Happens every time. Just gonna "check it out and fix what's wrong". Yeah. Next thing you know, the block is bare and you're in for a total rebuild. Why can't we stop?
Of course, I didn't mention that there was TONS of slop in the crank/cam gears. Haven't seen the babbitt yet but I'm scared.
Sometimes if you are lucky, you might get by with removing some rod shims and doing a valve job without removing the engine. If you are working on an engine that has not been run in years, you probably should look at everything including all of the transmission.
I think a lot of T engines were run till they would not run any more.
Ya, you would think they would last longer then 80 years.
One thing leads to another, doesn't it?
Just be thankful you have the means to do it.
On my 24 I overhauled it in my garage. I had the block rebored and rod journals turned. Aluminum pistons, rebabbited rods and oversize valves were installed. The rear main thrust surfaces were built up and front main cap replaced. All mains except the center were scraped in. The camshaft and bearings were near perfect and required no work. I replaced the transmission with one I had acquired 30 years before. My total outlay was about $600.
Everything went well until 5 years later at Texas T Party in 2005 when the crankshaft broke at 40 mph.
You can fix them yourself quite often. You might have to have the crankshaft turned and block rebabbited, but you don't have to farm out the whole job.
If you have worn out a modern engine, you will find out that it is almost an impossible job to rebuild it yourself, much less to remove it. Even the sparkplugs are very hard to change. And after you do work on it, it likely will not pass smog test even if you get it to run!
So, be happy that you have an engine you can do most or all the work yourself, at least if you have the proper tools, and most of the work if you have simple tools. Be happy, that you can patch things up to get it to run just a little longer. Anyway, be happy.
Funny thing, how many times have we seen someone drag a T out of the weeds or shed or such that it has been sitting in for decades. They play with it and get it to run. They drive it and have fun with it. Do they worry about the clearances if it isn't knocking? Do they worry about the cranks breaking? They just drive them and have fun. It seems almost like they just keep on running happily even though seemingly worn out. Just an observation not an opinion.
I know of a Model T that, for many years, sat in a creek over in the Indian country (Osage County, Oklahoma). When it was eventually pulled out of the creek, a big part of the engine pan was gone, just rusted away. With ne repairs of any kind, the block and transmission were bolted to a good pan, and the engine was installed back into the frame. A nice depot hack body was built and installled, and the car has been running fine for about 30 years.
Good part of babbitt gone on the side of one rod. No shims left in rods. Small chunks of babbit off edge of front main. Rear main has lots of score marks through it that seem pretty deep (crank looks fine thank goodness). #2 cylinder is scored up with matching ugly stuff on the piston. Cam and crank gears had all kinds of play in between them. It was enough stuff to make us keep digging. Now we're down the bare block.
If it was a play thing I'd agree with everyone. However, unlike most guys I know who enjoy HAVING a Model T, I enjoy DRIVING my Model T. I'm not talking about 10 miles a month; in the summer I use my T as my main transportation when I'm not working so I want it to be as new as possibly when the restoration is done. I probably put 50-150 miles on in any given weekend alone with another 25-50 during the week - with more for special events and holidays. There's a good chance I'll be wearing it out again before I'm done with it and that needs to be way down the road!
I'll post pics in another update later on. However I just realized it's Christmas Eve, so I better figure out when I'm going to get the wrapping done haha.
Craig: I did not know you were into that kind of music. Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night. Dan
Karen's Touring had not been run in 40 years. We got it running and now don't think anything about driving it 100 or more miles on any given weekend. It did develop a minor knock a few weeks back. I pulled the dipper pan and found #1 to have some excess clearance. 2 and 3 were fine. No shims left. Filed a hair off #1 cap and got it back to .0015" and buttoned it back up. I didn't bother with #4. It felt OK and I didn't feel like trying to get to it. Runs good and quiet now. Tomorrow, it may throw a rod through one side while simultaneously throwing a magnet out the other, but I'm not going to worry about it until it happens.
I fine it amusing when reading about engine rebuilds where there is worry to death about everything. Particularly main bearings. In my opinion, the T is not a precision device and is built to withstand lots of abuse, excess clearances, etc. That is why the babbit bearings can absorb dirt, abrasives, etc. and continue to serve well. A loose transmission is just fine,although noisy...and puts less load on the crank. I think this philosopy extends well to the rear end and the rest of the car. It is a very forgiving machine
I would normally agree with you John, but there were many indications that this Tudor had served it's owner well will many, many miles on it. Finding enough play in the triple gears to allow them to hit the drum forced a trans teardown. Might as well replace the field coil then too. Then found a couple small pieces of babbitt that looked like the side of rod bearings. They had to come out (and then we found no shims and broken Babbitt). After that we saw a loose piece of babbitt sticking out under the front main cap. And once the crank was out, it was obvious the babbitt could continue cracking and fail at any time.
To ignore these things would have been foolish, and to not repair it all now would be worse than that. Yes, it would probably run fine, but I'll make sure it does.
If you have to pull the engine, I say fix everything that's worn. Do it right and less likely to have to pull it again soon. If it can be fixed with just a minor adjustment, go for it. From your description, Creig, I think you need to pull it and do it right.
If you just love to take engines out, take them apart, just fix one little thing at a time. You will have more fun soon enough. Only do it this way if you hate to drive it on nice days with other nice people.
"crank looks fine thank goodness"
Craig -- Be sure to check all the crank journals with a micrometer to be sure they're round, as they tend to wear into an oval shape. If they're more than .001" out-of-round, have the crank turned round again or it will wear out your new babbit quickly. Good luck!
When I got my first boat-tail running, it was a rough restoration of an original that was considered to have been unrestorable. I used a tired old engine I had in it just to get it running and fit other things around. For the next two years, I continued to fix and improve everything on the car. This included fixing up a nice correct year engine block. The transmission worked so nice and smooth, I planned to use it.
Ah, but the best laid plans of mice and men. When I removed the flywheel and transmission from the really tired old engine, one of the triple gear pins fell out (picture this!) into the transmission drums. The hole in the flywheel had wallowed out enough for the head of the pin to go through and shift around enough to drop the pin in while the triple gear hit the concrete.
After I pulled the rest of the transmission off the flywheel, the other two pins just fell out. I had to scrounge fast for a flywheel because I didn't have a spare good one and I had a tour to go on in a couple weeks.
Drive carefully, and enjoy Christmas! W2