I just completed a rebuild on my 1922 roadster PU and doing a final test run prior to this year's parades--soon. All is working perfect. A new E-Timer has overcome ten years of previous owner’s woes of trying to keep the engine running, judging by the large box of used ignition system parts that came with the car when I purchased it six months ago. During the run, a car ran a stop sign and to avoid a collision, I jammed pedals. We stopped short, within inches and the offending car kept right on going. When I started moving again I heard a couple of “klinks” from the transmission, but everything seemed normal. I ran another six miles home. Later, I took it out again for a five-mile run, and again, everything was normal until the last half mile. A sound like two ragged pieces of steel rubbing came squalling from the transmission while in high gear. It began intermittently, but within a quarter mile, it was a steady squall. Fortunately I was within a hundred yards of the shop. The noise stops with the transmission in neutral. I cannot say if it makes this noise in low. I did not want to test further. I just looked inside and find nothing amiss and no metal captured in the screen/magnet filter. What do I need to look for and do to meet the parade schedule? The engine runs so perfectly.
Tom I would take a look at the rear axel. Do you know if it still has the Babbitt washers?
I'm not sure about the Babbitt. This is about the only part of the car I havn't torn apart and rebuilt. Next winter. But the noise stops when rolling if I go to neutral.
The same thing happened to me once. I had to make a hard stop for a red light as there was a police car across the intersection. When the light turned green and I continued on, it sounded like the transmission was making a klunk, klunk noise every time as it was turning.
To make a long story short, I had broken an original thrust washer in the rear end. I replaced both of the thrust washers with new bronze ones and all was fine.
Do you know if your rear end has babbitt or bronze thrust washers? I suggest you check this first. You can make the job easier if you just remove the left half of the rear end and slide the entire differential and axle shafts out as a unit.
A sudden stop like that has been known to rip the rivets on the brake drum to the out put shaft.
Easiest way to check the thrust washers is to jack up both rear wheels. Leave the parking brake off and try to pull the axle in and out by pulling and pushing on the wheel. If you get more than a fraction inch of end play, it should be disassembled and fixed. You could lose your brakes as well as the gears.
Another check of the transmission would be to leave the wheels on the ground with the parking brake off in high. With the plate off look inside as someone pushes the car forward and backward. Then do the same with the foot brake on. See if the drive plate rivits are loose. Then do with pedal down in low same. There will be some play in the gears, but the drums should not have loose rivits. Look very carefully at the bands and see if the lining looks loose.
Keith & Norman, However, I'm still leaning to the transmission since the noise is only with the clutch engaged while rolling. Going to neutral when rolling, the noise stops. My wild guess at the moment, until I check out your methods (excellent suggestions, by the way), is to think it may be cracked or broken clutch discs. I just dipped a magnet all around beneath the drums into the transmission sump and it comes up clean. Happily. A bit of engine history: It was rebuilt about ten years ago by a professional Model T engine rebuilding shop. The car/engine has less than 200 miles according to the PO. The lower end and transmission look new. Bands are new; the drums slick and unworn. There is nothing to show a problem.
Did you remember to grease the universal joint?
Guess it is not likely the u-joint then. Do tell what you find out what the noise is.
My money is on the rear end. Sounds like a classic case. The noise you hear right under the floorboards is being transmitted up, through the driveshaft, from the rear. There would be no noise in neutral as the ring & pinion are unloaded then. Broken clutch discs would not do what you're describing. If anything, they would make noise in neutral but not while in gear, the opposite of what you're seeing. Additionally, the clutch discs would not have seen any force whatsoever during your hard braking.
Do not drive it like this, there is the danger that you'll have no brakes if it truly is the rear end.
Jerry is correct that rear end noise is transmitted up to the transmission.
Norm gives an easy test for checking thrust washers in the rear end.
Another thing you can do very easily is to remove the filler plug in the rear end, stick your finger in and pull our some of the grease. If it's gray or silver that's from ground up babbitt thrust washer material and a sure sign of a thrust washer problem.
I agree with the thoughts on the clutch disc--but i'm grasping. I will check the rear end later today or tomorrow--too many meetings today. I did change the rear end oil before the run, however, the old oil did show metalic. Hence, this job is on next winter's list. Now, maybe sooner. As soon as I find the problem, I'll post my findings. Had breakfast with antique auto club this morning. I described the problem and got nothing but head-shakes. Thanks for all your input.
Tom : We had the same noise in the transmissions in different model T's here . The sound says it is the transmission, but in all it was the rear axle . BAD BABBIT rings .Don't drive with that car before you know what it is !!!
In my case it was the badly worn flange of the upper drive shaft bushing that allowed the pinion to "suck" into the differential gear.
It made a horrible crunching sound when power was applied to the rear end.
kep NZ, stand on a tool box and take a bow! I checked most everything mentioned in this string. The rear wheels are tight. No noticeable slack anywhere. I thought I had put a lot of grease in the universal before I started running it on its first test drives. But it turns out I was able to add a lot more! Then I cranked it off with the wheels in the air and simulated a run--of course, without resistance. But the noise stopped. In a couple of days I can get off on a real run to insure kep NZ is right. Let's hope. Knock wood.
An update: Jerry VanO is 100% correct. The pinion thrust bearing case had a piece broken out on the forward flange. This piece was inside the gearbox along with about a half a cup of metal chunks, shards and filings. There was no way for that piece to migrate from its location through the shaft and bearing, so it must have broken off and fallen into the case during the last assembly, whenever, years ago. The thrust bearing, shaft, pinion and ring gears were all badly damaged--but it kept rolling!
Ironically, the universal joint looked almost new.
Wow, thanks Tom! Since I'm only right once a year however, I've got a long dry spell ahead. Glad you've found your trouble. Happy touring!
I have been following this thread and others about transmission noise over the last few months but this is the first time I have posted. I inherited a 1926 Touring and I have a similar noise to the clunking described here when I hit the brakes or turn corners. My best guess right now is the babbit thrust washers are bad. I have jacked up the rear end and tried moving the axle in and out and I don't get much movement, however I have checked the grease in the rear end it isn't grey but it looks like black metallic paint. see attached photo. I don't want to rip the rear end apart if I don't have to but don't know what else to do to diagnose. Does anyone know someone in the forum in Utah that might be able to help?
I don't know anyone in Utah, but that looks like a thrust washer tear down. It is an easy (okay, messy) job.
Sometimes, axles pulling out and in will tell you something, sometimes they won't. Can have something to do with the condition of other parts, including the outer seals.
I often say "welcome to the affliction"! Under the conditions of a rear axle tear-down, I may hold off. However, one of the wonderful things about model Ts, is overcoming setbacks like this. It has become somewhat of a "lost art", repairing your own car. Beyond that, model Ts are a bit different. Sometimes they seem almost alien in design. Not just anybody can figure them out. But, you can, if you would like to.
How about the story behind the car? And some photos?
Don't drive till you fix it, then enjoy, W2
1926 Touring was restored by my Dad and Grandpa runs well except for this issue. My Dad let a friend drive it reluctantly and apparently something happened on the ride (assuming rough stop or misuse of fwd/rev pedals due to inexperience) that caused the issue and never got it fixed before my Dad passed away. Thought it might be the transmission bands so I removed and replaced those last summer but that wasn't the problem. I appreciate the input and I hope it isn't tough job. I have the Ford Service manual and the Model T Rear Axle repair manual from Glen Chaffin but he makes it sound difficult. I would be interested in talking with someone like yourself who it sounds like has done this so i don't make it more difficult than required. One quick picture of the T in the garage right now haven't gotten it out yet this year need to get this fixed and take it for a ride.
The rear axle is very simple to overhaul if you have Glen's book. I recommend you also read the Ford shop manual.
If it scares you then you can ship the axle over to Stan in Wyoming. He does some mighty fine work I hear.
There is a MTFCA Differential Manual available thru the MTFCA website. Authored in part by a past MTFCA president Fred Houston.... and there are VHS & DVD's available also ! Really not that hard to repair, most "difficult" may be getting started !
I believe Keith Kenosha posted earlier. "You can make the job easier if you just remove the left half of the rear end and slide the entire differential and axle shafts out as a unit." Does that mean you leave the other half still attached to the car and remove the entire left (driver) side or does this mean you still remove the entire axle and then remove the left side only? Thanks for the tip on DVD's and manuals.
Like you the thought of rebuilding the differential in my 16 coupelet had me worried. But I started last weekend by removing the driveshaft and pinion assembly, pretty simple and straight forward. Nothing jumped out and bit me.
I don't see any issue with the rest of the differential. Plan to remove it from the frame and use a wood stand I fabricated to hold it upright. After reading Glen Chaffin's manual a zillion times I think I can do it.
Just follow "The Bible" and Glen's book and you'll be fine. Here's some entertainment for you.
Burke - The method I referred to in my earlier post leaves the right half of the rear end in the car & still hooked up to the spring,and remove the entire left half, etc. Then you can pull the axles and differential out as a unit.
I used that method to replace broken thrust washers while on a tour and did it in a motel parking lot. I had never done anything with a rear axle before that, but lots of guys with experience came by and advised me how to do it, & it worked well.
If you're doing a rear end job at home, I think it's better to take the whole unit out of the car to do the complete job.
Hope this helps.
I've shown these before -
My axles had very little end play but this is what I found when I pulled the rear end apart!
Just minutes from disaster!
Please look at the thrust bearings Please! please!
I PM'd Burke
Fred, those look pretty good. Here are mine.
My axle had plenty of end play.
Keith, did you do the rebuild or did your pretty wife do it as you held the left side of the car off the ground? . Teresa and I are taking a few extra days in Utah after the tour. Care to do a little T sightseeing after the main tour?
I was under 20 when I rebuilt my first model T rear end. That was over 40 years ago. Most of them have been easy. The last past one I did was about as shot as they get. Being a 1913, it got redone and should be good now.
Newer parts are much easier and cheaper to get. It is best to pull the whole thing out from under the car, and check things over carefully. However, I have done the "pull one side" routine once in order to make it to a tour (only a little late).
Whichever route you go, BE SAFE! Be careful with blocking and balancing. Do not use concrete (cinder) blocks as the can shatter and drop a car without warning. Steve Jelf showed a really good setup to support a T a couple years ago.
Drive carefully, and enjoy, W2
My link above shows the support setup.
Hi Noel - We both did that rear end job in the parking lot at the motel on the Tulsa Tour back in '78, I think.
Yes, we'd be interested in a little sightseeing after the main tour. Maybe one or two days 'cause I have to be back here by about July 31st / Aug. 1st, and it's about a 3.5 to 4 day drive.
For Wayne & everyone - Yes, by all means use good solid jack stands to support the car when removing all or part of the rear end and NEVER use cinder blocks.