Just bought a '27 with a Warford and Rocky Mountain brakes. I am unfamiliar with the Warford- can anyone give me a primer on basic function?
Underdrive. Direct. And overdrive. You will need the brakes with a Warford. A word search of the Forum should provide you with more details.
Thanks, I did find that thread but my question is even more basic than that; when I start the car how should the Warford be engaged?
Can I drive the T without using the Warford at all and just use high & low gear as standard? If so, what gear should the Warford be in?
You can shift the old Warfords while driving but it is very difficult to find neutral and until you become skilful by the time you get to the other gear you have slowed til that one isn't right. I normally drive in direct drive and shift the Warford to high only when I've reached a good speed on a long, good road. If I come to a steep hill I can shift the Warford to low and Climb the hill without using low band.
If it is the KC Warford you have, as I understand it the shifting is easier.
In my '26 cast iron Warford tudor I start the car with the Warford in neutral. Then you have to depress the service brake tight around the brake drum to put the Warford in whatever gear you want. Just keep it in 2nd (Model T high). I used to shift it on the fly but have quit doing this due to advice from this forum
Over to the right and forward underdrive,straight back direct, over to left and back is overdrive
I start mine in neutral then hold the brake and shift into Underdrive to back out of the garage or in. That's when the shifter is in the forward position. Direct Ford is pull back to the right. overdrive is back to the left.
It takes a little practice to get the rpm's even if you have an old original. It's easy shifting up just push up the throttle and shift. You do a little grinding till you figure it out. Won't hurt anything.
I really like mine now I fixed the leaks.
I shift on the fly all the time. I shift up, I shift down. Both my boat-tail and my coupe have auxiliary transmissions with overdrive, direct, and under. Both of them, I start the engine with the auxiliary in neutral. Both of them have service brake independent of the emergency/parking brake. Both of them do not use the planetary brake band at all. Both of them, I use a careful combination of low and reverse bands to stop the clutch drag from turning the input shaft to the auxiliary transmission. Both cars have well adjusted clutches and I have little trouble from either of them this way.
All of the era original auxiliary transmissions are a bit tricky to use. They all are a bit different and if you want to use them, you need to learn yours. It is best to learn to use them. If you don't, and it manages to shake out of gear while you are driving, you could have very serious troubles that would otherwise be a simple "put it back into gear". It won't be simple, if you don't know how.
I have never used one of the modern K C Warfords. But I hear they are nice. I just like original old stuff.
Whatever you do, you should make certain that you have good brakes that do not vanish if the auxiliary is in neutral or breaks.
Do drive carefully, and enjoy, W2
All of the above advice is very good. One thing that I will add that shifting an auxiliary transmission is MUCH easier if you have a footfeed. With a little practice, it can be shifted just like any straight tooth transmission from the twenties up to the fifties. If you learn how to double clutch, it is easy, just takes a bit of practice. Dave
David S is probably in the majority, and you should consider what he says. For me, I much prefer a hand throttle. I find it gives a more precise engine speed to make shifting those old square-cut gears easier. My coupe is what I call "well accessorized". It even had an original foot throttle on it when I got the car. I never use the foot throttle. Hand throttle only.
Drive carefully, and enjoy, W2
Somebody said if you want a footfeed get a modern car.
I like driving my T with the hand throttle and shifting the Warford.
It's right about Aux brakes cause if you down shift and can't get into gear. It's going to be in neutral and NO tranny brake.
You'll get the hang of it and you'll like it.
Here is a quick video I shot using my Chicago Mark-E in my '26 Roadster (same shift pattern as a Warford) to demonstrate shifting.
James, I have 3 Warford's. 2 are the modern repo's and the 3rd is an original cast iron underdrive. On all, I crank in neutral, go to the forward shifter position to get moving. On the repo's I then go to the center position which is a 1 to 1 multiplier for just rolling along. When I need to catch up, the shifter goes to the "way back" position which put's me in "overdrive.Read that as something like a 30% multipler. Remember to adjust the engine speed to that rpm that you expect to be running in as you make the gear change.
If you have the underdrive, when the shifter is forward you are in underdrive meaning you have a 30% increase in engine rpm's. When the shifter is all the way back you are in straight drive. I have a 3 to 1 rear end in my touring which puts me in a full time overdrive, so the underdrive gives me the "bost" I need to get started.
A word about the modern repo's. Mine work well, can shift on the fly, but their noisy. Not so the old underdrive. It's velvet smooth..