When I get my '26 coupe up to the maximum speed of 35mph that I dare go, the car rattles so bad and makes so much noise that I have to back off on the throttle for fear the thing will rattle apart. At 25 to 30, it runs nice and smooth with little rattling.
What would you say is the cause of this and can anyone tell me what is the most common source of a rattle where anti-rattle material such as felt or sheet rubber can be put, in order to quell the racket. I took my wife for a ride yesterday and instructed her to try and locate the rattle by pressing against several points in the cab to see if there was a difference, to no avail.
I think the next time I restore Miss Daisy I'm gonna put a thin 1/32" to 1/16" sheet of black neoprene rubber between all of the sheet metal parts to try and quiet her down some. has anyone ever tried this?. Jim Patrick
Jim: Your problem is 35 MPH.
There is an insulating product used for air conditioning ducts that is self adhesive, 1/8 thick foam on one side, foil on the other. It is about 16 inches wide X 12' (?). I got it a Mennards in the heating pipe section. I think $18. I used it on my fordor and it makes a quiet car. A great sound deadner.
A "rattle" can have a million different sounds. Can you use more adjectives? High or low pitched? High or low frequency? Tinny? Nut & bolts in a coffee sounding? Regular beat or random? Varies with engine speed? Etc.
The "closed" Model T's trap the sounds and you can hear a lot more of the squeeks and rattles. It has always just been a part of the beast in my experience. The wind traveling through a Touring can dampen some moderate noises and make it appear "quieter" than a coupe but it's all relative....
Jerry. All of the above. LOL!
Is it just a noise or is it a vibration you can feel? You could possibly determine whether it is caused by the engine/transmission or the rest of the drive train, by getting up to speed and putting it in neutral and also by revving the engine to a similar RPM while moving slowly or even sitting still.
Are the wheels balanced?
One of my side lamps rattled enough it started to come un soldered from thre mount.Later on the tour we were leaking oil from the trans cover which had came loose.Later in the day we were going 35 to 40 when with a loud bang my crankshaft broke!!Give what a couple of others said some thought and it might save you some money?
Try putting a rubber grommet on the mixture rod at the dash and also where it exits the lower body.
My coupe rattled badly from 35 on up to 40 (which it rarely sees). The glass was rattling in the windshield channel making most of the noise but there was also a pretty incessant "thrum" at that speed. It turned out that I had some coil issues and when the ignition issue was resolved the "thrum" went away.
As others have noted though, a closed car does do a fine job of capturing noises that you wouldn't notice in an open car.
A previous owner of my car isolated the splash aprons from the fenders and running boards by slitting lengths of small-diameter rubber hose and fitting it onto the edges. My car is black, so it's pretty low-key. I presume that's why I get no noise from that scource.
It's funny my Coupe which is an original car is quiet. My 14 Touring on the other hand was extremely noisy. A lot of it was from the Rocky Mountain brake rods. I went through the whole underneath, I split rubber hose and put it over anywhere where they cross. Then I made up rubber grommets to insulate all the pins. I could have also used rubber O rings to do the same thing. Now my wife and I can actually have a conversation at 35 mph.
Bob I've never heard of balancing Model T wheels. I assume you are joking . Either way, the answer is no. Never done that, but the wheels don't shimmy. They rotate straight and true.
At 35 the rearview mirror shakes so bad from the vibration, that it is useless. Jim Patrick
Believe it or not, one thing that can cause lots of vibration is the fan, especially if it's an original fan. Mine was so off-balance that when I spun it in my hand, I could feel it shake. On when a new fan, new bushings, etc., and the engine runs noticeably smoother!
If you are NOT running a water pump, then you can safely remove the fan belt and run the car at speed to see if the vibration changes any. Just make sure you don't let it idle for real long. If you do have a water pump, then you can't run it without the fan belt. You'll have to pull the fan off and check it yourself.
I with Jim Patrick and Jack Putnam on this one LOL
Rattle, vibration, bounce, and sway are all part of the T experience along with the smell of oil heat from the motor, and dust in your eyes.
Go over 30 MPH and the senses get overloaded
I have to tighten all the nuts holding the windshield and side lamps after every few runs.
Someday I'll get some black paint and use it on the threads as a thread lock.
There is a chapter in the FordOwner about quieting all types of squeaks and rattles. Good info from back in the day. If you don't have a copy find one good resource.
I have three T's and they all have sounds (rattles and squeeks and thumps) at different speeds. Without a speedometer, how else does one tell how fast they are going. I thought that was the reason Henry put the noise there and stopped using speedometers!!!
I'll look for that Larry. Thanks.
R.S., I installed a Stewart 490 speedometer from Russ Furstow in my T in 2011, which is how I know the speed I'm going, but it is a funny concept that you came up with that, perhaps Henry built in the rattles to let us know we are going too fast and to tell us to slow down. You know what a control freak he was. LOL! Jim Patrick
We discovered that one of the worst rattles is coming from the dash where the choke rod goes through. It is a close fit, so no matter what you do, the rod still makes contact with the wall of the hole in the dash. Does anyone have a remedy for this? Jim Patrick
Jim: When I read your question about the choke rod rattling, my first thought was the rubbery stuff you dip pliers' handles into to make them insulated. I think a can of that and a little brush would be a very cheap experiment, which just might work.
Let us know! You can't be the only person with this problem.
For the choke rod. Look closely at all of its contact points, there should be at least three on a car with a dash and a bell-crank. Take the rod out and bend it so that when put back in, the bend puts pressure on all three points, the connection to the bell-crank, the firewall, and the dash. Depending upon spacing, that bend may need to be in the middle, or maybe near one end. Too much pressure could make the rod move in one direction or the other but could work out the choke (just a caution to watch for).
An old joke that was around during the model T's heyday;
A farmer walks into the hardware store. The man in the store says to the farmer "These new speedometers just came in! You should buy one for your Ford."
The farmers says "Danged if I need one of those! At five miles an hour the windshield shakes. I shift into high at ten miles an hour. At fourteen miles an hour the right front fender rattles. At seventeen miles an hour the hood side panel knocks. What in the blessed blazes do I need a speedometer for?"
Drive carefully, and enjoy, W2
Check door latch, choke rod, glass etc. Also the various body panels where they go together.
I only have open cars which do not do so much rattling, but they do some. I had Model A coupes and sedans which seemed to have more body rattles. I had an A Phaeton which was also quiet like the open T's.
A few other things to check which can be surprises are such things as the suspension parts. On one of my cars I had a bad rattle which always happened on gravel roads, but quieted down on paved roads. One day when I was getting the car ready to go to a parade, I was wiping the oil from the front axle and noticed the spindle arm was loose on one side. I tightened it up and put in a new cotter pin, and it hasn't rattled since. Keep on looking and maybe you will find it when you are not looking for it. On another one, I found that the muffler parts had come loose. I tightened the rod which runs through the muffler and tightened the packing nut on the back of the manifold, and it quieted down. Anyway those are a few other things to check.
I have been told by some owners of the Improved Closed Cars here in Australia that they are a lot more prone to exaggerating any rattles and noises, because of the all steel bodies. The wooden framed cars seem not to be as bad. When I restored our Fordor I used a product that was called " Proof Cote " ( spelling could be wrong ) a semi fluid bituminous product that is sprayed on with a special spray gun that has the effect of spiting out the product in a thick lumpy pattern. I did all the internal surfaces of the body panels, including the insides of the doors.
I guess that you would have all the door bumper rubbers installed ? If not that could be an area you could get some rattles.
I think I found a remedy for the choke rod rattle. I found a plastic straw in the kitchen and, with a razor blade, sliced it the long way. I then pulled out the choke rod as much as I could and measured it at about 3". I cut the straw to that length and wrapped the split straw around the exposed choke rod, then wrapped the straw tightly around the rod as one would roll up a newspaper and guided it down into the hole as I pushed the choke rod in. The straw stayed in place when I pulled the choke rod out and pushed it in. I took the T out for a drive and it was much quieter. The final touch was coloring it black with a magic marker so it is almost invisible. Jim Patrick
For $1.50 you can buy a carburetor rod anti-rattler that will stop the rattle and help to keep the mixture from changing over time.
Better yet Jim, look on the rotating rack at the car parts store for rubber grommets in assorted sizes, probably for less money and more of them in the size you need.
Thank you Jim. I assume that grommet goes into the hole where the rod passes through the firewall. I'm sure I need some sound suppression there too, but my big problem was where the rod passes through the small dashboard hole which has very little room for any type of sound suppression material since the ID of the hole is slightly larger than the OD of the rod. Turns out the thickness of the material making up the straw is just about perfect. Jim Patrick
If the front wheels are badly out of balance, they can introduce enough vibration to cause rattles, even at 35 mph. Easy to determine and fix by jacking up a wheel and loosening up the bearing till the wheel spins really easy. Check for a heavy side of the wheel and correct with stick on wheel weights (on the backside of the wheel).
"Check door latch, choke rod, glass etc. Also the various body panels where they go together."
Don't forget the window crank mechanisms. I can tell how fast I'm going by which window crank is rattling.
Bud, I know they use weights to balance modern wheels, but they have a computer on the balancing machine to tell them the size of weight and where to put it on the wheel. With my luck I'd make it worse. Please describe heavy side and how you know what size weight t use and where to put it, using dead reckoning. Jim Patrick
Jim...I've read in earlier posts those "self balancing" beads you put into the tire work very good. I'm thinking about buying some myself. I think Macs and Snyders sells them.
Professional wheel balance machines do both a static and dynamic wheel balance - very important if your going over 50 - 60 mph mph or so.
For us sane T drivers who are more likely to drive in the 35-40 mph region that degree of precision is not necessary.
I don't bother with the rear wheels as the vast majority of balancing problems can be cured by doing only the front wheels.
I back off the wheel bearing nut just a hair and spin the wheel. You don't want the wheel bearings sloppy, just loose enough to spin really easy. If you don't have too much heavy grease in the bearings it should spin really easy - many revolutions with an easy spin with your hand. (I have had to remove much of the grease and use a little oil - but not usually).
When the wheel comes to rest put a chalk mark at the low (heavy) spot. Spin 5 or 6 times (both directions) using chalk marks at each bottom position and you should see a pattern with most of the chalk marks spread out over a small section of the tire (if your wheel is significantly out of balance). The middle of these is your most likely "heavy" spot on the wheel. If you really out of balance and put the heavy spot at 3 or 9 o'clock, the wheel will begin to turn of its own accord to bring the heavy spot NEAR the bottom (there may be enough friction that it won't quite reach dead bottom)
Buy a set of stick on wheel weights from your local auto parts store (cheap). Pick a mid sized one and use a piece of masking tape to fasten it to the wheel rim opposite your heavy spot. (I do this temporarily on the front of the wheel until I find the right amount of weight). Spin the wheel again and what your shooting for is for it NOT to come to rest in any particular spot. If it comes to rest with your temporary weight near the bottom, you added too much weight, take a little off. If it comes to rest with the old heavy spot near the bottom, you havn't added enough weight opposite, add a little more.
It sounds complex but it's not, it's easy and fun to do. It did make a noticeable difference for me. i had to add quite a bit of weight!
When you've found the right amount of weight, mark the tire with chalk and move the weight(s) around the back of the wheel where they're not as noticeable.
O.K I know this is corny but here is the truth in a nut shell
The difference between a Ford Model T and a rattlesnake----------------
You can count the rattles on the rattlesnake but not on the Ford Model T.
Mine has a built in speedometer. At exactly 37 MPH you can no longer recognize anything in the mirror on the windshield post.
Bud, Jim has demountable wheels so he can make the weights disappear by putting them inside the felloe.
Thank you, Bill Dugger! An' now, Myron Florin!
So, Bill D, are you nearly recovered from surgery yet?
Drive carefully, and enjoy, W2
Wayne: Went to Home Depot today and bought 9 bags of barks loaded most of them and my wife helped unload.
I have to got the Hospital M-W-F for Cardiac Rehab. Bike, tread mill, and the arm meter. Will have a stress test in Oct to see how well I have done. Last EKG shows a bit of damage but was told that is normal.
Have not had any pain yet and, the surgery was on June 12th. Have not had the T out yet but will in the next few weeks. I have wanted to come down to GV and meet you and see what you are doing, but just have not taken the time, but will later before bad weather!
Thank you for asking about my recovery.
Be sure to contact David D and Terry H so we can make an afternoon of it! I look forward to finally meeting you. Glad to hear that you are doing well. I know it takes awhile. It hasn't happened to me yet, but many I have known.
Drive carefully, and enjoy, W2