Yes, but with a twist. Please read on.
I just get the aluminum hogshead leak problem solved thanks to advice provided here and now this new problem rears its ugly head. For the past hour I have been reading through archived posts in the last 365 days and didn't see my exact problem addressed (as usual!). So, I now turn to the guys for advice.
To recap, this 1914 engine was gone through and it runs great: quiet, nice idle and plenty of snap when accelerated. In regards to the transmission, we only replaced the burned clutch plates, but did not disassemble the transmission. All gears spun freely and the drums were o.k. for re-use. I hand-filed small notches inside the clutch area where the disks ride, so I know they are not hanging up. The clutch pack came from Snyder's and was cited as being the "improved" clutch. No name on the packaging or instruction sheet, such as Watts, Turbo 400 or Jack Rabbit. But the lined plates look like cross-hatched Turbo 400 disks.
Anyway, here's the problem I am now experiencing. With hand brake in the middle position while the engine is idling, the transmission is in neutral, as it should be. I can depress any pedal and the expected reaction occurs: forward in low, backward in reverse, and foot brake. No forward creeping even when just started. And the car can be rolled by hand, meaning the rear brake shoes are not engaged at this point. Pulling the handle back all the way, the rear brakes engage and the engine doesn't die or slow down. The car now can't be pushed by hand. We have a good neutral. So far, so good.
BUT...with my foot holding the clutch pedal in the expected neutral position, the car takes off when I release the hand brake! In other words, NO neutral without the hand brake in the middle or rearmost position. I have adjusted the external clutch linkage numerous times with no change. The low band is loose enough for testing purposes that it is not grabbing the drum and forcing the car to move when the hand brake is released. I have changed adjustments on that, too. Besides, if the band were too tight, I wouldn't have neutral with the hand brake pulled back.
I did replace the pedal supports and slow speed notch, making sure not to mix them up. The clutch plates were oiled and alternately assembled according to the instructions, using good, non-burned original plates between. The ring with the three nipples is in place against the clutch spring adjustment fingers. The heavier clutch spring from Lang's was used and the compressed height adjusted according to the Ford service manual. So there IS a neutral, but only when the hand brake is engaged. Why does the transmission engage when the hand brake is released? What have I misadjusted or forgotten? This is most perplexing, with visions of having to remove the engine and disassemble everything haunting me. I'm praying it's a simple adjustment, but it worries me that I found no other posting describing this same problem. Surely this has happened to someone on the MTFCA discussion board before?!?
From what you describe the only thing I can think of is slop in the linage between the pedal and the clutch release arm. As the cam on the brake shaft is independent of the pedal and might be lifting the arm into neutral, the pedal is not pulling it far enough to put it into neutral. Or if everything is adjusted right, you need to press the pedal down more.
It sounds to me like the linkage between the clutch pedal and the clutch lever is either out of adjustment, broken, or not there.
I believe Mark is very close to deciphering it.
Watch the clutch lever to drop some when you are releasing the brake/neutral cam and letting the low pedal take up the neutral duty.
I suspect that you've got a fair amount of play in the hog's head/clutch lever bushing. The handbrake cam will tend to "lift" the lever while rotating it, but the low pedal will "push" it down while holding it in neutral. The standard advice posted by Ralph works correctly when all bushings, shafts, and clevis' are unworn. You still have a "little" more adjusting on the linkage left to do to negate the rotational input of the clutch shaft when shifting the angle of pressure applied.
I'd apply a little more "lift" on the bolt when engaged to the brake cam and then lengthen the linkage a little so that when the cam comes off the bolt, the linkage still holds the clutch lever in the same rotational orientation the brake cam used to do.
You'll be fine.
A little more information to add today. I put the car up on jack stands beneath the rear axle and started the engine. Same symptoms as described above. When the hand brake is released, the transmission definitely goes into high gear, not low. Pushing the pedal down as far as I can seems to put the transmission into low gear. How can the transmission go from neutral directly into high and then into low without passing through neutral again?
There is some slop in the L-arm that goes into the clutch pedal's arm, but I wouldn't think that would be enough to cause this kind of problem.
I will lengthen the adjusting bolt and see if that helps. By adjusting that, does this automatically mean the clevis must also be adjusted to compensate for any change? A direct relationship? Is this the probable area causing the problem, and nothing inside the transmission?
Your clutch finger screws may be a 1/2 turn to tight. If all the linkages that are mentioned above check out OK. Try backing the clutch finger screws off a 1/2 turn and see. I sounds like the car engages into to high from low correctly? Is there any range of neutral when you shift?
Larry, you may be on to something. I have adjusted the large bolt and re-set the L-arm for a free neutral until I'm blue in the face. No improvement. I was just coming up from the garage to post new information when I saw your suggestion.
The clutch arm that goes through the hogshead moves only a little when I pull on the hand brake and NOT AT ALL when I push the clutch pedal down. I remember noticing this last year when assembling the chassis, but I thought I just needed to tweak a couple of adjustments to correct this. Do you suppose the clutch fingers are adjusted too tight and that only allows a narrow window of neutral when the hand brake is applied (the clutch pedal moves forward less than 1/2" under any circumstances)? Pushing on the clutch pedal will not even budge the clutch arm. No movement whatsoever. Would the adjustment of the fingers being too tight cause all of this? During assembly and spring compression, I measured the height according to Ford spec's, but you know how that goes. Any fool can mismeasure.
Well? Fingers next? Can that cause the lack of neutral via the clutch pedal and an instant shift from hand brake neutral into high gear? Perhaps the spring is compressed too much? Or maybe not enough? Very frustrating, besides being eaten up by mosquitoes and buffalo gnats. I at least want to see SOME improvement in the "T" to offset all these insect bites!
The problem is in the link between the low pedal and the clutch lever. It needs to be lengthened. Try 1/2 turn at a time until you can get the neutral. If the hole in either the clutch lever or the low pedal is quite worn you might need to weld up and re-drill in order to get that length right.
Another thing to remember ( depending on climate ) is when you have finished driving for the day, leave your park brake in high, ( all the way forward )this squeezes out all/most of the oil in the clutch pack as well as giving your clutch spring a longer life ( as it is relaxed and not under compression )and you should be able to push your car around reasonably easily, as well as start / crank it easily.
DONT FORGET TO PULL IT BACK BEFORE STARTING !!!
This little trick works for both original style discs and turbo 400 style discs.
What Norman K says, with one addition. CLOSELY check that little link for wear and the direction that the "L" is pointing. Both directions will work, especially if things are a bit too worn. But one direction (especially if a bit too worn) can allow the "L" link to slip sideways and down losing some of the adjustment that you thought you had. If the "L" and the clevis hole it is connected to are both too worn, it can slip around regardless of which direction it is pointing.
One other minor comment. I have in my "stuff" one of those clutch links I took off of a model T I had years ago. The "two hole fork" clevis end had been replaced with a "single hole blade" clevis end from a model A Ford brake rod. Connected to another "single hole blade" with a simple clevis pin, it didn't work very well. Make sure that you have the right type.
Drive carefully, and enjoy, W2
Norm and Scott are right. The interlock between the clutch pedal and the clutch throw-out arm is the only adjustment for a free neutral and it is to short. You can adjust everything else all you want, but it will not fix it.
On my Sedan, I have to run the interlock snug(no play) in order to take up all the clearances in the clutch and throw-out shafts.
I also suspect the the stiffer Lang's spring only amplifies the excessive clearance of the shafts in question.
Ricks, thanks for posting the picture and write-up on clutch adjustment.
I have been lucky on a number of cars and have not had to make this adjustment.
The article explains it quite clear.
Should I be able to move the clutch arm with a plumber's pipe wrench? The clutch pedal simply will not budge the arm, no matter how the bolt and L-arm are adjusted. The horseshoe collar inside the transmission is definitely in the groove to slide the spring back and forth. Since the clutch arm cannot be moved via a wrench, would I loosen or tighten the three clutch finger adjustment screws? Should I just loosen the three screws until the arms are loose and then incrementally tighten the screws to restore proper action? Or are they not tight enough? I'm not quite able to visualize what's happening inside or needs to be done to get the clutch arm operable.
The clutch arm must be moving or you would not be able to get neutral with the brake lever. You might break something if you try to move it with a pipe wrench. Check again the link between the pedal and the clutch lever. Lengthing that link should fix the problem. Another possible cause could be too tight low band. The low should be tight when the pedal is about 1 inch above the floorboard.
Where are you located? Perhaps someone could come and look at the car and help you with the solution to this problem.
I wonder if the clutch horseshoe is in the wrong groove and binding. Take the clutch to low pedal linkage loose and see if the clutch shaft is still binding. Something is put back together wrong, maybe the hogshead.
When you pull back the hand brake lever the clutch arm is disengaging. Otherwise you would not be able to operate the engine without the wheels off the ground.
The L piece needs to be lengthened until you can see the clutch arm move when you step on the low pedal. I've had to make longer ones because of worn out parts. If you can't get the adjustment you need with what you have then you too may have to do this.
I don't care what happens when you use a monkee wrench.
The frustration continues. I'm still trying to get to the bottom of what's going on with this transmission. It's a 1914 transmission that had the spacer clutch disk in front of the disk stack. The clutch pack kit (for 1909-27 Model T's) instructions said nothing about re-using this spacer disk when alternately assembling the new disks with selected old metal disks. I started with an original clutch disk and ended up with one, with the new disks placed between, per instructions. Was that spacer disk supposed to have been used? I don't see how I could have attached the drive plate with that extra 1/4" or so disk in place. When I did attach the drive plate over the push ring, the plate was sticking up a little bit, but was drawn down evenly with the bolts, whose heads were then safety wired. Does this sound correct? Should the drive plate need to be drawn into place via the bolts? Or did that compress the disks too much already? Should the drive plate just drop into place without needing to be drawn together against the brake drum? I should think some kind of tension would be needed to tighten the drive plate, even before the fingers are adjusted.
The horseshoe collar is in the correct groove. I used dental floss to keep it in a vertical orientation as I lowered the hogshead into place. The collar dropped into the groove without a struggle to keep it lined up, as I had experienced in the past. That used to be the most frustrating part for me when setting down the hogshead: the swinging horseshoe collar that dangled back and forth. The dental floss made that step a non-issue. Great suggestion!
As written above, I have shortened the L-bracket clevis adjustment, I have lengthened it. And still, the clutch pedal just seems to jam against the clutch arm without any visible clutch shaft movement. This has to be the center of my problem. I just can't see how I can have a good neutral with the handbrake pulled back, but when it's released and the clutch pedal held stationary in what should still be the neutral position, the transmission goes directly into high gear without passing through neutral or low. The low gear works when depressed with the hand brake in the vertical position, so I do have a low gear. I just don't have a neutral with the hand brake off, despite the clutch arm bolt and L-arm adjustments made. No matter what I do, the clutch shaft does not operate via the clutch pedal.
Did I mess something up inside?
More information. I have just been comparing the action of this 1914 clutch arm, spring, adjusting arms and clutch pedal versus the same parts in my 1924 Coupe, which works beautifully. When I pull the hand brake back on the '24, the lighter clutch spring allows easier movement. The spring compresses, the collar slides and the fingers more or less stay in contact with the collar = still tight. When I push the clutch pedal down, the clutch spring moves even farther back. One can easily see the push ring nipples moving in and out within the drive plate holes during this operation as the arms move back and forth. As stated, this system works well.
Now for the trouble child, the 1914. The heavier Lang's spring makes it more difficult to pull the hand brake back (as expected). But when doing so and with the pedal connection disconnected (otherwise the clutch shaft won't budge), the spring and collar move back, but the adjusting arms become loose and floppy, losing contact with the collar. They can be wiggled around. Shouldn't the arms stay in contact with the spring's front collar as the clutch shaft is moved to and fro? The ring plate's nipples move only slightly compared to the '24 Coupe's. Then when the L-arm is connected again and the clutch pedal depressed, the clutch shaft DOES NOT MOVE. Period. It's like pushing against a wall. The clutch shaft will only move when the hand brake is pulled back. I have shortened and lengthened the adjustment of this L-linkage and nothing helps: the pedal simply pushes against the clutch arm, but nothing moves. I am wondering if the clutch pack is thick enough to move the push ring in and out. The clutch kit's instructions were poorly or incompletely written in this passage when they state that an extra original disk or two may be needed to make the stack high enough to compensate for wear. How high is high? What's the baseline we're shooting for here? How does one tell IF an extra disk or two are in fact needed? The answer to this in the instructions would have been VERY helpful. I can't believe that the lack of one or two thin original disks is causing this slack in the push ring nipple and hence in the clutch fingers, which were adjusted to get a 2" compression on the spring, as per instructions. Do I need to adjust the clutch fingers so that they remain in contact with the spring pack collar? They shouldn't just be dangling free when the hand brake pulls the spring back, should they? The gap is appreciable and worrisome. They don't hang free in the '24 Coupe! And still the perplexing problem is why the clutch pedal has no impact on the clutch shaft's movement. What the heck is going in here?
I'm sorry to keep posting all these questions, but somehow the solution to this problem remains elusive. I'm beginning to fear that the whole engine has to come out again just to fix this clutch problem. But WHAT is the problem with it that I'd be fixing???
The total clutch pack no matter what type of clutch used should be 1 1/8 inches.
If the clutch will disengage with the lever, I cant imagine how the problem can be in the clutch pack. The lever will put the clutch lever on the hogs head in the proper position. You need to figure out how to get the low pedal linkage to put the clutch lever in that same position. Pictures may help us figure it out, but it sure sounds like an 'L' link that is too short to me.
I think I need to address the clutch finger issue before finding out why the clutch pedal does not move the clutch shaft. One disaster at a time, please.
Here is a photo of what the clutch adjustment fingers look like when the hand brake is pulled back. Note that they dangle free. They stay in contact with the collar on my 1924 Coupe. I adjusted these fingers according to the book so that the spring was compressed 2". Yet, look what happens when the collar and spring move back. I'm afraid that when they snap forward again, they'll break the clutch fingers. Do I need to readjust the set screws inwards more?
Marshall, Give Me a call 331-8285.
Hi, Dean! I was hoping a good old Iowa boy like you would chime in and help out a fellow Iowan! 'Got myself a mess here, huh?!? 'Gotta be a simple explanation for the two problems de jours, though: loose clutch fingers when the spring is moved back and a no-go clutch pedal operation. It's encouraging that a neutral can be obtained via the hand brake, so all can't be lost. Perhaps tightening the clutch finger screws a few turns will solve one problem. But that darned clutch pedal???
When is a good time to call tomorrow?
Marshall in Davenport
Is This gap 13/16 ?
I have been reading this thread and I'm wondering if you altered the brake drum brass washer that was there? you said you didn't put the thick spacer disc back in.Why? If this is true part of your clutch pack can slide down in the front and jam things up and you probably have the fingers adjusted about 1/8 inch to tight. I would disassemble and start over.
I'll check the gap tomorrow and call you in the afternoon after I have exhausted a few more desperate measures trying to figure out what's happening inside the transmission. You saw the gap between the fingers and the clutch spring collar in the previous photograph when the hand brake was applied. Surely that can't be correct? There must be a 1/2" gap!
If the ring is touching the fingers, there is pressure on the clutch discs. Pressure on the clutch discs means dragging and therefore heat and wear. In neutral, there should not be any contact between the fingers and the ring. There should be even more clearance there in Low, as further travel of the pedal retracts the ring even further. I'll defer to Dean on the further adjustments as you can probably get a lot more done over the phone than going back and forth on here. However, please let us know what you find.
Adjusting the set screws inward will result in a clutch that won't disengage at all.
Answer this question: When you pull the handbrake back, does the clutch disengage?
Hal - Thank you. So there should be a disconnect between the clutch fingers and the spring collar when the hand brake is pulled back? As much as in the photo? I wonder why, then, the fingers on the '24 Coupe stay with the spring collar as the hand brake or clutch pedal are engaged? That car works fine and doesn't slip when shifting.
Royce - The clutch disengages only when the hand brake is pulled back. Then I have neutral. Pushing on the clutch pedal is like pushing your foot against a wall. It does not move the clutch lever downward at all = no neutral via the pedal.
This is the most perplexing of the transmission problems I'm encountering. Obviously, I can't drive the car this way. Releasing the hand brake puts the transmission directly from neutral into high gear without the ability of the clutch pedal maintaining neutral.
Jack Daron - I'm not sure what you mean by the "brake drum brass washer". The transmission was not disassembled, only checked for free movement of gears, chipped teeth and any unacceptable looseness. The only thing removed from the transmission were the clutch plates, among which was the metal spacer plate at the bottom. Apparently this spacer was only used in earlier cars like the 1914. The new clutch kit said nothing about whether to put this spacer back inside or leave it out. Nothing at all was even mentioned about its existence. As I wrote, the instructions could have been a little more detailed and explanatory in this section. The instructions cited 1909-1927, so I assumed the kit's instructions meant all years, early engines included. Otherwise, the instructions should have stated to put this spacer ring back in first. I doubt that I could have gotten the drive plate pressed down against the back of the brake drum if this 1/4" spacer had been installed. That might have jammed all the clutch plates together so tightly that they could not separate and do their job. I don't think there were 25 disks in the original stack with this engine, the spacer plate compensating for a few of them. Is that correct, you early engine guys? Has anyone with an early engine like this one installed one of the vendors' Turbo 400/Jack Rabbit/Watts/"Improved" clutch kits? Did you put that metal spacer back in?
As a side note why I don't think that spacer should have been put back in (besides making the stack too thick to install the drive plate), I have a second new clutch kit for the Turbo 400. Its instructions are slightly differently written from the "Improved" kit that we did install, but it also does not address the use of this spacer disk. That leads me to believe these kits were designed not to use the spacer. But I haven't gotten to the point where shifting from low through neutral to high gear will be affected by the clutch pack. I first need to determine if the clutch fingers are adjusted properly and why the clutch pedal will not put the transmission into neutral, even though the hand brake does. Once I solve these problems, THEN I'll see if I installed the clutch pack properly - which I did according to the kit's instructions.
Ok,If you guys are using an early tranny and it has the spacer,the bushing in the center of the brake drum has a brass washer around it. (in this tranny/clutch pack ,there are no three steel washers.) You must put the thick spacer back in for the tranny to work properly. In the newer trannies,that spacer and brass washer is not there and they had 2-3 of the tranny washers below the clutch drum. Once you establish which you have and put everything back except the clutch kit,then you should be good. Your stack is still 1 1/8 tall.
I did not remove the clutch drum. The three washers you are talking about in later transmissions are located beneath this drum. The spacer I'm talking about slides over the clutch drum like the clutch disks do. It sat in front of the disks. Is this considered part of the clutch stack or something separate? I guess the basic question is, does this spacer ring need to be put in NO MATTER which type of clutch plates are used? Or does using the Turbo 400 type clutch plates obviate the need to use this spacer disk? The nipples (or pins) on the push ring extend through the drive plate's three holes and are not wobbling around. In other words, the ring is not loose inside the brake drum. When the spring is released forward, it puts pressure against these pins via the three adjusting arms. I would think that the pins would not now extend through the drive plate if this 1/4" spacer disk were needed. The metal spacer is made of metal, not brass. During disassembly, I tipped the transmission on end and dropped out the clutch plates and this spacer. That's all that came out. Is there some other brass washer you're talking about that's missing? I don't see it in any of the drawings or exploded views of a Model T transmission.
A confused Marshall
The early brake drum rear bushing had a FLANGE on the end of the bushing. That flange took the place of the three steel disks. You should not have both the brass bushing flange and the three steel disks. All early brake drums up to somewhere around 18 or so had the brass flange. Maybe someone back sometime took you bushing with the flange out and put a modern bushing in without the flange.
I always weld the hole in the bottom of the low speed pedal and the controller shaft SHUT. I then drill them out to 5/16" this will remove most of the slop.
If you find that you don't want to unwind your slow speed connection (3445) any further You can make your own. I use a 5/16" fine thread bolt and cut the head off. That way you can make the connector any length you want.
My guess is that you need to adjust the connector longer but who knows. I wish I could be there to see what you have.
Exactly the same thing I have been saying over and over. If the clutch works when Marshall pulls the brake lever there can be only one reason it won't work when pushing the pedal. L - adjuster too short.
Well, some progress to report. If it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck and swims like a duck - it must be a duck. It looks as though the guys were right all along, who've been saying to lengthen the L-rod. I had been adjusting the linkage according to the ever-famous drawing that shows the amount of play needed between the linkage arm and the clutch arm. I even went farther than this adjustment a couple of times, with the same results: the pedal would not give me neutral. I decided a little while ago that I'd disregard all the manuals and run the clevis out to the extreme of the rod and try that. It worked! The pedal can now attain neutral when the hand brake is released. So much for the manuals. When I tried to get 11/16" between the clutch flange and the brake drum innards (technical talk) as the manual says, there was no neutral at all. I adjusted the arms' screws a couple times in and out until I decided it worked better at the setting I had them at originally, which was less than 11/16". In the garage with the rear end up on jack stands, I was able to take the hand brake off and maintain neutral with the foot pedal, something I had not been able to achieve until now. It went through low, neutral and shifted into high as the car sat on the stands. Putting the car back on the floor (and with 4 x 4 blocks a foot or two ahead of the rear tires as a safety precaution), I did the same thing, except I didn't actually shift all the way into high. I just let the clutch pedal up enough to feel it wanting to go into high gear. I'm sure once I road test the car tomorrow if it doesn't rain, I'll need to do some fine tweaking to the free neutral adjustment and probably to the three clutch arms. But today's work was successful because of all your advice. I'm just not sure why none of the published sources' spec's match mine. I'm not out of the woods yet, but this is encouraging.
I'll report again tomorrow if I can drive this turkey up and down the street and little, testing the shifting.
One final question/remark/plea - I was not able to achieve the 13/16" gap between the lower side of the clutch shift flange and the drive plate shaft flange, as described in the Ford Service manual in step 315 on page 83. In talking with Dean Yoder and after reading Jack Daron's warning about the first disk possibly slipping and getting jammed without the spacer, I am concerned. I hope we are talking about the same "spacer" here. The one I mean slid out with the other clutch plates, as if it were part of the clutch pack. No puller or anything was required. It was the first disk in, the last one out. Does this have to be used again with the newer style lined clutch plates available from the vendors? Using such kits, the first clutch disk in the stack is an original one. Without the spacer in place in a early engine, is there a risk of the first disk dropping deeper into the brake drum and getting caught somehow, locking the transmission in high gear? It all comes back to whether the spacer needs to be re-installed in this early engine so that the 13/16" gap can be achieved via the clutch adjusting arms. As it is now, this figure is unobtainable, but the clutch works - for now. Can someone with an early engine verify one way or another whether the spacer ring must be installed with the Turbo 400/Jack Rabbit/Watts? Snyder's "Improved" lined clutch disks? That very basic question needs to be answered before I go to the trouble of pulling the engine out and disassembling it to reach the transmission. I still have that spacer ring, but need an authoritative answer (i.e., someone who's made this clutch change) whether the ring must be re-used.
I've seen only bad results from those aftermarket clutches and cannot for the life of me understand why anyone would do what you have done. The factory Ford clutch system works wonderfully. Someday your lined clutch plates will burn out and leave you stranded. Hopefully next time you will install steel clutch plates and then be able to have a future without clutch problems.
If the spacer was needed you would have a car that would not move at all in high gear, the opposite of what you were hypothesizing. If everything works right now, don't adjust anything else.
Marshall, the manuals are intended for cars that are either new or a few years old, not 85 years old! LOL
At this point, I'm inclined to agree with you. But only because of the installation problems I'm having with the lined plates, not necessarily because of their performance or life expectancy. Using the original disks cleaned up and re-assembling them as they came out would have made my life easier. I had a Watts clutch in my '26 Coupe that I drove for thousands of miles, including a Grand Canyon tour, and it worked fine without wear, adjustments or problems for years. I think the problems people have had with the aftermarket clutches come down to improper installation (which I'm trying to avoid!), lack of maintenance and adjustment for wear, and most likely, poor driving habits. I've followed the numerous debates on this website over original versus aftermarket clutches. Both sides have merit and neither side is going to change its opinion. That's fine. But with this car, the decision has been made to use lined clutch disks and we're sticking to it. I just need to dial in the installation and get past this %^$#&* spacer plate issue.
In the MTFCA transmission manual (1990), this spacer is called the "distance plate" on page 26 under "Clutch Disk Installation", during the original disk discussion. The manual says this distance plate should go in first, followed by a small disk and then large, alternating small-large until the final disk is a large one. With 12 small and 13 large disks in an original stack, that's neat trick to pull off. There's going to be one large disk left over following that bit of advice. Visualize this or draw it out and you'll see this statement in the manual is incorrect. In order to end up with a large disk, you'd have to start the stack past the distance plate with a large disk, since the number of large disks is uneven at 13. If there were 12 and 12, the manual would be correct. But in real life, the math doesn't work. My guess is that a large disk is supposed to be placed next to the distance plate, followed alternately by small-large. This WILL result in a large disk on top. Looking at the exploded view of the transmission assembly in the manual on page 10, however, this distance plate is depicted somewhere in the MIDDLE of the clutch disk stack, according to the accompanying arrow. Which is correct: the manual instructions (distance plate installed first) or the supposedly Ford drawing (distance plate located in the middle)? This is the kind of inconsistency and contradictory statement in resource material that is driving me nuts!
Want some more? In the next paragraph in the manual, the Turbo 400 clutch disk installation is discussed. This is the same procedure as with the other aftermarket lined clutch plates, I would assume, namely using 9 original large disks alternating with the 8 lined disks. Keeping in mind that this paragraph IMMEDIATELY follows the original disk installation instructions, I quote: "This installation requires only nine original and eight small Turbo 400 disks." Did you note the word "only"? Does that mean the distance plate in earlier engines is no longer needed? It's significant that the distance plate isn't even mentioned in this paragraph, but it was in the original disk discussion. How does one interpret that? Leave out the distance plate because ONLY 9 large/8 lined plates are now used? See where much of my confusion comes from? A simple sentence such as: "In pre-1916 engines, the distance plate still needs to be installed first, as it was with original disks in the previous paragraph.", or "In pre-1916 engines, the distance plate is no longer needed." would have substantially made life easier for me with this project. Sometimes omissions are more deadly than outright mistakes.
I dug out the used original clutch disks from this engine that were not used in the lined disk installation. None of the small ones were installed, of course, so there 12 of them. Only 4 large disks were left because 9 were used in the installation. But there is also a 13th small metal disk: the mysterious "distance plate". It's about the thickness of three small disks and looks just like a small disk, including the inside tabs. It is THIS item that is causing me all the grief, worry and numerous posts. Do we interpret the replacement kits to mean they are only replacing the original 25 disks, but not the distance plate? That would mean, the distance plate needs to be re-installed no matter what type of clutch is used. Or, does the added thickness of the lined plates account for this plate, making it unnecessary to re-install it? If the engine weren't in the chassis, I could experiment with thicknesses and see if they even out, with and without the plate. But in a 1914 Model T, removing the engine requires a heck of a lot of extra disassembly, such as the firewall because the oil pan ears will not clear it. It's also advisable to remove the steering column. Lots of fun all the way around. If I have to remove the engine just to install this &^%$* distance plate, I want to be darned certain it's necessary to do so. THAT'S why I am being such a broken record in my postings about this issue. SOMEBODY out there in Model T Land must know whether the "distance plate" needs to be installed when using aftermarket lined clutch disks!!! Am I the first one in the history of mankind to run into this dilemma???
Marshall, the Desperate One
If the 13/16" measurement when setting up the clutch was unobtainable you should have stopped then to figure out what the problem was. Regardless of what is inside the clutch pack the geometry relationships depend on that measurement being set properly. If that means installing the distance plate then that is what you must do.
The distance plate is installed first, then the rest of the plates.
My manual doesn't mention anything about Turbo 400 disks for some reason.
I feel for you and have been racking my brain...but it just rattles on this. The best I can come up with is two wrongs are not making a right. Something that often allows T's to get by in T logic.
There are certain brass years that take combination A, other's that take combination B , if I recall correctly there are even cases where the extra large disk are required. All based on what you find on the actual mechanicals. Fred did spell this all out in the green MTFCA book, but unfortunately I'm not near my book to double check.
I do recall that Fred was a little pre-emptive when it came to modern disk plates, and think his writings implied follow the section on modern plates in his step by step way, and ignore the combi warnings and advice for standard. The section on modern includes it's own specific warnings. Could be wrong on that, but prob worth a re-read over coffee with your mind clear.
Sorry I can't offer more direct advice, I've never done modern plate disks.
There is also the issue of the actual clutch drum installed, one being the early style with holes all the way around the outside as opposed to the later style with only the two holes opposite each other for using a puller. The early drum is used with the brake drum with the "top hat" or collared bushing, which ever term you care to use and using the thick disk distance spacer compared to the later drum that utilizes the three steel thrust washers and no spacer clutch disk.
I quote again from the MTFCA transmission manual, page 26: "Tighten the clutch finger adjusting screws so that each has equal tension (usually the same number of turns). Tighten these screws sequentially until the spring height is exactly two inches." This is what I did and stopped when the spring was compressed to the required two inches. Nothing was stated in the manual about attaining the 13/16" clearance between the lower side of the clutch shift flange and the drive plate shaft flange. Using this manual, I didn't know until reading posted comments here about the 13/16" measurement also being necessary. This information does, however, appear in the Ford Service Manual on page 83, paragraph 315, followed on the next page by an almost meaningless photo. I suspect the quality of this photo has been lost in successive printings over the years. The details are undoubtedly crisper in the original manual or first generation copy.
According the MTFCA transmission manual, I adjusted the spring tension properly, which should have resulted in the correct finger tension. According to the MTFCA Service Manual, this 13/16" gap is also required. Which is more critical - the spring height or the 13/16" gap? Apparently I can't get both. I wonder why the correct spring tension did not also result in the correct 13/16" gap? Could it be because that "distance plate" is needed? By installing this plate, will that force the clutch push ring nipples out enough to create that 13/16" distance by changing the angle of the adjusting arms?
P.S. I wonder which of these two manuals I will be paying more attention to from now on???
Go back and read the manual again, page 83, paragraph 315:
"Adjust the three clutch finger screws until there is a clearance of 13/16" between lower side of clutch shift and drive plate shaft flange".
Sorry, I didn't see where you noticed that in your post, so disregard mine....
William V. - I wish I had relied more upon the Ford manual than the MTFCA transmission booklet for this phase of the restoration. Then I would have been aware of that critical 13/16" requirement. That would have sent up a red flag that something wasn't right, as Royce pointed out in one of his postings. But, jeez! How complicated could putting in clutch disks be, especially following the manufacturer's instructions? I wasn't overhauling the transmission after all. I'm sure I read through the Ford manual a year ago when this aftermarket clutch was installed, but I apparently didn't catch the significance of the 13/16" gap, relying instead on the MTFCA booklet's recommendation of adjusting the clutch fingers so that the clutch spring is compressed to 2 inches. Paying more attention to the Ford manual would have saved me a great deal of work that I now need to perform this week in order to put that %$&#* distance plate back in. What a nightmare this going to be!
That was the thought I was trying to convey by asking you to re-read the green book by Fred Houston.
I wish I had it handy to quote from. If I recall correctly, Fred's writing is full of 'if this/then that' as the way to build up a transmission. right up to mentioning making special self-washers when the 'if' doesn't match the 'then'.
I'm shooting half blind here, as I've never had to take my brass era tranny out for self work and therefore won't work on others for others, but the alarm in my head is saying to me that you have the reported three steel washers which is indicative of later transmission style and assembly way, yet I think you have an earlier transmission? This just may have some carry-over parts that were not part of the three steel washer change? Somebody may have already taken some liberties to make it work and you just could be chasing ghosts until you sort out exactly what you have to start with! I just don't know...but the alarm is going off because a memory (that could now be off), is that somewhere in Fred write up, the secret unfolds.
My reasoning on this issue has changed because of the input here and a great deal of head scratching. Last year when I installed these lined clutch plates as a kit, I considered that 13th small and thicker disc part of the clutch plate stack that I was replacing with the kit. If this kit was to replace the original configuration by only using nine of the large original disks, then that 13th plate must be left out with the other 12 small disks. But looking at the situation now, these kits are designated as being for 1909-1917 Model T's and the instructions make NO mention whatsoever of earlier transmissions and this extra plate. Since the kits are designed for ALL Model T's, later than 1916 transmissions don't need to worry about that 13th disk. The disk stack with a mixture of new and old disks should be the right height, equaling what the original 25 plate stack was - without that 13th small plate. Therefore, the 13th small disk does not figure into the clutch pack height, even though it looks all the world like a small disk, only three times as thick. In such a case for the earlier engines, the new clutch kit makers must have assumed that the 13th "distance disk" would be re-installed prior to the new clutch stack. They don't consider it part of the stack. Does this reasoning follow so far? As I wrote, it would have been VERY helpful if these manufacturers would have made mention of the need or lack of need to include this 13th disk. Isn't that issue fairly important to the operation of their clutches?
To re-iterate, I did not remove the clutch drum. So whether the original configuration beneath is still present or whether three washers have been added is unknown to me. Because of the 13th disk's presence, however, I'm leaning towards it being unchanged. In such a case, I now am thinking that this 13th disk is needed and not considered part of the clutch stack. Rather, more part of the transmission that happens to be in direct contact with the 25 original disks or 9 original/8 lined disks. Is this a logical deduction?
What I don't understand is why the clutch works as is without this distance plate. I will test drive it today and see if it really does function on the street, not just in the garage on jack stands. If this 13th plate were absolutely necessary to maintain the correct stack height in earlier engines, shouldn't there be a problem somewhere in the clutch's operation, such as a loose push ring or the ring's nipples not extending through to contact the three adjustment arms? Or is the lack of this plate the reason I am not to be able to adjust the clutch fingers to achieve the required 13/16" gap between the lower side of the clutch shift flange and the drive plate shaft flange? Will the addition of this distance plate that is three times as thick as a small disk increase the arms' angle enough to provide the needed 13/16" clearance? A LOT of work pulling the engine will be required before I can answer that question. And am I going to hit the ceiling if I find out then that adding this 13th disk won't allow the drive plate to be bolted to the back of the brake drum without crunching the clutch disks so tightly together that they can't release!!! That would be enough to drive a man to Chevrolets!
I know if it ran and drove OK I would stop adjusting things.
Dave Huson has graciously supplied the critical information I needed! I know you are all waiting with baited breath for the answer to this problem, aren't you? I will post this information and the results in a few days.
Thanks, Dave! You're a life saver!
So,where is the update??
'Still waiting for the leaking brass radiator to be returned so that I can drive the car now that everything is back together again. So far, though, running the engine for only a few seconds in the garage and using the pedals, things seem to be o.k. I don't want to run the engine for more than a few seconds until the radiator comes back. Then I can post road test results.
Thanks for following the progress, though. I always post my experiences based on people's advice here, so I WILL post as soon as the owner returns the repaired radiator and I have driven the car around, putting the re-assembled clutch stack to use.