Earlier today, I started another thread on this topic. Here is the follow-up.
What Is wrong with this picture?
Well, it caused this one
The owner of this car was driving on a fairly busy road, when "the steering got all loose feeling." The car drifted left, across oncoming traffic and swerved into the ditch. Thankfully, nobody was hurt and the car was not damaged. It only took a few minutes to install a new nut and cotter pin and the car was able to complete the tour.
The owner of the car is pretty mechanical and he's sure he put a new cotter pin in the tie rod ball when he adjusted the toe-in three years ago. But, the fact is that the nut fell off and the steering link became disconnected creating a very dangerous situation.
This is a great opportunity for all of us to remind ourselves that ongoing safety inspections are mandatory practice if we intend to drive these cars. Please make a habit of checking your car over regularly.
What is my coupe doing out in the weeds?!
OH, that could have been so nasty! Glad all is okay.
I walk all around my cars often and violently shake each of the four wheels to feel if anything is loose while looking everything over. Found several things over the years that way.
Thank you very much for the reminder, and the opportunity for me to add to it.
Drive carefully, and enjoy, W2
The same same result, also with a safe ending, occured on a tour in Australia. This time the pitman arm came off. The car had recently been re-built after a nasty accident, with two people involved in the re-assembly. Perhaps there is a need for working parties to check each other's work.
Hope this helps.
Allan from down under.
I’m glad everyone is ok. Note that same set of events is recorded on page 5 of the July 2011 Puget Sound Chapter Newsletter see: http://www.pugetsoundmodeltclub.org/July2011.pdf In that case the owner switched cars at the last minute and did not take time to do a safety check. The was not a cotter pin and the nut backed off and steering was lost. Fortunately there was no on coming traffic as the car drifted left across the other lane and into a gentle ditch. A new nut and cotter pin was installed and the car drove fine. Below is a photo from that newsletter (note the green grass rather than the pavement in the background):
Note, one reason aircraft mechanics sometimes have a second person “inspect” their work is to help catch any “oops” before they cause a problem. And yes, in most cases they only have the second person look at it when it is required either by the regulation or policy. But any of us can make a mistake. And if we are interrupted we are more likely to miss something. And if we are new at working on the cars we are also more likely to miss something.
One set up I can think of for this to happen again is: A new owner removes the nut to adjust the toe in. There was not a cotter pin on the nut when he took it off and he bolted it back up with out installing a cotter pin. His first repair on the Ford and the cars he has worked on previously do not use cotter pins. I could have done that if I started working on other cars first and Fords later. In my case I started on Ts and wondered why the later cars did not use cotter pins. (Lock washers? Where did those come from?)
In the recent incident “IF” the cotter pin was actually there, was properly installed, and it still came out -- then we should look at this closer. How did that happen (brittle cotter pin or the old nail was too small and let go or what?).
Again I’m so thankful no one was hurt. And thank you for sharing the incident. It is a reminder for all of us to check the cotter pins etc. before we go touring. Have others similar incidents we can learn from without experiencing them ourselves?
Hap l9l5 cut off
I have caught myself using water soluble cotter pins too. Just the other day, I found both of my spindle bolt nuts were loose with no cotter pins.
Is the speedo drive gears aftermarket or for later cars with wire wheels? Bud.
Guys-here's a thought and a question...no doubt in the top pic the tie rod ball came off...but the question is, did it come off because the ball was replaced and the threaded stud doesn't protrude out far enough to get a cotter pin through the castle nut? I've had this happen to me....seems like the repro balls are too short. Anyone else have this issue?
This just goes to show we sometimes forget or disregard our T's mechanical prevenative maintenance.
I took a look at the tie rods on my 1919 Runabout and was really surprised how much slop had developed! I have since repaired them.
I guess the pics shown above how we want things to turn out when nothing really bad happens.
Thank goodness no one was hurt! It could have been a whole lot worse.
Lets keep an eye on our T's!
It is indeed a blessing that no one was injured or killed when that came apart. But thanks for pointing it out to us; we need reminders every now and then about these safety issues.
None of us wants to admit it, but as we get older, we tend to become forgetful. I've noticed it happening the last couple of years. For instance, I have to check and double-check each stage of my work when building an engine before going to the next step. It's easy to overlook wiring bolt heads and nuts, or even slipping the inside oil line into place before installing the transmission. (Yes, I've done that.)
Putting cotter pins everyplace they go is an easy one to forget. The MTFCA safety checklist is a great asset to all of us; the catch is that we need to remember to use it from time to time.
Mike, you are so right! I highly recommend that every T owner prints off a copy of the MTFCA safety checklist and uses it, with the help of a partner, to check their car over at least once per year.
The safety checklist is on page 27 of the MTFCA operations manual.
I just checked the 1924 touring/pickup that I recently acquired, and it was missing the cotter pins on the two smaller nuts in that same area, so I just installed them. Thanks for the reminder, Eric!
All the other cotter pins had been installed, not sure how those two got overlooked.
I'm going on the Canyonlands Tour in two weeks. I'd better get on the creeper!
We had one of our club member's TT truck take a hard left into the oncoming traffic lane and ended up hitting a stone wall. There was no oncoming traffic and a missing cotter key was the culprit. He had to replace the front axle, left front fender, left front wheel/tire, and his underwear.
Of course, so did his wife who was riding with him. Wouldn't you like to be a mouse in a corner of the room and hear THAT conversation!