I picked up a set of original Snowmobile Skis last fall for their age I suppose they were in decent shape, the metal bottoms were worn considerably, so I have been working to restore these as time allows. The link below has a few pictures of the wooden form I used to help with shaping. I still need to dimple the bottoms for plow bolts and recreate skegs, but I should be ready for snow soon. Snowmobile skis
Studipity won out when I lost a bolt and couldnt find it anywhere despite at least an hour searching, it showed up when it passed through the side of the second transmission... this was of course right after installing a "new" engine luckily there was no real damage except to the case which was welded without too much trouble. I took a fellows word that the engine he wanted to sell was good the original T was cut up after a barn fire and made into a buzz saw rig in the 50's so so far the engine has proved to be just fine for a doodlebug, the "original" engine will get rebuilt at some point and put back into its rightful home. My oldest daughter proved to be a good helper with the engine and stuck with me despite temeratures in the teens. pictures later
As the family has grown the seat on the doodlebug seems to be shrinking. Last spring my father and I built a trailer from a T axle, it took a while to find some T wheels in good shape, but I found some in November. I also installed a Ruckstell rear, and a 5:1 steering to make things a little easier with the skis on this winter. Also found a new(er) radiator that consistantly holds water since the bug has never had one that wasn't leaking. Trailer pictures
Not much time to work on anything but I did manage to get together a set of skis for the doodlebug. The neighbor has an old fire extinguisher that may be pressed into service as a gas tank, I have an old copper one, but it is in a little bit too good of condition to make into a gas tank. I have new spindle bushings coming to help tighten up summer running and would like to find 5:1 steering gears to ease turning for my next projects. Pictures here
I have been using the Doodlebug for some weeks and needed to address some issues: The temporary gas tank was small and poorly attached, so a dead air compressor with a 1.5 gallon air tank was refitted with a ~2" pipe nipple and cap, then a Ford 8N fuel bowl the result is good, but maybe a bit small. The tank should also be moved up higher from the carb to prevent fuel starvation on hills. The rear wheels and spokes were loose and needed to be tightened before they destroyed themselves. The hood needed to be disassembled because the rod forming the center hinge was bent and rusted. Pictures of the current state of the doodlebug as well as work on the spokes: Pictures here.
A Hardy flexible joint is used at the back of the second transmission to provide flex between the trans. and the rear end, so why not make a similar joint to go between the T-trans. and the second transmission. The joint, caused the transmission to move back 1-1/2" which ment that the arms from the rear end needed to be moved back a little too. This month mostly saw assembly and the construction of a bench seat capable of carrying the family. Pictures here.
Removed the second transmission, I knew the bearings were going, it kept falling out of first gear. I also need a better way to attach the two transmissions, the existing method was out of alignment by somewhat over 0.10" resulting in the destruction of the Model T fourth main bearing. Repairs here.
Also removed the rear axle, to find out why the yoke had almost 1/2 revolution of movement before slack was taken up. More on this later.. Update: the slack was due to an improperly located bearing race, loosening the two halves of the rear end moving the race, then retightening did a lot to fix the play.
Got the engine to run, and it runs well. All it needed was some additional voltage to it's poorly adjusted coils, new plugs and some new wires to replace the ones without any insulation. The radiator was in pretty rough shape with a serious mouse nest in it. Repairs here.
I don't know why I never thought to check Jake Smero's farm for parts though I should have while his brother Joe was still alive. I really could have learned some interesting stuff and maybe saved more interesting vehicles.
The Doodlebug needs lots of work on wear items like bushings and bearings, but otherwise is in good shape for being that it was made from used parts almost 100 years old and left in a shed for the past 30(?) years.- I got the engine to cough some bluish smoke but it needs a new carburetor. I was very glad to get the vehicle, it was built by Jake Smero the brother of Joe, who's house I own and who was very much like a grandfather to me. Joe used to talk about driving T's over Lincoln Mountain rd. where his father ran a still. (additional note:) the property has been sold for development by a local scrap yard owner (oh excuse me "auto recycler"). before the property was sold I got to look around a bit more and saved a few misc. items and learned a bit more about the doodle bugs history, it appears the Louis E. Humeswas the owner before Jake Smero and the doodlebug had come with the property when Jake bought it.