About 2 years ago I bought what appears to be a nice low mileage 14 Touring car with all the correct parts. The engine build number dates to July 2nd 1914. The car was restored in the early 60's and then was used as a display in a restaurant in Aspen CO until I bought it. I have babied it and driven it sparingly as I tried to get a grip on its condition. I drove the car around town on many short trips and it runs great but the Magneto is intermittent. I finely got up the nerve to drive it on a long trip. About 35 miles into the trip the car started to smoke like a crop duster. I drove it home and put it up on stands and have not touched it for 2 months until tonight. I figured it needed rings so I decided to pull the head and see what was going on. Incredibly the bores miked out at an average of 3.752 but the walls looked like they had been polished. Oh what the heck lets pull the motor and get it over with. I started prepping the motor to pull it out. When I pulled the front valve cover a river of oil poured out of the valve galley. Same thing with the rear. No wonder it smoked! I looked at a later single cover block and it has drain holes in the galley and then looked at a 17 block and it has drain holes as well. I can find no sign of a drain hole in the front or rear sides of the 14 block. Did the earlier blocks not have the drain holes or did my 14 block miss this step in the manufacturing process?
Yes, there are drain holes. Look in the center, I believe.
The 17 block I looked at has them but there is no sign of them in the 14 block.
Yes, in the centre, inline with the studs that hold on the cover.
I have cleaned up the bottom of the valve galley and the drain holes are just not there! No wonder my car is low mileage. No one could have driven it very far the way it smokes! LOL.
I have another 14 block in storage shed next to the T shop. I am looking forward to looking at it tomorrow to see if it has the drain holes.
Paul, What will be fun for you is drilling some drain holes if you are not going to dismantle the motor, maybe lots of grease on the drill bit and some serious block flushing, any other ideas?
Paul, for what it's worth, I think I have seen this problem posted on here before. Might be worth a search. If you decide to drill some holes, I think Kerry has a good idea, and also maybe take the inspection cover off and get some rags up in there to catch anything else that falls out. Dave
Run a shop vac next to area to pull away the chips. If you want to get real creative, hook the exhaust of your shop vac to the oil fill hole to pressurize the block and the chips may be blown out the hole while drilling through the last portion. You don't want grease on the drill bit for that operation. Drill slowly so there are no big chips.
Encyclopædia, Engine Changes "10-01-14 T400C Specified 1/4" drain holes in valve chambers"
Presumably drain holes did not exist before the change (or were they a different size)?
The early blocks do not have the holes in them, you need to drill them in, unless you want to make an open valve engine out of it some day.The tappets get loose and the oil will travel and the vaccum of the cylinders will suck the oil into the chambers causing blue smoke.
I found the same thing in my 1912. Engine had been off for 3 - 4 hours. Pulled the valve chamber cover and had oil everywhere! You just need to drill the holes. You will have to remove the lower pan inspection cover and put rags all around to catch the shavings.
Joe and Royce are correct. Early blocks did not have the drain holes.
If there are no drain holes, how did the oil get there in the first place.
There are holes in the inboard walls that allow oil mist from inside the crankcase to lube the valve stems and tappets.
It amazes me at how many Ts they built without the drain holes. Maybe Ford figured that was something the owner was supposed to add himself.
The same way as it gets into the cylinders to burn and make blue smoke! Vaccum! The intake stroke pulls the oil into the valve gallery past the lifters. Then the excess oil is pulled into the cylinders through the valve guides and then is burnt. Then there is that crankshaft turning up a fine mist of oil that gets everywhere. The holes are in the bottom are drains so this does not happen.
Thanks for the information guys. There was plenty of blue smoke! I am surprised that someone did not call the DPS or Fire Department on me. I will drill the drain holes but have not decided if I am going to pull the motor yet. I think it is odd that the car did not smoke at all until it had been driven about 35 miles without stopping. I would like to put new SS valves and adjustable tappets in it but it ran fine other than the smoke screen.
It probably took 35 miles to pull enough oil in to submerge the valve guides.
ahhh, but lest we forget the almighty ritual associated with early motoring...
The perfunctory requirement to don the gaunlet glove, fetch an oil can, and show how astutely and learned one was by dripping oil along the open stems
Until FORD figured most of the folks didn't want to be astute and learned!
Another thing to use in conjunction with a shop vacuum, is to place magnets along side where you drill the holes. Do both, what one doesn't grab, hopefully the other will.
You mention changing the valves. MAKE SURE you are not running the original "two piece" valves. They don't break very often, but they do sometimes split or otherwise separate from the stem and drop into the cylinder. That MAY be an acceptable risk with a '20s engine block. But definitely not a risk you want to take with a rare/expensive to replace early block.
Drive safe, and Happy Holidays, W2
Paul -- It seems I remember "Uncle Bill" talking about driling those holes in an early engine, maybe the Torpedo he built. I agree with Wayne, if your engine has the 2-piece valves, I'd pull it and replace them.
Paul, you may have helped with a smoking 1916 which has a 14 block. It is worth the effort to check, those gaskets are still almost cheap and I am sure I can add those holes if needed?
I don't think Ford felt the holes were necessary as the problem doesn't seem to exist unless you over fill with oil or add dippers or other outside oilers to increase oil flow. My '12 never smoked until it was rebuilt and we added dippers and an outside oiler. Sure enough, after a few hours of running it stated to smoke. Opened up the valve covers and there was a puddle of oil on the floor. We added the drain holes and the problem went away.
That is an interesting observation. I did add an outside oil line.
Instead of drilling drain holes why not make covers with little oil lines running to the front oil filler hole so you make the most of the oil droplets? Not sure if that is a good idea or not actually
That is not a bad idea but I have a sight glass in the outside oil line and there is plenty of oil going to the front of the motor. I think that Val may have solved the mystery.
Another real easy fix would be to vent the valve covers in some manner. If a vacuum can't be built up, there can't be oil pulled into that area.
With that said, I think the oil holes need to be drilled for good valve lubrication.
You can do a valve job in-frame.
Paul, before drilling, it would be interesting to remove the outside oil line and drive 35+ miles to check whether that's the cause of the smoke .
Well...... its to late for that. It was a nice day here in Denver and the 14 is in the unheated garage so I opened the doors, let the sunshine in, and got busy. The holes are drilled and the valve guides have been reamed .015 over for new valves that I will order tomorrow.
Way To Go Paul, if your going to be a bear, be a Grizzly.
I am going to take that as a complement! My day job keeps me very busy and I do not have the as much time available as I would like to fool with my T's. It is the end of the year and I am using up my PTO time and that is why I tore into the 14, 2 months after it acted up. I should also add that the exhaust manifold is the worst warped thing I have ever seen. LOL. I will order a new one as well.
Update. I ordered a set of valves, high compression pistons and adjustable lifters from Langs. The valve seats were redone with Neway cutters with a 3 angle valve seat. In retrospect I should have pulled the engine out of the car but I managed to get everything installed and buttoned it up tonight. It seemed a little tight and I was worried that it would be hard to start with the crank. To my complete amazement it tried to start on the 4th pull and then started on the 7th pull. SWEET. I just thought that it ran good before this. I can't wait to take it for a drive tomorrow. However after starting it I realized that I forgot to install the cotter pins on the rod bolts! Oh well that is easy to fix.
Better you remember now than the rod tells you later! thanks for the update.
Happy New year! And drive carefully, W2
Paul - How'd you like the Neway valve seat cutter? Did you buy a specific size pilot with your cutter? I just bought the adjustable pilot and it worked great! I think that those Neway carbide valve seat cutters are the best way to get a nice 3-angle valve seat like you did; much better than grinding valves seats the old way as it's much more accurate, even though you do it by hand. What surprised me was that Neway in their instructions that came with my outfit made a big deal out of NOT lapping the valves in after cutting the new seats. When you think about it, most automotive machine shops don't ever bother to hand lap any more either.
By the way, the big guys were out of new T exhaust manifolds. I remembered that Ken Meek of Townsend Automotive had a bunch for sale at Chickasha last year. I did not have the number for him but Dave at Chaffin’s gave it to me. I called Ken and he had 17 in stock, and he sent me one with an invoice as he does not take credit cards. I think that is great service. He did not know me from Adam but sent me a darn near $100 part on the understanding that I would pay for it after I received it. T guys are the best!
I bought the Neway cutters about 7 or 8 years ago. When I bought them I got 3 pilot's to cover the 3 sizes of valves sold for T's. I love them. I have lent them to several T guys to do valve jobs on their T's. I still lap the valves but you are right most automotive machine shops do not bother to lap the valves any more.
The reason I lap the valves is that I want to know that the valve seat in the block is concentric with the valve guide bore. If you gently lap the valve and see the seat in both the valve and block you know that you have done it right.
Are those neway cutters antique or modern? can you git them today? I would be interested in gitting a set, thanks for any info.
They are modern carbide cutters that will cut seats in cast iron or hard seats. They are not cheap. I figure that I have been rebuilding T motors for about 35 years and I will get my money's worth out of them.
I have cutter #642 and #643 and that will cover standard size T valves. If you want to use oversized valves in your T you will need larger cutters.
Tom - I think if you use the keywords feature of this forum you will find a lot of discussion about the Neway valve seat cutters. They are very modern and a very fine piece of equipment. I found out that Harley Davidson uses them on their motorcycles and I verified that with a Harley Mechanic in the huge Harley Davidson dealer/service agency here in Tacoma, WA. He showed me the COMPLETE Neway valve cutter set that they have at their dealership, and he told me that he personally does all of the valve work at their agency and that they use Neway cutters exclusively. That was what convinced me to send for the set that I got. The fellow at Neway that I talked to on the phone was extremely helpful and helped me pick out just exactly the cutters and adjustable pilot that would be suitable for Model T engine/valve work and I couldn't be more pleased. Sorry for the long-winded answer but I hope this helps,.......harold
Sorry Paul - we were typing at the same time,...harold
I could not agree more.... When I found out about Neway and called them they were very helpful and made sure that I was ordering the cutters and pilots that I needed. I have used valve grinding stones and/or tool steel seat cutters in the past and will never go back to them. The Neway cutters are much more accurate. As I posted I still lap the valves to be sure that all is concentric but have never had a problem with the Neway system.
Paul - It's a pretty weird combination that I have for valve work; I have the Neway carbide valve seat cutters for a nice 3-angle valve job, and I also have an old Sioux hand-operated tool that's as old as a Model T for refacing valves. You know, the kind that you clamp in your bench vise, then oil up the valve stem and clamp it in the little Sioux fixture, then clamp the crank handle onto the end of the valve stem, and then hand crank the valve whilst forcing the head of the valve against the cutter blade by gradually tightening the thumbscrew against the head of the valve. All hand work and pretty slow, but hey, it works for me! Ha,ha,.....harold
I did my first real valve job in 1975 while working for a Gulf Oil Gas Station in Austin Texas located on Airport Blvd. I had to learn how to surface the stones of the Sioux grinder in order to maintain the angles. I still have a valve grinder like you describe but it is a early Blue Point/Snap On system. I did a good job of it and was expected to continue to do them at minimum wage! The Neway system is a bit better!
Will you pls post the Neway part numbers/dimensions for the three angle seat cutter and the appropriate adjustable pilot for use in model T engines?
I have Neway cutter #642 that cuts 46 and 31 degrees and cutter #643 that cuts 15 and 60 degrees. I bought the 5/16 expandable pilot part # 150-5/16, the 5/16 + 15 solid pilot part # 140-5/16+15, and the 11/32 solid pilot part # 140-11/32. I hope that helps.
Many thanks, this helps a lot.
Have a good new year, Jim