I think I broke my T

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Model T Ford Forum: Forum 2012: I think I broke my T
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Steve Blancard on Saturday, November 03, 2012 - 06:41 pm:

It was a nice fall day here so my wife and I took the '24 Touring for a ride into town. It was running great until I approached a stop light and was close to stopping when all of a sudden BANG! A loud noise from the engine or transmission and the immediate sound of metal bits flailing around inside. The motor was still running so I got it off the road and shut it down. I noticed the clutch did not seem to disengage. Got to a safe location and looked things over externally, but did not see anything abnormal.

Fortunately, I have the JC Taylor Roadside Assistance plan and got a flatbed to bring me home.

At home I opened up the trans cover and looked inside, but didn't see anything obvious (but I am a newbie). I drained the oil through a strainer, but got no metals chunks or debris out, the oil seemed clean. I put the rear end up on blocks and hand cranked the motor over with the plugs out and thumbs over the holes to see if I had compression. They all seemed good.
So now what? I have an experienced T goy coming over to look at it tonight. By what I told him on the phone, he said it may be the clutch spring broke. What do you guys think. This is all new to me, so I'm open to advice. Thanks

A sad sight indeed!

tow


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By R. S. Cruickshank on Saturday, November 03, 2012 - 07:09 pm:

Did you still have babbitt in the rear end? Sounds to me like the thrust washers went and the pieces got into the gears.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mike Walker, NW AR on Saturday, November 03, 2012 - 07:30 pm:

Steve -- Applying the brakes and getting a "BANG" usually points to disintegrated thrust washers, as R.S. said. I've heard that sound myself, and it sounds like it's coming from the tranny.

The good news is, it's much easier to rebuild the rear end than the engine/transmission. You don't even have to pull the engine! :-)

Jack up the rear end and test to see whether there is in/out play to your wheels/hubs/axles. (Release the parking brake.) There should be only a few thousandths of an inch of movement. If the thrust washers are gone, there will be much more than that and you will have found your problem.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Norman T. Kling on Saturday, November 03, 2012 - 07:31 pm:

I have had similar things happen. Since the engine is still running, it is not very likely to be a broken crankshaft. If the driveshaft had broken, you would have been in freewheeling. However, from the picture you have brakes on the rear wheels, so were able to come to a stop. One thing that happened to one of my cars one time was a bolt came out of the drive plate and went around the transmission and landed on top of the screen at the top. I was able to drive the car home, but the starter ring was damaged.

A cracked drum would be evident by shredded band lining inside the transmission and you would notice cracks in the drum when you rotate the engine.

You could have frozen planetary gears in the transmission. That would lock it in high even though the clutch was still working but the low and reverse would not work and it would not idle with the wheels on the ground.

Broken thrust washers in the rear axle would affect the gears and the transmission brake.

You might not be able to find out just what is broken until you disassemble it. The symptoms sound to me like something is locked in the transmission and clutch.


Good luck
Norm


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jack Putnam, Bluffton, Ohio on Saturday, November 03, 2012 - 08:33 pm:

I vote for the rear end failure.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Hap Tucker on Saturday, November 03, 2012 - 08:41 pm:

Steve,

Good news -- it will run and drive again. Keep us posted on what you find out. And pay attention when your friend helps you trouble shoot the problem. You'll be the expert to help the next person out with their T!

Also, if you haven't checked to make sure the thrust washers in the rear axle have been replaced with bronze -- I would strongly recommend that even if the problem was caused by something else. Please see: http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/257047/295678.html?1339633408
for additional information on the babbit verse bronze thrust washers.

Good luck!

Respectfully submitted,

Hap l9l5 cut off


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mike Walker, NW AR on Saturday, November 03, 2012 - 09:17 pm:

"I noticed the clutch did not seem to disengage."

I'm still confused about that part of the deal. A broken crankcase ear could cause that. But that wouldn't result in the sound of metal bits flailing around. Hmmm...........


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Steve Blancard on Saturday, November 03, 2012 - 09:19 pm:

Thanks for your thought guys. My T friend was just here and we spent an hour or so looking at it. I put the rear on jackstand and checked for axle in/out play, it was tight with no noticeable slop. The fellow I bought the car from said the rear end had been completely rebuilt including bronze thrust washers.

We made sure none of the bands were dragging and the clutch was adjusted per the service manual, all was ok. The problem seems to be that the clutch does not disengage. I can work the clutch pedal and see the fork and spring move, so it seems like it is ok, but its not. With the rear wheels in the air I can hand crank the motor and the wheels turn. If I set the parking brake, I cannot crank it as the brakes hold the drive train solidly. So its not just clutch drag due to oil. I can turn the rear wheel and the engine turns over. Basically the same test, but from the other end.

When it broke today, I distinctly heard metal piece or pieces being thrashed around. Could there be little parts in the clutch or clutch bearing than broke causing the thrashing sound and somehow lock the clutch up? Can the clutch just seize up? I just changed the oil a couple weeks ago and it was full to the upper petcock.

At this point it is looking like the engine/trans will have to come out for a further autopsy. I bought the car in July, my first T. I was hoping to just tinker and enjoy it. Was not expecting to have to do major repair like this. Rather frustrating. Time for a cold one.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Erich Bruckner, Vancouver, WA on Saturday, November 03, 2012 - 09:25 pm:

Steve, darn it. On the plus side, it would have been worse if it happened in the spring. Now you have all winter to sort it out and be ready for touring in 2013.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Steve Jelf, Parkerfield KS on Saturday, November 03, 2012 - 11:22 pm:

As Hap's link might lead you to expect, my first thought on reading your symptoms was rear axle, too. It could be something else, but I think that's the most likely culprit.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Andrew Heffey NZ on Sunday, November 04, 2012 - 01:56 am:

It could also be a flywheel magnet keeper that has come loose. You can easily check this by pulling the starter and looking through the hole while turning the engine over slowly.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Wayne Sheldon, Grass Valley, CA on Sunday, November 04, 2012 - 01:53 am:

Steve B,
Alas, but all is not lost. From your first above, I too thought "Babbitt thrust washers, again". But from your update, I would side with transmission/clutch. I don't do that often from your first descriptions.
Yes, there are several things inside the clutch that can do this. Most likely suspect depends upon what type of clutch is in your T. A triple gear can also do this. Whatever it is, you will most likely have to pull the engine out.

Take heart. This was discussed at length in the Santa Clara Valley Model T Ford Club about forty years ago.
For the most part, antique automobile people are among the best people you can ever meet. We know this. The question is "why"?
We came up with two answers.
One. People that enjoy early automobiles and history, tend to appreciate many other things. They see their place in history, past and future. They tend to care about other people that also care about things beyond themselves antique autos or not.
Second, and what is appropriate here. Antique automobiles are not for everybody. They sometimes try to "chew you up and spit you out". They do things like this. It takes a strong person to take this sort of thing and still love to work on and drive them. You can do it. It isn't that difficult. A little help, questions answered here, and you can soon be driving down the road again, knowing that YOU DID IT!
Model Ts are fun! Most of the time. Actually, if work is done properly, they are surprisingly reliable, and can be driven great distances.
With just a little luck, in a year or two, you will be on a big tour with one of the clubs. And this will be the story you swap around the parking lot and laugh.
Drive carefully, and enjoy, W2


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Wayne Sheldon, Grass Valley, CA on Sunday, November 04, 2012 - 01:54 am:

Nice looking T! (By the way)


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Fred Wicker on Sunday, November 04, 2012 - 07:22 am:

Hey Steve keep us posted..


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Bob Brewer - NorCal on Sunday, November 04, 2012 - 08:53 am:

Could be the universal joint- I thought I shredded the gears in the differential when it broke. Believe it or not, I was very happy to see the u joint fall out in pieces when I pulled the rear end out!


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By CharlesHebert on Sunday, November 04, 2012 - 09:03 am:

You may to have to check the drums. I;m with Mike on the clutch not engaging. It may be one of those projects that you have to search and discover..


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By keith g barrier on Sunday, November 04, 2012 - 01:54 pm:

Pull the engine and do a tear down to check everything or you may end up costing yourself a lot more. If you have never had the engine down before, now is the time to check it out. I trust very few other peoples word as to what has been done in the past to a T engine. KB


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Steve Blancard on Sunday, November 04, 2012 - 05:35 pm:

Since nothing is visibly wrong it looks like a teardown is in order. I'll check the u-joint first and look for anything else that doesn't look right. I appreciate your encouragement and thoughts. Its frustrating, but I've got to look at it in a positive light make it a great learning experience.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By George Hand on Sunday, November 04, 2012 - 07:50 pm:

Steve, Have you tried all the gears with the rear axle jacked up and the hand brake half way or free neutral position, spark plugs removed and being hand cranked. Does it appear to be in high gear, what does it do while an assistant pushes the clutch pedal into low, then reverse than the brake pedal. Did the engine quit or was it shut off when this first happened? Just a guess clutch plated seized?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By George Hand on Sunday, November 04, 2012 - 09:01 pm:

Steve , I reread your first post and you indicated the engine was still operating were you operation on mag or battery,also just spoke with Jim Golden his guess is a triple gear problem.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By John T. Tannehill on Sunday, November 04, 2012 - 10:46 pm:

A couple of thoughts 1st per George's point you could have thrown a magnet clamp and it got caught in the triple gears. 2nd your triple gear post/s could have wallowed out and caused the gears to bind but i'm not sure you would have heard the banging in the transmission. You most likely would if it were a magnet clamp. You may have to pull the engine, however I would take the hogshead off first. You could then inspect the flywheel for missing magnet clamps and also see if any there is damage to the magneto field coil. You need to be sure that none of the windings are loose or cut in which cased you could bird nest the transmission, don't ask me how I know. I hope its something simple but better safe than sorry.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mike Garrison on Monday, November 05, 2012 - 01:56 am:

I'm with John T, the next step is to pull the hogshead. You'll be taking it off if you pull the engine/trans anyway.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Steve Blancard on Monday, November 05, 2012 - 07:06 am:

It appears to be in high gear from what I can tell turning it by hand. As I was pulling off, I pushed in the pedal for low gear and it seemed to be struggling. Perhaps high and low both trying to work a the same time? I was running on magneto and up until I shut it off, it seemed to be working ok I think. At this point its hard to recall all the details as it happened so fast. I'm not sure what a magnet clamp looks like, but by the noises I heard, that sounds like a possibility. Can I inspect for a missing clamp by removing the starter and looking at the flywheel as it is turned?

After draining the oil I stuck my finger up into the hole to feel around for anything foreign. I found no broken chunks, but I did touch what feels like sheet metal on both the left and right side of the hole. it feels evenly located on either side of the hole, almost like it is suppose to be there. It feels firmly in place. Is this normal? If so, what is it? Or could it be parts of an errant magnet clamp? Thanks guys.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By William L Vanderburg on Monday, November 05, 2012 - 07:36 am:

My pan has that same type of thing at the drain hole. If something were to get in, like a nut, it would probably hit that hole and the pieces of metal you describe would prevent it from coming back out. Pieces of my bendix found their way into that spot.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By George Hand on Monday, November 05, 2012 - 07:42 am:

Steve, Remove starter bendix from starter prior to moving starter motor, before removing hogshead.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dale Peterson on Monday, November 05, 2012 - 07:43 am:

The metal you feel is a baffle above the oil drain, supposed to be there. You possibly could see a missing clamp through the starter hole, but the field coil is in front if the magnets yet has some holes you can see through and the tips of the magnets are at the edge of the field coil frame. I would still recomend looking, though I really expect you are looking at an engine out repair. Have you removed the transmission access cover to look inside?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dan Killecut on Monday, November 05, 2012 - 07:49 am:

could be the clutch spring cup. It happened to me once. The pin spun, and cut the end of it off.Would not disengage.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dan Killecut on Monday, November 05, 2012 - 07:51 am:

Could be the clutch spring cup. It happened to me once. The pin spun, and cut the end of it off. Would not disengage.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Steve Blancard on Monday, November 05, 2012 - 08:18 am:

A baffle? OK, that's good. I'll be sure to remove the bendix before removing the starter and peeking inside. Dan, yes we removed the access cover and looked closely the other night. We didn't see anything wrong, but I'll take a close look at the clutch spring cup and other parts again. I'll try to get a photo of it tonight. I'll start planning for an engine removal.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mike Garrison on Monday, November 05, 2012 - 08:32 am:

Steve, is there a chance you'd have access to a Borescope. A lot of repair shops have them. I've got one and I wish I was close enough to bring it to your house so you could use it.

The magnet clamp is a rectangular plate that measure maybe 1 1/2" long by 1" wide. I'm kind of guessing on the size because it's been a long time since I had my magneto apart. There'll be a countersunk hole in the middle of it.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Norman T. Kling on Monday, November 05, 2012 - 11:30 am:

From reading the above descriptions, I would rule out the universal joint or the rear axle as being the cause of the problem. I would say one of three things is wrong. One would be the clutch. You can see the fork and plate operate, and the spring is visible through the inspection hole, so the problem could be inside the clutch assembly. The ears of the clutch plates could be broken or jammed causing the plates to lock in place. The other possibility would be seized triple gears. The gears could appear normal, but unable to spin on the shafts because of seized bushings. Or some part could be wedged in between the gears causing them to be inoperative. Any of these three things could cause a noise sounding like metal breaking.
Norm


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Steve Blancard on Monday, November 05, 2012 - 12:28 pm:

Mike - no boregauge handy. Wish I did.

Norman, I agree with your conclusions. That seems to be the problem area. I started reading the MTFCA Transmission book last night. Before I do anything besides look and peek, I'll finish reading that and the pertinent parts of the service manual.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By R. S. Cruickshank on Monday, November 05, 2012 - 07:53 pm:

Ok. It seems everyone has ruled out the rear end and is focused on the mag. I took my 24 to breakfast one morning and kept hearing a tinny sound (something like a tin can hitting the radiator) and stopped to check. Nothing appeared so I went on to breakfast and parked. After breakfast I went to start the car and as soon as I hit the starter, BANG. Then nothing. I thought I had broken the crank it was sooooo loud and then the engine would not crank (even by hand). I did the tear down and found a broken magnet lodged between the flywheel and the pan. I think I was lucky it did not happen with the engine running!! My advise, tear it down and avoid a real disaster that could cost a lot.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Steve Blancard on Monday, November 05, 2012 - 09:51 pm:

I removed the bendix and starter tonight. My son slowly cranked it over while I looked into the hole. I saw no damage to the coils or anything else. I don't think there is anything else to do but pull the motor and tear it down.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jason Given - St. Paul, MN on Monday, November 05, 2012 - 10:06 pm:

Steve, sorry to hear about your problems. I cannot add much to what has already been said, beyond, take your time taking everything apart. Bag and tag everything so you know what goes where when it is time to put it back together. Take many many digital pictures along the way. You cannot take to many pictures. Again this will help you figure out how to put it all back together in the end.

I recommend using an older (extra??) digital camera, the reason for an old digital camera is it could be a bit oily/greasy when youíre done. If you are really careful you can keep it clean, so your wife wonít yell at you.

Good luck, please keep us informed of your findings.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Steve Blancard on Monday, November 26, 2012 - 11:18 am:

Itís about time for an update on my broken T.

I finally was able to pull the engine and see what happened . With invaluable help from Lee Crenshaw, we pulled it out yesterday and tore apart the transmission. After pulling the clutch drum hub, the drum/gear assembly should have pulled off easily, but didnít. While the drums could rotate slightly, they would not pull off. We improvised a puller and were able to get them off with no damage. Apparently one of the bushings was galling making it very difficult to remove. Once removed we found several problems: A couple broken teeth on the low speed drum gear, one of three cluster gear bushings frozen to the pin and signs of heat on the clutch drum hub and thrust washers behind the brake drum. We found the broken teeth in the pan. On a positive note, it has the original style clutch but has been updated with the 26-27 style brake drum with steel shoes. The drum was modified to work in the earlier style transmission. The clutch lugs look fine.

broken gear

bushing



I donít know why this happened for sure. The engine/trans was rebuilt about 9 years ago and had a lot of tours under its belt. Maybe it was my newbie driving style, using low gear too much. Maybe it was the 10w-30 oil I was using (previous owner used straight 30wt). Shortly after I bought the car in July I removed the hogshead cover to look at the bands. I found the filter screen completely clogged with band fibers. I didnít think too much about it then, but maybe that contributed to oil starvation of the bushings. Maybe it was a combination of all these factors or something else. Iíll probably never know for sure. All I can do is move forward.

Iíve got a lot on my plate at home over the next few weeks, but Iíll clean and closely examine everything and try to determine what needs to be done in the next week or two.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Terry Horlick in Penn Valley, CA on Monday, November 26, 2012 - 11:50 am:

Steve, been there. The proximate cause seems to be the seized triple gear bushing. Sometimes you get lucky and the gear spins on the bushing... but it is never good. This bushing caused the low speed drum gear failure.

The biggest cause of triple gear bushing seizure is not reaming them for enough clearance. The clogged screen leads me to a question which will raise the ire of many orthodox Kevlar drivers. When band lint is floating around it's usually not a problem unless it clogs the oil pipe. Even so a clogged oil line will not kill a triple gear bushing. I would conjecture that if there was Kevlar in there and some got into the bushing it could cause a seizure, even on a correctly set up triple gear.

I had a triple gear seize on my 1913 years ago. I have just assumed that the bushings were set up too tight... but sometimes you just can't find a cause.

Are you sure about that '26-'27 brake drum? It sounds like you might have a '25 drum. It is narrow like the earlier drums and has the lugs with shoes (shorter than the shoes in the '26-'27). The only part you have to cut down is the lug shoes. I really like that style drum, interestingly, I had one of those in my 1913 when it seized it's triple gear bushing! I am positive that is just a coincidence.

TH


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Steve Blancard on Monday, November 26, 2012 - 12:02 pm:

Terry,
It does have Kevlar bands, but I found very little Kevlar strands floating around. The previous owner has a website where he documented the rebuild years ago. He mentioned retrofitting a later model drum. I assumed it was the 26-27 type, but you may be correct. Here is his photos about 9 years ago.

http://www.cimorelli.com/projects/magnets/


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Ricks - Surf City on Monday, November 26, 2012 - 12:15 pm:

Too bad about your tranny. I had a similar event, and decided Dan MacEachern needle bearings are the answer for triple gears. Just got it running again, so no impression yet. Reverse and Low are definitely quieter.

Say Hi to Tony.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Scott Conger on Monday, November 26, 2012 - 12:25 pm:

I'll jump in with more of a question than a statement. Can it be that in many instances, we are using low gear with far too high an engine speed?

On the TN and So. Dakota International tours, there were some tremendous hills. We pulled the hills carefully, not wanting to use up a brand new engine. Most folks were impatient with us and drove around us with the engines screaming. Me met many of them near the top of the hill...all waiting for the trouble trailer. We did a lot of waving on those tours...as they passed us, and later as we passed them...

Right or wrong, I use low gear to get rolling and that's pretty much it. Not lots of low, and certainly not any real engine RPM while in low. Long hard hills are pulled with (at most) 1/2 throttle. Most new and many experienced drivers seem to rev the engine while fighting to get low band to "grab", and then run the daylights out of low before they shift. Neither situation is very good on these machines.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Steve Blancard on Monday, November 26, 2012 - 12:29 pm:

I've been reading posts about the needle bearing conversion. Something to consider. Any suggestions for removing the stuck triple gear bushing without damaging the pin?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Terry Horlick in Penn Valley, CA on Monday, November 26, 2012 - 12:40 pm:

That's Tony Cimorelli's car! He and Ed knew what they were doing when rebuilding, so the triple gears were probably set up right.

That is indeed a '25 brake drum. The only modification was probably to a set of reproduction lug shoes.

Tony mentioned on that website that the transmission was loose and wobbly before he pulled it down. He shows wear on the tailshaft but never mentions addressing the bushings in the gears. It is possible (but unlikely) that the tranny was re-assembled with the drum bushings worn. It isn't fun, but a full rebuild is in order. I would check/replace all the bushings. This includes the drum bushings with a careful reaming... on a lathe if possible.

Be very meticulous on all clearances, have the drums magnafluxed before re-use (brake and reverse... you'll need a new low drum), balance it all and hopefully you will get more than 9 years and a few thousand miles out of it this time!

This shows that with old cars no matter how careful you are, things happen. ... don't I know it!

Cheers, TH


That photo in the link is quite interesting. I've seen a bunch of reverse drums broken like that one...all of them had Kevlar bands in use.



(P.S. Unlike most folks on this board, I recommend not using Kevlar on your new rebuild, take a look at wooden bands. Now is a great time to change to them, I feel they can't be beat!)


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dale Peterson on Monday, November 26, 2012 - 12:44 pm:

The pin IS damaged


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Ricks - Surf City on Monday, November 26, 2012 - 01:32 pm:

The bushing will probably come off when you push the pin forward out of the flywheel. Otherwise, you'll have to cut it off.

Dan includes new hardened pins with his needle bearings. You have to send him a set of gears.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jerry VanOoteghem on Monday, November 26, 2012 - 01:47 pm:

My dad had a bushing seize like that. Once the bushing was cut off, the pin was o.k. It just needed a little polishing and has been working fine for the last 30 years or so.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By john kuehn on Monday, November 26, 2012 - 01:49 pm:

I agree with Scott Conger about driving T's. There is a big temptation to have a road race on the tours instead of just going along on a nice easy drive.
I think its because we mostly drive "modern cars" and driving at another pace is just to slow.
Things do happen with Model T's as in any other car.
You just have to remember its not like a vehicle that is 75-100 years newer.
Its older and slower and needs to be treated that way.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Wayne Sheldon, Grass Valley, CA on Monday, November 26, 2012 - 06:16 pm:

The pin is smooth. The inside of the triple gear where the bushing should be pushed into, is not smooth. Often, if a bushing seizes onto the pin, the gear will run on the frozen busing for quite some time. Eventually, the slightly rough surface inside will chew enough brass off of the bushing (I see brass flakes on the drum gear) that the gear begins to knock around and climb the drum gears. Soon after this point, something really breaks.

The nicest, smoothest, quietest, model T transmission I ever ran, was behind a tired old oil-burner of an engine. I had built up a nice engine to replace that old smoker, but decided to use the old tranny. It was just SO-O nice!
When I pulled the flywheel and transmission off the engine, one of the triple gear pins fell out into the webbing holes of the transmission drums that happened to be lined up perfectly to allow it. (Consider this, that is the wrong way. There is a head on the triple gear pin that is not supposed to go through the flywheel!) The triple gear then fell out of the suspended transmission and put a small chip in the concrete.
I had a tour coming up in about a week, and no transmission to put on my fresh engine. Not much in that transmission was usable except the clutch. The flywheel was very much not usable, and a second triple gear bushing was also frozen onto its pin. I had to scramble to get a tranny rounded up and make the tour.
It may have sounded nice, but I cannot imagine that it could have run much longer.
My experience insists that many people who "know what they are doing" set model T transmission bushings too tight. Model Ts like to run a bit loose! Also, make sure the bushing is a good, snug, firm, fit into the gear. Beyond that, I would recommend some Loctite. The "big gap" stuff. I think I use "red". I also think there is a better one, but the local store doesn't have it.
Thank you for the update. I do wonder about these things. And good luck!
Drive carefully, and enjoy, W2


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mike Garrison on Monday, November 26, 2012 - 08:40 pm:

Let's think about this, which way to go. Pay the price for a new set of pins and press them in or tear everything apart again in 2 years? And then pin bearings or not is the same as asking 35 moving parts or 1? And this transmission has already broken once? And the way Henry did it originally has worked in most instances for up to 100 years.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Steve Blancard on Tuesday, November 27, 2012 - 07:13 am:

I don't want to do this again and don't mind spending the money or time to get it done right. But I don't have the special tools, fixtures and experience to do it myself. As Clint Eastwood said "a man's got to know his limitations". So with that in mind, who would you recommend to rebuild it? I'm in northern Virginia. If I can find someone good within a few hours drive, I'd prefer to deliver it personally rather than ship it. Suggestions?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By John Manuel, Lafayette, La. on Tuesday, November 27, 2012 - 08:31 am:

Steve--did you notice any roughness or chatter in low or reverse in days prior to the failure? Mine is acting oddly and one of the local T guys said it sounded like worn bushings in the planetary gears.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By James A. Golden on Tuesday, November 27, 2012 - 01:10 pm:

Note that Ed rebuilt that transmission about 10 years ago and Z Bronze triple gear bushings are mentioned in Tony's photo series.

Was that Z Bronze the material that everyone had problems with for a few years? There was a lot of discussion about that material on this Forum at about that time.

I find it very interesting that the transmission performed well for 10 years. Tony drove the car on several tours with no problems that I can recall.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Steve Blancard on Tuesday, November 27, 2012 - 06:33 pm:

John - no chatter or other issues up until it broke.

I too wonder about the many previous years of good service before this happened. I have to attribute it primarily to my newbie driving style, using low gear too much. I also think the clogged filter screen I found earlier may have been a contributing factor due to reduced oil over the drums. Whatever the cause, its time to look forward, not back. I'll get it properly repaired and back on the road. Then I'll be smilin' again!


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Wayne Sheldon, Grass Valley, CA on Wednesday, November 28, 2012 - 12:24 am:

As I mentioned about my transmission, from years ago. I don't believe it could have run much longer given one seized bushing and one pin falling out of the flywheel. Yet it was the smoothest and quietest T transmission I ever had. And I have had a few that other people said sounded great.
I absolutely agree that you should get it fixed right. However I cannot recommend anyone in that area because I have not seen enough of their work. There are several regular posters on this forum that I think would be good. And a few of them should be only a few hours from you.
My only other main concern, is that they make certain that the bushings are solidly, properly, installed in the gears. Over the years, I have known several people that had transmissions rebuilt by someone that "knew" what they were doing only to have them fail with a seized bushing. It is my belief that a combination of about one thousandth too tight on the pin, but not properly installed in the gear was the cause. About a year ago, I looked through a bunch of triple gears I have. I found only about one in five that the busing fit "properly" in the gear due to issues within the gear itself.
Good luck!
Drive carefully, and enjoy, W2


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Bob Shirley on Wednesday, November 28, 2012 - 02:18 am:

If the pins were replaced before, then the .002 oversize card has already been played. What do you do? Would it not be better to polish the pin that is there and not risk new lose pins?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Steve Blancard on Wednesday, November 28, 2012 - 06:44 am:

Last night I finished making the engine stand adapter and got the motor transferred from the the hoist to the stand. Then I removed the flywheel. Here's a look inside:

inside

The motor looks very clean inside, besides a few strands of band lining here and there.

The bushings in the two triple gears that did not seize appear to be tight in the gears. I looking in the bore of the other one and it looks smooth. It didn't seem to be harmed by spinning on the bushing.

I hadn't thought about oversize pins being used previously. As a newbie, I'm not sure what to do with that. Still looking for tips for getting that frozen bushing off without damaging the pin.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Roger Karlsson, southern Sweden on Wednesday, November 28, 2012 - 07:00 am:

Since you won't use the bushing anymore, you can grind on two sides with an angle grinder - just stop before you cut much into the pin. A regular two jaw puller might grab the cuts and pull the bushing. If it wants to slip you can force the jaws together with a large hose clamp.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Bob Shirley on Wednesday, November 28, 2012 - 10:42 am:

Or with one big hammer or piece of heavy iron, held very solidly against one side of the bushings and a small hammer used to tap the other side of the bushings you can stretch the bushings enough to get them off. Check the ball cap (fourth main) clearance, should be about .002, if it is much more that that I'll cut and polish the the shaft and pour the cap to match. You pay the shipping and it won't cost a penny. Bob @ 903 824 1949


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By James A. Golden on Wednesday, November 28, 2012 - 10:47 am:

Actually, if that bronze bushing was warmed with a torch, it might slide right off then.

A good torch and a big hammer are both excellent tools for the Model T work.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jerry VanOoteghem on Wednesday, November 28, 2012 - 01:29 pm:

Steve,

My belief is that the bushing was seized early on and was not a factor in the failure. The true culprit was the low drum gear. I have seen them cracked but never saw one that let go, until yours. Look carefully for anything that might have gotten in between those gears to cause this.

My dad's touring had a seized bushing that he finally got around to fixing years later, when the engine was pulled for a new starter ring gear. It was a little noisy but did fine until fixed.

Revving up too high in low will certainly add wear to the parts involved, but wouldn't be the cause of this.

If the pin is still smooth, round & tight, leave it be. Get a new bushing in your triple gear, (if the gear teeth on it are not damaged by the crunch), and replace that low drum gear. You'll be good to go.

What was the cause of it all? Most likely, 100 year old parts that just wore out. There doesn't need to be any more to it than that.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Terry Horlick in Penn Valley, CA on Wednesday, November 28, 2012 - 02:50 pm:

Jerry might be right on this one. Check all the brake drum clutch lug shoes. I had one fail once and it buggered up the triple gear pin when it went through the triple gear, munching teeth could also happen. If you are missing a shoe you might have found the proximate cause. The macerated shoe ended up in my oil screen.

Of course I did read that you said the clutch lugs looked fine, I'm not sure you were referring to the lugs or the shoes.

TH


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Steve Blancard on Wednesday, November 28, 2012 - 05:30 pm:

Bob S. - thanks for the offer, that is very generous.
Jim - I'll try heating the bushing and see what happens. Maybe I'll get lucky.

100 year old parts, sure is possible. Both the brake drum lugs and steel shoes were intact and in excellent shape. The clutch hub got hot as did the 3 thrust washers. They were blue. I wonder if the clutch hub could have moved towards the front, loosing the .018"-"022" clearance and causing it to heat up, expand and lock up. But the clutch hub was on tight. It took a strong puller to remove. I still need to examine all the parts closely, just haven't had time yet.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Steve Blancard on Thursday, November 29, 2012 - 07:02 am:

Here is a shot of the brake drum:

drum

And here's one of the thrust washers:

thrust

There was a lot of heat at the thrust washers at some point.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Steve Blancard on Thursday, November 29, 2012 - 07:06 am:

The mag ring looks good, I see no damage:

mag

The transmission shaft has some scoring from the thrust washers and bushings:

trans shaft

Should this shaft be replaced? Are new ones as good as the originals?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By ex trooper on Thursday, November 29, 2012 - 07:26 am:

Read the article about the transmission / shafts, and ALIGNMENT... troop

http://mtfctulsa.com/


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By James A. Golden on Thursday, November 29, 2012 - 07:44 am:

Steve, we also need to see a photo of the 4th main bearing condition and the end of the transmission back plate.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By george house on Thursday, November 29, 2012 - 07:56 am:

Good question Steve,
Has anyone researched the specifications for the transmission shaft? Like everyone else, I have about a dozen of these originals on the shelf and would be pleased to select one that met specs and send it to you.
I've really enjoyed the 30 minutes or so reading this mini-mystery while listening to the morning news and watching the sun come up


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Steve Blancard on Thursday, November 29, 2012 - 08:52 am:

That article on the Tulsa site looks really interesting. I've printed it out and will read it carefully. I need to get batteries in my other camera, the cell phone pics are not as good as I'd like. But I'll get some shots of the 4th main and back plate. A new shaft from Lang's is about $200 - ouch. If mine can be cleaned up and used or a better one obtained, all the better.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Steve Blancard on Thursday, November 29, 2012 - 07:02 pm:

Ok here's the 4th main bearing. It looks pretty good to me:

4th

Here's the rear shaft that goes through it.

tail

The fit is nice, not more than a couple thousandths clearance by the feel of it.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By James A. Golden on Thursday, November 29, 2012 - 07:30 pm:

Steve, if I'm not wrong, that blue colored material is spun Babbitt on the tail shaft.

If my memory is not wrong, Babbitt melts at about 880 degrees F.

That shaft looks like it endured a rough life.


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