, as the oil sloshes towards the rear, the blow by pushes it up the vent pipe? It does not do it standing still. So, I am starting to wonder if that draincock is incorrect with that standpipe, which raises the oil level?

The entire car seems untouched/not run in a half century or much more, so any modifications that may have been done, all have very old patina.

Edited by F&J (see edit history)

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I don't profess to be an expert on the NRS cars, but I have that book that I referenced, Pate's Early Ford Automobile Encyclopedia, and it is a wealth of knowledge. There's a chart that compares the NRS, and it describes the variations in order to identify the model. According to the chart, Ns never had running boards. They had step plates only. The R and S cars had running boards. The turtle deck on the N and S came to a point at the rear, and the R was rounded. The wheels on an N and S were 28x3, while the R was 30x3. Of course, all these things could have been changed by various owners over time.

I read some more about the oilers, and my initial comment turns out to be incorrect. The distribution of the oil within the crankcase to the moving parts was indeed by splash, and the oiler fed the oil into the crankcase to compensate for losses (leakage/burning). The there were two feeds, one to the crankcase, and the other to the universal joint at the rear of the transmission. The oiler rate could be adjusted so that too much oil did not accumulate in the crankcase. The owners manual included in the Encyclopedia says to check the draincock to ensure that there is oil in the crankcase. There should always be a drip when the cock is opened. So that standpipe would seem to be original, as it would be a way to regulate the depth of the oil in the engine. The manual says that a smoking engine indicates too much oil in the crankcase. But who knows how high that standpipe should be and how much oil is correct? The manual doesn't specify, and that standpipe might have been altered over the years.

From what I know about the Model T and A splash lube systems, the connecting rods don't go very deep into the oil. There are troughs about 3/4 inch deep to collect the oil for the rods to splash through. So maybe the oil level for the N should be at a level where the rods dip only about 3/4 inch?

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Pete, thanks for the extra info. I did feel that the engine oil dripper was to compensate for losses. My problem is that I "believe" that when the oil level sloshes backwards during movemet of the car, the oil wave may cover the lower part of the vent tube which made the oil spray out/up from slight blow-by in the crankcase.

Not sure how I can determine the correct standpipe level. When the crankcase was cleaned and then refilled though the open side covers, it took exactly one full quart to reach the top of the standpipe. These motors do tilt rearwards, so the rear level is higher, and could be why the oil vent pipe gets sloshed.

By the way, there is a slight baffle wall cast into the bottom of the crankcase at mid point. As I filled the oil from the front cover, it took more oil to reach up over that wall, and fill the back half. I don't recall how tall that wall is, compared to the standpipe. I suppose I will take a look, as the car can't be moved without sloshing oil out of the vent. Something is not right.

On the car ID; I looked at the R/B braces today. They are riveted to the frame and look original. But the car has a rounded deck. The body tag on seat matches the number for the motor. Yet the motor has that exhaust fed oil tank, and has a N cast into the crankcase. I don't know what to make of this, as I honestly think this car has been undisturbed since WW2?..or even before? It has no signs of tampering done in recent decades IMO.

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More thinking, but too late in the day.. I almost think this is an 06 N car with the 07 R rear deck? I have no way to know if a mid 1200 serial number is a late N, that maybe got the new model deck from the factory?

The rear deck looks 100 years old. It has a lid with a center hinge that allows the right half to open. The lock looks old. The lids are made of thin boards glued together, and two non adjoining planks on the right have have been replaced with rough sawn boards that look as old as the car. There is a lift out tray that held tools or? and is rounded to fit the round part of the rear deck. I can't see why a replacement R deck was ordered if the car was hit from behind when almost new.

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Here's a link to some close-up pictures of a Model N's engine, etc. Pete Fausch's N From what you describe, with the running boards and round turtle deck, it sounds more like a Model R. I don't think that the N cast into the engine necessarily makes it a Model N. The chart in the book makes no mention of that being a distinguishing feature. I'm guessing that since the R and S were essentially Ns with more accessories that the N was cast into all the engines of the NRS series.

Note the closeup of the oil breather tube in the pictures. There appears to be a cap of sorts that looks to catch spray. Does the car you're examining have this cap? That dam you mention, I bet it's located aft of the tube from the oiler. The front part would fill with oil from the oiler, and spill over to the rear. The dam would be a good indication of how high the oil level should be.

The serial number is no help in IDing the model. All three: N, R and S, were built concurrently during 1906-1908, and there is nothing in the serial number to denote the model. The serial numbers started from 1 for each model and ran up to 6928 for N, 2546 for R, 2335 for the S runabout and 3708 for the S Roadster.

I don't think they would have put R parts on an N at the factory and still called in an N, as the whole idea of the R was to sell it for a higher price due to the extra accessories that the R had over the N.

My guess is that what you're seeing is a very early restoration where parts from an N and R were mixed and matched to assemble a complete car.

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There appears to be a cap of sorts that looks to catch spray. Does the car you're examining have this cap?
Yes, exactly the same. If you can't make it out; there are vent openings all around that center screw-cap. I assume the cap is there to refill the crankcase if ever needed. The vents allow ventilation.

Other than the lack of R/boards and the non-rounded rear deck, the car looks the same.

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