Replaced the break and low speed band with Scandinavia band linings the beginning of this past tour season and the low speed band has worn down and had to be replaced again. No speedometer so don't now how many miles. I would estimate about 250 miles. The brake band it fine so was concerned about cracked drum. I inspected the low speed drum, carefully marking sections with a black marker as the drum rotated so I would not miss any sections. I could did not see any cracks but did note pitting on the drum surface. The brake drum has larger pits in it but it did not wear out.
It could be just being an inexperienced new driver learning band adjustment and clutch operation or the drums are pitted too much. I took a couple of pictures of the drums and would be interested in comments from folks with educated eyes with respect to drum condition.
Reline bands and run them.
Mike, At the risk of starting World War 3, I would suggest that kevlar bands are much more forgiving at the feet of novice drivers.
Your brake band appears to be the wide band of a 26-7 trans and so the wear is spread over a wider area. That said, the brake band in use is always slipping on the drum until you actually stop, so it is most likely the one to wear most.
The clutch/first gear band should only slip during engagement. Once you have your foot down firmly, it should clamp on the drum and not slip at all. Perhaps your adjustment was too loose and the band continued to slip in operation, and the accellerated wear was the result.
While the pitting is not ideal, it is not that bad. Get the pedal down smartly and hold it firmly once engaged, and it doesn't matter.
Hope this helps,
Allan from down under.
Your reverse band looks too tight. If the rest of the bands were adjusted the same you may have premature wear due to the fact they are rubbing on the drums too much all the time.
Scandinavia band linings of today = "tar babies" has a bad reputation and wear out faster than many old cotton bands. They're made with a coarser weave than old stock scandinavia - the tar like impregnation doesn't compensate for missing threads. My suggestion is to use a wood bands for the low band and kevlar for the brake - thus you'll get a good compromise: Best band longevity without much risk for the drums. (Reverse is optional, cotton or wood )
Good old stock scandinavia lining:
(Picture by Les Sumner)
I'd go with "operator error". Try to engage with minimal slipping. Reline with whatever you have and drive.
The Scandinavia bands of today are crap. For sure you want to use a Kevlar brake band. The drum looks fine, those minor pits won't cause excessive wear.
You should always drive as if your Model T has no brakes when possible. Try to back off the throttle long before a stop sign. Allow engine braking to slow the car down. Use the brake very sparingly.
You only have so many panic stops in each Model T before damage to the transmission, drive shaft bushing, rear end bearings, or U joint will happen. You want to save that capability for the day you actually need it. Obviously adding a set of aftermarket brakes helps a lot. I recommend anyone who drives a T very much should add some sort of auxiliary brake system.
I won't get into which material is best. I use wood. I do believe that the less slippage, the better. If at all possible, I hold my LOW and REVERSE pedals to the floor. I give it a shot of throttle to get the rpm up, then engage the pedal as I close the throttle back down to idle speed. Once the car is moving, it will stay moving at idle. I normally do this even in reverse. Sometimes, if it is in a tight spot, I will give it short jabs just to get it moving. However, I NEVER sit there and slip the bands the whole time I am moving. I've seen some that never fully engage reverse and slip low for 50 feet before fully engaging it. I feel that is the wrong the way to drive a T. On the brake....yeah, the brake slips by definition, but I still do everything in my power to slow the car before using the brake. Unless I'm on a hill, or have to stop suddenly or did not plan as well as I should have, I don't use the brake until the last few feet. I let it slow itself to well below 10 mph and maybe slower, then use the brake just to get it to a stop. The less slippage the better, on any band. There is no wear taking place with them fully disengaged or when they are fully disengaged, only when they are slipping.
Thanks for the comments and suggestions. I chose the Scandinavia bands over Kevlar as my first set of bands because I thought they would be more forgiving of a novice driver unfamiliar with adjustment and operation.
Regarding comments on low speed band adjustment, I adjust the band so that the car does not move in idle or when the engine is revved. Initially, pressing the low speed pedal quickly can accelerate the car very rapidly. Pressing the pedal too fast can actually stall the car. However, after a few stops and starts, more and more pressure on the pedal is required. I tightened the low speed band nut 1 to 1.5 turns 3 times since the initial installation at intervals of a few miles apart to maintain a responsive pedal, is that normal? The other thing that bothers me is that the pedal seems to rest back farther than desired. Within a few days of driving, the low pedal contacts the floor boards and actually pushes the upper floor board up and out of position. This could be what limits pedal travel increasing wear; prompting frequent tightening of the band to keep the pedal within unobstructed travel range. How would the low pedal resting position be moved forward to increase the travel to the floor boards? I did replace the return springs to minimize band drag.
I try to always engage the low speed pedal quickly but smoothly without stalling and hold it in firmly until then release it quickly when the engine speed hits 2100RPM to 2300 RPM according to accurate tach measurements. The transmission glides into high gear smoothly.
My Model T was equipped with Kevlar band linings when I bought it and, as this was my first Flivver, I learned how to drive on it. If you check out the link below, you'll see just how ham-fisted I was and how much I had to learn.
Considering I did no obvious damage to the drums with the Kevlar linings, perhaps the horror stories are a little exaggerated for the purpose of making a point. In any case, I've been driving several years with Kevlar and so far, so good.
Ford's transmission drums weren't all equal quality - there was a variation in the castings and some are much easier to break than others.
With forgiving band materials the half good castings that survived cotton bands throughout the depression has a chance to live on into the future. The really bad ones has already been broken some 80+ years back..
Brake drums seems stronger in general and may survive most kinds of band materials.
Several potential problems:
1.The type of band material. Scandinavia is not known for long lasting.
2. The way the lining is installed on the band. It should be started at each end with about 3/16 beyond the end of the band. Then work the material to the center so that it lays flat against the band, not hanging away from the band between rivets.
3. Band must be round, not twisted or kinked. It should conform to the drum.
4. The cams should be good so that when the pedal is pushed down, the band is tight against the drum without slipping.
5. The adjustment should be as loose as possible without slipping when the pedal is depressed. It should be tight at 1" above the floorboard.
6. When the car is in neutral you should be able to turn the crank without moving the car either forward or reverse, and when the engine is in neutral the car should not creep forward or backward with the engine warmed up.(note there might be a slight tendency to creep forward when first started when cold due to clutch drag)
7. Minimum use of brake. Slow down as much as possible with throttle or low gear before applying the brake. Note if you have Ruckstell, the brake band will actually stop you with less pressure because the gearing down will increase compression braking as well as give more leverage to transmission brake
8. Minimum slippage of low or reverse bands when they are applied. Do not control speed with band slippage, instead use throttle keeping the pedal fully depressed.
Kevlar wears best, but is less forgiving when it is allowed to slip.
Good points. The low speed band that wore out was installed by riveting starting on one end and working to the other. Done properly this time, installing the two ends first then working towards the center. Hammered the rivets into a soft block of pine and peened over, worked very well. The bands did appear round and not deformed.
The car is a 1927 touring so have lined brake drums. I have used the emergency/hand brake to assist in stopping on occasion to avoid excessive stress on the brake drum and drive train. Learned quickly the need to ensure good brake equalization.
I suspect the low pedal cam is either worn too much but don't think it is responsible for the pedal being too far depressed in the resting position. Did not see any adjustment for that.
Maybe the pedal is bent? Compare with other T's
I'll bet you find that the new band will last longer, being installed "correctly".
One suggestion that I haven't seen above (maybe I missed it) is that a properly adjusted
"T" should be able to easily engaged into low gear at idle engine speed when starting from a complete stop on level ground.
Retard the spark a bit, so that BTDC firing of low reving engine doesn't combine with rolling resistance to try to stall the car.
I rarely encounter anyone who will nearly silently get their "T" rolling...it's usually accomplished with a great deal of reving, slipping and thrashing, and that's just not needed.
"... I chose the Scandinavia bands over Kevlar as my first set of bands because I thought they would be more forgiving..."
They were. The Scandinavia bands gave themselves up rather than making the drums take the punishment. As others have said however, the new Scandi linings just do not last very long at all. You might say they're too forgiving. I think you'll be happy with the Kevlar, provided they are adjusted correctly.
I'm a big fan of the Guinn wood bands. I've installed them on my T. They don't chatter and have a very nice feeling to them. I drive my T a ton so I'll let ya'll know how they wear.
Mike, if your first gear pedal is hitting the floorboards frequently, the notches and ramps are most likely well worn. A quick fix can be made to get around this by heating the pedal arm and hauling it back to compensate. In effect you are lifting the pedal off the floor to give it more travel. This is not a substitute for doing the job properly by replacing the worn components, but it will give you some mileage before you have to tear it down.
Hope this helps,
Allan from down under.
Thanks for information and suggestions. Here are some pictures of my low speed pedal position to help describe the problem. I would like to know what causes this and how it is corrected.
Resting position with parking brake in neutral
Pressed all the way down
Another angle; note how the floor boards are separated as the low speed pedal pushes them apart. Perhaps the floor boards are just the wrong size or warn out. Had to add metal reinforcements.
If your cams are worn the band will slip and the lining will wear quickly. If you do not want to pull the hogs head and replace the cams you can fix the problem by adding a couple of washers on the pedal side of the shaft right before the band ear on the pedal side. Just be very careful not to drop anything into the transmission. I use the traditional rag stuffing method and I also tie everything with dental floss and wrap it around my wrist just to be sure.
Have you had a chance to check the pedal cams? If they're badly worn, pedal adjustment will never be right.
To me the low speed pedal is the hardest to adjust. My criteria is that with the pedal pressed down with moderate pressure and low speed fully engaged (no slippage), the pedal should have about 1/2" to 3/4" clearance from hitting the floorboards.
BTW, Royce's comments about backing off on the throttle, engine braking and using the brake sparingly are excellent advice. On some of my drives I don't use the brake at all.