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Fact Check: Henry Ford Didn’t Design the Model T as a Multi-Fuel Vehicle

Posted April 27, 2017 9:00 AM by dstrohl
Pathfinder Tags: ethanol Ford fuel model t

Ask old-timers what they’ve run their Model T on beside gasoline, and the responses will start to sound like the list of potential fuels for the Chrysler Turbine car; that is, anything combustible: coal gas, diesel, kerosene, even granddad’s corn likker. But the truth regarding the T – in this matter as well as many others – is often obfuscated by the century-plus worth of legends that have accumulated around the iconic car, and after researching the matter, we’ve found no evidence that Ford designed the Model T to run on any fuel other than gasoline.

As the multi-fuel Model T legend – easily found across the Internet – goes, Ford incorporated a device on the dashboard of the Model T to facilitate switching, at will, from gasoline to ethanol. Other sources contend the Model T was also designed to run on kerosene and benzene. The story further asserts that Henry Ford’s attempts to make ethanol a standard automobile fuel were thwarted by John D. Rockefeller’s push for Prohibition, an assertion that we’ve already (__debunked__).

There truth behind the Model T's fuel needs is that...

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Re: Fact Check: Henry Ford Didn’t Design the Model T as a Multi-Fuel Vehicle

04/27/2017 1:49 PM

I suspect back then that fuels were not very standardized. The Model-T, I believe, had a manual spark advance on the steering column, and the compression ratio was only about 4:1, churning out a whopping 20 HP out of 177 cu in.

So how fussy could it be?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ford_Model_T_engine

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Re: Fact Check: Henry Ford Didn’t Design the Model T as a Multi-Fuel Vehicle

04/28/2017 11:28 AM

We stand in complete agreement. One note further: in extreme cold, one had to light a fire under the crankcase, and under the transmission (T model and A model), if you wanted to untrack them and go anywhere further after a really cold night.

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Re: Fact Check: Henry Ford Didn’t Design the Model T as a Multi-Fuel Vehicle

05/01/2017 9:16 AM

the efficiency wasn't too great... but the fuel was relatively cheap.

I know on tractors there were dual use fuels (kerosene and gasoline) with very little for change over.

John Deere being one of them. It is also known, that they may have a type of fuel for starting, and then switched over.

And with the dual fuel system, to avoid preignition, a slight water mist injection was used.

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