I searched the archives for the answer to this question, but didn't get the specific answer I'm looking for. It may be there, but I couldn't find it. Some responses to other questions said the felt gasket along the front of the hogshead is too thick, but no advice was given about what to do about it. I seem to recall reading that special care has to be exercised when installing an aluminum hogshead because that gasket is thick enough to prevent the hogshead from seating properly. What is the conventional wisdom on installing this felt gasket with an aluminum hogshead? Do you peel a layer off to make it thinner? Are the ends to be folded back upon themselves as the Model T repair manual suggests? I should think that would cause the main problem of seating the hogshead if the ends are not trimmed just a hair long to seal in the corners.
I installed this hogshead under the best of all conditions with the engine on a stand. Still, I somehow managed to create a leak on top behind the engine block where I can't get at it to seal the leak. Oil is dribbling at a pretty good rate down both sides and dripping off the pan rail. The hogshead has to come off again and a new felt gasket applied. I don't recall if I peeled off a layer of this felt or not. I'm also afraid of using the gasket as is and breaking an ear off the aluminum hogshead, even if the front bolts are tightened last. So, advice on how to prepare the felt gasket from those who have installed an aluminum hogshead, please! To peel or not peel? To fold the ends up or not to fold?
By the way, I had a heck of time starting the newly-rebuilt engine in the 1914 Touring I'm helping a friend get back on the road. Everything checked out - the timing, good spark at the coils and plugs, rebuilt carb, good compression, etc. The engine should have started up after a couple chokes with the ignition off. Nope. I finally removed #1 plug (again) and this time I sprayed some starter fluid into the cylinder. Replacing the spark plug and wire, I handcranked the engine again. When it came around to #1, wham! She fired right up and ran as smooth as silk (in Model T terms!). It started up easily afterwards almost every time upon the first or second pull of the crank. I guess choking the carb was not getting gas into the cylinders at first, but the starting fluid got the fuel flowing once the engine started. I had put a little gas into each cylinder previously, but that didn't help. It was the starting fluid that saved the day - and my back. I had used Timesaver on all the bearings and even though the engine was a little tight with new piston rings, it could still be somewhat easily turned over with the hand crank. No noises from inside, either. Just the clicking of the lifters against the valve stems. That Timesaver certainly smooths out the bearing surfaces so that almost 100% contact is made. 'Should be quite a while before any shims need to be removed. It's quite rewarding to hear the engine run so nicely after all the major repairs that had to be performed to this poor engine block. Sweet!
Thanks in advance for your comments about the felt gasket and aluminum hogshead.
Hey Marshall - someone else will probably chime in but I did a lot of research on this as I'm about to install my hogshead today and tomorrow.
For the felt gasket in the front my understanding was that you need to pull it and stretch it as much as possible lengthwise. This does two things: it makes the felt thinner, therefore helping it fit correctly, and it makes it more compressed and dense, helping it seal better.
I'm going to see what people say in this thread by I'm currently planning on trimming the excess off the ends of the felt.
More importantly, I'm going with the multi-stage install process that I think maybe Wayne outlined - you apply Permatex "The Right Stuff" to the engine side of your gaskets, set them in place, and then install the hogshead and carefully tighten it down. Allow it to sit over night and then remove it the next day. Since you only have sealer on one side the gaskets should stay stuck to the engine block and pan and the hogshead should come right off. This will also allow you to check and see where any gaps or problem areas might arise, especially the front corners by the engine block. Then you make sure to goop plenty of sealer in the corners and run more "The Right Stuff" all along your gaskets and then install the hogshead again - this time it should be sealed and ready. As I type this I want to say that maybe Wayne took 3 days, he may have done the felt one day and the pan gaskets the next, but I don't remember. I'm going to see how it goes tonight and hopefully get my gaskets sealed to the pan and block and then the whole thing buttoned up tomorrow.
During the 5-6 times I've re-installed hogs heads on different engines I've run a bead of the black RTV on top of the felt, and especially at the ends of the felt and have not had any leaks so far.
"...Some responses to other questions said the felt gasket along the front of the hogshead is too thick ... Do you peel a layer off to make it thinner?"
Yes. I've split them roughly 50/50 to make them thinner. Work slowly as you pull them apart and the two thin strips should stay intact all the way down.
You will find that the strips also become longer with all the pulling — trim the length but leave some extra to wad up in those trouble areas where the pan, hogshead and block all come together.
Just finished that job on an aluminum hogshead 1915 touring. I made a post with as complete a description of the job as I could with references included.
I am convinced that 95% of all oil leaks that most people have come from the hogshead.
P.S. Don't use felt! henry wasn't perfect. ;o)
I have just one quibble with the good advice above. If you're as slow as I am, The Right Stuff is the wrong stuff. I had trouble with it setting up before I put the pieces together. For us slowpokes, good old non-hardening Permatex is better.
Steve beat me to it.
I tried Right Stuff the last time based on forum advice. A little loss in getting the clutch fork in, a little loss in getting the hogshead to pass the back of the block...and yup you exceed the open time!
Boy was that a follow me home dribble trail on the test ride! Not dribble, stream! Work quicker, apparently seals good...but I'm apparently built in slow.
I was going to redo with the black RTV and the oldest son brought me some HondaSeal, their universal goop for everything. He says bites good, stays flexible, and when time to remove is like a zip tie once you work an edge. I told him good to know, next one on that car he does it!
Thanks to all who have responded so far with their experiences and advice. For some reason, Bud's thread didn't come up in my search. That would have been helpful. Other suggestions - such as pre-fitting and gluing the felt down overnight - were gleaned in postings the search did turn up. I'm still seeing conflicting advice, though, about whether to split the felt or leave it alone, or even not use it at all. Yikes! I only want to do this hogshead removal and replacement ONE more time, so I had better have the best experienced advice at my fingertips before I start. Dang! I was sure I had that felt strip in place and glued properly the first time I did this on the engine stand. Obviously not.
If it changes your mind, after hearing from the No Felt Strip crowd, I'll be throwing my felt in the trash once I find a suitable replacement. Also, I forgot about the time issue with The Right Stuff. Last night I did a little test placement and removal of the hogshead: with the engine still in the car this is just NOT an option. If it were out on a stand then yeah, but I'll be going with Ultra-black so I have a bit more time to fight with it and get it in place. I'll still go the multi-stage route though and hope to fill her back up with oil sometime Saturday.
My driveshaft and torque tube are out (I'm getting shortened ones in the mail for my Warford) so I will use The Right Stuff on the 4th main when it goes back in.
I have always used the felt strips right out of the box with Ultra Black on either the engine or transmission side only with grease on the other side. At the corners, I place a short piece of thick string saturated with Ultra black. Never had leaks except once in a while at the corners.
I take issue with those who glue both sides down as I have found it unnecessary and makes the cover very difficult to remove.
I also don't understand why some split the felt. It compresses down anyway when you tighten the cover. I would think you want the density to keep the oil from leaking.
A seven page article "The Transmission Cover Felt" by Trent Boggess and Steve Coniff appeared in the May/June 2005 issue of "Vintage Ford."
The article includes the history of the felts as well as restoration tips.
The transmission cover felts, like all Model T Ford parts, were engineered/designed to certain specifications and drawings and memos exist for the felts.
It turns out that the hogshead felt supplied by the vendors is not made to the original specifications in that it is too thick. This can be remedied by carefully splitting the felt.
ALSO - depending on the year of the Model T, there were two types of shorter felts that were also used, an additional felt at the top of the crest between the hogshead and block and a felt under the transmission cover at each of the crankcase arms.
Interestingly enough, the Ford supplement in my 1917 edition of Dyke's Automobile and Gasoline Engine Enclopedia shows an "Edelman's" brand Model T Ford gasket set that includes the two shorter felts and lists their dimensions which are identical to those in the Ford factory drawings, including the specified 3/64" thickness.
After suggestions from others I left the felt out of my '12 and have no leaks.
I used the Right Stuff but also believe that The Ultra Black is also good if the parts are super clean with a degreaser
One of the great advantages of a Touring, at least in my case, is that you can fold the top back and use a block and tackle from the garage ceiling to help hold the hogs head in the air and lower it into position if you are doing the job by yourself, especially those of us that do not have a driver's side door! It's not a perfect set up as the front weight of the hogs head is under the dash but any little help is appreciated....
I was certain that the felt was lined up and seated properly, so it may be that an extra strip of felt needs to be placed along the top for a couple inches. I'm thinking the arch of hogshead might not be perfect, leaving a little gap up top that the felt seal can't plug. I'll try a dry fit first without hooking up the bands to see if the cover will pull down evenly with that extra bit of felt along the top. The pattern left in the impression should tell me if the thickness is correct. Too bad one can't really get between the engine block and the hogshead to run an extra bead of sealant along the front edge.
Many years ago I read this method (I believe in Tinkering Tips) and have used it ever since.
1; Clean the surface of the hogshead where the felt would go, and I mean really clean it!! It must have no oil or residue on it. Set the felt aside for some other application!!
2; Apply a bead of your favorite gasket silicon RTV that is about 1/8" thick and about the width of the surface. I want it as uniform as I can reasonably get it. I will taper it slightly at the bottom corners. Now I walk away for at least overnight (longer is better. I want it to have fully "gone off". I usually use Ultra Black.
3; When I am ready to install I apply a liberal coating of grease to the hardened silicon. I want it to slip nicely against the block surface.
4; Once it is down and I have just started a couple of bolts (not nearly pulled tight) I will inject just a little bit of silicon at the two bottom corners.
5; snug up all the bolts uniformly. Tight enough so they won't rattle loose, but not so tight that you risk breaking ears off
I have found that with this method I can probably remove it down the road and re-install and no leaks.
Unless your one of those people who has everything go perfectly the first time (and enjoy working very quickly) Ultra Black is the way to go!
The penalty for using Ultra Black instead of the The Right Stuff ? With the Ultra Black you should let it set for a full day before running the engine.
The reward for undertaking the project? I am no longer recycling oil back into the ground. ;o)
I believe when some go to the local auto parts store or hardware store they see a tube of Black sillycone they think that it is the same stuff as the Ultra Black made by Permatex.
I'm betting that this is not the case. Having used the Right Stuff with great success I think the Ultra Black is also a very good sealant providing the parts are super clean. This means using some naptha or a solvent to make sure there's no oil present.
Marshall, I use the felt strip as supplied, not split, nor cut shorter at the ends.
What works for me that hasn't been mentioned is how I apply the Ultra black. I lay the felt down on a piece of scrap material and then work a liberal amount of sealant into, not on, the felt seal. Then I turn the felt over and work sealant into that side too. What I am left with is an Ultra black seal held together by the felt.
To instal it, I fit the ends into the corners first and then work the strip onto the ledge at the back of the block. That way there is no need to cut the felt. An extra bead of Ultra black at the corners helps.
This way there are no stray globs of sealant to escape into oil lines, the felt stays in place during fitting and the cover is easily removed when next the need arises.
Mention was made of time used to keep the clutch fork lined up. I tie a length of dental floss firmly around the back of the brass fork and the tie that off around the shaft. This keeps the fork in line while you juggle the cover on, and the floss is so fine it doesn't matter if you can't retrieve it.
Hope this helps.
Allan from down under.
I've tried it several different ways, with varying results. I like the sound of Les's procedure above. That'll be my procedure from now on.
I never use RTV on any Model T part. I have said this before but no one listens. Shellac is the best sealant for the felt. It does two things. Work shellac into the felt lining until it is saturated. This will let the felt compress when the bolts are tightened down and after a day of setting up you will have a perfect seal. Easy and works every time. If you only seal the felt on the top and bottom with RTV or another sealant you will have leaks because the felt will wick oil. It cannot wick oil if you saturate it with the sealant.
I was told by an old mechanic to do what you said to do with the Shellac. My '23 does not leak except for a slight dribble from the pedal shafts. Will worry about that next time.
Glen, do you use the felt at full thickness and length or split as some have mentioned? Also what do you use at the corners--any special treatment there? Joe
Joseph, use the felt at full thickness. The shellac makes the felt pliable and it will squish down just fine and provides a very good seal. Leave the excess material on the length and put equal amounts at the ends overlapping on top of the ends of the fibre gaskets. This provides a good seal in the corners on each side.
I'm posting a follow-up here, but not the end of the story - yet. The hogshead is back in place and the engine is ready to start. What I ended up doing to stop the leak from the front of the hogshead was a combination of just about everybody's input. At the 11th hour, I followed Glen's advice and bought some shellac, with which I saturated the felt strip. The strip that arrived with the gasket kit, by the way, was thinner than I remember and it was about the right length. I recall the felt I used a few years ago as being very thick and way too long. Have the suppliers finally got the right thickness and length?
Anyway, after allowing the shellac to sit for a few minutes, I used my favorite sealant on the bottom and top of the felt. 3M's weatherstrip sealant ("Black Death") was spread over the width of the felt, paying special attention to the middle. I also ran a bead of the stuff along the bottom edge of the hogshead's arch as an added precaution. Dental floss was used to keep the clutch collar from flopping around and that worked great. I've only installed heavy cast hogsheads in the past while the engine was still in the car, so it was a pleasure placing this aluminum hogshead. What a difference on the old, aching back! I made sure to put extra goop in the front corners where the hogshead mates with the engine block and oil pan. Everything nestled down nicely and the felt strip stayed in place. As I tightened the bolts around the hogshead, the excess shellac dripped out. I did this yesterday and will allow everything to dry and set up today while I do other things to the car. This will hopefully stop the leak, which I discovered upon disassembly, may have been caused by me neglecting to run ANY sealant across the top of the felt strip. Duh!
I will post again once the engine has warmed up and report the results. When the engine warmed up was when the leak started before. Thanks again to all who shared their advice and experience.
Success! I started the engine today after allowing the shellac and 3M weatherstrip sealant on the hogshead felt strip to set up since Monday. NO leaks, even after letting the engine run for 10-15 minutes! Previously, the oil leakage became apparent after only two or three minutes running time, dripping down both sides of the hogshead. It's dry as a bone now without even a hint of leakage or wicking through the felt. Glen's suggestion about saturating the felt with shellac has great merit and seems to have helped quite a bit. Because I used 3M sealant instead of RTV goop, I don't have to worry about balls of sealant falling off and working their way down the internal oil line. I didn't trust my working speed enough to use the Right Stuff with its fast curing time (and high price). Maybe next time?
Thanks again for all your suggestions. What worked for you is great, but the shellac and 3M sealant seems to be the winning combination for this aluminum hogshead.