Maybe I am missing something but surely it is possible to tow start a Model T either in low or high gear?I realise that there will be transmission
Strain and the danger of over running the tow rope.But anything else????
Also if you keep the motor running then one can tow a model T?
Pull starting is a typical method for starting a Model T that is having difficulty starting. There is the danger of overrunning the two rope, but just be careful. Why would you tow a Model T that's already running? There may be an issue there, but I can't think of what.
Jeff - Actually, if something goes wrong with anything in the driveline, and you need to tow a Model T a short distance to get it home or to a shop, the one way you can get away with towing and not doing any damage to the transmission is to let the engine run while towing to provide normal lubrication to transmission for the short distance the "T" is to be towed.
I should add that this is NOT a very safe practice because it would require outside rear wheel brakes and a driver in the "T" being towed to operate brakes, but in an emergency, it could be done.
If you push start or tow start a Model T, it should be done in high gear. It allows for the best mechanical advantage and the least amount of strain on the drivetrain.
If you need to tow a Model T on all four wheels, you should use a tow bar (not a strap or rope), remove the spark plugs, put oil in the cylinders and tow the car in high gear.
Harold, if there's something wrong with the driveline, I wouldn't think you'ld want to exert force through it in either direction. A way that works in this case is to remove the rear wheel keys so that the rear wheels spin freely, I've done this successfully on T's with frozen engines (one was left outside with no head on the engine for 20 years or so, another had mouse nests in the transmission). This way a damage rear end can just go along for the ride, rather than be forced to do anything. You can grease up the rear axles before you reinstall the wheels to be extra careful.
Thanks for your replies.
These confirm what I thought
The Model T can be tow started in high gear. Low puts a great strain on the drive train.
If you want to tow a Model T other than to start it, you should put it on a trailer. Or a flat bed tow truck. Problem otherwise is getting oil to the transmission and wear on the clutch disks also if anything in the drive train is broken, you could lose your brakes. Another problem is if the drive train locks up you will not be able to move the car either by pushing or pulling it. I have successfully loaded a T with locked transmission onto a trailer by jacking up one rear wheel on a rolling floor jack while winching it onto the trailer. The jack has to be cranked up as the T goes up the ramp. Another way if a jack is unavailable, would be if you have a wheel puller and can get one rear wheel off, to remove the axle key and re-install the wheel with the nut loose enough so the wheel will spin on the axle taper. It could then be winched up the ramp. It should not be towed with the key out because it would wear out the taper, and you wouldn't have brakes.
I would think that towing a T in neutral would always be better then towing one with the axle keys removed. Granted, you are not getting oil to the transmission in neutral, but that would still be better than running steel on steel, even if you grease the axle. I am sure Jeff V is just talking about moving a few feet, but reading his post, it would sound like that is the way to tow one home from where you bought it.
In Wilkesboro, we had a steep driveway. I would always back my T into the garage so that I would not have to back down the driveway. On many occasions I would put the Ruckstel in hi and coast start with the peddle in low. The spark would be retarded as normal. I would push down on the peddle as soon as the car started to move. There was no shock to the driveline or engine. I would start with the throttle closed and open it a little as the engine started turning. It was always a nice smooth start.
I have also coast started in high when on a shallow grade. It worked the same. Start with the spark retarded and the throttle shut and open the throttle just enough to keep the engine running after the engine starts turning.
One advantage of having a Warford transmission is that it can be put in neutral when you have to tow a non running car home.