Well I was the "LUCKIEST" guy in town. I thought well I might as well take the "Woody for a short spin, for a 5 gallon can of gas.
Now the gate was closed, as I got near it I bumped the key reaching for the brake pedal and killed the engine. Opened the gate and I have almost always used the "RIGHT" hand for starting. I always check the spark lever (full retard) then thumb in correct position, and crank. Well yesterday was different, forgot the spark lever and this time I used the left hand and the left fender for leverage, guess what?, it kicked backwards and just glazed the left hand> Had I used my right one I would not be typing this post. The BIG GUY UP there was watching out for me. This is the first time I came this close to a 'BROKEN WRIST". I SCREWED up almost.
Lastly the Gas station was "CLOSED", and boy was I upset, just wanted 5 gallons of gas for my '19 Touring!!!!One last thing is that I am glad the "FORUM POLICE is not watching" and caught my screw up
So I guess I learned a good lesson.
bill d #14079
No telling what might of happened if you had got that gas.
PS-You might have been really lucky!
I'm glad you are ok. Many years ago I had the crank pulled violently from my hand because I forgot to retard the spark. Watching the crank handle spin counterclockwise as the engine coughed once or twice backwards made a lasting impression on me even as a teenager. Prior to that I just sort-of-checked the spark lever. After my experience I started checking it very carefully each time before I cranked the car and often after each upward pull.
[Note starting on mag is a little different from starting on battery. See: http://www.funprojects.com/pdf/Model%20T%20Ignition%20System-Final%20Artiticle.p df for details on why advancing the spark a few notches is helpful when starting on magneto. But PLEASE don't try that on Battery. And all that assumes the timer, timing, timer rod, etc. is set up correctly. The follow on article to Ignition is located at: http://www.funprojects.com/pdf/More%20on%20Spark%20Timing.pdf ]
Again, I'm glad you are ok. And thank you for reminding us of what can happen if we forget to retard the spark.
Hap l9l5 cut off
I always grab the crank like it is going to kick back, and it often does, I have had a few unexpected kick backs, but they were no worse than the ones I planned.
A T that never kicks back is as dangerous as an unloaded gun, few accidental shootings have happened with a loaded gun. Hold all cranks like they are going to kick back and hold all firearms like they are loaded, and no one gets hurt.
I am SO glad you were not hurt!
I was taught to crank right handed over forty years ago, and don't think I can change now. I have had my share of backfires. So far, no injuries. We'll see how long that lasts.
Drive carefully, and enjoy, W2
After breaking an arm cranking a tractor the stupid way, I only pull up with the left. Can't because you're right-handed? Baloney. It's not pitching or writing. No fine motor skills are involved. Just pulling up is pretty much the same with either hand, so you might as well use the safer one.
Cranking right handed works fine if it is done right, but it is not a problem to learn a new way, I use a different technique for my 42 GPWs and 22 Cat than I do for the T. The reason I find the left hand way better for the T is it allows you to brace yourself on the radiator or left fender. As long as you are pulling up with the palm toward the center, everything works great.
I have always used the right hand because of a left shoulder rebuild a few years ago won't let me use the left hand without the feeling of dislocation.
My fix is the Electric starter.I also rarely retard the timing.
I delivered a bride and groom yesterday to the reception and the people were lined up (male AND female) so they could hand start my Touring. The smiles of the successful ones were amazing.
There were a couple of old timers that remembered injured limbs from hand cranking but I monitored the timing very closely.
Because I'm a newbie, I like to make my point gently and with a healthy dash of respect for the old-timers who, though I don't quite get their reasoning, do things the way they do because that's the way they've always done it—and yet enjoy an enviable level of safety and success. And nothing succeeds like success, so it's kind of hard to argue with such authority. Nevertheless, because it's kind of fun, I'm going to take another whack at it (sorry, couldn't resist).
I've heard the historical accounts of how the Chauffeur's Fracture got its name, read the unsettling accounts of forum members seeing stars and passing out from the pain of a bone-splitting kickback and seen the chilling x-rays of pinned wrists and color photos of distorted, skin-split, purpled living flesh. I've also seen the far subtler YouTube blooper videos of cranks that missed by a hair and only spun harmlessly backwards in frenzied, flywheel circles of kinetic energy that would make a propeller jealous—and I wonder what powerful human impulse can cause one to disregard it all and risk a handshake with the whirling dervish.
I have a friend of vast knowledge and long experience who, when I gave up on a stubborn, cold engine, merely smiled, took a firm, right-handed grasp of the situation and wound it up round and round like a jack-in-the-box. For him, the engine immediately started, purred like a kitten and all but rolled onto its back like a puppy hoping to get its belly scratched. Why does no engine ever take a golf swing at this man's wrist? It wouldn't dare.
But I'm no demi-god and am scared silly of the hand-crank. I regard that cast-iron serpent with a jaundiced eye, and treat it like a loaded bazooka. It hides its treacherous head in the leather thong, yet I always hear its silent whisper: "Did you forget to retard the ssssssssspark?"
My right hand remains in my pocket.
I was taught the right way to crank right handed and if done this way is just as safe as a left handed crank.
Stand in front of the car, turn slightly to your left and grab the crank with your right hand, BUT with your little finger closest to the car and your thumb facing away from the car. Resting my left hand on the cars right fender seems to help my bad back quite a bit, but this is optional.
This puts your hand on the outside of the cranking circle, just the same as cranking left handed. It also leaves your left hand free to pull the choke wire if you have one.
If you can't get comfortable using you left hand, try this - you might like it.
Bud is correct, it is just as safe to crank with the right hand if done correctly, I have demoed kick backs many times with both hands, and there is no difference in the result from a kick back if the palm is always toward the crank and only pull up. I occasionally use my right hand when I need to choke and do not take the time to prime the engine.
I never prime with the key on. Just something I do.
I'm also with Bud on that one. I find his right handed method to be very safe. I just can't get enough oommpf out of my left arm and feel that I am more likely to injure my left regardless if the car kicks back or not. I used to forget to retard the spark on occasion but now, the safe procedure is drilled into me. Never rush to show someone how cool hand cranking can be. Ignore them and take the time to set the car's controls properly, then show them.
I've said it before and I'll say it again: NEVER hand-crank a Model T.
I ALWAYS 'stomp-start' my car.
You're standing up, looking at the spark lever. You're holding on to the radiator neck for balance. You can spin the motor much faster and with much less fatigue. And, in the unlikely event of a kickback, it will probably throw you on your arse, but not break anything.
Try it -- you'll like it!
I wonder if the "left hand method" of cranking is a fairly recent innovation or if the practice was contemporary to the T era ? Mind you, I agree that left handed cranking seems to be safer, but I just wonder how far back it goes.
My Dad taught me to crank his T back in the early 1960's. He used the "right hand method", but stressed not wrapping the thumb around the handle. Thinking through the numbers, he was born in 1917 and probably began driving in the Model A era. So I'm sure that he learned to crank a T from people who had driven them as current cars.
So, my question is: Does anybody know of a person who cranked left handed back in "the day"? Have you seen any period literature suggesting left handed cranking ?
This was probably posted first by Dan Treace:
And the first of 3 pages from a pdf:
March, 1923, CALIFORNIA STATE JOURNAL OF MEDICINE
SO-CALLED CHAUFFEUR'S FRACTURE*
By PHILIP STEPHENS, Los Angeles
It might seem to the casual observer, in this day
of mechanical advancement and perfection of the
automobile, that the so-called "chauffeur's fracture" would be scarce, or almost absent from the list of our fracture cases.
Recently, in getting together a collection of
wrist fracture cases for a symposium held by our
Industrial Section, I was struck by the many, or,
I might say, the majority of my cases which had
as their causation the cranking or backfiring of
an automobile. A great many of these cases were
typical Colles's fractures, or what I believe to be described in most textbooks as "classical" Colles's fractures, but which are not the radial fracture described by Colles of Dublin. We find the same types of wrist fracture produced by automobile cranking that we have always had and still have from falls upon the outstretched hand.
In spite of the advent and general use of selfstarters,
their use is mostly limited to passenger or
pleasure cars, while the heavy trucks and light delivery
cars must still be cranked. They are capable
of producing many injuries other than wrist
fractures, ranging from these to many varied and
unlooked-for conditions, due either to direct violence
or the handle of the crank being wrenched
violently from the hand.
These, however, will not be discussed, but only
the bony injuries to the wrist-usually radial head,
and termed chauffeur's fracture. I am free to
admit the term is neither correct nor scientific, and
is used only to designate the cause of many types
of fracture, anatomically and mechanically, which
occur as the result of this most potent and usually
direct force delivered to the wrist. To me, it is
remarkable how many varieties occur, but this is
easily accounted for, considering the* mechanical
factor of the production.
Backfiring, or the explosive force which tends to
suddenly change the direction of the automobile
crank or handle, when being carried around in a
circle, may happen at approximately four points in
the circle in which the handle is being carried.
This being the case, the hand grasping it may be
in a neutral position, it may be flexed on the wrist,
or dorso flexed. These may also be altered by the
position assumed by the operator standing in front
of the car, certain postures tending to bring the
arm in supination, or the reverse, pronation, all of
which receive the force transmitted in a different
line, and produce different anatomical results,
varying as widely as the many positions assumed.
It is plain to be seen, then, that the mechanical
factors in the production of these injuries are practically
the same as those which have alwavs been
described in our textbooks as the cause of most of
our wrist breaks, and this long before the advent
of the automobile, viz., a fall with the hand outstretched,
catching oneself on the dorso flexed
hand, and modified less commonly by alighting on
* Rea.d before the Section on Industrial Medicine and
Surgery of the Medical Society of California, at Yosemite
National Park, May 15, 1922.
the flexed hand, with arm thrown to the side of
the body in position of supination, or more toward
the front in falling forward with the arm in
Time will not permit a review of the many
types of wrist fracture produced by mechanical
force. However, a few of the common forms will
be discussed, with their treatment and progress,
from the industrial standpoint.-
I think I am correct in saying that the great
majority of skeletal injuries of the wrist due to
automobile starting are rather minor in character,
if properly recognized and properly treated; that
the majority are small fissures, with no deformity
or defect in alignment or position. The commonest
of these, perhaps, -is the fracture of the radial
styloid process, simple in its aspect when the small
fragment is not displaced, but important when we
consider the fact that our fracture line runs into
and impairs an articular surface in its apposition
and articulation with the metacarpals.
Then there is the minor fracture, transverse
usually, in young subjects, following the epiphyseal
line, and which might be properly called epiphyseal
More nearly simulating this is the so-called
cortical fracture, in which the cortex is fractured,
there being no disturbance of the periosteum,
which, unless the radiograms are unusually good,
will not show until there is a liberal amount of
callus thrown out, and this in early pictures is
very likely to be overlooked. These facts, I believe,
are of great importance from an industrial
standpoint,.and in my experience I have had several
cases in which I had made a diagnosis of a
simple sprain, and in which the pain, swelling and
loss of function persisted. Later pictures showed
plainly a distinct line of callus, proving an actual
fracture had existed.
Perhaps the most important lesion is the socalled
typical or classical Colles of the wrist, being
a fracture within the last inch of articulationmay
be transverse or oblique, the lower fragment
being displaced backward so that the articular surface
looks downward and backward. This fracture
may be complicated by a fracture of the
styloid of the ulna, or even of the scaphoid. The
latter particularly should never be overlooked?.
This type of deformity produces the typical silver
fork, spade or bayonet deformity so readily recognized.
To me, the worst form of this peculiar
variety is where the line of fracture is extremely
oblique and by reason of this extreme obliquity the
correct position is very difficult to properly maintain.
We may have practically the same line of
fracture, but with displacement downward and
forward, sometimes called reverse Colles, but
really described and properly named by Dr. Smith.
These forms are also complicated with comminution, or added lines of fracture running into the articular surface of the head, making T or H fractures.
But perhaps the most important of all from the
standpoint of treatment, loss of time in industry ...
"The Ford Model T Car" book was first published in 1915.
http://books.google.com/books?id=70mJeb_q19EC&printsec=frontcover&dq=the+ford+mo del+t+car&hl=en&sa=X&ei=bLWZUZ2gM8WYrgG6u4DYAQ&ved=0CDgQ6wEwAA#v=onepage&q=the%2 0ford%20model%20t%20car&f=false
I try and prime with my right (key off)and start with my left.
I'm with Mark.
OK, that's pretty convincing evidence that at least some people knew that left handed cranking was safer than right handed even when T's where new cars. So, why were there so many people (probably a majority) still doing it right handed? Is it simply because most people are right handed?
By the way, I'm a lefty who has always cranked right handed. Now I'm trying to change over to doing it left handed and it feels like tying my shoes while wearing boxing gloves.
We've been through this before. I used to do it right handed until I found out how fast the crank spins when it kicks. Fortunately, I always raise my hand on an up pull and my hand was out of the way when it kicked. Now I use my left hand.
Call me hard headed, but I still prefer to do what comes natural. If I ever get hurt, I'll be sure to let y'all know. I'll then crank left handed until I heal.
I believe the whole thing is blown out of proportion. Can it hurt you? Of course! But I bet there were more injuries due to more mundane things in the day (Say falling in the tub or getting kicked by a horse) than what we choose to believe today. To listen to some of this, you'd think half the people you saw on the street had their arm in a sling and the other half had enough sense to get in out of the rain.
There are two ways to start right handed, the right way and the wrong way, it all has to do with the relation of the hand to the crank, as long as the palm is pointed inward and the crank is pulled up, there is no importance as to which hand you use. Placing the thumb around the handle no matter which hand you use is wrong and can result in injury, but then you are not supposed to wrap your thumb around the steering wheel either, for the same reason.
I time the ol' brass picup's automatic advance disturbutor by the kickback. I wrap my left thumb over the crank, but since it doesn't reach as far as the fingers, it never gets touched. Only the fingertips get smacked.
I pull up from about 5 o'clock where the crank engages, hitting TDC at 9 o'clock.
I have a hand cranked coil tester. Does anyone have a photo showing the correct hand to use? Wouldn't want to go against a 95 year old picture that we all know can't be wrong. Without such a picture I'm certain I'll have to quit using it.
When my ice-cream maker kicked back, it darn near knocked me clear across the room—and I don't even want to talk about cleaning up the sticky, strawberry-studded mess, afterward! My faithful dog, good sport that he always is, helped me out with that. Now, whenever I crank the Model T, my dog sits there in tail-wagging anticipation of... well, I'm not quite sure what.
He wants you to get it started and take him out for ice cream.