Last October I took my '27 touring for a short drive then parked it in my barn. It ran just fine. I left the lever in neutral. (I usually leave it forward). Several days ago when it was 71 degrees out my 6 year old great-grandson asked to ride in it.
The starter would hardly budge the engine so I tried to hand crank it. In neutral the crank was almost impossible to turn so I removed the spark plugs which made it just a little easier but still way too hard. I jacked up one back wheel and could not budge it in gear and it was quite hard to turn in neutral.
When I crank it with the starter I can hear it try to fire on each cylinder but everything is way too tight to allow it to run. The battery runs down quickly (6.3 to 6.1 volts) under this strain but takes a charge well and passes the load test.
I ran out of time as the 6 year old was anxious to ride in another old car before he went home to mama. I didn't have time to look inside the transmission cover.
I'm 95 miles from the car now but hope to get to it next week. I suspect something in the transmission/bands but welcome any suggestions.
If it's just as hard to turn over with a rear wheel jacked up(you DID remember to put the brake handle forward when you jacked it up, didn't you??), it's not just a sticking clutch. It's also not likely too thick oil, at 71 degrees.
Something is binding.
There's a whole basket of possibilities.
Main or rod bearings. Transmission bands either stuck or maybe folded over. Triple gear bushings too tight. Twenty more things I haven't thought of.
I'd start with eliminating things. If the engine is hard to turn over with the plugs out and a rear wheel jacked up, and the wheel turns freely (not a stuck parking brake), and there's good oil in the engine/transmission, and things look OK with the tranny cover removed for a close inspection:
I'd try dropping some Marvel Mystery Oil in each cylinder and turning it over a few turns (in case there's rust in the cylinders),
I'd try draining the oil into a clean pan and taking a very close look any sediment that settles out of it,
I'd then try filling the engine with fresh, very light (5W-something) fresh oil, by pouring it into the transmission, being careful to thoroughly wet everything with it. While you're at it, exercise all 3 pedals and make sure the bands contract and then expand.
If you don't get any good clues from any of these relatively easy things to try, then you've passed my level of expertise, and you should re-post, with a list of all the things you've tried, and the results (if any) that you observed. Someone with more experience than I will figure it out for you!
I always find it odd that a car can be running and operating just fine when parked and then do what yours is doing the next time you try to start it. It suggests to me that whatever is wrong was not evident when hot, but things bound up after it cooled.
Having said that and given that everything is still locked up with the rear wheel off the ground, I'd take a real careful look in the transmission. I think if it was in the rear end, rear brakes or rear wheel bearings the engine would (should) turn over fine in neutral and the problem would occur when you try to move it. I think it's also unlikely that it's an engine problem since it "ran just fine" when you parked it.
My guess is that Peter is on the right track when he pointed out the possibility of a folded over transmission band.
Let us know what you find and good luck!!
just had this happen. jacked up rear end and motor cranked as it should.On the ground couldn't crank it.We opened the tranny cover and everything looked ok- nothing broken. Poured a little kerosene over each drum to loosen any varnish that maybe on the clutch plates. Exercized her a little and whammo- loosened up and we had a winner.Drained the kerosene after we were done- didnt use much maybe a couple cup fulls as we rotated the tranny. BTW- this was in a 1917 touring made into a pickup that has sat for a couple years. We got the karosene suggestion from an old Model T'er and are grateful. Thank You
Thanks For the suggestions. I think that the problem is in the transmission and will look there first when I can get back to the car next week. I'll bring a little kero and MMO with me in case I need it.
Maybe something like this.
You may want to have a look in the cylinders to be sure you didn't have a head gasket leak that let coolant into the cylinders. That would gum things up nicely.
I agree with jerry....sounds more like moisture in the cylinders. If nothing looks suspicious under the tranny cover, you may want to pull the head to check the cylinder walls & gasket.
When you have the transmission cover off, can you wiggle the bands front to back by hand? They should be loose when the pedals are not depressed.
It is strange that the car ran when you parked it and now does not, however, from October until January is quite a few months and it is possible that something just froze up. Everything I can think of has been covered above. The engine does turn very hard so if you could pull the car to get it started, maybe it will loosen up. If it does not loosen quickly, you will need to disassemble it to find out what's wrong.
Don't drag the car and don't start with pulling the head. The first will do more damage and the second might not be necessary at all. Check the trans/bands first. Something was taking a dive while driving and locked up after a cool down. Start simple. "rear wheel locked in gear and very hard to turn in neutral". You said it yourself. It would be easier to turn without the plugs in place. You've taken compression out of the picture. I don't believe you have and engine problem. I don't have the savvy to be more specific but obviously if neutral is operating OK it should disconnect the engine.
Like Charley said start simple (I subscribe to the K.I.S.S. principle) Why not put the rear axel up on jack stands disconnect the brake rods and tap the brake cams with a leather mallet then see if the rear wheels turn free then go to the transmission. Since you are able to turn the motor even though it is difficult I would not remove the head until I had tried everything else.
Ok so the rear wheels are locked with the engine and neutral, if it's operational, doesn't affect it. Suggestions? (is it possible he has 2 problems ?)
Why would anyone disconnect the brake rods. Put both wheels on jack stands, and all you have to do is put the emergency brake handle STRAIGHT UP and you should be able to turn either wheel. Also rather than hit the brake cams with a hammer, you should be able to turn them with your fingers
Thanks again to all of you.
I'm guessing that one of my bands will look something like the one pictured. The reason I say this is that I have been finding a lot of lint in the after-market strainer which I always check when I do it's annual oil change. This started from the get-go when I first installed them.
Both of my T's have Kevlar linings which have been on them since shortly after they started advertising them in the club magazines. I remember that the bands that I bought for my '22 roadster seemed to be of better quality than on this '27 touring (tighter weave and less fuzzy). I also remember that they were different brands. I never had a lint problem with the '22.
When I get to the barn next week I'll know quickly if this is the problem and let you all know as soon as I can.
I suspect your clutch discs are stuck together, just like two pieces of glass with water between they will move around but won't come apart. I think spraying some kero may help. I had the same problem and towed it for 1/2 mile before it let go. There was an early model of Rolls Royce that came with a short stick that fit between the seat frame and the clutch to keep it disengaged while not in use because of the clutch sticking problem.
You should not have a lint problem with Kevlar bands unless there is something shredding them. With the transmission cover off, take a good look at the drums. Is one of them a dark bluish color? If it is, that band is too tight. If you can loosen that band and the engine will then turn over easier, look very closely at the drum for cracks. If you have a crack it would shred that band. If so, you will need to remove the engine/transmission and replace the drum and bands. In fact even if you don't find a crack, if it is discolored, you have a problem and it should be replaced.
I have stayed away from this because there was so much good info, but I have a couple comments
Did anyone ask about the starter??
A stuck clutch with the brake off and a rear wheel jacked up would not lock up the motor. You should be able to pull the crank and the wheel should rotate.
In fact if the brake is all the way forward and the vehicle is jacked up and you can't crank it something serious is locking things up.
Fred may be on to something. If the transmission fly wheel was not replaced and is worn, a bendix can stick the fly wheel like glue.
Try opening your door and then rocking the car real hard SIDEWAYS (not back and forth front ways).
If its a stuck bendix, that will usually but not always release the bendix.
If it is a stuck bendix that means that it will keep sticking over and over until you replace the flywheel.
I finally got back to the barn and brought my oldest son with me. I charged the battery up and pulled the transmission cover off. The screen had very little debris in it and the drums looked fine (no scoring or discoloring). I loosened them up to make the engine easier to crank. I checked the radiator and the water was over the core but I drained the oil just in case. It looked like new and no sign of water or debris in it. I refilled it with 30 weight oil (that was all I had).
The motor was still tight so I took the sparkplugs back out and dripped a little ATF/acetone into each cylinder. This did the trick as we were able to push the car at this point. The motor was still quite stiff but I was able to get it started with the starter. I tightened the bands back up and we took it for a drive and it ran just fine. I had to leave it at that point because my son had to get back to his job.
I believe my problem was due to rust in the cylinder bores. The car had not been used much since it got new rings and the bearings adjusted. The solution would be to drive it more to get it better broken in or to drip a little MMO or ATF in the cylinders if I can't do this.
Many thanks again to all of you who took the time and effort to help me. a special thanks to Peter as really got me thinking about the cylinder bores.
Robert, I keep my T's at Burton as well. Jerry Davis.
Just curious; do you have an aluminum aftermarket head on it or a cast iron?
I'm getting back to my '15 now, haven't started it in about 5 years.... I found cylinder #1 stuck tight. The bands were all lose on the drums and the car had a great neutral. I removed the inspection cover and loosened the rod caps and could not move piston #1. Pulled the head and found a very small (narrow) rust line down the side of the cylinder.
I had not drained the radiator when I stored it (I should have). I found lots of corrosion on the head itself, and when I bead blasted it I found a pinhole through the water jacket into #1 cylinder. So now I have the pleasure of a ring job and new pistons... the corrosion on the cylinder is not deep and will clean up fine with a hone, and it ended at the top of the first ring. I can have the head repaired (not cheap), but I will swap to domed pistons and the original low head instead. Sorta sucks, it was an early high compression low head with the Ford script, and they've not been made for years. I've had the head inspected; it is reparable, so it's just an expensive mistake.
Sooooooo....... next time you mothball it for some months,drain the radiator, not just the gas tank, and be sure to keep your antifreeze fresh! especially with aluminum heads!
I'm about 10 miles out of Burton near the lake. My mailing address is Burton and I'm in the Burton phone book. I'm usually there 3 or 4 days a week so give me a call some time and maybe we can have a visit. If I don't see you sooner we can get together again at the Cotton Gin parade.
Thanks, good advice. It has a cast iron head. This car was a clunker when I bought it for 2K about 25 years ago and it still is. There is a crack (maybe 3 inches long) in the water jacket on the drivers side. I have been using stop leak for this but didn't put any in it last time it was apart. Perhaps there is another internal leak. Time for more stop leak.
I know some may critisise this but it has been working for 25 years and the engine never over heats.