Changing the steering gears

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Model T Ford Forum: Classifieds: Changing the steering gears
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Donald Goodwin on Monday, November 12, 2018 - 02:25 pm:

being new to the model T, i have not had much time to drive mine, but will changing the steering to a 5 to 1 ratio make a noticeable difference?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Scott Rosenthal in Cincinnati Oh on Monday, November 12, 2018 - 06:09 pm:

It is said this will prevent a rut in the road from abruptly snatching the wheel out of your hands. I have installed 5:1 on all of mine. A low cost solution for a potentially hazardous situation. 26-27 used steering columns are inexpensive and plentiful. All the parts are there to perform this easy retrofit.
Regards,
Scott


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Scott Conger - Wyoming on Monday, November 12, 2018 - 06:47 pm:

I believe it was Bob Coiro who did the same to his brass car when he was new to the hobby and recently stated that he regrets modifying his car; that it made so little difference as to be almost unnoticeable.

I own 4 T's and would never consider the change, myself.

A great many folks do not consider themselves caretakers of history, but final owners of blank canvas' which beg for modification or alteration. Since you are new to the hobby...welcome! My advice would be to tamp down enthusiasm to modify anything until you have 2 years or 1,000 miles under your belt. Then if you feel compelled to change things up, it will be your decision and not someone else's opinion impressed upon you. Taking ownership of a T invariably comes with finding plenty of things "not quite right" which can be brought back to new condition, thus improving safety, without redesigning the car.

Your steering is already damped down 4:1 through a planetary gearbox on the column. 5:1 would not be a big difference.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jim Davis. Tomball Texas on Monday, November 12, 2018 - 10:42 pm:

Donald. I Bought a 26 touring last year from Ross Lilleker. "Mr Model T" in Bryan,TX. He had installed a steering stabilizer from one of the vendors on the car before I bought it. looks like a shock absorber on its side, said to eliminate front end shimmy. Bolt on No holes mounting and can be easily removed. Like Scott said drive it a while before making mods.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Scott Rosenthal in Cincinnati Oh on Tuesday, November 13, 2018 - 08:09 am:

Consider that it was Ford who initiated the 4:1 to 5:1 upgrade, and that this change impacted the planetary gears, pinion, and the steering shaft components...I doubt these revision costs occurred in the absence of a calculated benefit. Because I drive family in these cars, and whether this is as serious a problem as described or not, I'm of the opinion that this ounce of prevention is worth a pound of piece of mind. I don't know whether the dampening cylinder has the same quality of benefit or not, but I would option for one or the other, before I optioned for no protection. Kind of like accessory brakes right...no real need to have them until you need them.

Regards,
Scott


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Scott Conger - Wyoming on Tuesday, November 13, 2018 - 10:30 am:

There is nothing inherently safe about driving a T in traffic. My T is perfectly safe on our private dirt road, however, once I enter a public roadway, I am a target and I know it (I have the accident report to prove it). Being sideswiped by a car doing 80+ MPH on a 4 lane (each direction) bridge where only 2 cars are present is a humbling and in our case an entirely unnecessary experience. Odds were very much against our surviving the ordeal. The fact that the other driver was high on marijuana probably didn't help the situation.

The risk associated with the original configuration of the car pales in comparison to the risk from other drivers.

With respect to damping steering with 5:1 vs 4:1, try to deviate a 30" spinning mass at all while at speed and you'll find gyroscopic effects to be significant. Making a top-heavy car easier to swerve at high speed is not an improvement that I would personally want. I have never heard of a motorcycle steering that was anything but direct and yet have never heard of a need to improve one by adding a gear ratio.

The worry over T steering as a safety factor is a solution looking for a problem.

The factory upgraded this in direct connection to balloon tires.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Val Soupios on Tuesday, November 13, 2018 - 11:05 am:

I have no engineering background and could not analize the physics involved if my life depended on it but I always assumed that the change was made to accomodate the tire change. More rubber on the road necessitated the change. Cars without power steering had larger steering wheels for mechanical advantage and I guess I just assumed the change Ford made in the size of the steering wheel and gear ratio was for the same reason. If nothing else I would think it reduces the stress on that flimsy planetary steering setup.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Colin Mavins Winnipeg,Canada on Tuesday, November 13, 2018 - 01:51 pm:

I have been driving my 1912 for 40 years and have never had any problem with the original steering I drive the car as intended {I drive it like a 106 year old car } Dad and I though about changing it but felt it was not worth it Cheers Colin


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