Anyone ever had to drive their T on trails with deep sand? I guess with 30x3 and 30x3 1/2 clincher tyres you cannot reduce the air pressure like with modern tyres...correct? How about tying pieces of rope between each spoke on the rear tyres?
Many moons ago I saw I a MODEL A with tire chains on all four wheels at the HUGHES TOOL Company Duck Hunting range on the Gulf Coast. This worked well in the mud and sand there. Your rope should work similarly. The bigger the rope diameter the better. You might be able to spiral the rope thru the spokes and around and only tie it once.
Here is a past thread:
Rope may work in a short term pinch but for any distance in sand or mud I bet steel chains would be the way to go.
Here is a link with some interesting stories of early Africa travels, roads were not quite as good then.
Best Tip is... "Stay out of it" you’re asking for trouble.
Just remember when your Towing it Home I Told You So !
"Towing it home" is not an option. Constantine is traveling from South Africa to Moscow in his 1913 Model T.
I don't think rope or chains is the way to go in sand, you need flotation, not traction. Maybe a combination of rope and low pressure in the tires. I would think that in sand, you could reduce the pressure somewhat if you are careful, I don't know. There are a lot of pictures taken back in the day of T's traveling in the desert. My best guess is that they had smooth tires, perfect for sand. There were some pictures in a thread just a while back that addressed this problem. As I recall, the best looking solution was a track-like setup that was mounted on the tires. Good luck! Dave
Constantine, A Model T will drive through sand or mud well. You must have seen videos of them going through mud etc axle deep. Obviously the more weight you have on board the more it will effect your progress and the mechanics need to be in good shape.
As you have access to a computer look up on Trove "Ford" in the teen years and you will find lots of articles of new owners driving their cars out into the country in Australia. Such stories were put out by the dealers to promote the sales and helped the Ford become the leading make in the country (world wide to)
On the Pincher Creek tour we had the option of driving through a small creek crossing which was gravel bottom and muddy banks. The Kamper went through twice. I had Stan Howe with us and he gave the wife his camera, it shut down before we were organised so I had to go around again. The Kamper didn't hesitate just drove in and out up the bank. Dean Yoder went through with his trailer on the back.
Peter, trying to go through dry sand or mud are two very different problems. Kind of like comparing apples to oranges. Dave
"Sand" is a pretty general word. I live very close to the gulf coast of Florida. The parking lot of my favorite pizza place consists of beach sand. I made the mistake of parking 'Lizzie' in the lot one day. I was down to the rims almost instantly. I had to keep swapping between low and reverse to get moving again. Once I got moving, I managed to get back out on the street. It's not something I'm going to try twice.
Should have added about your tires, do not let any air out you will just tear out the valves as the tires will turn on the rims
David, yes, sand and mud are entirely different but whatever the ground is you are going to be able to drive in or through it or not.
Unfortunately we don't know exactly what Constantine will strike and either does he but a Model T will be as successful or more so than other cars. I would think his route would be on tracks others travel on. If it is he should be OK and he will be able to get help from those also using the track/road. Obviously if you venture off road you are asking for trouble.
I think his biggest problem is he is travelling alone, that will be a problem for him often where it wouldn't be if he had a passenger.
Thanks for your replies.
Okay, I didn't think one could lower pressure on clincher tyres. David Stroud is right that it's better to have flotation in sand but with 60psi thin tyres you will not get any, so you need the tyres to get traction. I will take some thick rope with me to use if needed.
I'll be sticking to tracks but because of wet season and large trucks, roads might be very bad.
+++ jpeg +++ 248990 +++ These guys just drove on out....
++++++ jpeg +++ 248991 +++ This may help in the sand.
+++You may end up needing this....
These guys just drove on out.....
These may help in the sand..
So, I guess you need helmets, mustaches, and car clogs.
We do it around here. Hang on to the steering wheel with both hands--tight!! 21" tires are much better than 30x31/2 with 30 x3 being the worse.
The purpose of letting air out of the tires is to flatten the bottoms so they'll sit on top of the sand instead of sinking in. I used to do that to drive on sand dunes with my VW. But letting the air out of clinchers is not a good thing, so the alternative is to widen the "footprint" with attachments like the ones in Erich's last picture.
Does depend on the type of sand, we find the packed sand at Ormond Beach FL to be the best...
I think the "type of sand" owes more to location than to material. Sand is much more solid when it's moist than when it's dry.
Beach sand is likely to be moist beneath a dry surface. In deserts and other inland locations the dry surface often goes much deeper.
Constantine, Wet sand would be better than very dry sand. The wet season may be to your advantage as most sands that I have seen become almost hard when wet.
You need a plank road. In the desert between El Centro and Yuma there is a stretch of san dunes. Many years ago, the main highway through that area was made of planks tied together and laid over the sand.
I suppose, depending on how long the sandy area is, you could lay something, even heavy canvas over the sand, at least for enough distance to get the car moving, and then keep on moving as far as you can go without stopping, and then repeat.
Driving in loose, deep sand isn't so much an issue of traction as it is one of steering. Take it slow! In sand, the car will swerve right and left. It will also wrench the steering wheel from your tightest grasp and send the car flinging off the road. Seen it happen a few times.
I wonder if the device posted by Ed in California worked? With only the rear wheels to drive all those other wheels, I can see the rears just spinning round inside the tracks once things get sticky. Anyone know the where and what on that photo? The Tank looks like a Male MKIV of 1917, which would match the T.
Watch out for the air filler tube, skip that one.
Here's what you need to find, year 1925
How to add ropes to rear wheels. http://www.flickr.com/photos/bruckzone/6285565298/in/set-72157625985910301/
Unless someone has one of those Sandmobile conversion kits laying around they can send me, I'll have to make do with rope on the rear wheels. Wonder how much rope I'll need for each wheel?
12 x 3.1416 x 5.5 x 1.2 plus enough for a knot. About 25 ft.
You might also take some arrowhead anchors, sledge and anchor driver, a winch, and length of tow rope.
Thanks Ted. I guess how much rope depends on how I do it. What is the best way to do it? Is it best to tie the two ends of the rope together at the end of the process, or to tie each end to something else? Andrew makes a good point to keep clear of the air filler tube.
Here is a copy of one of the articles I mentioned before
SYDNEY TO. ..CAIRNS In a "FORD" CAR.
The triumphant manner in which Mr. G. ˇR. Mayers- is negotiating this long and. trying . journey, speaks volumes, for. the efficiency of
the Ford" car It is really wonderful how these little light cars stand up to rough work, and is a striking proof of their strength and durability. Upon his arrival in Cairns, . Mr. G. fi. Mayers will have some interesting facts to narrate with regard to crossing the Interior of Queensland, "Fording" the Barcoo, Thompson and numerous other rivers and creeks, ploughing through ' sandy plains, rushing steep gullies, sandy creeks, bore streams and billabongs. Mr. Mayers left. Longreach on Monday morning, reached Hughenden via Winton, a distance of 220 miles, early on Tuesday morning, and is now making for Einasleigh. Mayers Ltd. are local agents for the "Ford."
I wonder if Constantine should have thought of this problem before he left. What would be a better solution for him would be a set of proper chains for his wheels. Has anyone got a set they could sell or lend him? All it would mean is they would have to get them to South America.
Also thin section wheels work very well because they cut through the soft top layer and find hard dry ground underneath. I have had experience where a 192o's car with thin wheels went places that stopped 4 wheel drive vehicles ( Jeeps) the wide tires on the 4x4 would float on top especially in mud and letting the tires down didn't work well enough but the thin wheels easily got traction.
The swamp buggies use this type of wheel usually large diameter and very thin in width.
Peter, again, driving through dry sand and wet sand or mud are two completely different situations. I have posted about getting caught in soft mud in my coupe this spring. Wet sand is very easy to drive through.I haven't tried to drive through dry sand in my T, but I doubt it would go through it very well with any type of chains or rope tied around the wheels. I would think it would just dig two nice holes. As I have said, I haven't tried it, I may be wrong. I think I would try some different ideas in a controlled scenerio, as in haveing a tow vehicle handy if whatever I tried doesn't work. JMHO. Dave
David, I wasn't suggesting that chains or ropes would work in dry sand, if you look at the photo taken at the Pyramids you will see its dry sand. I drove through dry sand om Long Beach in Washington state when we were there. It wasn't a problem.
Having rope or chair will allow him to use them if the situation warrants it. He needs both options.
I think if you rope up like they do in that photo that Gary posted the link to, you are going to have lots of floatation. Putting multiple "wraps" between spokes. I'm sure doing all four tires like this would really help you float. I also wouldn't do it unless I had to.
The few times I've done this to play in the snow, I just started by tying the rope to a spoke, and finished the same way. You won't want to go too fast like this. I'm assuming you have wood spokes, but I'm not sure.
Why don't you buy some rope and give it a whirl? Are there any sand dunes in your locale where you could try it out?
If not maybe you could get someone with a tractor and a tiller attachment to pulverize some ground, a foot deep or so and give it a try.
The arrowhead anchors will give you a way out if you are totally mired.
Thanks again for the advice everyone.
I have been on the lookout for chains for 30x3 1/2 wheels but have not seen any for sale...they're not a common item especially in Australia.
I should say that I am carrying a tow rope, a snatch strap with 20% strech, a large shackle, a shovel...so if a get stuck I'll hopefully be able to dig myself out or get a pull out.
I'll buy some rope and maybe cut a few planks to fit on the running boards (attach them there with C-clamps). In deep sand I can also some cut tree or bush branches to put on the sand.
Getting stuck is not my main concern...hope the car will stay together as many miles on rough roads lay ahead.
I have a great photo of Francis Birtles driving his Model T in 1913 or 1914 (chains or ropes on the rear wheels, and all the mud guards removed) in "unknown Australia" which I'll put on my website when I have a chance.
Had thought of buying a small winch but I'm carrying enough weight as it is...even a small winch is heavy.
Constantine, Hopefully you won't find the black soil that we have here in parts of Australia. Francis Birtles reduced his car down to a vehicle not far off a speedster saving weight and stopping the black soil from bogging him.
When it gets wet it turns into a glue, If you have guards on it builds up on the tires. what happens is it goes like chewing gum on top and as you drive over it the mud sticks to the tire and peels off a thickness of about an inch leaving the ground dry under it.
The further you drive the more it sticks to the tire until it puts so much mud under the guard that eventually the wheels cant turn easily and you overload the wheels till you stall.
The only way out is to remove the guards so it can't pack up, or if you have chains you loosen them off and get someone ( or more than one) to bounce up and down so that as the wheels turn the loose chain scoops enough mud out from under the guard that the wheel can keep turning.
I have been told this is an Australian thing so hopefully you will not strike it on your trip and you won't have to resort to Birtles methods.
I would hope that the route you are taking is on previously traveled ground if so it should be a lot easier for you.
6.70-15 tire chains will work on 4.50-21 wheels.
I think they would work on 30 x 3 1/2 also. I used the chains from my 52 Ford on my 27 Model T years ago.
6.70 x 15 is 28.4 inches in diameter, 4.50-21 is 29 inches in diameter, 30 x 3 1/2 is 30-31 inches in diameter.
The point is you can likely use a "modern" tire chain even though it is not the "correct" size. You can add or remove links to or from the chain also.
Peter, I see what you mean. I also know what you mean about the 'black soil' in Australia. It is not only located there. We have the same type of soil here in the MO. River Bottom area. We call it Gumbo. It acts exactly the same way that you describe. It is very fertile, but farming it requires a lot of finesse! Dave
David, there is an area in western St. Louis County along the Missouri River that is known as Chesterfield Valley and contains lots of retail stores, hotels, upscale car dealerships, etc. People who have lived here for years and years don't call it Chesterfield Valley, though. They use its original name, which is the Gumbo Flats.
This link seems to give helpful advice for driving on "Murram" roads (=made out of local laterite soil) in eastern africa: http://www.wikihow.com/Drive-on-Murram-Roads-in-East-Africa
Thanks for the info on Birtles' "Outbackster" Model T. I was wondering why he removed the guards.