Yep, I'm Chester A. Riley today. I was having no trouble putting the engine back in my roadster until I ran into this snag.
I fitted the U-joint and installed the ball cap bolts, and everything was going fine. The cap and bolts over the hand crank were no trouble.
The left side pan arm matched the hole in the frame perfectly.
But here's where I ran into trouble. The right arm is 1/4" too far forward.
I measured from the arms to the front of the frame. As you can see here, the left arm, which fits perfectly, is 1/4" farther back than the right one, which doesn't.
I've pounded away on that right arm with a drift and a heavy hammer, and I haven't moved it. I really don't want to pull the engine, remove the pan, heat it, bend it, repaint, reinstall, etc. Any suggestions?
OOoops! Posted the same picture twice. Here's that right side measurement.
I would think bolting up everything at the rear and sides first with the bolts not fully tightened would be the way and then give the crank handle a tug to line up the front, then tighten all the bolts.
First thing. Did you straighten your crankcase on a jig? When you put everything together did you put the engine nose down with the crankshaft hanging, that is not supported in front? Did the 4th main go on easy and with the two pan bolts in were you able to move the ball cap back and forth easily? If all the above are true, then what you need to do is remove the bolts at the front and remove the cap over the crank and jack up the front of the engine about 2 inches then slide the front of the engine to one side and get those ears lined up with the frame. After you get those bolts in, move the front of the engine back and replace the front cap.
If you didn't straighten up the crankcase and fit the 4th main, you should pull everything out and remove the crankcase and do so first.
The trouble is this problem could be caused by the entire crankcase being out of alignment which would put a strain on the crankshaft, or it could be just the ears out of line. If it is just the ears, the above fix would work, but if you did not check the alignment of the entire crankcase, you should do so before you run the engine.
When you have two points already bolted down, and the third is off, ANY movement will twist the crankcase. Get it on a Wilson Jig!, or all your other work will be for nothing.
Assuming your pan arms are straight, you probably have a racked frame. Meaning, instead of a rectangle, with 90 degree corners, you have a parallelogram. I suggest loosely inserting the bolt in the hole that lines up and either give the front axle a twist, (pushing back on one end, and pulling forward on the other), until things line up, or, just insert a drift punch into the hole that doesn't align. I'm not saying to force anything, (too much anyway), just nudge it into place. If it fights back too hard you'll have to do some more thinking on it.
I think I remember you having the crankcase straightened on a jig..... If all else fails X the frame. One of the frame rails could have been bumped a bit back in the day.
Jerry types faster!
When I first look at your picture and you said you were having trouble, I though for a minute you couldn't get your folding chair open!
Floyd remembers right. In fact, we straightened two pans the same day. And yes, we assembled the transmission straight.
I'll check the frame.
I had a problem with my '27 RPU like that. I could never figure out why my front axle was not centered in the frame, and out of square. I discovered my front cross member at some time took a pretty good hit and was severely bent. So I pulled my engine took the body off of the frame and sure enough my frame was bowed down a good 3/4" of an inch, and the driver side frame was bowed up and out. While in the process of figuring out where exactly it was bowed I discovered just what you did. After I straightened my frame and replaced the cross member it pulled on back into place. I read some of your earlier posts about replacing your front cross member could it be you racked your frame when you did this or is it bent like mine was?
Just looking at the pictures, it looks as though the arm on that side is twisted forward. If that is the case I would apply a little heat to that arm and tweak it a little. I would try what Dave said first. I tweaked mine that way 36k ago and no problems except using timesaver on the bearings, everyone says that was a problem but I have not seen it yet! It's a model T not the space shuttle. Have fun, KB
The arm was not positioned correctly on the pan before it was brazed. Look at the first picture, and you will see it is off about 1/4 of an inch.
Sorry, I should have said third picture.
I agree with Dave, put the bolts in the rear first, and pull the crank into position.
I think Leonard nailed the problem.
Seems to me that if the engine came out of this frame and fit at that time --- then you straightened the pan and now it doesn't fit, there is something wrong with the frame. My 2¢. I like your pan straightening bench, good luck.
When installing an engine in the frame, loosen the u bolts on the front motor mount so it can slide a bit left or right. Then position your engine/trans/pan assembly in the frame so the holes in the pan arms fit the holes in the frame. Finally move the front motor mount so the nose of the pan slips into the channel.
Id leave the bolts loose and see how hard it is to pull into alignment. I wouldn't force it too hard, but....
This problem could have been avoided if the pan had been set in the frame first. I set my pan in the frame and bolted the engine and transmission to it without any problems. Please don't try to twist it into position when it is out that much. If you don't want to pull the engine and remove the pan for a permanent fix you could elongate the Hole in the bracket and put a screw through the frame to hold the wood block in position. Its out of sight and will probably will do the job and hold up for the next 100 years.
I had the same problem my 15 pan when I installed it . Mine was about 1/2 a hole out. I could tell the ear on mine was bent a little so I drove a drift pin in to line up the holes. I then clamped vise grips to the frame next to the ear so it would stay in place. After I removed the vise grips the holes were still about 1/16 inch out so I reamed the hole out with a drill bit, installed the bolt, removed the vise grips. Done
Its hard to tell from pictures (excellent though they may be) but after Leonard mentioned it, that right side bracket looks a little cattywampus.
If on closer inspection, it is, then 3 options.
1. Leonard's suggestion to elongate the hole (probably easiest and maybe the best)
2. Weld a small plate over the bracket and redrill the hole.
2. If your good with a cutting wheel, cut the brazings, realign and rebraze with the engine in the car and the left side and front bolted in place.
All this assuming a non tweaked frame ;o)
Good luck and let us know what you did !
I like Richard's idea.
Leonard i think you figured this one out. i see what you mean, that arm looks like it's bent back and not centered like the other side.
Steve i wonder if you could pull the motor back up slightly to get it away from the frame and throw some heat at it quickly and hammer or pull it into position, the only concern would be loosing temper in the steel bracket and of course melting the braze.
First step just has to be to get the frame straight and square and check the front cross member for sag by measuring the distance between the radiator mounting stud holes. Those should be 21-1/2" Center to Center exactly. It is common to find that measurement is 21-5/8 or 21-3/4 and that is trouble waiting for you when you go to fit up the radiator. Incidentally if you try to fudge the whole mess together you may then discover that the radiator inlet hole does not line up with the head water outlet. This is generally because either the frame is bent or the pan arms are bent. Sometimes the pan arms are bent UP or down causing the motor to be rotated and this screws up the radiator inlet to head outlet alignment too. Start with making the frame totally flat on top and squared up corner to corner. A great tool is a piece of string stretched tight end to end to see what is sagging or out of line.
The hole for the pan arm is exactly 30-23/32 from the front edge of the frame side rails not including any parts of the front cross member or bracing. In other words when the side frame rail was not assembled but was punched ready for assembly as a frame that 30-23/32 dimension would be with your tape measure hooked on the front edge of the side frame channel. This is not a measured dimension on a frame this is the dimension called out on the factory drawing.
I don't see how its possible to be lacking 1-3/4" (+or-) on the frame length. An arbitrary tape measure/flashlite on mine confirms 30-3/4"(ish).
Steve, is that measurement to the pan ear hole center or frame hole center? I thinkst ya'll got a funky measurin' stick there pal... If you use the ol' 3-4-5 measurement and move that front motor mount over about 1/8" (the worn out slop in the spring bolt hole) and /or the front mount. youll easily accommodate that 5/16" difference on that hole. MHO, BWTHDIK? In my 30-0 record, a nudge to align the hole is acceptable. Forcing it that far isn't. I know you take good solo pics, but try hooking the tape on the front and reading the frame hole centers. Even from a sag, 1/4" is a heck of a lot. Parallelagramism (!) isn't going to change that one. Also, if you really feel the need to measure corner to corner, drop a plumb bob onto the floor and make a mark for each corner and measure the diagonal offset, if any.
Happened to me yesterday, i lifted my pan nose & moved it until the bolt holes on the ears lined up and put bolts in them. Then i pulled on the crank handle until it lined up with the mount and jumped on it then put the bolts in.
That fabricated jig looks great for truing up a pan for lining up an engine and transmission. I can see the locator pins in several places, but it seems to allow the arms to hang without any means to locate them fore and aft or up and down in relationship to the bolting flange of the pan. The red cross tube has no positive pin to locate the arm. Most of the early pans I've come across lately have at least one broke, missing, or replaced arm and need repairs. Also, all the arms are not alike,
The pan ear is obviously bent forward. If you don't want to disassemble the engine to fix it try bolting a steel plate to the front of the frame then use a jack with a steel spacer to force the ear in the rearward direction until it lines up.
I think Kep has the right answer from back in the day.
The pan is straight. Messaging that ear to get a bolt in shouldn't hurt a thing.
My method would only work best on a 26-27 engine, on earlier ones it is a compromise.
Steve you did a good job if that's all the hole is off.
I would loosen all the bolts and and use a small long nose center punch to line the holes up as needed as you put the bolts in the arm holes and front mount.
Some will SURELY disagree of course but most T's take a little massageing when lining things up.
This was done on the assembly line when they were new.
The guys on the line back in the day would have done the same thing.
True it's a flexable Ford but would things have been bent,sprung,and wracked before use?I think if something took a slight ammount of effort or time a person with a clip board and stop watch was makeing note of it?Bud.
As flexible as a T frame is the hole misalignment you are seeing probably represents the difference in the level of the jack stands and the floor of the shop. It's not something I would worry about. A T frame flexes a lot when you drive. Fuggetaboudit as they say in Joisey.
If you pull everything in to shape, and if you can get the bolts in, and leave it that way, you have just blew the alignment on everything.
Never bolt the drive shaft, until the front, and pan arms have bolts in them.
If you put a punch in a hole to line it up, and if it doesn't stay, something is out period!
If the frame is all right, the pan if aligned right, a blind man should be able to set the engine and bolts, as all the holes should align.
Of all the posts on here about pan alignment, and the importance of it, NOW what kind of advice is some giving, why even attempt to align a pan when your doing it wrong anyway.
If that rear flange breaks, and the transmission come loose, and if it would come up through the Hogs head, all I can say is, don't let anybody you love ride in the front seat!
The pan can't be "straight" with the arm like that. Bending the arm to make the hole align will just keep the arm under stress and eventually, hasten cracking--Either the pan or the arm. If you can live with that built-in obsolescence, then put it together.
I think I would be quiet about it and rat the hole a tad and put it together. I would let it be a mystery to those on the forum as to how I fixed it.
"I would let it be a mystery to those on the forum as to how I fixed it."
Good idea, Ted. Whatever he does, at least half the folks on here will think it's wrong.
Not necessarily wrong.
I can see the next custodian of Steve's car coming on this board saying his "original" T had slotted mounting holes.
While Steve's photo makes the ear look to be bent, the attached pictures are just a different angle of the shot, same pan mount.
The measurement of 29 1/4" would be correct by what I took on this frame. I suggest that the pan is straight but the frame is not square and is pushed back by 1/4" on one side.
Also the center line of the pan ear hole is not centered between the two holes closest to the frame on the pan/hogshead it is 1/4" offset (Ref to Ford pan drawing) to the rear of the pan which could add to the conclusion that the ear is bent.
So you have two options to fix, straighten the frame, or fix it and as Mike Walker states, I would be wrong by at least half of the folks. LOL My 2 cents worth.
Instead of a bent pan bracket, maybe this is a geometry problem caused by the new cross member you installed earlier this year. Maybe the cross member isn't properly centered.
Try this: install the driver's side pan bolt. Loosen the front u-bolts and see if you can slide the front of the motor slightly toward the passenger side. Then see if the passenger side pan bracket bolt hole lines up with the frame hole.
Another thought is to put jack stands under the axles at all four corners instead of having them under the frame (or install all four wheels) and then see if the holes line up. As mentioned earlier by Royce, maybe the frame is flexed because it is resting on jack stands.
Forgot the 29 1/4" measurement is from the front of the pan ear to the edge of the frame and not to the C/L of the mounting hole. John Regan's info would be correct, from front of frame rail to mounting hole center.
Speaking of bored or punched when we stoped at a store a woman was offering copys of The Saginaw news.When i put my hand out for the free paper the lady asked [how do you get your paper?]Dressed in my formal bibbs i replied [usually on a roll!] Im not shure if i made the survey or not? Bud.
How about a little off each side? Center it, rat tail the holes a bit and yer off.
If it were mine, I would not drill any holes. I would either do as I first posted disconnect the front cap and rotate the engine to where the bolts line up, and then push it back in front and bolt down the cap. That would be the easy fix, but as others have posted above, could cause some long range problems depending on how much pressure there is on it. The better but harder fix would be to disassemble and align on a pan jig which also has the posts for aligning the ears. And or straightening the frame if it is twisted. Since you have the body off, it would be relatively easy to check and or straighten it at this time.
I would not drill any holes !!!!! Drilling holes makes a permanent change to either the chassis or the crankcase. If I were to drill I would rather do the crankcase than the frame. But it would not be the way I would go.
I looked above and find the body is on, it is the wheels and fenders which are not on.
Sorry I left everybody hanging, but I had to take a few days off to do the mowing and a few other chores.
It appears I opened a can of worms here. The responses seem to fall generally into two camps. One side says bend/twist/force/pry and make it fit. The other says no, that will cause bigger problems right away or later.
Before we get to that, a word about the pans. (Remember, we straightened two the same day.) This morning I carefully measured both of them, and I can tell you there's nothing wrong with Mike's jig. Both pans are exactly right. If that arm in the third picture looks bent out of place, it's probably because the camera was at a slight angle when I took the picture.
So if the pan is right, that means the frame is off by 1/4". What to do about it? Reconsidering my first inclination to bend the arm, and considering all the comments pro and con, I come down on the side of Don't force it. Some may be aghast at my solution, but here it is.
The most inspiring and motivating comment was offline: "Just drill out the hole and get on down the road." If some future owner of this car wants to take it all apart and straighten the frame a quarter inch, and fill & redrill the hole, be my guest. But as Keith said, it's a Model T, not a space shuttle.
I'll wrap this up with installation of the top arm bolts. Holding the bolt with your fingers and reaching up between the frame and the arm is the road to infuriation. You could put some floss down through the hole and tie it into the cotter hole, the pull the bolt up, but there's a simpler way.
Just put some sticky tape on the end of a stick and set the bolt on it. That makes it easy to get the bolt under the hole and shove it up.
Steve, look around at the sales you go to and find you a pair of long bent nose locking forceps, Mine are about a foot long and they work perfectly for that job. KB
I have to be the first. You obviously didn't follow but half what I told you. So this is your first critique.
I use a large hemostat for that task. It's one of the most helpful tools in my shop.
Getting the bolt in can be a fun. I found using a long box wrench and a piece of paper towel around the head allows to hold the head of the bolt to push through the hole and put the nut on. Glad to hear you got pass the problem. It has been a good discussion.
You can use a box end lined with a piece of a plastic bag to hold the bolt head while you position it where you want it.
Those flexible "Chinese Finger" gizmos also work great for those pan arm bolts.
Steve, if you're going to leave the frame out of square, what is that going to do to the body mounts and the fit of the hood? Don.
Probably not much. They were on there before.
I like your solution.
It is better than forcing thing into a bind, using a smaller bolt, or moving bending the frame that might cause other parts to not fit.
I like the comment about it not being the space shuttle.