Just bought my first Model T. It's a 1927 coupe.. It's coming out of about a 48 year storage. It seems to be stuck in gear so I figured a clutch pak or something is stuck from sitting. But since I'm just learning on these cars I'm not sure where to look first. Any help would be appreciated.
Randy, Can you explain further what you mean "stuck in gear"? What position do you have the hand clutch/emergency brake lever in? All the way forward, puts the trans in a mode to go into forward (low and high). Straight up, takes the trans out of out forward gear mode and allows you to reverse, pressing the R or middle pedal. All the way back is the emergency brake, if they are installed and adjusted right, I presume you know all of the above. It certainly is possible for the clutch pack to be stuck after setting up a number of years, but 'rocking the car' or pulling it forward with either the hand lever forward or straight up should loosen things if it is possible without doing a tear down.
I've tried the hand brake lever in all positions and the transmission is still engaged. I pulled it into my drive and rocked it and the engine still turns over when the vehicle moves. I just got it home today and haven't really had a chance to get under it and scope it out yet. Hopefully it will warm up later in the week and I'll have a chance to learn more about it. If it is a clutch pak and I can't get it unstuck, what am I looking at to get to it?
It would be good to tear into it, you would be surprised what you might find. But on the other hand if you take it all apart, clean and find nothing wrong and get stuff oiled up, you will be way ahead of the game!
if its complete enough that you think its time to see if it runs, jack up the rear end and start it. the clutch pack my come loose with some heat and vibration. 48 year nap, you probably have a few things to do yet!
Old cold stiff oil will make it seem as if it is "stuck in gear". If you block the wheels and turn it over by hand with the key off, you may find that it isn't stuck all the way. But raising a rear wheel and starting may loosen things up.
I had one and could not get it to loosen up. Finally tore into it and I am glad.I found all kinds of things done wrong. There was an extra disc in my tranny. I am now starting to reassemble it.
My buddy's 1926 sat for an unknown long period of time. It also was "stuck in gear". When we got into it one of the old cotton bands had come un-riveted, and was all jammed up in the metal band.
If you decide to jack up a rear wheel and start it, please be sure to chock the front wheels securely so that the car won't fall off the rear jack and run you over or take off!
Here is an earlier thread containing a detailed checklist for bringing a long-hibernating T out of mothballs:
Good luck, let us know how it goes!
Is the clutch release bolt on the transmission adjusted so that the control shaft cam releases the clutch when in neutral/emg brake position ??
Could be that cam is not in line to release clutch ?
Thanks to all for the info. Gives me alot of things to look at. It was 24 degrees when I brought it home so I'm going to let it thaw first thing. This weekend will be back in the 80s(gotta love Texas weather). If that don't work I'll move down the line. The link for bringing one back to life was just what I was looking for. Thanks again...
Before you adjust anything do these things.
1. Take off the plate on top of the transmission and look inside. Look at the bands. Do they look like there is any lining loose? I know you can't see very much from the top, but you can try working the pedals and see if the bands clamp around the drums when the pedals are pushed, and release when the pedal is released. If everything there looks good. change the oil to a multigrade oil such as 5W30. This oil was not used much 48 years ago and it is lighter weight in cold weather which will allow things to move more freely. Be sure to replace the cover and seal so oil won't leak out.
Also be sure coolant level is up above the water tubes.
Now jack the two rear wheels and put on axle stands. Chock the front wheels and leave the lever forward. Try to start the engine. If it will start, let it warm up to operating temperature with the stands forward. Then get in and try pushing the pedal down into low. If it kills the engine, the clutch is stuck, but the low band is working. Put the hand lever in the neutral position up nearly straight up. Now alternate using the low and reverse pedals. Sometimes this will unlock the clutch. With the pedal in neutral try using the foot brake. If it kills the engine, the clutch is still stuck.
I don't recommend that you try to pull the car to start it unless you have a place with NO traffic where you can turn off the ignition and coast to a stop if the clutch cannot be unstuck. You will also need someone to pull you who will not stop suddenly before you can stop the T.
If all the above fail to unstick the clutch, you will need to pull the engine/transmission and disassemble. Sometimes the ears on the bands get damaged and get stuck in the grooves in the drum. When that happens, you will need to disassemble and replace whichever parts need replacement.
If the person who parked the car 48 years ago is available, you might ask if the car was in good running condition when parked. Sometimes there is a problem and the car is parked, with intention of repairing later and the repair is never made.
Could it be the bendix is stuck in the fly wheel,
this would give a stuck feeling when in gear.
Randy, Your profile says you are in the San Angelo, Texas area. You might want to start another post titled, Need Model T Help Near San Angelo, and see if anyone local replies. Having another Model T'er close by can be a real help.
Good news it warmed up today and I was able to turn the engine without the car wanting to move. I guess oil thick oil was my culprit. Looking forward to getting to work on it this weekend.
Glad that solved your problem, but with a car that has set up that long, it would still be wise to check everything as thoroughly as you can without a complete tear down.
Might want to read this about taking a car out of mothballs.
You probably already know this but the 2014 Texas T Party will be held in your town in October. Marshall Huling (email@example.com) is the tour chairman and he lives there in San Angelo. Contact him for help if you need to. He is fairly literate and knowledgeable on the Model T.