I've driven my '17 T for over 10 years with no problems. Really enjoyable, maybe lulling me into a false sense of comfort?
Two weekends ago, went on a tour with our club. First, lost the AC brakes when the cable broke with a bang! Swerved to miss the T's in front of me (cardinal sin hitting another T!), but managed to stop. That's OK, still have the Ford trans brake.
Several miles later, another bang as the Ford brake band broke! OK, maybe I can limp thru the tour with care and the reverse pedal?
Another several miles, and the car started to sputter and backfire. Had to turn it to battery as I had lost the magneto. OK, still running, and I've got a back-up battery. Another several miles.
Then it started to sound like rocks going thru a blender,getting worse the further I drove. The trouble truck had already left the tour, so thought I'd better head for the trailer, wondering how much I was damaging the car by continuing to drive?
Bottom line, pulled the engine with Norm Kling's considerable help. Found the AC brake broken, the brake band broken, and the babbit broken on the 4th rod. Turns out several chunks of babbit had dropped down and come up to take a spool off the flywheel, disabling the magneto, and bouncing around inside the engine making an acquaintance with everything they ran into <grin>. So. . . .major engine over haul. Some things damaged by the touring experience, some others just waiting to happen until another time and we found them now.
Boy, am I learning a lot! If I ever get all the pieces back together (some existing pieces, lots of new ones from Lang's, major parts at 2 different machine shops in San Diego County, rebabbiting being done, etc) AND it runs, I'm buying a Lotto ticket!!!
Bob - Wow! How lucky can one guy get? All that on just one tour...
I'm currently in the process of installing an original set of small drum AC brakes on my '14 Touring, and I'm wondering exactly how your AC brakes broke. You mentioned that the cable broke, but did part of the brake unit on the hub break also? Is it something that could have been done differently so it won't happen in the future?
Bob sorry to here what happened. Your 1917 has always been a great tourer. But I guess when anything is 96 years old something might wear out. I lost a fan belt on my 14 and did not noticing blew the top hose off. Nice boiling shower under the hood. Good Luck. Mark
Bob, Sounds like your Guardian Angel will be needing to check into a stress management clinic after helping you beat the reaper that many times on one tour. :-)
I believe I would have quit when the tranny brake band failed. I also believe if I were on tour with you and knew you had no brakes other than reverse, I would be behind you.
I'm glad you are ok -- you can always repair the engine. Note, in most cases a loud noise is a good indication for me to stop and investigate what has changed. In the case of the "pop" and loss of transmission brake -- if you had stopped the engine then, there is a good chance you would have fewer items to repair. Sometimes you only lose some time and do not gain anything by checking. But in many cases stopping the engine and checking out what caused the noise can save additional repair costs.
Again, I'm sorry you had the bad luck, but I'm thankful you are ok.
Hap l9l5 cut off
Reminds me of that Andy Griffith episode, Barneys First Car. Gomer says, "She's gonna need plugs, points, wires, bearings, rings, valves, brakes, brake drums, brake shoes, starter switch, ignition switch, clutch, clutch lining, water pump, oil pump, fuel pump.......And a good wash too Barn..."
Thanks guys for the sympathy. I realize it's all fixable, just $! Nothing really seemed related to any other problem that happened, except for the broken babbit knocking off the mag spool. But the mag went out before I realized there was something loose in the engine.
Rion--my wife's first comment was "wouldn't it be cheaper to buy another one?"
Keith-- the bracket that holds the cable on the right side just in front of the brake drum broke, letting the cable loose on both sides since the cable just goes thru a pulley arrangement attached to the brake pedal, then to the other wheel. It never has worked very well, and I've never found anyone who thought much of them. But it came with the car, and I just relined them about 3 months ago. You're welcome to any of the parts you want. I bought Rocky Mountains finally! I'm only about 40 minutes south of Temecula where Bud lives.
Mark-- it's been a great car. No regrets at all. Glad you found it for me! On yours. . . .did it clean the engine off at all? <grin>
Hal-- it is funny that after I lost the brake band and the AC brakes, everyone stayed behind me! And I just thought they were taking care of me!!!
Hap-- I did stop each time something happened, but each "pop" or "bang" seemed to be it's own problem and it didn't seem to affect or cause any thing else. We were out in the middle of nowhere, so I kept going hoping to get closer to the trailer. I did make it for what it's worth!
Thanks for the responses. I've got 3 weeks off while Norm is on vacation and the parts are in the machine shops. Need to finish rebuilding my daughter's house (only have granite counters and kitchen windows left), move out of our current home and into our new home when escrow closes, and then put the car back together and then I can take a nap!
Hi Bob - Thanks for the information. Sorry, I don't need any of your AC parts as I have a full set already, but thanks for the offer.
I'm very glad that got to your trailer ok, safe and sound. With no brakes it could have been a lot worse.
Best wishes, Keith
Sometimes it is the breakdowns that make model Ts fun. Then again, there was your tour.
Number one. I like the small drum AC brakes, original or reproduction. They fit, they look good, they work "adequately". I DO NOT like the cable and/or equalizing actuating mechanisms. I like solid cross shafts with individual rods to the wheels. You just found out why. (I have stopped cars with one wheel brakes a few times)
The funny thing is, you could have stopped touring and gone the trouble trailer route after the loss of brakes. Only to have gotten home, fixed the brakes, and lost the rod and magneto parts on the next tour. Now you get to fix it all at once.
It sounds like your "plate" is full! Worry not. You can do it, and have many more wonderful tour years ahead!
Drive carefully, and enjoy, W2
Thanks Wayne. That's the way I'm trying to look at it,but every time I see the parts all over Norm's garage or get another bill from Lang's, it's hard!
I am planning on enjoying it when we're done.
There is something to be said about building a spare engine or having a spare running engine. I'm working on it now. If something major happens, it's a few days pulling the current one and I'm on the road again. I've thought of building one and putting it in the trailer for the week long tours. If something happens in the first few days, there are likely enough "helpful gentlemen" around to swap engines in an evening so I don't need to take the modern on the tour. I also have more time repairing the broken parts.
Shoot man! I can't afford all the things I want on ONE engine, much less be able to have 2 that are ready to plug and play. And I imagine if I WAS able to do something like that, somehow a whole car would spring up around the 2nd engine.
I have put together three "spare" engines over the years. Every one of them ended up with a car put around it. One of them is my current boat-tail.
Sorry to hear about your troubles! As we always say in South Africa the T will keep you humble!Last time when I was in San Diego and had the pleasure of driving with you, you mentioned there was a slight "knocking" sound at a certain rpm that 4th rod could have been on the books for a while. Glad to hear it is getting fixed! Send my regards to your lovely wife.