As a confirmed "lurker" I don't often post here, but I had to let the brethren know what has befallen me. After 17 years of heavy service, the crank in my TT dump truck let go a couple days back on the way home from the dump. Those of you who have experienced it will not soon forget the sound. I've heard it twice in ol' dumpy in 23 years. At least it broke on the way home so it was empty. That in itself was strange. I cleared the scales at over 5000lbs so it was anyway 2300 in the dump bed. Then it lets go on a moderate upgrade, empty, maybe half throttle at 35 MPH. That's the last full measure of devotion.
Anyway, I knew this day was coming and I'm glad it happened now instead of on tour at the great 2008 T party. This was a rebuilt engine I bought and installed around 1991 before I had magnaflux equipment or other such stuff. I couldn't be more pleased with how it has served me. Those of you who know me and my truck know this thing rarely goes anywhere empty, never gets a break. Talk about earning your keep. I have hauled hundreds of tons of junk in this thing, not kidding. Not to mention countless incursions deep behind enemy lines. (Like Hot August Nights, back when it was worth seeing, and many local Cruise Nights.) I had a Reeder high comp head on it and it was balanced, running buzz coils.
Anyway, I don't have time to build a new engine for it- I am working on too many other T's going to Indy. Also a '36 Auburn. But I digress. I'll have to swipe the mill out of my '26 touring and do a transplant. Who else is bringing their TT's to Indy? Let's get together. I'd drive mine out there but can't take that much time off work so Dad and I will haul both our T's out there on a big trailer. See all you T nuts there!
Hi Erik - You know there's only two kinds of T drivers - those who have broken a crank already and those who will someday!
I broke one in our '26 Roadster Pickup 2 1/2 years ago while going up a hill. I was pushing it some, but not real bad. When it broke it broke out the entire third main bearing web from the block, making it an instant boat anchor. Did you ruin your block also? I hope not.
We're going to Indiana also & taking our '14 Touring.
Besides a gathering of TT owners, maybe we should
also have a gathering of those who've broken a crank. No doubt it would be a good sized crowd!
Hope to see you there. Fordially, Keith Gumbinger
Welcome to the club.
I haven't broken a crank yet but I had a low speed drum explode while cruising on the flat and level while going about 30 to 35 mph. It sounded like someone turned on a blender full of marbles. I was on a tour that included steep grades. Why it didn't let go when I was pushing the engine and transmission I will never know.
While you have the engine out for overhaul have the pan checked to see if it is straight.
I have not pulled down the inspection pan yet, but I suspect the block is probably in trouble. I have rebuilt enough broken crank T engines to know. I have seen the rear wall ripped clean out of a T block before. The problem was it was a Canadian script non-starter block. Kind of hard to find here in northern Ca. Found a block on eBay and had it shipped here from the Boston area. It seems to be a common thread here that they self destruct while under moderate load. I suspect that this is due to some kind of harmonic vibration thing that does not happen when the hammer is down. I also had an engine fail with a collapsed reverse drum. I was not driving it at the time but my driver told me it was memorable. I was following him in another T down a long grade. The dump truck was heavily loaded with goodies going to a swap meet. Fortunately it was 6AM on Sunday morning because the catastrophic failure led to the engine seizing up and the rear wheels locking up. My friend knew well enough to reach down and slap the Warford into neutral to regain control as the rear end of the truck was starting to swap ends with the front. I should add here there were no Rocky Mtn brakes on the truck. This was before they were avaiable new. I watched him sail throgh a red light or two before coming to a stop. Good thing there was no traffic at that time. I remember hearing the air horns I have on the truck blow till they ran out of air. Dad issued a proclamation that I have some kind of brakes on the truck even if we had to make them after that. The post mortem inspection revealed that all the debris generated stacked up under the band adjustment cover. It punched holes in the oil pan and destroyed the trans cover and broke the camshaft and block.
The message here: magnaflux all major engine parts! All of these horror stories happened to me before I was equipped to do this. Since then I have scrapped a lot of cranks and trans drums but have had no broken parts on engines we have built. These parts are all 80years old or better. I don't even think Henry intended me to be ripping down the street in my dump truck in 2008.
When I put the engine in the truck in 1991 or so I wasn't able to check the pan, but I knew how to check the alignment when bolting it on. I suspect the crank had a crack that finally let go. I have since upgraded my shop with a KRW pan jig so that will not be an issue.
I was coming down a mountain in Colorado a while back when my reverse drum blew up.
It was like a blender of marbles and I was on a 14 percent grade, going down hill.