Just to let you know, I am new to Model T's and these forums.
We recently obtained a 1926 Model T Fordor. And three days ago, we were driving up a hill, when, there was a loud clang and all of a sudden the engine got real loud. When we tried to slow down, something started knocking around the engine area. So long-story short, we got home and we're not sure if we threw a rod or one of the bearings finally gave out. I think we should take off the oil pan, but, I don't if we will have to remove anything else. Basically, I need to know how to access the pistons.
Drop the oil inspection pan to see if you can find which rod it is. You will have to pull the head to access the piston and the rod. Then push the rod and the piston through the top. it would be good time to check all the rods while the inspection pan is off..
Buy the Model T bible - everything regarding disassembly and assembly is covered there: http://www.modeltford.com/item/T1.aspx
Nowadays you can't get new cheap genuine Ford spare parts as easy as the mechanics who used that book when new, so you may find the MTFCA repair manuals useful too: http://modeltstore.myshopify.com/products/service-manuals
A loud clang sounds bad - knocking rod bearings usually starts more gradually..? So did the engine got you home, or did you have to flat tow it?
Not much use with arm chair diagnosis, you've got to get out and get under.. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uBRzUzJErL8
If the engine died and you had to tow it sure sounds like a broken crankshaft to me. If it still ran . . . then I have no idea.
Well, Katie (That's her name) got us home, slowly. Luckily, we were only about 2-miles from home, but she didn't sound to healthy with all the clanging going on.
Could also be a magnet from the magneto.
You have to begin taking things apart.
In any case - You are going to have to do some work..
The good news is that parts will be easy to find and the T is simple.
You will soon make friends with Lang's, Snyder's, Chaffin's, and other folks that are in the Model T supplier's section of this web site.
Oh, and Roger I just realized what you meant!
I've been familiar with that song since I was about eleven. First heard of it when I watched Horatio's Drive, from PBS. (Good show by-the-way)
I've had good luck with both Snyder's and Lang's.
The first time we drove Katie, we blew a freeze plug. Thick, white smoke was poring out of the engine vents and the radiator! It looked as if we were watching an old silent Harold Loyld film. We went searching on Snyder's and found a set of Plugs for cheap and got them here in three days. And Lang's has been very reliable. (Waiting on a set of hubcaps currently)
If one of the rod bearings gave up, you don't have to pull the head, you can replace the rod from the bottom. I did it 2 weeks ago.
I don't think you "threw a rod". A thrown rod means the rod broke and usually came out the side of the crankcase or block. The babbit could break from a rod bearing and when it does, it could do so suddenly and then you would hear a loud knock.
You could have thrown a piston, especially if it was an original cast iron piston. In that case the broken pieces would fall down into the pan and the rod would be banging around in the cylinder. My uncle once threw a piston on a Model A and continued to drive it on 3 cylinders for about a month. The wrist pin ground quite a groove in the cylinder.
A loose piston will tend to knock more loudly when pulling at a low speed.
The loud clang is what concerns me. Usually a rod bearing wears out slowly over time and it develops a knock which is heard most loudly when you are just going along about 20 MPH without either pulling or coasting.
I don't think it was a broken crankshaft because the car continued to run.
Other things to cause a problem would be the original 2 piece valves. Sometimes the valve head breaks off and could get stuck between the piston and the head. That would cause a loud clang accompanied by misfire.
Most likely either a piston or a rod bearing.
You will need to pull things apart to find out what is the cause and then take appropriate steps to fix the problem.
Now you talk about a knocking but not missing so perhaps you didn't actually throw a rod. The easiest way to find this out is to pull the plugs and hand crank the motor while watching the pistons move or if you're alone you can put a long screwdriver in the hole and hand crank a bit. If it moves the piston is moving. I do believe Pete that you will be pulling the inspection cover in any case but it's still easier to turn over with the plugs out. Don't pull the head first as it's possible to replace the rod by pulling the piston down. It's fiddley as heck but possible and it depends on which cyl. it is . I think #4 would be a hard one to do like that. Hope your crank is OK.
Well, I'm not sure If I said it correctly before (I might have missed something) Every time the engine made a revolution it knocked and reducing the throttle and spark helped A LOT. I already have MTFCA Engine repair book and what I think is we may have blown a bearing in one of the rods. (I think it may be cylinder #2) I really appreciate all of your help. (As I've only been on here for a few days now, and thanks for giving me such a warm welcome) But, I would like to get her running as soon as I possibly can.
Thanks to all of you,
Norman, let me give you a more accurate story:
We were going up a hill, not too big, just big enough to make the car slow a little in Second Gear. When we gave her (The car) full throttle and spark, suddenly the engine's rpm shot up higher than it was at full throttle, thus making it louder. (Now, this is my theory so there's no facts with this) Now as soon as this happened, the knock appeared. It was nothing like a spark knock, more like a mechanical knock. When we got to the top of the hill my first thought was that we may have broken the spark lever, but I quickly realized this would not have made the engine louder than usual. Then I thought the worst, we must have thrown/blown/lost/cracked a piston. Now, I also realized this could be a bearing problem. I have also read that sometimes when it is cold, it was like 30 degrees earlier that morning and it was about 50 degrees when we were driving, that when you use 30 weight oil, sometimes the oil is so thick it can't get to the rod bearings. Causing them to, well, break and cause you problems. We are going to remove the oil inspection pan today and try to see what happened.
Thanks for the info,
Oh, and I believe it does have cast-iron pistons.
Welcome to the Model T world.
I am afraid that if you drove 2 miles with a rod knocking your crankshaft is toast. You will probably at least have to have if reground or install a new one. If you throw a rod you must shut your motor off immediately.
I have never seen a rod go through the side of a block. I threw one going 70 MPH down hill in the Montana 500. I replaced it that night and went on. Nothing went through the side of the block. My Son In Law threw one going uphill to Leadville, Colorado. We replaced it that night and its still working 20 year later.
One of the drivers on the Montana 500 melted a plastic oil line and did throw a rod through the side of his block. But do you drive as fast as the drivers on the 500.
When my dad was a "kid" his buddy had a rod punch through the block. Dad patched the hole with a cut out piece of grandma's silver serving tray. She never found out what happened to it.
1. Even though the it is a done deal now, Dave brought up a very good point. Stopping immediately when a strange noise is heard can easily be the difference between an easy cheap repair and a several thousand dollar long term repair.
2. You said that when starting to slow going up the hill you gave her (The car) full throttle and spark. When starting to lug down on a hill the spark should be retarded and not advanced. Advancing the spark may cause the engine to knock and may have done some damage to your engine.
3. If the engine speed did really speed up as you reported then that would indicate a slipping clutch.
Peter, I have read your second description, and one other possible cause of the band and knock occurred to me. That would be a blown head gasket. Check the compression and see if one or two cylinders has low compression. Sometimes they blow between either cylinder 1 and 2 or between 3 and 4. That would also make it misfire. When that happened to mine, I found that at high speeds on level or downhill the engine sounded fine, but when going slow or uphill I got a missfire.
If you lost a rod bearing going uphill it could be number one or two which are at the front of the engine and get less oil when the front of the engine is elevated.
Does the knock happen when the car is not moving? If the engine speed increased that would indicate that the load was removed from the engine. A failed rod bearing or any bearing in the engine is not going to make it speed up.
If it knocks only when moving, then I would be looking at the rear end. If it has the babbetted thrust washers, they could have failed. The knocking noise is the pinion gear slipping past the ring gear. The noise can telescope up through the drive shaft tube and sound like it's coming from the transmission.
It knocked even when she was in neutral.
Peter, since you are new here I will forgive you. Any person with the word "Fordor" in their post on this board, is required to include at least two good quality photographs of their Fordor.
Looking nice, Ed!
Welcome to the affliction! If you saw "Horatio's Drive" when you were eleven, You must be a young fellow. We won't hold that against you. With any luck, you will grow out of it. I was a young fellow when I got into this hobby. But that was over 45 years ago.
Believe it or not, the breakdowns are part of the fun of antique automobiles! Analyzing them. Doing the repairs and learning from them. They all lead to a self-reliance that most people never achieve anymore. They can also make you rightfully self-assured.
And yes, it is time to tear into it (do so methodically). It would not hurt to check to see if all four pistons are moving by pulling the plugs (they probably will be). You will probably need to pull both the inspection covers (under the engine and over the transmission). I am not yet convinced it isn't the rear end. Clutch drag can make it still knock when you think it is in neutral. And you do need to be certain that there are no Babbitt thrust washers in there.
Good luck! Post often, questions and pictures. We like pictures.
Drive carefully, and enjoy, W2
Ok, here's the news on Katie (The Model T of course!)
Me and my dad got under the car, drained the engine/transmission oil and removed the oil pan. Upon removing the pan, we discovered lots of metal fragments. Just as I thought, one of our bearings gave out. When we got back under the car, my thoughts were confirmed. Cylinder #1's bearing looked like it had exploded. So in order to send it to get it fixed, we: Drained the radiator, removed the coil box, removed all the head bolts and pulled the head. After all that, we pulled the #1 piston out. Now all we have to do is to: take it to a machine shop, get the wrist pin pushed out, send it away, get it back and do vice-versa.
Ed, I will post pictures of Katie, her piston and what is left of her bearing.
Yes I am quite young to be into Model T's (I'm currently 14) and I have always wanted one ever since I first heard of them. (I grew up watching Chitty-Chitty-Bang-Bang) Thanks for welcoming a young guy like me into this fun and historical hobby.
You don't need to take it to a machine shop to get the wrist pin out. Clamp the rod in a vice, loosen the bolt on the top of the rod and push out the pin.
Next you will need to get a micrometer and measure the diameter of the crank journal. Measure it in several places across the width of the journal, and measure it again 90 degrees to the first measurements. You need to determine if the journal is tapered or if it is out of round.
If it is round and not tapered, you can determine by the measurements which size rod you need to order. If it is out of round or tapered then you will need to get the crankshaft ground. You are not going to be able to keep the rod adjusted if the journal is out of round.
Also, be aware that the rods are not all the same weight. I swapped out a rod in my car and I now have a vibration in the engine. When rebuilding an engine the rods are usually matched for weight. The only way to do that is to remove all of the rods and match the weights with the new rod. If your going through all that you may as well just order a set of 4 rods and replace all of them. That way you can get the weights all the same and have a smoother running engine.
The rod replacement an easy job.
The real question is, what is the condition of the crankshaft? If it is good and likely it is not, you are very lucky. If it is bad you have a major job on your hands.
Dave, we did just as you said with no luck.
Jim, the crankshaft appears to be in fine shape.
Welcome to the club.
So funny you mention what got you into the hobby.
Same for me seeing Chitty in the theater in 1968? at the age of 6 hooked on old cars from that point on and got my touring when I was 15...(I'm 51 now). (and she looked like the wreck that Chitty was in the beginning of the movie, all you could see were a pair of sad headlights looking out from a mound of honeysuckle)
One thing that no one has mentioned yet check the inside oil line it may be plugged up with band lint and other "stuff" this may have caused Ole # 1 bearing to go bad. If you don't have an outside oil line get one even just a mag outside oil line is good insurance in case something were to block the inside line.
Good luck with the repair, there are several really good and knowledgeable T folks in your neck of the woods that I'm sure will chime in if you need help.
Never clamp a rod in a vice for anything, they are very easy sprung!
Do not hold the rod in any way to remove a wrist pin bolt.
Put a rod through the wrist pin to hold the piston, or such to take the pinch bolt out.
Kohnke is RIGHT !!!!!!
If you clamp a rod in a vice you will bend it. If you don't have a rod to find someone in your club that has a PISTON VICE. If you can not find a PISTON VICE use a rod like Kohnke says.
Another Item, I would never install a magneto post oil line. They don't supply much oil and you take a chance of shorting out the mag post. I always use the outside line that fastens to the side of the hogs head. They give a LOT MORE OIL.
They are listed as 3082LC in Lang on page 58.
Your right - I knew that. Should have read through the reply before hitting the post button.
A good quality #3 or #4 Phillips screwdriver works well for this. Shove it through the piston pin and clamp the end of the screwdriver in a vise. The piston can't get away from you when it's between the vise & the screwdriver handle.
Here's some pictures.
Try the new, Bearing Bites! Great for your Model T. Supplies the High-in-Iron Diet your Engine needs! Sold at your local Ford Dealership.
Thanks for the great info guys!
Cool car kid! Great to have you in the hobby. Sure wish I'd have had that early a start. Oh well. Better late than never. Good luck on the rebuild.
What a neat car! Hope you and your dad get it back together and running soon.
1.248 Is standard crankshaft , Bob
Thanks! She does look good in these pictures.
Now, I'm wondering if since we have her apart, should we put Aluminum pistons in her? I know that they are a lot lighter, but, I'm worried that they may be to light. (If you know what I mean. If you don't, I mean they might be so light that her engine may spin too fast!) Just want to make sure we don't cause any unnecessary damage to her.
Where are the oil rings?
Often unrestored engines are too worn in the cylinders for std aluminum pistons while they can be driven some more with the original cast iron pistons without much problems (just a little lower compression and a little higher oil consumption than a rebuilt engine)
If your #1 rod journal on the crank shaft miraculously survived the loss of babbitt, then maybe you can put the engine together with new rings and enjoy driving some more years before a full rebuild is needed - but if you have to pull the crank for grinding maybe reboring the cylinders and a full rebuild is the best option?
Check the valves while you have the head off - if original two piece style they should be exchanged with modern replacements - they tend to break where the shaft is connected to the head, maybe due to corrosion over the years. Original valves can be recognised by two holes not very deep holes in the top surface.
You need to use a micrometer to check the crankshaft. First thing is all surfaces should be smooth. Second thing is to find if the crankshaft has been turned undersized. Third is to check for out of round and taper from front to back of throw.
Since you are still using cast iron pistons it is quite probable that you also need to rebore the cylinders and put oversize pistons in. If you don't rebore the cylinders, I would recommend that you continue to use the same pistons unless they are damaged. They are worn to fit the cylinders and new pistons in old cylinders would very likely cause rapid wear.
Clean out your oil tube.
I disagree with Dave Huson on the use of a mag oiler. I had one car which the funnel fell off the inside oiler. I know exactly when it happened. It cut the mag ring and I had an outside oiler on the magneto. I drove the car on battery that way for about 10 years until I rewound a couple of mag rings and decided to install one on that car. The only oil it was getting was from the inside oiler without the funnel and the mag oiler. I only needed to remove some shims and the engine was ready to continue on. Now my magneto works.
Anyway, the most important thing to so is check the crankshaft. If you order a standard rod, and the crankshaft is undersize your bearing wouldn't fit. If the crankshaft is out of round the bearing wouldn't last very long.
This would be a good time to rebuild the entire engine. You would have all winter to work on it and it would be ready to drive next summer. Then you can come to San Diego for the "World's Finest City" national tour.
Peter, there are a lot of Model T people in your area, contact Larry Williams in Waverly, he is the President of the TN Ts and can give you a lot of helpful information, you also live close to another person who could give you a lot of information, Don Meadows is between Charlotte and Ashland City.Get involved in the Model T club in your area is has a lot of members in middle and west TN.
Our group the Smoky Mountain Ts is a little too far from you to give much help physically but can give you moral support and can be a source for parts and information.
Welcome! You are a lucky young chap as you live very close to help. The Tennessee T's chapter has members very close to you and one of the closest is a very good mechanic who pours rod babbitt.
You must attend the annual Christmas party this year in Waverly since you're so close. I think it's the second Saturday in December.
I can bring you what you need to make an outside oiler. Let me know if your oil pan cover has three dips or four. It should be four but you may have an earlier engine.
Sorry Rick. I was typing while you posted.
Gary, thats good as i don't know a lot of the people except Larry and Ken Swan.
What do I need to do, to attend the Christmas party?
And what is the Christmas party? A car show? I do not have a membership to the MTFCA.
I might be very interested in this,
I disagree with Dave Huson on the use of a mag oiler. I had one car which the funnel fell off the inside oiler. I know exactly when it happened. It cut the mag ring and I had an outside oiler on the magneto. I drove the car on battery that way for about 10 years until I rewound a couple of mag rings and decided to install one on that car. The only oil it was getting was from the inside oiler without the funnel and the mag oiler. I only needed to remove some shims and the engine was ready to continue on. Now my magneto works."END QUOTE"
Mag. Oilers are Junk as Dave Huson said.
Put a Model T engine on any stand and run it, pull the oil line in front and it just drips, MAYBE!
The out side oilers with the funnel is a bad choice also didn't like them.
The one's we use came from Townsen auto in Il. We have used those for over 30 years, they are now made by Texas T.
Pull the front line on those when idling and it will dump all the oil shortly.
Mag post oilers can easily be modified/improved to push a great amount of oil to the front of the engine without cutting new holes in the hogshead or pan. My T runs well on the mag and the mag post oiler flows at 0.4 gpm with a head of up to 36".
The Christmas party is just a pot luck get together and visiting event (no car show). You should attend as you will meet a bunch of folks who live near you and can offer some assistance. Your family would enjoy it. I live over by Memphis but will aid you anyway I can.
I just checked my email and I don't see the official flyer for the Christmas part but it was announced at our last tour/meeting that it would be December 14th at a church in Waverly. Contact Larry Williams as he and his wife are hosting it and can provide the address.
It would be a good time to meet chapter members and join up also.
Jim: What did you use as the defector in your mod to the pickup? Thanks, Dan.
I silver brazed a section of copper onto the mag post. More photos of the deflector at:
I think I cut the copper deflector out of a 1/2" copper pipe elbow.
I modified a mag post oiler in similar manner. At first start from cold, little oil runs out. Once the engine is warm, oil flows very freely. Never an issue with mag function. Just to be sure, I also run an extra accessory internal oil line in addition to the factory funnel.
Peter, as Gary has pointed out, the Christmas party is a good way to get to know Model T folks right under your nose there in Middle Tennessee. Waverly is probably about an hour from where you live. Good luck on your project, see you in Waverly. Ken Swan, Selmer, TN
On my '10 I set up an outside oiler that runs on the manifold side of the engine and dumps into the oil filler hole. I used a standard brass toilet bowl overflow pipe cut down and crimped for a press fit and then soldered a fitting into the pipe. I can take off the oil filler cap and watch the oil pour out of the outside line. It works great and given the amount of oil flowing through it I am sure it would be sufficient even if the original internal oil line was clogged or broken off. Cheap insurance in my book and well worth the minimal cost and effort involved. I might add that the oil gets up front very quickly as I cannot get from the crank handle to the filler neck before the oil starts flowing.
If you have ever had the bendix cover off and accidently bumped the starter button, you know that a lot of oil comes out very quickly! Why not just braze a fitting to the bottom of the bendix cover?
I have consulted with my dad, and I believe we already have an oiler installed. We think the man who owned it before us installed it.
Just thought you might like to know that. ;)
Sorry for the late reply!
I did not know what a oil ring was, until I asked my Dad and he informed me that it is the same thing as a piston ring. Now, to answer your question: When we were disconnecting the piston from the babbitted-clamp-thing?, (Someone, please, tell me what the name of this part is), we pulled the piston down too far and we had to remove them to pull them out. (Very tedious job, mind you!)
Thanks for your support,
Pete is there any one you can ask for a little hands-on help? You sound a bit lost and you're doing a job (especially fitting the rod & cap), that requires a bit of finesse. Get some help if possible.
Well, I do agree on that, but, my dad knows the name of that part. (I just forgot. That's all. )
The plan so far is to get the rods re-babbitted, get a new head gasket, then we'll just put here back together and hope for the best. With any luck, we should get a few years out of her, before we need a full rebuild.
It doesn't cost much to join a local club. You really need someone from the club who can come down and look at your engine and assess what needs to be done to fix it. If it is not done properly, you could cause a worse problem. Possibly a very expensive problem. The bearings must fit to .0015 inch. If too tight it will seize up, and if too loose, you will have the same problem as before. The oil ring is the bottom piston ring. The other two are compression rings. Ideally, if a piston is removed from the cylinder the rings should be replaced with new ones. The cylinder should be honed before the piston is replaced.
You might get the engine running with just replacing the rods, but it could use a lot of oil and have little power. It could also knock and the end result would be a more costly fix than if you did all the work needed now.
An experienced eye would really be a help. Some times the whole engine doesn't need a rebuild, but usually a rod bearing getting as loose as yours did, is the first symptom of larger troubles ahead.
I'm not saying that you should rebuild the entire engine at this time, but have someone look at to be sure that everything which needs to be fixed is fixed now.
Peter,Iv been scanning some of the input the guys have given you. Youve got a great start in the hobby. This hobby will be the most fulfilling, expensive, mind blowing, and the best thing you can ever do. Sometimes it takes me an hour just to get gas because of the tourists. I got my start from a toy model T that was given to me about 15 years ago. Although Iv always had a passion for old cars it was mainly 50's through 70's cars so that gave me a bit of a back ground to work with. Then one day I happen on a hit and miss engine show and there was a fellow there with a Model T. One ride in that back feild is all it took. Now I have three of them. The best advice I could give you is to find someone that knows T's. They will guide you in the world of Model T's. The other small piece of advice is don't over think the mechanics of a Model T. Its a very simple car. Henry Ford made it that way for a reason. When you get your T back up and running it will give you years of enjoyment that other cars just cant compare.
Sorry for the REALLY late reply! Had alot of things going on, with Thanksgiving and all. There's no new news on Katie, but we did just pickup an old Model AA Truck today.
Thanks for your interest,