Well today I decided to tighten up my connecting rod bearings which I have done many times before without a problem.
Today when installing the cap on #3 rod, I thought the thread on one of the bolts was stripped, because the nut seemed to be getting tight, but I could keep turning it. Then I found out that the head was turned around so that the flat side was out instead of against the rod. This wedged the bolt in tight, but not all the way down in the hole. I tried tapping lightly on the bolt, without success. Then I tried two nuts like a jam nut, but it wouldn't budge, so I then tried to pry it from the top with a screw driver, no success, so I thought, maybe I can get a vice grip on the head.
That was a bad idea, because the bottom ring popped out under the cylinder. Now I don't know how to push the piston back up. Is it possible to get a ring compressor on from the bottom side? I don't want to pull the whole engine and remove the crankshaft to get this piston back in the cylinder. And how to get this bolt turned around? Anyone have any ideas?
You should be able to make a single ring compressor out of a large hose clamp and a strip of tin (or something?) to protect the ring.
How to get the bolt out? Maybe a larger hammer. stuff a bunch of rope in the spark plug hole (keep one end out) so that the piston will not go to far up. Then tap the bolt out with a hammer from below.
Im no expert but i think you need to get the head off and remove the piston,.Even if you get the ring back on it will not set where it was and the oil will get past it
Im assuming its the oil ring
lets see what the experts say..
Norman, I'm with Jim on this, also you may be able to try a ring compressor are used for motor cycles and such. I have a set that consist of different size bands with plier like handle that position at any angle, bought them from snap on and they were'nt to expensive. They are all I use anymore as they are much easier than the old coil type compressors. Check with auto zone or O'reillys as they rent tools. You maybe be able to use some hard wood dowels sharpened down and work the ring and piston back up. Take the spark plug out to help.KB
Here are pictures of the ones I have that I think would work, KB
One old trick is to wind a piece of strong string or thin electrical wire around the ring to compress it. You then push the piston into the cylinder, and the string or copper wire & plastic insulation drops off when you run the engine, doing no harm.
I did exactly the same thing and I was able to get it straightened out without pulling the engine.
It's been a while since I did it but I think I used a hose clamp and piece of sheet metal like Jim suggested.
Didn't seem too hard after it was back in place.
The bolt will come out by tapping on it...do the bolt before you work on the ring.
You don't want to do it twice!
Plastic tie wrap might work. KB
To add to Bob Gruber's comment:
Go to the hardware store or home depot and go to the plumbing department and get a large worm drive clamp.
http://www.homedepot.com/webapp/catalog/servlet/Search?storeId=10051&langId=-1&c atalogId=10053&keyword=worm+drive%20clamp&Ns=None&Ntpr=1&Ntpc=1&selectedCatgry=S earch+All
Use a dryer vent hose clamp. Its just about the right size. Bet it will work.
Well! I was quite discouraged when I came in for dinner. Thanks to all of your suggestions I am more optimistic. In fact we have a drier and I will try the clamp first. If that doesn't work I will go out looking for a large hose clamp. Problem is we have a hardware store in town, but no auto parts store. So I like to try to use what I can get locally first.
The rope in the cylinder sounds good too. I didn't want to hit it very hard because might ruin the babbit, but if I can get something in the cylinder to keep the piston from popping up, I think I can tap it harder to get it out. At least, if I can get the piston up, even if I have to remove the head, at least I won't have to pull the entire engine.
Thank you, I will try again tomorrow, and thanks to your suggestions, I should be able to get a good night's sleep tonight.
Be careful, there's a good chance that there may be a sharp burr on the bottom of the cylinder, especially if the engine has been rebored. Don't ask me how I found out.
If you remember reading "the grapes of wrath" they had to wrap copper wire around the rings to compress them so they could insert a used piston & rod into one of the old jalopies.
Yep, 9.99 Harbor Freight ring compressor to the rescue!
I have removed a connecting rod from the under side without removing the head. Suggest using a 3/8" air impact to remove the wrist pin bolt so you do not distort the connecting rod. After removing the bolt, carefully slide the wrist pin to one side until the rod is free. Much easier to deal with the stuck rod bolt supported in a vice. A hose clamp as others have recommended should work to compress the ring.
Once the lower ring has popped out....I would not recommend beating on the rod bolt from under the engine as you may damage the ring or piston if the ring hits the outside edge of the cylinder.
Norm, I have to agree with Les, a few years back I lost the babbitt in one of my rods and was able to change it out by removing the cap and pulling the rod down far enough to remove the wrist pin. Reassembly I just squeezed the ring a little at a time by hand while pushing up on the rod
I'll lay you five you can get it back in squeezing it by hand. If not the hose clamp is your best bet. My old boss loved it. Changing small engine rods & cranks (low or no oil victims) without pulling the head or piston.
I installed a bottom ring by hand ONCE.........and peeled off a piece of finger.
USE THE HOSE CLAMP.
I looked at it again this morning and found that at least two rings are out and the piston is cocked. The bottom ring is out of the groove and up against the bottom of the cylinder. I will be going to Texas this weekend, so next week the engine will come out. Good time to check and adjust the mains anyway.
Thanks for all the suggestions.
Wouldn't it be simpler to pull the head, pop off the rings and push the piston up and out?
Gotta go with your suggestion Ted. Even if you had to break the rings to get them out, its still cheaper/ easier to go that route.
Agree, you might have to break the rings to get the piston off, but you should change rings in that piston anyway. Good idea to do a ring job on all of them. You certainly don't need to pull the engine. That's the purpose of the removeable inspection cover and head.
BTW, why not do a valve job while you're at it? You'll be pleased at the increase in performance.
This may turn out to be a blessing in disguise.
I can't see what would be gained by pulling the engine to remove the rings from underneath the engine.
I would remove the head, remove the ring(s)from the bottom of the piston, shove the piston and rod out the top and do what you have to do.
With a little care, the the rings can be removed with a couple of thin screwdrivers without breaking them. I have done this several times on my T and other engines with excellent results. Good luck!
The piston won't go up or down. It is cocked and jammed between the crankshaft and the rings. I looked again this morning and have decided to pull the engine. I will need to turn it upside down and possibly remove the crankshaft to get it out. I am not as good at working through the inspection cover as some are. One time I tried to remove the rear main cap and found it easier to do when the engine is out of the car. It is so easy to remove the engine on a Model T, that I don't see any point in trying to get my paws up when the law of gravity is working against me. I have no trouble adjusting the rod bearings or even removing the pistons without removing the engine, but I have never been able to fix a situation like this one.
This engine has had a knock since it was rebuilt and I would like to check all the bearings anyway. I like this car, but drive it very seldom because I don't like the sound of the engine and am embarrassed for anyone else to hear it.
Anyway, my mind is now set on pulling the engine. I will first turn it upside down and remove the crankcase so I can easily reach all the undersides. If necessary, I will remove the crankshaft and the head.
The piston will not come out the bottom, don't try that. It will hit the center main edge before it can come out.
Just remove the bottom ring from the piston. Break it if you have to because once it's removed, it'll never go back in the exact same way and will pass oil. Then take a hard wood stick and tap the bottom edge of the piston to nudge it free. Remove the head & pull the piston out to add a new ring & get your stuck bolt out.
You shouldn't have to pull the engine or remove the crankshaft for this.
I think Norm would rather pull the engine and fix it rather than work upside down under the car. Maybe while its out he can find his mystery knock.
Problem is that the piston is on a angle. One side is against the crankshaft or the center main and on that side the ring is jammed against the bottom of the block. The other side the ring is out of the groove. I might be able to get to the ring with a long screwdriver and pry it away. If I turn the engine upside down, gravity will not be working against me and I can take off the crankcase so I can get my hands farther up into the engine to reach the piston and ring. If I still can't get to it, I will then pull the transmission and crankshaft and the only thing in the way will be the piston and rings, which if necessary I can break off. If I have to remove the head and replace rings, I will get a complete set and replace them all, while I have it apart. It will only take a few hours and I can get the engine out. I have all the tools I need including an engine stand, so I can do most or all the work myself. I would also like to check the clearance of all 3 main bearings while I have it out. If necessary to get some strong arms, I have one son still living home who can help me lift off the transmission and flywheel. He helped me do that while I was adjusting the magneto gap.
I would like to get this car running good as it is my only touring, and many times I would like to take along passengers.
Norman, I know you already know this but.....when you try to get the ring(s) off the piston whether the engine is in or out of the car please wear safety glasses. I have had 6 operations on my eyes over the years and am overly cautious when working around anything that may damage my eyes. It only takes a fraction of a second to ruin your sight. Ok, off my soap box!
That same situation happened to me years ago.
I put two regular hose clamps together to make a larger one.
Then I tightened them enough to squeeze the ring back in the piston.
Then I added a little oil around the piston edge.
The piston was easily tapped back into the cylinder.
I have a question.. You are supposed to stagger the rings. SO how do you know where you are going to put the ring gap if you can't see where the next one up is???? Why don't you take the head off and do it right?
Man how did it get that screwed up in the first place? Did you try to pull it out from the bottom? Or did it drop from it's own weight? Break off the rings that are showing then tap the low spot on the piston to straighten it out and get it to move. You have to do this any way. I know from reading this Forum for years that the national pastime for some T'ers is "Pull the Engine" but you're not going to be able to do anything you've mentioned any easier with it on the floor. Make it easy on yourself.
you will need to pull the head anyway and seeing that it's so easy to do on a T, i would do that right away. by doing that you will be able to tap down on the top of the piston on one side of it and then tap up from the bottom on the other side to dislodge it.
I would never pull an engine without removing the head. There's so much there to see how happy the engine has been.
But I'd work underneath a little more before going thru the trouble of pulling the engine.
Hope your working in A/C space down there.
I got back from Texas from granddaughter's wedding.
I have pulled off everything and loosened up everything needed to pull the engine and plan to do it tomorrow, so will know just how much I have to pull off to do the job.
The oil drained while we were away, so not much left in the engine so it will not be such a mess.
There are not very many miles on this engine, so I don't want to remove any more than necessary. I think the problem was caused by the babbit wearing away on the ends of the rods, because the radius was not cut properly in the babbit to fit the curve at the end of the journals. That portion of babbit wore away quickly and caused the knock, which I would have fixed easily if I had just not pulled the piston too far down. Otherwise the babbit and crankshaft look good.
This is the head of the bolt which I tried to pull the rod down to get a vice grip on the bolt head. No luck.
I found the second ring popped out but the bottom ring still in the groove.
The skirt of the piston is against the main bearing. The piston is on an angle so that the ring keeps it from moving up and the bearing keeps it from moving down.
I'm going to have lunch.
I have decided not to work on this anymore today. Maybe someone will post some suggestions. Tomorrow I might try to break off the ring. I can't think of any way to get it back into the groove because the piston is cocked and the groove is not exposed at the point where the ring is presently located. One side of the ring is still in the groove and the other side is below the bottom ring and against the block.
Can you turn the ring so as to feed it out of the groove? In other words, rotate the ring about the piston to sort of snake it out of there.
I was thinking the same thing as Jerry. Maybe using a pair of needle nose?
Get up there with a long flat blade screw driver and break the ring. Put the blade between the piston and the ring where it's closest to the piston and twist the driver. It should break fairly easily. Or if you have a long nose vice grip pliers grab the end that's free and break it off. That's a nice hole you've dug for your self there Norm.
Work as much of the ring out as you can and break it off. Then tap the remainder in. Next take a block of wood and square up the piston. You don't have a disaster here, just a pain in the rumpus. Patience and persistence will get it done.
Any progress, Norm? You sounded pretty down yesterday. I hope you got the the darn thing worked out!
This morning I was planning to just let the engine sit on the stand, but I thought, maybe I could rotate the piston and I was able to rotate it and got about 4 inches of the ring out. Then I pried it with a large screwdriver and it snapped off. I then was able to work the remainder of the ring back into the groove and push the piston up. The oil ring is one with two very thin rings with a spacer in the middle and I was able to grab them with pliars and pull them out in one piece. The piston is now in it's normal position.
I will order new rings and install them when they arrive. I already have the gaskets. Meantime I will check all the main bearings while it's out and after I remove the head I will also check the valves. I don't expect a problem with valves. The engine only has about 5,000 miles since last worked on.
I learned two things this last week. 1. check the head of the rod bolts before tightening. and 2.Don't pull the piston down too far in the cylinder.
A simple rod bearing adjustment turned into a bigger problem. I don't think I will ever have this exact problem again. Hopefully others will also be careful so it won't happen to them.
Norm, I'm sorry for your problem. I appreciate your discription of it to hopefully prevent some of us from making the same mistake. Hope you get up and running soon.
Norm, don't forget to scuff up the cylinder walls a bit before you re-install the piston and new rings.
Glad to hear you've got the problem on the run. Sounds like you'll be back on the road soon.
I notice your camshaft is a re-grind. Do you know what camshaft specs. you are running and how does the car perform on hills compared to your other T?
Glad you freed the piston from the death grip..
Thanks for warning the rest of us!
Does your cam lobes look better in person than in the pic?
As to your camshaft, don't borrow trouble. If it ain't broke, don't fix it.
I haven't had any problem with the camshaft. The lobes are smooth and good. The dark sections you see are between lobes. The engine runs very well at high speeds, but not so well when first shifting from low to high going uphill. I have Ruckstell, so it runs fine in Ruckstell. It will go up my "test" hill fine if I get a running start. The test hill is one on which I test the cars to see how they are running. Only problem I had when I started this work was a rod knock on #2. I tightened that one and decided to check them all. Then I worked on #3. That was when I had the problem which started out a comedy of errors and led to the current problems. I plan to adjust all the bearings including the mains while the engine is out. Much easier that way.
I am still waiting for parts. I expect them within a few days. I took off the head and to my surprise, the gasket was blown between 3 and 4. This engine had quite a bit of power at higher speeds, but was very sluggish when shifting from low to high. I didn't notice any miss, just what sounded like a rod knock which lead up to what you read above. I would not have found this gasket problem unless I had checked the compression!
Glad to hear you are making progress I have a valve seat grinder if you need it Jee
While you're waiting for parts you should probably have the head resurfaced. The condition of the head gasket may be evidence that it's needed.
Bring the head over and Ill machine it for youLee
I don't think that the head is the problem. I had it surfaced the last time I had it off. This is a 26 and when I took off the coil box, The bolt next to that part of the gasket which also holds on the coil box was very hard to remove. I thought I was going to break it off and had to have my son hammer on the wrench over the bolt as I put pressure on the end of the 16 inch bar. It finally came out without breaking it. I am going to run a bottoming tap down the holes and clean them out before I re-install the head. I used a torque wrench when I installed it before, but I think it was not actually pulling the head down completely. I have ordered new bolts and will check them for length so they don't bottom out.
Lee, The valves should be good. You replaced them with new ones a few years ago, and I don't have more than about 5,000 miles on this engine. I will take a good look at them maybe check with prussian blue. If they look like they need grinding, I will take you up on your offer. Thanks,
Norm, you realize, that blown gasket could very well be the knock you were hearing, right? On another note, the next time you or anyone here has a problem with a bolt turning and getting wedged in, just run the nut up snug on the other bolt and use a drift and hammer to drive the offending bolt up. If you ruin the threads on the stuck bolt it is easier to buy one bolt than to do all the work you did. Although, you did find some other problems the next time or the next guy won't.
James, that is a good idea. I wish I had thought of it when it first got stuck. However, I have found the gasket which is probably why I have just used this car in parades and shows and not very much touring because of the lack of power and knock. It seemed as though the fuel adjustment was off. I just couldn't get it to run as smooth as I wanted to and the spark seemed to work better when about 1/4 down instead of 3/4 down. Anyway it's all water past the bridge now as I have the engine out.
It took a little over a month to get that engine out, order and receive parts, and get it all back together. I started it up yesterday and ran it until it warmed up. Then re-torqued the bolts. This afternoon I warmed it up good and torqued it again. Then I drove it about 1/2 mile. It sounds the best that it has since I first got this car running about 10 years ago.
This is what I found, and what I did to it. First I put new rings only on the piston which I had broken the rings. Then I checked and adjusted all the bearings. The mains were OK. The rods each needed some adjustment. I also re timed the valves using the valve timing method as described in the book "engine". I had before adjusted them all with a feeler gauge. This time I timed them. They are all close to 20 thousandths. That is a little looser than they were before. I also found something I would not have found if I had not pulled the engine. One of the safety wires on the crankshaft flange was broken, but the bolts were not loose. I fixed that.
I bought a complete gasket set, and new head bolts and a set of radiator hoses. Only problem I have now is the lower hoses leak on both sides of the pipe. I will take that off and put some gasket cement on it and see if it helps. Tightening the clamps doesn't stop it. I always use tap water at first whenever I have a radiator off or remove the engine and only put in the mix of anti-freeze and distilled water after I know all the leaks are fixed.
Another thing I did was put two washers on the shaft between the low pedal and the low band on the side where the pedal is. On this car I had a problem with the low pedal sticking down. Now it doesn't have to move so far to compress the band. Everything seems to be ok with the transmission. It will idle on a level floor with the lever in neutral and it does not creep either forward or backward.
Thanks to all who offered suggestions and offered to help. Anyway it sounds very good so far and I am happy with it so far.
I cleaned out the head bolt threads with a bottoming tap and blew out with air.
Tomorrow I plan to fix the water leak, and put the floorboards and headlights back on, and will be finished with this task.
A happy ending. Bravo!
Thank you for the update! I have been wondering.
Drive carefully, and enjoy, W2
Norm, if you have the original style hose clamps on it, try using modern clamps until the hose seals and then at a later date, change back to the original style if you want.
Glad you are progressing along and the car is running great.I knew you could do it lee
Are you planning to drive the touring in the La Jolla run on Saturday?
Tony, I think I will drive the 26 Roadster. It is usually reliable. I would rather take the touring on small drives around town until I have proved it to be running well. Ockert from South Africa is planning to be here for the tour. He will need someone to ride with. Hopefully someone with only one person, or a vacant back seat will be on the tour. I do have a rumble seat in the roadster, but it is quite cramped. I did take Jane (you might remember her) in the rumble seat when she had been riding with Johnny Carrol and his car broke down. She rode the rest of the way in the rumble seat. see picture of my two grandson's wives in the rumble seat.
Norm, That looks like the same car you also had on the California Dreamin' Tour?
Say "Hi" to Ockert for me.
It is. It doesn't have the best body of my cars, but so far has been very dependable. I bought the engine from Lee Pierce about 22 years ago. That is the one I take on the longer tours. It has been to Arizona Shootout, Canyons tour, and Yosemite, Death Valley and other places.
Ockert is coming up for lunch Friday, and I plan to take him out for a drive in the touring which I just worked on. I look forward to meeting him.
The water leak is fixed. I had to slide the pipe in one direction because it was barely in the end of the hose. Now both ends are about 1 1/2 inch into each hose and the clamps are right next to the ridge in the end of the pipe. Seems to have stopped the leaks.
Thanks for all the suggestions. I learned a lot by this experience.