Engine Ford Model T 1908

Running changes

The basics of the engine stayed the same throughout its lifetime, once the water pump of early models had been replaced by the Thermo Syphon system. Some adjustments were made to the compression ratio to account for changeable fuel quality. It peaked at 4.5:1, before being pegged at 3.98:1 from 1917.

Uphill, Model T style

In the drive for simplicity, Henry Ford built the Model T without a fuel pump, relying instead on gravity to feed fuel to the carburetor. One consequence of this was that when the fuel level in the tank was low, it was sometimes necessary to reverse the car up hills.

Ford Model T straight-four

Henry Ford's iconic Model T-the car that would turn millions of Americans into drivers following its launch in 1908-was remarkable for more than the efficient production-line methods used to build it. The "Tin Lizzie," as it became known, also boasted many novel engineering features, particularly in the design of its simple but rugged engine and transmission.