This weekend was a big one for me. After more than a year of work & delays, it was finally time to do final assembly and install the motor in the 1923 Runabout. I had a crew lined up, we had a weather window and the motor was ready at long last. I have memories of the real struggles involved in pulling the lump out. It was a battle because the motor seemed too wide for the frame and the body brackets & firewall got in the way along with that &*#$%! radius rod that seemed to have an evil will of its own and defy every attempt to get it out of the way.
I had some hopes that installation would be easier. First, I'm a year older and know more about Model Ts (!), the pan had been straightened by Glenn Chaffen and should slip in without issues and also because we took the firewall loose from its mounts to give clearance. Silly boy!
First came final assembly of the motor. The motor needed to be lifted with the strap & cherry picker to allow the starter to go on. This was done and the Bendix installed along with the cover. This area with the pedals & clutch linkage is tight, far too tight for wanting to mess with it in the car so best to get it all done ahead of time. I found some time to do some touch up painting while things were still easy to get at. Here are a few pics of the lump ready to go back in:
I did not shoot any pics of the actual installation as my buddy Dan, my brother Jim and myself got pretty busy. This time we had the radius rod pretty well licked - to start anyway. We blocked it down and laid a sheet of plywood over it. When the motor came down it it just pushed the pesky radius rod out of the way. Later, we had to remove the plywood as it got in the way but by then we were pretty well in. Thanks to advice from this forum we greased the frame rails and installed the crank for additional leverage. All of this was to the good.
Not all went so well in other areas. First, the firewall was not out of the way enough and gave constant problems. We ended up stripping everything off of it and would have taken it out entirely if we could have figured out how to do this. As it was, it was constantly in the way and received a battering from the motor & pedals and in return delivered a battering to my nice new paint. Errrrgh!
The basic problems were the same ones we encountered getting the motor out. It is still too wide for the frame and to fit past the firewall & body brackets. It needed to manhandled and levered into place and then squeezed between the rails. By the time we got it in, we were tired, cold, hungry and stupid. For some reason the rear bolts were run without getting the nose into its saddle and no amount of twisting, kicking, levering or swearing would shift it. Now we will have to loosen off the rear fixings and lever it into its mounts. That is work for next weekend! We also had a lot of trouble lining up the square drive from the u-joint with the fourth main. With so many other struggles, this just added to the complexity. We ended up using a combination of bent coat hangers and a screwdriver to achieve alignment. Wiggling a rear wheel helped in this and confirmed that we were in when the wheel quit turning.
Here are some pics taken this morning:
I was hoping to avoid project escalation and get this together quickly but that's not going to happen. With the rather sorry looking firewall & steering column so close to being out they might as well come the rest of the way out so they can be refinished. I have a new steering wheel & pittman arm to install so this might as well be done all at one time. How do you get the column out of the firewall?
IF THIS motor ever has to come out of THIS car again, I'm going to remove the body and check for frame straightness. This one might have been damaged at some point in the past. I know this car was made up from bits and pieces and it was not assembled with any love and care at all. There is much that really should be addressed! I hate to go that far as that really means the dreaded body off the frame full blown restoration I really would like to avoid. This car is supposed to be a driver!
The transmission inspection cover is wrong side up
To remove the steering shaft you will have to remove the pitman arm and the spark rod lever. The steering bracket then should slide off of the shaft and spark rod. Once you have it apart check the bushing inside of the steering bracket for wear and replace if needed. To remove the spark rod lever you will need to grind the end of the pin off and drive the pin out of the end of the rod.
Upside down is it? Mebbee that explains why the filter did not fit very well. Ah well,it is easy to flip this over now before the oil flies.
Mike, do you have a pic of the bit that needs to be ground off? Is this pin easily replaced?
Paul, see Dan's pictures here. He shows removing the spark rod lever.
Thanks Steve, you saved me from going to the shop to take a picture. Paul I have always replaced the pin with a roll pin, have never had a problem with it. Not original but makes it a little easier to remove if you ever have to do it again.
Thanks guys, this will be helpful seeing I'm going to be going down that road.
Paul I really like the color scheme of your motor.
Thanks Dexter. It wasn't planned quite that way. I started reviewing the evidence and thought it most likely Ford had painted the motor black in 1923. I choose a semi gloss Krylon that had worked well in the past and started with the idea of doing the entire powerplant that color. Larry Blair at the Tin Shed in SoCal machined my hogshead and he read the evidence the other way - he choose a cast iron colored paint called (I believe) Cast Blast. Initially I was going to shoot the hogshead black to match but decided I kinda liked the mixed look and just left it as it was.
That is probably the prettiest T engine I have seen. The hogshead looks like new.