Center of Balance for a T

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Model T Ford Forum: Forum 2013: Center of Balance for a T
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Bob Cascisa - Poulsbo, Washington on Saturday, July 13, 2013 - 12:25 am:

I am about to load my T for Kanab and am trying to decide where to center the car. In your opinion, approximately where is the center of balanced for a '16 touring? I estimate it about in line with the brake or low drum in the transmission. What is you opinion?

Be_Zero_Be


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jim Thode Chehalis Washington on Saturday, July 13, 2013 - 12:39 am:

Bob,
Why guess? Just run it up on a couple planks with rollers near the center and role it around to find the balance point.
Jim


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Bob Cascisa - Poulsbo, Washington on Saturday, July 13, 2013 - 01:48 am:

Jim,

Great idea but I don't have those resources readily available. Close will be good enough.

Be_Zero_Be


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Roger Karlsson, southern Sweden on Saturday, July 13, 2013 - 02:33 am:

I don't know if this illustration from the Fordowner magazine shows the actual center of gravity in a touring or if it's just showing the principle of how the axle load shifts on hills. The numbers below is weight per axle, not length measurements, but if that point just under the front seat cushion is correct, it would be easy to find it on your touring :-)
c of g


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Ricks - Surf City on Saturday, July 13, 2013 - 02:51 am:

Put a bathroom scale under the tongue of the empty trailer, then move the T until weight is same. Center of Gravity of the T should then be between the axles of the trailer.

Actual tongue weight should be what, 10% of total?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Tim Wrenn on Saturday, July 13, 2013 - 07:44 am:

I believe it is 10% Rick. On a dual axle trailer I've been loading mine pretty much with the axles right under the front seat and seems to trail nicely at 60 mph. Fast enough for me.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Val Soupios on Saturday, July 13, 2013 - 08:50 am:

For some reason I have found that different trailers track better with different tongue weights. Some need more while others need less. Assuming you are using the same tow vehicle so there is no variation in suspension, trial and error gets the best results and the results are worth the extra effort. I trailer several different cars and have two trailers so I marked the floor of each of my trailers for the correct location for each car.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Kenneth W DeLong on Saturday, July 13, 2013 - 09:12 am:

Bob,In the past i think i have heard the windsheild but i think your very close.Bud.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Derek Kiefer - Mantorville, MN on Saturday, July 13, 2013 - 10:59 am:

It may be further back than you think... I put my previous T, a '25 Roadster with an Oak pickup bed on my race car scales.

The weight over the front axle was only 4-1/2 pounds more than the weight of the rear. With the top down, it would have been even closer to the same.

This would put the CoG at the gas tank.



I haven't weighed my '25 Touring yet.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Peter Claverie on Saturday, July 13, 2013 - 12:00 pm:

Derek is right -- the load on the front and rear axles is very close to the same.

However, the geometry is different. I mean, the front edge of the front tires is the forwardmost part of the car, and the rear wheels are well beneath the body of the car.

Depending on your tow vehicle's ability to sustain the weight, generally the more weight you put on the tongue the better the trailer will tow.

That isn't to say that you can put thousands of pounds on the tongue. It really means that a fair percentage of the trailer's total weight should be on the tongue.

In the boat business they figure 15%, but most boat/trailer combinations weigh less than a T on a trailer. 15% of your rig may be too much.

My guess is that if you can lift the tongue of the trailer by straining, it's too light.

Conversely, if it makes your tow vehicle squat, it may be too heavy.

Interestingly, the longer the tongue, the better the trailer will track. (That's the distance from the trailer's axle to the hitch)

What am I getting at? There is no easy answer to your question!

Load the car so that you can't pick up the tongue, and be prepared to move it forward a bit in transit, if the trailer 'fishtails' under any circumstance.

That's the best you can do.

By the way, if it fishtails, DO NOT hit your brakes, unless the trailer has electric brakes, in which case you should actuate them and not the tow vehicle's. You can do that by light application of the brakes; just enough to turn on your brake lights, which activates the trailer brakes. If your trailer doesn't have brakes or has "surge" brakes, your only option in the event of fishtailing is to ACCELERATE, which is counter-intuitive. Be prepared by making that decision in advance!

Your most probable times to experience fishtailing are: One: A large truck whooshes by you and the mountain of air he's pushing sets your trailer to swinging. Two: You're going down a long downgrade, and your speed creeps up while you're not watching.

The best, and in some cases the only, way to prevent these cases is vigilance! If you see a truck coming up in your mirror, SLOW DOWN, then accelerate as he passes you. If you see a long downgrade coming up, SLOW DOWN. And remember, if fishtailing begins, ACCELERATE


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Michael Pawelek Brookshire, Texas on Saturday, July 13, 2013 - 01:11 pm:

Depends on what weight oil you use in the engine and rear end. Sometimes they balance each other out. :-)


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Harold Schwendeman - Sumner,WA on Saturday, July 13, 2013 - 01:14 pm:

Michael - Just wondering,....I've got this bridge I'd like to sell,......wondering if you might be interested,......???


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Kenneth W DeLong on Saturday, July 13, 2013 - 01:35 pm:

Michael,A friend is makeing two pecan pies for a family gathering and i hope she is usueing your pecans! Bud.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Roar Sand on Saturday, July 13, 2013 - 02:24 pm:

Peter,
What you said about light actuation of the brakes, would be true only for a time based trailer brake controller. It would not work with an inertia based controller, just as you correctly pointed out for a surge brake.
As far as I know, all electric trailer brake controllers, whether they be straight electric or electric over hydraulic, have a separate lever for actuating the trailer brakes. Make sure the controller is mounted within easy reach.
I have always used load equalizer bars when towing our camper. When we upgraded from an 18 foot to a 24 foot, I also upgraded to the load equalizers with sway control. With the 18 foot trailer I used the friction type anti sway device, which is separate from the load equalizers.
I feel that 10% tongue weight is an absolute minimum. The longer the distance is from trailer axles to the tow ball, the better, and the longer the wheel base of the tow vehicle is, the better your towing experience will be!


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Michael Pawelek Brookshire, Texas on Saturday, July 13, 2013 - 04:22 pm:

Harold-Too busy weighing oil to buy bridges at this time!
Bud-Glad to see you back on the forum, it's been too long. :-)


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Bob Cascisa - Poulsbo, Washington on Saturday, July 13, 2013 - 05:40 pm:

Thanks for all of the input (and kidding). The car is in the trailer. I ended up putting with the gas tank over the front axle of the trailer. This gave me the most level configuration. Here is a photo of my rigs.

Be_Zero_Be


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Peter Claverie on Saturday, July 13, 2013 - 05:55 pm:

Roar - I didn't know there was such a thing as an inertia-based electric brake controller. I learn something every day, and mostly from reading this Forum.

Bob - that rig looks good! The tow vehicle, aside from looking to be non-Ford (BOO!)looks like it can handle the tongue weight very well.

If you get ANY indication of fishtailing, stop at the first available place and move the T forward. It's worth the trouble.

I can't think of anything I've ever experienced outside a theme park, that was as frightening as a fishtailing trailer! Or as dangerous!


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Bob Cascisa - Poulsbo, Washington on Saturday, July 13, 2013 - 06:03 pm:

Peter,
Thanks for the tips. The hitch set up is load leveling with a friction sway damper. This setup tows well (been to Indiana, Colorado, Wyoming). Hope to see you all in Kanab :-).

Be_Zero_Be


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Roar Sand on Saturday, July 13, 2013 - 06:30 pm:

Peter,
The earlier ones used a pendulum and had to be carefully zeroed in to "level". Presnt day models, as far as I know, all have electronic accelerometers. I was stupid enough to not understand the difference when I first bought one, so that money was pretty much wasted as far as I am concerned.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Noel D. Chicoine, MD, Pierre, SD on Sunday, July 14, 2013 - 12:35 am:

I was passing a truck and accellerating with a load of wood on a small trailer when I had my fishtailing experience. Fortunately, the truck saw it happen and shut down and I slid in front of him and to the shoulder. I agree, I've not been that scared in an amusement park. I'm curious what fuel economy you get with that rig, Bob. Mine is somewhat similar with a shallow V front and my F150 with a triton 5.4 only got 5-6. I hope to get around 8 on the trip to Kanab with the newer eco-boost.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Bob Cascisa - Poulsbo, Washington on Sunday, July 14, 2013 - 12:45 am:

Noel,

I have a 5.3L and get 17 commuting to work I get 9.5 to 10 pulling the trailer.

Be_Zero_Be

(See you in Kanab) :-)


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Terry Woods, Katy, Texas on Sunday, July 14, 2013 - 12:49 am:

I've always heard (and practiced) that the number one rule of towing was to have slightly more weight on the trailer tongue and that means putting the weight just forward of the center of gravity of the trailer. To heck with the center of gravity of the T. A T's center of gravity is going to be different for each body style. You wouldn't put a T roadster on a trailer, the same place that you placed a fordor sedan or a TT.


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