Hi everyone. Im new to the forum but not new to model Ts. Ive just bought a 1927 Sport Touring and have been trying to get it running. The car was a e-bay find and was supposed to been running a year ago. The gas tank had old gas that had turned to goo. I replaced the gas tank with a good clean one and slushed it with sealer. I also replaced the fuel line. The car had a vaporizer on it. I rebuilt a Holley NH and put new ring and glands on a good intake and a excellent straight exhaust. I changed the plugs to champion X plugs. The timer is good and clean and I have set the pull rod with the timer gauge to specs. When I tried to start it, I could not start it by the hand crank. It also will puff back thru the carb sometimes. I had my wife pull me to start it. I got it to run but it sounds like it is laboring and would only run at almost full spark advance. I ran it a couple minutes and noticed that the exhaust was starting to turn red. I thought maybe the muffler was clogged up as it has a strange muffled sound at the muffler. I removed the exhaust to check it out and everything is nice and clean all the way to the cast manifold that is like new and just replaced. . I decided to start it again and drive into the shop to check it out. With no muffler and running about 2 minutes the exhaust manifold was glowing red hot again. I plan on a teardown starting tomorrow but would like to know if anyone has any ideas as to problem. I am very good at working on all aspects of cars but this is a new one to me. Is it possible to be one tooth off on timing gears and even run.?? Or could it be the valves so burnt as to blow by and overheat.?? There also was a flame coming out the exhaust pipe where the muffler was removed. I had hoped this was going to be a simple fuel system cleanup but I guess its not going to be.
Donnie is your engine a fresh rebuild?
I suspect that the timing is off and unburnt fuel s burning in the exhaust manifold.
Before you start tearing things down I would check the timing manually by pulling #1 plug. Reattach the plug to the spark plug wire, rest it on the head and set the spark lever all the way up. Then with the switch on crank it over slowly by hand and watch the piston come up. If the timing is set correctly the plug should fire just after TDC. A small flashlight will help you see the piston travel. If it fires later than that you will have to bend the rod running to the commutator until it fires right after TDC. I have never been able to use the gauge to get the timer set correctly. You may well need to bend the timing rod differently to get the proper advance.
Im not sure about the engine. The car was a nice complete restoration about 12 years ago, according to the man I bought it from. He was not a model t person. He got it from his brothers estate. He said it was bought from a restorer in Tennesee about 12 years ago. It has new top, tires, interior, ect. I have not got into the motor yet but everything else about the car is very good. I do not think I could have done anything to the carb that would cause this type of problem. Would it be possible that the carb could be at fault. It is the only item that is changed (and exhaust manifold) that was not on it before. I did a total rebuild on the 1926 style NH. I always take them apart and heat them with a torch till they will melt out the passage way plugs. I then check all the passages with carb cleaner. and then replace the plugs with brass plugs. Is it possible that the carb could be allowing to much gas. ?? Ive never had a bad carb rebuild yet, but ??? Will take the head off tomorrow... but like I said before this is a new one for me...
Ill check the timing first thing tomorrow. I did have to bend the rod quite a bit to get it to line up with the gauge. The Ford manual says 2-1/2 inches from clamp bolt to the rod. (I think that 2-1/2 is correct from memory) Ive always used the gauge with good success. Ill check by piston travel tomorrow.
1. Remove the front (#1) spark plug
2. Turn engine with the crank until #1 in up on compression stroke. (It blows instead of sucks air through the plug hole) .
3. Insert a length of wire (coat hanger) in the hole to find when the piston is way up and just starting down.
Now the #1 coil should buzz (I hope you have coils), with the "spark" lever all the way up.
4. If number one coil is not buzzing rotate the timer to where it just starts. Bend the rod to the "spark" lever so the timer returns to this exact position every time you position the lever in the full up position. I hope this helps.
I'm a slow typist.
Open up the carb a 1/4 turn,and see if that helps with the manifold.
Overheating like that is due to:
1. Retarded timing.
2. Fuel mixture to lean.
3. Burned Valve
Pull the plugs and do a compression test. You can do a simple check by putting your thumb over the plug hole and cranking over the engine. That will give you a rough idea of the compression. Better to use a compression gauge. If you have a cylinder where it doesn't have the same force as the others, I would suspect a burned valve.
Set the timing as described above. It should be 15 degrees after TDC with the spark lever all the way up.
Set the fuel mixture with the engine running. Turn it left/right until you find where it is running the best. Then turn it clockwise until it starts to run rough (lean mixture), then turn it counter-clockwise until it smooths out and starts to run rough again (rich mixture). Then turn it clockwise until it just smooths out. This puts it at the rich side of the mixture setting.
The mixture setting may change as the engine warms up. Typically you need an extra 1/4 turn counter-clockwise when the engine is cold, then turn it back as it warms up.
I was going to do a compression test today but could not find my tester. I will do the static type test tomorrow. I have had Ts for almost thirty years now and have never had one this bad. Since the car was supposed to be a runner 12 years ago I hoped it would just need a clean up. The only real changes so far has been the carb and I did change the timer rod to the "Ford" setting by the gauge. I checked the book again and it is supposed to be 2-1/2 inches. Every car I have ever had has been set with the same gauge. Val states that he never could use the gauge. My question is what could make the 2-1/2 inch setting not work as Ford designed it to. I always build all my motors to start with the hand crank and be able to start with one finger and one pull on the crank when warm or on compression 90% of the time. Will do a more detailed check out tomorrow, but I have never saw one this bad.
Donnie, I'm glad to see you back messing with T's again (other than your tractor conversion). Sounds like it hasn't been driven much since restored, so, I'd sure try the above advice before I started tearing down. If it still does it, take the carb off your tractor conversion or clean up the vaporizer and put back on, or pull another carb out of your stash!
The timer gauge only works with the Ford roller timer not any others. What timer do you have on yours?
I have a new day timer. Its what was on it. Checked it out and cleaned it. All looked OK. I have always used the gauge for years. ???? I hate the vaporizers, and it was cracked where the inlet elbow goes into the carb anyway. I may fix it later but for now the NH should be a dependable carb. Im back with the Ts again. Been away too long. I just started trying to start her today and hit a problem I have never seen in my years of working on Ts. It may be my punishment for straying off to the 33 Plymouth for so long. I really wanted it running by the Petitt Jean fall meet but ???. I will get serious about it tomorrow but wanted to hear some opinions before I tear into her. I was hoping it would run good enough for now but Mike as everyone knows about my cars If they will not start on mag with the hand crank using one finger I am not satisfied with it. Thanks...
Could the engine rebuilder have gotten the cam timing off a tooth?
My first T had a New Day. Not knowing any better, first thing I did was set timing using the bolt to rod measurement method. Dang thing wouldn't even crank. Been using the piston position method ever since. That works
on all timers. No need to worry with figuring out what brand you have.
" was supposed to been running a year ago "
Suspect statement ........
Timing problem .... yes, ignition problem....maybe not.
I would remove head and manifolds, check valves. Burnt?, warped heads ?. Use the piston position method to set the valves, not only for valve lash, bit more importantly valve timing.
I suspect the exhaust valves opening late and closing early , giving you the overheating problem.
That commutator timing guage you used only works with the standard Ford timer. Other timers must be set according to the manufacturer.
That commutator timing guage you used only works with the standard Ford timer. Other timers must be set according to the manufacturer.
I believe I would ensure the ignition timing is set correctly and see if that fixes it before I tore into it.
Donnie...to expand on Hal & Val's suggestions, John Regan taught me in addition to that, with spark plugs out and laying on top of engine, move spark lever down, then SLOWLY raise back full up to take out slop, turn batt. switch on, then slowly crank engine over and stop the instant you hear any of the coils buzz. Pull hand crank out and view placement of crank pin. (best to do this with radiator out) The pin should be just barely past horizontal, with the right side (driver side) pin say just a fuzz past the 3 o'clock position. If the pin is down to about the 4 o'clock position, it is way too retarded. This sounds like a lot of work especially taking the radiator out, but believe me it works and works great.You then can bend the rod accordingly to either advance or retard your timer as necessary. Ended up re-timing 2 of my 4 T's this way that were sorely out of time, and what a difference in starting, and should also aid in overcoming overheating. Unless of course you have some other major engine problems like I did on my other T that I re-timed also. Hope this helps.
good morning: Well its time to go out and check her out. The man I got the car from said it was running about a year ago; He was not a T man and knew nothing about them. The gas had turned to a tar like black goo. He may have been lucky to get it running for a little while with the new filter that was on it.?? The bands feel like they are burnt as the trans will chatter bad in low and reverse. I did look inside the trans cover before I started it and to add a trans screen. All looked nice and clean and the bands appeared to still have lining material showing. The man I got it from said his brother was the one who bought the car from a man in Tenn. He said his brother drove it some but very little.?? May have had a problem back then. The car is very clean. no oil leaks, the bottom side of car is a little dusty but is still fresh restored appearing. The paint is bad and flaking off the primer, but the primer is good. The top, interior, floor mats, chrome/nickel plating, tires, wheels, all appear new or good. I believe the story of about 12 years ago that the car was a fully restored car. It also has no rust whatsoever and perfect fenders. More than likely the motor was rebuilt also. I will start a diagnosis today. I would think the engine would not even start if it is one tooth off. Since I re-bent the timer rod that could be part of the problem. I will do a compression test and static timing test first. Maybe Ill get lucky. If not Ill just take my punishment for straying from the Ts for so long, and proceed with the teardown.
How does the car run on mag?? Bud.
Hi: Got her running better..!! Did a compression test. Only had a 300psi gauge but with hand cranking 3 time thru compression and throttle wide open I got #1 at 32 psi #2 at 39 psi #3 at 34 psi and #4 at 39 psi. Shows #2 and 3 to be a little weak. It may get a little better after driving awhile. I did a static test of timing and had to bend (shorten) the rod aprox. 3/4 inch to get it to align. I had the piston just over top dead center. I probably bent the rod back to where the previous owner had it. I have used new day timers for years and have always used that little gauge with no problems. ???? Oh well, even old dogs learn new stuff.... I may have to bend (shorten) it a little more as it seems to still retard it a little to much but its real close now. I finally got to let it run about 15 minutes and no overheating at the exhaust. In 15 minutes at idle it just started to rise into the little window of the motometer. I finally got to switch to mag and it runs better on mag than battery (as it should). I still have some stuff to do. The water pump will not turn by the belt. Im going to take it off anyway. I have never used a water pump. If everything is right with the motor you do not need them and they are very messy. That entire side of the engine is covered with grease, the horn is full of grease, the inside of the hood is solid grease, and they will fill the radiator with grease. I hate them..!! So next step is remove water pump and put on new hoses and a fan belt. Then take her out for her first spin in I believe 12 years. The seller said he drove it a year ago but Im not for sure about that. Ill also need to put in new bands. In all my years of model Ts I have never used Kevlar. Any comments on them. I have always used Scandinavian with good results. I always use the screen under the cover. I have a set of Kevlar and about 20 sets of Scandinavian but Im thinking about using the Kevlar.??? Im going to start a new thread in a day or so with pics of the car and what I do to the old girl as I go along. Im hoping the only major thing is a repaint. I knew the black paint was separating from the primer when I bought it so that does not bother me. What I do not like is that the e-bay ad said, and I quote. "the car runs, drives, steers, and does everything its supposed to" he also stated "I have a clear title in my name" It steers OK but everything else was wrong. I bought the car after the auction ended with no bidsso I could go for a inspection in person. so I bought it knowing the car did not run, had very bad gas and goo in it, the title # did not match the car, and the paint was falling off the car (which he did not state in the auction either) So Im not complaining about my purchase as I bought it knowing all that, but it is so aggrivating that the sellers think they can either lie about it or they are so dumb or lazy to not know the difference. Well enough ranting , its time to go tinker some more. Thanks for all the posts... Donnie...
Change the oil and enjoy
All is well in T land. Shes running a lot better now. No smoke at all, Tested for noises with my stethoscope and hear nothing out of the ordinary. I think I may still check the valve clearances as they are very quite and Im afraid they may be to close. But that's a simple check out and Im curious if I have adjustable tappets or not. I can hand crank on mag with one pull of the crank. Still will not start on compression yet but its trying to. Ill start a new thread later as 27 Sport Touring Project and try to add some pics of the car. I didn't know how much I missed having a T around to play with. Donnie ....
If it hand crank starts on mag that's pretty darned good in my book, for all you've mentioned has been wrong with this car! Donnie, as misery loves company I guess regarding what you find out "after the fact" buying a car, I had a similar experience I'm still working through on my '15 Touring that I bought last December and haven't had it more than a 10 mile run yet. The so-called rebuilt engine from the previous owner to my previous owner apparently was a scam job...the worst looking rebuild you could think of, it too kept overheating terribly and quickly. Long story short of it, I'm waiting for a "new" rebuild with a different block no less. This so called "rebuilt" engine was that bad. I think all the guy did was slap a coat of paint on it and who knows what he charged the old man for it. Ripped him off. Now I've lost an entire season's use of what was going to be a fun car to haul friends around in. Maybe next year.
Tim. Wish you luck with your project. I believe every model T will hand crank with one pull. You just need everything in good shape. Strange as it may sound the engine condition is not the major factor to easy starting. It is the coils, timing and carb/fuel system that makes a hand cranker. Hand cranking on mag is another discussion. I bought a T years ago that had a bad rebuild even though it was new rebuilt. It had new aluminum .060 pistons in .080 holes with fresh crosshatch marks. I think the rebuilder bored the holes .080 and found out .060 was as big as you could get stock pistons and stuck them in anyway. I drove that car for 3 yrs with the .060 in .080 holes and it never smoked or I never heard any piston slap. That car is still running that way.??? I told the new owner of the car about the pistons when I sold it and he was going to run it till it gave him a problem. No problem yet.?? I firmly believe if the parts are in there and they go "up and down" and go "round and round" a T will run OK. That is why the timing of the new day timer threw me off. Sometimes its the little things that trip us up. Good luck and hope you drive her soon..
An important question: Is the manifold equally red for the full length or just in one area?
If it is only red in one area, it could indicate that one coil or plug is not working and the raw gas charge is being dumped into the exhaust manifold, which will then be ignited by the next cylinder to fire.
Like you, I've always used the Scandinavia cotton linings--but, I had a stash of the old ones. I hear the new ones are junk, so, when I did my 15 last year I used Jim Guin's wood bands (check parts suppliers on this site's home page). SO far I love them--no lint to foul the mag post and no worry about overheating drums.
My Model T came with a new in the box set of those Scandinavian linings. They had been in that box for 25 to 30 years.
I installed them and got almost 40 miles on them, after frequent road side adjustments.
They were totally dry rotted, but held together well at the time of installation and faked me out.
The same Kevlar bands have been in the car for 14 years.
The secret of driving a Model T is having the motor run well enough to keep your feet off all the pedals almost all the time. The bands will last and also the Kevlar will not crack the drums.
Took her out on the first longer trip and it overheated again. low on power, but the car will hand crank on mag and even started on compression 3 times. I decided to pull the head and check the valves ect. The valves were slightly rust and carbon and slightly burnt but showed a full seat on all valves. Clearances on the ones I checked so far are about .010 to .012. It has aluminum .030 over pistons and the cylinder walls look excellent. The radiator had some grease from the water pump in it but not to bad. Do not know if valve springs are good yet. Im buying new ones anyway. Head gasket was very good and no sign of leakage. The only real item out of the ordinary is according to Tim in a post above my crank pin should be horizontal and at aprox 3:00, mine is vertical and at 12:00 when #1 is at top and on compression. Im pulling the timing cover tomorrow but any thoughts as to why. Thanks... for the posts Donnie ...
Are you sure there is no blockage in the exhaust system. I had one with a loose baffle that would restrict exhaust gasses causing the manifold to glow bright red.
I didn't see anyone else mention this but I have often seen sticking valves on these motors especially if they have set for a long while after being rebuilt. The best way to fix this is to remove the valves and clean up their stems and the guides. I have tried to oil the stem from the top with the head off when the valve is open . Sometimes this works and sometimes not, sometimes they free up on their own. These sticky valves usually are slower to close as the RPM increases and sometimes not even noticeable at an idle.
Did anyone pick up on his saying that his crank pin is 90 degrees away from what we expect? How can that be?? Aren't all cranks the same in that respect??
Of course, if the pin hole is different from mine, that's no problem. But, there's the issue of timing. I would be skeptical of simply putting "dot to dot" on the timing gears.
Hi: I removed the exhaust and checked everything. That was the first thing I checked. It looked almost new and was clean with no blockage. The valve stems all look good and I removed the valves with my fingers. A couple of them had a little (very little) carbon build up in the port area but not on the running area. The valve seats are full circle on all valves. A few of them seem a little blued but I have seen a lot worse. Im going to do a good valve clearence test tomorrow. I think they may be a little tight. If so the gap may be closing up when they get hot and holding the valve open.?? I have not checked the spring tension yet. It was getting late and I am not as young as I wish I was. I used to do all-nighters on these projects. Not anymore.!! I started another thread titled 1927 Sport Touring project. It has some pics of the car as-bought. Ill start adding more to that thread as I procede. Thanks for all the input Donnie...