With some new improvements I'm finally ready to expand the distance i will drive my T.
Question is: If I have to tow it home for any reason, it will probably be a 25 mile tow (not on a trailer !)
An old post by Royce suggests towing with the plugs out and the car in high.
1. Is this still the best way to tow ?
2. Is there a distance limit - even using this method ?
I would call a flatbed tow company if it was more than about 5 miles. Towing in high gear with the plugs removed you could go 25 miles if you kept the speed down to 20 MPH. I don't think that would be much fun, or very practical.
If you've ever popped a sparkplug on a modern, you know how noisy that can be. It's not quite like a gunshot, but you get the idea.
The problem is splash oil not getting to the rear drum and bushings. Seems like you could fill the crankcase up to the mainshaft, and tow it in neutral, but I don't know if that works. I have an overdrive with freewheeling, so no problem.
One of the biggest dangers with towing is the lack of control by the towed driver of the tow vehicle. It would be very likely that the T would come in contact with the back of the tow vehicle unless you had a ridged tow system. Remember that you are putting you life in the hands of the tow driver.
Isn't there a friend around you, that has a trailer?
If you lived closer, I would help you.
There's no reason why you can't treat the situation any differently you would if your modern car broke down.
Like Royce says, you can always call a flatbed towing company. If you have an AAA membership, use it.
I highly recommend signing up for AAA. Good for T touring as well the unintended lockout, flat tire, or failed battery. I was reminded of this 2 years ago when my car failed and I rode with a friend who's car died a little over 100 miles from his home. He called AAA, they picked us and the car up and delivered us to his home for less than $20 (he had the 100 mile towing coverage). I went back the next day to pick up my dead car (broken pinion gear) with my trailer and decided it was no more expensive and a lot less hassle to have AAA if/when I had a problem again. My wife also likes the comfort of knowing that she has help available other than calling for me if she is out of town or I'me away. She hasn't needed that assistance but the peace of mind is worth something.
How did they tow these cars back when they were current?, they had Model T wreckers.
Bud, I predict that it won't break down.
Original answer to your question from old Royce statement is correct ! If you have tow it (flat tow),tow it gear with plugs out so engine can lube it self. Any compression noise is harmless. 25 Miles distance or so it the recommended limit from old time sources.
If you use a chain an old school method is to 2 lengths of good chain and hooks through a several feet of heavy pipe so the chain and hooks come out both the ends splayed out in a Y fashion..Chain up wide like at the wishbone connection at front Axle of T and same a back of tow car....The pipe keeps the chain ridged so you don't slam into the tow car, Tow at 10 MPH,check chains along the way!
FLat beds,Triple A ,a wreckermtrailers..You guys are too spoiled and got old to fast.LOL!
If I was towing a junker with a junker, I'd consider the chain in a pipe technique. I like my cars (tow-er and tow-e) more than the wear tear and risks associated with flat towing with a chain for more than a few blocks.
I carry AAA+, good for 100 miles. Before buying the plus several years ago, our tow car's fuel pump gave out, and we drove the last 70 miles home in the T. They wanted $400 to haul the tow car the rest of the way. I went back the next day, fixed the fuel pump, and drove it home.
Wifey doesn't like riding in the T on the freeway, so we saw some new countryside in that 70 miles.
Walt ,that's just fine.
But our friend's question was not about an alternative transport methods as opposed to a flat tow. He didn't ask for help on hiring a flat bed or getting a trailer. I'm sure he would know what to do if he chose those options.
I tried to gave my suggestions to aid his query .
Thank you for your interest in my response to Bud. It shows somebody is paying attention.LOL
David,I think you gave good advise but in no way shape or form are you going to convince everyone! After the delivery part of a deal fell through we towed a tractor about 45 miles with a pipe chain and the only trouble was i damned near froze!! No matter which method is used everyone is a expert because they get to foot the bill!! I've seen pictures and some of us should hire it done! Bud.
I signed up for an AAA Plus membership for just that reason. I get 100 miles free each time it is towed, and I believe I can specify that it has to be a flatbed.
Ho crap, I guess we are not on anything near the same page! I had no intention to convince anything. I suggested an old school method of towing. Never said it was the best ,but will work in a pinch if your inclined for flat tow..Better than a shitty rope!
It always makes chuckle how people read and or hear and extract what they want on these forums(maybe me too I guess)
But Now I'm of the opinion (take any way you like and you can call me directly @ 203-596-8182) about it or just bash me here..I don't mind!
,that many of you(not all,hear me not all!) have gotton into cars late in life, have no experience growing up and have much reservation and (no courage) and have no trouble shelling out $$$ for things you can't or won't do or to bail you out for a million reasons.
Many of you with years of experience are now just plain jaded! (not all of you,again not all!) and you have forgotten the beginings of messin with cars without your well earned pension or 5o years of savings to rely on.
For all I now Bud is a young guy starting out with very limited resources ,maybe a young family ,finds himself some how with a model T to fool with. He may not have 2oo bucks to shell out for flat truck or any friends near with a trailer or have the luxury of AAA. He' probably a real young (Or older)hobbist in the raw state ,with HEART and MOXIE. Going at it as basic as you can get! And If you don't get it...you never will and that's a shame ,cuz your missing out.
He asked a about getting a car he's be working on back just in case it poops out,and via towing and I"ll assume(ass-u-me,we won't go there)is not afraid of scratching his axle either/. I made an honest effort and skirted "Oh just have it towed"
For some maybe he should spend several thou,. and by a car that has a good chance of making it home.
Remember just call me directly to reply. Its no bother for me .Between 6am and 11pm eastern please.
No bashing here, I have no problem with your reply to Bud about using the chain and pipe technique (rather than unsupported rope) and keeping the speed down and high gear with the plugs out.
Far from a youth (or older) who got into this stuff just recently and can't help myself, I got into cars (although not quite as old as T's) over 50 years ago. For several of those years, the cars were less than new and some serious maintenance was required. The only mechanic I could afford was myself so it was good that I actually enjoyed the work. I've been stranded a few times and have towed on occasion with a rope or chain. I'm still very capable of towing that way again but there are better options available for many - call a friend, go back home for the trailer, or call AAA. I've found AAA fits my needs and am fortunate that I can pay the premium with no impact on what I'll eat this week. It hasn't always been so.
Your advice was fine but so are other suggestions that may (or may not) be practical for Bud.
Skills and experience vary but we're all here to have fun, hopefully even when we disagree.
Depending on why the T has stopped? not broken anything inside, the only thing turning when towing is the drive shaft, spinning in the ball cap, and drive plate in the clutch pack, what does it need! oil, so tip 2 gallons to over fill the engine and tow.
You've been working on it and driving it for over a year now--I've bet you've probably got most of the bugs out of it by now. Whatever you carry with you is probably not going to go wrong--it will probably be one of your tires and you can't tow it anyway! You are the one who knows your car best. If you think it will do it; go for it. I keep the Good Sam Club's program. It's only about a hundred a year (first timers usually can get it for 60-80 for first year) and it covers ALL my vehicles, anywhere. You call one toll free number and they send someone. Even if you own trailers, sometimes the tow vehicle needs a tow! I can pay a lot of years cheaper than a one time RV tow.
I think J.C. Taylor offers 50 miles of towing for$12 if you have collision coverage. I would sure pay for a flat bed before I would risk damaging an engine or transmission. J.C. Taylor makes the choice easy.
Thanks for all the suggestions. Just found out my insurer (Hagerty) has towing for $50. (I like Taylors price better though).
David: not a young buck, but retired and money's always tight. Thanks for the direct response!
Mike - Because I have a Class "A" motor home, I have the Good Sam Club "program" too (for about 6 years now) and I can speak from experience that it works great! Have not used it for a Model "T" yet (knock on wood) but once for a van and once for a modern car. As you say,...the neat thing is that it covers ANYTHING I drive!
I discovered AAA Plus, will cover a camping trailer, or a boat trailer, but not a utility trailer. So when my pickup fuel pump quit 60 miles from home I got the truck towed to the dealer for repair. Luckily, I was on the service road and not the freeway, so I made a new friend with a local shop owner and for $25, he put my trailer and $500 worth of building materials in his fenced lot and held it for me until the truck was repaired.